Reception Help

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Al.Anderson, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    I installed XM in my car a few weeks ago, everything seemed fine. Last weekend I took my first extended trip (Phila - DC) and I had a signal only about a third of the time. The rest of the time it was either very distorted or I simply got "No Signal" on the receiver.

    My first (and only) thought was maybe I crimped a wire and high speed was the last straw; but no, since I've been back in town it's been perfect - nary a dropout.

    Any ideas for troubleshooting?

    I'm really depressed about this. I was so pumped for the trip I didn't bring any other music. So I was left searching the dial and came up with junk.

    I have to go back down tomorrow - so bonus points for a magic miracle fix!
     
  2. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    Sounds to me like there's an antenna pointing issue. Philly to DC is mostly southbound which if the antenna is low and on the rear of the car might account for your experience. Otherwise I can't think of anything that would account for what you're seeing. If you can, relocate the antenna and see what happens.
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I'm certain that you don't need to point your
    car antenna in any particular direction, but the
    antenna needs to be either mounted to the outside
    of your vehicle or at the very least, inside the
    back window.

    The last time I had a reception issue like the
    one you describe, it was indeed a crimp in the
    antenna wire. Once I had the antenna replaced
    the reception problem was gone.

    Good luck, and please let us know how you make
    out with this.
     
  4. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    Thanks guys. I did position the antenna close to the front window, which slopes down. I re-read the directions, which say that it should be at least four inches from the edge. It implies that it uses the roof as an extension to the antenna. So maybe that'll be it. I put it close so the wire wouldn't flap around.

    On the other hand, I was pretty agressive with the screwdriver when I was tucking the wire around the window. So based on Ron's comment; maybe it is the crimp.

    I'm leaving in an hous, so I'll be able to rule out the placement theory soon. Thanks again.
     
  5. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    Well, the results are in and the summary is egg on Al. I'm pretty shure I had two issues.
    (1) Moving the antenna out from the window seems to have corrected the pure reception issue. (RTFM, RTFM, RTFM ...!)
    (2) Because the signal was going in and out, it masked the cause of the static. Which was a real rookie mistake - I had been using the FM method of transferring the signal, and I had simply crossed over into an area where the band was being used. Once I plugged in the cassette adapter all was well on that front too.
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Al,

    Great to hear you have that straightened out.

    Best wishes for your new satellite radio --
    and welcome to the family! I think you are
    really going to enjoy all that XM has to offer.
     
  7. Armando Zamora

    Armando Zamora Second Unit

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    I'm midway between Balto and DC and I'm using a SkyFi2 with the car kit in our Honda Pilot. I've got the antenna mounted in the center of the dash near the windshield. So far (knocking on wood), reception has not been a problem. I don't have the FM modulation problem because I've wired the SkyFi2 to work with the OEM radio (through the aux input).
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Armando,

    Your situation qualifies for the SkyFi 2
    modification that will greatly enhance the
    volume/signal from the unit.

    Problem is, it has been over a year since
    I did the modification. It's posted somewhere
    here in this area, but I was not able to find
    it in a quick search.

    This is from memory...

    Basically, if you have the SkyFi 2 wired
    into your radio you go into the SkyFi2 menu
    settings and ENABLE FM modulation (even though
    you are not using it). It will then give you
    a choice of radio station numbers starting
    in the low 80s. As you select those low numbers
    (probably the very first one) you should hear
    quite a power boost from your unit's output.

    Let me know if this works.
     
  9. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    I have my Ski Fi antenna mounted just above the windsheid on metal. The instructions say four inches but I also have a sunroof, so I am limited on placement unless I want the antenna wire exposed over a large part of my roof, which I do not. Reception has not been a problem but sometimes I will hear music and then a short drop-out with static and then no further problems when turning the unit on.
    I have mine connected through the cassette adapter. I would really like to explore the wired option but I do not think my Jeep Grand Cherokee has the aux out on the radio.
     
  10. Armando Zamora

    Armando Zamora Second Unit

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    Here's a couple pics of the antenna mounted in the interior near the windshield (please excuse the dirty windshield):

    Pic1;
    Pic2;
    Pic3

    Ron, I used a harness/kit that allowed me to incorprate the SkyFi2 with the OEM radio. With the auto on/off feature enabled on the SkyFi2, the unit turns on and off with the ignition (and accessory position) switch. Also, the SkyFi2 now has a discrete input on the OEM radio (aux input). I essentially used the 6-CD input/mode for the SkyFi2 since the OEM radio already has a single CD player and I don't need the separate 6-CD player. I can switch between input modes by simply pressing what mode I would like to listen to, i.e., FM/FM2/AM/CD/Tape/Aux, etc.... Since the harness directly connects the SkyFi2 with the OEM radio, there's no fiddling with FM frequencies, cassette players and adapters, etc.... Here's a pic of the harness kit that I bought and used:

    Harness Kit

    You can check the compatibility of the harness kit with your vehicle (and I think XM radio models, i.e., the kit is not just limited for use with the SkyFi2). Here's the link to the online store that I purchased the harness/kit from, myradiostore.com.

    The harness/kit may be a little pricey, but it's definitely an excellent hardwire option and makes for a clean install.

    I jumped in on the XM deal that was posted here before Christmas time. I purchased the SkyFi2 with both the home and car kit/mounts. With my current setup, I can easily move the SkyFi2 from car-to-home, and vice-versa. It's awesome.
     

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