Satellite Radio Question

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doc1911

Guest
I have a 30 mile drive to work every day each way. My radio reception is terrible, combine that with the fact that the stations are about as bad as one can image has led me to consider a satellite radio.

I have done some initial research on the two most common brands, XM and Sirius. On the outside they seem fairly similar so I am looking for the fine print differences.

Here is my "situation".........I have the stock head unit. I am not afraid to change it but I do not want to spend a ton of $$$ and have a boom-box on wheels. I like classic rock, I will listen to stuff like sports and talkshows very little.

Any help would be great.
 
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peterca

Guest
doc,
I've got a sirius unit and am happy with it. The music is good and there are lots of optons. Does the stock head unit have a tapedeck or RCA inputs in the back (sorry, never had a stock unit)? If so, then there is no problem getting the add-on turner for Sirius either through Kenwood or one of the others. The Kenwood option gives you the ability to also get a home docking unit so you can hear it there, but you need a East or Northeast view some how to get reception.
 

bcroz

Well-known member
May 7, 2004
201
0
58
Midland, MI
I have added XM to both my 03 Disco and my 79 MGB and also bought the unit so I could take my skyfi unit and hook it up to my in home stereo. Needless to say I love it. As a side note, I've got friends who have had Sirrus and XM, they liked SM better (no reason really given except for better quality programming).
 

gahill2

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2004
409
0
37
Georgia
I also have the XM Delphi unit. I love it and haven't listened to the regular radio since installed almost a year ago. The fact that it comes out and can be placed into the house or the boombox is also a plus.
I would do nothing different. It has been totally worth it.
 

Steve Rupp

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2004
3,213
0
43
Seattle, WA
www.discoweb.org
Alpine just came out with a XM head unit. This unit has the XM receiver built right into it so all you have to do is buy an antenna. It goes for $350. My problem with XM and the rover is where to put the antenna? I have a roof rack with flooring that covers the entire rack leaving me no good places to put it.
 
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peterca

Guest
Rupps,
I ended up having a tab put on the side of my rack to hold the satellite antenna, CB antenna, GPS antenna and under it is a light for the side of the truck. It's only about 2"x11" I think. It can be shorter because I think the XM antennas have a smaller footprint than the Sirius, which have a long tail.
 

LiveAtTheEdge

Well-known member
Apr 19, 2004
195
0
Lafayette, NorCal
couldn't you just get a cell phone look alike window antena. I think that's what i'd do. Does it have really bad reception compared to alternate antena options?
 
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Josh

Guest
peterca said:
Rupps,
I ended up having a tab put on the side of my rack to hold the satellite antenna, CB antenna, GPS antenna and under it is a light for the side of the truck. It's only about 2"x11" I think. It can be shorter because I think the XM antennas have a smaller footprint than the Sirius, which have a long tail.
post a pic sound cool.
 
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peterca

Guest
Josh, I keep trying to remember to get a photo of it and will try to remember again today (and hope the site is up tonight). It's really pretty basic, just a 1/4" piece of metal. The sirius antenna has a sticky mount and for the time being I just zip tire the Garmin antenna down.
 
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pcarey

Guest
Josh, here ya go. The GP antenna isn't up there as I'm trying to find a good waterproof holder. Until then, it only gets put on when the weather is good and I have a need for it.
 

Attachments

SilverJ

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2004
181
0
Colorado
XMCommander

Thanks to you guys, I just got the XM Commander (car only) installed last week. I am totally hooked; the only downside is constantly browsing to see what's on the other channels instead of paying attention to the road :eek:

I chose XM because I'm not into talk radio and sport channels all that much, which Sirius has more of. The unit I got installed is super small. It fits in the small space in front of the cdl on the console, where the sign tells you how to use the diff. The transmitter is hidden behind the dash. It works through an FM channel, so no need to use a cassette adapter or cig lighter. I wanted to keep the stock radio, too, so it worked out great. The antenna placement did pose to be a problem b/c of the roof rack, so we placed it center and back on the bonnet. The antenna is the smallest on the market thus far, and I am pleased with the way it looks. I don't even notice it; it's about the size of a Suunto watch face. No wires are shown b'c of placement, too.

Reception is crystal clear on every channel, and most of them sound as good as a cd. Probably the only thing I noticed, and maybe it's because I had the unit running for about two hours to program the stations, is that it pulls even more power from my battery. The truck was a little slow to start afterwards. Does this mean I now have an excuse for an Optima? Which one? I do see myself playing XM without the truck running every so often on the trails, and I just got some more lights for the rack, which have yet to be installed. Hhhmmm...
 

vabiro

Well-known member
Pugsly said:
I know that XM and Sirius have different satellites and different Orbits - does one or the other give better coverage outside the US (like down in Mexico?)
The Sirius satellites do a large figure-8 over the Americas, with the intersection point over James Bay. As a result, the coverage in Canada is stronger in the verrrrry far north. I can't speak from experience about service in Mexico and further south, but by the look of the footprint, it should work fine.

XM on the other hand uses geostationary satellites over the equator. As a result quality of reception declines as you move further north and the satellite sits lower on the horizon. Having said that, there are users in Alaska reporting no problems.

The footprint for the two XM satellites (named Rock & Roll) can be seen at:
Rock: http://www.xmfan.com/album_page.php?pic_id=8
Roll: http://www.xmfan.com/album_page.php?pic_id=9

Also there is a discussion forum for users outside the US at the www.xmfan.com site. Not sure about the availability for the same for Sirus.

Cheers
Victor
 

bcroz

Well-known member
May 7, 2004
201
0
58
Midland, MI
Rupps (et al)

Antenna wise-there is a flat, pancake shaped unit that has a a sticky goo on it that will not hurt paint that I mounted just forward of the rear door on the roof. Wire is run inside and out through a small factory cut in the seal to the back door. From the ground you cant see the antenna or the wire and reception is one step below excellent.

I bought the fm modulated Alpine as well. The display is mounted at the front of the console.
 
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Black Dog

Guest
Was wondering if anybody has installed an XM or Sirius satellite radio in their soft top Defender and could recommend where to mount the antenna. It is supposed to mount to the highest, unobstructed point of the vehicle for best reception from the bird. It is a magnet mount so there aren't many choices on the soft top Defender. Was thinking I'd probably need to fabricate a mount. Any ideas might be helpful.

For what it's worth, I went with Sirius due to the programming, less Limbaugh, more NFL, Sirius carries every single NFL broadcast and also because of Land Rover's Clarions. I bought Clarion which is Sirius compatible, but not XM. Sirius doesn't have the glass mount window antenna yet though, like XM does, which I could use with the soft top.

Thanks much!

JJ

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