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Old 09-02-2018, 12:16 AM   #1
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Satellite radio

Hello,

We are wondering if somebody has any tips or recommendations for a portable satellite radio. We didnít get our trailer wired for a radio system (maybe we should have ). We donít need anything fancy just something that has a decent receiver.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-02-2018, 01:54 AM   #2
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I'm getting closer to dumping my Sirius / XM subscription. The last time I talked to them they offered me six months for $17.50 and a free dock for my old Stilletto radio ( or something like that ). And, for all that, I'm thinking it's not worth it. Normal price is about $17 a month.

I have the Sirius Stilletto radio and an Executive dock, a dock for the car and the dock they sent me.

I have an iPod Classic that I don't use and an iPhone that takes the place of the iPod. The iPhone has Bluetooth and the iPod doesn't.

I pretty much listen to CBC Radio One and my iTunes library. I can download podcasts from CBC, NPR and the like to my Mac or the phone and listen on earbuds or my JBL Bluetooth speaker ( UE Roll 2 is rated the best, BTW, not my JBL ).
I have the radio in the Executive dock sitting next to me here at home. Haven't listened to it for a month or more. I have AM/FM radio, I have my little personal Sangean DT 120 in my pocket, I have dozens of radio streams on my cable ( and hundreds of TV channels ).

Alexa is in the kitchen with access to streaming Spotify music.

I don't see a future for satellite radio. There are too many other options.

I'd just get a smart phone with Bluetooth and Ultimate Ears Roll 2 Bluetooth speaker. Download what you like at home and listen on the road.


Here is source for radios and accessories:
http://www.tss-radio.com/
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Sirius dock.jpg (86.4 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Sirius Stiletto.jpg (155.6 KB, 16 views)
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:09 AM   #3
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Hi: gbaglo... I eye aye !!! Alf
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:16 AM   #4
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A few months ago Mr Bennett commented about the limited playlists on some Sirius channels. I listen to about three of four channels consistently and I must agree, I can often predict the next song and this gets a little annoying. But for the cost I guess I can put up with it. Now cable TV, nope, gone. We have a very good jazz station here associated with a community college. They are a good community citizen, have no commercials, good mature, decent program hosts and a great mix of old and new music. What’s not to like?
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:39 AM   #5
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Hi: Iowa Dave... Jazz to me sounds like the ensemble got the sheet music all mixed up!!!
Now "Bluegrass"... there's real muzak!!! Alf
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilkuma View Post
Hello,

We are wondering if somebody has any tips or recommendations for a portable satellite radio. We didn’t get our trailer wired for a radio system (maybe we should have ). We don’t need anything fancy just something that has a decent receiver.
Thanks in advance.
I think it depends on what your tastes are and where you are going. If you are just interested in music and downloaded pod casts, Baglo's suggestions are valid. If you are travelling into lots of areas where there is little local radio coverage (or cell phone /wifi signal) and you like to keep in touch with what's going on, Sirius is a way to go. We picked up very inexpensively through Sirius XM a starter kit which had a Sirius Car aerial, a receiver, a power cable to plug into an 12V receptacle and 3.5mm output to plug into the car sound system, or any other external speaker as we had a Bose speaker. So we ran the satellite radio in the car as well as bringing it into the trailer to run through our speaker. We later picked up en extra satellite aeriel as well as a power adapter to run it through the trailer USB slot so the only thing that has to move is receiver itself and can be easily unplugged. We got an ONYX EZ and it worked pretty well, although there is the odd blind spot due to geographic features. For instance, I see you are from Delta, BC and driving east down Highway 1 between Chilliwack and Hope, there are a few dead spots as you are right besides some taller mountains and the signal is obscured. However, driving down the Great Basin Highway in the Nevada Desert, the reception in crystal clear. By the way, the Great Basin Highway is a wonderful highway if you have not driven it, although its pretty remote and make sure you gas up wisely.

I'd have to say that its not 100% ideal, but we do like to keep in touch with global and local happenings, and particularly like US Public Radio,. We also can't always be bothered to go through the process of downloading lots of music onto our iPhones etc, so have found Sirius good in that respect, although there is some duplication of playlists on different channels, but you can always look around and see what else is there, and maybe we might even get to learn to like country music too. Also if you don't have any music in your trailer, you can purchase a decent speaker, and these days you can get them so that they recharge through a USB rather than needing 120V which is what our speaker needs, although we have a small portable inverter which means we can charge from either our trailer 12V or the TV 12V outlet.

