Now that the Cayenne is home with its gearbox problems sorted, I took a few hours off yesterday morning to get the DAB digital radio install finished. I use the car on a twenty-mile countryside school run every morning and only the 6 Music breakfast show will do for that task.
I’ve tried a few glass mount antennas for DAB since buying my Kenwood 4210 head unit. I’m in a patchy DAB area at the best of times but glass mount was totally useless. No signal anywhere! I had a look at the DAB on Wheels recommendations and bought the Kinetic DRA-6001 amplified roof mount aerial with a 5m extension lead.
I will probably use a roof platform on my car now and then, so no way was this going in the middle. The fitting instructions say mount at least 25 cms from the roof edge for best performance. I was not putting it above the front, so had to be in the rear. I decided to drop the headlining to get a better view of the rear roof section.
Dropping the Cayenne’s roof lining is right fun and games, as it looks like it’s the first part to go in. I’d stripped some of this before so knew the form. Took a while but I got it down enough to see what was what. The roof has a huge amount of stiffening, especially at the rear where the massive tailgate is hung. I could go in front of that and still look sensible: a bit ‘bee sting’ but whatever, long as the DAB works. I marked a centre point 20 cm in from the rear edge and drilled a pilot hole: no changing my mind now.
The Kinetic needs a 14mm mounting hole, which I drilled with a cone cutter. I primed the roof and test fitted the antenna. The supplied base gasket is an O-ring which kept the aerial base a good 7mm or so off the roof and meant I could not get the bottom nut on. After a bit of experimentation, I modifed the gasket arrangement to drop the aerial closer to the roof. Not easy but it worked and would keep the water out.
Now the nut would just go on. Refitting the base over a lot of grease as specified, I tightened it to where I was happy but the leading edge was still slightly proud of the roof. It needed a little more tightening. I gave it one tiny squeeze and the brass nut slipped on the cast threads. The base was not going to sit flush on the roof. Fitting the aerial mast, that would not tighten in the base either. The whole thing was a let down.
I was pretty cross so took a break and came back to it later. It looked a bit rough outside but I managed to get it tight, so why not give it a try. I rigged up a 12v supply and took the antenna lead to the head unit: instant success. The DAB reception was perfect.
I’ve put it all back together, but am 99% sure I will swap this for the Hirschmann Auta DAB antenna in a few weeks time, when I take the roof out again to sort the reverse camera. If you’ve bought and are fitting this one, my advice is to bin the base gasket and just use Sikaflex to seal it up and get it tight to the roof. If you’ve not bought it yet, save your money and buy the budget Hirschmann.