Adding Nextbase DAB

Blobcat

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As Ebay sent me a £5 voucher and I missed not having DAB I bought a Nextbase DAB250 from this ebay link for £17.95 delivered so even if it's not great I'm not too far out of pocket. :)

Box arrived this morning so this afternoon I installed it

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Torx driver and trip tools out (handy having a folding hardtop as there's more space to work):)

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Only 1 clip at the top of each A pillar and 3 torx screws holding the supervisors in then the trim panels lift out.

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Now you know those simple Saturday afternoon jobs that start well then you wonder why you even started... well this one very nearly became one...

As I was finger tightening the antenna connection on the back of the unit to line up the elbow connector it went suspiciously loose. So screwdrivers out and I took the unit apart and the legs holding the antenna socket had snapped

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So time to get soldering, gold plated connector so with sufficient heat quite easy to get a good electrical and mechanical joint

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All back together and "warranty" sticker re-fitted

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If anyone wants to know where the fuse paperwork is for an R171 it's in the passenger side fuse box

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I haven't gone for a wired install for power - because I just wanted a quick fit today so fitted a dual 12V power socket and fitted it up behind the passenger kick panel.

Powered up straight off the bat and found stations :)

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I haven't used the line out from the DAB unit, which I'd prefer to as I have the iPod adaptor on my Comand which replaces the line in socket in the glove box. I have run the cable around if I choose to use it in future (If FM transmitter proves poor)

It scans the FM band to find a clear frequency slot which is pretty neat.

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Blobcat

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Car radio tuned in and happy days

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I'll give it good test over the next few weeks and see how it performs
 

rexemper

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Be interested to hear how you find it in use. DAB in the SL500 is something that I've thought about for a while and I have a line-in that I could connect it to I think. Where did you run the antenna and I know you mentioned power but I didn't quite understand what you'd done?
 

Jimbo1959

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All back together and "warranty" sticker re-fitted

View attachment 49190

That sticker's looking a little second hand my friend. It might cause issues if you have a warranty claim, plus if that doesn't cause problems, all the solder on the antenna connectors legs might be a bit of a give away, lol.
 
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Blobcat

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Be interested to hear how you find it in use. DAB in the SL500 is something that I've thought about for a while and I have a line-in that I could connect it to I think. Where did you run the antenna and I know you mentioned power but I didn't quite understand what you'd done?
Antenna is top left of the screen on the passenger side (just below my AMG-PL sticker :D). It is a small black box with a long tail that sticks to the screen down the very edge. It also has a magnetic connection to the car body that goes up behind the windscreen surround trim.

I ran the antenna, the power and the line out leads around the windscreen as I had the trim off and there is plenty of electric string. The unit is very low down on the drivers side windscreen and doesn’t obstruct forward view at all.

My R171 has just one 12v power socket in the passenger footwell. I plugged a trailing double adapter into that then plugged my phone charger and the DAB into it (taped them in place) and hid it up behind the passengers footwell kick panel.

The only lead coming out now is my phone charger down the side of the transmission tunnel and the double adaptor lead which goes into the cars 12v socket.

If you have a 3.5mm line in socket in the glove box in your SL then I’d run the line out lead into that and select “Aux” on your Comand unit.
I’ve the iPod interface in mine so no 3.5mm line in socket which is why I’m using the FM wireless connection.
 
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Blobcat

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That sticker's looking a little second hand my friend. It might cause issues if you have a warranty claim, plus if that doesn't cause problems, all the solder on the antenna connectors legs might be a bit of a give away, lol.
I hear you, but at £17.95 it’s not a great loss and as it’s working it’s no loss at all.:)

As the earth connection on the antenna had broken reception could be adversely effected. I could had tried to send it back but it wasn’t a fault with the unit it was me trying to line up the antenna connector and it was too much for the sockets legs. I should have lined it up then tightened the nut, not the other way round.

I took it apart as I guessed what the issue might be and I’d rather fix it myself and get the unit working than have delays in trying to send it back in the hope I’d be getting a free replacement.
 

JBell

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Interesting, I have one of these I am waiting to fit, I have a cigarette lighter in the glove box where the dash cam is plugged in so will probably use that
 
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Blobcat

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I am wondering if this Dashcam hard wire kit will work with it

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Nextbase...481821?hash=item4653ca5d5d:g:wqIAAOSwgQ9VkUpn

If so it is an easy wire
Just needs a 5v mini usb power supply. It comes with a 12V (cigarette) plug.

I can’t see the output of the link but I expect it would work. Alternatively you could add another switched live 12v socket hidden away somewhere and use the lead supplied with the DAB radio. Just tape it together with some electrical tape so it doesn’t vibrate lose.

I always try and avoid running wires through the drivers footwell unless I can get them high up under the dash and cable tied in place.

I abhore trailing wires so will always hide them away and I’m careful not to wrap wires around A-pillar air bags or near the passenger airbag.
 

JBell

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Just needs a 5v mini usb power supply. It comes with a 12V (cigarette) plug.

I can’t see the output of the link but I expect it would work. Alternatively you could add another switched live 12v socket hidden away somewhere and use the lead supplied with the DAB radio. Just tape it together with some electrical tape so it doesn’t vibrate lose.

I always try and avoid running wires through the drivers footwell unless I can get them high up under the dash and cable tied in place.

