XM DieFi

by Samurai Appliance Repair Man on September 3, 2005

in Satellite Radio

As you know, I’m a big fan of satellite radio and subscribe to both the major services, XM and Sirius. I subscribed to Sirius first and have previously described my travail when my Sirius Orbiter reciever crashed and burned. Then, late last year, I subscribed to XM and bought the XM MyFi setup. Well, now it was XM’s turn to crash and burn.

Since I had Sirius to listen to, this hardware crash wasn’t quite as traumatic (or dramatic) as it was when my Sirius Orbiter crashed– there was no driving to the store at 6am in my underwear and assaulting the olfactory of the clerk with my special vapors.

But still, losing XM was a psychologically damaging experience. I had gotten into a habit of listening to news and talk every evening at bedtime; shows like Phil Hendrie, Rollye James and Coast to Coast AM. Oh, it was a whole cozy ritual: Mrs. Samurai, Bubba, and I would snuggle down into our queen-size bed. Mrs. Samurai would usually read for a while, I’d be laying beside her ‘pooting on my Mac iBook (easily the coolest little compooter I’ve ever used), and Bubba would snuggle in betwixt us, lick himself a little bit, maybe nibble a paw or a rib and we’d all settle in for the night.

I also had my MyFi set up to record the Starstreams show on Ch. 77 (Audio Visions) which aired every day from 4 to 6 pm ET. So I always had five hours of fresh music stored in the MyFi ready to listen to anytime or even take with me. If you haven’t heard of Starstreams, you don’t know what you’re missing! You can also listen to them online via Live365. They play mostly ambient electronica from all your favorite artists such as Sounds from the Ground, Open Canvas, TUU, Bluetech, Omnimotion, Liquid Zen, Zero One and many others too numerous to name.

So, I had this nice assortment of news, talk radio, and music which I had become accustomed to having conveniently and readily available to me through XM radio on the MyFi receiver. Life was beautiful; life was precious.

And then it happened.

The XM MyFi shat the bed. In an instant, my six-month old MyFi melted down into a DieFi and our entire way of life was obliterated. Specifically what happened is that the receiver was no longer able to tune to channels 77 and above– which were the only ones I ever listened to. I could still get all the rock, rap, and other doo-doo music if I wanted to but half the channels available on XM radio were no longer available to me. The weeping, the wailing, the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments. Oh, Death, where is thy sting?

Only by tripling my usual dose of lithium in the subsequent days, from 10,000 mg to 30,000 mg per day, was I able to pull myself together enough to undertake the arduous process of contacting Delphi to get a warranty return number and send it back. Ten days passed in what seemed like ten thousand years.

Then the golden day arrived when the UPS man in the nice brown truck brought me my replacement XM MyFi receiver. I was so ecstatic that I stayed up for five straight days, listening to XM radio the entire time, before collapsing into a heap in front of the toilet, breaking it in half with my head.

When I awoke in the hospital, the first thing I saw was my dear, dear wife… holding my XM MyFi receiver in front of my face. She told me that I had been in a coma for three weeks and that she had set up my XM MyFi docking station in my hospital room where it played constantly on Audio Visions. This is a testament to the sheer power of XM radio– it can pull people out of comas. I later heard from a guy in my group therapy sessions that XM radio brought a dead guy back to life. Healing the sick, raising the dead, could XM radio be the Second Coming…?

Then, it happened again: my replacement MyFi started flaking out on channels 77 and above. A cosmically cruel joke or merely an inherent flaw in the MyFi? I don’t know and don’t care to find out.

I decided I just could not risk another cold turkey deprivation of XM due to shoddy hardware so I ordered a Roady 2 from Amazon for a mere $50, which includes everything you need to set it up on your vehicle. And a mere $30 gets you the home docking and antenna kit. I’ll post a review of the Roady 2 after I’ve had a chance to use it for a while.


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