How To Use a Pocket DAB Radio
| Reuben Howe
Small tech doesn’t always mean simple tech, and understanding the features or settings of a new device can spell the difference between a fantastic experience or a disappointing one. Explore what features and settings are available to scan for and find channels, and how to get the best setup for your DAB FM Radio.
How Does DAB Work Compared to FM?
The very first thing to understand about using a DAB Pocket Radio is that DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) is not the same as FM (Frequency Modulation) radio. In a classic FM analogue radio, you’d scan through Frequencies to find stations. Stations in FM radio are situated at specific, well, frequencies.
This system is not in place for DAB digital radio. Rather than looking through frequencies and having the scan stop when a signal is picked up, DAB can scan the full range of channels and save them all by name. This means that your scanning / radio menu will not display “107.5 FM” but rather a list of names of stations.
Simply find the station you want by name and select it to have the radio tune to that channel!
So, if you don’t recognise the scanning / search process and menu this may be the cause of the misunderstanding.
How to Get Reception on a Small DAB Radio
If you’re still having no luck navigating to channels, you may need to perform a scan with better reception. There are a few ways you can improve your DAB radio reception chances for a portable radio;
Extend and Rotate the Telescopic Aerial
Many pocket radios utilise the telescopic aerial. This type of aerial collapses in on itself and shortens to be a fraction of the total length. It’s no surprise the technology is used for smaller radios as the telescopic aerial saves space when collapsed but still provides good reception when deployed.
If you have a radio with such an aerial, make sure it’s been pulled out and extended as far as possible. Then, check to see if it can rotate. By rotating the aerial, you may see changes in signal strength and, depending on your position and the radio relays nearby, receive more channels.
Move the Entire Radio
One benefit of portable radios is you can slot them on top of shelves, on high compartments in trucks or on a nearby fence in the garden! The higher and more open the environment is for the radio, the better your reception will be.
One thing to remember is that whenever you move or adjust a radio a large distance you should re-scan. Whilst signal will change and be reflected in real-time, new stations can usually only be added during a scan. If you have moved or boosted your aerial / radio to try and increase reception and nothing changed, try running a scan in the new location.
Try FM and DAB Modes
As mentioned above, FM and DAB are different networks and so one may be more receptive than another in certain areas. If you’re having issues in one location with one type of reception, try the other and see if reception is clearer.
How To Remove Channels from DAB Digital Radio
If you are wanting to streamline your searching and avoid low-quality broadcasts that barely service your current area, you should investigate your device for a “Prune” function. The prune function on a radio (Not to be confused with dried plums) automatically detects and removes low-signal stations from your list. This means searching through stations is more enjoyable and stable, with no static or low-quality broadcasts in the way.
Many radios have Prune as a setting you turn “on” once and will automatically apply to every scan henceforth. If you find stations you are looking for are not appearing from a scan, try to turn prune “off” and see if the signal was too weak for your chosen station to appear.
Charging a Pocket Radio
Rechargeable Pocket DAB Radios will be one of two types, and you should identify which before working out how to charge them:
Internal Rechargeable Battery
A radio which uses an Internal Rechargeable Battery will charge directly via a Micro-USB, USB-C or other variant of power cable. The charge will be shown on the display.
Replaceable Rechargeable Battery
Some other radios may use rechargeable AA or AAA batteries. In this case, the batteries must be charged rather than the device itself. The radio may have a Micro USB or USB-C port for passing charge to the AA or AAA batteries. If this is the case, always check your batteries quality and charge if there’s a fault.
Never plug in a charging cable to a device with non-rechargeable AA or AAA Batteries inside
Enjoy Your Personal DAB Radio
Once you have successfully scanned, positioned and pruned channels you can sit back (or get to work) with the most authentic radio experience possible. Understanding the best process for finding and saving stations is important in making our devices as accessible and simple as possible.
If you have any troubles using these features for any of our supplied products then contact us via email or phoneline (Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm) and we will be happy to assist or advise.