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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,
I've recently bought a Spider 2.4 in a the lovely metalic blue colour. My 4th Alfa now from a GTV, Brera and GT.
So far I have de-swirled (I took loads of pics and will do a guide at some point!), cleaned out the intake, oil catch can fitted, EGR cleaned (which I then realised was already blanked!), belts changed, roof struts changed, flap motors changed, oil changed, filters changed and given it a good shine...of course it rained the next day:hehe:! It now runs perfect and has been an absolute dream in the lovely warm weather we've been having, apart from the rain!

To do list is, fluids - brake fluid change, PAS fluid change along with the reservior and get the gearbox oil changed.
Tidy up - new badges, new arch liner

Now the aerial/DAB query I have;

After I did all the jobs above I needed a treat for me and the car, so I changed the head unit for an android direct replacement, which was really easy to fit, looks really good and works pretty well. The bonus is that there is no cage needed, and no need to pull the dash apart. It fits perfectly in the already existing gap without and facia panels. Bonus!
This is the one i bought https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/202706515604 The only complain is that the shiny screen reflects the sun with the top down...but I've just bought some matte iPad screen protectors that I'm going to cut to size and hopefully resolve that!

Along with this, I opted to buy a usb DAB box and have bought another DAB aerial, https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/401759227789 unfortunately this hasn't really improved things for DAB. I've moved this in a few places on the left hand windscreen... I used tape to secure it rather than sticking it down permenently, still nothing apart from just BBC stations.

I've then bought a fm/DAB splitter https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/283528218854 this also hasnt helped DAB reception :tired:

So now I'm wondering if the Spider aerial is active or not, I know the Brera one is, but the Spider aerial is very different to that one...namely its a pointy sticky out thing which sits on the nearside rear qtr panel!

I'm wondering if I should buy a powered fm splitter (like the one i bought but has a 12v power connection lead) https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/233227493788 or if this is a waste as the aerial could already be active, i.e. it already has the 12v connection.

I just want to be able to use DAB on my unit without a hidious external aerial sticking out of somewhere, have any Spider owners got a successful DAB solution?

As a process of elimination, I cleaned the contacts of the existing aerial with wd40 for when I used the fm/DAB splitter, seperately used the (ugly) DAB aerial which came with the us DAB box, used a windscreen DAB aerial, I have the GPS module wired to the drivers side to avoid interferance, the mic from the back of the unit is also wired on the drivers side, yet still poor DAB reception. Also my car does have blue&me as I briefly used it, realised it was pants, which made me purchase the new stereo...although I couldn't find the blue&me box in the normal position (under the sereo) I'm guessing the previous owner has moved it.

Anyway wanted to know of any DAB solutions that I could try rather than just having a stab in the dark by buying pointless addons/cables!

Thanks
Raz
 

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My Pioneer head unit has the DAB aerial on the windscreen but you hardly notice it. I have removed the old FM aerial and replaced it with a stubby one so it looks like an aerial thats been retracted - tidies up the rear .
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I did look through the ICE forum but couldn't find anything specifically on the Spider aerial, or a complete success story on DAB.
Navlet what DAB aerial do you have, is it similar to the first link in my post above? Do you get good signal and receive decent coverage from the other non-BBC channels?
Ta
 

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Hi All,

After I did all the jobs above I needed a treat for me and the car, so I changed the head unit for an android direct replacement, which was really easy to fit, looks really good and works pretty well. The bonus is that there is no cage needed, and no need to pull the dash apart. It fits perfectly in the already existing gap without and facia panels. Bonus!
This is the one i bought https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/202706515604 Thanks
Raz
How easy?......Easy enough for even a **** like me?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How easy?......Easy enough for even a **** like me?
Yes very easy, if you don't want to faff around with DAB aerials, then it's even easier!

I guess hiding the mic cable and GPS unit cable would be the trickiest part but not that bad at all - if you remove the pollen filter outer cover, in the glovebox, (a couple of torx screws if I remember correctly) then you can feed the GPS and mic cables through that way, out towards the door side of the dash board. The end panel comes off quite easily if you pry it carefully with a large flat-headed screwdriver or just give it a firm but controlled tug...and unclip the airbag key-swtich plug. Just remeber to plug it back in, otherwise you'll get an airbag error until you clip it back in!

My GPS and Mic are both on the drivers side becuase...I'm faffing with DAB aerials on the passenger side! I used a couple of meters of net-curtain wire to fish it through which really helped. I used the same for the reversing camera, which was surprisingly easy in the Spider, as theres easy access to the boot, roof compartments and then into the cabin. Again if you're not bothering with this then it's very easy...I only put this on because you can's see anything with the roof up!

