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Old 12-13-2006, 03:36 AM   #1
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I use my Sportster 4 more than most people I'm sure as it's probably on an average of maybe seven hours a day but its life came to a screeching hault a couple of nights ago, seems a little bit premature. I picked it up on 08/21 and it only worked until the night of 12/11, the unit would not boot up as it just displayed the SIRIUS splash screen I think its called. I went back to Best Buy on 12/12 and Geek Squad started telling me about how they ship it out and that I may be without a radio for a month or even months and luckily I had already selected a Sportster 4 from the shelf and had it in my hand and said that I really wanted to swap it on site right now because that's what I was told by the salesperson and that's why I bought the four-year service plan. Bottom line, they bought it and I left the store a very happy customer.

came early this year!
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:26 PM   #2
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you got a new sportser in august and it's dead already? sounds like my experience with the starmate replay 3. what's up with their quote plug-n-play units?
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Old 12-14-2006, 02:44 AM   #3
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I'm starting to wonder if there's validity to the story that a member stated on this site about Plug & Play units. They said that the unit should be shut off before removing it from the car or home dock because of circuit issues, at first I blew it off but maybe that could explain why it only lasted that long. It didn't even last long enough to replace the remote control battery, that's real sad.
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Old 12-17-2006, 03:13 PM   #4
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I have a similar problem with a new Stratus.
If you try to program the "Jump" button before your account is activated the receiver goes into a "weird" state.
Then, whenever you press the "Jump" button for traffic the unit doesn't jump... and all the buttons stop responding except the power button. It seems to happen on the multi-city channels like "DC-BAL".
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:05 PM   #5
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Mine just died today as well. I also don't turn it off before unplugging.. I thought it seemed like a feature that it would automatically turn on the next time it was used. Mine lasted about a month. How is TSS for returning?
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:14 AM   #6
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out of curiosity, why would one not turn off the unit before removing it from the dock? I've had my sportster 4 now for about 4 months, always removing it from my truck at night (don't want it to freeze overnight in the truck), but I turn my unit off all the time before I remove it and so far I've had no problems ( as I gently knock on some wood closeby). It only takes a few seconds to wait for the unit to power down, and if it saves the unit from a premature failure, its probably wise to do so.
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millertv
sounds like my experience with the starmate replay 3. what's up with their quote plug-n-play units?
millertv, we get it. You had three Starmate Replays fail. Do you really have a need to repeat it, over and over?

FYI, the Starmate Replay is not really a plug and play device, having two cables (power and antenna), minimum, that need to be plugged/unplugged every time the unit is installed and removed.

The Sportster 4 is a plug and play unit, using a cradle or dock, like the Sporter and Sportster Replay. The Sportster 4 dock is different; it's the new Universal Dock that allows the Sportster 4 to share accessories with other units, like the Starmate 4.

If your biggest problem with the Starmate Replay was the plugs and jacks, you might consider the Starmate 4.

EDIT: As I thought, there was a review of the Starmate Replay where several people expressed concern about plugging/unplugging and accelerated wear. Lesson to be learned: read reviews posted on SBS before plunking your hard earned on something that you'll end up breaking from inappropriate use.
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Ramius
millertv, we get it. You had three Starmate Replays fail. Do you really have a need to repeat it, over and over?

FYI, the Starmate Replay is not really a plug and play device, having two cables (power and antenna), minimum, that need to be plugged/unplugged every time the unit is installed and removed.

The Sportster 4 is a plug and play unit, using a cradle or dock, like the Sporter and Sportster Replay. The Sportster 4 dock is different; it's the new Universal Dock that allows the Sportster 4 to share accessories with other units, like the Starmate 4.

If your biggest problem with the Starmate Replay was the plugs and jacks, you might consider the Starmate 4.

EDIT: As I thought, there was a review of the Starmate Replay where several people expressed concern about plugging/unplugging and accelerated wear. Lesson to be learned: read reviews posted on SBS before plunking your hard earned on something that you'll end up breaking from inappropriate use.

ohh ok next time i get a christmas gift from someone i will say WAIT let me READ the reviews to make sure it's ok. get real bro!

and if it's not a plug n play radio...ummm madybe sirius should STOP selling it as such. crazy idea, i know....

inaprropriate use? are you kidding me? yes PLUGGING and UNLPUGGING a portable radio sounds really like abuse to me...
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Old 12-20-2006, 06:52 AM   #9
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I tend to agree with you.. had there beena fat sticker on the box saying to wait for it to shut off, I would have. In any other case, a dock implies I can plug and unplug as I desire. My iPod doesn't care, why should this? I don't know what makes these recievers so special that they can't survive unexpected power loss gracefully. Even my computers don't mind that.

