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SIRIUS SC-FM1 Starbase

Satellite radio tuner

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  • SIRIUS SC-FM1 Starbase

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  • SIRIUS SC-FM1 Starbase

Item #: 607SCFM1
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the SIRIUS SC-FM1 Starbase

by Matt Freeman

The SIRIUS Starbase may have a name right out of science fiction, but in reality it's a spectacular way to add the space-age entertainment of SIRIUS Satellite Radio to any car's FM radio. The package comes with everything you need: a SIRIUS tuner, an FM modulator, a dash-mountable display/controller, and a roof-mount SIRIUS antenna. The compact, easy-to-read display is perfect for vehicles with limited dash space.

The ultra-compact tuner box will fit under your seat easily. The FM modulator connects to your radio's antenna input, and the modulator then "broadcasts" the SIRIUS signal over an unused FM frequency (you can select any FM frequency, from 87.7 to 107.9). If your in-dash radio has an auxiliary input, you can use the included patch cables to plug the tuner directly into it.

With the dash-mountable controller (Velcro® strips are included for mounting, as is a bracket for cell-phone mount applications), you can surf SIRIUS channels one by one, enter channel numbers directly, or jump to one of the 30 presets you can store. While you're listening, you can save up to 20 songs in the Starbase's memory; its S-Seek function can tell you anytime one of them is playing anywhere on SIRIUS.

Sports fans, check this out: with Game Alert, you'll always know what's happening with your favorite NFL, NBA, or college team. Save your team in the Game Alert memory, and Starbase will alert you when a broadcast of their big game is about to begin, and provide you with scoring updates. Buying the nachos, however, is entirely up to you.

If you're connecting the Starbase to a factory stereo, antenna adapters might be required for installation — please enter your vehicle information, and we'll notify you if they're needed.

Note: A subscription to SIRIUS is also required. Satellite radio service is available only within the lower 48 states — not available in Hawaii or U.S. territories. Limited service is available in Alaska.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • universal SIRIUS Satellite Radio package
  • compact SIRIUS tuner box
  • roof-mount antenna
  • wired FM modulator
  • dash-mountable display/controller with black-on-blue LCD
  • power/ground wiring harness
  • RCA patch cables
  • mounting screws
  • Velcro® strips
  • diplay mounting clip for cell phone mounting bracket
  • wireless remote
  • saves 30 presets
  • 20-song memory with S-Seek alerts you when stored songs are playing on SIRIUS
  • Game Alert signals a saved team's game start and scoring updates
  • transmits on any FM frequency, from 87.7 to 107.9
  • alarm clock
  • auto shutdown and sleep modes
  • tuner dimensions: 5"W x 1-3/8"H x 5-7/16"D
  • display controller dimensions: 4-1/2"W x 1-9/16"H x 3/4"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Service
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Sirius
Compatible Brand
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N/A
Display Lines
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3
Channel Presets
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30
Song Memory
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20
Built-in FM Transmitter
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Yes
Car Kit
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Included
Home Kit
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N/A
Changer Jack/Pass-Thru
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N/A
NavTraffic Compatible
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No
Included Antenna
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Car Antenna
Dimensions and Warranty
Width (inches)
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5
Height (inches)
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1-3/8
Depth (inches)
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7-1/8
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • SC-FM1 universal FM modulated SIRIUS Satellite Radio tuner
  • Display control unit with attached 10' cable (has a round 8-pin male connector)
  • Wireless remote control
  • 1 CR2025 battery
  • Mobile antenna with attached 20.5' cable (has a single SMB connector)
  • FM relay switch (has a 19.25' input cable and an 18" output cable)
  • 14.5' Power harness (has an in-line noise filter with a 2A fuse and a separate 2A fuse)
  • 10' Extension cable (has a round 8-pin male connector on one end and a round 8-pin female connector on the other end)
  • 14.5' Audio cable (has left and right RCA audio connectors on each end)
  • 2 Spare 2A fuses
  • 1 Mounting clip (for display control unit)
  • 5.525" Antenna cable cover/tail with a self-adhesive strip
  • 2 Self-adhesive Velcro strips
  • 6 Self-tapping screws
  • 1 Alcohol swab
  • 1 Silica gel packet
  • User Guide
  • Installation Guide
  • SIRIUS Satellite Radio station list

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Connections
Dimensions

Features

Overview: This package includes a universal FM-modulated satellite radio tuner, wired display control unit, and a wireless remote control, plus everything you need to connect the tuner to your in-dash receiver: display control unit mounting clip, a built-in FM transmitter (for use with in-dash receivers that do not have auxiliary inputs), a stereo patch cable (for use with in-dash receivers that have auxiliary inputs), and a magnetic roof-mount antenna. The display control unit mounts in the front of the vehicle using the supplied mounting clip. The actual tuner can be mounted in a hideaway location. For the system to work, you'll need a subscription to SIRIUS Satellite Radio in addition to the tuner.

