Sirius losing signal several times/day, extended periods of time. Radio going bad?

Discussion in 'Sirius Radios' started by chocula, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. chocula

    chocula New Member

    I have a Sportster, that is probably 3.5-4 years old.

    For the past week or so, I have been losing the signal several times a day for extended periods. My driving habits have not changed and I am not driving in places where reception would be blocked.

    I am wondering if my radio is going bad. Does that happen? Is there a way to tell?

    I have a Stiletto 2, but like the Sportster and do not have the car adapter for the S2 yet.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    Well if you had a car adapter you could take the S2 with you and see if it does the same thing. That would be one sure fire way to tell.

    It sounds to me like you've either got a bad antenna, the car dock connector could be going bad or the tuner itself. It is really a process of elimination to find out. If you have a spare antenna try it. If it still does it, then the car dock would be my next guess and last would the the tuner. Also do you have a home dock for the Sportster, when you are off and can listen at home for several hours try it, if it doesn't drop out at home, you know it is the antenna or car dock.
  3. nafddur

    nafddur Member

    Are you getting `Acquiring Signal' messages by any chance when the signal disappears?

    After a couple of months of very good - almost flawless - reception, the old `acquiring signal' problems with my S2 returned yesterday. I noticed sucky reception first in my car last night, and this morning my home dock reception makes Sirius unlistenable (fortunately Stern is doing another replay of a replay of a best-of replay yet again - a show that has been on several times and I don't need to hear again).

    It has to be a Sirius signal problem (as it was last summer), because it's unlikely that both of my antennas went bad at the same time.

    Oh yeah, I'm in the northeast. Just wondering if others are having this same problem (again).
  4. chocula

    chocula New Member

    I have a bopombox for it and I will hook it up to that and see if it works or not. Thanks for the suggestion, I did not think of that.

    I am probably going to hook up the S2 to the car soon, so it may not matter. I just really like the Sportster

  5. chocula

    chocula New Member

    Forgot to add: Yes, I get the acquiring signal while it is not working.
  6. buckeye96

    buckeye96 Member

    It is the antenna. Replace the antenna and everything should be fine
  7. Blitz71

    Blitz71 Member

    If your using the round MicroDot antenna, I would bet thats it. They go bad after a while. They're not sealed very well and it gets moisture inside. Both my wife and I had them go out on each of our vehicles.
  8. buckeye96

    buckeye96 Member

    Both of us as well. In fact I replaced the dock because I was convinced that an antenna couldn't fail.
  9. chocula

    chocula New Member


    I do have another antenna, so I will try that before I ditch the radio.

    Since I never get any message about the antenna, I assumed that was not the problem. Pluys, I never thought an antenna could go bad either.
  10. nafddur

    nafddur Member

    Nope, not the antenna(s) - reception came back fine later in the day (yesterday).

    Great car reception once again and solid 2-3 bars in the home dock. Whatever Sirius was doing to the signal they fixed. Same thing as happened a couple of months ago.
  11. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    If the problem is as you say then it would be impacting everyone unless you are being served by a faulty repeater in your area. But if no one else is having this problem via the sats then I think your diagnosis is wrong!
  12. HecticArt

    HecticArt Administrator

    Could be your local repeater. What city are you in?
  13. chocula

    chocula New Member

    I put the unit in the boombox and left iot on for a couple of hours. I got acquiring signal the entire time.
  14. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    If you antenna was such that you have a clear line of site to the sky or a repeater in your area, then I'd say you've got a bad tuner.
  15. StoneCutter

    StoneCutter New Member

    I had this happen with my Sportster 4 about a year ago. I bouta a replacement car kit and replaced the antennae wire. No luck. I replaced the rest of the car kit, with the exception of the power - in other words - the holder thingy that you plug the unit into, and it worked fine. I suspect for some reason the connector in the base unit thingy effed up somehow. It worked well for another year until just recently when the radio unit crapped out for good. RIP Sportster 4.
  16. chocula

    chocula New Member

    I tried it in my boom box and it did not work. Tonight I tried it in my wife's car as she has a power plug and an antenna. It was still saying acquiring antenna.

    I decided to do a factory reset and it worked.

    I have no idea why, but that fixed the issue.

    I drive about 40-60 minutes to work, so I will know for sure tomorrow morning.

    Thanks everyone
  17. Blitz71

    Blitz71 Member

    Thats cool. Hopefully that does the trick.
  18. XeroFuzion

    XeroFuzion Member

    These radios are friggin unbelievable!!! I have worked on radios for years and have never seen as many antenna problems as the ones that come with the Sirius radios. How many system updates have also ruined customers radios because the process didnt complete correctly because of a weak signal or lost data due to a faulty antenna!?!?!?


    Anyway, yeah, if you are getting the Antenna Not Detected or Acquiring Signal message on your radio then replace the antenna completely. It should fix your problem. This happened with my wifes S50.

    On the other hand I have my antenna for my SL100 in a "portable" configuration and i take it with me when i go on trips in rental cars etc. The thing is from my original Take Anywhere Kenwood and is all bent up, nicked, and frayed and i have NO PROBLEMS with it at all. GO FIGURE.
  19. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    AMEN! I just today had to replace my OEM antenna on my Scion xB because it went bad. I have just never seen the likes of this issue with antennas. I did have one that came with one of my previous kits. Ran all the wires exactly like the OEM one was run and plugged it in. FULL SIGNAL! How long it will last is any ones guest. It was a pain in the ass though having to run that antenna into all those areas on the car to hide it, but worth it because I hate to see wires exposed. The thing that pisses me off is that I had bought a special cable to make use of the OEM antenna on my XpressRC tuner. Now that was a waste of money.

    I have been complaining about these antennas for years! Though most of that is archived on SBS now days! LOL
  20. chocula

    chocula New Member

    I lied......

    It worked right away last night, but not this morning.

    I left for work today, and it did not work for about 10-15 minutes, then it came on and stayed on for the rest of the ride.
    It did the exact same thing at lunch and on the way home.

    It has to be something wrong with the radio. I have had it for about 4 years now, so I guess it is time to replace it.

    Like I said, I have the S2, but I really like the face of the Sportster as it is much bigger and easier to read.

    I also tried to use my boombox and the antenna in my wife's car and it did not work then either.

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