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Installing the Antenna

How To: Install a Satellite Car Radio
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Satellite radio delivers a static-free signal. That means either you get great sound or nothing—there’s no in between. This is where having a good antenna comes in. The car kit includes a small black square antenna that has about 20 feet of wire attached to it.

The antenna must have good access to the sky above to get the satellite’s signal. I’m mounting it where the dashboard meets the windshield. The antenna has a magnetic bottom to secure it, but there’s nothing metallic around so I use Velcro to keep the antenna in place.

Other mounting spots include the back of the rear-view mirror, the rear deck of the car, or on one of the bumpers or the roof near the sunroof opening (if you have one).

     

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  • 0 Hide
    mpasternak , November 11, 2009 5:41 PM
    This article over complicates a rather simple easy and straight forward task.
    Simply put, Anyone in the market for a newer Sattelite radio will easily be able to purchase an "all in one" kit that will come with mounts and the wires necessary to do this, with easy instructions (that all fit on one page! imagine that!)

    Most will come with suction based mounts that easily clip on to your dash / windshield just like any standard GPS. No need for complicated mounts. The wires can all be easily routed within the cars pre exiting body panels. just get a flat head screwdriver to lift them slightly and push the wires in (carefull, don't crimp / fray em)

    If there is any concern with needing a 2nd power outlet. I recommend buying a splitter. they exist. They are cheap and they do not modify your car electronics in any form and therefore won't possibly void warranties.

    And ALL the modern car / mobile based radios should come with a built in FM transmitter. Just set the station, set your radio to it, and voila.

  • 3 Hide
    MrHorspwer , November 12, 2009 12:50 AM
    Cut Brian some slack. He didn't go the "simple, easy, straight forward" installation because, frankly, that way looks like crap.

    Suction cup mounts and random cigarette lighter adapters clutter up an interior and generally look lame, nevermind the crap sound quality you get from an FM modulator.

    I'm with Brian. Buy a vehicle specific mount, wire up an extra power source and tuck it out of sight, use the audio jack provided by the factory for the best sound quality, and keep the unsightly pimple antenna on the inside. Ta-da... probably the least intrusive install you can expect from an add-on piece of audio equipment.

    Then again, that looks like a pretty pricey German car. Why didn't it just come as standard equipment? Hell, every new Hyundai comes standard with satellite radio.

    Gotta put in a plug for the Jason Ellis Show. 3:00 PM ET on Faction - Sirus 28/XM 52. Red Dragons!
  • 0 Hide
    michaelahess , November 12, 2009 2:12 AM
    If you can't install an XM radio in your car without this kind of help, you probably shouldn't be driving in the first place, it's far more complicated.

    Also, just to rant, having a radio in each vehicle is down right stupid, and a waste of money; likewise paying for integrated radio's. Unless you only have one vehicle and NEVER intend to use it elsewhere, why throw your money away? I've got a mount in all three of my vehicles that I've wired the antenna's, power, and audio cable to. Takes about 10 seconds to drop my radio into any of the vehicles and it's a nice clean install. Aftermarket stereo's with a 3.5mm input certainly help.

    I then have a "portable" antenna with FM transmitter for taking the radio in friends cars or running it off my battery powered inverters when camping.
  • 0 Hide
    Parrdacc , November 12, 2009 11:55 AM
    What I don't get is the $400 and up dollars dealers charge for some of these radios. I wish I had the option to just not have a radio in my car when I buy it. I do not know about other people, but I always replace the factory radio and speakers for ones that are better anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , November 12, 2009 8:12 PM
    satellite radio to me is only good where there is not many (or good) radio stations. i felt the same way before i tried it and never looked back. i like it because you get to listen to any music genre at any time you want. and you can't do that with FM radio. and the talk radio is good for sports and comedy (hoard stern & O&A as examples)

    anyway i like a clean integrated look so i got a kenwood deck and installed the tuner from Sirius. if i want to listen to it in my house i just use my internet account

    Parrdacc i too replace the stock radio when i get a new car but even if you do not have a factory radio you still would have to pay for a wiring harness (maybe) and dash kit anyway. its getting bad in cars today as they integrate the stock radio in other functions of the car Mazda and Ford are example's of this.
  • 0 Hide
    tjhart85 , November 13, 2009 1:02 AM
    @mpasternak It all depends on the look & feel you want. I would NEVER do what you suggest for anything more than a temp mount job....It looks horrible!My units are always hard wired in with an extra fuse (similar to how Brian did this) and wires completely hidden.

    Otherwise, what's the point? Honestly.

    ======
    Satellite radio plays pretty much any type of music you'd want with no commercials. They also get paid by your dollar, so they don't just play the crap that the MPAA wants radio stations to play, the DJs get to make choices play stuff a radio station wouldn't (uncut music for one....LONG songs for another). For example, I've heard NOFX - Please Play This Song on the Radio which would NEVER get played on FM!

    More importantly than that though, the music stays the same wherever you go. For me, if I go more than 30 miles, most of my stations are gone. Sucks!
  • 0 Hide
    mantismn , November 13, 2009 5:16 PM
    Okay, so I've been doing car install professionally for about 7 years now, and that SureConnect is a pile of garbage. It works on maybe half the cars out there, and on those few, it works like crap. As far as the satellite antenna on the dash board; unless it's a Sirius unit, good luck keeping a decent signal. Running it out of the window or sunroof is just a bad idea because you're just asking to have the wire crimped or cut, and poof, there goes your antenna and $30 to $40 for a replacement. The suction cups that come with the units are a waste of time if you live anywhere north of Missouri because once they get cold, plop goes your radio, hopefully not cracking the screen on the shifter or dash. The vent clips work, I've used them, but they're not pretty and they're not that stable. Usually the unit has quite a bit of play and bounces around while you drive. I understand the point of this article.... just my .02...
  • 0 Hide
    wildwell , November 16, 2009 6:39 PM
    Naturally, the more thought out and intricate the installation, the more attractive the final product. I think Brian did a great job of describing a nice, clean install that doesn't require fabrication and lots of cutting and permanent interior damage.
  • 0 Hide
    AtuBrian , November 26, 2009 12:10 AM
    so simple task he makes complicated
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