The MyFi is here!

Posted: March 16, 2005 in XM

So, I got the MyFi today, and I was a bit impatient with it, so I took the battery out to play with it (because you are supposed to charge the battery for 3 hours before initial use) and to get it activated. The activation process took about an hour and a half, which is longer than normal, but that is probably a good sign that they are really busy activating radios right now.

After getting it activated, I just had to test out the FM modulator. The coolest thing about the modulator, is it actually switches from Mono to Stereo, depending on whether or not the content being fed into it is Mono or Stereo. The reception seems to be good for about 15-20 feet, and it quickly tapers off after that. In the car, there is a bit of static using the old antenna, but this weekend I will install the new MyFi antenna which is smaller and designed specifically for the MyFi. This should help reception, due to a ground loop that is built into the cable.

But because of the setup at home, I want to use the FM modulator, so I am able to listen to XM as I wake up in the morning, and as I fall asleep at night. This works perfectly being that the MyFi is setup from just accross the room.

Reception of XM Signal: The reception when docked is exactly the same as it was before. When removed from the dock, I get no signal either in the car or at home, but there are also no repeaters this far south (the Minnapolis repeater is about 15-20 miles from me (I get 1 bar from the docking station when its in my car) From what I gather, repeaters get out about 10 miles. I havent tested it using the clip on antenna yet, but I am going to give it a good test this weekend. When I am outside, if I hold the MyFi in just the right spot against the body, I get a good signal, so I am thinking that the clip on antenna will virtually eliminate dropouts. And when I am in Minneapolis, Richfield, Bloomington, etc, I should be able to get recieption from the repeaters.

Sound: The new codec sounds REALLY good. The display limit of 16 characters has been eliminated, although not implemented on all channels or tracks yet (I have to imagine this is a fairly big project to re-title 2 million songs, as well as adding all the new tracks every week and making them backwards compatable with the older units, which they appear to have done) The new codec virtually eliminates the artifacting on many channels, and we are now closer to CD quality sound than ever before using the same 48kbps bandwidth per channel. From what I understand, the new satelites will make more optimum use of the bandwidth, and I am sure the codecs will only get better with time. (7 years ago, it took 1MBPS to have good quality sound before MP3 was developed, in which it was now possible to get it down to 192KBPS, and now just 3 years after MP3 was adopted, we are down to about 64kbps for CD quality sound)

The alarm feature is cool, and tomorrow, I should have stats on how long the battery lasts. The kit comes with car, home, and portable antennas, as well as 3 different mounting kits for the car, a home docking station and stand, a car docking station, and a belt clip/table stand that can be used on the go. A carrying case is also included, and there is a built in antenna on the unit itself. It also comes with the home adapter and the car adapter, which can be used in conjuction with the bases, or be plugged in directly to the unit for charging/power on the go. A pair of ear buds is also included, but I prefer to use my own headphones which is no problem.

The clip on antenna can plug into the side of the unit, and there is an adapter available at Myradiostore that allows direct connection of the home and car antennas to the side as well. Maybe Ill get that when I order my next shirt to save on shipping.

Thats pretty much it, I already went over most of the features, and its pretty easy to use. Ill have reports on battery times tomorrow.

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Comments
  1. Ryan says:

    Awesome review! Now, let’s see if I get a MyFi for my birthday…I can only hope so 🙂

  2. mnxmfan says:

    Thanks. Yeah, definitely worth the effort. Its snowing out tonight, so I will not be able to test the portability as much as I want. Initial tests of standing in the driveway went well though!

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