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Took my first trip in the Ridgeline this weekend - approx. 700 miles in and around New England. The vehicle was quiet and comfortable. There was plenty of room for our bikes and other stuff. So far, the truck is terrific all around!

I have 2 observations/questions I'd like to share:

1) I can't understand how SiriusXM can sell such a horrible product. The radio was constantly dropping out for a couple of seconds at a time. It was impossible to enjoy music or talk when you know that several times every hour, things would go silent. Am I missing something here or is this just the way it is? Can't be just trees/hills, they must be able to buffer the stream to avoid this?

2) Has anyone else noticed how at night sometimes it's difficult to make a turn because there is absolutely zero side illumination? My last car had cornering lights that came on with the turn signal. My RTL-T AWD is always dark to either side and when there's no ambient light, it can be near-impossible to see what you are turning in to.

-- MM
 

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How'd you drive at night when you were sixteen?
 

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1) We don't have hills or tall buildings where I live. Every great once in a while SXM will cut out momentarily while driving under a bridge or a narrow back road surrounded by heavy foliage with little view of the sky. Otherwise, it stays on 99.999% of the time. There's some amount of forward error correction in the SXM signal, but not much buffering - it doesn't take long of a signal loss to cause a dropout. Some larger cities have terrestrial repeaters in certain areas. Compare your vehicle to others with SXM along the same route. If yours drops out often while the others don't, it might be worth looking into a bit further.

2) The first and only vehicle I ever had with cornering lights was a '99 Regal. Lots of higher-end cars had them from the 60s-90s, but they've mostly fallen out of favor. I think that's a shame because they are very helpful. I've missed them since I got rid of my Regal. The LED headlights on my RTL-E are so precisely focused on the road in front of the vehicle, that they put out almost no light to the sides. The fog lights do a decent job of lighting up 90º to either side, which helps somewhat. I don't like using fog lights (just a weird hangup of mine - I like the front lighting to match) and the headlights in the RTL-E/BE automatically dim when you slow down, so you have to push or pull the dimmer which turns off the automatic headlights. If you forget to turn them back on, then you have to push or pull the dimmer to turn them back on and if there's oncoming traffic they think you're flashing them. There should be a dedicated button to activate the automatic headlights instead of using the dimmer to toggle them on and off. Anyway, I'm rambling - that's not an issue on the RTL-T and below. I do agree, that the Ridgeline has insufficient side illumination.
 

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In Alaska XM/Sirrus you are lucky if you get 5 seconds or radio to work at all. I believe it has to do with the satellite orbits as well as the mountains we have. Not sure about New England - it should be fine provided that the hills aren't too large.
 

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SiriusXM cuts out in my G1 when the sky is obscured - tunnel - tall hill next to a highway - etc... If the Satellite cant see the car then you are out of luck - even with the occasional cut outs - SiriusXM is a far far superior experience to terrestrial radio where there are now more commercials than content -
 

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Like others here have stated...if you have a clear view of the sky, your sirius xm radio should work without cutting out. Mine works perfectly. Sounds to me as though there is a problem with the unit, or the antenna. Have your dealer fix it. Good Luck
 

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SiriusXM has a 4 second buffer, it should not be cutting out if you have an unobstructed view of the sky. The sound quality of SiriusXM is awful. I would highly recommend taking advantage of the free trial of Spotify Premium.

Did you have your fog lights on when cornering? On most vehicles factory "cornering lamps" are just turning on the fog light in the direction of your intended turn.
 

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SiriusXM has a 4 second buffer, it should not be cutting out if you have an unobstructed view of the sky.
SiriusXM doesn't have "buffering" in the conventional sense. It's a one-way system using a constant data stream. The data is broadcast from the satellite at the same rate it is decoded and played back, so the system doesn't have the capability to "buffer ahead". Instead, satellite radio uses forward error correction. Each packet of data contains extra bits that are used for error correction. For very brief signal interruptions that result in corrupted data, the extra bits used in the error correction scheme can then be used to reassemble the lost bits with varying levels of success. If the receiver can recreate the data perfectly, you won't notice a thing. If too many bits are missing, the audio is momentarily replaced by soft white noise followed by silence instead of "digital noise" to prevent the user from being startled by frightening bursts of beeps caused by digital noise.

