XM radio in Great White North?

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by earthroamer, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. earthroamer

    earthroamer Stuck in Pindadesh

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    I'm considering buying an XM satellite radio for my upcoming trip to Alaska and was wondering if there was problems with rececption up there?
    #1
  2. Ridemuch

    Ridemuch Ciao

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    A friend of mine got his from the states and has no problem outside of the city. Tall building screw with it (downtown core). Luckily his work has him outside of the city. Should be no problem for you.:thumb
    #2
  3. Hotfoot

    Hotfoot Been here awhile

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    I had mine on my Goldwing went I went to Alaska in 05 and it does eventually cut out basically because of the angle of the satellite in relation to how far north you are.
    I believe the satellite is in geo-sync orbit over the US and so it works coast to coast but not pole to pole.

    In any case I was in Alaska and would get dropped whenever mountains got in the way. Worth taking though because it pretty much works all the way through the Yukon and into Alaska anway. So my advice is take it.
    #3
  4. Hotfoot

    Hotfoot Been here awhile

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  5. Big Doug

    Big Doug Been here awhile

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    I've used XM this summer through a lot of NorthEastern Ontario, as far north as Wawa, east to Ottawa and Kingston and in the Toronto area.

    The only place I've experienced reception difficulties is when I'm driving north or south and there's a tall rock face, cliff close to the road to the west or tall tree cover on both sides of the road. Obviously the sattelite is positioned to the west of us in this area of the country. You'll probably have the opposite experience on the west coast. I checked and the eastern satellite for XM is positined at 85 degrees in geosynch orbit, roughly in line with Atlanta, Detroit, etc. The western satellite is at 115W roughly in-line with Vegas.

    A good example of where a rock face or cliff blocks reception momentarily would be the first 5 minutes of the ride from Temiskaming, Quebec or Hwy 144 north of Sudbury near Onaping Falls.

    The only place I've experienced terrestial (repeater) XM is in the Toronto area, where you'll be hard pressed to lose signal even under bridges, etc.

    One thing that amazes me is even with a fiberglass canoe on top of the antenna, the signal is not affected.



    http://www.dogstarradios.com/sirasasecoma.html
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  6. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    earthroamer, in my experience the XM will cut out on you when you hit the far north. I doubt that it would work for you if you were to do the Dempster to Inuvik, for instance. But the Sirius is good everywhere I've tried it - never once let me down. My .02c worth.

    Cheers
    #6
  7. Gusgus

    Gusgus Banned

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    I recently returned from the lesser 48 states. I had XM. I found since the antenna is mounted on the duck bill of my GS, that heading north made reception impossible, heading south was much better, although still effected by trees, mountains, vehicles, and weather.
    I cancelled my subscription due to a promise, broken. I don't know if I will ever go back.
    #7
  8. Vagabond

    Vagabond Mr. Sparkle

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    My XM receiver works just fine on the Slope. :norton No mountains up there............
    #8
  9. sdsyver

    sdsyver I'd Rather Be Riding!

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    I have both. XM came in my truck and the reception sucks in the mountains behind building tall trees etc in fact on a September Trip to the Yukon I cancelled my subscription and will not renew. The Sirius on the same trip had no issues. Plus you get Howard on the sirius.
    #9
  10. Longer

    Longer Been here awhile

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    All of the rigging crews I work with use Sirius as they work up north quite a bit. I had to choose when I began working between Vancouver and Whistler (alot of rock faces blocking the SE line of sight). From what I read when I did some research online Sirius satellites are in a higher orbit than XM satellites and thus Sirius gives you a better shot the farther north you are.

    There are some very technical explanations out there to read but this is the idea.

    I did not really give content much thought when I purchased Sirius, I am a network guy at heart and went with this angle in my purchase.

    I do know that in the Vancouver BC area XM has put up a lot more terrestrial low power stations and a few high power ones. Sirius has one high powered station (to my knowledge) for city use to avoid building fade. A solution to the line of sight issue, although there may be other factors such as power levels etc. I am not 100% sure on their network specifics.

    Not 100% on the exact site numbers but I know XM has a lot more; I have bumped into a few of the techs in my travels (I work in cellular/PCS field services) and this is what I hear.

    Anyway, just what I've heard. Hope it helps out somewhat.

