Can an XM Radio use a Sirius Antenna?
April 6, 2007 5:49 PM   Subscribe

Can an XM radio use a Sirius antenna?

A friend has an RV with a Sirius installation built in (antenna on roof, connected to unit in dash). However, he has not chosen to subscribe to it, so it lies wasted.

We're going to take a road trip in his RV, and I have a portable XM radio with a car dock. Instead of finding a place to mount my own XM antenna, can I simply take the lead from his Sirius antenna and plug it into my XM car dock?

Are the antenna's the same? Or are they specific to the service, either in physical plug or some form of device-specific attributes?
posted by Cardinal Fang! to Technology (5 answers total)
Response by poster: Sigh. Apparently I missed the "going home" window.
posted by Cardinal Fang! at 6:03 PM on April 6, 2007

The short answer is "no". The two systems are on slightly different (but adjacent) frequency bands. The antennae are tuned to each system's particular frequency. It's most likely also an "active" antenna, meaning it's got circuitry inside that deliberately filters out unwanted frequencies.

It certainly won't hurt your XM receiver if you plug the antenna in, though. If doesn't work, you won't hear anything. Does the portable radio have an integral antenna? If it does, just get a tape deck adapter and plug that into the radio.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:03 PM on April 6, 2007

Short answer is maybe. The frequencies of XM and Sirus are so close together, that an antenna for one will receive just fine for the other.

However, it is likely an active antenna. An active antenna is one with a built in preamplifier and thus will draw power from the receiver. Your XM antenna may not provide the correct voltage for the Siruis antenna.

The biggest problem is that the connector likely will not fit. It may be easier to mount your XM antenna than it is to find an adpter to connect the Sirius antenna.
posted by kc8nod at 9:25 PM on April 6, 2007

it works i change over all the time
posted by hophead627 at 8:01 AM on April 8, 2007

Response by poster: I like it. Three distinct answers!

hophead627, it sounds like you have actual experience here - are the connectors physically the same?
posted by Cardinal Fang! at 5:12 PM on April 8, 2007

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