Home Satellite Radio Installation
Adding a home satellite radio receiver to your home office is easy. Here is how we did it.
There are so few good radio stations in our area that we added satellite receivers to cars for a bigger variety. There is a monthly fee for the service, but it is worth the money.
Shortly after we installed the radios, we took a trip to Chicago and I must say it was interesting to listen to the same radio station the entire trip. It was great!
Recently, I was looking at docking stations for my home satellite radio and thought I could put one of these in our home office to use the same unit that normally resides in the car. If I am not in the car, it is not being used.
All I needed to do was provide 12 volts (or so) of electricity and find a place to put the antenna and some powered speakers to listen to the audio.
The power supply was easy as I keep little transformers for projects such as this. Looking through the junk box, I found a transformer that supplied 10 volts DC at 750 MA. This was in the range the receiver needed. I wired it to a cigarette lighter adapter and plugged in the power plug that came in the new car kit.
This Sirius power plug converted the electricity to the exact 5 volts the receiver needed. The 110 volt plug was connected to the light strip that turns on the lights on my desk. Easy!
I mounted the receiver to the shelf that is next to the monitors. That way I can read the names of the tunes as they are playing, as well as easily change the channel. You can also get remote controls for most of these units for less than $10.
Audio output could have been directed to a radio using the built in FM transmitter. However, I opted to connect to a pair of Altec Lansing speakers I had that had an AUX input. The speaker power supply connected to the same power strip the powers the receiver. That way when I sit down at the desk and turn the lights on, the radio comes to life.
The antenna was not quite as easy. I placed it in a window sill and the reception was not very good. To improve reception, the antenna needed to be moved outside and past the roof overhang
So, I rounded up some scrap electrical parts:
- a 40 inch piece of 1/4-20 threaded steel rod;
- a 4 foot round cover plate; and
- 2 nail blocking plates.
I cut the steel rod so that one piece was 30 inches long and the remainder was 10 inches long. These measurements are NOT critical.
Here is what I did:
- I welded one end of the 30 inch piece of rod to the 4 inch cover.
- I welded the other end of the rod to a nail blocking plate.
- I welded the 10 inch piece of rod to the 30 inch rod about 8 inches out from the nail plate forming a Y.
- Then I welded the other nail blocking plate to the free end of the 10 inch rod.
- I painted the metal so that would not rust and also so it matched the wall I was mounting the mounting plate to.
- Finally, I mounted the completed bracket outside the window where the antenna was going to be bending the rod to keep the bracket level.
My home satellite radio is much more convenient than a pile of CDs and believe me, there are more channels than you can imagine.