Argon kills XM Signal

Posted by: Tharkun

Argon kills XM Signal - 03/14/06 11:28 PM

The Polk XRT12 is being moved from the bedroom system to the HT system. Well working on the cabinets today I decided to set the XM radio up by running if through the Sony HD. I found a problem with the argon-gas which all of the solarium glass is filled with, the XM signal does not seem to like it at all.

Since I will be starting on a complete re-wiring of the HT system later this week, I ordered a 50' cable from Polk and will be installing the antena on the exterior of the south wall, this will give me 100% of the sigal reception and solve the glass problem. Just another small project to what seems at endless list at this point.

So anyone that has thermal windows with argon, you may encounter the same issue.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/14/06 11:30 PM

I don't think it's physically possible (in the physics sense of the word) for a gas to interfere with an electromagnetic signal. It might be the solarium framing doing it.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/14/06 11:36 PM

Posted by: Tharkun

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/14/06 11:37 PM

I found it hard to belive, but the solaium is all wood, and after trying the XM antenna on about 40 pieces of glass, kinda ruled out another reason. So take my expierment for whatever it's worth.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/14/06 11:39 PM

I don't know, I'm still waiting for ET to respond to my ElectroMagnetic message I sent to him in the Orion Nebula.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/14/06 11:44 PM

Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/14/06 11:52 PM

This came from, it appears windows with certain types of coatings will not allow XM to pass.

"However, there are some cases where you can get your portable to recieve reception inside the house. The XM satellites use a powerful signal that can blast through snow, rain, and even wood. However, this signal isn't the alpha and the omega, so it can't get through metal, concrete, flesh, etc. You won't be recieving direct satellite signal in a warehouse, your basement, or any building made of steel. Even if you are near a south facing window, many windows and their coatings (tinting, UV coating, etc) will completely block a satellite signal. You probably won't be getting it in your gym, office, or home UNLESS you have a terrestrial repeater nearby. However, if you are in a building with a wooden roof, you may be able to pull in a signal."
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/15/06 12:01 AM

Also, I don't own any XM stuff yet, but being that it is satellite based, don't you have to have a view of the southern sky for the most part?
Posted by: Tharkun

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/15/06 12:27 AM

The solarium is on the south side of the house, and yes, XM recommends a southern direction for the antenna. In the testing we done, we can move it from the solarium glass to a regular window about 2' away and have the four full bars.

Another test we decided to try was opening one of awning windows in the solarium, with the window open about 12", held the antenna on the exterior side of the glass....full four bar reception, when the antenna was moved to the interior side of the glass, nada, zilch, no signal at all. The only differance from the regular themal window with low E glass where the antenna has full reception and the solarium glass where it has no reception is the argon gas. So if it is not the gas then perhpas I have a poltergeist in the solarium.

Posted by: Ajax

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/15/06 12:30 AM

Dennis, though there has been speculation on the XM forum that argon gas may cause the problem, as you can see from Randy's post, if your windows are tinted to protect against glare, the tinting is often a thin coating of metal, which could well be the cause of the signal loss. Regardless, you aren't the only one that has had this problem.
Posted by: ratpack

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/15/06 07:25 AM

A most intereting problem. When I was reading the post, I was also wondering about some sort of metal coating. In general, a gas like this does not stop a XM signal.

Just another unexpected surprise!!!!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/15/06 07:52 AM

I have three antennas, all outside for this reason. On the interior sill, my signals go from practically non-existant to full signal when the window is raised. We had all our windows replaced last year and, though they are argon-filled, I assume it is the metallc coating that prevents transmission.

I have a Polk unit in my living room system which is next to my office (STILL don't like the compression artifacting I'm hearing in this setup only) and have a Roady 2 that cradles in three separate setups: The studio (shooting/puttering/setting up/breaking down), the basement (woodworking) and a portable adapter I received the other day. I thought that the reception would be problematic with the portable, but I've gotten a few early-spring walks in over the last several days, but it's been perfect and having 180 channels of XM to llisten to untethered is amazing! Oh, yeah, both cars have a setup for the Roady....

So, basically, at this point, my entire life is being lived to a soundtrack and I'm lovin' it!

Posted by: michael_d

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/15/06 08:33 AM

Is Argon the only dif between the solarium windows and the rest of the windows in your house where the signal strength is four bars?

I donít suppose your solarium windows are Hurd Windows are they? I few years ago they putting a thin, coated membrane between the pains to compete with triple pain windows. Great windows, but I don't think they make that pain anymore.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/15/06 09:42 AM

I just want to reiterate that argon (a noble, inert gas) does not interfere with electromagnetic signals. It has no more an affect on it than all the air the signal traversed before it reached the window.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/15/06 10:05 AM

That is my guess Jack, as I mentioned above, any tinting or UV protection can block XM signals, according to the article I found.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Argon kills XM Signal - 03/15/06 04:27 PM

Nifty topic.
This link should help clarify the pane construction.
The metals used for UV protection and heat containment are highly conductive and reflective, depending on the application, to various forms of energy.
Try wrapping your family room in aluminum foil for fun for a month and see what happens. The results are fascinating. Best under the chin sun tan ever!