Archive for the ‘Tech Help’ Category

What is SiriusXM PowerConnect?

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
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PowerConnect 5 Volt Car Power Adapter

In general, when it comes to 5 volt car power adapters, there are two types of Car Power Adapters to choose from: “PowerConnect” and Non-PowerConnect.

So, what exactly is the difference?

For starters, the plugs are different sizes and it’s important to buy the correct power adapter compatible with your dock.

“PowerConnect” is SiriusXM’s patented method of connecting your plug and play radio to your car stereo’s FM radio. With PowerConnect audio connection technology, the FM signal is sent directly to your car stereo instead of through the air.

Because PowerConnect works by connecting through the car’s power adapter socket (also known as the cigarette lighter jack), this method isn’t as ideal as using an Aux Cable or an FM Direct Adapter. However, it is a simple way to connect and you won’t have to take apart the dash to install an FM Direct Adapter.

PowerConnect Power Adapters must always match up to PowerConnect Docks/Cradles (SDPIV/XDPIV1/XDPIV2). The PowerConnect radios and power adapters are 5 volts and many customers confuse them with Non-PowerConnect 5 Volt power adapters.

While we accept returns within 30 days, our policy is that customers are responsible for all shipping costs if they buy an incompatible power adapter or dock. That’s why we highly recommend double-checking before placing your order. We have a parts finder that will confirm compatibility, and you can always email us.

powerconnectdemoHow to determine if you need a PowerConnect Car Power Adapter?
It is very easy to determine if you need a PowerConnect Power Adapter. If your Vehicle Dock has color coded inputs it means that you need a PowerConnect 5 Volt Car Power Adapter. If your Vehicle Dock doesn’t have that then you need a different power adapter.

How do I know if the 5 volt car power adapter is PowerConnect or not?
The OEM PowerConnect Power Adapter has a red tip.

We currently have 2 versions of PowerConnect Car Adapters. One is the OEM version here. The other has a thicker cabled coiled cord that only provides the power and NOT the audio portion. This version is less expensive but it’s great if you have the audio covered with an Aux connection or FM Direct Adapter.

PowerConnect Power Adapters:
SiriusXM 5 Volt PowerConnect Car Power Adapter (red tip)
TSS-Radio’s 5 Volt Coiled Cord (yellow tip, but still PowerConnect)

Non-PowerConnect Power Adapters:
Sirius Power Adapter
XM Power Adapter

USB Solutions:
USB outputs are required. We carry a Powered Mount with USB Ports.
USB to 5v PowerConnect Cable (3 foot)
USB to 5v PowerConnect Cable (4 inch)
USB to 5v Non-PowerConnect Cable (3 foot)
USB to 5v Non-PowerConnect Cable (2 inch)

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Hardwiring a Plug and Play Radio

Thursday, June 7th, 2012
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A lot of people want to hardwire their Plug and Play Radio. When they tell us that we need to clarify whether they want to hardwire the power (so that there is no need for a cigarette lighter plug) or if they simply want a direct audio connection providing crystal clear sound. We have options for both. But if you have the right vehicle we can provide an all in one solution that is perfect.

We are closing out what we call the “XM5” Aux Input Adapters from PIE. PIE made these years ago to initially support the newer 5 Volt Based XM Plug and Play Radios which is why they are called “XM5 Interfaces.” The XM5 Interfaces connect behind your factory car radio and provide a direct audio and power connection for 5 Volt Sirius and XM Radios. If your Sirius Xm Radio is a Power Connect Radio you will also need this additional plug.

Installation of the XM5 Interface is easy. The hardest part is simply getting behind the radio. If you are comfortable doing that it’s something you can install yourself. Otherwise look for a local car stereo shop. We suggest using Yelp reviews for that.

Here is the best thing about the XM5 Interfaces…they are on closeout for only $29.99. That’s less than half of their original retail price. So they are priced to move. You just have to check to see if your vehicle is compatible. Just look below for your vehicle and be sure to read the product description and compatibility notes.

