Sunday, June 03, 2007

2006 Honda Odyssey - Installed Sirius Stratus Satellite Radio

UPDATE: 2007-06-20 - Added more pictures.

Sirius Satellite Radio is having a promotion on their radios so I got one at a really good deal. I was a little concerned about installing it, but it ended up quite easy....

I didn't want any kind of permanent setup because I plan on using it in the STI, too. I thought the Stratus radio came with a suction cup mount, but I when I opened up the box I didn't find one. Actually, the first time I opened it up I found that the tip of the cigarette lighter power plug was broken. I had to drive back and they swapped out the parts for me. When I checked the Sirius on-line store again, I realized that the cheapest radio that I bought only comes with a dash mount--which means you either stick it or drill it to the dash--and a vent mount. The vent mount is what I used.

I know that for best reception, the satellite antenna should be mounted on the roof. The antenna has a magnetic base and it uses the metal in the roof to help get a signal. But we're going to be carrying our Thule Evolution 1800 cargo box on the roof during our road trip and I was worried that it would block some of the reception. So after I powered the radio up, I experimented by placing the antenna on the dash under the windshield. (You can get one preview/weather channel without activating the radio.) I was happy to find that I was able to get 3 bars (maximum) signal strength in various spots on the dash. The final spot I picked was at the bottom of the passenger A-pillar. It's very discreet and I don't have to worry about seeing a lot of the antenna wire. The nice thing about digital broadcasts is that the sound quality is the same as long as there is a signal even if it's weak. The audio is either good/on when there is a signal and off when there isn't.

I wasn't happy with the vent mount at first, but I think it's workable. There are 3 wires attached to the docking base: power, satellite antenna, and line-out. I think I'll be able to run the wires so they are nice and tidy.

The Sirius Radio also comes with a built-in FM transmitter so you can play it through your car stereo. Because we have a lot of strong FM stations here at the top of the mountian, there was a lot of static when I tried it out--just a steady hissing on top of the audio. In the box there was a little FM transmitter antenna with a large warning label saying "FOR USE IN CANADA ONLY" --there must be some American law against broadcasting too strong an FM signal. (Actually, the replacement box I received didn't have this antenna. I had to ask for it and they just gave me the one from the first box.) When I tried it with that little antenna, the static was greatly reduced. This is good news because the STI does not have an AUX input. For the Odyssey, I'll stick to using the AUX--it sounds great.

BTW, music stations do sound near-CD quality. The talk stations sound similar to AM--which is acceptable to me. There are no commercials on the music stations, but to tell you the truth when I briefly tuned to some of the talk stations like CNN I could hear nothing but commercials!

UPDATE: Here's the final look with all the wires neatly done. My wife bought me the Sirius Universal Car Kit for the STI and I swapped the docking mount to use in the Odyssey so that the wires would be tidier.


2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the post, I'm going to set up my XM RoadyXT like yours this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad you found it useful. I've updated the post with some newer pictures, including where I placed the antenna.

    ReplyDelete

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