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XM & Sirius Satellite Radio

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  • Any pro out thre who can advise me of a problem I'm having with XM radio..I've had it in my car for well over a year..no problem and I love it..then 4 days ago, I started getting an "antenna" display on my radio..and signal would go in and out..as of 3 days ago..the "antenna" display shows and i get no signal to my satelite radio..I can still see all the channels so radio doesn't need to be "refreshed" although I've done that too..I've now replaced the antenna and that hasn't alleviated the problem..the radio itself is an Audiovox..anyone know if these things just go out??
    Any advice or inf would be much appreciated..
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    Have you checked for an intermittant short somewhere between the roof antenna and the antenna plug where it attaches to the radio? The wire could be internally frayed if it is pinched somewhere in its route between the two devices.
  • Hi Blane,
    My system was a self install..so the antenna for the satelite just plugs into the satelite radio's base..and then follows the wire to end up with a small magnet which attaches somewhere in the car..doesn't actually attach to the car's specific antenna (I have a convertible so no roof to worry about)..I thought that somehow the wire had become crimped or compromised somewhere..so went out and spent another $40.00 on a brand new antenna..and no change..I just don't know if these radio units have hardward problems..amybe I have to get a whole new radio..but just weird because I can see all the stations..and all info that I usually see..just no sound..and that darn "antenna" readout on the display..very frustrating!
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    I was also concerned about "crimping".

    Since you drive a convertible, try relocating your magnetic antenna to the center of your trunk lid for a temporatry test. As I recall, the antenna needs at least a square foot of sheet metal to function properly.
  • Thanks Blane..will try..it's just that this worked perfectly for well over a year..and then just stopped..I have attached the end of the antenna to the door..the hood..the top of the windshield..and I think that the radio would at least go in and out if it was searching..but the display doesn't chenge..very annoying as I really miss my XM!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,478
    As I recall, the antenna needs at least a square foot of sheet metal to function properly.

    really? huh. I wonder if that is just an XM thing. In my volvo and now my Honda, I just set the Sirius antenna on the back carpeted deck under the window. Works great and saved me from having to run the wire outside the car.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    qbrozen,

    The "deck", as you phrase it, is the large expanse of sheet metal under "the back carpeted deck under the window" of your Volvo.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,478
    yes, but I assume the need for metal all around the antenna means it needs to conduct through the metal, no? I mean, what would be the point otherwise? The carpeting keeps it insulated from the metal.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    qbrozen,

    Pages 11 and 12 of the Delphi SKYFi2 Installation Guide states the following. I would be surprised if your Audiovox manual doesn't say something quite similar.:

    XM Antenna Setup
    For best reception, follow these recommendations:
    • Mount the XM Antenna on the metal surface of the vehicle roof in the center of an area with at least 12" x 12" of
    surface area and a minimum of 6" from a window or sunroof... Due to the small size of this antenna, there are many possible locations for installation depending
    on the vehicle. Improper positioning of the antenna could cause brief interruptions in the signal reception.

    Important: Do not install antenna inside the vehicle passenger compartment. An antenna mounted on the dashboard or on the rear window deck area of the vehicle will likely experience signal interruption issues and must be avoided. Mounting the antenna on a nonmetallic surface will also result in severe degradation in reception.

    A suitable compromise between installation location and reception quality must be assumed by the user.
    • If the vehicle has roof racks or skid ribs, you may mount the antenna off-center.
    • If the vehicle is a hard- or soft-top convertible, then the antenna can be mounted on the metal trunk lid at least 4" from the rear window.
    Ensure that the antenna does not interfere with the opening or closing of the convertible top and that the cable is free to move and not prone to wear. Where exposed to wind, it is best to route the cable parallel to the airflow.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,478
    There ya go. So it is suggested to get metal-to-metal contact. As I said, mine works great without the benefit of extra metal. Also avoids the unsightly wire and black box on my roof, and saved me alot of installation time.

    I experience no more interruption of signal than I did when I had it mounted on the roof of my Lincoln (unfortunately I didn't think to just throw it on the back deck, as that was the first car I put it in; i wish i had because it would have saved me lots of time).

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    Did you miss this?

    Important: Do not install antenna inside the vehicle passenger compartment. An antenna mounted on the dashboard or on the rear window deck area of the vehicle will likely experience signal interruption issues and must be avoided. Mounting the antenna on a nonmetallic surface will also result in severe degradation in reception.

    Perhaps Sirius and Volvos have some sort of magical interaction. My only experience has been with XM, and when installed by the book, the reception has been flawless.
  • lobsenzalobsenza Posts: 619
    It is fairly easy to get an antenna outside on a Lincoln LS. Run the wire into the trunk. Lift up the weatherstripping around the trunk opening and slide the wire underneath. Run it under the weather stripping and up to the center fo the roof.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,730
    I have a portable (Roady?) in our Odyssey since Christmas. I also have it built in on my Accord EX-L.

    ANyway, in the van, when I first got it I ran the wire out the door (just closed it into the weather seal) and stuck it to the pillar. Worked great, even pulled the signal in the garage (and it was nose in).

    Not wanting to leave it like that all winter, I decided to put it inside to see how it worked. I have a radar detector window mount, which I leave up even though the unit isn't there (I only put it up on trips, around town it sits between the seats). So, I just stuck the antenae on the bracket (down by the dash) and it has been sitting there for 2 months.

    Now, this is metal, but only about 1/2 the size of the antenna. Signal seems to be just as strong (full bars), clean sound, no more cut outs. Frankly, I can't tell the difference between that and my accord, or when it was outside.

    I may eventually (when it gets warm) run it back outside (fished under the weather stip, instead of hanging in the door) but it hardly seems worth it. I may just get another window bracket and leave it there, just over toward the side more!

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,478
    that's exactly what I did. :)

    Still not as easy as tossing it on the back deck, though.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,478
    uhhh... no, I certainly didn't miss it. Thanks.

    Maybe you missed where I said it works great for me.

    here is a question for you, though. well, maybe it is rhetorical. But, how is it that the home kit doesn't require the antenna be mounted on metal?

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    qbrozen,

    You wrote, "But, how is it that the home kit doesn't require the antenna be mounted on metal?"

    Excellent question. I surely don't have an informed answer. However, since a vehicle is always changing directions, the exterior sheet metal location makes sense to me. When using the home kit, you just aim the antenna once and can forget about the need to track geostationary "Rock" and "Roll" since your home is always oriented the same.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,478
    ah. i think that is a good point.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    is what makes Edmunds so useful . I have been having awful reception with my XM Roadie with the antennae mounted on the dash next to my FM antannae.

    Yesterday I put it outside on the quarter panel and the reception improved immensely my commute today. Place where I would loose the signal for 15 to 20 seconds were not dropped the last two days.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,478
    that's good, guss.

    I also tried it yesterday. I put the antenna out on the roof to see if there was any change. I do think it may have improved very slightly, but so far it is not enough to make me want to keep it there. I guess sirius antennas must be slightly different from XM (for now).

    I did have someone contact me who says he may have a kit where I can tap into my accord's stock xm antenna and controls to work my sirius. but i don't think i'm going to go through that kind of trouble on a leased car.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    I am not committed to the XM experience either. My wife gave me 6 mos. for a Christmas present , and after 2 months I still go back to regular Fm radio stations for local content often.

    The wires running everywhere and the receiver mounted to my air vents makes me feel like I am in high school again with my under dash mount cassette player.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,878
    The wires running everywhere and the receiver mounted to my air vents makes me feel like I am in high school again with my under dash mount cassette player.

    You were rich then - I had to use either an FM converter or a boom box on the back seat!!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,478
    LOL.

