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Aesthetics Of A Satellite Radio


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After reviewing all I could from this forum for Sat Radio. Its still unclear if there's a consensus to the right solution. Aside from content, I'm trying to determine asthetically the most pleasing way to go. I didn't find any pics anywhere that have shown other's installations.


Antenna placement?

Attached via bracket or Velcro?

Roady2, Skyfi2, Sirius Sportster?

Aux in or FM modulation or Cassette tape?

Placement inside the vehicle.... dash, side of console, sunglass droped door?

Any suggestions or comments are appreciated.

By the way, my Lexus is a 1998 ES300 equipped with a Nakamachi Sound w/6 CD changer.



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I have a Gen 1 94 LS, but it seems to look similar at the console area. I thrashed around for an extended time trying to determine the best place to install my Sirius radio. The dash area was too high and inconvenient, so basically, I placed the radio against the ash try-I don't smoke-with velcro-in front of the shift lever. This worked out quite well, since I ran the antenna wire through the passenger area hidden in the underside, and got power to the radio by running the wire from the rear lighter. As a result, nothing is exposed except the plug-in in the rear lighter. You can only see the antenna wire when you open the passenger side door. Just a little in the jamb.

The only downside is that it's hard to see the display during the day. With pre-sets, however, it's easy to dial-in stations without having to look down. I love, really love satellite radio, and think it's the future. Best of luck.

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post-3927-1106854143_thumb.jpgI have a Roady, which I have mounted with double-stick tape to the flip-out ash tray. This still allows the tray to open, and is the perfect size. The wires that come with the kit are long enough to route the tape adapter through the seams of the stereo stack (or whatever its called) up to the tape deck, concealing the wire; the power adapter is routed through the console and into the armrest storage where there is a power source. The antenna is routed through the console with the power source, then under the driver's seat, up the A-pilar, and is placed on the dash. I get perfect reception leaving it in the corner of the A-pilar and windshield. It's a DIY job, and it's not perfect, but I don't like anyone messing with my car or hardwiring anything, and this allows me to remove it if I need/want to. I'll try to take photos this afternoon and figure out how to post them.




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Dear byohzrd,

Thanks for including your pics. Very intriguing set up. Did you do it yourself? I may give this a try, but I was curious on the power to the Roady. I will need to look into the console for a power source. Did you just hard wire it by clipping off the cig lighter adapter and wiring it direct to whatever is in the console? Any removal of console necessary?

I also liked SW03's set up, but am not bothered having the PNP visible as I want to see the display for artist info, etc in realtime and as I'm a bigtime channel flipper, I may want better access without lifting the console compartment door all the time either.

I never thought to have the antenna inside the car cuz I thought most opinions had decided that reception was best when placed on roof, though I wondered if getting my car washed would lend it to being knocked around. Maybe the magnet is strong enough. I may to play with this and determine best reception.

Lastly, I more than likely will use the cassette adapter as every suggested station for the FM modulator has some radio reception already occuring. I live in Chicago with every spectrum used for something. I read from others on this forum that adding in a AUX IN from a Soundgate adapter may or may not work. Wish this was better understood, maybe I'll keep it simple for now with the cassette.

Thanks for everyone's input, I will post pics when I finish. Haven't decided between XM or Sirius yet. Content vs. Hardware, tough call.

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I did do this installation myself. It's very low-tech, and involved tucking the wires into the seams with a credit card. There is a small trim piece just above the ashtray that can easily be removed. I bundled up the excess tape-adapter wire and shoved it back there. Also, regarding the power source... in my 2000 ES, there is a cigarette lighter in the lower storage of the console... not sure about a 1998. No modifications necessary. I have heard that the tape adapter is one of the best ways to go, and will give you great sound, especially when used with a high-end stereo such as a Nakamichi. With the antenna, you can also try putting it on the parcel shelf in the back.

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Don't try to hard-wire an XM tuner into a 12-volt circuit. The tuner operates on 6 volts. The power cord for the tuner that plugs into the cigarette lighter has a transformer in it. This steps the voltage down to the correct level.

There are adapters available that allow you to hard-wire the tuners. They have a transformer built in. The cost is about $20.00. Check and look under XM hardware for power adapters.

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I've had my Sirius Kenwood Here2Anywhere plug and play mounted on my dash in the center above the vents for about 2 years now, a little tired of how it looks there and thinking of getting a new unit and making it look a little more integrated. But as far as antennas and wiring goes, its pretty easy in the ES (I have a 97)

I have the antenna perched centered on the roof right at the back edge above the rear windshield. The rubber molding around the window is perfect for running the wire, use a pin to pull it slightly, then roll the wire under, very easy process. I ran the wire around the back window under that molding, it then comes out into the trunk where it just snakes along the top of the trunk, then through the ski hatch, and then its tucked under the rear bench seat. From there it goes under the door edge trim and the only place you can see the wire is where it comes out of the molding near the front seat belt anchor, under the seat, then it goes up into the base of the armrest/center console.

The rest of the wiring is all hidden in the console too. The lighter adapter goes into the armrest power source, then through the little hatch in the bottom of the armrest storage. Pull the wood trim off of the shifter area carefully and you will be able to route the power and the antenna through that spot and up to the console, and up to wherever you mount the unit. On mine, I sent them along behind the radio and A/C unit and up out the top above the vents, no drilling or holes or anything needed, the wires are thin enough to squeeze through. I put the tape adapter into the same spot with the other wires, and the tape adapter stays permanently in the radio and just about an inch or two of wire runs from that spot to the edge.

Sorry for being so wordy, I'd take a picture but my camera isnt charged, perhaps tomorrow when the sun comes back out and i've had it plugged in for a while!