When driving under a 4-lane overpass in my area at 65 MPH (resulting in a signal loss for only a fraction of a second), satellite radio will drop out briefly. Except for the overpass, there is a perfectly clear view of the sky in all directions. Both XM and SiriusXM tuners in various vehicles I've driven for over a decade have done this - including my 2017 Ridgeline.

Some satellite radio tuners appear to have a buffer, but it's actually just a delay due to the speed at which the unit can receive, decode, process, and play back the audio signal. The newest generation of SiriusXM tuners like the ones in our 2017 Ridgelines, have a buffer that holds up to 1 hour of audio, but that's used for feature purposes like the ability to rewind, pause, and fast-forward - not to compensate for signal lost. Once the signal is lost, the signal is lost. There is no way to recover that lost data since the tuner can't request a retransmission of the lost data over a one-way, broadcast connection.

On most vehicles factory "cornering lamps" are just turning on the fog light in the direction of your intended turn.
I'm not aware of a single application in automotive history where fog lamps were used as cornering lamps. To the best of my knowledge, cornering lamps have always been dedicated lamps that come on only during turn signal use. Cornering lamps first appeared on Cadillacs in 1962. The C4 Corvette even had rear cornering lamps that activated in reverse. You may be confusing a period of Nissan Maxima that had cornering lamps which resembled fog lights to the untrained eye, but these were indeed dedicated corning lamps and did not operate as fog lamps.
 

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My XM works perfectly here in the North East, it only cuts out when i drive under tunnels or heavy tree foliage. As for my advice with the lighting, i would just get brighter fog lights.
 

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I believe that Nissan Maxima era was one I owned an example of and they were definitely dedicated side (a.k.a. cornering) lamps. I liked them and miss them, although I haven't had them on any car since so I'm used to it. On the Nissan they were related to the turn signal system because they went on when you turned on your turn signal, which makes sense from both user and engineering perspectives.

About SiriusXM: as you know, I live in New England. There are certain roadways where I can predict to the second when SiriusXM is going to go out for three or four seconds. It's the trees. I believe that in particular it is evergreen trees. They also affect cell transmission. Of course tall buildings could do it too but where I live we don't have that many of them. It's the price you pay for having lots of trees and I for one would happily pay it. I lived in SF California for a while and although I loved it there in most ways, I definitely missed the trees, both deciduous and coniferous.

I really like SiriusXM despite the brief outages. But I can't see coughing up the $20 a month for it. Maybe if I had a one hour commute but I have a very short commute. I frankly don't see how these guys stay in business. Full disclosure though: the last 10 years I've had a 3 mile commute. The 10 years before that I worked out of my home. My 90 days of SiriusXM expires in a week and a half or so. I can't cost justify $20 a month for it so I'll be letting it lapse. Ironically, they just sent me an offer specific to the Tacoma I no longer own offering five months for $20. If they gave me that deal on the Ridgeline, I'd take it in a trice. Methinks their marketing plan needs work.
 

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SiriusXM doesn't have "buffering" in the conventional sense. It's a one-way system using a constant data stream. The data is broadcast from the satellite at the same rate it is decoded and played back, so the system doesn't have the capability to "buffer ahead". Instead, satellite radio uses forward error correction. Each packet of data contains extra bits that are used for error correction. For very brief signal interruptions that result in corrupted data, the extra bits used in the error correction scheme can then be used to reassemble the lost bits with varying levels of success. If the receiver can recreate the data perfectly, you won't notice a thing. If too many bits are missing, the audio is momentarily replaced by soft white noise followed by silence instead of "digital noise" to prevent the user from being startled by frightening bursts of beeps caused by digital noise.

When driving under a 4-lane overpass in my area at 65 MPH (resulting in a signal loss for only a fraction of a second), satellite radio will drop out briefly. Except for the overpass, there is a perfectly clear view of the sky in all directions. Both XM and SiriusXM tuners in various vehicles I've driven for over a decade have done this - including my 2017 Ridgeline.

