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Old 08-22-2007, 03:10 PM   #391
msaenz
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Default More clues to the problem?

Maybe a couple weeks ago I experienced signal drops too. I live in a semi-rural area on the other side of the coastal mountains from Orange County, CA. I also work in Orange County, so I commute up and over these mountains. At home, I usually get a strong signal from my Stiletto car dock. Maybe once or twice I’ve gotten a dropped signal, but only briefly and PERHAPS it was because of heavy tree cover, cloud cover, etc. But normally I get good signal (2-3 bars) at home. When I cross over the mountains, and get close to the heavier developed areas near the coast, I get A LOT of dropped signals! Again, this just began happening within the last couple weeks. In the past, when I lost signal and got the “antenna not detected” message, it was because the power adapter wriggled loose from the car power socket. Pushing it back in tight restored the antenna and signal. But I tried this and found it’s not the problem- the screen on my Stiletto shows that the battery is being charged. I figured on my own that maybe my car mounted antenna was going bad, or maybe my dock was malfunctioning and I was ready to go buy a new car kit today- but it occurred to me that I might want to check this forum to see if any other people had a similar problem…

And so I found this thread and saw that similar problems have been happening to other people SINCE LAST NOVEMBER (first post of this thread).

Here are the clues I can provide:

I’ve clipped off the earphones from the external Stiletto antenna and adhered a magnet onto the small flat antenna so I can mount it onto any car without a dock and use my Stiletto (works great, BTW). When the signal drops from the car dock, I can undock the Stiletto and plug in the external and I GET SIGNAL!

Where I work, I’m close to a ground repeater. I’m listening right now with no external antenna plugged in- the Stiletto is just sitting on my desk and I get 3 bars. Oddly enough, even though I ALWAYS get consistent 3 bar strength at my work desk, every once in a while, the signal- or maybe more specifically, the audio cuts out for a second. Interference? In any case, at work, I’ve NEVER had a dropped signal.

When docked in the car, I can get a full, strong 3 bars in some areas, and get dropped signal in others (most noticeable in the larger urban areas- go figure). When I get close to work, I’ll go from dropped signal to 3-bars- but I suspect it’s from the ground repeater nearby. I can’t tell if it’s being picked up by just my internal antenna, or the car dock- or both. But when I get within 5 miles of my work, I get good signal.

If it’s faulty equipment, why does it work perfectly sometimes and drop signal others? If it’s weak signal being transmitted, why would I get better signal in rural areas where there are no repeaters and get dropped signal in urban areas where there are ground repeaters (I just get really good signal consistently right here near work).

Sunspots? It’s been FREAKIN’ HOT here lately- so maybe excessive heat affects the reception? ANY environmental condition that can affect signal strength or reception? Maybe this is a temporary problem and it’ll return to normal?

I’m not convinced it’s an equipment (on my end) problem. I’m no radio expert, but I suspect the transmission of signal is problematic- my little MP3/FM player gets GREAT FM signal without an antenna (or maybe the tiny internal one). I WISH I could get good signal reception from my Stiletto without ANY external antenna. Outside of ground repeater coverage, I can only get spotty, weak signal reception with just the Stiletto without any external antenna attached. It would be great if the satellite itself could transmit or relay a strong enough signal where external antennas would not be needed.

I whole heartedly agree that Sirius should at least acknowledge that this problem exists and provide an explanation- if not a solution. This technology may be new enough that the equipment- on both sides- may not be perfected. I can accept that. I’m glad I check this forum before I went out and bought a new car kit, only to find out that wasn’t the problem!
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:48 PM   #392
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msaenz View Post
....
Here are the clues I can provide:

I’ve clipped off the earphones from the external Stiletto antenna and adhered a magnet onto the small flat antenna so I can mount it onto any car without a dock and use my Stiletto (works great, BTW). When the signal drops from the car dock, I can undock the Stiletto and plug in the external and I GET SIGNAL!

Where I work, I’m close to a ground repeater. I’m listening right now with no external antenna plugged in- the Stiletto is just sitting on my desk and I get 3 bars. Oddly enough, even though I ALWAYS get consistent 3 bar strength at my work desk, every once in a while, the signal- or maybe more specifically, the audio cuts out for a second. Interference? In any case, at work, I’ve NEVER had a dropped signal.

When docked in the car, I can get a full, strong 3 bars in some areas, and get dropped signal in others (most noticeable in the larger urban areas- go figure). When I get close to work, I’ll go from dropped signal to 3-bars- but I suspect it’s from the ground repeater nearby. I can’t tell if it’s being picked up by just my internal antenna, or the car dock- or both. But when I get within 5 miles of my work, I get good signal.

