Macworld: Belkin Announces TuneCast II FM Transmitter | iLounge News

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Macworld: Belkin Announces TuneCast II FM Transmitter

The TuneCast II FM transmitter features FM frequencies 88.1-107.9MHz and Auto ON/OFF. It also memorizes up to four FM frequencies to give you easy and quick access to your favorite songs. The TuneCast II comes in two models: a white version and a gray version. The gray version, TuneCast� II Mobile Transmitter (F8V3080; ESP $49.99) , ships with a Belkin Mobile Power Cord that connects to your car’s cigarette lighter to provide extended power while on the road. The white version,TuneCast� II Mobile Transmitter (F8V3080-APL; ESP $39.99), includes only a DC cable for optional battery-free operation. The DC cable plugs into the DC jack on the Mobile Power Cord (F8V7067-APL; ESP $19.99 ) for iPods with Dock Connector.

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Comments

1

cool…hope it works better than my itrip.

Posted by jc on January 5, 2004 at 8:25 PM (CST)

2

Ok, what’s the difference between the grey version that “connects to your car’s cigarette lighter to provide extended power while on the road”, and the white version, that “includes only a DC cable for optional battery-free operation”. Isn’t the cig lighter plug DC? Kinda confoosed here… (maybe I’m just an idiot ^_^

Posted by Sam on January 5, 2004 at 8:43 PM (CST)

3

)

Posted by Sam on January 5, 2004 at 8:44 PM (CST)

4

um…maybe by dc cable they mean it is a dc power convertor that you plug into your good ol’ ac power socket at home.

Posted by m0nkey on January 5, 2004 at 8:58 PM (CST)

5

I’m assuming it’ll be more powerful than an iTrip if it takes a AA/AAA.  The iTrip only gets a little bit of power from the remote plug.  The power of the transmitter is likely to get stronger with the power of the battery.  But I don’t know how much the FCC makes them limit it.

The iTrip promises 10-30 feet of operation, and I seldom get more than about 5 to 8 feet.  Which is fine for the car, but it gets annoying at other times.

Posted by dethbrakr in Tacoma, WA on January 5, 2004 at 9:14 PM (CST)

6

It looks ugly to me…
I like iTrip better.
Also compare the price
I bought my iTrip for 30 bucks at compusa and this transmitter costs 50!

Posted by Don on January 5, 2004 at 9:30 PM (CST)

7

Can’t wait to see a review of this product. Is the transmission range better than that of the iTrip? What about audio quality? