Satellite radio was introduced roughly ten years ago and has changed dramatically since the original introduction of the Delphi Skyfi. The most significant change is that SiriusXM is now built into many vehicles. However, you might be surprised at how many standalone units are still in use. The latest models include the Onyx, XMp3i, and the extension of the Stratus, Sportster and StarMate lines (they are up to the eight generation as of 2014). That’s a lot of Sirius / XM antennas stuck to people’s car roofs.
The standalone models all require an antenna to be mounted within the line of sight to the satellite. Many customers are under the impression the antenna must be mounted on the roof outside the car. That’s not the case. The antenna works quite effectively within the car as long as it is mounted where it can see the sky. In fact, any antenna that relies on satellites will work well within your car, satellite radio and GPS included.
Simply placing an antenna on the dash of your car isn’t going to work well unless you glue it somewhere. There are some mounts and pads to consider for this purpose. These are recommended because you will eventually need to figure out how to get the antenna off the dash if you choose to glue it (I’ve done it, try using some Goo Gone).
There are two good mounting options for antennas within your car. Both options work cleanest if you coil up the antenna wire with some twist ties. Most antennas have 25 feet of cable (they are made to attach to the roof of your car, so you need a lot of length) attached so coiling it certainly beats wrapping it around your headrests.
The first option is the Suction Cup Windshield Mounts for Sirius/XM Antennas and is in the photo that accompanies this article. The mount comes with two metal strips that attach to the mounting platform. Your antenna has a magnet on the bottom because it’s made to stick to the roof of your car so it will attach to the metal mount strips quite well. Place the suction cup high up on your windshield. As long as it sees the sky, it will receive the signal real well. We also find that sunroofs also help to see the sky when keeping your antenna within the vehicle.
The second option is using a hook and loop fastening strip on your dashboard. A hook and loop fastening strip comes with two parts. One part sticks to your dashboard, the other to the bottom of the antenna. It’s cheap and effective. It’s somewhat permanent in terms of the bottom part of the hook and loop fastening strip remaining attached to your dash, but it works.
We prefer the first option which uses the metal strips. The strips coupled with the magnetic bottom of the antenna will ensure a more secure hold and simply looks better. hook and loop fastening strips, while it works well, you may find that the weight of the cord may put some drag on the hold and the antenna may slip off your dash. The shorter the Sirius / XM antenna cable, the better when using either mounting solution.