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Engine noise through your auxiliary input?

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
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pie1_mediumRecently, we have had people calling in and telling us that they have engine noise when they are listening to their plug and play satellite radio inside their car. Every time they accelerate they can hear an engine noise or a “wine” through their speakers. Well, we have found a solution. Here’s the scenario:

Problem: When the listener accelerates down the road they can hear an increase in engine noise through their speakers.

Solution: We discussed this with a professional installer that used the PIE in-line 12 amp noise filter and it solved their problem. What they did was go behind the cigarette lighter and put the power filter on the live wire running to the cigarette lighter. This solved the issue immediately.

One way to prove this theory to is to plug in a regular MP3 player into the auxiliary jack on the radio and drive around. Even better, if you have a stiletto you can listen to recorded content through the aux input as well. You should hear no engine wine noise at all. If you do, then this is a completely separate issue. Most engine noise issues come from the fact that the unit is drawing off of the vehicles power through the cigarette lighter, or in rare cases, from a vehicle power hardwire kit. Both scenarios can be solved by using this PIE noise filter.

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Car Antenna Review

Thursday, August 13th, 2009
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The majority of the time that most people are listening to their satellite radio is inside their car. But what gets you the best signal? Antenna placement and location on the car is key but is there an antenna that will get you better reception? Are there pros and cons of using one antenna over another? In this posting I will review each car antenna here at TSS Radio as well as include the truck antennas.


The Sirius Mobile Antenna Dot Micro is the standard car antenna that comes with all new plug and play radios. It is the replacement antenna Sirius now uses over the older square car antenna. The mobile antenna dot micro is a round magnetic antenna with a 21 ft cable that has a higher gain than previous models. Basically, that means it can get a better reception. Upon testing I found this to be very true. The dot micro works incredibly well even with poor weather conditions or a bit of cover over it (ie: trees, overhang, etc). The only disadvantage to this antenna is that it’s wire is a fragile and not really equipped for strong weather.


The Tram Square Car Antenna for Sirius is a square magnetic antenna that is fairly new to us here at TSS Radio. At first glance this radio appears to be the same as the old Sirius square car antenna, but it isn’t. This antenna is designed with a thicker cable sheathing that, in theory, will improve the longevity of the antenna. The additional use of an adhesive pad that the antenna can sit on instead of using its magnetic feature is also included with this antenna. Upon testing I noticed this antenna gets just as good of a signal quality as the Mobile Antenna Dot Micro, if not better. I experienced almost no signal strength loss in poor weather conditions or even under heavy foliage. I would recommend this antenna to anyone! The only disadvantage I could see with this is hiding the wire in a vehicles weather stripping. It is so thick that it may not fit properly.


The Terk SIR-Mini Antenna is a magnetic antenna that can be used for older receivers. It comes with a 21 ft cable that has a FAKRA style connector that can be found on older receivers, however the FAKRA connector can be removed so that it can be used with newer receivers. Upon testing with this antenna I noticed it still gets a good quality signal, but isn’t as strong as the higher gain antennas. I would still recommend this antenna for everyday use as it will still get a good signal. As for a disadvantage., this antenna also has a very thin wire and is a bit fragile.


The Adhesive Car Antenna is an oval shaped antenna that has an adhesive base and rubber cable cover. It has a 21 ft cable and also comes with a FAKRA connector for use with older receivers but can be removed and used with newer receivers. During use, I noticed it works relatively the same as the Terk SIR-Mini antenna. It received a good signal but does not work as well as the higher gain antennas. This antenna is still good for normal use but also comes with a fragile thin wire that may not stand up to the elements.


The TERK SIR4 and XM4 universal truck antennas are great for all weather use on trucks and RV’s. These antennas are a mushroom style antenna that can be mirror mounted or flat surface mounted. The cable that comes with the unit is 21 ft in length and is replaceable. When I used this antenna I noticed an outstanding signal quality. I would recommend this antenna for any long hauler or RV user that can’t live without their satellite radio. I would recommend using zip ties or electrical tape to tie down the cable while it is exposed to the elements, so it does not hang loosely in the wind during travel.


