What's going on with the older radios?

tjj300

New Member
Dec 18, 2008
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I have an original Sportster in my car. About two, maybe three weeks ago, all of a sudden I start getting a constant searching for signal message but I'm still showing 3 bars. This might have happened after an update. Every once in a while the audio will kick back in, sometimes for 30 seconds, sometimes for 20 minutes. Another weird thing is while the searching display is up and no audio, I'm still getting game alert beeps and channel numbers that seem to be accuate (My teams actually playing and/or has just scored). The FM is still working, and I changed the antenna to no effect. I wanted to try the boombox, but my SO put that away and now can't find it!

I've looked on the internet and noticed similar complaints, all recently; all with older, FM transmitting radios.

Anybody know what's up? Is Sirius pushing this glitch down to these older radios?

I have a lifetime sub, and was considering upgrading it to the Sirius/XM everything package, but I wanted to wait until I had more choices in radios. Best of XM won't cut it, I want MLB games. I don't want to waste one of my 2 $75 upgrades for another Sirius only radio. Right now, I'd be really happy if I could just get my Sportster to work or replaced with something else without the $75 upgrade fee.
 

hyson

Forum Jerk
Oct 19, 2008
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I had the same issue with my Starmate Replay.

Basically, SIRIUS told me it was toast and I had to get a new receiver. Ultimately, I did re-up with my current Sportster 4.

I think they just get hot and glitchy and fail. I mean, these things do have a shelf life and will break eventually.
 

Kryptonite

Well-Known Member
Oct 21, 2008
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I think they just get hot and glitchy and fail. I mean, these things do have a shelf life and will break eventually.

Yeah, when I had my Sportster Replay, I had to keep it popped out of the boombox (while listening to it), I had to keep the screen brightness all the way down, and the radio's "internal" volume was all the way down as well.

It still would get hot. Eventually, it "forgot" the SID. The radio would still come on, but it didn't get any channels, and there was a blank space where the SID normally would have been.
 

limegrass69

Confused
Oct 12, 2008
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245
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New York
Could be anything, really. Antenna, antenna cable/connector, the radio itself. Unfortunately, I don't get the impression that these things are built to last forever. I know...it sucks. We all just want to turn on our radios and be left to listen in peace.

I honestly don't think that there is some sort of conspiracy by Sirius to "kill" the older radios.
 

hyson

Forum Jerk
Oct 19, 2008
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Could be anything, really. Antenna, antenna cable/connector, the radio itself. Unfortunately, I don't get the impression that these things are built to last forever. I know...it sucks. We all just want to turn on our radios and be left to listen in peace.

I honestly don't think that there is some sort of conspiracy by Sirius to "kill" the older radios.

Ironically, I have a old-as-piss-flea-market special shortwave radio that still works like a champ. It's gotta be from the 40s or 50s.

I can listen to FM, switch a knob and listen to airplanes and CB frequencies.
 

Kryptonite

Well-Known Member
Oct 21, 2008
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Ironically, I have a old-as-piss-flea-market special shortwave radio that still works like a champ. It's gotta be from the 40s or 50s.

I can listen to FM, switch a knob and listen to airplanes and CB frequencies.


It is what it is. We'd rather pay $X for some cheap-ass "Made in China" junk and complain that the jobs aren't in America (which could mean higher prices) than some quality-made, but maybe more expensive, "Made in America" stuff.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
22,090
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Toronto, ON
Ironically, I have a old-as-piss-flea-market special shortwave radio that still works like a champ. It's gotta be from the 40s or 50s.

I can listen to FM, switch a knob and listen to airplanes and CB frequencies.

Was it made in China?
 

Tgajr

Member
Oct 11, 2008
282
2
18
Baltimore, MD
I just got rid of my old JVC plug n play. I have had the sporster 5 for about 2 days and will post my impression. But so far I dont have the antenna not detected or acquiring signal I had for the past few months with the JVC.
 

ClubSteeler

Member
Oct 16, 2008
416
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SO many things can go wrong. The heating and cooling stresses solder joins. The intense heat and cold inside vehicles.... The vibrations.. Frequent docking stresses the connectors. Ignition switch cutting power... etc...

My Sportster Replay has worked without a hiccup for 3 years now. However I keep it docked at home. My neighbor is on his 2nd Sportster 4 in a year.

Having read this forum for several years, I will make a generalizations:
For the highly stressed vehicle radios, most last 2 to 4 years.

That said, the microdot antennas are usually the first thing to go, so always try a new antenna before getting a new radio.