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Old 11-17-2006, 05:37 PM   #1
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Default Another personal review of the Stratus

My old Audiovox PNP2 was dying, so I needed a new radio.

I haul my radio between 3 vehicles and the house. Mounting in the vehicles is always challenge, so I decided to get one of the new tiny super compact models.. I based my choice on the physical dimensions of the radios and the Stratus was the smallest unit made with a decent display. (The Sirius One is the most compact, but it only has a one line display).

So I picked up a Stratus. I knew it was a plain-jane model without many fancy features. I was just interested in the size.

There are some features missing that people might take for granted.

It only has 10 presets........ (10 station buttons and no channel banks). This isn't much of a deal for me, but 30 would have been nicer.

There is no remote......... Again, no big deal. I never used the remote with my old PNP2.. There is an optional remote for people who can't do without one.

There is no Song or Artist seek...... The missing song seek bothered me. I thought all Sirius radios had song seek. I did find this handy on my old Audiovox. (I can do without artist seek. I don't miss that).

No Rewind............ I knew that. Not a big deal for me.

The display....... Is a bit small. It's only 3 lines instead of the usual 4. It displays the normal number of letters across and it scrolls just like the other units, but I kind of miss the bottom line with the time and catagory. Oh yes.. there is no auto-dim. You have to do it manually.

The last bug is that they provide a "quick jump" button, but it can ONLY be programed to jump to traffic/weather stations. It would have been nice to be able to program it to ANY station. (More like an 11th preset button).

Of course the range of the built in transmitter is awful too.. But this is NO different than any of the new FCC compliant units. I use the direct FM connect. (aka modulator relay). It gives me static free, and clear sound.

Despite my complaints, it's not a bad unit. They aren't really complaints.. Just observations I don't plan to send it back.

If I had to do it all again, I would have kicked in an extra 30-40 bucks and got a Starmate 3. It has most of the missing features and almost the same dimensions.. It's just as high and deep. but it's almost a half inch wider.

If you are on a budget and are after the tiny size, you might consider the Sirius InV . It's 10 bucks cheaper than the Stratus (Almost 50 bucks cheaper than the Starmate 3) and all it seems to be missing is a provision for a remote.....

If you want to compare the stratus and Starmate 3;

Here are the Details on the Stratus

Here are the Details on the Starmate 3
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Old 11-18-2006, 04:42 AM   #2
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Jwt873, nice review.....everything I agree with. Did you know there is a "mode" option in the settings that will allow you to display either the time, channel, or catagory name on the top line? I find myself looking for the clock while driving so usually that is my choice for display but it would be good if they had another line of display. I also looked at the InV recently and it also seems a good inexpensive option.
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Old 11-18-2006, 09:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siriusurfer
Jwt873, nice review.....everything I agree with. Did you know there is a "mode" option in the settings that will allow you to display either the time, channel, or catagory name on the top line? I find myself looking for the clock while driving so usually that is my choice for display but it would be good if they had another line of display. I also looked at the InV recently and it also seems a good inexpensive option.
Thanks.. Yes I've seen the mode dispay, to show the clock, but I've never used it. My car has a clock on the dash that I always look at..

One more thing I 'figured out' since I got it was setting the brightness.... If you adjust it to 2 or 3 bars, it's easy to read during the day and it isn't too bright at night. With this setting there is no need to manually dim / brighten the display
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Old 11-23-2006, 01:23 PM   #4
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These radios are still far cheaper and better then what they were four years ago when I bought my first Satellite Radio.

This is a great unit for someone that is just starting out into satellite radio, or who doesn't want to spend the money for the radio's with all the features...
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Old 11-23-2006, 01:29 PM   #5
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That's for sure.. My old PNP2 was three years old and by comparison it was a huge boat anchor ... As I say, what I liked most was the size. A teeny radio is SO much easier to mount.
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