Questions

Why can’t I pick up Virgin Radio even with a strong signal?

I have a Pure Evoke 3 and cannot pick up Virgin Radio despite re-tuning. The radio station is a short walk from my home so surely the signal would be strong enough?
– Sarah

Virgin Radio is based at The News Building, near The Shard in London. The digital radio station is transmitted from a network of around 70 transmitters across the UK. Some of these transmitters are in London at sites such as Alexandra Palace, Crystal Palace and the BT Tower, rather than at the station itself.

Checking some postcodes in the area it appears that Virgin Radio should be available on DAB digital radio. You can check with your own postcode on the ‘Check your available stations’ tool on the Digital Radio UK website for the exact results in your location.

This could indicate that there is an issue with the radio.

First it’s worth double checking which Virgin Radio station is being selected on the radio. The new spin-off stations, Virgin Radio Anthems and Virgin Radio Chilled, broadcast in the newer DAB+ format. The radio may have found these but due to its age may not be able to receive DAB+ stations. Some radios ignore DAB+ stations while others allow you to tune in, but without any sound or scrolling text. If three stations which are labelled ‘Virgin Radio’ appear on the station list you may be able to tune into the main station.

Unfortunately the Pure Evoke 3 does not receive DAB+ stations and cannot be upgraded for those other new stations.

You mentioned that you’ve tried re-tuning the radio. The Pure Evoke 3 has two modes when scanning for stations: ‘United Kingdom’ and ‘Rest of world’. It’s worth switching to ‘Rest of world’ incase the radio isn’t scanning for stations on the frequency which Virgin Radio uses. You can do this in the Menu, under DAB and then DAB region. After changing the setting you can try scanning again.

Virgin Radio is broadcast alongside several other stations on digital radio. You can check to see if you receive Planet Rock or Scala Radio. If these stations do work it should be possible to receive Virgin Radio too.

The Pure Evoke 3 allows manual tuning on DAB, under Menu, then DAB and then Advanced tuning options. If you select channel 11A (or 216.928 MHz) you should see a signal meter. A marker shows the minimum level required to receive the stations. You can try repositioning the radio until the signal level is sufficient, and then exit manual tuning and perform a re-tune again.

Finally, you could consider carrying out a factory reset on the radio. This would normally clear the list of stations and any settings (such as presets or alarms). A fresh scan for stations may allow Virgin Radio to be found and stored.

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