Satellite Radio Direct Connect

This post is not for those of you who have an in dash satellite ready radio in your vehicle.

I am amongst those who do not have an in dash satellite radio. I purchased a satellite radio with a FM wireless transmitter and I was severely disappointed in how it worked.

First off, when traveling in large urban areas with a crowded FM radio spectrum, it was almost impossible to find a channel clear enough that there was no interference from a powerful, local terrestrial radio broadcast signal. Second, I am a long haul truck driver and obviously my occupation involves travel. Even if I found a channel in one smaller metro area with an unused channel that allowed interference free reception, as I traveled into the next metro (or even rural) area most times I was forced to search the dial once again for a clear channel.

Some time back, while talking to another truck driver, I head that the solution to this problem is to either get a satellite ready in dash radio or alternatively to get a direct connect cable assembly for your satellite receiver with FM wireless transmitter. I looked into both and balked at the price of either solution. While the direct connect was certainly the cheaper route of the two to follow, the price of the cable assembly was more then I had paid for my satellite receiver.

Well prices have come down. For less then $25 I was able to purchase the required cable assembly at a Pilot truck stop within the past couple months. Since truck stops notoriously over charge their primary customers (truck drivers who have limited options on where to shop) it probably can be found elsewhere even cheaper.

I purchased and installed the direct connect cable assembly. The results? I am overjoyed. The direct connect signal overpowers even extremely strong terrestrial broadcast signals allowing for clear reception of your satellite receiver's signal.

The direct connect assembly automatically injects your satellite receiver's signal into your antenna cable when you turn the satellite receiver on and allows for undegraded reception of terrestrial broadcast stations when you turn the satellite receiver off.

My recommendation? For anyone going with the FM wireless transmitter method of satellite reception I recommend getting the direct connect cable assembly. If you live in an area with a less crowded FM radio spectrum area, possibly you will not need it. But if you live in even a moderately populated area or if you engage in travel where you will still want to enjoy your satellite radio while you travel, you will find the direct connect method well worth the expense and trouble.

How do you install the direct connect cable? Direct connect involves purchasing a cable that has three connections. One connection plugs into the back of your satellite receiver in the plug provided. Connecting the others involves unplugging the antenna cable from the back of your in dash FM radio and then plugging in the cable assembly into the antenna jack on the back of the radio and then replugging the vehicles antenna jack into the cable assembly's jack. This almost certainly involves some dis assembly of your vehicles dash to get at the back of FM radio receiver, so I am not going to saying installation is not without its headaches. Also you are going to have to figure out how to get the small wire that runs from the back of the satellite receiver to the back of your FM radio which involves either drilling a moderate sized hole somewhere (probably at the top) of your dash or feeding the wire to somewhere at the bottom of the dash before running it up to the back of the in dash FM radio.


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