My BMW R1150 GSAA at Deals' Gap

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XM Radio with the Garmin Zumo 665LM - Move it or don't use it

One of the perceived benefits I had of upgrading to the Garmin Zumo 665LM was the inclusion of XM Radio support. For years I've been using a separate radio tucked in the tankbag. The audio out of that radio was wired into the AutoCom and "just worked".

Garmin provides a GXM 40 XM antenna "puck" in the box with the Zumo. It's not just an antenna, but the entire XM radio and it connects to the GPS through a wired USB connection. The length of the GXM 40's USB cable is a bit short, leading to limited flexibility on location. Their literature instructs you to locate it away from the GPS and other electronics. So why the short cable? The tankbag seemed like an acceptable location with the limited length of the cable, so that's where I put it.

Disappointment ensued on our test ride. The GXM 40 wasn't able to keep a usable view of the necessary satellites much at all - even out in open, flat land. Putting it on my helmet might have worked better, but that certainly wouldn't have been too practical.

Coming up with a solution... With my previous setup, I'd located a small XM antenna way back on the top surface of the Jesse top box. It worked much of the time, losing signal only with an extensive canopy of trees blocking satellite view. In short, we had no complaints and enjoyed hours of XM music on our travels.

Shopping Amazon, I located a promising Garmin GXM USB Extension Cable for $23. (IMO) That's a bit expensive for a USB cable so I checked a few local consumer electronics stores to see if I could come up with something different. Extension cables are quite hard to find, so I ordered up the piece from Amazon.

Next step... Sticking the puck and running the extended cable. Ride safe.

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Reader Comments (1)


Just found your site a few weeks ago and I've found it interesting and informative.

Amazon has other USB extension cables Should do the same thing as the official Garmin one, for about 1/5 the cost! I'd probably slap some heat shrink tubing where the cable connects to the puck-end and the GPS-end, but it seems like a good alternative.


August 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNeal Oppenheimer

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