I’ve bought a Pioneer AVH-7200DAB but am struggling to get a DAB aerial. My car is fiberglass and there is nowhere to connect the earth tab on a screen mounted aerial. On your screen aerial fitting guide you say you don’t have to remove any paint; if I had a metal car, there’s glue on the earth tab/lead how does it possibly make an earth? Can I just connect a wire to the earth pad and run it to earth?
Windscreen aerials for in-car DAB digital radios normally have a self-adhesive grounding strip. This would attach to the car’s body behind the A-pillar trim. Digital radio adapters often have a grounding tail for the antenna with a magnet that slides behind the headlining.
Making a good grounding connection is important for optimal reception of DAB stations. Some installation instructions do appear to recommend sanding back some of the bodywork to bare metal. But the instructions for the Autoleads DAB-AA1 we have used a few times mention to attach to the painted surface. The DAB-AA1 offers very good performance in our experience.
For cars with a fibreglass body and vehicles like motorhomes there may not be a suitable metal surface to attach the grounding strip to.
In this case we would look into the DAB windscreen antennas from Calearo. These appear to have a grounding tail with a ring terminal. This could be bolted on to the body or you could look into creating a cable which is also terminated with a ring terminal. Then a secure connection could be made on the body for grounding the antenna.
A suitable model might be the Calearo 7677933 which appears to have a female SMB connector. There is also the ‘Rubber DAB/DAB+’ antenna which has an amplifier inline in the cable. Calearo have a good website and you may be able to check the specifications to see if they will be suitable for your car and chosen radio.
If you contact a Calearo supplier in the UK they may also be able to confirm suitability for your installation.
We haven’t tried any antennas from this Italian brand but they have been established for many years. According to their catalogue they supply car manufacturers directly too.
If your car already has an FM/AM antenna you could look at replacing this with a new one which can also be used for DAB. Splitters are also available for FM/AM antennas which are not amplified. Owners of cars with telescopic aerials often report success with these splitters which provide the connections for FM/AM and DAB from one antenna.