BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,406 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,
Im having the BMW tech do the Sirius radio install on Monday. I spoke with him last week and he mentioned to me that, according to the installation guide/instructions from BMW, it tells the BMW tech to mount the antenna on the trunk of the car. YUK !!!!!!!!!!! :mad:
I DO NOT wish to have it mounted on my car's trunk! So...
Based on this, what's the consensus for the mounting of the antenna? Where is the best or optimum location to put the Sirius antenna??? Obviously Im looking to have the strongest signal possible, aside from the "on top of the trunk" location.
Thanks Guys! cherrsagai
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Good question! I have for the time being mounted mine under the rear parcel shelf next to the GPS receiver. I will wait till all the leaves are out to make a final determination as I don't know how the foliage will affect reception. I just checked my copy of the BMW Sirius Receiver Installation Kit for e39s 9/02 on, dated March 2003 and in the list of parts it lists only the Roof antenna kit. You can find the BMW Antenna install instructions that include e39s here in the Stereo section as item #29. It seems to me the best reception would be from an antenna on the roof. The downsides are the looks and need to avoid knocking it off when cleaning the car.

My $0.02 and Good Luck with your choice!
Dave
:wroom:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Excellent question! Considering this is part of what I do for a living I will share my experience (s). I have moved my antenna 3-times now (I think?). Keep in mind, I have been searching for the best install......

1st install: Trunk-lid mounted (exterior of car). Scratches the paint when car is washed...DON'T DO THIS INSTALL. As a matter-of-fact, don't install the antenna on your cars exterior (painted) surfaces.......period! No, need....read on!

The 2nd & 3rd installs were done INSIDE the cabin.

2nd install: under the dash panel (removed the TOP panel nearest the front windshied....actually on top of the dash....make sence?). We have done this install on various vehicles with mixed results. The nice thing about this install is it is STEALTH. The draw-back it sometimes results in poor reception...as is the case with the M5.

3rd install: Mounted directly on top of the dash (pushed all the way next to the windshield, then a "dot" of clear silicone to keep it from moving). The result is excellent reception & no paint scratches & the antenna wire is not visible. The draw-back is it is the antenna is visible..anthough not overly noticable.

I think the ideal placement would be INSIDE the car on top of the rear deck shelf (not visible to the driver/passengers and easier install because the antenna wire doesn't have to be run as far as the front windshield install. But, it will not work if you have METALIZED window film..:grrrrr: .

The things to remember are:
A) The antenna must have a direct view to the sky (remember it CAN "see through" your front or rear winshield (not through metalized window film though).
b) Don't let anybody put this antenna on your exterior (painted) surface...it WILL eventually scratch the paint, and weather conditions are much harsher and detrimental to the life (and apperance!) of the antenna!
Robert
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,472 Posts
1badm5 said:
b) Don't let anybody put this antenna on your exterior (painted) surface...it WILL eventually scratch the paint, and weather conditions are much harsher and detrimental to the life (and apperance!) of the antenna!
Robert
I can vouch for this. I had the antenna (Terk XM3) mounted on the trunk of my previous car. Suprisingly it was not that bad looking because of it's low profile. However, it did leave an impression in the paint. I was able to buff out most of it. The paint was ruined on one because of the way the anetenna was angled into the paint. Live and learn.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,461 Posts
I used double sided tape to mount mine on my roof. I figured the magnetic mount would scratch up the paint with movement etc.

I initially mounted mine (actually, just placed it) on top of the parcel shelf, temporarily, but lost reception constantly. Every tree i drove under, i'd loose the signal. My reception has been much better with it on the roof. It will depend on your area of course.
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Well, I'll chime in, too. I had my Sirius installed 6 days ago. The dealer used the roof mount. The magnet seems pretty strong thereby reducing the risk of movement and, therefore, scratching. But, there's no guarantee. When you wash the car, you simply lift the antenna up. No hassle, no sweatn. The advantage is, obviously, that an exterior mount results in the best reception.

