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#1 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 10:58 PM
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Question Hack into Sat radio antenna?

We just bought a 2011 RAV4 last month. Noticed this site during some Google searching and finally joined tonight.
We bought the base model. We just like the basic features for transportation.

The dealer qouted $600 to install XM to the radio. From what I understand it is just a module that is installed in the engine compartment fire wall.
Google research shows DIY units at about $200. However, I want to listen to Sat radio in the car or anywhere I am with one subscription.

A portable Sat radio is ideal. But to use in the car, the reception of the portable unit may be an issue. But if I could connect it to the existing antenna, I would be golden.

Before I posted this question I searched the forums for an answer, but didn't find any.

BTW, the RAV4 is my wife's car and she could care less about having Sat radio. The RAV4 will be our main transport until we are put out to pasture (we are empty nesters, baby boomer generation). We most likely use the Sat radio on trips when I'm the main driver.

Bottom line is: Santa will most likely bring me a portable Sat radio. If I can hook into the current antenna hook up, that would be great.

Thanks in advance for any advice or direction.
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 11:22 PM
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Not sure about how well the stock AM/FM radio antenna will work for satellite radio, as they are on drastically different frequencies. A magnetic antenna can be mounted on the roof and the wire can be routed to the front (it's 20 feet long), where you will have the radio. The antenna isn't much larger than a book of matches, so you can leave it there or move it to your own car.

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#3 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 12:38 AM
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OK, Bud, if you want to connect to the existing antenna these pictures might help. The satellite antenna is terminated at a blue connector underneath the passenger side panel on the "D-pillar" above the seat release lever. You will need an extension cable to connect to this square blue connector and then run it up to the dash or console area. At around $60, the cable is not cheap. Unfortunately, Toyota/Lexus uses a proprietary connector:

XM Satellite Radio at MyRadioStore - Antennas & Extensions - Adapters, Splitters, and Extensions - Shark Fin Adapter For Lexus IS/LS




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#4 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 07:54 AM
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Wow Junebug, that site is super! Looks like they have adapters for just about anything.
I have a Roady XL receiver with a lifetime XM/best of Sirius subscription ($500). I move it between vehicles and my garage. Our RAV4 isn't an issue since the previous owner had installed the magnetic antenna, power and audio connections and left them for me. My Accord is different. I bought an audio/tuning interface off eBay but would like to utilize the Honda "rat tail" XM Antenna. Looks like MyRadioStore has the stuff to do it.

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#5 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 10:02 PM
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That's great to know JuneBug. I would love to use the existing antenna with an aftermarket Sirius receiver (or can I only use it for XM?).

I'm just wondering how hard it is to route the cable cleanly to the head unit. I've never popped a single piece of trim in a car, but I'm keen to try this one. I'm presuming the cable would go over the right rear wheel, down to the rear right door base trim, through the pillar separating the rear and front doors, along the front door base trim and somehow up behind the dash. Is there any info on how to remove the various panels? Is it hard to get new cables through existing grommets?
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#6 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benmills View Post
That's great to know JuneBug. I would love to use the existing antenna with an aftermarket Sirius receiver (or can I only use it for XM?).

I'm just wondering how hard it is to route the cable cleanly to the head unit. I've never popped a single piece of trim in a car, but I'm keen to try this one. I'm presuming the cable would go over the right rear wheel, down to the rear right door base trim, through the pillar separating the rear and front doors, along the front door base trim and somehow up behind the dash. Is there any info on how to remove the various panels? Is it hard to get new cables through existing grommets?
Ben, from what I've seen in the manuals, the factory runs the antenna cable above inside the headliner. I think the existing antenna will work with Sirius.

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#7 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuneBug View Post
Ben, from what I've seen in the manuals, the factory runs the antenna cable above inside the headliner. I think the existing antenna will work with Sirius.
Out of interest, which manual are you talking about? The Haynes manual? I was wondering if that would show me how to pop the various panels.
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#8 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 09:33 PM
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Sorry to necro this thread, but just a heads up for people looking to replace their head unit wanting to keep the stock antenna. All the posts here on r4w reference the sfa12f adapter from vaistech which goes for about $60USD. This is not required (at least for FM only; I use the Sirius adapter anyway) and you can get something else for a little over $13USD from Metra. I just installed a Kenwood DDX419 and this works like a charm on my 2012 base V6 (non JBL).

VaisTech Adapter (SFA12F) $60USD:
Product Listing - 10 =
Sirius Satellite Radio SFA12F 2007+ Lexus IS/LS Shark Fin Antenna Adapter Cable

Metra Adapter (40-LX11) $13USD:
Metra Part # 40-LX11 | Lexus Antenna | Metra Online
Metra / Tsunami - 40LX11 - 2009-up Lexus Radio Antenna Adapter

Edit: Oh and yes, the antenna is the square blue wiring harness with 2 wires in it.
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#9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 03:02 PM
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It looks like for 2012 at least, Toyota has removed the satellite antenna from the roof antenna assembly. But, the compartment is still there. If you disassemble the base, a standard XM or Sirius antenna can be fitted into this compartment AFTER removing the housing:




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