Question about Sirius Satellite Radio Sirius Sportster SP-TK1 Satellite Radio Receiver

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Sirius sportster sp-tk1, always displays "acquiring signal"

Display always says "acquiring signal". Receiving 7-10 bars of signal strength when I check "antenna aiming" function. Happens identically when plugged into both home and car docking stations.

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  • silent_bob Dec 03, 2007

    same problem in Tampa. I'm noticing this in multiple geographical
    locations. I called Sirius customer service and had some poorly
    informed overseas 'tech' read to me from a manual. This is a year-old
    install and I am not standing underneath an overpass!!! Blue sky, no
    signal driving in all directions.

    Problem began in early-mid
    November'07. Initially, the signal would cut in and out. Looking at the
    signal strength indicator, I showed a loss of satellite signal and
    about 30% terrestrial on average. Terrestrial would shoot up to full
    strength in downtown areas and audio would resume.

    Now, I am showing 0% terrestrial and satellite. No signal coming in at all.

  • Nitesoul Dec 07, 2007

    Same issue happening with me in Ft Myers... Worked great for a long time with the expected cut outs under over pass etc.. then it started having issues every now and then... and now it stays in Aquiring Signal full time-- since Oct 2007

  • Leemax Dec 09, 2007

    I just started having the same problem-just says Acquiring Signal...anyone know what to do

  • joffacurt Jan 10, 2008

    I am in Baltimore and have the exact same problem. Sometimes it says that is acquiring a signal while having full bars and other times it seems as if the receiver simply locks up. My problems also started recently. I have had the receiver for 3 years now and until 2 months ago - no problems.

  • sternfan Jan 31, 2008

    Same problem with a replay unit. Had it in the same spot for over 2 years with no problems. Last month or so, it cuts out and says "Acquiring Signal". In southern California.

  • willk Jan 31, 2008

    I have the same problem. It has been happening for a few weeks, and it doesn't matter if I'm using it in the car, boombox, or home. Talked to the tech support and product support folks at Sirius today and was basically told to buy a new radio. Now that I know that other folks are having the same problem, I'm stopping my ebay search. Anybody report yet to Sirius that many folks seem to be having this problem?

  • glenngwalsh Feb 15, 2008

    yes everyone accross the country is having the same " aquiring signal " problem, what I want to know is why isen't sirius radio admitting it????\glenn

  • Anonymous Mar 04, 2008

    I still have my original sportster for prob 3-4 years now. NEVER had a problem with it. Within the last week, suddenly i get an AQUIRING SIGNAL message. Is there something going on with the signals? I live in CT.

  • Anonymous Apr 29, 2008

    having the same problem sportster cuts out and says aquiring signal

  • Anonymous May 19, 2008

    I have been having the same problem here in Vancouver for the past couple of months. Very aggrivating because I don't know if it's a problem with Sirius or my hardware.

  • DJCMKC May 21, 2008

    I'm getting this same annoying message, "acquiring signal". I've also tried relocating my antenna on my car, but no change. I also tried using the base station outside at home with no trees or obstructions around and I get the same message... acquiring signal. Does Sirius stand by their product and offer any sort of replacement warranty? I received this as a gift 6 months ago. If I can't get it to work, I suppose I'll cancel the service and try another vendor.

  • bitbucket Jun 03, 2008

    Same problem here. Bought a 'refurbished' sportster on Ebay to replace my pnpsir1 unit that worked well for 3 years until it quit working last month. Every time I get that 'Acquiring Signal' message I unplug it from the dock and hold it in front of the car's AC vent for a couple of minutes to cool it down. When I put it back in the dock it always works! I'm convinced that it's a design flaw in the sportster unit. Anybody else try that?

  • Anonymous Jun 16, 2008

    Join me to the growing list of user with "acquiring signal" problem. Had the sportster for 3+ years and lifer subscription. Never any problems in the past until recently.

  • Anonymous Sep 13, 2008

    Same as everyone. Problems acquiring signal. Unplug and reset in cradle and it works for a short time. This just started in the last 3 months

  • Anonymous Oct 20, 2008

    I just started having this same issue over the weekend. After seeiing the vast number of similar issues I have quickily come to the conclusion to cancel my service. I am in Texas, IKE Zone.

  • vagman Nov 13, 2008

    This problem seems to be happening more frequently than Sirius wants to admit. I called them and notified them of the issue (acquiring signal problem) and they automatically tell you that you have to purchase a new unit. They also tell you that you will have to pay an additional $15 to activate a new one if you get one. I am not sure why, since you are planning on keeping the service. My unit worked PERFECT when I went to work in the morning (never ever had an issue, ever), and never worked again when I went to lunch. I think Sirius is trying to outdate certain versions of units, and increase revenue by getting people to purchase new units and activation fees.