Managing the subscription to a reasonable cost is a valid issue. However, as we will be without our trailer for six months until we get our new 21 in December, we allowed our subscription to lapse. We have been inundated with cheap offers from Sirius to go back. In our new trailer, I will retrofit a music system and just arranged to get ETI to pre-wire the speaker wires and provide a power supply to an appropriate spot in the trailer.

So, is it ideal, no, but its all about balancing personal choices with what's available and it works for us.
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:58 AM   #7
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I listen to very little radio , virtually no TV and don’t watch movies while I am camped. I am up pretty early, go well into in the evening and usually only go in the camper to sleep. I prefer to eat outside also unless it’s real windy and or raining and I have to put the awning down. Camping is for being outside, good conversation and experiencing the sights and sounds around us. For me anyway.
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:09 AM   #8
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I listen to very little radio , virtually no TV and don’t watch movies while I am camped. I am up pretty early, go well into in the evening and usually only go in the camper to sleep. I prefer to eat outside also unless it’s real windy and or raining and I have to put the awning down. Camping is for being outside, good conversation and experiencing the sights and sounds around us. For me anyway.
Iowa Dave
Although Dave makes a good point, we find that when we drive south during the winter months, especially in the desert, it gets dark early, can be quite chilly in the evenings and at night and first thing in the morning. So although being outside is desirable its not always practical, unless you enjoy having your extremities frozen off. And we don't.
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:17 AM   #9
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I listen to NPR radio most of the time, and sometimes find myself out or range of FM stations & the internet. That is the time XM Radio is useful. I have a subscription for my truck & a receiver that plugs into my trailer radio.

I negotiate 6 month subscriptions for both, the last one a total of $76.05 total for the two radios. While I don't use the trailer one all that much, I do use the truck radio since cell coverage is often poor on secondary roads away from cities, as is public radio stations. At a little over $10.00 per month, it is worth it for me...
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:22 AM   #10
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Is it necessary to have an external antenna in the trailer for the satellite radio or will it work acceptably with an antenna in an upper cabinet or on a window? We just got Sirius for the first time in our new truck and expect to really like it on long trips, and it would be handy to have a receiver in the trailer as well but not sure about the logistics of that.
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:54 AM   #11
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I really like my sat radio. I got the lifetime sub. when they first started, 350.00 but have to pay 4.00 month taxes. I use a old skyfi3 receiver and sa10221 boom box, still avalable on e-bay. The receiver docks in my garage, vehicles and home. I've even packed the boom box on a mule to hunting camp. It also plugs into 12 volt inside and outside on trailer. I use a power station when camping.I keep waiting for them to find a way to weasel out of the contract. No problem getting signal except when in some hole.
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:26 AM   #12
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ser/x-m radios

You would have to ask how it worked for more than 3 years as I did it twice and sold the trailers after 3 years. I probably refilled the propane at least a few times each trailer. I installed the sirius antenna on the roof above an o'head cabinet, drilled a hole into the cabinet and used JB weld to attach the little round antenna and to seal the hole. Inside the cabinet I tapped into 12V light wires and we wired the speaker and power to the receiver. It worked well for us, but now we have all of our old music and some new downloads on an old I-pad, 100;s of songs and that is enough.
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:45 AM   #13
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I like my oldies from the 50ís and 60ís, but since I have driven the truck so little this last year, I dropped it. But if you want it, they will always negotiate the price. Loren
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:12 PM   #14
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As always, read the instruction manual for positioning the antenna. Where you point it depends where you are in North America ( ie. relative to the satellites ).
I don't have Reflectix in my trailer so reception is just fine with the antenna inside, but I have run the wire out a window to position the antenna better.
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Old 09-02-2018, 01:17 PM   #15
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We got a years free Sirius radio with our new truck
Never used it . Never renewed it
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:06 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
Is it necessary to have an external antenna in the trailer for the satellite radio or will it work acceptably with an antenna in an upper cabinet or on a window? We just got Sirius for the first time in our new truck and expect to really like it on long trips, and it would be handy to have a receiver in the trailer as well but not sure about the logistics of that.
Yes it is necessary to use an antenna to pick up the satellite signal, but they do work inside the trailer, although it can be a little tricky to position the antenna to get the best reception.
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:24 PM   #17
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Yes it is necessary to use an antenna to pick up the satellite signal, but they do work inside the trailer, although it can be a little tricky to position the antenna to get the best reception.
Thanks - we will likely wait until we've used the trailer a bit before deciding whether to add a satellite radio unit. We are having the ETI radio package installed, so a satellite radio could plug into the aux outlet and should be easy to add later. We will be making some long trips out west and just the constant access to NPR makes the satellite radio a winner for us.
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:02 PM   #18
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We will be making some long trips out west and just the constant access to NPR makes the satellite radio a winner for us.
That and the daily Grateful Dead concert.