The Interoperable Satellite Radio Truck Antenna is a universal antenna that can be used with either Sirius or XM. It is a stick style antenna that can be either mirror mounted or flat face mounted and also comes with a 21 ft replaceable antenna cable. This antenna did not work as well for me as the Terk truck antennas. The Interoperable antenna still gets a good signal but did not provide the same signal strength as the other ones. It is still a good and sturdy all weather antenna and can be used for a truck or RV that is making several long trips. And, much like the Terk antennas, I would suggest using zip ties or electrical tape to secure the wire.


The TRAM Mirror Mount Truck Antenna and TRAM Interoperable Mirror Mount Truck Antenna are designed for use on trucks and RV’s. These antennas are cylindrical in shape and smaller than other truck and RV antennas. The disadvantage to these antennas is that the 17 ft cable built into the unit cannot be replaced. Upon use of the unit I noticed that this is a very high gain antenna and performed as well as the Terk truck antennas. I would recommend this antenna to anyone and especially recommend using zip ties or electrical tape to hold down any exposed wire.

Choosing the antenna that is right for you is key. Function, durablility, and signal strength are all very important. Hopefully this outline has helped in understanding what the differences are between certain antennas and how well they will perform for you.

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Buying a new Plug and play radio? Here’s a helpful guide!

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
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If you are in the market for a new plug and play satellite radio, there are a few options to choose from. The real question you have to ask yourself is, “What additional functions do I want from my satellite radio?” There are several different radios that have many different functions to use that will help you enjoy your satellite radio more. Since no two radios are alike, though some do share the same functions, it is important to know what the radio is capable of doing so you can fully experience the power of your satellite radio. Here is a brief break-down of the newest 5 series radios out now and their functions.


For the heavy satellite radio listener that has to have all the bells and whistles, the Sportster 5 is ideal for you! With it’s full color customizable screen, personalized sports tracker, 30 presets and replay functions, it is the high end of all of the satellite radios. The Sportster 5’s sports tracker is a unique feature that will constantly scan the channels and will alert you when a team or car (NASCAR) you stored in memory is playing a game or running a race, or when there is a score update for a team. This feature is unique only to the Sportster radios and cannot be found on any other radio.


Now, for the moderate satellite radio user the Starmate 5 is an ideal route to go. Much like the Sportster 5 it also has 30 presets, S-Seek alerts for your favorite artists and replay functions. The Sirius replay function is highly sought after in satellite radios because it allows you to pause, rewind, and replay up to 44 minutes of content. Also, the Starmate 5 is the only radio that supports the new A La Carte programming package from Sirius.


And finally, for the easy going no fuss, no thrills user the Stratus 5 is a simple an easy route to go. The Stratus 5 only has 10 presets and even though a remote does not come with the kit, it does have the capability of being operated by a remote (T030R). Even though it is a simple no thrills radio it is still capable of receiving the full Sirius programming and can even be subscribed to the best of XM.

It is important to note that all of the 5 series plug and play radios come with a car kit.

Shopping for  new radio can sometimes be difficult, but hopefully this simple outline of the 5 series plug and play radios will give you an idea of what to look for and expect in a radio. if you have any questions concerning any of these radios or compatibility, please feel free to contact us.

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Stern Show Alum Billy West not on Futurama?!?!

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
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new billy

From 1989 to 1995 Billy West helped launch his career on The Howard Stern show bringing us some amazing voices and also some outstanding impressions, most notably and Howard’s favorite, Larry Fine of the Three Stooges. Well, the talented and funny voice over actor may not have much to speak about in the near future.