SIRIUS Satellite Radio: SIRIUS Satellite Radio features more than 120 channels of original programming beamed coast-to-coast, including 65 channels of commercial-free, digital-quality music, and news, talk, sports, entertainment, and children's programming.

Note: Satellite radio service is available only within the continental United States. Service is not available in Alaska and Hawaii.

Display: The display control unit has a 2-3/8" x 7/8" black-on-blue LCD screen. The main screen displays the following information: channel number, channel name, artist name, song title, band/preset bank number, and clock.

Display Adjustments: You can manually adjust the display's contrast and brightness for best viewing.

FM Transmitter: The built-in FM transmitter can broadcast Sirius signals on any FM frequency from 87.7 to 107.9 MHz.

SIRIUS Antenna: The SIRIUS antenna has a powerful magnetic base that allows you to mount the antenna on the roof or trunk lid of your vehicle. The antenna needs to be positioned in such a way that it will be free of mechanical and line-of-sight obstructions. 

Search Modes: The display control unit has several ways to search for and select music: by channel, category, artist, or song title.

Direct Tuning: Using the numeric buttons on the remote, you can directly access SIRIUS channels.

Channel Presets: You can store up to 30 of your favorite channels as presets for quick access. Presets are stored in 5 banks, each containing 6 channel presets.

Memory/S-Seek Functions: The memory function allows you to capture and store information about the current song. You can store information for up to 20 selections. The S-Seek function allows the tuner to search the current incoming SIRIUS signal, and alert you if a song that is stored in memory is currently playing.

Game Alert: Game Alert allows you to store your favorite sports teams in memory. The unit will constantly scan the SIRIUS channels and will sound an alert when a team you stored in memory is playing, or when there is a score update for a team, depending on which option you have chosen for the team.

Skip/Add: Add or Skip allows you to choose which channels will be displayed when scrolling through the channels list in any mode. If a channel is marked as Skip, that channel will not be displayed when scrolling through the list.

Channel Lock: You can lock a channel, making it only available by direct tuning. When a locked channel is tuned directly, you will need to enter a 4-digit code before the channel can be heard.

Time Based Functions: The tuner has a built-in clock with the time data provided by the SIRIUS signal. The clock options can be set for time zone and observance of Daylight Saving Time. Once the clock data is set, you can activate the following functions:

  • Alarm Clock: The built-in alarm can be set to turn on at a specific time each day.
  • Auto Shutdown: The unit can be set to automatically turn off after a one-hour period without any buttons being pressed. After 59 minutes of inactivity, a beep tone sounds and a display prompt appears on the screen allowing you the option of canceling auto shutdown.
  • Sleep Mode: The tuner can be set to turn off after a selected period of time: 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes.

Mounting: The tuner can be mounted to any appropriate flat surface using the supplied self-tapping screws. The mounting clip and self-adhesive Velcro allow you to mount the display control unit on the dash, or on any flat surface that is accessible from the driver's seat.

Connections

Front Panel of Tuner:

  • FM Out: FM output for use with the supplied FM relay switch; this can be used if you prefer a hardwired FM transmitter
  • Audio Out: left and right RCA audio jacks
  • To Controller: round 8-pin jack for use with the display control unit
  • Power: 4-pin jack for use with the supplied power wiring harness

Back Panel of Tuner:

  • Antenna: single SMB input

Bottom Panel of Display Control Unit:

  • To Tuner: 10' cable terminated with a round 8-pin male connector that plugs into the tuner

Dimensions

Dimensions:

  • Tuner: W=4.943", H=1.374", D=5.408" (7.091" with cables)
  • Display Control Unit: W=4.485", H=1.561", D=0.739"
  • Antenna: W=1.993", H=0.567", D=2.381" (7.906" with antenna cable cover/tail installed)
 
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SIRIUS SC-FM1 Starbase Reviews

Average Customer Review:

12 people say:

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5 out of 5

Great Product!

Written By Steven, NY on Monday, January 28, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Works exactly how it should, no flaws, and a very smooth install. Installed in a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee, left main unit underneath one of the backseats.
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5 out of 5

Great Unit!

