DIY Friday: Satellite Radio Round-Up

We tend to write a lot about Satellite Radio here on DIY Fridays, but that’s probably because it represents the next frontier for true satellite geeks. Digital quality audio, anywhere in the country, in your home or on the road, satellite radio represents a dream come true for nerdy enthusiasts: technical superiority, freedom, and a new chance to tinker with technology. So while, its not a purely DIY task, I thought I might use this week’s DIY Friday to talk a little bit about our new favorite technology.

First of all, for those who admit that they need to learn a little bit more about satellite radio technology, this article by the folks over at Crutchfield Advisor explains the reality of the satellite radio marketplace and the options out there for those looking to tune in in an incredibly readable way. While normally I’d be a little concerned about passing along a guide about a product from a company that looks to sell you something (especially on a DIY Friday), Crutchfield is famous for being a dream company for DIYers looking to add new and improved audio technology to their car. Not only does every install kit from Crutchfield come with thorough, user-friendly instructions, but the company’s sales and help lines are famous for their knowledgeable, no pressure operators most of whom are willing to talk you through almost any car stereo installation troubles you can imagine.

But what about those times that you’re not in your car or near an otherwise wonderful satellite radio receiver. Well, have no fear, an amazingly productive community of open source developers is here to bail you out of radio-less existence. According to WIRED, developers have rolled their own solution to the problem of no satellite signal =ing no radio with Pocket Satellite Radio and Mobile Satellite Radio which are able to grab the streams using a cell phone’s internet connection. While it means you might be limited to whatever stations Sirius or XM stream over the net (which means no Howard for dedicated Stern-ites), it does give you access to most stations when your in a dire situation (read: without a satellite signal). The best part? It’s a receiver for only $20.