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SIRIUS S50 You asked for it, now you got it! A forum all about the SIRIUS S50.

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Old 12-27-2006, 01:59 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 27, 2006
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Beaverboy is on a distinguished road
Unhappy Constant, un-prompted Channel Updates

New S50 w/ auto dock. Purchased out-of-town on Saturday 12/23 and installed that evening. Early present for my lady. Just got home for first time since then and set to work with updates.
..but.. let me start at the beginning.

Everything went as planned regarding the install. Activation went smoothly and I was off. Firmware was already at 1.4.1, and the icons and voices were the boring previous iterations. The auto dock had the FM transmit plug (thanks for the tip there.. these forums are great ). Shortly after the activation, there was an automatic channel update and then it worked fine... for about 5 minutes.

From that point on, there have been more channel updates and more channel updates, and guess what else.. more channel updates. They happen fairly frequently and seem to occur more and more frequently as we listen. For instance, after starting it up cold in the morning, it seems to work fine for 10 or so minutes. After a few hours of tolerating it, it will not make it through a 3 minute song.

Called tech support today while on the road:

1st call, the tech wanted us to check for the plastic strip guarding the battery contacts (which I, of course, had removed per the install directions) and leave the battery out for 15 seconds to reset the unit. Tech insisted on hanging up and us calling back if we had any problems. 30 seconds after he hung up, the updates began again.

2nd call, the tech wanted us to remove the battery altogether and try again. He told us just not to leave the battery installed when using it in the docking station.. as though that were the end-all-be-all solution. Same thing with wanting to hang up.. This time it seemed to be working for about 7 minutes... then the same old.

3rd call (the S50 performed 4 channel updates in the 10 minutes we were on hold), the tech suggested we update the firmware once we were home. We talked to her supervisor and told him just how helpful she was, especially in contrast to the previous two.

With the assurance that it was A) not normal, and that B) there was hope of a firmware cure, we continued on home.

After installing the MSS on the disk and then downloading the newest MSS to install on top of it, I read the 3 finger salute PDF and set to work. After a slight hangup with the MSS's automatic update, I managed to manually update (refresh?) the firmware.

Now, I'm in the same channel update hell, but with better icons and snazzier voices (and a much more powerful FM transmitter). I've tried manually initiating a channel update, but it doesn't seem to have any effect as one of the automatic ones will start up within 1 minute of mine ending.

Cliff Notes: I don't get any error messages. I get channel updates that initiate on their own, and constantly. The frequency of the updates appears as though it may be heat related. Tech support had me restart with a battery removal, run without the battery at all and then suggested firmware updates.... which I've now done (from a format). Same thing.

So, should I try to perform another complete update again with a Windows format Should I just call tech support and see if they'll guide me through one of the fabled additional finger salute methods or get this on the path to the repair shop

I'm guessing that the problem is hardware related, since it's existed before and after a firmware revamping and it acts as though it's heat related. After a bunch of searches here, I can't see this problem being documented previously, but if anyone can prove me wrong.. please be my guest!

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Old 12-27-2006, 06:42 AM   #2
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Constant, un-prompted Channel Updates
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Could sirius have a problem and be resending you the activation signal over and over?
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Old 12-27-2006, 10:15 AM   #3
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Welcome to the world of the Sirius S50, Beav.

Over the past year, many of us have been absolutely amazed at the number and types of defects that can manifest themselves at will in these little devices. But, if you've been reading this forum regularly, that shouldn't be a surprise to you at all.

Now many - like me, no longer able to get replacement S50's for our broken ones - are now pinning our hopes on the Stiletto.

Good luck (you'll need it).
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Old 12-31-2006, 02:37 PM   #4
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After some more testing on my part, I determined that it was certainly a heat related problem. Starting off in a cold car in the morning, it would work perfectly for 20 minutes or so. Once warmed up, it would begin the channel updates. If I turned on the A/C to cool the unit, it would last for extended periods of time between updates. Seems like a burst capacitor within the unit.. but nothing I was going to fix with updates.

I exchanged it at Best Buy a few days ago, and went ahead and got the 4 year warranty for $20. I gave it the 3 finger salute gamut and got the ESN (SID) switched over after a brief call to Sirius (that's 2 out of 4 for their phone support so far) and have been up and running wonderfully since.

Even if the world of the S50 turns things upside-down again, I'll still know I've gotten one hell of a deal on a great satellite radio... or at least, a great concept for a satellite radio.
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