Written By Eddie, West New York, NJ on Thursday, November 29, 2007
 
In a word.... OUTSTANDING! Just got this tuner and installed it in my 01 Chevy Malibu w/factory radio. I was not able to hard wire the audio cables because my car radio does not have an Aux input. I had to settle for the ANT connection. Sounds great. I can only imagine how much better it would sound when connected to an Aux input. I live in the city and reception is awsome. Installation was easy using splice connectors and instructions were easy to follow. Great unit.
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5 out of 5

can't beat a permanent tuner

Written By Erik, canyon lake, ca on Monday, September 10, 2007
 
As a Sirius subscriber for about 6 years, I have owned many different tuners. I still have the first generation Kenwood tuner and FM modulator as well as the Starmate and now this Starbase. (I also had the Alpine at one time, but we won't get into that now.)
The Starbase is by far the best of the ones I've used. If you have no need to constantly relocate your Sirius radio, and just want something great for your car, this set-up is ideal. The tuner can send sound directly to the AUX or Antenna input of your car's receiver. This equals no more static, ever.
Plus, the tuner is mounted in the car, away from view, so there are no unsightly wires or suction cups. The only thing visible is the small, sleek display which has all the features you could want. (The only think it lacks is an always visible SAT strength indicator. That has to be checked in the Menu.)
Installation is easy, don't be intimidated. So there is no reason to settle for a bulky "all in one" unit that, face it, you're not going to take out of your car anyway. I love driving by other cars that have their giant tuners sucked on their front windshield with visible wires running down everywhere. How do these people see where they are going? Anyway, go with the Starbase. You won't be disappointed.
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Easy installation, AWESOME looks, all from Crutchfied.

Written By Mike, Little Rock, AR on Monday, July 17, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This thing went in so smooth. No problems whatsoever. Awesome looks. I really have no problems with it at all! I would reccommend this radio to ANYONE!
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

The clincher was the display unit--better than a PNP

Written By Anonymous, Arlington VA on Sunday, November 27, 2005
 
I'd add one item to the other reviews: The Starbase's display controller was the clincher for me. I didn't want to replace my BMW 3-series head unit with an OEM Sirius setup at $300-500 (which at the end of the day would still give me only a one-line display). And the plug & plays I've seen are too clunky for this car's interior. It came down to a tossup between the new Starmate Replay or the Starbase. But the Starmate Replay is bigger than the Starbase's display controller. Also, the Starmate Replay requires 2 wires (3 if you have direct audio) sticking out of the side. However, the Starbase's controller has a single cable to the receiver unit, which you can route straight back so no cables show. (I mounted the receiver in the trunk.)

The functionality that's packed into the 4-1/2"W x 1-9/16"H controller is brilliant--it has exactly as much display and controls as are needed, and no more. Visibility of the display in daylight is excellent too. I also put one in my Volvo S60.

9 out of 10 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

A great buy

Written By Yoshi, San Diego, CA on Tuesday, October 18, 2005
 
I did a lot of research on the Starbase before finally purchasing it, and am glad I did so, as I'm very happy with it. The quality is very good, the buttons "click" when pushed, making command confirmation whilst driving very positive as opposed to some audio buttons that simply mush when you push them.

I installed mine in my VW GTI 337, and plugged it into the OEM navigation via the Dietz adapter and thus there is no FM interference. Install was a breeze; I mounted it in the headlinder flat spot directly behind the dome light, with the tuner box in the glove compartment. Pay attention to the wiring directions,as it WILL drain your battery if not wired to switched DC as well as battery!

As mentioned earlier, the S seek alert is too quiet, and easy to miss, but still a great feature when hoping for your favorite song.

My biggest gripe about the Starbase is that the display backlight cannot be linked to the vehicle's dash lights, so as to dim automatically when turning them on. At night, the Starbase is WAY too bright, and MUST be dimmed manually, and then turned all the way up during day driving.

Apart from those small niggles, I am enjoying my starbase thoroughly.
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

What a Great Add-On!

Written By Jeff, Dallas, TX on Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Since I drive over 55 miles each way to/from work I needed smething to take my mind off of the occasionally irritating traffic. FM radio is redundant with commercials during commute hours and I had grown too familiar with my albums, so Sirius seemed to be the answer. I have been very pleased with the Mongoose stereo in my VW Jetta TDI Wagon, so I decided to go the route of installing an add-on receiver. After researching the different models available, talking with the Crutchfield advisor, and reading the reviews I decided to go with the SIRIUS SC-FM1 Starbase. I could not have made a better choice. The display is compact and easily situated even in the limited area of the Jetta and the tuner box can be located seperately out of sight. The installation instructions provided were too generic for me to feel comfortable doing the installation myself so for the first time ever, I paid to have it installed. Once installed and powered up, I immediately started getting news over the welcome channel, plus the display provided the number to call to subscribe to the service. The unit has excellent features and options, the one that I found most convienent was the ability to set the FM freq for the modulator using the electronic menu. If you have RCA inputs, the modulator is not neccessary, but my sound quality is still excellent. Although I have never thought much of in-car remote controls, the one provided with this unit is very handy. Now I mellow out instead of fighting Road Rage in triple digit heat,

All in all an excellent addition and I am so satisfied that I already plan to purchase one for my daughter's Christmas present. You will be pleeased!

