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Old 03-24-2008, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,589 posts, read 68,129,566 times
Reputation: 16267

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Hello! Has anyone else experienced a defect with XM antennas that permits moisture to enter into the antenna, damaging it? I've had my XM system now for a little over one year, and surely enough the antenna was giving me some VERY spotty reception for the past few weeks before finally dying now, as my receiver just says "No Signal." I went to Best Buy and couldn't find just a replacement antenna, but I did find the XM SureConnect system, which I purchased, figuring it would permit me to now house my new antenna inside of the car, away from exposure to the harsh PA winter elements, which likely fried my old antenna.

I'm now shopping online for a new antenna to use a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com I received last year, and I found this antenna for $26.60 that looks very promising:

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Terk XMICRO2 Single Output High Performance Roof Mount XM Antenna

Any suggestions from my fellow satellite radio junkies? Why would XM sell a product that couldn't withstand the elements when they KNEW in advance that people use antennas on top of their vehicles? Needless to say I'm very unhappy right now.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:35 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,897 posts, read 33,634,159 times
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Winter freezing and summer heating is very hard on solder joints in electronic components. But I agree that 1 year is too soon for a device so passive as an antenna to fail. Are you sure it wasn't under warranty? It's likely that your particular antenna had some manufacturing flaw.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Hopewell New Jersey
1,393 posts, read 7,117,267 times
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Understand that in order for the non tec masses to "understand" stuff what is referred to as an antenna is really an "active antenna".

By active antenna I mean that the "antenna' is really an antenna AND a low noise narrow band preamplifier. This is done to mask the line losses (interconnect cable) which would otherwise add directly to the RF front end noise figure,...ie. decrease the input sensitivity. In short the Antenna is a Lot more than just an antenna..there's active circuitry in there powered from the head unit.

And so....there's a lot more to go wrong than thinking of it as just a passive antenna would lead one to believe.

For what it's worth.....


BTW...the exact same thing is true for GPS antennas as well. And it's true for sat tv dishes too...
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:30 PM
Bo Bo won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Tenth Edition (Apr-May 2014). 

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Location: Ohio
16,897 posts, read 33,634,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBrown View Post
Understand that in order for the non tec masses to "understand" stuff what is referred to as an antenna is really an "active antenna".
Good info, thanks for clarifying. I'm usually better versed in those details, but I've only had sat radio for about 9 months. It took me a few years to get interested in paying for radio.
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,589 posts, read 68,129,566 times
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Thank you both for the insight. I was doing some research and read about several others, including another Pennsylvanian, who also had problems with their original XM antennas fizzling out on them. In my case there was noticeable moisture damage on the magnetic side (underside) of the antenna, and I suspect that since we've had a very dynamic winter the freeze/thaw cycles might have permitted moisture to seep underneath the antenna and then freeze overnight, eventually damaging it and rendering it unable to receive a signal.

I went ahead and ordered the $26.60 antenna, which thanks to free shipping and my gift certificate I'll be paying only $1.60 for. Not too shabby! Now thanks to the XM SureConnect system I also purchased I should be able to keep the antenna mounted somewhere inside of my car, away from the elements.

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,376,176 times
Reputation: 4279
I've had that problem with my Sirius satellite antennas. I went through four of them in a one year period and I took extra precautions to ensure that the antenna was as protected as possible while still giving me a good signal. It does seem moisture does get into the antenna. So, as a result, and because I hate Wal-Mart with a passion, I go to Wal-Mart, buy the $29.99 Sirius Satellite Radio setup (with antenna), bring it home, install it, take the old antenna out, clean it with some rubbing alcohol, package it all back up and return it with some bogus claim. Yeah, I know, I know, I'm bad, but I'm tired of paying $39.99 for antennas every couple of months.
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