Our little satellite receiver is ancient (10+ years?), so the only useful specs are it's portable and very small (fits in your hand); has about 5 preset buttons and a LCD display that tells what the station is, song/artist info, etc.; and does not do Bluetooth on its own. (We use it with an inexpensive Bluetooth transmitter in the trailer to pair it with our Bose speaker.) Our current tow vehicle came with a Sirius/XM subscription when it was new, and it was nice, but more recently we've just kept the single subscription on the portable and use it in both the tow vehicle and the trailer. The antenna plugs into the trailer's cable connections (indoors and outside).
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:55 PM   #19
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I use Sirius in the TV all the time. This trip 99% of the time in the TV I am listening to NFL radio channel 88. To NFL fans, this in an interesting time as teams are all trading, cutting and adding players.

I also listen to the financial news during the day, again while driving.

I was surprised/disappointed that Sirius only worked at best 5% of the time when we were in Alaska. And by 5% I mean you would hear the question on the talk radio show but the radio would go out in three or four minutes so you wouldnít hear the answer. It wasnít about how far north we were either, as soon as we crossed the border into Yukon, it started working again,
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Old 09-03-2018, 02:18 AM   #20
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I was surprised/disappointed that Sirius only worked at best 5% of the time when we were in Alaska. And by 5% I mean you would hear the question on the talk radio show but the radio would go out in three or four minutes so you wouldnít hear the answer. It wasnít about how far north we were either, as soon as we crossed the border into Yukon, it started working again,
Sirius and XM are now the same company, but still separate services running (usually) from separate satellites. Satellites XM-3 and Sirius FM-5 are a little too far east to work for Alaska; they could only possibly cover the east half of the state, and even there the angle could easily be problematic if there are mountains (or even tall hills) to your southeast. There should be better service from XM-4 and Sirius FM-6, which are south-southeast and could possibly cover all of Alaska; however, these are still geosynchronous satellites so northern coverage is problematic. The original Sirius system (with the satellites in Tundra orbits) worked much better in the North than XM (which always had geostationary satellites "parked" over the equator), but they changed the Sirius system to geostationary years ago.

From up that far north, the direction to geostationary satellites is frustratingly close to the horizon; for instance, from Anchorage the western Sirius and XM satellites (FM-6 and XM-4) are only about 15 degrees above the horizon (at 143į). It helps to be closer to the longitude of the satellite: from Whitehorse the same satellites are about 19 degrees above the horizon (at 158į).

Roof-mounted mobile antennas for satellite systems (including GPS and satellite radio) which are not aimed specifically at the satellite are normally designed to look upward. Up North, they would work better if they looked toward the horizon (all the way around), like a cell phone, regular radio, or TV antenna; there were antennas for the MSAT system which did that, but I can't find an XM or Sirius antenna of that type. In a stationary application you can just aim the antenna appropriately, but for a fixed antenna on a moving vehicle that's not possible.

I wonder if the receiver was trying to switch to the satellite which was out of sight, or if reception even to the correct satellite was just too marginal? If crossing the border really meant crossing mountains, line of sight being blocked by mountains may have been the big issue.

The end result is that I wouldn't expect Sirius or XM to work acceptably for mobile applications up North (i.e. much north of here in Edmonton), and especially not as far west as Alaska.
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