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Old 12-08-2006, 08:20 AM   #1
driver49
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Default XM Satellite Radio in 2006 Tribeca

My first post to these forums, I hope I'm in the right place and can get some help with this...

Who's got an aftermarket XM Satellite Radio installation in their '06 Tribeca? How did the installation go? Is your XM antenna on the roof like it's supposed to be? How's the reception?

My wife and just bought an '06 Tribeca (with only 7k miles) from CarMax. Car is great, wife loves it, but adding aftermarket audio is proving daunting.

We purchased an "XM Commander" (guts in a box under the dash, head unit on the dash) receiver from CarMax at the time of purchase. Never mind that they charged us DOUBLE the going rate for this receiver (my bad, I didn't do the research), now it appears that they botched the installation.

The instructions specifically say that the XM antenna is supposed to go on the OUTside of vehicle, either above the windshield or on the rear deck. So imagine our surprise when we discovered that the installer had placed the antenna on the dashboard -- INside the vehicle, under the windshield.

My question: is there something bizarre in the construction of the Tribeca that prevents the antenna from being properly installed per the manufacturers recommendation on the outside of the vehicle?

Is there anybody reading this who has had any kind of after market XM (or Sirius, for that matter) receiver installed with the antenna on the OUTside, like its supposed to be?

Also: does anybody have any experience with an "FM Modulator" type of installation, where the XM receiver is plugged directly into the anteanna jack on the factory radio, rather than receiving the XM signal through the air. I'm investigating that option, which is supposed to be available with this "XM Commander" receiver.

Ideally, I wanted to hard-wire the XM receiver into the DVD / AUX input in the factory radio, but apparently that's a proprietary input and not adaptable to the RCA outputs on the XM Commander. Bummer, that was very enticing.

In the meantime, I think I'm going to tell CarMax to remove the receiver they installed incorrectly and issue a refund, then go to Circuit City or some such place and have the same thing installed correctly for less than half of what I paid CarMax to do it wrong.

OK, sorry to go on at such length, I just need some feedback from other Tribeca owners who have had XM installed in their vehicle and I hope to hear back from somebody fairly soon.

Thanks and Merry Merry and Happy Happy...

--PS
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Old 12-08-2006, 11:18 AM   #2
kooldak
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chama, NM
Vehicle:
2007 Trib 7P LTD, SE
Harvest Gold

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My 2007 'Becca has the XM package with the antenna mounted inside on the windshield. Works just fine.

My last 2 vehicles (a Linc. Nav & Ford Sport Trac) both had after market units with the antennas mounted on the roof (run through the outside running light on the back window).

I also have an XM home radio system (I am surrounded by mountains and can't get an over-the-air radio signal at home) and have my antenna inside the house near a southern view window.

I honestly can't see any difference in the ability of the new antenna to pick up a signal. Knowing that glass does not interfere with the signal to any significant extent and that the crucial aspect is a good view of the southern sky, I would guess that your problem is either a function of an inadequate antenna or placement of same. If the antenna is back a aways, the roof of the vehicle will obstruct the view of the sky and cause a poor signal when the car is moving in certain directions. The XM signal is pretty forgiving, but metal does an excellent job of obstructing that signal.

The OEM mount is in the passenger side upper corner of the windshield (see pic below). In that location, with the rake of the windshield what it is, I have not yet found a situation where the car itself was an obstruction to the signal. I also suspect that the XM Commander instructions are general and take into account that many vehicles have more upright windshields which would cause a problem with a windshield installation.

I would consider getting an interior windshield mounted antenna that you could install where the OEM antenna is installed.

I hope this helps some.

Picture of the OEM antenna on the 2007 windshield from cars101.com (link):

Last edited by kooldak; 12-08-2006 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 12-08-2006, 11:35 AM   #3
driver49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kooldak View Post
My 2007 'Becca has the XM package with the antenna mounted inside on the windshield. Works just fine.
So, that all comes factory installed, hard-wired into the system, eh? That does sound like an ideal arrangement, but is/was not available with the '06

Quote:
My last 2 vehicles (a Linc. Nav & Ford Sport Trac) both had after market units with the antennas mounted on the roof (run through the outside running light on the back window).
We had two cars (one just traded in, the other I still have) with the antenna gizmo mounted above the center of the windshield. That also worked fine for us.

The weak link in this seems to be the FM transmission. This "XM Commander" unit has an "FM modulator" feature that is a much better way to connect to the radio, but the guy who installed this one for us did not offer us that option. Between that and the internally mounted satellite antenna, the net effect is that the whole set up is lame.

Quote:
I also have an XM home radio system (I am surrounded by mountains and can't get an over-the-air radio signal at home) and have my antenna inside the house near a southern view window.
We also have one in side the house that works pretty well, but it's a solid southern exposure.

Quote:
I honestly can't see any difference in the ability of the new antenna to pick up a signal. Knowing that glass does not interfere with the signal to any significant extent and that the crucial aspect is a good view of the southern sky, I would guess that your problem is either a function of an inadequate antenna or placement of same.
It seems to me that an external placement will always be better than internal, which might work sometimes or even most of the time; my other impression is that this installer was lame and was just looking for the easiest/quickest installation. The bottom line is: it don't work.