Now, another option, in one of the many posts on this matter, the writer mentioned that Nissan is selling an interior glass mounted antenna, presumably for the rear window but perhaps suitable for the front, too. It's Nissan P/N 999U9-VR002, the Sirius Sigma Interior Glass Mount Antenna, priced at $74.

I am going to a Nissan dealer this pm to check it out and will relay my impressions. In any event it could be an attractive option. 5 Driver :M5thumbs:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
My friend at a Nissan dealer told me that antenna only works on the front windshield. He said it will not work on the rear because of the electric defroster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
CBM5 said:
My friend at a Nissan dealer told me that antenna only works on the front windshield. He said it will not work on the rear because of the electric defroster.
I checked out the Sigma interior glass mount antenna offered by Nissan this pm. Because the kit contained no instructions, I cannot respond to CBM5's comment above. His friend's input is not unreasonable.

The unit is not very aesthetically pleasing. It's a tetrhedron with the long parallel side about 6", the short parallel side about 3 3/4" and the width between the two parallel sides about 4 1/2". Its thickness is about 2 1/4". It's made of plastic and really looks it. There are three adhesive spots to secure it to the glass.

The connecting cable looks about 90% certain to simply plug into my BMW Sirius receiver. The missing 10% is due to the fact that I couldn't unplug my antenna wire to comfirm compatibility. It's a small awkward, i.e., not finger friendly, connection.

This thing is made by Clarion and carried a part no. of 73824 and came with a splitter P/N 73807 [preceded by "PAM 101400']. A crusory che k of Clarion's website couldn't bring either of the up. There is a Clarion SA150 listed but no picture or description was included. It listed for $49.95.

For now, I'm sticking with my BMW/Sirius antenna with the magnetic roof mount. 5 Driver
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
I installed my antenna on the rear parcel shelf. It is attached to the plastic tab that is around the center child seat anchor point. You can't see it from in the car, and there is no damage to my paint. The reception is a little worse than my wifes SUV, which has it attached to the roof, but it RARELY cuts out.

If you don't have the rear sunshade, you can do it completely stealth underneath the parcel shelf. If you are like me, just park it right on top.

While I appreciate these threads, this has been talked to death. Please use the search function.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
I finally relented last weekend and mounted mine on the roof (previously mounted under rear parcel shelf - completely stealth install) exactly per the BMW mounting instructions.

In a nutshell, after 8 months of Sirius I am hooked and no longer listen to any radio and seldom CDs in the M5. I live in an area that is heavily wooded (tall trees lining and close to the roads) and on certain days or even certain times of the day I would experience drop outs.

For those that are interested, follow the links for the saga...

http://bimmer.roadfly.org/bmw/forums/e39m5/6470896-1.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
Rock on brother Mike ..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,393 Posts
hey, it's the grandfathers...

:)

Guys, any thoughts on mounting the antenna on a small 'ground plane' and sitting that on the pkg shelf? (Like a 6" round black painted disk which is attached to the car ground.) I seem to get more drops on rough roads under light trees- I was hypothesizing it might be the antenna 'bouncing' in relation to the underlying metal. I'll give it a try.

Oh, on the Nissan antenna- it is pretty ugly. especially the underside. I also checked it out and decided to pass. (I wonder if it is big to accomodate a ground plane design 'under' the antenna.) But no reason it wouldn't work on the rear- (do NOT ask the parts guys about this stuff). A few antenna wires will have no impact- after all, the antenna work on the pkg shelf, UNDER the wires!

Ard

PS Don't listen to anything else these days...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
ard said:
Guys, any thoughts on mounting the antenna on a small 'ground plane' and sitting that on the pkg shelf? (Like a 6" round black painted disk which is attached to the car ground.) I seem to get more drops on rough roads under light trees- I was hypothesizing it might be the antenna 'bouncing' in relation to the underlying metal. I'll give it a try.
I'm not sure if that'll help or not. Mine was mounted on metal under the package shelf and I would get occasional drop outs. Granted, what I had it mounted on wasn't much of a ground plane (see attached photos).

ard said:
PS Don't listen to anything else these days...
Same here - commercial free music variety is awesome!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,406 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Question for mdernst, Ard and others who did the Siruis radio......