  • chuckunaya Dec 20, 2008

    Like everyone els I have the same problem. I have to squeeze the radio on the cradle, and the signal will come back, until I hit a bump in the road then it's back to square one. I've replaced antennas and cradles to no avai.l

    They shure don't tell you about the lifetime not being transferable when they are taking your money do they.

  • jjohnson_82 Jan 16, 2009

    Same Problem here in NJ. I emailed sirius three times with no response. This started happening about 3 months ago. Radio started showing "Aquiring Signal" about 20% of the time, now it is up to about 80% of the time.

    SIRIUS + XM = TITANIC (I am jumping ship!)

  • Anonymous Feb 07, 2009

    Same here. Looks like we are all in the same boat. Here I buy the lifetime sub, and it doesn't even pay for itself with this unit. Now I'm going to get charged 75 bucks on top of the new radio cost to switch. What a joke.

  • xxvission Feb 26, 2009

    I have the same problem, mine accured the exsact same day as the 4 year warenty expired, I have the lifetime sub., and I believe siruis is scrambeling my signal now, as soon as I turn the sporster on it takes a while and then sound stops but the screen stays on the clock keeps time and signal bars stay lite, but then I turn it off and on and it says accuiring signal, if I remove from the cradel for a period of 15 minutes or more it comes on again untill they detect me again, then it loses it again

  • reachjt Mar 03, 2009

    I have the same problem with my streamer replay "acquiring signal", but i have numerous cradles in different cars and a boom box. At first it quit working in one car but worked fine in the others. Tried my dads receiver (same model) in the cradle that mine did not work in and everything worked fine. So its not the antenna or signal problem. Over time my receiver did the same "acquiring signal" in all 3 car cradles and my boom box. I have discovered if I press real hard on the top of receiver, essential jamming the receiver toward the back of the cradle then it works fine in any of the cradles but it is impossible to drive down the road holding the piece of ****, so I have resorted to tying a rope tightly around the receiver...which works ok until you hit a big bump...then your back to trying to retie the rope ect. In my bomb box I can jamb 2 quarters and a penny b/w the receiver and the top of the bomb box and then it works fine. All this jerry rigging has taught me it has something to do with the plug that goes in the bottom of the unit, more specifically the round antenna part of it. I have tried bending the tabs in and help. I think maybe it is the pin inside, but dont know of any way to modify it. The problem continues to worsen as now as time has passed a couple of my cradles you can not press on the receiver hard enough to get it to work. ugghhhhh! Sirius of course says new radio, but as you can tell I have a lot invested in the whole setup and a lifetime subscription to the peice of **** receiver to add insult to injury.

  • MFD 104 Mar 05, 2009

    Same problem as others. It started around September of 2008. "Acquiring Signal" This is about the same time Sirius sent information that the FCC did not like the transmit power of the FM and offered free kits to help them with their problem on the SP-TK1 model. I did not take them up on the offer to lower the FM transmitting power. I have worked with satellite communications over 15 years using different types of encryption and any type of satellite receiver can be put in to a non-working / blocked status with a few key strokes from an up loaded signal to any receiver that has an SSID# or this case an ESN#. Are we all having the same problem at the same time with the same equipment? Or is Sirius doing something to try to get rid of a problem that the FCC has brought to their attention????

  • mantis10k Mar 16, 2009

    Same thing here. Aquiring signal all the time. Also does this in my boombox. Same sportster for 4 years, so I dont mind buying another unit, but no way I'm paying a 15 dollar transfer fee. Goodbye, Sirius!

  • bgreg1 Mar 21, 2009

    Wow, this is depressing. I have always enjoyed my satellite radio, but it was a stretch to pay $10+ a month for it, but I did it. Now they want me to do what? And they wonder why their stock is 30 cents a share.

    Howard Stern was starting to get on my nerves any way. Somebody call me when Artie dies, will ya?

  • PNightbird
    PNightbird Apr 01, 2009

    I have the same "aquiring signal" issue. Can someone PLEASE post an email/address/phone number of where we can have these Sportsters sent to for repair/refurbishing please? TSS Radios doesn't do it, they just sell refurbished units. I purchased mine at Radio Shack, but they want to charge me $20.00 just to send it off to their repair dept. with no guarantee it can even be fixed. And of course when you call Sirius about this they just say "tough luck, buy a new radio ******" which isn't fair since I have already paid them $500.00 for a lifetime subscription, over a hundred for the boombox, and close to two hundred for the Sportster Replay. They offered to send me a cheap Starmate for free, but why would I want a cheap radio like that when I paid more for a Sportster Replay? Plus, I would have to pay a "radio transfer" fee, and this new cheap Starmate would count on the total amount of radios you can switch to on a Lifetime subscription, which is only like 3. At this rate, my so called "Lifetime" subscription will only last me about 9 years, since my original Sportster only lasted me 3 years. We need to start a class action lawsuit because this just isn't right!

    If anyone knows where we can send our units for repair PLEASE post this info, we really need it! THANKS!

  • Anonymous Apr 19, 2009

    Have the same 'acquiring signal'. It bounces from 1-3 bars.

    My old one finally died so I bought a New (in the box) old style starmate. They didn't like connecting me. Wanted $75. Got them to do it for free. It has never held a signal for more than a minute. Say I gotta Update..... for hundreds of $

  • Anonymous Apr 28, 2009

    Hum, this is interesting. Especially the people that are talking about the 4 year warranty issue. The more I think about it, my Sportster is about 4 years old. Acquiring signal, Acquiring signal, Acquiring signal that is all mine ever says now.

    This feels like a scam. Sirius has to pay Stern somehow. It's just way to coincidental that this many of us have the same problem, both signal and the timing. I wonder how many people that don't see this are getting the same issues.



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Sirius does not stand behind their products, There is no out of warranty repair for their radios,  and they do not offer sites for repair. Seems  like this is a definite problem with this model. Their solution is to buy a new radio,(with all the new-docking,boombox etc) accessories. also they charge $75.00 to change to the new radio.I liked my sportster 1 because of the FM modulator. It just had to be centrally located and all the radios in my home picked it up(no docking) the new radios require $50.00 docking stations for each stereo location and radio location, unless you bring a boombox everywhere, and the sound isn't the same.    I feel there should be a class action lawsuit against Sirius for these reasons and I might look into it. What do all you think?

Posted on Aug 31, 2008

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I had the same problem. I noticed if I pressed on the male plug in of the antenna it work again. Must be a loose connection somewhere in the unit. So I put a couple of zip ties together and wrapped it aound the unit and male plug in to keep it snug and it has worked ever since (about 3 months now).

Now I have another problem. When I change channels I loose the sound for the duration of my trip even though my antenna connection is good. If I never change the channel the sound always stays on. Later, such as the next morning, when I get back in my car it works again.

Posted on Apr 22, 2010

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First let me say that sirius is the suplier of the signal and programing only they do not make or supply any receivers. The sportser is made by directed electronics. You can contact them for repairs if the unit is out of warenty they will charge for repairs. I have 3 sportsters one was having the acquiring signal problem so i stopped using it 2 weeks later i pluged it into my boombox and it worked fine and has since then. I beleave the problem has somthing to do with the heat created by the unit and removing it from the power sorce alows it to cool. Im not saying this is a permanant fix but it may help for a while.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008

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In Oxford, MS I am having the same problem with a 3-yr old sportster. Sirius told me to buy a new unit. This past weekend I traveled in a 750 big loop the entire length of the state and once or twice I got a signal but for the rest of the time I got "acquiring signal" which I think it a Sirius ground repeater problem but they surely won't admit it. They said "we have had no calls from your area."
I don't want to spend another $169.00 just to have the same problem.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008

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My Sirius

Posted on Jul 03, 2008

  • talex Jul 03, 2008

    My Sirius sportster is also Dead. Its got the same "acquiring signal" that many others are experiencing. I contacted the company that sold it to me and they said they have had a deluge of customers that weren't happy. Not only is this radio

    timed to die after the warranty expires but the newer versions of

    sportster were designed so they wouldn't work with the expensive boom box which I unfortunately own. I contacted Sirius Radio and they told me "too bad". I will never do business

    with this company again and have cancelled my radio subscribtion!


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Tell Sirius to stuff it.

I lost reception on another Sportster 2 yrs ago or so. Response was get a new one. Cancelled subsription instead.

Having same acquiring signal problem. If it continues I will cancel remaining subscription and be done with Sirius altogether.

Posted on Mar 12, 2008

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Same problem in RI too. Acquiring signal stays on the screen 24/7. My husband has the same Sportster. When I plug his into my car docking station, it works fine. When I plug mine in, it says "Acquiring signal". Does this mean my radio is dead?

Posted on Jan 06, 2008

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Fulk8 has the right idea. This morning my Sportster Replay would not work, just the acquiring signal would show on the display. I took it out and blew some compressed air through and now it works again.

Posted on Sep 01, 2010

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Call up Sirius and complain of the Acquiring signal problem and tell them you are going to cancel your service. They gave me a Stratus 6, Free Install card and no activation or swap fee. I believe this is there way of pushing out an older product. I have had Sirius for four years with no problems until the last month or so "Acquiring Signal" issue. I called Best Buy to schedule the install and they told me I need a FM modulator for $30 for it to work without any interference. So I was happy getting a replacement for free, but I'm not ready to part with $30 for something I had nothing to do with.

Posted on Apr 17, 2010

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I have the same problem, so here's what I did, so far so good. I assumed through years of vibration that the plug was losing contact. So, I placed 2 small pieces of paper behind the "male" plug in the dock and tied a zip tie around the radio to limit its movement.

Posted on Mar 25, 2010

I am having the same problem. It works fine in my boombox but not in the car docking station. Is it the antenna or docking station? The problem started about 2 weeks ago

Posted on Feb 19, 2008

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