Just some general XM and PCR information....
The antenna that comes with the PCR is known as the Delphi Home Antenna. Its a directional antenna (well about 40°). While it does seem to work well in the car, you will get far more dropouts than you would with a car antenna.
For car use it is best to use a omni-directional antenna such as this one: http://shop.store.yahoo.com/xmfanstore/blxmmianxm.html Its slightly smaller than a book of matches with a magnetic base for mounting. The cable is extremely thin so it can be easily run under door trims, seals, etc... to get outside of the car. And like all car antennas they are designed to use your car's roof. Some do put them on the dash or in the rear window, but for absolute best performance they should be put on your roof.
There are 2 types of antennas. Single lead and dual lead. Dual lead antennas put the satellite and terrestrial repeater signals down 2 different wires and connectors. Single lead antennas put both signals down a single wire and connector. Dual lead antennas are being phased out in favor of single lead, only old XM hardware will use dual lead.
All single lead antennas can be used with ANY single lead XM receiver.
Single lead antennas CANNOT be used with a dual lead receiver. However a splitter/adapter will be available soon from Terk that allows you to do so.
Dual lead antennas CAN be used with single lead receivers, use the green (satellite) colored connector on the antenna. However with this setup you will get next to no terrestrial repeater signal, only satellite. If you use the yellow/tan connector you will get only terrestrial signal and very little satellite.
The PCR is a bare XM module with a Serial to USB converter chip attached. It is the SAME receiver module used all current receivers. XM puts their entire receiver in to a single module, receiver manufacturers just take a bare module and add their own interface to it. The protocol used to communicate with the PCR is actually the bare protocol used by all XM modules! A guy on XMFan has already made his own control front end with a microprocessor and LCD display. He did this by tapping the serial com pins on the XM module inside the PCR. See this thread: http://www.xmfan.com/viewtopic.php?t=9759
A full listing of all alternative XMPCR software is listed here: http://www.xmfan.com/viewtopic.php?t=7459
If you haven't went to http://www.xmfan.com yet do so now. The XM PCR protocol was completely reverse engineered just a week after the PCR came out. This thread: http://www.xmfan.com/viewtopic.php?t=6870 contains a list of all known commands.
Originally Posted by stevewm
Thanks for the info!
Actually, that protocol thread is not entirely complete, and it's hard to understand. A better one is here: http://www.gamillah.net/unleashpcr/protocol.htm
It's the one I used when I started coding my project. It was very helpful. I found some small errors in it, and I'm sending the guy a new version of the sheet soon.
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