Project Cherokee: Sirius Satellite Radio Installation

Sirius Satellite Radio AntennaI had a great opportunity to sign up with Sirius Satellite Radio back during Christmas of 2002. I caught their Friends and Family Plan while surfing www.techbargains.com. The plan was, they will send you the Kenwood equipment free of charge if you stay a subscriber for a year. The only catch was you had to install the equipment within thirty days.

This was the type of deal I was looking for. I always felt that the satellite provider should subsidize the equipment in turn for you subscribing to the service...sort of like cell phone service. You get the basic phone for free as long as you sign a contract for a certain period of time.

I can honestly say that I was originally going to sign up with XM. I had always come across XM advertising and never really heard anything from Sirius. But I didn't want to pay for the equipment, so that is why I was holding off. Two days before Christmas I was surfing the Tech Bargains website, and came across that deal. It was what I was waiting for. I called the number that was listed and asked a few questions regarding the equipment and service. It was exactly as stated, so I went ahead and signed up. The operator took all my info, and charged me the $15.00 activation fee. The equipment arrived in Mid-January due to the demand.

I will be honest, I wasn't looking forward to installing the equipment in the middle of winter, but had to and really wanted to. Since I lived in an apartment at the time, I used my fiancee's parent's garage. I bundled up and they at least they had a propane heater. I took my planning where I was going to put everything and how to route the wires. Then it was time to install it. I hurried through this part as I was getting numb from the cold. Overall, the whole install took a few hours.

Here are some pictures from the install.

Antenna: Satellite Radio Antenna The antenna is about the size of a computer mouse, and gets mounted on the roof of the vehicle. The directions said that it needed a clear and unobstructed view of the sky, but numerous people said that it could be mounted under the roof rack without a problem. They were correct, I've never had a problem. (Click to enlarge)

Tuner: Sirius Kenwood Tuner The tuner is a little bigger than a CD jewel case and can get mounted almost anywhere. I chose to mount it underneath my rear seat since there is a little bit of unused space. The tuner fits in there almost perfectly. (Click to enlarge)

FM Modulator: Kenwood Tuner The FM modulator is a box about the size of a pack of cigarettes that hooks into the radio antenna line that allows some device to "broadcast" over an open FM channel. In this case the device is the Sirius satellite radio tuner. I mounted the modulator box up underneath the dash, and just allowed the remote to be free in the truck. For now, I usually just leave that in the cup holder. If I park the truck somewhere I don't know, I usually take the remote and put it under the seat. This way, if theives look into the truck, they see only the factory radio. (Click to enlarge)

Vendor Links:
Sirius Satellite Radio
Kenwood Mobile Electronics

Vehicle owner: Bryan Penberthy
Words and photos: Bryan Penberthy
Install performed by: Bryan Penberthy

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