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Old 26-08-2019   #1
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Dension DAB+U adapter to 2017 Panda Uconnect via USB?

Hi,

Has anyone tried using a Dension Dab+U adapter with a 2017 (or similar) Panda with standard Uconnect head unit?

This is my first post, so I can't post links, but info is available by Googling for "Dension Dab+U".

It basically gives you DAB radio access by mimic-ing a USB storage device, and I was planning on using it permanently connected to the USB port I have in the glove box (which works fine for playing back media files from a USB stick); you basically access the scanned DAB stations as if they were files on a USB storage device.

However...all the Dension examples show other car head units that support accessing USB files in a folder hierarchy, whereas the Uconnect support doesn't really have a media file "browser" as such; as I understand it, Uconnect scans what's on your device, caches what's there, and then presents you the option to select by one of folder name, album name, artist name etc?

So...I'd still expect the Uconnect approach to work with the Dension unit, by accessing the stations by folder name, but, given that I probably won't be able to return it, I wondered if anyone had tried it (or the similar AutoDAB USB) and had any useful info as to whether it *really* works OK or not.

Thanks.
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Old 31-08-2019   #2
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Re: Dension DAB+U adapter to 2017 Panda Uconnect via USB?

Well, I've bought one - should have it next week.

I'll report back on my experiences as to whether it's a viable/easy way of introducing DAB to the Panda.
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Old 03-09-2019   #3
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Re: Dension DAB+U adapter to 2017 Panda Uconnect via USB?

It has arrived, and it works with the Uconnect head unit when connected via USB in the glove box.

So - it's slightly clunky, in terms of use, but I knew that before buying it - the unit buffers the selected station, and with the default settings this means that it takes about about 40-50 seconds before a station becomes playable post-selection (you get a single "Please wait" audio notification at the beginning of this process). This is tweakable though, by "playing" other MP3 files to change the defaults, although I haven't tried this yet - I suspect there's a "sweet spot" here for acceptable buffering/reliability/length of delay.

Selection and scrolling through the tuned DAB channels is fine - post scanning, it lists the tuned channels as MP3 files, and with (I think "Artist") MP3 tags selected as the viewing criteria in the head unit you get the station names (nearly all of which continually scroll on the display when selected, given their length). Anyway, this means you can use the standard controls to browse/play DAB stations in the same way you'd browse/play MP3 files on a USB stick etc.

In past cars I've replaced the FM antenna with a "proper" DAB antenna, but given the hassle this seems to be with the rear mounted Panda antenna (and given I don't want a windscreen mount) I'm going to see how well this works with a powered FM/DAB splitter and the stock aerial. This splitter is coming from China though, so will take a few weeks - I wanted one with the required Fakra Z male input to connect to the Fakra Z female output of the stock antenna connector and with Fakra Z female/SMB outputs to connect to the Uconnect head unit and the Dension adapter (respectively).

I'll post back some stuff on this thread in a few weeks, in case it's useful to anyone else in the future, when I put this in properly - I've only just tried this out to see if the Dension unit was workable.
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