Some satellite radio tuners appear to have a buffer, but it's actually just a delay due to the speed at which the unit can receive, decode, process, and play back the audio signal. The newest generation of SiriusXM tuners like the ones in our 2017 Ridgelines, have a buffer that holds up to 1 hour of audio, but that's used for feature purposes like the ability to rewind, pause, and fast-forward - not to compensate for signal lost. Once the signal is lost, the signal is lose. There is no way to recover that lost data since the tuner can't request a retransmission of the lost data over a one-way, broadcast connection.



I'm not aware of a single application in automotive history where fog lamps were used as cornering lamps. To the best of my knowledge, cornering lamps have always been dedicated lamps that come on only during turn signal use. Cornering lamps first appeared on Cadillacs in 1962. The C4 Corvette even had rear cornering lamps that activated in reverse. You may be confusing a period of Nissan Maxima that had cornering lamps which resembled fog lights to the untrained eye, but these were indeed dedicated corning lamps and did not operate as fog lamps.

The SiriusXM raido in my Volkswagen never cut out when passing under an overpass and even works for several seconds when entering a parking structure. Perhaps it is head unit specific but I was informed when I had initially signed up with Sirius (before the merger) that they had a 4 second buffer as I specifically asked about the overpass issue.

With regard to the fog lights my information comes from modern German vehicles. I will post a link to a video explanation below. This has been common practice since at least 2008, perhaps longer, and is true for current year BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Volkswagen vehicles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcicbqDnpN0
 

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Perhaps it is head unit specific but I was informed when I had initially signed up with Sirius (before the merger) that they had a 4 second buffer as I specifically asked about the overpass issue.

With regard to the fog lights my information comes from modern German vehicles. I will post a link to a video explanation below. This has been common practice since at least 2008, perhaps longer, and is true for current year BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Volkswagen vehicles.
Long ago in a land far, far, away, Sirius broadcast using two satellites - one was delayed by 4 seconds. The receiver processed both signals simultaneously. You normally heard the delayed audio. If it dropped out, the receiver would switch to the live feed. XM didn't have this 4 second "buffer" - it relied only on forward error correction and terrestrial antennae to minimize droputs. Receivers that had DVR-like features would record dropouts, too. Historically, there were Sirius receivers and XM receivers, which weren't interoperable. Even though they are now one company, pre-merger receivers still only receive signals using the technology they were designed for. For a while, there were "XM" SiriusXM radios and "Sirius" SiriusXM radios. More recently, they're now all SiriuxXM radios. If you go to SiriusXM.com and view the channel listing, you're asked if you have a Sirius radio, an XM radio, or a SiriusXM radio and you'll get different results for each selection. Got all that? :)

BMW's use of a fog light as a cornering light is not surprising, even though I've never seen it done that way before. I learned something new today! I maintain that's a rare implementation.

UPDATE: I found a more detailed video directly from BMW USA that explains how some BMW models use a special fog light with a swiveling reflector that serves as a cornering light while other models use a swiveling, inner headlight as a cornering light.

My 90 days of SiriusXM expires in a week and a half or so. I can't cost justify $20 a month for it so I'll be letting it lapse. Ironically, they just sent me an offer specific to the Tacoma I no longer own offering five months for $20. If they gave me that deal on the Ridgeline, I'd take it in a trice. Methinks their marketing plan needs work.
Ignoring the fact that I've been trading vehicles lately before my 90-day subscription is up... :) I haven't paid full price for satellite radio in years. I've perpetually renewed some short-term promotion that worked out to around $6 per month. I've had so many vehicles with satellite radio that I'm constantly getting "come back" or renewal offers in the mail on previous vehicles. Although they have the radio ID printed on them, that's never mattered. When it comes times to renew, I just tell them I got a X-for-$XX offer in the mail and I'd like to newer at that rate. If I don't have one in front of me at the time, I just tell them I want to cancel. The "retention department" will keep offering better deals until I get to where I want to be then I'll renew. NEVER write them a check or use a credit/debit card. Instead, tell them to send you an invoice then refuse to pay the stupid $2 "invoice fee". Mail them a cashier's check or money order. Otherwise, they'll "conveniently" renew your subscription at full price when you're not looking.

See the most recent pages of this thread that's been active for 10 years now.

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/9-mobile-electronics/4259-xm-radio-how-get-discount.html

I've been enjoying satellite radio in the new Ridgeline more than any other vehicle I can remember due the sound quality improvement over previous vehicles and additional features like Tune Start, Tune Mix, and Xtra channels. It's definitely worth the discounted price to me, but still not full price. If I get to a point where they no longer discount, I'll just use a streaming service.
 

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It's definitely worth the discounted price to me, but still not full price. If I get to a point where they no longer discount, I'll just use a streaming service.

Exactly. I think I paid $400 somewhere around 10 years ago (pre-merger) for a lifetime subscription so my cost per month goes down as time marches on. I don't find it worth their current monthly rates and would have stopped using it years ago for that.
 

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Exactly. I think I paid $400 somewhere around 10 years ago (pre-merger) for a lifetime subscription so my cost per month goes down as time marches on. I don't find it worth their current monthly rates and would have stopped using it years ago for that.
SiriusXM says lifetime subscriptions require a $75 "transfer fee" and are transferrable either an unlimited number of times, three times, or not at all depending on when the lifetime subscription was purchased and on what kind of radio.

https://listenercare.siriusxm.com/a...5/~/is-my-lifetime-subscription-transferable?

Have you had a different experience?
 

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Depending on when you bought it they have changed the rules. I must be grandfathered under the old. I've moved mine between 8 cars and 2 portables in the time I've had it and only once did they mention a transfer fee. It helps if you call the US based elevated customer service line instead of the generic off-shored number.
 

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I don't like using fog lights (just a weird hangup of mine - I like the front lighting to match) and the headlights in the RTL-E/BE automatically dim when you slow down, so you have to push or pull the dimmer which turns off the automatic headlights. If you forget to turn them back on, then you have to push or pull the dimmer to turn them back on and if there's oncoming traffic they think you're flashing them. There should be a dedicated button to activate the automatic headlights instead of using the dimmer to toggle them on and off. Anyway, I'm rambling - that's not an issue on the RTL-T and below. I do agree, that the Ridgeline has insufficient side illumination.

Your wording kinda confused me...:grin:

as I'd read the manual... it stated that the "auto" lights function/activated only if the left lever is put in "low beam" position and knob is turned to "auto".

I'm confused as why you have to fiddle with it so much ?
 

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I tried Sirius for about 30 seconds when I got my BE. Audio quality was horrible compared to Pandora. Pandora is free too and I can live with the occasional commercial.


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Bringing this thread back up as I was going to start a new thread but found this one on a search.

New 2018 RTL-E
Tried Sirius this weekend. It's clear when it's working but the consistent dropping of the signal is a huge PITA.
I compare this to the wife's last 2 vehicles that had Sirius as well. 2007 Acura TSX and then her 2014 Toyota Highlander. We still live at the same location, and go the same directions from our house.

NEITHER of those 2 previous vehicles dropped. Not one time that I can recall.

The Sirius in my G2? Drops at least a dozen times per song it seems. Luckily, I was playing an 80s station, so I know the songs by heart and filled in the blanks :grin:

That said, I wonder if it is the unit, the antenna, or if Sirius just got crappier over the years (and maybe changed their satellite's path a little)?

Anyway, those other vehicles game something like a year on it....I know it wasn't just 3 months. I won't survive 3 months of this dropping, even IF free, so I know I won't be paying for it. Honda, and Sirius, just killed that tiny profit going forward, from me at least.
 

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If Sirius is dropping out, contact your dealer. As others have said, a clear sky in the US Mainland you should be good.

I never even used the free trial of it as I have close to 9000 tunes at 320K sample rate on a thumb drive in the center console USB port. Sirius repeats tracks WAY to often for me. This way I can control what I listen to and no cost. I do have the advantage of having a big song library and access to many songs I enjoy.

On the lights to the side. I was raised out in the country and never had a car with that feature unless it was a dented front end with mis-aligned headlights... lol I have turned off the Auto High beams not because they were not useful, just there are a few things I perfer to handle myself. At times I do miss the Brights foot button.

Hawk
 

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I lose the signal a lot in the mountains around here, and overall it sucks, so I will be cancelling mine.
I rarely drive at night, but have not experienced any problem in seeing to turn a corner.
 
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