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Install Garage & Help Desk You've got the radio, now which cable goes where? Got questions about factory installed radios in your car? Ask any installation or help questions here and someone will get to you soon.

 
 
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Old 11-10-2006, 04:13 PM   #1
mmiller40
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Default Static... This is worse than normal broadcast radio

I picked up a sportster 4 the other day and installed it via the FM modulator in my F150. No matter what I do I get static in the background. I have tried almost every fm station that is reccomended in my area (via the FM look up website). I alsmo moved the unit to the far right passengers side so it would be closer to the car antenna. This helped alot but still over 40% power and I get this crappy background static. I can't deal with it! 3 days @ sirius and I'm listening to my normal radio because the sound is so much cleaner. Sure there are no commercials but who cares if it sounds like AM radio.

Other than hardwiring the unit is there any fix ? I'm not going to hardwire ATM because the unit was sold plug and play. It should be able to work out of the box. I have been on the phone with support for over an hour and they keep putting me on hold. So far there service ranks right up there with TWC (the worst CS I have ever delt with). All they tell me is it must be a problem with my
factory head unit and I should have ford check it out. Then they put me on hold until they eventually hang up... This is the 3rd call
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Old 11-10-2006, 05:27 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Backstage!

There's been lots of discussion here about the newer transmitters in the PNP units since the FCC made them lower the output due to interference problems. I'm not sure about the Sportster 4 but if there was a small, thin wire with a minplug on the end that came in the box with the Sportster try plugging it into the FM Out jack on the dock or unit and see if that helps improve your reception.

One thing is for sure: it is NOT -- I repeat, NOT -- a problem with your head unit, nor is there anything Ford can do to help you.
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:10 PM   #3
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mmiller. Not sure where you live; but, you may have to purchase the following:

(http://shop.sirius.com/edealinv/serv...7872&scId=7872)

It is an FM modulator that supposedly works and eliminates the static. Unfortunately, I am in the same boat as you, and also have a Ford. You have a few options:

1. Have the FM modulator installed. Best Buy / Circuity City can install one for $60 - $100.

2. Ford (not all dealers will do this, and some 3rd party to other shops in the area) will install something else, and hard wire the system so the cigarette lighter is not needed, and the AUX button can be used on the radio. Install prices vary; but, the adapter the use goes for $90 online at various radio stores, so you can image how much they will charge you for the part.

3. It appears the FM wireless is basically inop due to the recent FCC ruling or regulations. I read on this forum and others Sirius, along with XM got or is getting nailed on that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mmiller40
I picked up a sportster 4 the other day and installed it via the FM modulator in my F150. No matter what I do I get static in the background. I have tried almost every fm station that is reccomended in my area (via the FM look up website). I alsmo moved the unit to the far right passengers side so it would be closer to the car antenna. This helped alot but still over 40% power and I get this crappy background static. I can't deal with it! 3 days @ sirius and I'm listening to my normal radio because the sound is so much cleaner. Sure there are no commercials but who cares if it sounds like AM radio.

Other than hardwiring the unit is there any fix ? I'm not going to hardwire ATM because the unit was sold plug and play. It should be able to work out of the box. I have been on the phone with support for over an hour and they keep putting me on hold. So far there service ranks right up there with TWC (the worst CS I have ever delt with). All they tell me is it must be a problem with my
factory head unit and I should have ford check it out. Then they put me on hold until they eventually hang up... This is the 3rd call
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:11 PM   #4
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Default One more...

BTW, Best Buy and Circuity City sell the modulators. You do not have to order one, wait for it, and then have them install it.
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:55 PM   #5
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The transmitters (aka modulators) that are built-in to Sirius receivers recently had their power cut back drastically. Earlier Sirius PNP units could be picked up from over a hundred feet away...

The FCC has set maximum power limits for unlicensed transmitters that work in the FM band. These limits have been around for over 20 years. Sirius and XM were exceeding these limits and there were complaints. As a result of the complaints, the transmitters were recently cut back to comply with the law.

It still IS a plug and play radio. You can plug the audio out to the Line In on your radio (if you have this). If you are having trouble with the transmitter, then you have to help it a bit.

On page 17 of the Sportster 4 user guide, they do show you how to hook up a direct FM adapter and suggest you use one if the modulator in the Sortster can't do the job. Unfortunately with Sirus and XM radios now.. This is the only alternative. For the price of these things, it would probably do Sirius good to INCLUDE them with the receiver kits...


FWIW, FM direct adapter is a much better term for the add-on. They often get called 'Modulators' which is completely wrong because they don't moduate anything... They just connect the modulator inside your Sirius receiver directly to the antenna plug at the back of your car FM radio.
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:01 PM   #6
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"Other than hardwiring the unit is there any fix ? I'm not going to hardwire ATM because the unit was sold plug and play. It should be able to work out of the box."

Yeah, name one item that works out of the box plug and play! Hell, plug and play has been around for over 10years and it still isn't plug and play.
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:22 PM   #7
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Just to add.. Built in FM transmitters for ANY type of consumer electronic devices are a relatively new thing.. They've only become popular in the last 3 - 4 years.

FWIW, my first Sirius radio was an Audiovox PNP2. It was sold as a plug and play unit and it DIDN'T have a built in transmitter. If you wanted a transmitter, you had to buy an optional car dock with a transmitter built in to that. The home dock and regular car dock didn't have FM.
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:13 PM   #8
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Something some people have done is to unplug the antenna cable from the head unit. This practically cuts out all the other FM stations and the transmitter has a chance to work. Of course, it severely limits your ability to revert to FM/AM...
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:38 PM   #9
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YES or unscrewing the antenna off the car. If it can only handle signals in the immediate area, WINNER!
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:18 PM   #10
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Try the FM wire. No hassle of removing your dashboard to get to the back of the radio and boosts signal 10-fold.
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Old 11-17-2006, 11:39 AM   #11
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I posted this in another thread, but it fits here too.

My reception was terrible around philly, so I complained a bit and Sirius gave me a $20 credit to put towards an FM modulator (I'm pretty sure that's what they're called. It cost a total of $40 including the modulator, less the $20 from sirius and about an hour, and now as soon as my sirius goes on, the entire band is cleared. I can tune to what years ago were decent stations (WMMR, WYSP) and actually listen to static free music. Good luck
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