A Sirius technical challenge

OK, help me set up my satellite radio palace: How do I get the satellite radio signal in and move it all around the house? Are there any solutions — like broadcasting iTunes via wi-fi or other means of listening to internet radio anywhere — that will get Sirius into every room?

The setup I’m working with now just won’t cut it: I pull the satellite receiver out of the car and stick it in the home dock and it transmits to my office and the room next door, but only if I take the antenna and dangle it just so over a hat tree. When I want to listen in the shower, I have to drag along the dock and the antenna and find just the right angle there to transmit to the shower radio.

What I’d like is to set up the antenna in one spot with the dock and use other technology — computer with wi-fi, other newfangled gadget — to transmit that to any radio in the house. Any suggestions?

  • Any suggestions?

    Get a MyFi!

  • Pitty the programming’s no good…

  • Mumblix Grumph

    I used to use a transmitter hooked up to a cheap Radio Shack FM amplifier hooked up to an old TV antenna (remember those?).

    Actually it worked pretty well…I then graduated to a TV amplifier and VCR. I had my own (very) low-power TV station for a while there. I’d walk around the neighborhood with a portable TV checking my signal like the “Can you hear me now?” guy.

    But Jeff…shouldn’t you have already had this done weeks ago?

  • I don’t know about Sirius, but XM offers a booster to get the signal throughout your house. It’s pretty pricey, though.

  • ct

    My God but this post and the following comments are a wonderful advertisement for satellite radio…

  • Joel

    Assuming your radio has an FM transmitter in it (most if not all of the Sirius radios do), you just have to set the FM frequency to one not being used in your area. Then you just need an FM radio in any room. For example, my Sirius radio is in my computer room. I can easily pick up the signal anywhere in my house. In fact, I use my small portable walkman radio and listen as I walk through the house.

  • It’s something strange about my house; the rooms over the garage (where my office is) must have been lined in lead; I have trouble getting wi-fi signals in and now fm signals out. I get the fm signal from my house all the way up to the street but can’t get it three rooms away on the same floor in the house.

  • You’re paying HOW MUCH a month for this?

  • Bill Henry

    My set up that I installed in no time last week works well. It’s a cheapo XACT visor receiver AND the home kit that I purchased at Circuit City for a total of $61.00 inc tax. The home antenna is up on the roof and feeds the receiver in my home office. This radio is powered by the included wall wart. This receiver has a jack labeled “FM out” where I have a 1.5mm power plug with a 4 foot wire attached. This allows the radio to put out a good FM signal that I can easily hear all over the house AND out in my shop in the backyard, 100 feet away, on any FM radio. (I tune the sat radio output to 87.7 MHz, but it’s variable) Without using the wire out of the “FM out” jack reception in the shop was no where near as good. It’s quick to remove the radio from its bracket and move it to the car. And yes, it’s sure is great to hear Howard unleashed! Has Pat Robertson come out yet screaming for the regulation of sat radio? I’m sure the freedom-hating wingnuts will try.

  • Brian

    Can’t answer your query, Jeff, but I am interested in what solution ultimately works, as I am hooking up my Sirius at home this weekend.

    I got the control panel for the car, plus the home receiver, from my wife as a Xmas present. I didn’t necessarily want it for Howard Stern, although I like him. She took the plunge on her own and made the decision for Sirius over XM. I want to at least say my piece here re the service and the programming.

    I decided to stick with Sirius for the content it has over XM’s. Since leaving the Circuit City installation garage on New Year’s Eve, I have maybe listened to FM radio twice for a few minutes. I love this service, and it’s worth every penny. And this is coming from a person who was initially skeptical on the overall value.

    Sirius needs to catch up with XM on the hardware aspect (better and varied control panels, boombox system, etc.), but I’m very happy with satellite radio, and am looking forward to getting the home antenna working to take the control panel from my car and connect in the house.

  • Frank M

    I’m guessing here…..

    On an old PC, load up winamp with the shoutcast plugin. Hook your source up to that computer.

    Access it from any machine running itunes, probably with an address like:

  • chris green

    http://www.sonos.com is one solution. Besides being the best whoel home digital music solution, it also can broadcast audio from the line-in jacks on any of its stations to any or all of the others, wirelessly (or wired). Its not especially cheap, but the “bang for the buck” is decent.

  • Teresa

    I’m having the same problem and since I’m technically challenged, the Sirius is pretty much in one room.
    But as said above, you can pick it up on any FM radio in the house? Gotta try that.

