Switching radios in car - 2 questions

sjb4

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Oct 12, 2008
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I had a Sportster 2 that died over the weekend (odd since it was just sitting on my table) so I took Sirius up on the $9.99 Stratus 5 offer. New radio arrived and I installed in the car. I noticed that the power plug is slightly smaller on the Stratus vs. the Sportster. My Sportster power was hardwired into my car and I really want to be able to use that instead of the cigarette lighter. Are there any kind of adapters I could use to make the plug the proper size? If not, could I just splice the Stratus plug onto the Sportster wire?

Also - the FM signal on the Stratus is terrible compared to the Sportster, even with the FEA. When I plugged the FEA into the dock, it actually sounded worse than before I attached it - virtually all static or hearing other people's radios clearly on the same open frequency as I was driving to work. I pulled it out and let it barely touch the input on the dock and got fairly clear reception but still had many areas of static/interference. This might be a short term solution but I don't see how this can be a good way to get reception longterm - any suggestions? Is the dock defective?
 

semipenguin

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Oct 11, 2008
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Was there a Sportster 2?...:scratch:

I think you're talking about the Sportster Replay. It's had a good FM transmitter. The new radios have horrible FM transmitters and need to be hooked up directly to the car stereo...:shock:

Also, I think the new Stratus radios are 5v as opposed to the Sportster's which are 12v...:right:

I hope that helps...:)
 

MM

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Oct 9, 2008
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I had a Sportster 2 that died over the weekend (odd since it was just sitting on my table) so I took Sirius up on the $9.99 Stratus 5 offer. New radio arrived and I installed in the car. I noticed that the power plug is slightly smaller on the Stratus vs. the Sportster. My Sportster power was hardwired into my car and I really want to be able to use that instead of the cigarette lighter. Are there any kind of adapters I could use to make the plug the proper size? If not, could I just splice the Stratus plug onto the Sportster wire?

How is it hardwired? A lot of the time the cig power cord is used in a hardwire.

Do NOT do any splicing.

The power cord for the Stratus has a (insert technical term here) that drops the power from 12v from your car to 5v for the Stratus.

Also, I think the new Stratus radios are 5v as opposed to the Sportster's which are 12v...:right:

You are correct.
 
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sjb4

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Oct 12, 2008
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Was there a Sportster 2?...:scratch:

I think you're talking about the Sportster Replay. It's had a good FM transmitter. The new radios have horrible FM transmitters and need to be hooked up directly to the car stereo...:shock:

Also, I think the new Stratus radios are 5v as opposed to the Sportster's which are 12v...:right:

I hope that helps...:)

It was a Sportster Replay but I think it had a "2" in the name somewhere. Unfortunately for me, my car is a 2004 Hyundai w/ CD player but no aux input. I'm not keen on tearing apart my dashboard to attempt a direct connection at this time. Maybe if the reception continues to suck and I get tired of the static.

And the 12V/5V would explain the size difference, so I guess I'm out of luck there, too.

To answer MM's question - I believe the cig lighter cord was used for the hardwire, but I can't say for sure since it was done 3 years ago at a Circuit City. They did give me a nice mount bracket that I was able to reuse - no idea how I'll remove it whenever I get rid of the car.
 

nafddur

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Oct 18, 2008
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Unfortunately for me, my car is a 2004 Hyundai w/ CD player but no aux input.

No cassette player either? The cassette adapters work - and better yet, sound - great. I know Nissans still had cassette players in 2004 (that's how I play my S2 in my 04 Murano).
 

dlynx

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Oct 9, 2008
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For the power end of things... Find where your existing power connection is tied in at (probably in the wire leading to the cig or aux power on your car. Disconnect the old wiring and install one of these:

Cigarette Lighter Hardwire Adapter

Or if your in a hurry you can typically find a splitter at your local all-in-one store or auto store. Get one with the wire leads and cut it off the end that plugs into the cig lighter. Install that where your existing wiring is, and then plug your new adapter into it.

But if circuit city did it, you may have to dig for a bit to find where the connection is. You may get lucky and find they used one of these already, but I doubt it if it the old radio was a 12v model... they probably just chopped the end off the cord.
 

sjb4

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Oct 12, 2008
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Thanks for the assistance folks. Right now, I'm in no hurry to pull off panels and fiddle around with the radio wiring, but I may down the road. If I can find the circuit city harness, I will see how compatible it is. I still have power in the cig lighter and second lighter-style input so I am assuming some kind of splitter was used.

I managed to find a very simple solution to the poor reception - unscrew the car's FM antenna. Now I have better reception than ever. No drop outs, static, or intereferene at all today. Now to find something to cover up the antenna hole...
 

semipenguin

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I managed to find a very simple solution to the poor reception - unscrew the car's FM antenna. Now I have better reception than ever. No drop outs, static, or intereferene at all today. Now to find something to cover up the antenna hole...

Good stuff...:)

I've heard of people doing that, but I've never tried it. I'm glad to know that it does work...:cool: