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Coding DAB To 453 R-Link Stereo

Mod Details
PremiumYes Difficulty Mod ID1725 Creditevilution For453 Fortwo/Forfour Link Copy to Clipboard

If you have the R-Link stereo and don’t have DAB radio, you can probably* code it with DDT4All for free in about 5 minutes.

Older models of 453 may not have the hardware but that’s covered later.

This was in a car I was playing with. It had the R-Link stereo but no DAB.

Select MFD v5.1 (or whatever your multi-function display version is). Double click it. My car didn’t show this option when I scanned the car through DDT4All through the CAN bus. I had to manually select Twingo Ph3, scroll down to Navigation and double click it to add it to the list.


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After the reset, I suddenly have the DAB options.

Just to prove it can pick up and play DAB stations, Planet Rock, a non FM station.

What Is DAB?

It’s a digital radio standard known as Digital Audio Broadcasting. It’s an absolute shit show that generally sounds worse than FM and has much worse range. If you get a signal, expect it to cut in and out as you drive. The bit rate is lower than FM radio so the sound quality is worse.

More choice of stations

Poor signal
Low quality


It looks like the DAB coding is in the radio unit and the screen unit. The radio unit will probably need to be a specific DAB unit. If your radio unit has 1 white FAKRA connection, that’s not much use as that’s the FM antenna connection.

Check to see if your radio unit has the 2nd brown FAKRA connection used for DAB reception.

The FM/DAB antenna looks like this. It’s hidden behind the nearside front arch panel on the fortwo.

It has 2 connections.

The FM antenna is in the same position but smaller and has 1 connection.

On the forfour, the antenna is on the roof and comes in 1 or 2 cable versions.

If you have the appropriate parts, you should be able to code it to work.

Retrofitting The DAB Radio Unit

For a start, you can’t just go to smart and buy a new radio unit and expect it to work. All electrical items on the 453 come blank and require SCN coding to your vehicle and region. Only smart can do this coding.

There should be no reason why a 2nd hand radio unit from another 453 from the same country wouldn’t work. I fitted a random one from a Renault and it worked fine.

However, just because you have the replacement DAB radio box, doesn’t mean you’ll have the aerial and cable.

Best Option

If you really want DAB, I’d recommend the Pioneer DAB radio as a replacement. However, once you have one of those, streaming the station through your phone is far better than DAB.