General Question

syz's avatar

What is interfering with my satellite radio?

Asked by syz (35612points) May 11th, 2009

There is one gas station in town that interferes with my XM/Sirius reception every time I drive by. It has never happened anywhere else, and it occurs every time I drive by. What could this gas station possibly be broadcasting that would have such a impact on satellite reception?

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7 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

what ever it is I would think it is interfering with the radio as an electrical device rather than the satellite signal. Probably they are using some old radio frequency equipment and your radio is picking up the interference.

AstroChuck's avatar

How are you hooked up? Is is through the cassette, auxiliary connection, or is it via a radio frequency?

syz's avatar

Um, now that you mention it, I think I’ve only noticed it since I switched from the cassette to the radio frequency.

benseven's avatar

It’s Tom Cruise communicating with his home planet.

RocketGuy's avatar

Satellite radio transmits approx. 4 GHz and your FM transmitter transmits 87–108 MHz. If the gas station is transmitting in either of those ranges, you will get interference.

There are homes in my area that have Christmas lights synchronized to music, and they transmit the music in FM for passersby to hear. There is a limit on transmitter power if you don’t have a license. If FM is the cause, you ought to be able to change your transmitting frequency to avoid the interference. The new cordless phones operate at 2.4 GHz, and even 5.8 GHz. You can’t do much about that if the gas station has some newfangled phone.

syz's avatar

But why would a gas station need to transmit anything? Especially what seems to be (from the sound, at least) a really powerful signal?

RocketGuy's avatar

Do they have a big dish on the roof? Most gas stations in my neighborhood do. I don’t know why – Sat link to the DMV for smog check info? Sat link to the refinery for pricing info? Have you ever noticed that gas prices jump up the same amount at all stations almost at the same time? A sat link would be an easy way to put out pricing info to all gas stations simultaneously.

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