Jeff
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Unit

Written By George, Charleston, SC on Sunday, August 21, 2005
 
I installed this unit in a 2005 Chevy Malibu. The install was pretty easy, I have never done anything like this before.It sounds great, and I love the size of the unit. Was looking for a way to keep the factory radio and not have a big bulky PNP.
4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Be prepared to buy a Wireless FM Modulator

Written By Parrothead, Ohio on Friday, June 10, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This unit was very easy to install. I had trouble with the built in FM modulation though. I have a GM product with a Bose system with navigation and a CD changer. Big trouble! You cannot do any modifications to the Bose so you have to FM modulate wirelessly. First of all I have checked everywhere for a plug to get to the antenna of my Bose. The back of the GM head unit has a plug with about 36 wires. It looks like a computer hard drive connection. I contacted Bose but they only make the amp and speaker system. Denso makes the head unit and it is serviced by Delphi. Nobody knows anything!

So after I insttalled the unit in the console the built in FM modulator didn't have enough signal. I then moved it to the trunk. A little better but still not enough signal. Finally I bought a Wireless FM modulator and pluged in directly into the Sirius and volia! the thing works absoultely perfect. No bleed in the metro area and the entire unit is packed nicely in the trunk . There is no interference with the navigation sensors, etc., wonderful. One other thing make sure you buy some fuse taps for the power connectors. The base units requires constant power and the control unit switched power. If you do not connect the base unit to constant power it will not remember presets or alerts. Good luck figuring what is constant and switched power in the fuse box. The car is a 2001 Deville DTS as reference.

I have the control unit mounted above the rearview mirror and it looks great. I know somewhre is Asia ther is some tech. chuckling about the clock, it's military time only!
2 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Easy install in my ML 320

Written By Ken, Ft. Lauderdale, FL on Saturday, April 23, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Ordered the SC-FM1 as I feel a Mercedes deserves something that looks good and is permanent. Boy was I happy when it came in the mail!

First, it was EASY to install and literally took me less than 1 1/2 hrs. to do. The only problem I had was the factory MB antenna plug is VERY different from everyone else's. (To be expected) NOT recommended, but I cut and spliced my antenna lead w/ that of the SC-FM1. It works PERFECT!

Also, if you happen to be installing it in your MB, you may want to make sure that you have the radio code so that once you re-install it (After hooking up your sirius tuner) you can get it to work again. NO BIG deal except for a trip to the MB dealer so he could give us the code.

All in all, a GREAT deal! It has a much better screen than my alpine head unit w/Sirius that I have installed in my other car.

Thanks AGAIN Crutchfield!!!
7 out of 9 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Best plug and play satellite radio unit available!

Written By Michael, Baltimore, MD on Friday, March 11, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have tried several different plug and play Sirius units and this is by far the best. Small easy to read display that will fit just about anywhere in your car. Wired FM modulator is small enough to fit behind just about any radio. Wires for power, antenna, display and FM modulator are long enough for even the largest/longest vehicle. Sound quality is excellent and does not contain the ocassional static found with wireless FM modulated plug and play units.

If you don't want, or can't, replace your factory radio, this is the unit for you.
61 out of 71 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Best Sat Radio Option for an Auto

Written By David, Central, LA on Tuesday, February 22, 2005
 
CONS:No signal meter without going to the menu. Song Seek and Game Alerts are barely audible, I wish it was a bit louder. No single line large text mode (using it in an auto only this may not be necessary). Signal strength of the remote its really pathetic. NO Built in FM Broadcast Antenna. Only Military time for the Clock.

PROS: Beautiful display, easy to mount just about anywhere and makes for a very clean install. Just about every feature of the current batch of PNP tuners. Since the tuner is separate from the display heat is no factor and the display remains unchanged even after hours and hours of using it. Works with SATSWB or Wired FM Antenna and of course direct connect. Game Alert support NFL, NHL, NBA and College teams as all are listed. Receive Initial Game Alerts only when your team starts to play or All Scores Updates so that it alerts you each time the score changes as well as when the team begins to play.

I cannot recommend the Starbase enough. Its sleek, its clean and such a beautiful display. If you are looking for an Sat Radio solution for your vehicle, definitely consider the Starbase. I think I'd even recommend this over a new head unit, because of all the features it offers. You almost have to see one to believe it. Remember its not a PNP, its a dedicated auto unit.

301 out of 385 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the SIRIUS SC-FM1 Starbase, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_607SCFM1/SIRIUS-SC-FM1-Starbase.html ).