Another HORRIBLE experience w/Sirius. New Sportster 5 does not work. Need Help please

Discussion in 'Sirius Radios' started by chocula, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. chocula

    chocula New Member

    I just had another terrible experience with Sirius. Now I wish Sirius and XM did not merge. I would switch in a minute (although just about everything I like about it is on Sirius).

    Me ranting (see below for help and questions).......

    To make a LONG story short, here are a few basic details:

    Old Sportster is about dead, so I decided to use my Stiletto 2 in my car. Bought the car kit for the S2 and it does not work. I tried to get help and nothing worked. I took it back to get my money back.

    I bought a new Sportster 5 from, tried to use and activate it today, and it would not work. I called tech support and the first person, Marcia gave some of the worst service I have ever had. The second guy, did VERY little to try to resolve the issue and said it was defective.
    They switched me to warranty service and they said they would send me a new unit, BUT I needed to pay to send the old one back.

    There goes the money I saved by buying it at WTF did I buy it there for? I could have returned it to Best Buy for free.


    Questions and help, please:

    1. Has anyone recently bought and installed a Sportster or any radio for that matter? If so, when you hooked up the antenna, power cord, and the fm transmitter, did the radio work immediately? The online information makes it sound like you should hear channel 184 right away. I never heard anything.

    2. Is it typical for Sirius to charge you for a radio that you have to return that was defective?

    3. Has anyone set up a radio that did not work at first, but after doing something to it, it worked?

    I am sure I have more questions, but after all this time screwing around with Sirius, I am exhausted.

  2. IdRatherBeSkiing

    IdRatherBeSkiing Sherbert is not and never will be ice cream

    You should hear 184 if you have reception. When plugging in a radio with reception you may get an "Updating Channels" or "Updating Sirius" message. There will be no sound during these intervals. After that 184 should be displayed and you should get sound on that channel.

    Usually fixing a loose wire did the trick. Also if you are using FM, be sure your FM frequency matches the radio. Also, with the SL2 or the Sportster 5 or any new radio, the FM transmitter in the car dock really sucks. If you live in a market with strong FM signals, it is entirely possible that these are drowning out the Sirius radio. I would consider an FM direct cable if you do not have AUX in or a cassette deck.
  3. semipenguin

    semipenguin Cheeseburger Connoisseur

    The FM transmitters suck on the new radios. I bet that the sound isn't getting to the radio because of that...:(

    Also, not to be throwing salt on an open wound, but I would never buy a radio from I buy all my new radios from TSS-Radio. They have the best service and they'll jump through they're butts to make things right...:)

    I did buy an XpressEZ for my mom through, but I had thoughts of regret afterwards. Sorry for cheating on you Taylor...:(

    Don't get Bubba on me...:shock:

    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. chocula

    chocula New Member

    Thahnks for the help from both of you. I will go buy a direct connector today as my car does not have a tape player or an aux connection on the front.
    I knew to go with TSS, but decided to try to save some money with the deal Sirius was doing. I should have known better, but what can you do?

    The funny thing is that when I got my old Sportster 4 years ago, I hooked it up and it worked right away. There was nothing to it and I had never used Sirius before.

    Is there a guide for hooking the direct connect to the radio in a Ford Expedition, 2006? I have tried to do it before, but gave up when I saw how much stuff I had to get around. Since I cannot live withough Sirius, I will figure it out this time.

    Thanks again
  5. IdRatherBeSkiing

    IdRatherBeSkiing Sherbert is not and never will be ice cream

    I am not sure. If I had to do direct connect, I would do a professional installation. But I am not comfortable taking my own dashboard apart. If you are, it isn't that hard from what I have read. You just attach the wire to the antenna input on your radio and re-attach the radio antenna to that wire. What I don't know is how accessable that antenna connection is on your particular vehicle.
  6. semipenguin

    semipenguin Cheeseburger Connoisseur

    Hardwiring a radio is something I really don't look forward of doing. I bought an XMP3 and when I get ready to use it, I'm going to have to hook it up and not use the FM Transmitter...:(

    Good Luck...:)
  7. chocula

    chocula New Member

    I have taken it apart a few other times, but gave up on it since the other radio worked.