In any event, TSS is sending me a new one free of charge, hopefully they are now including the warning sticker.
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millertv
ohh ok next time i get a christmas gift from someone i will say WAIT let me READ the reviews to make sure it's ok. get real bro!

and if it's not a plug n play radio...ummm madybe sirius should STOP selling it as such. crazy idea, i know....

inaprropriate use? are you kidding me? yes PLUGGING and UNLPUGGING a portable radio sounds really like abuse to me...
Sarcasm aside, good point. YOU wouldn't have read reviews before buying. You could hardly expect people who buy a gift for you to do so. Therefore, any gift is a potential write-off. Sad.

Another good (if sarcastic) point. The plug-and-play concept was a good one they diluted with inappropriate applications like this.

Faulty logic. Every connector, plug and jack, has a limited lifetime. By setting up a situation where a robust connection/disconnection is required frequently, but not using high duty-cycle and long life connectors to save a few cents per unit, the result is inevitable. The same applies to plug-and-play docks, except that low insertion force is required, so that cheaper long life connectors are available and, while failures still occur, they are less frequent.

YOUR use is appropriate with your concept of what the Starmate Replay should be, but inappropriate with the reality. Therefore, while not abuse, you will wear out Starmate Replays. I still recommend the Starmate 4.
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpyderCKE
I tend to agree with you.. had there beena fat sticker on the box saying to wait for it to shut off, I would have. In any other case, a dock implies I can plug and unplug as I desire. My iPod doesn't care, why should this? I don't know what makes these recievers so special that they can't survive unexpected power loss gracefully. Even my computers don't mind that.
It's a well known electronic concept, Spyder. At least in the trade, if not common knowledge. I agree that there should have been better instructions. I doubt that people who don't bother to read instructions (mea culpa) would be any more inclined to read a 'fat sticker', though.

Your iPod might not care. Or, you might be shortening it's lifetime, but you won't know until it fails. Do what you want, based on the amount of faith you have in the design engineers who built it.

You shut off your computer from the power strip?
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:07 AM   #12
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Capn Ramius:

There are how many million Sirius subscribers and then how many members of this Sirius backstage board (maybe several thousand, ten thousand, hundred thousand SBS members?), either way a pretty low percentage of the Sirius subscription base reads this SBS board or even knows that it exists. To say that some should read SBS before buying is nuts, most Sirius subscribers (let alone potential subscribers) don't even know that his board exists!

I bought a Starmate new last January...unplugged it with the utmost of care twice daily...once from home into the car in the morning, and then back out of the car at night into the home again. This is not what I would consider an unusual practice...or 'abuse' of the unit, but rather normal daily usage for an electronics product.

The Starmate box clearly says 'plug and play' in several places...as do the Starmate instructions. No place does it say in the instructions "unit not meant to be moved daily"...plug and play means just that...unplug and plug it at will (within reason, of course), and I would challenge that offering a separate home and car install kit would lead a consumer to believe that the unit can be moved back and forth.

Well, that unit that I bought in January was dead by October (9 months of daily use)...the power connection in the unit broke first...my bet would have been the antenna connection breaking first...the plug-ins on these units are not robust, plain and simple.

I bought a new Stratus...much closer to a true plug and play concept...no problems yet. The engineering is much more robust on the Stratus for docking and undocking, closer to a true plug and play, as advertised.

To say that people should 'check this board first' or that 'plug and play really isn't plug and play' on the old Starmates is simply a ridiculous of a piece of electronics equipment built to less than robust engineering standards...this is a $100 piece of electronic equipment...it should last more than 9 months with daily use and movement.
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Old 12-20-2006, 12:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by packerfan4
Capn Ramius:

There are how many million Sirius subscribers and then how many members of this Sirius backstage board (maybe several thousand, ten thousand, hundred thousand SBS members?), either way a pretty low percentage of the Sirius subscription base reads this SBS board or even knows that it exists. To say that some should read SBS before buying is nuts, most Sirius subscribers (let alone potential subscribers) don't even know that his board exists!

