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Old 10-15-2004, 02:56 PM   #1
angrytaxman
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Default angrytaxman's XACT Power Pod XS028 Mini Review

I went to my local Best Buy today to pick up the new Xact Stream Jockey Power Pod. They had a few in stock and I promptly purchased mine. The first thing I noticed is that the box it came in was rather heavy, I didn’t really mind though and just discounted it to the fact that it had an AC adapter in the box and those are quite often cumbersome.

Once I got home I quickly realized that the weight wasn’t only due to the clunky AC adapter, but most of it was from the Power Pod itself and its large battery. The “Pod” as I will refer to it from now on is a very large housing unit for the Xact receiver which powers it and has a built in antenna. The antenna on the Pod is actually quite large for being used in a portable setting. I have seen the mini antenna that comes with the Delphi Roady 2 and this is definitely larger than that. The battery actually isn’t too big compared to the rest of the unit, and its size is understandable as the battery is rated at a whopping 6000 mAh.

Now onto the unit itself after seeing how small the vehicle kit “dock” is for the Xact unit I was very surprised to see that they needed to make the cradle part of the Pod so large. I’m not sure what exactly they had to put in there, but it sure must have been a lot.
On the right side of the device you can see the outlet for the AC adapter to plug in and there is a cutaway part so one can operate the volume controls on the receiver. On the bottom and top right there are shiny silver plates so that you can secure a lanyard to the device. I believe that these were put here for aesthetic purposes as there is no lanyard included like on so many cameras and cell phones, and I highly doubt that any lanyard would ever make this unit truly portable. The bottom has two little rubber feet for use with the “kick-stand” on the back. On the left there are three LED lights in green, amber and red in the reverse order of a stoplight. These lights are just above a button that you can press to see the battery’s charge state. If it’s fully charged you’ll see all three lights, half battery left you’ll see just amber and red, and if you’re running on fumes you’ll only see the red light when you push the button. Also on the left side is another cutout part for the headphone jack on the receiver to be exposed. The front of the unit covers the face of the Xact receiver when it is closed. The top hinged door is a housing unit for the antenna and the bottom is just to hold the receiver in place.

Something worth noting is that the hinged door on the bottom of the face is held closed with a small magnet as is the kickstand on the back. This seems to be a pretty effective design and probably the most thought-out part of the entire device.

I don’t want to discourage anyone from buying one of these Power Pods from a reputable dealer who would allow you to return it at no cost, but I’m hard pressed to think of any situation where something this large would come in handy. I truly cannot see any use for it and unfortunately will be returning it immediately. Now in theory this is a great device, but its size is really a bummer.

Now on to the pictures!


The Sirius Xact Stream Jockey Power Pod with all of its accessories.


The front of the Power Pod's box.


The back of the Power Pod's box.


The left side of the Power Pod's box.



The right side of the Power Pod's box.


The headphones included with the Power Pod.


The Power Pod unit with the Xact receiver inside and the hinged "doors" closed.


The Power Pod unit with the Xact receiver inside and the antenna flipped up.


The Power Pod unit with the Xact receiver inside and the hinged "doors" open.


The Power Pod unit with the Xact receiver inside and the hinged "doors" open, and the unit powered on.


The right side of the Power Pod.


The left side of the Power Pod.


The back of the Power Pod.


The back of the Power Pod with the battery removed.


The Power Pod's battery.


The front of the Power Pod next to a ruler - Approximately 6" or 15cm.


The Power Pod unit with its kickstand down.


The side of the Power Pod next to a ruler - Approximately 3.5" or 8cm.


The Power Pod unit next to a Handspring Treo 600 smartphone.


The front of the Power Pod unit next to an Audiovox PNP2.


The top of the Power Pod unit next to an Audiovox PNP2.


The front of the Power Pod unit next to the Xact Stream Jockey receiver.


Pushing the battery level button on the left side of the Power Pod.


A close up of pushing the battery level button on the left side of the Power Pod.
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Old 10-15-2004, 03:09 PM   #2
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Thanks for the review and pictures. I can see the place for something like this, but falls short of a wearable design unless it would be with a fanny pack. It's more like an alternative to a boombox for personal use so long as you want to listen with headphones.

Is there a way to disconnect the anntenna from the pod itself? Does the antenna have extra line to allow placing it somewhere else? Does the antenna cover rotate or just flip open and closed?

I like the fact that the batteries are removable, but I didn't expect them to add to the thickness of the unit so dramatically.

