Lost DAB radio reception

If you're losing DAB reception when it was previously good, the causes can be different depending on exactly what you've lost and what you can still hear.

 dab_radio

DAB stations are grouped together in digital multiplexes. You may receive more than one multiplex, from different transmitters. Most DAB radios will display the name, and sometimes the number, of the multiplex you're listening to.

Lost reception of one or more stations within a multiplex

But others are still OK - your radio may not be working properly. Although it is possible to receive one multiplex more reliably than another, all the stations within a multiplex should behave in exactly the same way.  

What to do

Try switching your radio off and on. If the situation is unchanged, use the ‘autotune' function to reinstall the stations in the memory from scratch. If even this doesn't solve the problem, you should talk to your dealer or manufacturer (they often have helplines).

Lost reception of every station on every multiplex

It could be one of the following:

  • Flat batteries or a loose power lead
  • Faulty radio
  • There is work or a fault at a nearby transmitter
  • Loss of preset list of stations after long period without use, or after a change of batteries
  • Interference

What to do

  • If the radio has an external aerial, ensure the connections are secure.
  • If the radio has a 'pull-out' aerial, ensure it is fully extended.
  • Set the radio to ‘autotune' or ‘scan' in case it has lost the station list after being without power for a long time. You may need to re-enter any preset stations.
  • Use our Transmitter Checker to see if a transmitter fault/maintenance work in your area.
  • Listen to an FM radio for audible interference, as this may give useful clues. If you can hear interference on the FM radio, and especially if the FM interference stops when your DAB reception returns, the two could be connected.


Lost reception on only one multiplex

 But are still getting others, there are a few possible reasons:

  • The signals have weakened to below the ‘threshold' of reliable reception
  • There is work or a fault at a nearby transmitter
  • Unusual high pressure weather conditions are affecting reception
  • A nearby local or regional transmitter is swamping transmissions from more distant national network transmitters.

What to do

  • If the radio is portable, try moving it around to see if reception returns.
  • If the radio has an external aerial, ensure the connections are secure.
  • Set the radio to ‘autotune' or ‘scan' in case the station has been lost from memory because of a weakened signal.
  • Use our Transmitter Checker to see if a transmitter fault/maintenance work in your area.

NB. Because DAB transmitter networks ‘overlay' signals using a technique called a Single Frequency Network, it is uncommon for work at one transmitter to seriously affect reception over a wide area, since other transmitters will tend to ‘fill in' the gaps. Problems can still occur with some local stations, however, since these networks sometimes incorporate fewer transmitters and are therefore less ‘robust' when a fault occurs.

 

How would you rate the usefulness of this answer

Poor Excellent

Transmitter Checker

Enter postcode and platform below to check for faults with your local transmitter (Format: AB12 2AA)

For our policy on how we propose to use this information, please click here.

Problem Assistant

Get started with diagnosing your problem with our self-help tool.

Launch the tool by clicking here