PS, the picture you posted of the es interior... is that yours? If so, how did you retrofit a woodfaced nakamachi radio from an 00 into a 98? I've been trying to do that myself :)

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and one more thing... Sirius' programming is MILES ahead of XM's :)  Just a word of advice.

Hi, as far as the '98 ES300 picture, I actually borrowed that from Ebay Motors cuz it showed the nakamachi stereo. Now you have me wondering what mine looks like compared to it. When I bought my car in '01, the sales guy told me very few had the nakamachi option due to a hefty price tag. So I felt lucky and haven't regretted it.

I looked at both XM and Sirius programming and didn't think too much differed for my tastes. So then I focused on the aesthetics and so far I like the smaller footprint of the roady2 or XR9, but I'm still evaluating. The sportster could work too sizewise, but I wish it had the stock ticker feature that XM has.

Thanks for your install description. I would love to see your pictures and when I can I'll post my actuals. BTW, what programming with Sirius do you like over XM. I might have to look further into it.

Thanks again.

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There's a huge difference in the two. XM plays really obscure music and you're not likely to hear the same song twice, while Sirius is more like an FM station with repeated popular playlists and some obscure tracks mixed in. My parents have both, XM in my dad's LS430 and Sirius in my mom's FX35 and they both like Sirius better.

Its all a question of taste but listen to both extensively online before you make a decision. Sirius has some hardware right around the corner similar to the Roady 2 etc.

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"PS, the picture you posted of the es interior... is that yours? If so, how did you retrofit a woodfaced nakamachi radio from an 00 into a 98? I've been trying to do that myself "

Thanks for your personal experience info on XM and Sirius. I checked my interior (funny how I've owned the car 4 years and didn't realize my faceplate was not woodlike as the picture I used) and it has a black mat plastic above the woodlike plastic on the ashtray. Have you explored doing this? If so, I'd be interested in knowing where to find the piece and whether you needed any special tool to get the front panel off.

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Good suggestion to try them out online before you choose one. Sirius subscribers can listen online for free with their subscription (With XM you need to buy more hardware and it costs an additional monthly fee to listen on a computer). With the sirius online there are even applications to listen to it on a smartphone or a PDA with wifi. And as far as the units themselves, there are a lot of great new units that were just released to rival the footprint of the various xm products.

As far as the wood faced radio, you can get a wood overlay for the 97-99. If you want to have the face from the 00-01 you need to wire the 00 harness into your car to plug it in. Sadly, despite my various attempts, you can't just swap off the faces like you can with the A/C controls.

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I'm in the middle of installing my Sat Radio, but hit a snag. I decided to afix the roady2 to the ashtry door with Velcro and run the antenna wire and power wire up under the armrest and cover by the shifter and out at the seam of the ashtry door.

My problem is: I can't see where the screws to loosen the armrest so I can run the power from the lighter in the storage compartment under and and then up through the wood trim by the ashtry. I was surprise to not have found anything on this through my search. Any help or suggestions would be appreicated.

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I'm in the middle of installing my Sat Radio, but hit a snag.  I decided to afix the roady2 to the ashtry door with Velcro and run the antenna wire and power wire up under the armrest and cover by the shifter and out at the seam of the ashtry door. 

My problem is:  I can't see where the screws to loosen the armrest so I can run the power from the lighter in the storage compartment under and and then up through the wood trim by the ashtry.  I was surprise to not have found anything on this through my search.  Any help or suggestions would be appreicated.

First of all, I dont advise undoing the whole armrest area, it wont help you much in this task and its just a pain in the !Removed! to put back together properly.

Secondly, you should have gotten a Sirius :chairshot: But we're all friends here, and I'll help you anyway!

I've attached some pictures to the bottom that should help you out, they include running the antenna wire from the back glass to the console and how to deal with the power situation.

You can see in my pictures, I removed the center trim plate around the shift, and the trim inside the deep armrest. With those open, you'll have no problem routing the wires through. Plug in the 12v plug into the lighter in the armrest, and route the power through the hole, then you can just close the panel back up, you should be able to snap it on even with the wire through, I had no problem on mine. Then once it's in there, just route it past the shifter and up to the ashtray area where you have yours. I also showed a picture of my antenna wire and how it gets into the console, I just fed it up between the carpet and the center console and then snaked it through the shift area. Since the pics were taken at night with a flash and close up, the antenna wiring looks like it's really obvious, but in person you hardly see it, it's just in that shadowy area between the seat and the armrest. Good luck!











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Hi HubJunky1,

Man, great pics on your install. I had it all exactly as you did on the antenna part. I thought the screws were under that felt liner in the bottom part of the armrest and was afraid to rip it out if was glued. I tried doing this in poor light, so I missed the trap door that leads to the shifter area. I guess I won't have to mess with the felt or carpeted liner at all since I can run along the bottom and thru the shifter door like you did. Do you just pop the shifter wood trim from underneath with your hand via the side (trap) door? I assume its some clips that hold it in. I have a feeling I will need my dust buster big time when that plate pops.

A side note on my choice of XM over Sirius. After careful review of all the channels etc. I was equally impressed with everything each provides over terrestial AM/FM. The nuance of each offering wasn't decisive enough though. I opted for the better radio offering which XM has currently. I like the size and ability to use stock ticker and change colors on display. I got a great price on a used one via Ebay. Irony right now is the liquidator who I purchased it from never had it deactivated, so I'm curious how long I'll have free sat radio. I may switch later when Sirius catches up a bit on the radios and Howard Stern comes on line. I hope all that would be necessary if I go that route when replacing radios is that they both can use each other power adapter/antenna.

Thanks again for your help and pictures and to everybody else's inputs. I will post my pics later to show my results. I live in Chicago and today we're in the 50's, great day to be outside.

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