DIY Fridays: Portable Satellite Radio

Satellite radio is becoming somewhat commonplace while traveling: its a good move if you drive in rural places, many car rental companies offer XM or Sirius standard or as an upgrade, car dealerships throw in satellite radios as promotions, and even airlines are offering satellite content.

It’s even starting to show up in homes, with home receivers and antennas being stacked right next to amps, cd-players, and turntables.

But while iPod’s seem to be taking over, you rarely see someone sporting portable satellite radio. Why not enjoy Bluegrass Junction, XM Cafe, or Sirius Classic Soul in between car-trips and living room lounging? Of course, you could purchase a device, but that wouldn’t be any fun.

Make has the instructions (subscription only):

The basic prescription is to mount a Terk XMicro antenna on headphones and connect to a Delphi roady. There are a few complicated steps:

Modifying the antenna: You need to alter the antenna by…

removing the pink plastic connector shroud. I used a small screwdriver to get between the white and pink plastic and gently extracted the white plastic looking piece. Then I heat-shrank a "strain relief" over the top of the connector and the exposed wire from breaking. This rubber "shrinky dink" tubing will contract tightly over the wires once you apply heat from a hair dryer to it.

Create a power supply: Connect a battery-pack with five AA batteries to the Delphi using a RadioShack Adaptaplug "Type B" tip. This should generate six to nine volts.

Turning it on:

Using the power button to turn the unit on will turn on the display’s LEDs, eating up battery power. Instead, input the sequence "232" into the keypad and then push in the scroll wheel on the side.

Enjoy the tunes!