    I guess I was rich, too. I mounted my tapedeck on the glovebox door so that I would flip the door down when driving to access the deck, then close the glovebox when parked ... it was my own version of the removeable faceplate before there was such a thing as a removeable faceplate. ;)

    Later on (after my speakers were stolen because I failed to hide those), my mom built a backseat for me (this was a Jeep I owned) that had a storage compartment underneath. I mounted the tapedeck in the center of that compartment, facing the front of the car, and mounted an amplifier inside the box and 2 6x9 speakers. All I had to do was run a power and ground wire into the box. It was all self-contained and well hidden from prying eyes. I could just reach back while driving and change the station or volume.

    geesh. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. ;)

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • camarracamarra Posts: 6
    I just purchased a convertible Solara and am having some difficulty figuring out what exactly I need to install in order to have XM. I have read posts but am still confused. I currently have a portable Roady2 with the cassette adaptor that I transferred to the car and have jury rigged up so I have wires dangling everywhere, although it works great. (I even temporarily mounted the antenna to the top front post and have had no problem with reception). After spending so much on the car, I really don't want the look of wires hanging everywhere, but I also can think of other bills I could be paying!

    My car does not have the NAV system, and the dealer said it is Satellite READY. When you push the SAT button on the radio, nothing happens.

    As I understand it, i need a fit kit and then something with the receiver too? The dealer quoted me close to $500 to install what I need, but I would like to shop around and find this setup cheaper elsewhere. What exactly IS the fit kit?

    Thanks for all assistance!!
  • mstemmstem Posts: 113
    Camarra, I had an '06 Avalon with the same setup. Here is what you need: your in-dash radio is SAT ready, but you need the trunk-mounted receiver kit, and the antenna. Either a dealer or, more preferrably, a local radio shop will install the Toyota XM receiver in the trunk, mount the antenna on the deck lid, and run the included wire harness up to the dashboard area and plug into the rear of your factory radio. It is the exact same install as if you ordered from the factory. Now for more good news: you can order this kit from several sources online, at a considerable savings from your "dealer" quote. If you need sources, write back and I will check my Favorites at home and advise. Finally, if you are a good DIY mechnic type, I can send the PDF file that outlines the whole procedure. It's the same guide the dealer techs use to install. Good luck! Mike
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,730
    For your Solera, another option is to keep your roady but lose some wires. THere are a number of companies that make connection kits so you can plug it into the aux port on th eradio headunit. USA spec is one of them. They actually have a gizmo that is an ipod jack, plus it has a set of RCA ports.

    Nice thing about this set up is that only a little box (about the size of a cigarette pack) is exposed, and it can sit in a cubby hole in the dask. You then just plug in the unit although you will have to plug into the cig. lighter unless you have them run another power connection.

    OK, maybe that doesn't eliminate too many wires, but you do lose the tapedeck player piece, plus it will be way cheaper! Just not as elegant an install.

    And finally, on many cars, the radio display will show much less than the roady screen. I have this problem in my Accord.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    My XM last week. One reason I got it was to hear uncensored morning talk and the suspension of O&A was rediculous.

    Plus my reception has not been 100%, nothing more annoying than dropouts in the middle of your favorite song.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Regardless of which satellite service you choose, what equipment you buy, or how much premium service you order, you're going to have to learn to live with dropouts. Tall buildings, overpasses, low hills, tall stands of trees, etc.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,049
    The XM software glitch last Monday affected on-the-ground devices that provide satellite radio service within cities where the transmissions from space often are blocked by buildings, tunnels and bridges.

    So if you haven't cancelled but had spotty service this week, you can contact XM for a 2 day credit (XM offers refunds after glitch - Azcentral.com).

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,285
    Thanks for the update. I noticed I was having dropouts in areas that normally work fine, but had no idea that it was a systemwide thing.
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    Steve,

    It wasn't XM's "on-the-ground devices". They had a software glitch that affected one of their satellites. Since there are no terrestrial repeaters in my area, and I experienced dropout problems Monday through mid-day Tuesday while passing larger trees, the USA Today/azcentral.com article is incorrect. That was confirmed when I spoke with some XM guy in India (where else?) early Monday evening. I also received two email alerts from XM (one each early Monday night and about 1:00 AM Tuesday morning) describing the temporary outage. I couldn't locate them on the XM website a few minutes ago, so I couldn't copy & paste.
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