If it’s faulty equipment, why does it work perfectly sometimes and drop signal others? If it’s weak signal being transmitted, why would I get better signal in rural areas where there are no repeaters and get dropped signal in urban areas where there are ground repeaters (I just get really good signal consistently right here near work).
...
I’m not convinced it’s an equipment (on my end) problem. I’m no radio expert, but I suspect the transmission of signal is problematic- my little MP3/FM player gets GREAT FM signal without an antenna (or maybe the tiny internal one). I WISH I could get good signal reception from my Stiletto without ANY external antenna. Outside of ground repeater coverage, I can only get spotty, weak signal reception with just the Stiletto without any external antenna attached. It would be great if the satellite itself could transmit or relay a strong enough signal where external antennas would not be needed.
It sounds like you need a dedicated external antenna on the car. The only time you should lose signal with a properly placed antenna (on the roof) is if there is an obstruction such as overpasses or trees that block the direct path to the satellite. The satellite is in the center of the continent above Canada at around 60 degrees.

Satellite signal has completely different requirements from FM, so don't even begin to compare reception experience of FM with Satellite Radio.

So get a dedicated antenna on the roof, use it, and you should be fine. If you already have and you still have problems, then you might need a new antenna.
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:17 AM   #393
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Default Mystery Solved!

Yes, I have a Sirius antenna mounted properly on my car roof.

And here’s the update:
I dug out my old Sportster antenna and hooked it up when the currently connected antenna (the one that came with my Stiletto car kit) dropped signal. And the moment I connected the older antenna, I received a strong 3 bars.

Mystery solved.

The antenna has somehow “gone bad”.

Of all the components of the Stiletto and car dock that can go bad, I would have never thought the antenna would be the fist thing to “wear out”. That’s just amazing. How does an antenna “wear out”??? So now I guess I need to pull out the “newer” antenna and re-mount and re-route the older one. I guess I can expect THAT one to go out sooner or later too.

So it seems Sirius’ customer service wasn’t lying to others who’ve posted on this thread when they said the antenna was the problem.

But I’ll gladly pay for a new antenna each time the old one wears out so I can keep my Sirius! Since I got my Stiletto, I fell in love with the “radio replays”, TIVO-like recording ability, the “rewind” capabilities, and the ability to rewind the audio and record when something I like comes across! All that and incredibly awesome programming content! Again, I think this technology is in it’s early stages and it can only get better!
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:25 AM   #394
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Originally Posted by msaenz View Post
Yes, I have a Sirius antenna mounted properly on my car roof.

And here’s the update:
I dug out my old Sportster antenna and hooked it up when the currently connected antenna (the one that came with my Stiletto car kit) dropped signal. And the moment I connected the older antenna, I received a strong 3 bars.

Mystery solved.

The antenna has somehow “gone bad”.

Of all the components of the Stiletto and car dock that can go bad, I would have never thought the antenna would be the fist thing to “wear out”. That’s just amazing. How does an antenna “wear out”??? So now I guess I need to pull out the “newer” antenna and re-mount and re-route the older one. I guess I can expect THAT one to go out sooner or later too.
I've had an older antenna on my car for 4 years or so. I think some antennas are more durable than others, and some are just bad from the beginning. Glad to hear you got it fixed.
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:09 PM   #395
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My signal has been abysmal the last two nights. One bar, two max under clear sky in Southern New Jersey. Anyone else having troubles?
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:06 PM   #396
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Angry Loss of signal - Fairfield County

We have been repeatedly losing the signal, something that prior to this summer, happened rarely.

We have spoken to customer service over and over. Until today no one admitted there were any problems. Today the guy said there had been problems with repeaters but they were fixed. Funny thing, we lost the signal for over a half hour today.

They claim we need to replace the antenna, but the company that provides the antenna won't cover it without a receipt that is long gone.

If someone would just be straight with us and tell us if they are having technical difficulties it would save us a lot of grief having to climb on the roof.

Anyone else in our area experiencing similar problems?
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:06 AM   #397
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S T A T U S: 0/10 B A R S
T I M E: 23:13 P S T
L O C A T I O N: F R E S N O, C A

Last edited by Doug_In_Fresno; 09-01-2007 at 01:11 AM.. Reason: S I R I U S S U C K S
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:48 AM   #398
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Quote:
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S T A T U S: 0/10 B A R S
T I M E: 23:13 P S T
L O C A T I O N: F R E S N O, C A
Well, I remounted the antenna and the new location seems to better than the old location. Now there is 10/10 bars. 01:42 PST. Hopefully this new and semi-permantent location (from the signal cable routing installed) will work all the time.

Also, anyone needing to figure out where to mount the antenna might want to look at this page and zoom in on your address and look at the line of sight things for the 3 colors: green, blue, and red. Because I'm on the west coast of the USA I guess the majority of the signals come from N, NE, E, SE, and S based on the orientation of the lines.

Maybe someone can comment on how accurage that page is since the signal lines change greatly with a little position change.

Some things I also intend to try are leaving the radio on 24/7. I noticed that sometimes the problem seems the radio has a hard time 'resynching' with the echo repeater system. I noticed that basically the best thing to do is to attach the antenna first, next power the transmitter, then power on the sirius receiver and never turn the chain off. If you need to redo anything then follow that procedure again rather than out of order.

Ok then.
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Old 09-01-2007, 11:20 AM   #399
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Well, I remounted the antenna and the new location seems to better than the old location. Now there is 10/10 bars. 01:42 PST. Hopefully this new and semi-permantent location (from the signal cable routing installed) will work all the time.

Also, anyone needing to figure out where to mount the antenna might want to look at this page and zoom in on your address and look at the line of sight things for the 3 colors: green, blue, and red. Because I'm on the west coast of the USA I guess the majority of the signals come from N, NE, E, SE, and S based on the orientation of the lines.
It is pretty accurate. The best place to point the antenna if you are on the west coast is towards the north east (around the top of the blue line). The green line is temporary, so don't aim anywhere in that range.

But honestly, think of your car antenna, pointing straight up is good enough for it. I have a car antenna on my roof, pointing slightly to the east becase of the slope of the roof, and I don't get dropouts. I didn't try to get fancy and aim it north east.
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:52 AM   #400
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Default No signal in Southern California

I've have no signal here in Orange County. It shouldn't be the antenna because I just bought the damn thing and the unit is less than 2 years old. Up until I lost my signal, it would drop out repeatedly and then about a week ago I lost any signal I had. Does anyone else have this problem or is it time to buy a new unit?
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:19 AM   #401
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I've have no signal here in Orange County. It shouldn't be the antenna because I just bought the damn thing and the unit is less than 2 years old. Up until I lost my signal, it would drop out repeatedly and then about a week ago I lost any signal I had. Does anyone else have this problem or is it time to buy a new unit?
You would be surprised at how many have reported bad antennas out of the box, or after only a few weeks/months of service. It does happen.

Did you get the unit used, or are you the original owner?
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:20 PM   #402
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Default Sirius or ME

I am the original owner. The reason I got a new antenna was because I thought it was the problem. That was before I found this thread and what others had experienced in regards to signal dropouts. So I am curious if anyone else in my area has experienced these problems in the last few weeks, or is it just me. If its getting a new antenna, or unit, that's not a big deal. But if the problem is on the Sirius end, I need to consider whether I want to cancel my subscription because they can't get their sh*t together.
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Old 11-05-2007, 08:00 PM   #403
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Default Reception Problems in East Bay Area (CA)

Okay here's my story...

I got a S50 in January 07 and it worked great for about 4 months... I never remember more than 1-2 times it dropped signal for more than a second or two (other than under overpasses etc). Then I started having drop outs out of the clear blue. I would guess it started happening in April or early May of this year.

I spend a lot of time on 880 between Oakland and Union City and it seems I loose signal from about Marina or 238 Exit down until Whipple Exit. Some days I will get signal, but a majority of the time it comes and goes.

Anywhere off the freeway it's still hit and miss, however sometimes when I am stationary I get signal without problems, and occasionally I can make my whole commute without issues, but it seems rare now.

I have tried resetting stations, restoring my s50 and even the three finger salute, but it resolved nothing. I don't know if it is an issue on my end or just weak signal. I have driven around with the Antenna Aiming on and I see the Satellite Signal jump around from 0-100% but it seems random as to how good the signal is. Now I barely ever see the Terrestrial Signal go above say 25% if there's any signal at all.

I have held out, I really like Sirius, but I'm getting to the point where I am sick of it.

Question is Should I try another antenna or is this how it is for us in the Bay Area? Should I just cancel?
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:10 AM   #404
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Default Is the Minneapolis repeater Having Issues?

Is the Minneapolis repeater Having Issues?

I used to get great reception on my Stiletto without the antenna headphones (even inside at the gym) in downtowm Minneapolis and as of about 1:30 CST on March 4, 2008 I can barely get reception WITH the headphones - even outside. My Stiletto works as it always has everywhere else except the downtown Minneapolis area. Anyone heard anything? Is there a place wheere I can check on the staus of the Minneapolis repeater?
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:49 AM   #405
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Default Raleigh NC issue

Having a problem in the Raleigh area and can't seem to figure it out. Hope someone has some ideas to help me out.

I have the Sirius Sportster R and have the boombox to go with it. One at home one at work. For 2 years I have gotten perfect signal at work, antenna in front of window(one that will not open) nothing blocking it. Over the last week I pretty much get nothing but acquiring signal. Now the unit works great in the car so I don't think it's a bad unit. The boombox works at home so I don't think that is the issue either. I have also tried FOUR different antennas but still mostly all I get is acquiring signal. Sometimes music will pop on for a bit and at most I get 2 bars but that doesn't last long.

I have called Sirius and they really had nothing to suggest and told me everything in the Raleigh area was fine. Anyone ever run into this, having this problem in the area? Any suggestions would be great I am going crazy having to listen over the net.

Thanks
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