    If nothing else, I can always pay someone to fix my screw up. LOL

    Will Best Buy or some other place install a radio I bought from Sirius or someplace other than their store?
  8. semipenguin

    semipenguin Cheeseburger Connoisseur

    As long as you have the cash...:)

    Try finding a professional stereo shop in your area...:D
  9. TSS Taylor

    TSS Taylor DRC Fan

    Is Sirius charging you for the replacement radio and then crediting you back when they get the one that is broken?

    I know that I've heard somewhere about 80% or so of the radios that are returned defective to Sirius are in fact fine. I think the customer service tends to give in a lot to what someone says and just kinda gives in as opposed to really thoroughly troubleshooting with them. But I know when a customer is frustrated it's easy to lock up and just say no matter what it's not working.
  10. chocula

    chocula New Member

    I told them I was frustrated, but was not rude, did not raise my voice or anything like that. It is not their fault that it does not work.

    It was their fault that they could not fix it though.

    They would hold my credit card number and charge me if the radio was not returned. My irritation was that they wanted me to pay to return the defective unit. I paid to receive a new, working unit and they sent me a broken radio. They should pay for the return.

  11. TSS Taylor

    TSS Taylor DRC Fan

    The way we handle this is we send a new radio with a prepaid return label. It's done fairly fast. But I think the fact that they get so many non defective radios is why they have that failed policy. I think that if the troubleshooting end were a bit more effective then they would get fewer non defective radios and they could help people in your position more.
  12. no1hedberg

    no1hedberg Member

    The question is what was the radio actually doing? Does it power on? Does it have a satellite signal? If it powers on obviously the display should light up. If the radio has never been activated, powers on, and has signal from the satellite, the display will light up, and you will receive channel 184, and channel 00. Channel 184 is the preview channel that has weather, and radio activation information. The display will say "To Activate Call 1-800-blah-blahblah" If you try to change the channel it will go to channel 00. It will display the radio ID number and no sound. If your radio is displaying like that there is likely nothing wrong with it. If you have the display but no sound, your transmitter is probably not turned off in the menu. If it doesn't power on at all I would try a different cord/cigarette light socket. Any 5v power cord from a newer radio will work.
  13. chocula

    chocula New Member

    That was the strange part.
    The radio came on and received the activation. I could tune to any channel I tried to go to (channel 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, etc...)
    I could turn it off and on and it showed me the song on each station.
    It just did not play on the radio.

    What I am going to try tonight is to use regular headphones and plug them duirectly into the unit to see if they get sound. that will at least let me know if it works.

    I really should have used TSS and have learned my lesson. The bad part is that it came with a required 3 month subscription and I saw on their site that if you cancel the subscription, you may have to pay a fee to cancel.

    I am not happy with Sirius now......

    I looked at a direct connect fm cord and it said that if you wanted to listen to the radio, you had to sirius unit off. That makes no sense. i want to be able to have sirius on and listen to the radio (I look at scores and such while kid listens to local channel - for example). I also change it when a song I llike comes on.

  14. chocula

    chocula New Member

    TSS taylor,
    Do you sell a product that I can plug into my stereo on my vehicle that I can use the Auxillary button on my car radio?

    I know there is a fm adapter that I can use, but you have to shut off the sirius unit to get the radio channels.

    I would like to be able to directly connect to my radio, but be able to l;eave the sirius on an dlisten to the radio.

    Is that possible? If so, what do I need to purchase from you?