I bought a Starmate new last January...unplugged it with the utmost of care twice daily...once from home into the car in the morning, and then back out of the car at night into the home again. This is not what I would consider an unusual practice...or 'abuse' of the unit, but rather normal daily usage for an electronics product.

The Starmate box clearly says 'plug and play' in several places...as do the Starmate instructions. No place does it say in the instructions "unit not meant to be moved daily"...plug and play means just that...unplug and plug it at will (within reason, of course), and I would challenge that offering a separate home and car install kit would lead a consumer to believe that the unit can be moved back and forth.

Well, that unit that I bought in January was dead by October (9 months of daily use)...the power connection in the unit broke first...my bet would have been the antenna connection breaking first...the plug-ins on these units are not robust, plain and simple.

I bought a new Stratus...much closer to a true plug and play concept...no problems yet. The engineering is much more robust on the Stratus for docking and undocking, closer to a true plug and play, as advertised.

To say that people should 'check this board first' or that 'plug and play really isn't plug and play' on the old Starmates is simply a ridiculous of a piece of electronics equipment built to less than robust engineering standards...this is a $100 piece of electronic equipment...it should last more than 9 months with daily use and movement.
packerfan we've had the same experiences with the starmates and your points are RIGHT ON, every one of them . We used our units as they were sold - plug n play models with two separte "stations" (home/vehicle) to swap it into. Furthermore, listen guys, even not turning the radio off before you unplugged it would NOT casue the actual power supply to be physcially damamged and fall out like it did on both of my units. internal circuitry and a physical power supply falling out are two different issues amigos .

thanks for letting me know the stratus is engineered more solidly and can actually handle a plug n play. i will look into getting one. i honestly miss my sirius a ton and i want it back - just not willing to deal with any more faulty equip from them!
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by packerfan4
To say that people should 'check this board first' or that 'plug and play really isn't plug and play' on the old Starmates is simply a ridiculous of a piece of electronics equipment built to less than robust engineering standards...this is a $100 piece of electronic equipment...it should last more than 9 months with daily use and movement.
I didn't say that. I said he (millertv) could have and found something out. I stand by my definition of 'plug and play'. Too bad Sirius didn't check with me first!

$100 is a lot of money for a cheap, semi-disposable piece of portable electronics (ie an MP3 player) which will soon be obsoltete, anyway. For a mobile/portable device, it's dirt cheap.

They only realistic way it can be made that cheap, unless it's sold at a loss, is to use components that aren't mil-spec. IOW, short life, gentle use, gentle environment, instead of high reliability, long life, rough use and harsh environments. To expect equipment to be mil-spec, you'd be looking at paying up to ten times as much. It would use many of the same components, but all of them would be screened so that the probability of any component failing under the specified condidtions would be extremely low. There would also be some adjustments in the phsyical size and weight of the unit, almost certainly larger, to accomodate armor to improve ruggedness.

Sirius describes this unit as 'plug and play'. Obviously it isn't. If you have a problem with that, take it up with Sirius. Others and myself expressed concern very early on about the lifespan of the power and antenna connectors. I'm sorry, but we have no way to tell every potential customer what we think. The best we can do is suggest possible remedies, many of which, if they work, are still unsuitable for any number of reasons. We don't get paid for this. We don't enjoy hearing about your problems. We just want to help.

Having someone do nothing but complain about HIS problem, often, rudely, and all over the board, not wanting to hear any possible solution, then having him bash us for trying to be helpful... well it happens, as the saying goes.

Please understand, I am NOT defending Sirius, either it's products or services. I do understand your (and other's) frustration. But you have a choice of where to go from there: become a whiny troll, or find out what you can do. Maybe even use your experience, someday, to help others, as I have.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck, no matter what path you choose to take.
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
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...even not turning the radio off before you unplugged it would NOT casue the actual power supply to be physcially damamged and fall out like it did on both of my units.
millertv, nobody said it would.

The topic of this thread was a failed Sportster 4. It does not fail the way your Starmate Replay fails. YOU were the one to bring YOUR Starmate Replay problem into the thread. YOU were the only one to suggest that turning off the radio (actually, I would go farther and suggest powering it down completely) could have prevented your Starmate Replay problem.

Thank you for trolling here today. Have a nice day.
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