Good new everyone!” 20th Century Fox recently announced that they have ordered 26 new episodes of Futurama, the popular cartoon based 1000 years in the future, to be aired beginning in 2010. The success of DVD sales and re-runds on Comedy Central have brought the show back into popularity and prompted Fox to make a move. Billy West was a key role in the shows production, voicing over four of the shows main characters and a countless number of additional voices. Why is this so significant for Mr. West?

Fox has entered production of the show with a certain budget ($75,000) for the voice over talents. The problem is the actors can’t come to a salary agreement with Fox that will make both parties happy. Fox says it will begin going through the process of recasting the voice over talents since an agreement can’t be reached.

We love the ‘Futurama’ voice performers and absolutely wanted to use them, but unfortunately, we could not meet their salary demands,” 20th Century Fox TV said in a statement. “While replacing these talented actors will be difficult, the show must go on.”

Fox has also gone this route before during some tough negotiations with another popular cartoon, “The Simpsons”. The studio had threatened to replace the voice talents on the show when it couldn’t come to an agreement with the actors. Auditions for replacements were about to begin but an agreement was finally made with the actors.

So who will be the voice of Philip J. Fry, Professor Hubert Farnsworth, Dr John Zoidberg, Captain Zapp Brannigan and many others? Billy West hasn’t made an official statement to the public about the situation but I’m sure the former Stern show personality isn’t happy with the situation. The wouldn’t be the first time Mr. West has had a problem with being compensated for his work. In 1995 Billy West reportedly left the Howard Stern show because WXRK/CBS management refused to give him a sufficient pay raise. Billy is greatly missed by Stern show staff and fans.


It has recently been confirmed that Billy West and the rest of the original cast of Futurama will be joining the show as it returns with new episodes to be aired on Comedy Central next year. Apparently a salary deal has been struck with 20th Century Fox and the cast joined creator Matt Groening at Comic-Con last week to sign autographs and help promote the return of the show. Good news all around for Futurama and Stern show fans of Billy West!

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SIRIUS Soloist Universal Sound System and its Adapters

Friday, June 27th, 2008
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Here at TSS Radio we are getting very excited over the SIRIUS Soloist Universal Sound System. Finally, someone has brought a product to the table that is incredibly versatile and easy to use! This elegant powered speaker system has a unique interchangeable cradle system that allows you to enjoy high quality audio from your Sirius Satellite Radio in seven different formats. (Stiletto 100, Stiletto 10, Sportster 3, Sportster 4, Starmate 3, Starmate 4, and Stratus 4) This hot little number also allows you to integrate the use of an iPod. And not just one iPod folks! Any iPod that has the 30 pin connector. (Classic, mini, Nano, Touch, iPhone, etc).

First off the Soloist looks fantastic! This thing could easily fit anywhere inside a home or office no matter what your decor. And with its sleek small design could be placed anywhere. It stand only 8″ high, 12.5″ wide, and a mere 4.5″ deep.

Second is the Soloist versatility. It comes equipped with four different adapters to integrate with whatever radio you choose to use, to include an iPod! Switching out the adapters is simple and easy. The only thing to note is if you are going to use a Stiletto on this unit, you have to remove one screw and slide the docking port over to the right. Here is a detailed video for how the adapters can be changed out and the docking port moved to the right for a Stiletto.


Third, the Soloist has a line in port on the back allowing you to connect an additional device that isn’t supported by the docking port on the front. It also has a line out port on the back so this unit can be connected to an existing home audio system.

Another advantage found on the back of the Soloist is the USB cable port. This can be used to sink up your Stiletto 100 to your computer!

And fourth and final, the SIRIUS Soloist Universal Sound System is one of the more affordable universal sound systems on the market with a price of only $69.99. This little baby can’t be beat! Plus, the unit is equipt with an alarm clock with sleep function, LCD display, and music timer functions. Very few products on the market are as versatile, powerful, small, and easy to use as this one. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a sound system to go just about anywhere that can play just about anything!


TSS Radio

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