Thursday, January 19, 2006

Set up a portable XM Radio in your house.

This weekend I was bored and needed to do something. I had purchased a Roady2 XM Reciever for a exgirlfriend but broke up with her before giving it to her. Seemed like a shame to let it go to waste, and I had been curious about satellite radio for a while.

Examining the package, it was a standard car install kit. Including the receiver, the antenna, 2 types of mounts (vent and pedestal), a tape adapter, dc power supply (cig lighter), and a few colored faceplate accents. Standard fare really. Useful for a car install but useless for a house install.

After checking prices online for the home kit, I was surprised to find that it cost around $40. Way to much for essentially an adapter kit. I mean really, I only paid $29 for the radio itself. I knew there was a cheaper way. First to assemble the parts.

Roady2 XM Reciever


Multi-voltage DC power supply


1/8th headphone to RCA cable



Now I had everything I needed the assembly was straight forward. Configure the power supply. I used a old radio shack Multi-voltage 1000mah wall wart power supply. Radio shack has a bunch of replacement wall warts with they’re adapta plug connectors for a decent price. I set it for the output voltage of 6 volts, center positive, with the “B” tip.

Next I used a standard cheap 1/8th headphone to RCA cable. Plugged the RCA’s into my receiver, and the other end into the XM radio.

Then I found a convenient place to mount the antenna on my front window (so it has a good skyview). Applied 3M poster strips on the antenna, stuck it to the window, and just taped the lead to the window frame to hide it a bit. Ran the cable and then connected it to the roady2 unit.

I used more 3M poster strips to mount the pedestal to the side of the smallish table that houses my home theatre components. Mounted my new radio, plugged in the power adapter, connected it to the roady2, turned on my receiver set it to the inputs of the roady2 (in my case I used the MD/Tape input). I turned on the roady2 and in a sec or so after finding the satellite I had XM Preview playing in my house.

This install cost nothing to me (because I had the parts already) other than the subscription fee. Now if you use new parts you can do this for under $30. The subscription is about $12 a month and I feel it’s worth it just to not have commercials. The world news and genre specific stations are just great. Not to mention I can still move it back and forth from my car because (aside of one mount) I never used the stuff that came with it aside from the antenna. I’ll just get another antenna to mount in my car permanently.

16 Comments:

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Justin said...

Home adapters cost under $30-60 online depending on what model you have.

Your cable and power adapter were nice finds nonetheless.

 
At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice work! XM 202 baby!

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

I only did a cursory search on price, so I'm sure it could be found cheaper. But I really just wanted to do it fast and cheap.

Gotta remember that a lot of us geeks have extra wall warts laying around that you could just snip the end and solder on a suitable tip.

 
At 11:00 PM, Blogger Trevor said...

Ehhh...Sirius is better...Howard Rules!

 
At 11:41 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

Kinda missing the point huh? It's the mod thats important. And well, I did buy it for my ex. But thanks for looking!

 
At 9:46 AM, Anonymous RaMOOOONE said...

Brilliant. I have a built-in XM unit in my vehicle, so i didn't know that this was possible with one of the portables. Luckily i have one of them Radio Shack AC adapters at home, and a huge supply of RCA cables. I'm gonna add a second unit to my house, woohoo!

 
At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RaMOOOONE - if it's built in you might have an issue with the antenna?

 
At 1:36 AM, Blogger Earl said...

that's pretty cool, did you figure out how to mod the antenna? I haven't seen a cheap replacement antenna for the dang thing, so when I had mine set up in the house and wanted to put it in the car I had to keep moving the antenna......

pretty good though, if not simple.

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger Ryan said...

I didn't need to mod the antenna. I simply mounted it and got pretty good reception. Haven't gotten around to mounting it in my vehicle, so still no need for an additional antenna, but they can be had relatively cheaply. I think $30 was the going rate.

For something going into my car, I dont think I want to mod it, I'll just do that with the right parts.

 
At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ryan;
have any more free weekends, now make this device portable to use when I'm riding my scooter.

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

No problem, just get me some double a's, a battery pack, some headphone, an antenna, and some fun tack. Actually it would be pretty easy.

 
At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Set up my XM the same way but didn't get good clarity or sound, The radio sounds much better. used both a boombox with the cassette and also hooked it up to my reciever. Both didn't sound great. Any suggestions? Elizabeth

 
At 8:09 AM, Blogger Ryan said...

Well, it could be you have the volume set too high on the XM receiver. If you did it wouldn't sound clear and would be overdriving your amp. If you used, the radio part and it sounds fine then it is probably the volume is set too high on your unit.

Hope that helps.

 
At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...AND THIS YOU CALL A HACK ...........4TH GRADE ELECTRONICS SPARE ME!!

 
At 12:04 PM, Blogger Andrew Godfrey said...

I am interested in knowing a ballpark figure on how much it would cost to buy a portable XM receiver and how much it would cost counting the receiver and the parts needed to get it working. Also would like to know if there is an additional cost for major league baseball games.

 
At 2:44 AM, Blogger laptop battery said...

Shopping the cheap battery,you can see from here.

 
At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Viagra said...

Great tutorial. Thank you for posting this!

 

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