If your vehicle isn’t compatible or the XM5 Interface is out of stock the next best option would be to hardwire the power with our Power Hardwire Kit and provide an audio connection with the FM Direct Adapter (just make sure your Plug and Play Car Cradle has an FM Output)

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Audi

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Cadillac

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Chevrolet

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Chrysler

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Dodge

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Eagle

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Ford

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for GMC

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Honda

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Jaguar

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Jeep

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Lincoln

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Mazda

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Mercury

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Nissan

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Oldsmobile

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Plymouth

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Pontiac

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Saturn

XM5 SiriusXM Hardwire for Volkswagen

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Sirius XM Satellite Radio Repairs from TSS-Radio

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
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One of the unique things we are able to do at TSS Radio is repair some common problems with your Sirius XM Satellite Radio. It’s a service we began offering about 3 years ago and we have had a great success record.

Droo not only helps our TSS-Radio customers through email, but he also does the vast majority of our repair work from his workshop in Maine. Pretty far from our warehouse in Chicago!

So if you have a Sirius or XM Radio that needs a repair, you can contact Droo via email at Let him know what model of radio you have and what issues you are experiencing. Droo will get back with you and let you know if he is able to fix your radio. He’ll give you a quote and an address where you can send the radio. The repair itself may take a few days or a week to fix and he will then promptly send the radio back to you via US Priority Mail.

After it’s fixed, the issue is guaranteed for 6 months. Twice as long as the factory warranty on new radios!

Common repairs Droo performs are listed below:

  • Repairing dock connectors on the Universal Sirius Radios, such as the

-Screen replacement for the Sirius XM Mirge, the XM Xpress RC and the XM Xpress RCi. If the backlight of your radio screen went dull this is what you will need.

-Replacing the Dials on XM XMP3s and XMP3is.

-Repairing the Stiletto 2 Internal Antenna. Sometimes people will drop their Stiletto 2 too many times and the internal antenna within it will no longer work. This will fix it so you are once again able to get reception in the portable mode.

-Repairing the Power and Antenna Connections on Starmate Replays (Model ST2).

Unfortunately we no longer have parts or tuners to repair older Sirius Sportsters and Sportster Replay Radios. Since these radios were discontinued more than 6 years ago we don’t have access to the parts. We would highly suggest upgrading to a newer model radio like the Sirius Starmate 8 or a SiriusXM Edge and starting over with new Home Kits or Boomboxes or Car Kits if you need them. If you end up moving to the SiriusXM Edge then you will be able to access the 20+ Xtra Channels that are now available on that receiver.

So if you need a repair on your Satellite Radio please reach out to us via email so we can help you get back to listening to SiriusXM.


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Troubleshooting Your Sirius XM Plug & Play Receiver

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
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If you’ve owned a satellite radio long enough, you’ve probably encountered one of the common issues that occur. It’s likely you’ve seen ‘Antenna Not Detected’, ‘Acquiring Signal’, or have had your radio not power on. However, these common satellite radio issues can often be fixed by replacing inexpensive parts.

Here is a troubleshooting guide for these common satellite radio problems.
Problem: Antenna Not Detected, No Antenna, Check Antenna

What’s happening: Antenna Not Detected occurs when the antenna is no longer transmitting to the antenna port on the dock or radio. This can happen if the antenna wire is kinked, if the magnetic base of the antenna has gotten moisture inside of it, or it’s been otherwise damaged or has just gotten old.

Troubleshooting: Try plugging in a different antenna into the radio or docking station you are having a problem with. Since home & car docks use the same antenna connection,  you can test a boombox antenna with a car dock or vice versa.

Solution: Replace the antenna. You can find a vehicle antenna HERE or a home/boombox antenna HERE.

Problem: Radio will not power on.

What’s happening: The radio isn’t receiving power from the power adapter. The power adapter may have a blown fuse, a short in the cable, or some other physical defect.

