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Old 12-21-2003, 05:21 AM   #1
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Not sure how many of you are running satellite radio, but here is my experience.

About 3 months ago, I decided to look into satellite radio to help pass the 2 hour commute I have to and from work each day. I went with XM because I liked the Delphi Skyfi receiver that can be moved to different vehicles. I purchased the Skyfi & car kit from Best Buy for $200. I installed this in my 2000 F350 which had the stock cd/cassette/radio in it. The car kit comes with the Car cradle, Small magnetic roof mount antenna, Audio cassette adapter, Cigarette lighter power adapter, Universal swivel mounting bracket. With this setup, it is a very easy install with hiding the roof antenna wire the most difficult depending on how picky you are about it. (I am freak) Monthly subscription fee for XM is 9.99 per month I believe.

So on the first morning with the XM I was not impressed. The sound quality was terrible which made listening to music channels not as pleasing. There are over 100 channels so lots to choose from which also made it confusing. I was ready to box it up and take it back, but decided to upgrade my vehicles sound system first. (It needed it anyway) So first I added new speakers to see what that did. Well that made it worse, the tuner just did not do the upgraded speakers any justice. I ran it this way for a while I figured out what kind of tuner I would get. XM grew on me during this time, they have great comedy channels, CNN, Fox news, Blomberg, Discovery and ton's of music which still sounded pretty poor. So I decide to update the tuner to a pioneer XM ready unit (which did not have a cassette player), thinking I could plug my Skyfi into the accessories port in the back of that tuner. Wrong! That did not work I spent a few hours after work installing the new tuner only to find this was not going to work, so I ran to work without XM the following day. I found I really liked XM now so I yanked the new tuner and put the old stuff back in. I did some research on the net and found out I needed to get a FM module to get the Skyfi to work with a tuner without a cassette player. At this point I decided to install a car cradle in the motorhome so I bought a car kit for that which also would require a FM module and thinking ahead this time, I also bought a Terk XM trucker antenna know the small antenna for cars was not going to work for my application. So yesterday was install day, I started on the F350, and the most difficult part is running wires from the FM module to a power source, Skyfi unit and tuner. The FM module eliminates the cigarette lighter power source and utilizes the FM antenna input to deliver the signal. I really like this setup, because all of the wires are now behind the dash and makes for a clean install. All I can say is WoW! what a difference in sound quality. Alot of this comes from the upgraded tuner, but the FM input really makes a difference. I will say it still is not CD quality, but it is pretty good. If you really have to have CD quality, you need to purchase a XM receiver which then plugs into that accessory port on a XM radio (this will only work with a XM ready radio) The problem with this is it cannot be moved from vehicle to vehicle, so you would need to purchase additional subscriptions. The install in my Freightliner cab was a little more difficult. I have so much crap in there already, so finding a place for the cradle was my first issue and then the FM module was even worse. Both are set low and out of the way, which makes seeing the Skyfi screen tough, but with the remote comes with the unit (which my wife can operate that), my presets all setup, I can move to my favorite channels and keep it from being a additional distraction.

I usually listen to the CB while we are running in the Show Hauler, but this weeks 16 hour trip to Florida will be a little nicer with XM as a break from the CB chatter.

I will take a couple of pic's today and post them tonight of my FL setup.

BTW here is a great place to get everything XM -->http://www.xm-radio-satellite.com

Bill

2003 28' Show Hauler Motorhome on a 1995 FL 120 www.showhauler.com
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Old 12-21-2003, 11:27 AM   #2
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Warpath [BILL] what part of Fla. are you going to....I'll be on Sanibel Thursday on...I have to split the trip into two days....More than 10 hours behind the wheel and I have to get help getting out of the car!....[Wishing I had bought a Motorhome last year as planned-but looking forward to buying/building a big one this year]...geof
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Old 12-21-2003, 12:18 PM   #3
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Hi Bill -- --

I've had XM for a year now -- LOVE It !!

Here is a link to a picture of my setup:

http://community.webshots.com/script...643&key=EYLIES

I tried it like you -- Using the cassette adapter -- To much motor noise from the cassette for me -- Although it worked. Bought the FM Modulator and like you -- Hid everything in the dash -- Makes for a clean installation -- And much better sound indeed !!

I went with the 5 year plan ....... :^)

Love "Wax My Woodie" on channel 30 ...... Wednesdays and Saturdays !! !!

Tootles ......

Dave
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Old 12-21-2003, 03:11 PM   #4
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Geof -

We will be in Orlando for a few days and then over to Englewood for the balance of the week.

Dave -

And I was concerned about cluttering up my dash with another distraction, dude you got it all going on! Don't tell me that your XM works with your antenna mounted on the dash either! Do you lose signal often?

Anyway here his the antenna I went with.



I put my carrier down low, it is next to the cup holder.



And here is the FM module, in a good out of the way place. You actually cannot even see it unless I where to point it out.



2003 28' Show Hauler Motorhome on a 1995 FL 120 www.showhauler.com
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Old 12-23-2003, 05:56 PM   #5
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Great pictures Bill !!

I change channels frequently -- So I have to see the display ...... also I'm OLD and don't see so well -- So on the dash works for me.

Your antenna is the same one Chuck used on his Volvo -- Until it came in contact with a tree -- Antenna held up fine -- Broke the mirror though ..... Haven't heard what that cost him yet ....... :^(

Hey -- I've got plenty of dash space still available ......... Been thinking of the Pittsburg Power Box !!

Being I'm in the Northwest -- The trees do pose some problems with drop outs. I took a trip to Parker, Az this Fall -- No problem heading South .. Only dropouts were heading North when I got close to home here on the Oregon Coast.

Happy Holidays !!

Tootles....... Dave
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Old 12-24-2003, 09:57 AM   #6
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This all reminds me - I have a brand new in the box Sirius setup with the FM Modulater etc. if anyone is interested in it. I was going with it in my Jeep but the XM deal for a second receiver on the same account for cheaper swaayed me over (I have XM in the Showhauler built in to the head unit).


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Old 12-24-2003, 05:44 PM   #7
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MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY,,,,, phoneman i don't believe i've seen a post. anyhow good to see you-- your opotos of the inside of your coach were a wonder--really, how fabulous. all you folks have a most wonderful CHRISTMAS. mase
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Old 12-25-2003, 09:57 AM   #8
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The reason I don't post much anymore is -- My Hauler is now complete and I've posted most of the build pictures on my picture site. If you've not viewed but just the link I provided above -- Revisit the above link and you'll see another 59 albums on the left column. Many are of the build and some are of the few trips I've taken so far.

I'm now concentrating on finishing up on the 5th wheel -- Hopefully by Summers end. Then -- Just a few more months .......... And Retirement !!

Tootles ........

Happy New Year !! !!

OLDphoneman
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Old 04-29-2004, 08:56 PM   #9
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I just finished the install of XM in my old Chevy work truck and am looking forward to having it in the MH. After reviewing the posts I am not familiar with the antenna and mounting hardware some have used, and does the antenna have a 1 or 2 output that goes to the XM? Any leads would be greatly appreciated. The XM really helps pass the time while driving.
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Old 04-30-2004, 07:57 AM   #10
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The trucker antenna I believe only come in a dual wire config. The others you can get either one. You can also get the Delphi holders with either config.
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