My BMW R1150 GSAA at Deals' Gap

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Entries in Garmin GXM 40 (2)


XM Radio with the Garmin Zumo 665LM - Ditched it!

Moving the Garmin XM Radio antenna "puck" to the rear of the BMW solved the reception problem. However, for whatever reason Garmin has the audio level set much lower than it should be. This prevents the rider and passenger from actually hearing the audio well enough over the Sena SMH10 headsets to be able to enjoy it. Yes, I adjusted the volume level to the max on the Zumo. We hear the GPS voice prompts and MP3 music audio just fine.

Solution: I called the Sirius/XM folks and canceled the subscription on this extra radio. We can still enjoy hours of our music played from a uSD card inserted in the Zumo. Problem solved. My advice... skip the extra expense of the 665LM and stick with the 665.


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.