Improving XM Satellite Radio Reception

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by GeoGeek, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Check my link on the subject, especially posts 1, 6 and 10. Post 6 has an ebay adapter cable. Go to the Toyota parts dept with Vin for part number. Go to another dealer if you have to or call the source I show in the pdf of #10 where I paid less.
     
  2. hhjkl

    hhjkl New Member

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    Thanks! I somehow missed the link to the cable. Now that I have a name for the plug, I've found a couple of places to source the adapter. I was just about to order the $60 one. I went ahead with the Terk order, that plus the cable will give me a nice short term solution while I figure out if I really want to spend the money to replace the main antenna.
     
  3. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Hopefully your radio has the same connector as mine. On a 2012 v wagon the sat connector is on the back of the dash radio unit.
     
  4. hhjkl

    hhjkl New Member

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    My receiver is under the drivers seat, but looks to be the same GT5-1S plug. Everyone was saying it's a proprietary plug, but it appears to be commonly used, especially with GPS. Although maybe what I'm looking at is the plug for the GPS antenna. Oh well, we'll plug it in and see what happens when it arrives. The hardest part seems to be actually getting to the box under the seat without having to completely remove the seat itself, I expect some bloodied up knuckles before it's all done.
     
  5. Mverla

    Mverla New Member

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    I have a 2010 Prius III with JBL, and it just developed the same reception problem after 6 years. The Dealership estimated it would cost $650.00 to replace the antenna.

    Two questions.
    Did you shop around stores that sell aftermarket radios for a replacement antenna? I would be glad to pay a pro to install the antenna.

    Where did you find the antenna you bought online?
     
  6. Gray Runner

    Gray Runner Junior Member

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    Update. I complain every time I bring my 2014 #3 in for service about the radio reception. On the last service this is what they wrote up.
    " upon test driving vehicle around complex found that radio reception was good upon plugging in radar detector radio quality would drop out and interference would occur"
    So what do you all think?
     
  7. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Could be. You should do the same test.
     
  8. Jim Fussell

    Jim Fussell Junior Member

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    Just where is ''tis plug? I only have a white plug with 4 wires and a tan plug with 2 wires under the drivers seat on my 2011 Prius
     
  9. JoeM(GA)

    JoeM(GA) Member

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    Jim, yours sounds like mine, only air bag connectors under the seat on my 2010 III, I think you'll find your attaches straight to the back of the radio. I bought the "Terk by Audiovox XMICRO2 XM Mini Roof Mount Antenna" but the plug on it wouldn't fit the proprietary plug Toyota used on the back of the radio, with the FRA3M Antenna adaptor from TSS Radio it goes right together ( I did have to shave one of the guides with a razor blade to get it to plug in to the radio) Here's the adaptor cable, it comes with about 30" of cable
    [​IMG]

    here's the back of the radio with the factory blue plug and wire.
    [​IMG]
    It's not hard to get the dash apart, takes a plastic pry wedge or trim tool and a 10mm socket to remove the 4 bolts holding the radio in. I took some pictures of pulling the console and dash if you need them I can post them.
    Honestly, after I pulled it apart the first time, I pulled it apart, installed the adapter, replaced it all and ran the wire to the rear in maybe 4 hours taking my time.
    Here's the finished product, works great, very clear signal, and not too bad looking. Total investment was just under $70.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. GreenMtnGuy

    GreenMtnGuy New Member

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    Thank you so much for this advice! I've put up with really bad reception ever since I bought my Prius IV 6 years ago! I even got the internet streaming option so I wouldn't have to suffer with my car's awful sat radio! I installed the Terk XMICRO2 just as you described. Had to run to Home Depot for a Bernzomatic Mini Torch with Soldering attachment and some solder and flux and dust off my soldering skills. After one redo I got the new antenna attached to the existing plug and... it works absolutely awesome! Even get reception INSIDE my garage! Amazing! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I only wish I'd done this 5 years ago! Now I can downgrade my Sirius XM subscription and save over $100 every year! I recoup my cost in less than 6 months! The whole job would have taken only 2 hours if I'd had all the tools and materials I needed at the start. (Soldering iron, flux, solder, electrical tape, etc.) Also, be extra careful if you decide to use heat shrink to cover the connection. It could melt through the insulation and short the antenna (that happened to me) and you have to redo the connection. SatAntenna.jpg
     
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  11. Sappy

    Sappy Junior Member

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    THANK YOU VERYYYYYYYYY MUCH FOR THIS LINK!!!!
     
  12. Bob Nichols

    Bob Nichols New Member

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    so are you telling me that the actual antenna is not the one that is on top of the Prius roof- hmm is that just for the radio (am/fm)
    So where is the Antenea for sat radio is it under the seat -how do you get any reception there
     
  13. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    The base of the roof antenna is the XM antenna AND amplifier. The amplifier on the base can partially fail and cause weak reception. You can unscrew the whip antenna above and still get XM just as well.
     
  14. Georgieboi

    Georgieboi New Member

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  15. Georgieboi

    Georgieboi New Member

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    Thank you GeoGeek. I have a recently purchased a 2010 Prius with the high end nav package, JBL audio and XM Satellite Radio. I, too, experienced the satellite signal dropping off when I drove past any trees. My previous car had an aftermarket XM system which worked flawlessly. Thus my chagrin at this OEM XM system performing poorly. I did exactly what GeoGeek recommended and purchased the Terc XMICRO2 magnetic antenna. I also purchased the SFA12M wire from Amazon along with the Terc XMICRO2. Per GeoGeek’s recommendation I purchase a SBM to SBM male to male adapter, also from Amazon. Everything worked together and I had my mechanic install per GeoGeek’s instructions. Bingo, no more dropped signals while passing trees. My kudos to GeoGeek for the solution to poor satellite radio reception.
     
  16. Greig Parks

    Greig Parks New Member

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    Did you ever find the XM receiver on your car? I am trying to find receiver on my 2012. Not under the seat.
     
  17. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    The receiver is built in the head unit
     
  18. E_onegin

    E_onegin New Member

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    Look Ma, no more dropouts! I had a local car stereo shop install a Terk XMixcro2 Antenna by splicing the antenna leads and I couldn't be more pleased. The replacement antenna really works. Thanks GeoGeek for the solution!
     
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