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FreeDAB Sligo signal near Kilcar with sensitive DAB radio
With no sign of RTÉ ever bringing DAB to our area now that they are ceasing their DAB service, I was interested in seeing what else I could pick up on DAB. 

From testing various areas between Carrick and Letterkenny (Co. Donegal) with the most sensitive DAB radio I have, I pick up the Northern Ireland DAB muxes in several areas.  These areas include between Kilcar and Killybegs where there is clear view of Donegal Bay, Dunkineely down to the 80km/h speed limit signs, from about the Toyota dealer to the bottom of the Mountcharles bypass and then from about the picnic park in the Barnesmore Gap all the way into Letterkenny.

With new FreeDAB transmitter broadcasting in Sligo on mux 7D, I pick it up between Kilcar and Killybegs where there is clear view of Donegal bay.  I will test from Killybegs to Donegal and further at a later stage.  In addition, I pick it up in one spot at home with a sensitive radio.  This is despite being in a mobile phone signal blackspot and very weak Saorview reception.  I don't pick up the Northern Ireland DAB muxes at home, at least not yet. Wink


The radio I'm picking these up on is a RECA model 80923, purchased at ALDI.  I own multiple DAB radios and tried many others, but this is by far the most sensitive DAB radio I've come across.  Unusually for a DAB radio, it is very sensitive even on FM.  In areas with the above signal reading, no other DAB radio I have with a signal meter will show a single dot in the same spot.   

I can also pick up this FreeDAB mux at home with an RTL-SDR 2838U USB stick, using a 5 element DAB antenna:


The FreeDAB radio stations I pick up on mux 7D are as follows:
  • Classic Gold - DAB+ 48 kHz Stereo @ 64kbps
  • Coast FM - DAB 48 kHz Stereo @ 192kbps
  • Coast Rock - No sound
  • Energy 80's - No sound
  • ENERGY FM - DAB 48 kHz Stereo @ 192kbps
  • Kiss Cork - No sound
  • Radio New Poland - DAB+ 32 kHz Stereo @ 48kbps
  • Radio Sylvia - DAB+ 32 kHz Stereo @ 48 Kbps
  • Real Radio - No sound
  • Soul City - No sound
  • STORM - DAB+ 48 kHz Stereo @ 48kbps
The "No sound" means there is no audio with this station, likely due to being off-air.  I will retest these at a later stage and also looking to get hold of another identical radio to mod with an antenna socket.
Just to update, FreeDAB went off air on the 20th February after Comreg raided the Dublin site on the 20th February:

I noticed the Sligo mux was offline early that day and remains offline at this time of posting (3rd March). 

A day before it went offline, I noticed two new stations on the Sligo mux, "C L U B" and "W I L D", both with 48kbps DAB+.

I suggest keeping an eye on this DAB thread and this Bandscan thread on Boards for updates.  I will reply here whenever the Sligo mux is back.

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