Well, the Ford dealer had the car today again all day. About 4pm they called to say that I must have missed my calling, I had correctly diagnosed the problem (a week ago), maybe I should consider a career as a technician. They have ordered a new satellite radio module.
I did have the advantage of observing the system over a long period of time. What are the possibilities? We have the Ford radio, the satellite radio module, the satellite radio antenna and cable. Since the radio dies right after the big channel change the firmware is the obvious choice, which means replacing the satellite radio module. If it were the antenna or the antenna cable the indication would be “searching for satellite” or something like that. It would still turn on and start. I guess it might have been the interconnect cable, would have to have a spare to substitute a known good. But again the timing makes it less likely than firmware. Also cable problems are almost always intermittent at first before failing completely (right Fluke, yup, I am talking to you, that 1735 is coming straight back to you guys, under warranty, you betcha).
The part will take until Monday to get here. The repair is covered under the extended warranty so they are still paying for my rental car, for what, 6 days.
Unbelievable amount of expense and trouble for a bad firmware download.
Meanwhile the rental car they stuck me with, although free, only receives a few FM stations. No AM, no 2 meter, no satellite, no HF. I am almost radioless in the car.
I do have to pay a deductable of $105. I wonder if I could recover that from Sirius in small claims court. That might be fun. I honestly think they are completely at fault for sending half baked firmware updates. For $105 they would probably not even show up.