dslreports logo
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery


how-to block ads

Search Topic:
share rss forum feed

Sun N Sand

[Reception] Sirius Reception Question

I just bought a new vehicle and am enjoying the 6 month Sirius trial. I have never had Sat Radio in my car before, and I experience a lot of drop-outs. I recently counted 10 during a 20 minute drive. About half were after going under overpasses, but this was doing ~75 mph so I wouldn't think that a quick 1 second blockage would affect reception so much. Other drop-outs were driving along major streets here in SoCal. Seldom are there any buildings over 2 stories high throughout this area so I tend to rule out signal blockage.
Please tell me if you experience the same or if your opinion is that there is an issue with the antenna/receiver in this auto.
I thank you in advance, -Waldo

Formerly known as schja01.
Morton Grove, IL
Overpasses haven't posed a problem for me.
When I am away from my normal large metropolitan area it seems more sensitive to dropouts when the view to the south is blocked for longer periods of time. Hills and sturdy buildings can both block the signal and both cause me issues when I am in more rural areas.
When I am in the city even parking garages seem to work fine and outages are almost nonexistant.

Sun N Sand
Thank you JimThePCGuy See Profile !
Looks like I need to whine and snivel to the dealer.

Nags Head, NC

2 edits
reply to Waldothe3rd
Let's take online satellite radio out of the equation. In a vehicle, there are two ways to get satellite radio: directly from the satellite (which requires direct line-of-sight between your antenna and the satellite--clouds usually don't break it up, but tunnels and indoor or underground parking garages often do, and underpasses, tall buildings, and even dense trees can also cause the signal to drop out as you pass by because they break up the line-of-sight connection). Satellite radio signals are much weaker than AM/FM radio, so they're much more susceptible to dropout problems as line-of-sight is broken.

Big cities and some midsize cities and suburban areas of big cities also have terrestrial repeaters, the second way you can receive satellite radio in your car. Repeaters have an antenna with line-of-sight to the satellites and a transmitter to rebroadcast the signal. If you are within range of a terrestrial repeater, and the range is limited, you will still receive uninterrupted satellite radio as you go through underpasses, by tall buildings and trees, and maybe even in tunnels and garages because the local signal is strong enough so you are not dependent on line-of-sight reception. Car radios can get both simultaneously or either one. But most areas of the US do not have terrestrial repeaters. Terrestrial repeaters are an optional/where is/as is part of satellite radio service. They are specifically not guaranteed in your user agreement.

The other factor that can mitigate signal loss is if your satellite receiver has a buffer. It may buffer 10 or 20 seconds of material to tide you over from brief interruptions such as underpasses. But not everybody has that, either. These factors can explain why Jim can get the signal under a bridge and OP cannot. You can try sniveling to the dealer, but it's not likely to help. These issues are common and are design factors, not something most car dealers can tweak.

Sun N Sand
Thank you runnoft See Profile. I am familiar with satellite reception, but just was not sure as to the momentary drop-outs. If the dealer was to swap the unit and/or antenna out it would only mean that I'd probably be getting a refurbished replacement unit. I'll keep testing and noting the circumstances of drop-outs though.

Thanks for the info! -W

Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Kitchener, ON
·Rogers Portable ..
reply to Waldothe3rd
I had issues with underpasses. Also had issues at certain times, 2 PM ( 11 AM your time ) and 10:30 PM ( 7:30 your time ). Eventually switched to XM because they have terrestrial repeaters in my city.
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein

Who let the magic smoke out?
Saint Augustine, FL
reply to Waldothe3rd
In SoCal, depending on where you are you may be in an area of overlapping Terrestrial repeaters. Sirius overbuilt in a few areas around LA, causing the TR's to interfere with each other. Many radios will go to the TR as primary if it's available, and then when that received two different TR's you'll get dropouts.