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Reception Help


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9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted March 31 2006 - 06:55 AM

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 of 10 OFFLINE   Dick Knisely

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Posted March 31 2006 - 09:55 AM

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.
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#3 of 10 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted March 31 2006 - 09:42 PM

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.

 

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#4 of 10 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted April 01 2006 - 05:50 AM

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 of 10 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted April 03 2006 - 02:22 AM

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 of 10 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted April 03 2006 - 03:53 AM

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.

 

Ronald J Epstein
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#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Armando Zamora

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Posted April 03 2006 - 04:03 AM

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 of 10 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted April 03 2006 - 04:19 AM

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.

 

Ronald J Epstein
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#9 of 10 OFFLINE   mylan

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Posted April 03 2006 - 05:09 AM

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.
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#10 of 10 OFFLINE   Armando Zamora

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Posted April 04 2006 - 01:14 AM

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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