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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 12-04-2006, 04:47 PM   #1
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Default What does it mean to hardwire a plug n play to your car and to add a fm modulator?

I recently bought the Sportser 4 from Best Buy and I didn't want to plug it into the cigarette lighter of my car and have wires all over the place (i did that on another car and it was annoying) so I had best buy hardwire the car.

Honestly, I dont know what hardwiriing means...i just know i paid Best Buy to hardwire my sirius to my car and wallah! i dont see any wires and i dont have to plug the sirius into the cigarette lighter. The sirius base is suction cupped to the left of the steering wheel on the windshield and the attena is inside the car near the center of the front window on the dash.

So, my question is: what does it mean to hardwire sirius to your vehicle? what did Best Buy do when they hard wired my Sirius to my car? Did they connect my sirius directly to my radio? or did they connect it directly to my circuit breaker? what did they connect it to? Did they remove my dashboard to do this? Also, did they need to sodder anything together or is it as simple as just putting the wires from my plug and play into something? I didnt ask any questions when I had this done...i just knew hardwiring meant i wouldnt have to stare at i'm just curious what work went into hardwiring the plug n play to my car and could it have altered my car in any way so, for example, my car radio or circuit breaker wouldnt be covered under its warranty (I dont think it did, but just curious if it could have.)...

Also, I was told to improve the strength of the sirius i should buy a FM modulater. So I bought one and Best Buy installed it. The reception is terrific and I havent had any problems whatsoever. But like the sirius itself, what did they hook they FM modulator to? Did they connect it directly to the car radio or to something else? or is it possible that the FM modulator doesnt connect to anything but the sirius? Basically, how is a FM modulator hooked up to a car?

I'm very happy with the reception and its much better than the plug n play in my other car where i have wires all over the place. sorry for this long message, but i thought maybe someone here could help me find some answers. thanks a lot!
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:38 PM   #2
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Hardwiring your radio pretty much just means that your sat. radio is connected by an actual wire directly to your factory car radio.
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Old 12-04-2006, 10:23 PM   #3
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What does it mean to hardwire a plug n play to your car and to add a fm modulator?
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If someone says that they hardwired their SIRIUS radio, I generally don't know whether if they hardwired the power to the back or hardwired the connection to the audio in the back of both.

I'm sure I'm not the only one.

You can hardwire the power source using a piece called a CLA from TSS or BB or CC.

You can also have the Audio Directly connected with an Aux Input.

People will take their radio to a Best Buy or Circuit City install bay and ask for it to be hardwired and often they will only hardwire the power and still use the wireless fm transmitter.

I'd always recommend an Aux Input to anyone who has that option.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:35 AM   #4
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I understand "hardwiring" to mean the radios power if fed directly right off the fuse panel with a fuse in the line between the fuse panel and Sirius radio in case of a short or something. This eliminates the need for the radio to be plugged into the cigarette lighter and the wires are hidden behind the dash.

As for the FM modulator, it is a cable/wire with a box on it that your cars radio antenna cable plugs into. It then has a a line out of it that plugs into the back of the car radio and the other end plugs into the Sirius radio (FM out). What this does is eliminates the wireless FM trequency transmission because now it is fed directly into the car radio.

I just hooked one up to my Civic last night and it made a world of difference to the sound and clarity. No more static what so ever.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:35 PM   #5
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technically "hardwiring" means taking the existing power wire for X equipment and cutting off the cigarrete adapter/plug/etc, and soldering the power and ground wires to the car's power and ground wire...

In this case, one one cut off the cig. lighter adapter and either solder the power and ground wire into the existing power and ground wire that feeds your cig. lighter. OR they tap an existing fuse in the car's fuse box, most likely one that is a "switched on"(means that it only gets power when the car is on) and they ground to the car's chasis.

"direct connect" means to use an aux input on the cars stereo to connect to the sirius unit via a 3.5mm male/male cord. Like an headphone extension cord. Instead of using the FM modulator which sends the signal through the air, and the stereo picks up the signal, you are plugging directly into the siruius unit. Just like you would plug in a set of headphones to use on your I-pod...

I would take the car back and inform them not to be lazy and install the antenna on the outside of the car. There is less of a chance of losing a signal if it is outside, and somewhere at the top...
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Old 12-06-2006, 02:35 PM   #6
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Since they told you that you needed an FM modulator after getting your S4 "hardwired", then they "hardwired" the power to your S4 somehow. Likely with a CLA (cigarette lighter adapter) behind your dash somewhere since the S4 only takes 5 volts and can't be hot-wired right into a 12 volt fuse block.

The FM modulator is a pass-through device, that has your car's FM antenna plugged into it, and it in turn plugs back into your radio's FM antenna IN. When you switch on your Sirius unit, it "turns off" the FM antenna from your car and takes over the antenna stream so that it can transmit into your car's FM band relatively unobstructed. The FM modulator is for use in cars with head units that don't have direct audio AUX IN ports on them anywhere. It provides the second best connectivity to a direct audio connection IMO.
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:10 PM   #7
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Default Help w/ Hardwiring...

Ya'll have to excuse me, I'm completely illiterate when it comes to technical stuff... so I have a question. My hubby bought the new Starmate Replay for his Chrysler 300 and it stinks compared to my old one. He's about to return it. Can't he just hardwire it and it will be clearer/no static?? Is this something he can do himself or does it mean the factory installed radio will have to come out? He's not very handy, so unless it's simple, we'd have to pay to have it done. How much does it cost at Circuit City, etc?? Does he still need to buy a seperate FM modulator if he does this?

Thanks for the info!!!!!!!! Awaiting your responses.
~* SIRIUS-LY Hooked on SIRIUS *~
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Old 12-11-2006, 08:08 AM   #8
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Yes, he would have to purchase the FM modulator/relay that I am sure will require some of the dash or the radio to be removed to be installed. Hooking this up should eliminate all static you hear coming through the radio. Not sure what Circuit City charges for the installation.
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