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Discussion Starter #1
Satellite Radio in my Insight.
Updated 6.6.07

Several weeks ago, I was considering purchasing a satellite radio system. I was tired of the local radio trash and constant commercials. At the time, Sirius was the carrier for most SEC football and basketball games; so that was going to be my choice. In the space of two weeks, it was announced that XM and Sirius would be merging into one company and the SEC announced it was moving all broadcasts to the XM network. So much for Sirius!

I posted a few inquiries and ask questions about reception and how to secure the magnetic antenna to an aluminum body. I received several responses to the antenna question with different solutions. While at Best Buy recently, I noticed they had a good sale on a XM radio with a good rebate to boot – So I took the plunge and bought it! The final cost, after I get the rebate check, will be 1/3 the manufacturers suggested retail price. It took about 15 minutes to activate the radio online, then another 15 minutes to drive to the school parking lot (away from the trees and the house) and wait while the activation signal is sent from far above me. I was connected! The magic of modern technology strikes again.

I have not listened to local radio in my Insight since.

My biggest concern was reception. The instructions say that the antenna should be mounted on the roof to provide the clearest view to the satellites and the best reception. I did not want to use an industrial grade double-stick tape on the glass or aluminum body panels unless I had to. As a trial run and taking advantage of the slope on the windshield, I put the antenna inside on the dash at the base of the windshield on the passenger side and ran the wire under the door threshold, under the passenger seat and under the side panel of the center console. The radio is mounted on one of the aftermarket units that sits in one of the cup holders (it is a close fit). The radio is easy to change the stations using the preset buttons while your hand is resting on the gear shift knob.

Reception with the antenna inside on the dash is pretty good. I do lose signal strength under large trees, under bridges and when driving downtown on the narrow streets, but I think that would happen if the antenna was mounted outside on the roof. The radio comes with a built in FM transmitter that sends the signal thru the stock Insight radio on one of several FM frequencies (it also has a cassette adapter, but that is just another wire to deal with).

There is one downside. The normal Insight dash is a dark color and the cup holders are black. The XM radio face is shiny aluminum and really stands out when you look in the window – it almost shouts “Steal Me”. I have a piece of black cloth to cover the radio when I am not in the car. I am trying to talk my wife to sew a black cloth bag to slip over it. That is easier than disconnecting the radio and its two wires (antenna and power) every time I leave the Insight.

Update 5.24.07 - I did get the black cloth bag made to cover the radio. The bag blends into the background so it is barely noticeable. I do not even have to remove the bag now that I know where the preset buttons are. I have posted additional pictures, with the new 'security bag' at: http://s150.photobucket.com/albums/s94/sc2000nst/.

Earlier in the week, before I knew about XM's 24 hour satellite issue, I bought a small 25lb. capacity magnent and moved the antenna to the rear window glass. The magnet held the antenna firmly in place. The problem with that layout is that someone could move the antenna and the magnet would drop to the deck. When the XM signal was restored to full power, the reception was a little better than the dashboard location - not so many lost signal moments when going under trees and overpasses - but not enough to keep the antenna on the outside. So I moved the antenna back to its previous location on the dash.

BTW - I have owned my Insight 6 months and have yet to see another one on the highway.

SC2000nst
2000 Silver 5 spd #5490
Coastal South Carolina
 

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satellite radio (I have Sirius, but they are the same???) and honda insight.

I LOVE DRIVING!!!
 

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I have the Sirius and it is connected to my aftermarket radio/cd player, so it is all controlled thru the stereo, not an additional box like in the picture above. My DH used industrial double stick tape to hold the antenna on. It has survived all winter and many car washes :)

Other people here, when i asked the same question, said they got heavy duty magnets and put the magnet inside the rear hatch window and connected that to the antenna. If the tape ever unsticks, that will be my next mode of connectivity.
 

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yeah I forgot to mention about my antenna.
It's mounted in the normal place in the center of the roof using 3M automotive adhesive (the stuff that keep moldings and emblems on).

Been on for over two years and we get 0-110 degrees in the midwest.
No problems yet....
 

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Surely the best place for a satellite receiver is at the far front of the top of the dashboard where the windscreen meets it? I had my GPS receiver there with no problems. As I say, I think that would be the best place to protect it from external theft and the elements?
 

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I believe it is held on with double sided tape. I didn't do the install.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Satellite Radio

Here are some photos to show where I put the antenna (inside) and how the XM radio is mounted.

http://s150.photobucket.com/albums/s94/sc2000nst/

(Could not figure out how to show the pictures directly like one of the previous replies.)

sc2000nst
2000 Silver 5spd #5490
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Satellite Radio

I lose signal under large overpasses, under large canopy trees and on narrow streets downtown. On the interstate, I do not lose signal when driving under the overpasses - perhaps is the the 70mph speed.

Charleston SC has very narrow streets surrounded by 3 and 4 story buildings. I just turn off the radio when driving downtown.

I have not been in a car with a roof mounted antenna to see what the difference in reception is. I do not see the occasional loss of signal as a problem.

SC2000NST
 

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sc2000nst said:
I noticed they had a good sale on a XM radio with a good rebate to boot – So I took the plunge and bought it!

So how much is the monthly charge for XM radio?

I thought a couple time about getting it, but then I thought, "Eh, it's just music. Not worth buying." Of course, it's the same logic that leads me to not buy cable tv, so I guess I'm sort of an oddball. :lol:
 

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Re: Satellite Radio

sc2000nst said:
I lose signal under large overpasses, under large canopy trees and on narrow streets downtown. On the interstate, I do not lose signal when driving under the overpasses - perhaps is the the 70mph speed.

SC2000NST
I would imagine the radio buffers data, so you could lose connection for a certain amount of seconds without noticing.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Reply to ElectricToy - How Much is that Radio in the window?

The monthly charge is about $13. There is a small initial signup fee and you have to buy the radio (sometimes they offer freebies). After I received my $50 rebate - the SkyFi2 unit cost was only $50. There is a discount if you purchase service for longer times. The fee schedules and other signup information are on the XM radio site http://www.xmradio.com.
 
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