    Longer
    #10
  11. samuidave

    samuidave The Dude abides...

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    I went to Inuvik in 2005 with Sirius along the way.

    But it ran dry somewhere halfway between Whitehorse and dawson City in the Yukon.

    So, that sort of covers, oh, the lower 1/3 or so of the north.
    #11
  12. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Dude, that has to be a problem with your equipment - perhaps the way the antenna was mounted? I know folks in Inuvik who listen to Sirius with no problems at all.
    #12
  13. arctic rider

    arctic rider n00b

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    xm does not work in Fairbanks. Reception is spotty from the border area and gets worse the further you go into Alaska. If you head south from the border crossing, it eventally picks back up south of the Alaska Range, as you head for Anchorage.
    #13
  14. woodgrain

    woodgrain In-Dented Savant

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    While travelling through larger cities with 500,000 watt FM transmitters, you'll get some bleeding through of the local station on the set frequency of your radio. Mine works on 93.1 and if I'm in a major city I'll lose signal strength to the the stronger local station until I get outta Dodge.

    Woodgrain
    #14
  15. jbim

    jbim Been here awhile

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    I have a handheld XM unit and it didn't work well while in Whitehorse or north of it.
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  16. BlackBeast

    BlackBeast Been here awhile

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    Sorry, this may not be the right spot for this question, so please mod move if needed.

    Will Sirius work outside of N.America - if planning a trip to S.America, Africa & Europe.
    #16
  17. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Been wondering that very same thing myself for a while now, but have never got around to doing such as finding out! I know that in the U.K. they've never heard of satellite radio, so I'm guessing Europe is out.
    #17
  18. Gusgus

    Gusgus Banned

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    The site suggests there is no coverage beyond any borders beyond the US and/or Canada

    Now in 79 Markets across the USA and Canada**
    The XM NavTraffic® service, now covers 79 major metropolitan markets. The larger markets in the XM NavTraffic service are supported 24/7. The XM NavTraffic service will continue to expand in the future through joint development with our traffic information provider, NAVTEQ Traffic.

    Market Coverage Map:


    [​IMG]
    (Click on any metropolitan area below for more detail on coverage area and availability hours.) ​

    XM NavTraffic, powered by NAVTEQ Traffic, now covers the following metropolitan areas:

    In the US <TABLE class=tLgBlack width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD rowSpan=99>[​IMG]</TD><TD class=tLgBlack vAlign=top width="50%">· Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
    · Albuquerque, NM
    · Allentown-Bethlehem, PA
    · Atlanta, GA
    · Austin, TX
    · Baltimore, MD
    · Birmingham, AL
    · Boston, MA
    · Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY
    · Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC
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    · Dayton, OH
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    · Detroit, MI
    · Fresno, CA
    · Grand Rapids, MI
    · Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point, NC
    · Greenville-Spartanburg, SC
    · Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle, PA
    · Hartford-New Britain - Middletown, CT
    · Houston-Galveston, TX
    · Indianapolis, IN
    · Jacksonville, FL
    · Kansas City, KS
    · Lancaster-York, PA
    · Las Vegas, NV
    · Lincoln, NE
    · Little Rock, AR
    · Los Angeles, CA
    · Louisville, KY
    · Memphis, TN
    · Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, FL
    · Milwaukee-Racine, WI
    </TD><TD class=tLgBlack vAlign=top width="50%">· Mobile, AL
    · Naples-Ft. Myers, FL
    · Nashville, TN
    · New Orleans, LA
    · New York, NY
    · Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, VA
    · Oklahoma City, OK
    · Omaha-Council Blufs, NE
    · Orlando, FL
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    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>In Canada <TABLE class=tLgBlack width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD rowSpan=99>[​IMG]</TD><TD class=tLgBlack vAlign=top width="50%">· Toronto, ON
    · Montreal, QB
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    </TD><TD class=tLgBlack vAlign=top width="50%"> </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    #18
  19. ptero

    ptero Been here awhile

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    Today on the radio (npr I believe - no cites) "they" mentioned a possible merger of Sirius and XM. Not much said about changes in content or coverage. I imagine it would take awhile to ink a deal.
    #19
  20. BlackBeast

    BlackBeast Been here awhile

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    Thanks Gusgus.
    #20