XM Reception - Saturn Outlook Online Community
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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XM Reception

I've noticed that the XM signal seems to be lost quite frequently. In some cases, like a wooded campground with lots of overhanging trees and with 4 bikes on the roof rack I understand, but sometimes there's only trees along the road side with plenty of clear sky overhead or simply a heavy rain. Is this normal?

I've not had XM before and, frankly, I'm not inclined to pay for it after the trial period. Seems that a premium service should be more reliable and having it cut out this often isn't helping to make me want to sign up.




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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 03:11 PM
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Re: XM Reception

The sat is in the lower southern horizon. Trees, buildings, overhangs, on the south side of the vehicle could block the signal. There is about a 5 second delay in the signal to allow going under bridges and not loose the signal. So when the signal is lost, look behind you and see what you went by.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: XM Reception

That would explain why I tended to loose it when driving south with the roof rack full of bikes.

I've lost it going under bridges before. Seems to happen quite a lot, is that others' experience too?




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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 10:10 PM
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Re: XM Reception

The only time I have lost the signal was in the garage and that was intermittent at best.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 12:39 AM
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Re: XM Reception

The odd drop in signal isn't unexpected. I've managed to get into an underground parking garage (with my antenna removed b/c of height restrictions) and drove down to the second level (after obtaining a ticket and waiting for the arm to move up and out of the way) before the signal finally dropped. Again, antenna was not on either!

I find the sound quality lacking on XM compared to FM radio. The compression is particularly noticeable with when you hear the radio host speaking. They really should figure this out and drop some channels to free up bandwidth (or use a better codec).

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 12:44 AM
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Re: XM Reception

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTallV
I find the sound quality lacking on XM compared to FM radio. The compression is particularly noticeable with when you hear the radio host speaking. They really should figure this out and drop some channels to free up bandwidth (or use a better codec).
I agree; some of those channels I never listen to.................XM 4 does anyone really listen to the 40's?

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: XM Reception

Well, an 'odd drop in signal' would be fine, but it happened probably at least once every time I got in the car over the last week on our trip to central IL. Several dozen times over the 5 days we were gone.

Again, not really a big deal as I'm not likely to pay for XM after the trial period, but if there's something wrong with the radio or antenna, I was thinking I'd get it fixed while under warranty. Likely would be hard to diagnose if there is an issue, probably not worth the trouble.




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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 12:42 PM
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Re: XM Reception

I have noticed that XM tends to make the traffic/weather people sound like robots a bit...
Same thing on Sirius- sounds normal.

Also- if XM is like Sirius---

sirius does this in major cities...
they have 'repeaters'- transmitting the signal--- that way if you lose the signal from overhead- you can capture the signal from the repeaters.
This to overcome problems with bldg interference and you dont hear a break in the signal.
In areas where they dont offer the in city signals- youll notice the break in the signal.
If I recall correctly- my portable sirius unit- has a feature where I select it- and it shows the signal strength of the satellite and the city signal--
it shows bars for both.

I know the XM satellites travel differently in the sky than the Sirius satellites do...
So I dont know how far south- the signal would reach---
But when Ive drive to Guadalajara Mexico- I can listen to my Sirius unit- way down there---
though in the city--- on narrow trees--- lines by small 1 story homes--- these block the satellite signal- meaning that the satellite is actually about lets says 25 degrees above the horizon--- instead of the 90 degrees (overhead) like in the US...

below is a map- showing Los Angeles where I live-- and the path (in red) of the route I take to go to Guadalajara.
As you can see its halfway down into Mexico- Its interesting how I can tune into the traffic conditions of LA- while way out there.



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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 05:15 PM
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Re: XM Reception

Quote:
Originally Posted by AA/78U
I agree; some of those channels I never listen to.................XM 4 does anyone really listen to the 40's?
Technically we did, though it was only for a minute to let my kids gain an understanding of the music/sound for the given era. It's certainly not mainstream anymore though, so not necessarily everyone's cup of tea. My in-laws listened to it for a blast while they were in my truck too, but again - that doesn't often happen.

@ SALGUOD: Try tightening the antenna (if possible). You only need to have it on hand-tight. Maybe the antenna is broken internally? Did you ever drive into underground parking or a parkade, perhaps go through a car-wash with it on and have the antenna possibly bent/damaged. It could also be the area you're in, but you'd know those obstructions that could otherwise cause signal interference. Like passing under a bridge when travelling northbound. Large buildings in a downtown area, etc. Southern exposure required. I suspect you've got an antenna issue maybe. But if you're out in the 'burbs with not much blocking, you should have signal pretty much fulltime.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 05:19 PM
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Re: XM Reception

XM is great except with a car load of kids on the way to vaca and you hear the same songs over & over I like hair nation XM41 and XM7 & 8, but I'm the only one




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