||[Jan. 12th, 2007|08:39 pm]
The Love Bug
For Christmas, my Mum gave me £15 in lieu of a gift that she was unable to get for me as it wasn't made anymore. So, with the £15, I bought one of these:
Belkin TuneCast II Mobile FM Transmitter
These little gizmos became legal in the UK on 8 December 2006, and allow you to play MP3 players (or indeed any audio source) through any radio receiver without the use of wires. You just tune your radio to an unused frequency (which is a difficult challenge!!), tune the TuneCast to the same frequency and you're off!!
Prior to having this, the only way I could play the iPod or my phone in the car was through a crappy cassette adapter, and the sound quality was abysmal. With the TuneCast, the audio quality is almost perfect. You do get the odd dropout, depending on surrounding radio stations, but it's like listening to CD quality audio through your radio...
... which is exactly what it is! :o)
Thanks Mum, this was a wonderful gift with your £15!!
Good heavens, I didn't know such a thing existed! And it seems so cheap as well. Enjoy!
I received a similar device for Christmas, but I was unhappy with its performance. So I opted to try for the cassette adapter and that works much better for me. I just got too much drop-out when using the radio adapter. Too many radio signals in my area, I guess! I'm glad yours is working well though.
I got one about 1.5 years ago for a tenner off ebay for use while I was doing some serious mileage in hire cars. They're not bad, but the car you're in (or rather the routing of the aerial cable) has a massive impact on its usability - barely usable in a Vauxhall Astra, but quite acceptable in a VW Golf. They're definitely nowhere near CD quality though. Firstly you lose out on the MP3 encoding, then you lose out on the conversion to FM, and then there's interference put into the mix. Can be quite annoying if you've got to cover a reasonable distance too, since every 150-00 miles or so you've got a new set of radio stations getting in your way.
Still, extremely handy little jobbies - glad they've been legalised.
I'd look at sorting/hacking yourself a line-in input for your car though.
oh, and here's a tip i figured out - if your car stereo's got a feature which lets it track stations that move over different frequencies (there's a common name for it, can't remember what it is tho), disable it! It's a nice feature for proper radio stations, but doesn't appear to play nicely with these small transmitters
2007-01-12 10:10 pm (UTC)
If it's one of them were you plug it in to your cigarette lighter for power, don't leave the power cord plugged in (even when the rest of it isn't attached) with the engine off, my boss had to call out the AA after his drained his car battery!
2007-01-12 11:56 pm (UTC)
OMG - I think I've startered a craze
I bought one on ebay a few months back, Mike saw my post and bought the same frmthe same place.
Fantastic idea and so cool
In fact i was thinknig of suggesting meeting up with you guys tomorrow if your free
we could Compare each others little Tuners ;)
2007-01-13 12:01 am (UTC)
quick thought on this
they look almost exacltly the same
mines even called the same name but not belkin
But i noticed, mine has three memory bands on it
Whihc means I've programmed three common empty stations on both radio and tuner
so if one starts giving me a bad reception, i flick quickly to the next
top tip, If you have a mobile phone holder in car, put it on the Heater vent next to the driver door, ten its pretty easy to switch radio, tuner box and songs whilst minimising the risk of accident.
RE: Last episode of Cold Feet (he bit with changing tapes in the car)
2007-01-16 04:41 pm (UTC)
Wow, I can't fathom those being illegal! I've had one since I got my iPod. The one I have at the moment (a Belkin iTrip) isn't very good sound quality, though... the cassette adapter is better. Maybe I'll check this model out to replace the iTrip.