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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I went ahead and spent the extra $500+ to get the Alpine radio module for my RT to have XM as an option for music.
However the RECEPTION IS HORRIBLE - I get 2-3 seconds of music followed by 15 seconds or more of silence as it loses signal CONSTANTLY.

Does anyone know of a BMW fix for this?
I know I can go SPEND MORE money to get an aftermarket antenna and relocate it to the top box, but I'd rather it be integrated like BMW meant it to be.

GS911 scan info of bike and that module is as follows (need 2112.04 GS911 software) :

Bike Information : -
VIN : WB10L0302M6E68754
Model : R 1250 RT (K52)
Factory I-Level : K001-21-03-505
Actual I-Level : K001-21-11-500
Backup I-Level : K001-21-03-505



UNKNOWN : -
Controller Type : Unknown
Controller Name : UNKNOWN
Controller : 0x0F8910
Serial Number : 0000611508
Manufacturer : Alpine GmbH
Manufacture Date (YY/MM/DD) : 21/06/01
Firmware Date (YY/MM/DD) : 21/06/01
Kilometers when programmed : 0.00
Number of FW configurations : 7
HW Electronics (HWEL) :
Firmware ID : 0x64DE
Firmware Version : 004.003.000
Bootloader (BTLD) :
Firmware ID : 0x0006
Firmware Version : 004.000.001
SW Memory Image (SWFL) :
Firmware ID : 0x7862
Firmware Version : 004.000.001
SW Memory Image (SWFL) :
Firmware ID : 0x7863
Firmware Version : 004.000.001
SW Memory Image (SWFL) :
Firmware ID : 0x7864
Firmware Version : 004.000.001
SW Memory Image (SWFL) :
Firmware ID : 0x7860
Firmware Version : 004.000.001
Coding Data (CAFD) :
Firmware ID : 0x64E0
Firmware Version : 003.000.014
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had exactly the same issue. No fix from BMW. In fact, they initially thought it was a "faulty" antenna and replaced it. No change or improvement. Ultimately, I was told the issue is interference from the metal windshield support. I bought a $20 dollar antenna on Amazon, and attached it to my top box. XM works flawlessly now!

Marc
Yeah just trying to avoid a kludged together solution because if I mount the antenna on top box what do I do when I wanna ride w/o boxes??
Plus I've paid BMW almost $30,000 for a bike so it should work as marketed w/o me modifying it further...

If ya bought a 2022 M5 and then were told to actually USE the 600+ horsepower the car was advertised to have you needed to buy more parts you'd be less than happy , right?
Same applies here :(
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If it were me, and I wanted XM that much, I'd find a way to fab up a thin bar to attach to the top box mounting plate - between plate and bike - then have it stick out just far enough to allow the top box to fit, maybe even angle it back a little but would allow the antenna with or without the top box. There are also CB antenna mounts for license plates that might work, just not sure how the reception would be as it would be lower than the top of the top box.

Yeah it's best if it is at the highest point on the bike
I'll just tow this with the bike :ROFLMAO:

Sky Wheel Vehicle Cargo pants Tire
:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
oh come on, that's unrealistic, I was thinking this:


:ROFLMAO:
In all seriousness I DID see a GM replacement fin-style antenna that might look good if color-matched and properly centered on top box lid:
biggest issues I see with it is sealing hole on top lid of box and getting extension cable to proper length so as not to have excess cable coiled up

OEM GM Fin-antenna
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The XM on my 2016 R1200RT works great. Some people have had issues with poor reception on bikes like mine and found that the antenna (which is mounted high up in the fairing, but under some plastic) wasn't oriented correctly.

Have you checked to see whether or not the antenna is in the correct place and oriented correctly (horizontal vs vertical or at an angle)?
That I have NOT done.

Guess I need to figure out what plastics need to be removed to get to the actual antenna as it sits in a mushroom-like "pod" just behind the fairing on the 2021 model....
I'm thinking you may be referring to a pre-2021 bike as they used to be under the fairing plastics
See below (Stole pic from another site - not my bike) :

Hood Automotive tire Automotive lighting Vehicle Automotive mirror
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I had the same problem with my GT absolutely horrible reception for the XM radio. My solution was to move the XM antenna from under the windshield and console cover over the Garmin GPS unit to the top of my front brake master cylinder. Never had a problem with reception after that.
Yeah but as you know the antenna is in that mushroom-like protrusion now - not sure how/if it can be pulled out of there....