  15. ClubSteeler

    ClubSteeler Member


    I don't know enough about car stereos, and I hate to see you spend more money, but............... :)

    What I did... Once I realized that I loved Sirius, I went to walmart and got a $90 Sony XPLOD car stereo. Good radio. Great Display even in direct sunlight. Very happy with the sound quality. Good price. I really like a couple of features of this radio. First of all, it has an auxilary port on the front. So I can plug my Sirius right into the front and hit the AUX button and listen, and switch back to FM or whatever, like you want to do. Also I can plug my MP3 player or anything else I want into this port. Secondly, the CD player plays MP3s. So I can fit hundreds of songs on a single CD, and use it as I would use an ipod. It even does the ramdom shuffling and all that. So I keep a handful of CDs in the car with thousands of songs from my music library. I never have to recharge anything, or worry about theft or the heat in the car. I can reburn them anytime. Also this radio has a built in, but not very powerful, graphic equalizer. You can do your own, and it has about 6 modes built in. Their XPLOD mode is GREAT for Sirius. It really amps up the edge frequencies most affected by compression. Using the AUX port and XPLOD mode is by far the best sounding Sirius I have ever heard.

    For $90, it was a great investment. You could get some of that back by selling your current car stereo on ebay. Good Luck.

    Now, if you have some super expensive car stereo, you are going to need the FM direct adapter. I've never used it, but if I am correct, you can't have the Sirius radio on and still listen to old style radio. I could be wrong.

    So your radio does have an AUX button, but not an AUX port? You need to find the radio's users guide and see what the electrical connection is to the AUX input port. Then you need to see if there is a patch-cable that can convert your Sirius car docks's 1/8" stereo jack to this AUX connector. I've never tried to do that. I've found all of my 1/8" to RCA and 1/8" splitters and all that stuff at before going to the store to buy.
  16. chocula

    chocula New Member

    Thanks for the reply. I have a factory built radio with 6 cd changer in dash. I would have to find a stereo that would be able to take up that space.

    The AUX button on my radio is for my DVD player (I messed around with it last night). I would imagine that you could run it to the sirius as well.

    I called Best Buy and they can install it for $100, which is what i will probably do.

    I tried the sirius in my car last night and in my garage, without using the fm antenna that extends from the sirius unit, and I could hear it over the car radio. I also tried it with my headphones and it worked.

    I think a direct wire is the best thing to do. The funny thing is that I rarely listen to the local radio, so I am not sure why I care that it cuts the radio off when turned on. Heck, I did not ever set the stations her in Charlotte, my daughter did. I did not know they were set for about 6 months after being here. It just happened that a station here was the same as one in Atlanta and I would hit that button when I was in the garage so I did not start the car up to static on the radio.

    Thanks so much for the help everyone. This has been a horrible experience with Sirius, but I am an addict, so I guess I will put up with it.
  17. ClubSteeler

    ClubSteeler Member

    The direct connection system still uses FM modulation, just directly wired instead of transmitted wirelessly. Why does it turn off? When it detects that you have powered on the Sirius Radio, it DIS-connects the car's antenna cable to minimize interference.

    One word of advice. If Best Buy reinstalls the Sirius antenna, do NOT, under any cicumstance, allow them to simply put the antenna on the dashboard. It is to be on the roof... Period. It's in the manual. Don't let them cheat you.
  18. chocula

    chocula New Member

    Thanks for the advice. I would crack up if I got there and saw that the antenna was inside of the car. I would make them fix it, but would laugh and laugh at them.

    Are they really that stupid? I was thinking of what they could screw up and the antenna was never even in my mind. heck, i routed my antenna myself and it is fairly simple.

    I will make sure to speak to them about it before the installation as well.
  19. TSS Taylor

    TSS Taylor DRC Fan

    We sell what you are looking for. It's called an Auxiliary Input Adapter. A lot of the newer cars have an Aux In on the front of the radio now and some have them hidden in the glovebox or center console. But for those who don't the aftermarket division offers some of them as well. They range from $50-$120. What kind of car is it and do you have an External CD-Changer in the trunk?
    Here is the section where those most common ones are.
    Auxiliary Input Adapters (without power) For Vehicles Without CD Changers | TSS-Radio
  20. chocula

    chocula New Member

    Thanks TSS.

    The cd changer is in the dashboard. The vehicle does not have an aux input on the front of the radio, but I have not looked in the glove box for an input (it may be there).

    i did figure out that the aux works the dvd player as well.

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