Thursday, December 29, 2005

XM Radio and Wireless FM: Don't Leave Home Without It

I thank God that we arrived back in Atlanta safely about an hour ago (3 p.m. local time).

The ride back exposed the best way to use XM Radio and the preferred method is through the built in wireless FM signal.

The Roady XT unit auto detected when the audio cable to the cassette adapter was disconnected and several new menu options became available as a result.

You can actually determine which FM frequency that the signal will be heard on.

Earlier I thought that we had taken the manual on our trip and I will verify more details later, but if a conflicting signal is taking place on the selected FM frequency, the word ANTENNA will appear on the XM unit. 

After totally becoming disgusted again with the cassette adapter this morning, we were between Latta, SC and Atlanta, GA when we first disconnected the audio cable.

Then periodically throughout the ride, we had to keep changing the FM frequency to an open frequency or one with less frequency bleeding, but this was far more digestible than having the cassette adapter continually rejected by the casette player.

There were still areas and patches of highway where there was no signal and heavy, thick lines of trees on the southern side of the interstate highway sometimes seem to block the satellite signal, but overall it was a more pleasurable experience than the initial trip to SC on Christmas Day.

I also have a wireless FM adapter for our iPod that does not work as well as the one built into the XM unit.

It still seems as if the metropolitan areas have signal repeaters or some type of signal enhancers that allow the XM signal to attain a stronger signal strength than the rural areas.  Another potential downside for the rural areas is that areas where there were numerous cellular towers visible, the signal strength was also weakened.

There was an option available within the menu settings that allowed you to change the FM signal strength as well.

Now that the travel is behind us for a while, I will finally get the chance to read the manual and see what other features and benefits are available that we have not yet discovered through trial and error.

The only way I will seek to use the XM unit from now on is through the wireless FM capability.  Otherwise, I would rather endure commercials on a local FM station or seek some other information and entertainment while driving than attempt to use the cassette adapter ever again.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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