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Electronics / NAV Discussion This section contains discussion about the electronics system and NAV system in the Jeep Commander.

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  #1  
Old 08-26-2009, 05:18 PM
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Sirius Satellite Radio Antenna Relocation

So… a few months ago, I semi-screwed up my Sirius radio receiving by installing my roof rack. It affected it somewhat, but it still mostly worked.

Then, I added a surplus stainless steel fish screen from Lower Monumental Dam to make a cargo floor. (My good ol’ buddy Dan is a scrap man) That pretty much finished it off, since the antenna is now blocked off from the sky. It does still work while I’m parked… depending on what direction I’m sitting. But while moving, it just doesn't cut it.

While things were apart, I (foolishly) thought the back of the RAQ radio in the dash would have a GPS type connector. I thought I’d add just another antenna and put it somewhere else on the roof. But, noooOOOooo, the actual Sirius radio receiver is under the passenger side back seat under a removable carpet cover.

And… the Sirius radio operates on the satellite S band of 2.3 to 2.4 Ghz. GPS is 1.4 and 1.6 Ghz, (L1 and L2) so a GPS antenna won’t work anyway. We tried… we have several GPS antenna around the shop. The SMB type connector is the same for satellite radio and GPS, and even some cell phone stuff. It's this:
My cure is on the way. I bought a universal Sirius antenna from eBay for $16 shipped. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180361605942


It has the proper reverse style SMB connector and a nice long cable. I'll route it up forward, and sneak it out the front door's seal, and stick it via its magnet to the front corner of the Jeep's roof WHERE IT SHOULD'VE BEEN IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! Thank you, Jeep, for mounting the Sirius antenna on the back end, right where cargo racks etc. will block it from the sky IF USED.


The new antenna will leave the OEM one right where it is, avoiding sealing an open hole had I relocated it.


The alternative would be to order a $145 (the cheapest I could find) Sirius antenna install kit, with extension able. I think $16 beats $145 every time.
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2009, 05:28 PM
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Here's the roof rack cargo floor:


And a Sirius antenna kit: (Although a $158 one) They're 'out there' anywhere from $145 to $175)
http://www.leeparts.com/dodge_magnum...ation_kit.html

Do not be fooled by the square looking connector. (That's also on the OEM receiver) The SMB connector is just buried inside a plastic hood. We tried a GPS antenna, and it plugs in just fine... it's just that GPS is the wrong band, so it doesn't/didn't work.
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:35 PM
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Great idea, looking forward to your final report.
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:09 PM
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Regardless, it will still go silent whn you drive under a tree, or a large bird.
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haags View Post
Regardless, it will still go silent whn you drive under a tree, or a large bird.
Yeah, that's about it alright. Before the roof rack, it quit working when two measly inches of snow landed on the antenna. It doesn't take much to block out S band. Foliage on trees is more than enough.

UPDATE: We get into all kinds of repairs around here, including AM/FM and CB radios for the bigger customers. (As personal favors, as we don't work on consumer crap normally)

I remembered a Sirius antenna that had a damaged coax from routing thru a door seal. It was all but chopped in half from the latch. I did a little ransacking and found it. (WOOHOO!!) The molded connector also had bad damage right at the edge of the plastic mold.

But...

I kluged the thing together with an old GPS connector, and cut out the bad coax section. I did a Mickey Mouse splice with solder and heat shrink. I've done this before in pinches: I solder the center conductor and heat shrink it, then I pull the shield over that and solder and shrink that together. It's lossy as heck to high freq. RF, but when you're desperate...

I also had to peel back the shroud on the GPS connector so it would fit the plastic sleeve. (all but ruining it... I had to solder repair it) but... IT WORKS!! It's a complete P.O.S., but the sat's back! When the eBay antenna shows up, I'll route the coax properly and plant the new ant up front for good.

I also discovered during all this, that the receiver has about 10 seconds of buffer. Unplug the antenna, and the music (or Howard Stern, or whatever) keeps on going. That prevents brief drop outs I guess. So... if your underpass lasts longer than 10 seconds, it's gone.
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:01 PM
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Hi Adondo, Could you post pics of how that hooks to the stock system, I am very interested in moving mine. for 16 bucks you cant go wrrong thanks, D
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:16 PM
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I'm waiting for the new antenna to show up, then I'll post photos of the install.

I could've just used the Scotch taped together kluge I made for the test, but the coax has cuts in the jacket close to the ''hockey puck'' antenna end. I figured that for $16 I'd just install a new one.

I'm surprised at how easy the receiver is to get to. Just flip the passenger side rear seat all the way forward, then pop up the Velcroed carpet piece, and there 'tis. The connector's plastic locking plug is crammed against the back wall, so that's a semi-PITA to get unplugged. Other than that, it's easy to deal with.

It must just send audio to the dash unit as part of the wiring bundle. When I did the guage pod thing and removed it, I kinda' thought the satellite radio was an integrated part of the dash unit. Learn something new every day.
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:40 PM
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Im going to go look at mine right now!
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:58 PM
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I dont see it. Pass side


Driver side
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:30 PM
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D, passenger side is it. The box is partially under the middle seat, the antenna is the green/white plug on the back of the box.
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