I'll probably still pick one of these up. How much did BB charge?
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Old 10-15-2004, 03:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Is there a way to disconnect the anntenna from the pod itself? Does the antenna have extra line to allow placing it somewhere else? Does the antenna cover rotate or just flip open and closed?
There is no way to disconnect the antenna from the Pod, but now that you mention it I see that the antenna does flip around 180 degrees as well as flipping open.

Quote:
How much did BB charge?
It was $130 before tax.
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Old 10-15-2004, 03:33 PM   #4
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About how much does it weigh? If it doesn't weigh much than I could still throw it in a fanny pack and run with it.

It also might go well in a golf cart, between holes you could listen to your favorite show or songs.
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Old 10-15-2004, 03:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Weight

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDDCP
About how much does it weigh? If it doesn't weigh much than I could still throw it in a fanny pack and run with it.

It also might go well in a golf cart, between holes you could listen to your favorite show or songs.
It weighs about 1lb. This is through a completly unscientific method as I have no small ounce scale. I simply weighed myself on a bathroom scale that is accurate to .5 lbs and then I weighed myself with the Pod in my pocket. I did make sure that I got the same start and end weight three times so I assume it's fairly accurate.

I like the golf cart idea, but I doubt you would want this on a fanny pack when you're running.
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Old 10-15-2004, 03:50 PM   #6
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How well does the antenna pick up the signal? Does it have to be directly exposed to the sky or like my car adapter, could it be placed on a dashboard and still get a signal?
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Old 10-15-2004, 03:59 PM   #7
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Thanks for the review, but I had a feeling this thing was really not going to be a wearable. I kept telling folks NO where on Xact's side or in the descriptions did it say this was going to be a wearable product. As it turns out its evidently not.

I think the whole idea here was to make a product that was fully battery supported and rechargeable, that you could use with head phone or to take on trips because it would be so portable. But if you can't hook up a secondary antenna or remove the antenna that kills it for me in regards to getting a signal in most indoor locations.

The other thing I thought was that you could use it to hook up the headphone out to a really nice set of powered speakers, which would then allow you to control the volume via the remote. But again if you can't hook up another antenna, how can you get a signal?

I may get one to check it out, but the value seems to have gone way down now that we know everything about it.
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Old 10-15-2004, 04:20 PM   #8
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i had a feeling that thing was gonna be huge
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Old 10-15-2004, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDDCP
How well does the antenna pick up the signal? Does it have to be directly exposed to the sky or like my car adapter, could it be placed on a dashboard and still get a signal?
The antenna seems to be almost identical to the vehicle kit's antenna, except that it's built it and has no cord, so you can't move the antenna off of the Pod. Yes it does pick up a signal through the glass of a car window.
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Old 10-15-2004, 04:35 PM   #10
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Did anyone notice that the actual product looks very different from the product on the box??? The one on the box is more attractive I think.

(look at the picture with the box and the pod side by side). They look completely different.
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Old 10-15-2004, 05:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDDCP
Did anyone notice that the actual product looks very different from the product on the box??? The one on the box is more attractive I think.

(look at the picture with the box and the pod side by side). They look completely different.
I noticed that as well. On the box the Pod is completly closed in over the keypad, and the antenna is much more shiny almost like a gloss finish on it. The opening for the keypad seems to be more useful, but at the same time it doesn't look as nice. All in all the product looks much more polished and refined in the picture on the box than it does in real life.
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:08 PM   #12
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I picked a pod up tonight at BB. First I was hoping for something smaller, but for a portable, I'll let the size slide. Secondly, So far I have listned for 2 hrs straght with the brightest display setting and am only on the amber light for the battery. I'm picking up signal in my house better with this set up than with any of the home kits. Even though this is not a wearable, I'm still going to keep it becasue I like the idea when I'm riding in the another persons car for a long trip and I don't like the music that they are playing, I can just throw this on and be set.

Sorry for the crappy pic, all I had was the Treo.
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Old 10-16-2004, 02:10 PM   #13
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No 12 volt??
I can't believe they have no way to 12 volt charge the battery or at least have some kind of a car adapter for power?

If it had a 12volt charger/power supply it would be much more versatile!

I could see the Pod working very nicely on my motorcycle.... could be a nice self contained radio/antenna unit .....IF..... I could connect it to the bikes power supply so I could use it all day???
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Old 10-16-2004, 02:33 PM   #14
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Beatnikmike: for that I would just get a car kit that is much smaller and about $80 cheaper.
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Old 10-16-2004, 06:23 PM   #15
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Very cool! Thanks for the excellent reviews.

I'll probably get one as well. This would be perfect for the boat or when riding with a friend who doesn't have SIRIUS.

Jeff
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