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Old 08-18-2005, 01:39 AM   #1
yg17
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Default Repeater placement: downtown v.s. suburbs

It seems to me that Sirius only places repeaters in downtown areas. Why don't they ever place repeaters to cover the more populated suburbs. Take where I live, St. Louis for example. The downtown area has a repeater which also reaches out somewhat into the city. Don't get me wrong, a repeater is needed since there are a lot of office buildings where people might have Sirius in their cube, and 2 sections of I-64 where east and west traffic split off somewhat, and eastbound traffic is completley under an overpass carrying westbound traffic. A repeater is needed there so you don't lose a signal for a mile or so (which can turn into 20 minutes with our crappy traffic). But as you move out west into the suburbs, there's no repeater signal. Which poses a problem when you go under large overpasses (or even worse, stuck in traffic under an overpass) or through a neighborhood where trees block the signal. Plus, I don't know how other cities are, but in STL, most of the people who can afford a service like Sirius in the first place live out in the suburbs, and a repeater is even more important for people who wish to have Sirius in their homes, since home reception can sometimes be spotty if it's coming from a satellite. And I've noticed it with other cities I've driven through, where its obvious that the more suburban areas don't have a repeater as you get drop outs occasionally.

So, why does Sirius seem to concentrate on getting repeater coverage in downtown areas, and ignoring suburbs, where customers are probably more likley to live.
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Old 08-18-2005, 09:18 AM   #2
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I agree totally. In my home area of Knoxville, TN, Sirius has a repeater in the downtown area that covers that specific area, but fails to reach into west Knoxville, the most affluent suburb area of town that has all the big stores, restaurants and tons of growth. I've wondered the same thing; if they will ever put a repeater in areas like this? Seems it would make a lot of sense to cover these areas instead of just downtown office areas. XM has a repeater in the west Knoxville suburb area and in many other suburbs. I don't know why this doesn't seem important to Sirius. You'd think it would, considering Sirius moving satellites that make home reception a pain at times.
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Old 08-18-2005, 09:56 AM   #3
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XM and Sirius install repeaters in large cities with high subscriber density to deliver a more reliable signal blocked by tall buildings. The repeaters themselves aren't very expensive, but there is a huge amount of beaurocracy involved in errecting the repeaters. Chances are, no matter how affluent your neighborhood, a sprawled out suburb is not going to be considered for a repeater.
You might want to consider an outdoor antenna. It's a pain, I know. This is one area where XM has it all over Sirius. I just shelled out $50 for a Terk SIR6 outdoor antenna and $20 for a 50' amplified extension cable.
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Old 08-18-2005, 10:38 AM   #4
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Yes.. The repeaters are really meant for mobile users. They provide coverage in 'difficult' areas like tunnels, underpasses and 'urban canyons' (Streets lined with very high buildings).. The fact that they help get a constant signal in your window is a secondary benifit.

Suburbs don't have major obstructions that will interfere with mobile users and as a result don't get repeaters..
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Old 08-18-2005, 10:47 AM   #5
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I live in the suburbs, and I am pretty sure there is a repeater near where I live. My radio gets a full side inside the house (even when it's in an interior room with no windows). I am pretty sure it isn't coming from downtown, since the terrestrial signal is weaker near where I work (downtown), even when the radio is in my car.

FYI - I live in Kansas City, near the airport.
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Old 08-18-2005, 04:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msanthrope
I live in the suburbs, and I am pretty sure there is a repeater near where I live. My radio gets a full side inside the house (even when it's in an interior room with no windows). I am pretty sure it isn't coming from downtown, since the terrestrial signal is weaker near where I work (downtown), even when the radio is in my car.

FYI - I live in Kansas City, near the airport.
Couple of things.. First it depends on your roof.. I live in the dirt road boonies.. When I look out my window, I see cows.. (Really ).... There are no major centers and no repeaters anywhere near my place.. I get full signal most of the time through my wooden roof with ashphalt shingles.. My antenna sits on my stereo stand nowhere near a window. I have a regular bungalow.

Also.... You may live near the airport. but that's only about 15 miles from downtown.. That's not a long way for a repeater signal to go.

They may have a repeater near the airport, but if you live reasonably close to downtown KC... In some place like Platte Woods or Weatherby Lake, or even Platte City I'd be surprised if what you were hearing wasn't one of the downtown repeaters... They do carry quite a distance...

It's a shame Sirius doesn't actually post where their repeaters are.......
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Old 08-18-2005, 05:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwt873
It's a shame Sirius doesn't actually post where their repeaters are.......
Publishing the repeater sites would just give folks something else to complain about without serving any real purpose. Roof and tower space is VERY lucrative and competitive! Take a look around your city. Scope out the tall buildings. Most are covered with antenna farms. That's most likely where the repeaters are.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwt873
Yes.. The repeaters are really meant for mobile users. They provide coverage in 'difficult' areas like tunnels, underpasses and 'urban canyons' (Streets lined with very high buildings).. The fact that they help get a constant signal in your window is a secondary benifit.

Suburbs don't have major obstructions that will interfere with mobile users and as a result don't get repeaters..
Yes they do. Trees!!! I frequently loose signal when I'm driving on a two-lane suburban street that's mostly shaded by trees.
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Old 08-20-2005, 02:43 PM   #9
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There is at least one suburban repeater - near my office in Tysons Corner, Va. It is on the Capital Beltway at one of the busiest interchanges since it is a gigantic office park, malls, car dealers, etc. A traffic quagmire.
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Old 08-25-2005, 10:19 AM   #10
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Atlanta has plenty of repeaters in the suburbs. I get 3 terrestrial bars inside my parents house which is about 15 miles from the center of Atlanta.

I was in south florida last week, and I was surprised there wasnt a repeater for the west palm beach area. There were repeaters for fort lauderdale and miami though.
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Old 11-13-2005, 11:03 AM   #11
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Default I found this interesting....

I happened to find this story written last year on the web. Check it out! There's more to this repeater issue than one thinks!!!
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Old 11-13-2005, 11:42 AM   #12
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Default Re: I found this interesting....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatlowidenslo
I happened to find this story written last year on the web. Check it out! There's more to this repeater issue than one thinks!!!
Interesting article, but in fact a very big, smelly Red Herring, being used to distract people from the real issue.

Repeaters are not about regional radio competition, they are needed if there will ever be practical potable "access" to an entirely new medium, and nothing more.

Long Island no repeaters and has over 3 million people, many of whom commute by train. We are being penalized by the lack of repeaters and true portable satellite receivers. We want live radio, sports and talk (like Howard Stern), not another glorified Podcast.

Even a compromise solution like the Xact POD works great (especially indoors) wherever there are repeaters.
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Old 11-14-2005, 12:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwt873
Yes.. The repeaters are really meant for mobile users. They provide coverage in 'difficult' areas like tunnels, underpasses and 'urban canyons' (Streets lined with very high buildings).. The fact that they help get a constant signal in your window is a secondary benifit.
The repeaters are not designated as just being for mobile users. Getting a signal in a window is not a secondary benefit. Many people do not have line of sight from windows. Without repeaters, even most homes would get no signal.
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Old 11-14-2005, 01:13 PM   #14
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I've been complaining about this for a long time. Sirius *needs* more repeaters, plain and simple. But after almost 3 years of waiting and complaining I just don't see anything changing any time soon. So, we live with the skips and cutouts on Sirius. On the other hand, XM works solid on both our cars in the Conejo and San Fernando Valleys, and at the office.

All you can do is call Sirius and complain and hope one day they listen.
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Old 11-14-2005, 06:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joker454
I've been complaining about this for a long time. Sirius *needs* more repeaters, plain and simple. But after almost 3 years of waiting and complaining I just don't see anything changing any time soon. So, we live with the skips and cutouts on Sirius. On the other hand, XM works solid on both our cars in the Conejo and San Fernando Valleys, and at the office.

All you can do is call Sirius and complain and hope one day they listen.
I guess it's all based on terrain? I live in a small town. Repeater is nowhere near it, and I never get dropouts except in locations you'd expect (under gas station roofs, ton of trees, ect)
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