Why have I been unable to receive commercial DAB stations recently?

I live in Aberystwyth and and have been unable to pick up any commercial DAB radio stations on two radios for two days. I have rescanned and moved the radios to no avail.
– Mark

The transmitters which provide DAB digital radio coverage are generally quite reliable and complete outages are rare. Occasionally transmitters are affected by planned maintenance or failures, which means coverage is temporarily reduced or not available at all.

You mentioned not being able to receive commercial DAB stations on 3rd and 4th March 2018. This is during the period that adverse weather, known as ‘The Beast from the East’, affected much of the UK with snow and freezing temperatures.

We cannot find any information about outages during that week affecting Aberystwyth. Many transmitters are in remote locations and often on hills or higher ground. These sites are sometimes at the end of private roads or single track lanes. If there was a problem with a transmitter during particularly adverse weather it may take some time to reach it and resolve the loss of coverage.

Retuning to find missing stations

Transmitter maintenance and faults are usually resolved within hours or days. Normally a digital radio will start receiving any affected stations again automatically.

When a rescan or auto-tune is carried out during a loss of coverage the radio may remove stations from the list. You will need to rescan or auto tune again later to store the affected stations again.

It’s often worth checking if your radio offers more than one type of station scan. Some digital radios perform a quick auto-scan with the press of a button, but can also complete a ‘full scan’ through a menu option. This type of scan can sometimes resolve issues with reception.

You mention moving the radios which can help with reception during a re-scan. If possible you could perform an auto tune with the radio at a high point in your home, or in your garden shed or garage if you have one. We have seen radios that only find radio stations in a particular location, but will continue to receive them when moved back to the original room.

Finally, you mention being unable to pick up any commercial radio stations. A coverage check for Aberystwyth (using the location of the railway station) shows that you should receive Absolute Radio, LBC, Magic, talkSPORT and other national stations.

Sometimes radio stations leave digital radio or are replaced, so it is not unusual to find that a station is missing after a re-tune.


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