How to get the best SIRIUS/XM Satellite Signal

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Throughout this “how to” I will discuss the tricks and tips on How to get the best Satellite Signal possible out of your SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

First to find out how to get a better signal, we need to look at how the signal is sent. SIRIUS and XM both us different Satellite Patterns so I will Discuss them individually.

How the SIRIUS Signal is delivered. SIRIUS uses satellites that are always moving in a “figure-8″ pattern. The best rule of thumb is imagine that the SIRIUS satellites are in the sky above Minnesota. That is the best direction to aim your antenna. Larger cities also have what’s called Terrestrial repeaters. These act as repeaters for areas that could not otherwise get signal, ie. behind large buildings. These cities have receivers and transmitters on the ground that blanket the area in signal.

If you check on your SIRIUS Radio menu, click SIGNAL INDICATOR or ANTENNA AIMING, you will see a SAT and TER with several boxes filled in black. This is your signal strength. SAT is the direct signal from satellites in space, TER is the signal from on-the-ground repeaters.

XM Radio works on the same principle except their satellites do not move. XM Home antennas should always be pointed towards the SOUTH as the satellites are located on the Equator.

If you are having good luck getting signal in one room and want to use your SIRIUS in another try the ECHO Repeater System or try a SIRIUS Extension Cable.These both allow you to place your SIRIUS antenna in one area and the SIRIUS Radio in another.

If you are having trouble receiving signal in your home, and you have tried all the possible antenna placements an upgraded antenna may allow you to pull in the signal better. A good SIRIUS outdoor antenna to go with is the SIRIUS Outdoor Home Antenna. The best antenna we offer works with both SIRIUS and XM Radio, the PRO-600 antenna.

In the Vehicle

In car you want to make sure your Satellite antenna is on the roof, or in a convertible on the truck lid. The magnetic antenna should always be placed 4-6 inches from the edge of the roof and clear from any roof rack or other obstruction. Make sure to route the antenna cable safely as not to crimp the cable, this can cause an Aquiring Signal error message if the cable is damaged.  If you need to remove the cable from the SIRIUS dock or receiver, be sure to pull on the plug and not the cable, the cable connector could come undone and the antenna would we useless. Standard car antennas work will in many cases, but in cases like a Big-Rig or other large vehicle the standard antenna may be ill suited due to the vehicle having a fiberglass body or other obstructions, in this case using a SIRIUS and XM Radio Truck antenna would be best.

In most cases the standard antenna you buy, or receive with your radio is suffiencet to receive Satellite Radio content, being very carefully with the antenna cable and proper aiming should prove to give you quality signal. In some limited areas with canyons, forest cover and other natural sky obstructions, upgrading to a better antenna is the only way to get Satellite radio.

If you have any questions on antenna aiming feel free to email us or gives us a call 773-772-4340, we are here to help.

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4 Responses to “How to get the best SIRIUS/XM Satellite Signal”

  1. matt says:

    Hi I have a sirius radio in my bed room. During the day the satellite is pointing the same direction and some parts or the day it has 3 bars and in other parts 1 and 2. I there any better way I can get better signal with tin foil or something?

    • Josh says:

      Tin Foil i doubt would help at all. What would be best is to experiment with different aiming positions for your antenna. SIRIUS satellites are always on the move and sometimes if you are getting marginal signal strength, when the move just a little bit, like a different time of day, it can knock out your signal.

      If aiming the antenna differently does not get you anywhere I would then try either an extension cable to allow the antenna to get signal in a different window or maybe the SIRIUS outdoor home antenna, that would be installed outside on the roof or side of your house to allow for better signal reception.

      If you have any questions or concerns feel free to reply back and I can help you out with anything you need. Thanks for the Comment and I hope this all helps/makes sense! Thanks!

  2. Jon says:

    I just purchased the sirius S5 receiver and the newest boom box. I want to be able to use the boom box throughout my home (bathroom, bedrooms, weight room, outdoors, etc.). Will I have reception problems? If I buy the outdoor antenna, what do I connect it to inside after I install it? Should I get the echo repeater as well? For my needs, I can’t have the boom box connected to anything. Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

    • Josh says:

      If you purchase the outdoor home antenna and the echo system you will be able to carry the boombox up to 75ft away from the outdoor home antenna connection and wirelessly get signal reception

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