Fun times to commence once I have enough time to tear bike apart - and without BMW service info as my DVD is for the 2020 and prior model RTs since they pulled THAT CRAP on us.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I believe @marcjlmd has a '21 so should be able to state what he did to at least connect a different one.
OH connecting a NEW antenna is easy as the radio connectors are all readily seen under pillion seat.
Moving existing antenna (as suggested above) is much more difficult as it is inside that mushroom like plastic now.
Given that an antenna is only $20 or so it's FAR EASIER to buy new than move....I think the suggestion to move it was for older bikes as it was under side or front plastic..
 
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
There's no XM satellites flying over Europe so the only solution for them is an XM app and blue tooth to what ever and the XM app will work just about every where. There's also an FM antenna in that snorkel as well. Maybe one interferes with the other.
No I would be quite shocked to hear that the FM antenna was interfering with the XM antenna as GM, BMW (Cars), and others have used combined "fin style" antennas that combine AM/FM/XM radio all in one unit (see the one I linked to above) .

I'm wondering if it is the metal of the windshield mount, the TFT display itself, or the closeness, of the cell phone in the pocket or when on my bar mount.
I seem to recall issues with the Zumo 665 XM signal if you placed the hockey puck antenna too close to the GPS receiver itself. These electronic devices often emit interference signals especially if not well shielded/grounded and the Garmin Zumo had similar issues that were only resolved by moving it further away. Perhaps that is why the external antenna people have placed on the top trunk works so much better.

As for the Made in Germany bike not having the XM tested.....I'd be shocked if they did NOT test a few models in secret in the USA.
I'm sure this is a common thing with XM implementations as the coverage is only in North America - I'm sure they do this with the cars too!
I know I lost reception on my trip up to Prudhoe Bay in 2011 with the Zumo 665 once I got into the Yukon, but I think they improved the canadian coverage now (see map below)

Ecoregion World Map Atlas Circle
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I'm considering the small square ones and mounting further aft (on Top Box) to separate it from Cell, TFT, and ECU as much as I can...
 
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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I have a '22 RT with a radio and have the same problem! My dealer is working with BMW to get an 'official' fix and then I will implement whatever that is. I will then ask BMW to work with SiriusXM to get my trial subscription comped because I have had my bike for four months now. Once I get to an official answer, I will post here.

Eric
Thanks Eric,
I'll be looking foward to hearing back on how your fix goes.

I would go to my local BMW dealer to complain but they were so dismissive with me when I had the TFT firmware update to 012.007.030 instead of 012.008.040 as Steffen Kraft from BMW recommended I do to fix issues that I haven't been back since......despite my telling them BMW told me to go to the newer 12.8.40 they said "that's all there is" and didn't seem to want to be of any further help, not offering to call BMW NA to ask why it was updating to older FW

I guess I'll have to take a road trip to get it done right once I find a FL dealer that knows how to work with BMW NA to get the right software downloaded onto the service PC. Sure wish GS-911 could do this so I could do it myself....
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I thought about renewing my Jeep radio XM subscription and adding another to my R1250RT. Then it hit me, I'll just stream it from my phone's Sirius APP over Bluetooth to the bike/Helmet. Saving the money spent on two radio subscriptions.
That works better than the XM inside my bike LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Can someone who has the radio tell me if their radio connectors are in the same order as mine?
Wondering if the mixed up the install

Rectangle Font Automotive lighting Material property Building
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Really? I never knew that. I figured everyone had XM. Definitely India since that's where all the customer service is.
YUP - they use a figure-8 orbit over north/south america (I lost covereage in B.C. heading for Prudhoe Bay, AK):

World Ecoregion Map Atlas Circle
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I know it has nothing to do with the TFT itself.
Well I took it in to Euro Cycles (Local BMW dealer) so they can open a case with BMW on it.
hopefully more people do this instead of just adding another antenna as the more complaints they get the more it "should" be paid attention to.

4 hrs later I was riding bike home with no response from BMW NA Tech line - Tech said it works fine with screen all the way down and thinks it is metal brackets as previously mentioned.
 
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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
I'd agree. I used to work in one of the engineering groups at Sirius XM and reception can vary a lot depending on the quality of the antenna implementation, placement on the vehicle, etc. I've seen a few radios where the user interface was wonky, but that's more about poor user interface design...
I wish all XM Radios had a screen to show Receive Signal level so we could compare position of vehicle or in this case windscreen vs RSL - it'd help to trouble shoot.

