So, you made the decision to get satellite radio for your car. You bought your new satellite radio and now it’s time to get it all set up. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry – it’s actually much easier than you might expect.
You’ll first need to determine the type of connection your car uses. If your radio has an FM transmitter, then you can do a wireless connection. If not, you’ll need to directly connect the satellite radio to your car’s radio. Either way, it’s very simple to hook up.
When you open the box to your new satellite radio, you’ll see the main unit, mounting items, magnet roof antenna and an owner’s manual with an installation guide. These are the main items you’ll receive with a standard satellite radio; any others that are included will depend on the make and model of the radio you bought.
Steps for installing your satellite radio
The first step in installing your radio is to decide on where you’re going to mount the radio. Your radio mount can be attached to the windshield by suction cups, or to the dashboard with Velcro strips. If you’re mounting it to your dash, hold it in place at the location you want while making sure it’s free of obstacles before attaching the Velcro. Position the radio so that it’s within reach while you’re driving, but also out of the way of gearshifts and other controls. If you’re mounting it to the windshield, be sure it doesn’t obstruct your view of the road.
Next, plug in the power adapter to your cars cigarette lighter, and plug the other end into the satellite unit.
The antenna is last. The antenna needs to be mounted in the area on the outside of your car that has the least obstructions. Typically, the guide that comes with your satellite radio system will have detailed information for running the antenna cable into the car to your new system. The type of vehicle you have and any existing roof attachments will determine where you should place the antenna.
Setting up a wireless connection
If you want to set up a wireless connection, your new unit has to have an FM transmitter. Although this method will involve fewer cords coming from your new system, the quality of sound won’t be as good as you’d get with a direct connection.
The default FM station the transmitter uses is 88.1, which may not work for your area. You want to have a station that’s clear of any local radio stations – if you drive between two areas; it’s a good idea to find a station that’s free in both areas. Once you’ve determined the station you’ll use, save it to your presets so that your satellite radio can easily tune itself with just the touch of a button.
Using a direct connection
If your satellite radio doesn’t have an FM transmitter, you’ll be connecting it with either a cassette adapter for your car radio (lower quality), or through the AUX IN or LINE IN connections on your car radio (best quality). If your unit model doesn’t come with the cassette adapter or audio cable you need, stop by your local electronics store and purchase the one that works with your unit.
Insert the cassette adapter into your cassette player on your car stereo, or plug the audio cable into the AUX IN/LINE IN connection. Then, plug the other end into the AUDIO OUT/LINE OUT connection on the back of your satellite unit. Finally, set your car radio to the AUX setting to listen to your new satellite radio.
Listening to your satellite radio for the first time
After you have everything connected, turn on your new unit and follow the prompts on the display screen to finish the set up process. Once you’re done, you’ll be able to enjoy your new satellite radio for the first time!