Troubleshooting: In rare cases radios will stop powering on and it will not be the power adapter. To test your radio try it in another docking station. If you get power in your car dock or boombox (or vice versa), you’ll know the problem is the power adapter.

Solution: Although it is sometimes possible to replace a fuse, it’s best to replace the whole power adapter to be certain you are correcting the problem and to avoid potentially damaging your receiver. Click HERE to find replacement Sirius power adapters, HERE for XM.

Problem: Acquiring Signal, No Signal

What’s happening: Acquiring Signal is one of the more complicated common issues. It happens when either your radio or docking station cannot acquire the signal from your antenna. In most cases Acquiring Signal is NOT a problem with the antenna, but rather the radio itself or docking station.

Troubleshooting: Try using your plug and play receiver in a different docking station (like a boombox or home dock) to see if that corrects the issue. Although unlikely a problem with the antenna, use a spare antenna to test as well. Test the radio by using different combinations of parts you know are working.

Solution: Replace the docking station or radio. Click HERE to search for Sirius replacement docks, HERE for XM. Click HERE to view Sirius replacement receivers, HERE for XM.

For more information on parts or help with troubleshooting email or call 773.772.4340.

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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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Technical Update on a Few Products

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
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I want to take a moment here on the TSS-Radio Blog and post a few Technical Updates for some products we sell. As always not only do we sell Satellite Radio Products-we are here for you Before, During and After the sale is made, to ensure a quality experience with and the products we sell.

Technical Update #1- The SIRGM2L is a product we offer to convert select GM branded vehicles 2006-2009.  The update on this unit includes a .pdf Installer’s Guide to help ensure a successful installation. The sheet is more of a quick guide to installation, but it does come in handy for the Do-It-Yourselfer. The quick guide can be found/printed here:

Technical Update #2- iSimple kits are designed to allow many vehicles the ability to receive In-Dash SIRIUS. The Technical Update includes a key step the the instruction manuals have seemed to not include. The .pdf is a quick reference guide for installers, but a must for self installers. It will take you step by step on each of the required processes. The installer guide can be found here:

If you need assistance in any installation feel free to shoot me an email: or give me a call up 773-772-4340 ask for Josh. Thanks for Reading!

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Need to Convert XM to SIRIUS? New GM-Honda-Toyota and Much More!

Friday, May 15th, 2009
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If you are looking to convert your vehicle from XM to SIRIUS, here is a guide based on make, model and year. Please feel free comment if you have any questions or concerns or shoot me an EMAIL


GM Sirius Connect SIRGM2L

This is a long awaited solution for Newer “Lan” Based vehicles! The compatibility includes:


  • Lesabre 2006
  • Lucerne 2007-2009


CTS Not Compatible

  • DTS 2006-2009
  • Escalade 2007-2009
  • Escalade ESV 2007-2009
  • Escalade EXT 2007-2009
  • SRX 2007


  • Avalanche 2007-2009
  • Equinox 2007-2009
  • Impala 2006-2009
  • Monte Carlo 2006-2007
  • Silverado (New Body) 2007-2009
  • Suburban 2007-2009
  • Tahoe 2007-2009


  • Acadia 2007-2009
  • Sierra 2007-2009
  • Yukon 2007-2009
  • Yukon XL 2007-2009


  • Torrent 2007-2009
  • Vibe 2009
  • G8 2009 Only


  • Outlook 2007-2008
  • Vue 2008-2009


  • XL-7 2007-2009

gm1SIR-GM1 SIRIUS Connect: This will convert select 2003-UP  “Class II” GM made vehicle from the factory XM.  Chevrolet-Buick-GMC-Cadillac-Hummer-Isuzu-Oldsmobile-Pontiac-Saab-Saturn.


honda siriusHONDA and ACURA SIRIUS Connect Package:This is the conversion kit for select 2003-UP Honda and Acura made vehicles. SIRIUS HONDA and ACURA

NOTE:This Adapter does NOT work with ANY Honda or Acura vehicles with the ‘Technology Package’


toyota siriusTOYOTA LEXUS and SCION SIRIUS Connect Package:This is the connect package for select 2004+UP Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles. SIRIUS TOYOTA-LEXUS-SCION


We have a LARGE SELECTION of In Dash options including most brands of vehicles- Check here to see if you can enjoy In Dash SIRIUS Satellite Radio!