The unit itself is plug and play. It happily works with the steering buttons which can also be programmed to do things...I havent bothered/tried as volume up/down works, next/prev works, mute works, source works, phone button works so I didnt really need to change anything.

Also because the unit doesn't have a CD player its not as "deep" so the cables don't impede the fitting of the stereo back in the whole, it's actually a single-din unit with a big screen attached.

Overall it's a decent system, the audio may not be to absolute audiophile perfection levels (although I cannot tell neither can anyone else)
It probably works out cheaper than having a branded stero in there, as you don't need to buy the additional cage and steering cables. Plus not removing the whole aluminium dash panel is a pain you don't need to go through.

Give me a shout if you need any help, I'll try to help as much as I can.

p.s. still looking for the perfect DAB aerial solution to anyone out there with a Spider and DAB!
Interestingly when I was playing around with it yday with the roof down, it was struggling to pick up most of the non-BBC stations, once I had the roof back up it seemed to get a stronger signal...almost as if the roof was working like the dish part of a satellite (sky) dish...more pondering to do I think!

Thanks
 

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Good write up raz!!
Seller currently has only one left, and I'm just about to go on holiday, and delivery will probably clash, so if its still available when I get back I'll order it then, along with a few other bits n bobs. That's if no one on here sees it and buys first lol......if so, then beware that you might wake up with a horse head in your bed! :rofl:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Nogrip - where did you fit this, was it on the wind deflector shelf?
I was thinking of attaching the stick on windscreen-type one on here but thought it wouldn't work when the roof was up.


Good write up raz!!
Seller currently has only one left, and I'm just about to go on holiday, and delivery will probably clash, so if its still available when I get back I'll order it then, along with a few other bits n bobs. That's if no one on here sees it and buys first lol......if so, then beware that you might wake up with a horse head in your bed! :rofl:
No worries, BTW this isn't the only seller selling them, if you search on fleabay for similar words there are a couple of other sellers with the same item for around the same price. The one I bought didn't actually come from China, and took less than a week to get to me, apparently they're warehoused in Europe somewhere.


Also - one thing I forgot to mention was when you've got the old stereo out, use masking tape on all the sharp (very sharp!) edges of the existing enclosure/cage, your hands will thank you! My hands looked like I'd been in a fight with Wolverine!

Before you push it all the way in, make sure everything is working! Ensure everything is tidy and pushed out of the way where the unit is going to sit. Be careful here as the wires can get trapped/cut under the din, my setup has ended up having quite a few cables/wires i.e. FM aerials, DAB aerial :weeping:, gps, Mic, steering wheel controls, rear view camera, USB cables (this unit has x4 usb sockets, one I'm using for the DAB box thing, the others for charging & USB drives). Once you're happy everything is ok, then, push it all the way in, it fit's quite snug in there and isn't as freely pulled out like the old stereo...I had to use a suction dent puller on mine to pull it back out...because, you guessed it, I was faffing with DAB aerials! :lol:

While I'm at it, you'll also need a iso to din aerial adaptor; https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/172853200371 for the fm aerial
and may need a few of these if you're going to get as adventurous as me! https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/162187248485. Make sure the ends are the insulated type (like the ones in the link) and not the open exposed metal USB socket, as they can cause a bad ground and interfere.
I've managed to get x2 USB cables to the glove box and one to the ash tray, again not too difficult especially if you've got the pollen filter cover off for the gps/DAB:weeping:. You just have to play around feeding the wires through and eventually you'll see one stick it's head out of somewhere!
Routing to the ash tray was a bit more tricky, but the trim along the left of the console (which goes/joins to the glove box door) comes off easily, it's a bit fiddly lining all the tabs to go back into their proper slots when you come to fit it again, but doable with a bit of patience.
For the ashtray USB cable, I had to initially remove the ashtray lid to get the end of the USB out (I did try to get the inards of the ashtray out but they looked like they'd break and in the end it wasn't necessary!) Now the usb sits in the ashtray under the lid.

I'll try and take some pics later today if that helps?

Thanks
Raz
 

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Inards of the ashtray? You mean the ashtray itself? If so...it just lifts out. And yes to photos.....we all luv photos lol
 

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Thanks Nogrip - where did you fit this, was it on the wind deflector shelf?
I was thinking of attaching the stick on windscreen-type one on here but thought it wouldn't work when the roof was up.
Unfortunately I only got as far as putting on the hood cover before forgetting it was there and opening the hood - result was one destroying aerial. It worked well for the few days it was there. The stick on window one was a waste of time
 

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I did look through the ICE forum but couldn't find anything specifically on the Spider aerial, or a complete success story on DAB.
Navlet what DAB aerial do you have, is it similar to the first link in my post above? Do you get good signal and receive decent coverage from the other non-BBC channels?
Ta
Yes. It is sticks to the windscreen but you hardly notice its there. I didn't fit it personally so I don't know what type or make it is but the Headunit is a Pioneer Avic F980 DAB.
The reception is fine but if I'm honest I never use the radio ( roof down listening to custom SS exhaust is much more entertaining :nuts: ) I got it for the sat nav and phone capabilities which are great.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Inards of the ashtray? You mean the ashtray itself? If so...it just lifts out. And yes to photos.....we all luv photos lol
Yes, I meant the ashtray itself...I do know it pulls out, but my one was being particularly stubborn.