I abhore trailing wires so will always hide them away and I’m careful not to wrap wires around A-pillar air bags or near the passenger airbag.

My theory is I just plug it into the fuse box on the drivers side and run the cable up to position it in the same place yours is, my dashcam is run down the A piller into the glovebox, not a wire to be seen
 

Jimbo1959

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I hear you, but at £17.95 it’s not a great loss and as it’s working it’s no loss at all.:)

As the earth connection on the antenna had broken reception could be adversely effected. I could had tried to send it back but it wasn’t a fault with the unit it was me trying to line up the antenna connector and it was too much for the sockets legs. I should have lined it up then tightened the nut, not the other way round.

I took it apart as I guessed what the issue might be and I’d rather fix it myself and get the unit working than have delays in trying to send it back in the hope I’d be getting a free replacement.

Ahh! a man after my own heart, get it fixed, and working properly.

Worry about the small details if, there should be an issue later. :D
 

Tony Dyson

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My theory is I just plug it into the fuse box on the drivers side and run the cable up to position it in the same place yours is, my dashcam is run down the A piller into the glovebox, not a wire to be seen

As BC mentioned above, both devices need a 5v regulated power supply fed via Mini USB and from what I can see on your EBay link the plug looks like Micro USB and I cannot see what they have used to generate the 5v regulated supply from the vehicles 12v electrics.

When it comes to matching PSU's with sensitive electronic kit I would always keep to OEM products, you could of course open the supplied adaptor and hard wire an appropriate supply in place of the cigar lighter socket and hide the adaptor in the dash somewhere, I hid mine behind one of the dash end panels.
 

Jimbo1959

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Hi Russell, a wee question I hope you can answer, as most of the questions aimed at you seem to have come from fellow convertable owners.

Unfortunately when it comes to electrics you've stumbled on my weakness, in mechanics I manage fine but electrics is just black magic to me unless explained in very simple terms :rolleyes:

Basically, could this system be mated to and become operational in my Coupé?

I had gotten used to having DAB stations in my works van and there are a few that I miss not having in m'Merc, it would be brilliant if I could get this system up and running in the Coupé.

The million dollar question, would it be possible to fit to my Coupé?
 
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Blobcat

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Hi Russell, a wee question I hope you can answer, as most of the questions aimed at you seem to have come from fellow convertable owners.

Unfortunately when it comes to electrics you've stumbled on my weakness, in mechanics I manage fine but electrics is just black magic to me unless explained in very simple terms :rolleyes:

Basically, could this system be mated to and become operational in my Coupé?

I had gotten used to having DAB stations in my works van and there are a few that I miss not having in m'Merc, it would be brilliant if I could get this system up and running in the Coupé.

The million dollar question, would it be possible to fit to my Coupé?
Simple answer is "yes" - mine is a coupe (when it's parked) :D

I've done a few installs and fitted a DAB system into my previous VW Caravelle.

It will be as easy to install in your coupe as anything. Just decide where you want the head unit (I don't like things stuck on the windscreen but it fits so low on the drivers side it isn't obtrusive in the slightest. All you'll need to do is remove a bit of trim and run the electric string around. Mercedes are nice and there's some nice clips already holding electric string so you can just do the same. Just don't make any wires tight, nice wide bends and avoid any airbag and screw or trim clip holes. Test fit it all before putting the trim back and away you go.

I've not tried my system out driving as yet and it might be pants on wireless FM but it's great so far on my drive :)
 
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Blobcat

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First impressions of the unit in action following a couple of short distance (but fairly long duration) journeys and I’m impressed.

The DAB signal didn’t drop out at all so I’ve obviously got a decent antenna location and connection.

The FM side hiccuped twice in a heavily populated area but only enough for me to glance at the unit and it was back up and working again before I noticed.

Very clear and clean sound so very happy so far.

More longer journeys tomorrow (I’m really putting myself out for this forum :rolleyes::p). So I’ll see how that goes. :D
 

flowrider

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First impressions of the unit in action following a couple of short distance (but fairly long duration) journeys and I’m impressed.

The DAB signal didn’t drop out at all so I’ve obviously got a decent antenna location and connection.

The FM side hiccuped twice in a heavily populated area but only enough for me to glance at the unit and it was back up and working again before I noticed.

Very clear and clean sound so very happy so far.

More longer journeys tomorrow (I’m really putting myself out for this forum :rolleyes::p). So I’ll see how that goes. :D
I am thinking of getting the 350BT version, how has yours performed over the last year?
 
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Blobcat

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I am thinking of getting the 350BT version, how has yours performed over the last year?
Very good, almost no drop out due to loss of signal. Sounds great now I’ve wired it into the aux connection in my Comand.
 

JBell

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Very good, almost no drop out due to loss of signal. Sounds great now I’ve wired it into the aux connection in my Comand.

Is this plugged straight into the back of the COMAND unit?
 

flowrider

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Very good, almost no drop out due to loss of signal. Sounds great now I’ve wired it into the aux connection in my Comand.
Thanks, just ordered the 350BT from Amazon. Only £32.95 with free delivery!
 

flowrider

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Is this plugged straight into the back of the COMAND unit?
If you have an AUX in then yes, otherwise you will need a spare frequency on your radio to tune into. I have an AUX in on my SL so happy days as this apparently gives the best sound quality.
 


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