Once again, thanks guys for all the valuable information posted her on the message board.

Okay, my Siruis antenna is now positioned/mounted on the rear deck shelf, just above the third brake light. If one is looking through the rear windshield ( from the outside of the car) and your eye balling the third brake light, the antenna appears to be sitting right above the third brake light. At the moment with minimal driving, the reception appears to be solid. Now here's my question, you guys seem to have mounted the antenna by attaching it to a part of the car that is actually metal, i.e. under the rear deck shelf. Is this method better, giving or providing a stronger signal? Does it matter that I have it attached onto the felt like rear deck shelf??? Please let me know your thoughts on this and if my way of mounting the antenna has any negatives to it.
Thanks a lot!
Robert :M5thumbs:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Re: Question for mdernst, Ard and others who did the Siruis radio......

Shouldn't matter HOW it is affixed (metal or other material). What DOES matter is that it has a direct (unobstructed) view to the sky. I am curious to hear from you after a week or two to see how well the reception is, and to know if the rear heater/defroster lines affect reception. Should be fine though........:M5thumbs:

Please give us an update as time goes......
Robert
FAST 5 said:
Once again, thanks guys for all the valuable information posted her on the message board.

Okay, my Siruis antenna is now positioned/mounted on the rear deck shelf, just above the third brake light. If one is looking through the rear windshield ( from the outside of the car) and your eye balling the third brake light, the antenna appears to be sitting right above the third brake light. At the moment with minimal driving, the reception appears to be solid. Now here's my question, you guys seem to have mounted the antenna by attaching it to a part of the car that is actually metal, i.e. under the rear deck shelf. Is this method better, giving or providing a stronger signal? Does it matter that I have it attached onto the felt like rear deck shelf??? Please let me know your thoughts on this and if my way of mounting the antenna has any negatives to it.
Thanks a lot!
Robert :M5thumbs:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,461 Posts
My understanding is with a digital signal like this you either have reception, or don't, unlike normal radio. WHen I had my antenna on the package shelf, i would loose the signal every time i drove under a tree, which made for an annoying listening experience! I still occasionally get a drop out with it mounted on the roof, but it is quite rare (sitting under a large, dense tree at a stoplight, under an overpass, parking garage, etc).
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
mottati said:
My understanding is with a digital signal like this you either have reception, or don't, unlike normal radio. WHen I had my antenna on the package shelf, i would loose the signal every time i drove under a tree, which made for an annoying listening experience! I still occasionally get a drop out with it mounted on the roof, but it is quite rare (sitting under a large, dense tree at a stoplight, under an overpass, parking garage, etc).
Mike
Disclaimer: I am not a expert in radio wave propagation.

Actually the signal is analog but the information it carries is analog samples encoded digitally. The advantage is that repeating the digital information is easier. Error detection/correction is also easier with digital information. The Satellite is actually a radio repeater in the sky with separate uplink and downlink frequencies. So back to the point :), you still need to capture to analog signal to get the digital information. The perceived difference may be due to the way the radio handles large numbers of detected errors by "blanking" out the audio, rather than propagating the resulting "noise".

FWIW,
Dave
:cheers:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Re: So............ the bottom line is.......

FAST 5 said:
It does or doesn't matter that my antenna is affixed onto a felt like material (rear deck shelf) instead of making contact (being attached) on a metal surface/part of the car ???
Robert
My $0.02 is that "It depends" upon many factors and your experience may vary. From my Army Signal training, at least two of the factors that you look at with antennas is Signal to Noise Ratios and Gain, measured in dB. Others include frequency and polarization. I suspect that the roof mounted antenna was designed similar to a parabolic dish and can use signal reflected off the surrounding area back to the antenna to boost gain. So, depending on the "look angle" between you and the satellite, atmospheric conditions and terrain/foliage you may or may not need that extra gain from having good metal contact.

FWIW,
Dave
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top