Distronic airfield radar interference

Chris Hardy

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The Distronic on my 2009 AMG CL63 does not work when near Cambridge and Manchester airports. MB tell me that this is because the radar systems there override the rader system in the car. I cannot believe that MB did not anticipate this when they designed the system which is all about safety. Which other airfields are 'broadcasting' at the frequencies appropriate to Distronic to render it useless? Is this a recognised problem in Europe and elsewhere or am I being fed a line of porkies?
 

corned

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I'm utterly gobsmacked - if this is indeed found to be true.

Radar is just the same as radio, and different wavebands can be used for different applications.

Given that M-B appear to have chosen airport/aircraft bandwidth seems to be to be astonishing. I would be much more bothered about the air side of the argument. Will a Distronic car interfere with an airliner on a fog-bound approach to an airport? The consequences don't bear thinking about!

I hope - for everyone's sake - it is found to be a load of bull, but if so, then I wonder what is causing the problem?
 

whitenemesis

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Is this of any interest?

On further reading, any interference will shut down Distronic..

"Distronic Plus will go unavailable if the system senses interference on the K Band or W-Bands. Basically its a safety feature that makes sure that system shuts down if there is too much interference to function properly"
 
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glojo

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Is this of any interest?

On further reading, any interference will shut down Distronic..

"Distronic Plus will go unavailable if the system senses interference on the K Band or W-Bands. Basically its a safety feature that makes sure that system shuts down if there is too much interference to function properly"
Gosh...gee whizz! Lexus will do the same thing... Shock horror

I suppose if you pay for an option you will alwayswant it to work, but being reaslistic we are being both unfair and unrealistic.

When we go through a tunnel will our mobile phone work? Will the radio work?

Distronic is an aid and not something that takes control of our vehicle and hopefully we will not drive too close to a Boeing 707 ;)
 

whitenemesis

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Gosh...gee whizz! Lexus will do the same thing... Shock horror

I suppose if you pay for an option you will alwayswant it to work, but being reaslistic we are being both unfair and unrealistic.

When we go through a tunnel will our mobile phone work? Will the radio work?

Distronic is an aid and not something that takes control of our vehicle and hopefully we will not drive too close to a Boeing 707 ;)

I think if one is driving so close to the Boeing that you are within range of Distronic it's unavailability will be the least of one's concerns!! :eek::eek::rolleyes:
 

corned

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This has been quite an interesting question.

Having been in contact with a few aviation experts, it is apparent that the wavebands for aerospace radars and car radars do indeed overlap. Quite how that was allowed to happen is beyond me. Particularly as it has been suggested that it is predominantly military radars which operate in this band. :eek:

Anyway, no real danger of anything untowards happening - other than the interference tripping the Distronic out as previously posted. I doubt the car's emissions on these bands would out-gun the aerospace radars either!
 

cleverdicky

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I used to work on various cooling systems on the south coast about 13+ years ago, mainly portsmouth along to Eastbourne. I was forever changing the temp controllers which are / were pic based and very reliable (generally)

After getting an 'expert' in they did some measurements and found a massive (power) radar signal, mainly in Bedhampton down to Portsmouth area that seemed to be doing the killing of the pics inside some of the controllers.
Apparently was common knowledge ???
I left soon after and never found out any more
 

yachtman

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Is this of any interest?

On further reading, any interference will shut down Distronic..

"Distronic Plus will go unavailable if the system senses interference on the K Band or W-Bands. Basically its a safety feature that makes sure that system shuts down if there is too much interference to function properly"


At least one of the japanese manafacturers turn off their version of distronic and cruise control....... when it rains!!! (nissan if I remember correctly)
 

Diesel Benz

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The Distronic on my 2009 AMG CL63 does not work when near Cambridge and Manchester airports. MB tell me that this is because the radar systems there override the rader system in the car. I cannot believe that MB did not anticipate this when they designed the system which is all about safety. Which other airfields are 'broadcasting' at the frequencies appropriate to Distronic to render it useless? Is this a recognised problem in Europe and elsewhere or am I being fed a line of porkies?

Are you sure the question is not about some radio astronomy or radio telescope stations? There are quite a few in the UK. These are extremely sensitive receivers and the use of certain radio devices is forbidden close to these places. MB is clever enough to use the GPS info and automatically turns off the radar when the car is driven at areas where the Distronic plus radars are not allowed.