Quote:
The OEM mount is in the passenger side upper corner of the windshield. In that location, with the rake of the windshield what it is, I have not yet found a situation where the car itself was an obstruction to the signal.
That strikes me as a better location than mounted on the dash.

Quote:
I would consider getting an interior windshield mounted antenna that you could install where the OEM antenna is installed.
I'll look into that option if the NEXT installer tells me there's something about the Tribeca that prohibits getting the antenna on the OUTside.

Thanks for the response, I appreciate the input.

--PS
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:18 PM   #4
su-be3
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Frost Pearl White

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I recently purchased a 2006 Tribeca, and had a spare XM Roady xt 2 radio I bought earlier this year at Best Buy, when the price dropped to $19.99.
I installed the antenna on the rear of the roof, as close to the FM antenna as I could get, and then ran the wire along the edge of the interior where the headliner and side moulding meet. Just gently tuck in behind the side panel, and you won't even see it.
I then ran the wire into the dash on the drivers side side dash panel. It comes off very easily. I also took off the lower dash panel, again very easy to do, just take your time and don't break any of the plastic clips.
I ran the rest of the wire along the right side of the upper dash panel by GENTLY pushing the wire under the edge with a small plastic putty knife.
If you take your time (and it took me about 45 minutes) you will not see the wire at all.
I used the vent clip mount that came with the radio, and put it in front of the display screen, on the vent. It looks very good there, and does not block the display. When installed this way, it will be laid back at a very good angle. It does not move from side to side, or rattle. A very solid hook up. Now, if you want to use the power plug, that came with the radio, you will find it is too short when hooked to the center console, where the power supply is. What I did was go to Walmart, and in the section where they sell 12-volt adapters with interchangable power tips, they sell a unit from Phillips. It has varying volt settings, and you will need to set it on 6 volt. Look very carefully at how the tip needs to go into the XM radio, and just match them up properly. I paid about $20.00 for the power supply, and the wire will be long enough
What I did was loosen up the four bolts in the center console, removed the drawer for the back seat under the rear A/C knob to lift the console up, drilled a small hole near the left front bottom where the power supply is. You can then run the power cord under the center tunnel and up to the dash and follow the radio antenna to the radio. The side of the center console pulls away easily, again just be carefull!
I set the XM radio backlight to the red setting and it matches the center console dash lights perfectly!
I hope this helped, and if you have any more questions, let me know!
Keep it under 90, folks!
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:47 PM   #5
Tup
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SU-be3....too bad you didn't take any pics of your install....sounds like a good setup.

How does it sound?
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:15 AM   #6
rpatton
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Member#: 129348
Join Date: Oct 2006
Vehicle:
2006 tibeca limited

Default XM install

Subaru has a installation guide for putting an xm radio in the 07 or I believe the 06's with RSE. They ran the antenna form the antennal leads at the right divers kick plate up the front posts to the roof and attached it to the bottom of the roof above the front reading lights. I thought it was a strange way of doing things and have not tried it.

I don't think I have a copy of this but I belive that is what they do. You can probably look at the install directions at your subaru dealership.

I use an xm radio through a good inline fm modulator and the sound is ok. I havent permanetly mounted my antenna yet but I know it works a lot better if attached to the sheet metal of the car. The antenna is designed to be attached to the sheet metal as part of the reception. I also have the portable antenna that I lay on the dash sometimes and it does lose and regain the signal on a regular basis as the roof obscures the direct shot to the satellite.
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Old 01-06-2007, 04:28 PM   #7
wrx614
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2003 WRX
PSM

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As long as you are getting a good signal, I would leave the antenna on the inside. There is a potential problem if you don't clean the surface under the antenna properly and wax it regularly it can screw up the paint. I have my antenna on the inside specifically for this reason.
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Old 01-07-2007, 04:06 AM   #8
Kmunch
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lake Arrowhead, CA
Vehicle:
07 B9 Tribeca Ltd
Diamond Gray

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I've got the interior, front windshield antenea on my `07. It works pretty well, and I live in a mountainous area like one of the earlier posters mentioned. I do find that I lose a little more signal when I'm moving away from a southern exposure, because the signal is not getting a clear shot at the antenea like it might with an exterior antenea.

My last car, an '03 Outback, had an aftermarket XM Delphi Ski-Fi Unit with an FM Modulator and a large external antenea....and I got a little bit better reception with that. I'm not complaining too much, tho...the difference is marginal, and the installation on the Tribeca is a lot cleaner, with no "added-on" gear. Much better having everything "Factory"...adds quite a bit of class to the vehicle, too!
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:07 AM   #9
su-be3
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2004 BAJA Turbo
Frost Pearl White

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tup View Post
SU-be3....too bad you didn't take any pics of your install....sounds like a good setup.

How does it sound?
Sorry I haven't got back to you sooner, been kinda busy lately.
Radio sounds fine on XM,with just the usual drop off that occurs with any sattelite radio, bridges, close to mountains, etc.
One of these days I will figure out how to post pics to this web site.
Overall my wife and I enjoy having XM in our Tribeca.
Keep it under 90, folks!
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