Be sure to read all the notes and compatibility charts to avoid any confusion. As always Give TSS-Radio a call and we can discuss your options!


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Waiting for IN-Dash SIRIUS Radio?

Monday, December 1st, 2008
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Looking for a In-Dash SIRIUS for you car? Have you been told it isn’t available?

 Some cars will not be able to have In-Dash SIRIUS available, so I am going to guide you through and find you a setup perfect for you!

-This is a Vehicle Specific Mount. It mounts your SIRIUS radio in a predetermined place and it becomes a hard mounted and stable bolt platform for your SIRIUS radio mount. It will give you a clean look and adds a factory installed look when paired with the the power and audio hard-wire kits below.

-This is a SIRIUS Power Hardwire Kit. This will be installed to a 12v power-line in your vehicle. This will add to the factory look and greatly minimize the amount of cables that can be seen.

Now the next section it depends on your car.

Question #1-Do you have an AUX-In plug?

An AUX-In plug looks like this:


Answer #1-IF YOU HAVE THIS, GREAT!  You can buy any SIRIUS Radio and feel confident that you will get the best audio sound quality. All you need is a SIRIUS Radio ,Vehicle Specific Mount , Power Hard-Wire Kit and An Aux-In Cable. The Aux-In Cable will plug from this port on your car stereo and then into the AUDIO OUT on the SIRIUS Dock.


We have three options:

A Cassette Audio Adapter for cars that have a cassette deck. This may (for some) be the best solution. If you have that cassette deck in your car, then you simply plug this into the cassette and the AUDIO OUT of the SIRIUS Radio Dock.

An FM Direct Adapter.  This is a device that will eliminate static from your SIRIUS Setup. This plugs into the back of your car stereo(in the am/FM antenna port) and then a long cable routes and plugs into the FM OUT of the SIRIUS Radio dock.  This is a very cost/effective solution for most any vehicle. NOTE: some cars may need FM antenna adapters found HERE

An Auxiliary Input Device. This will give you CD quality sound from your SIRIUS Radio. All you have to do is plug this into the CD Changer Port or Sat port on the back of the Car stereo head-unit. This will run up to the SIRIUS Radio car dock and plug into the AUDIO OUT port on the SIRIUS Dock. This is the most effective way to get audio into your car.

So If you have a car that does not have a In-Dash SIRIUS Unit available Please Email me and I can help you setup something that looks great and gives you that SIRIUS Radio you desire. EMAIL US   Be sure to include your make model and Year!

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Convert XM to SIRIUS

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008
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Looking for ways to convert you XM vehicle to SIRIUS?

We offer several solutions to Convert XM To Sirius in many cars like:

More options available at or call us at 312-846-6606

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Sirius Radio Mount

Monday, May 19th, 2008
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Here is a short guide to finding your sirius radio mount :

1.)Find the model of your unit. Check the back of your radio receiver for a number similar to SPR1, SPR2, PNP1, ST4, SP5, etc. Also check out Find your Sirius satellite radio accessories or XM Radio Accessory Finder.

2.) Decide where you would like to mount it. Take into consideration things like field of vision, reach, and angle at which you want it to sit. See below:

Sirius suction cup:

Sirius Dash mount:


3.) Another key sirius installation issue would be running the cables. Some use the sirius cigarette lighter adapter ,others use sirius hardwire kit for a cleaner, professional look. Also this brings in the issue of if you need a FM Direct Adapter. Newer units that have a weaker sirius fm transmitter will need a FMDA25.  Also to help run all the wires I would suggest the Wire Worm and Dash Removal Tool.

4.) Install and adjust the SIRIUS XM radio receiver and Enjoy!


If you have any questions please feel free to email us at

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