  • Jim S

    What I’ve been wondering about the service is do you have to pay the monthly fee on a per receiver basis? In other words if I have a receiver with me in the car does that mean that my wife can’t have one at home to listen to without paying two monthly fees?

  • Kevin

    The best way to get good reception is to put your home antenna on the roof of your house. Your home kit should have a fm transmitter, and you can pick up the signal on any radio.

    This link will give you a map of where you should point your antenna in order to get the best reception.

  • Brian


    I had the same question, and the answer is that the subscription is receiver-based. Thus, I have one control panel (or receiver, if you will) in my car, and on the weekends I remove it and bring it in the house and connect it to my tuner, which has a Sirius antenna connected to it. My house is wired for sound, so I can listen to it anywhere in the house at that point.

    If I were to spring for the cost of another control panel, so that I can keep one in my car, and the other in my home, I’d have to buy another subscription. I’m going to try it my way for awhile and see how that works. Also, later this month, they’ll have a boombox that will allow me to take my control panel and attach it for listening at the beach, picnic, camping, wherever.

  • Alex Grant

    Guys, I just found the answer for broadcasting you Sirius through your house and yard.

  • Alex….
    Looks great but….
    a kit?!?!? I haven’t wrangled a soldering iron in years!

  • okjk

    Five years ago I said pay radio! Bullshit….Now, I listen to howard, npr, j thomas, disorder, etc…8-10 hrs a day!!!!!!!!!—in fact I bought another unit for the house…I have tried reflecting=bouncing the satellite signal with all kinds of mirrors, metal shapes and finishes, wrapping the damn antennae with house wiring, phone wiring, cable wiring, toilet paper…and nothing. Though I must admit that when I’m screwing with the antennae and its wire inside the house near a north facing window, I get good reception though the antennae wiring looks like spaghetti. I know the signal is strong because of the number of bars on the signal meter-all sirius radios have this. In many city areas thought the signal is sent as satellite and terrestial…many times the terrestial is the stronger of the two…however, I do loose it sometimes for a second, much like driving under a bridge. but it works 99%…..anyway, getting back to the original question….I am working on a cheap solution to rebroadcast the signal by some retransmitter or whatever…
    For the interim I am using a cheap but damn powerful small fm transmitter from
    It’s $40, sends a smacking stereo signal over 330ft! I field tested it walking my dog!!! Get the ac adapter. This ck222 comes assembled, nude, no case… the resistors, capacitors, modulaters, coils, etc are all exposed…it’s neat though..I have a back up fm transmitter that I got at the npr store website. Its cool looking cost $80 and works for about 100ft but it doesn’t have a dedicated onoff switch. The ck222 comes on when its powered. I hooked it up with sirius to a timer so howard can come on at 6 and go off at 11 — I don’t want to burn up the trans and sirius staying on full time…..
    will message once something else works jj

  • Samantha

    How do I listen from my pc?

  • okjk

    Unless you are a sirius subscriber, you will not be able to listen to “some” of sirius

  • Bob LaFont

    Regarding FM transmission of Sirius radio: I connected the FM out jack to a long wire shortwave antenna I no longer use (60 feet of wire strung horizontally under the eave of my house) and to my amazement get clear reception on my walkman more than1000 feet away from the house. My original idea was that if the antenna was strung along the entire width of the house that every room would just be a few away and get good reception. No need to but that $139 FM stereo transmitter referred to in an earlier message if you have a long enough antenna.

  • Bob LaFont

    For outside placement I bought the TERK SIR6 SIRIUS Satellite Radio Home Antenna. http://www.audiovox.com A 50 foot extension with built in amplifier can be used to extend the distance away from the radio if your antenna placement needs it. I live in the woods and needed to place the antenna over the river to get a view free of trees. Sometimes the indoor antennas that are included with dedicated home and plug-and-play satellite radios just don’t get the job done. You can mount this stout, all-weather antenna on your roof or an exterior wall, with the help of the supplied universal mounting bracket and hardware. Shop around for the best price on the internet because they vary ALOT, from $50 to $80 according to pricegrabber.com


  • dwindle

    Somewhere, in the archives of time, you can find an in-wall transmitter. You would connect your stereo, via phono plug to a receptacle that plugged into the wall. It would transmit through the house wiring system, and you would pick it up via a receiver that also plugged into the walls, and acted as a remote output. More to the point, your hardware makes all the difference. Some will work all over everywhere, some have no distance at all. I can’t even get mine to work in the car, because the radio can’t pick it up – I found this post looking for solutions. The problem stems from FCC regulations controlling how much power they can transmit with.