There was an old post where Cambridge was mentioned and it turned out to be this exact issue. I was not able to find this old thread.

See the owner's manual about the exact coordinates (I did not check if Manchester could be one of these). Of course a high power airfield radar could cause issues but I would assume those working at a frequency that would not interfere with Distronic.

Interactive Owner's Manual [In depth | Technical data | 24-GHz radar sensor system* (country overview)]
 

SilverSaloon

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i drove the BMW a fair bit around the UK and never had an issue with the radar - it always worked for me. i'd say if there is any truth in interference then it would be in extreem cases (ie driving along an airport runway for example!)
 

glojo

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i drove the BMW a fair bit around the UK and never had an issue with the radar - it always worked for me. i'd say if there is any truth in interference then it would be in extreem cases (ie driving along an airport runway for example!)
I think we are missing the point, Mercedes and it looks like the other manufacturers have used their common sense and the system shuts down whenever it detects certain radio signals. Hats off to them for doing that.

I am sure the distronic on the CL63AMG works admirably and thank goodness it does shut down rather than interefere with aircraft safety.

:devil::devil::devil::devil:Different if it was police radar speed detector :D
 

pos.k

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:devil::devil::devil::devil:Different if it was police radar speed detector :D

In that instance it should also then auto activate the speed limiter at an appropriate level ;)
 

bdabdabeav

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it will turn itself off due to the safety side of the airport not the vehicle. i didnt know about commercial airpoerts but any military bases i.e mildenhall and lyneham have radar blockers within a certain perimeter for the safety its not an issue with the vehicle
 

Diesel Benz

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it will turn itself off due to the safety side of the airport not the vehicle. i didnt know about commercial airpoerts but any military bases i.e mildenhall and lyneham have radar blockers within a certain perimeter for the safety its not an issue with the vehicle

Perhaps so but it should only shut down itself at or nearby the coordinates shown in the user manual (the link I posted above).

At least the closest radio astronomy site to my place has nothing to do with military or airports. It is a research site where they receive extremely weak radio signals from the space and any radio device operating at critical frequencies could disturb their work if used too close.

It could well be that some military sites have similar devices for different purposes and are included in the list at the user manual.

Anyone local could try to figure out what exactly can be found from the UK coordinates.

United Kingdom
Cambridge
52°09'59" N, 00°02'20" E
9 km
Darnhall
53°09'22" N, 02°32'03" W
5 km
Jodrell Bank
53°14'10" N, 02°18'26" W
9 km
Knockin
52°47'24" N, 02°59'45" W
5 km
Pickmere
53°17'18" N, 02°26'38" W
5 km

 

dchester

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Perhaps so but it should only shut down itself at or nearby the coordinates shown in the user manual (the link I posted above).

At least the closest radio astronomy site to my place has nothing to do with military or airports. It is a research site where they receive extremely weak radio signals from the space and any radio device operating at critical frequencies could disturb their work if used too close.

It could well be that some military sites have similar devices for different purposes and are included in the list at the user manual.

Anyone local could try to figure out what exactly can be found from the UK coordinates.

United Kingdom
Cambridge
52°09'59" N, 00°02'20" E
9 km
Darnhall
53°09'22" N, 02°32'03" W
5 km
Jodrell Bank
53°14'10" N, 02°18'26" W
9 km
Knockin
52°47'24" N, 02°59'45" W
5 km
Pickmere
53°17'18" N, 02°26'38" W
5 km


Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I believe that's the radio observatory near cambridge, and the co-ordinates on wikipedia look closeish to what you've posted.

I seem to recall a story about one radio observatory which picked up spikes in the signal and spent ages analysing it, only to find it was the flies flying into the blue lamp in the canteen....

D.
 

andy_k

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aren't they the telescopes in the Merlin Project?

but I thought there were seven of them


edit

those co-ordinates account for six of the telescopes but Defford is missing from the list :)
 
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ptruman

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Resurrecting an old thread, but my 2010 E350 shutdown distronic and blindspot detection today.

On the reverse route we realised it was down to being in sight of Jodrell Bank....
 

modelman093

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Years ago the alarm on my W124 230TE used to set and go off when passing Popham? airfield just off the M3 on the A303 when going west . Never did it going east and could be cancelled with the remote.
 

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