Do you know which of the three connectors is for the XM antenna on our bikes?
does it use two so it can have 2 separate but different polarizations of the antenna element in the puck?
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Dave,
I'm going to guess that the signal strength feature would not be implemented by many radio manufactures as the antennas are usually built into the body and cannot be easily relocated... 99.9% of the consumers would not use or know what to do with that measurement :)

Damon
Yeah but it sure would be handy for us techies LOL
I guess my Satcom/Wideband troposcatter background give me a little bit more knowledge than most.
I just wish BMW would make the bike work the way it was heavily marketed with the XM and ConnectedTFT :( as well as not tell you to get a firmware update that isn't available in the USA :(
 
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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
the pink wire is the antenna for the XM radio... The reception is crap so you need to buy a spare antenna and hook it up under the front windshield. Take the windshield and the top of the cluster off (very easy) and you will see the QEM plug and XM antenna... You can plug the new antenna into the exsiting pink plug or run the new antenna from under the seat to the front. DO NOT wrap the extra wire into a small loop. Spread the extra cable into a big loop around the empty space... The extra cable will make its own interference loop and cause problems. I got this extra antenna on amazon. just make sure it has the pink end on it.

Satellite radio puts out such a low amount of power that the antenna has to be exposed to the sky. I do not know why BMW hasn't figured that out yet.
Well on your bike (older but can't tell what year) the antenna was buried under the fairing - on the 21's and beyond (so far) they are in a mushroom sort of enclosure just behind the big TFT.
I was thinking of putting one on the top trunk as I'll likely not remove it and if I mount it with 3m Velcro Dual-Lok super-duty stuff it can be removed from top box and moved to luggage rack.

As for looping cable tightly - yeah I've seen people do that and wonder why bad signal. Ummm its called an inductor LOL. Kinda like the traffic signal trigger wires.
I try to watch what I run wires next to as well....
 
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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Update---Sirius satellite reception issue resolved by BMW --- I have been working with the dealer and BMW for three months to resolve the issue. On Tuesday, BMW recommended to move the actual antenna puck under the passenger seat on top of the radio module. Dealer did so and so far, I have perfect reception but, planning to test it with a passenger this Sunday.
Can't wait to see if this works even with a passenger.....still amazed they obviously didn't test it much in the USA prior to releasing it otherwise this would not be such a prevalent issue....
 
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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Unfortunately, I completely lost reception once I tested it with a passenger. I advised the dealer on Monday and just received an email that BMW wants to try installing a new antenna. I do not have any further details- antenna is in Germany and two weeks out. I will keep you all posted.
Any update on the replacement antenna - tired of using XM Radio app on cell phone after paying $500 for a radio on the bike :(
Obviously I'd prefer a fix from BMW at no cost to me except for my time....
 

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Discussion Starter · #93 ·
Quick reaction antenna. Got trained on it but never used it with the TRC-170s I ran.
I worked on old TRC-97's in Korea A LONG TIME AGO (late 80's)
We had the old lolipop antennas for quad-diversity....

So to keep this thread related, some radio reception thoughts to ponder

I don't know why BMW doesn't do a software modification to allow the Radio Receiver to display Receive Signal Level (RSL) in dB's on the dasy in a troubleshooting menu.
That would give a CLEAR INDICATION of whether or not this is an issue with the antenna getting blocked by the windshield mounts or not.

My thinking is the brackets are either acting as a faraday cage of some sort OR we're getting multi-path reception hitting the antenna from multiple directions and 180 degrees out of phase.

If 180-degrees out of phase the resulting signal in the Receiver is ZERO signal (middle picture found during a quick google of "Phase cancellation")

Head Azure Rectangle Font Parallel


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multipath_propagation
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_interference


One option I'd LOVE to see is if someone with enough mechanical talent and 3D scanning/printing equipment could make those windshield brackets out of a plastic/polymer resin instead of metal.
Obviously they may not be as strong, however it would be a great test to prove/disprove the brackets as a source of signal blockage/cancellation.

I know I can just go buy a $20 (ish) antenna on Amazon/eBay/etc but I would much prefer the hidden antenna to function as it should (Though BMW NA told me on a phone call "It is working AS DESIGNED" to which I replied "then that is a shitty/worthless design" LOL

It looks like BMW may be giving me a refund on the radio instead of fixing the issue.

I'm still astounded that they didn't seem to do proper testing of the radio system in the USA before putting it into production.
I understand the difficulty as they would have to ship several test bikes to the USA to do the testing as the XM satellite signal footprint is only over North America & Central America.

World Ecoregion Map Atlas Circle


But still, for a Mfg of their size to not properly test this as well as not provide a fix this IS ridiculous....but I'm the dummy still paying Sirius XM for service LOL (in the hopes BMW will fix this soon)

Dave
 
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