Unfortunately I only got as far as putting on the hood cover before forgetting it was there and opening the hood - result was one destroying aerial. It worked well for the few days it was there. The stick on window one was a waste of time
Ahh! Oh dear... Yes I'm finding the stick on window jobbies a bit useless


Yes. It is sticks to the windscreen but you hardly notice its there. I didn't fit it personally so I don't know what type or make it is but the Headunit is a Pioneer Avic F980 DAB.
The reception is fine but if I'm honest I never use the radio ( roof down listening to custom SS exhaust is much more entertaining :nuts: ) I got it for the sat nav and phone capabilities which are great.
Yeah unfortunately mine is a 2.4, so I don't have that benefit! I like to listen to a couple of stations in the morning as it makes the commute a bit more pleasant.

This weekend, I tried dab on a ford focus (factory fitted dab) and the amount of stations it picked up was incredible. My car was parked right next to it and didn't pick up half as many, maybe even fewer than half!

Anyhoo, the quest continues!

Some pics attached

Thanks All
 

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Avoid any aerials that fit Ford Transits as well - apparently they can transmit van aerial disease.... I thank you!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Avoid any aerials that fit Ford Transits as well - apparently they can transmit van aerial disease.... I thank you!!!!
Ohh sounds nasty. I think I’ve seen some Trannyvan drivers with that actually. Hahaha :cheeky:
 

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You did an excellent job! Congrats! I've just bought a 2.4 Spider and the first thing I wanted to do is something like that. I have the version with the BOSE hi-fi and it's completely insane, deserves more than a simple CD player :D.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Robvalca,
I've now just finished getting the camera wires to the numberplate light. This was a bit of a pain really, especially with it getting dark and having to use my phone as a torch...trying to hold it in my mouth!! Getting the wiring through to the boot was a doddle, I did that a while ago and it's especially easy in the Spider with the roof enclosure section opened.

Getting the wires through to the number plate lights (I got the number plate light camera like this one https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302983536166. is a bit tricky and took a good few attempts. Definitely don't try this in the dark, I think that's what made it a pain...I should've just waited for a less blustery day with more daylight. But if you're going to try this, there is a vent on the drivers side (at least, not sure if it's on both sides?) which you can go through to behind the bumber skin. An added bonus is that the rca connector fits through it too...just about! I think I will secure it with some silicone so it doesn't end up getting stripped and cut though. Now I just need to connect the wires to the reciprocating ones on the stereo but I gave up tonight after it got too dark, and holding the torch in my gob started to ache!:rofl:

BTW I think this stereo has a specific subwoofer out wire which would still work with your BOSE subwoofer (I take it you have that system and it's behind the arm rest)? Luckily I dont, and it made getting the camera wires to the stereo easy as the part where your subwoofer is (carefully) lifted out and gave me room to fish the wires towards the glovebox.

p.s. if you successfully get DAB working and pick up more than just the BBC stations, please let me know!

Thanks
 

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@raz_1986 - did you ever get your DAB working fully. I've got an Android HU on the way and I also have a DAB aerial to replace the current Spider aerial (I used the same aerial on my 159 when I had it and replaced the HU on that - it had perfect signal - its something similar to this one DAB Aerial - although I've had it about 2 years as was going to fit it to me previous car but never got round to it)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi Lanceshaw, no I never got it to work fully. I only pick up BBC stations and occasionaly some others. For the timebeing I use internet radio on my phone and then via bluetooth onto my stereo, which is okish but not ideal.
The DAB aerial link you provided looks very good, my only worry is fitting it will be quite laborious, but if it works i think it's worth it! It was probably easier to fit on the 159, whereas on the Spider the wiring has to go through the body... maybe it can go via the same path my reversing camera wire went through and then it wouldn't be such a pain?
Which HU did you go for? I found the one I purhased is available on aliexpress for slightly cheaper, but I've never bought anything off there before.
Please let me know how you get on, and if you need any tips give me a shout :)
 

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@raz_1986 - it is similar to yours but xTrons make it - runs Android 10 - hopefully delivered today - can't fit yet though as car in for a wrap so another week yet :-(
 
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