Sirius Starmate

The popularity of Sirius Satellite Radio, has made many audio equipment manufacturers make different models of Sirius radio tuners. There are tuners for home application, tuners that can be used in vehicles and tuners made for marine radios. Recently many companies have started manufacturing, portable tuners. These type of tuners can be transferred easily from your vehicle to home and back again. The receivers at both ends will have to be fitted with the proper docking kits to make this possible. Sirius Satellite Radio charges a monthly subscription fee, for its excellent broadcasting service. The advantage of having a portable tuner is that you do not have to pay for two subscriptions (one for your vehicle and one for home), as the same tuner is able to receive that broadcast in both the places.

The portable or plug and play type of tuners is made by many companies, and one of the famous ones are the Sirius Starmate series. Audiovox Electronics Corporation makes a sophisticated portable tuner called the Sirius Starmate 5. This plug and play device comes with a wireless remote, magnetic antenna, FM extender antenna, cigarette lighter power adapter, an adjustable suction cup car mounting kit and vent mounting kit. You can also buy the 607SUPH1 home docking kit separately.

The Sirius Starmate 5 can be connected to your Sirius-ready head unit or vehicle stereo, in a number of ways. One is by direct connection which is considered to give the best audio output possible. You can connect directly if your receiver has an AUX IN or LINE IN socket, which can be connected to the mini-jack audio output of the tuner. If your receiver has a cassette player, then you can use the optional cassette adapter, through the audio output of the tuner. If the above two ways are not possible then use an optional Sirius FM Direct Adapter, which will provide a wired connection, between the tuner and your radio. For a wireless connection the Starmate 5 has a built-in modulator, which allows transmission of Sirius radio programming to your vehicle's FM tuner. You can select 5 frequencies between 88.1 MHz and 107.9 MHz on your FM tuner for this.

The Sirius Starmate 5 has a wide angle, 5-line display in a pleasant blue color. The information displayed is the channel name, category and number, artist name and song title, replay playback status, signal strength meter, clock and preset bank. If you momentarily press the display button the artist and song name become big into a single line scrolling display. You can enter the channel list mode by holding the display button for one and a half seconds. Manual adjustments are available for controlling the brightness and contrast of the display.

Sirius Starmate 5 has many ways to search through the channels. You can scroll through each channel in a numerical order, or you can search by channel categories, or by artist names or song titles. For tuning you can directly enter the channel number, using the numeric keys on the panel or the remote.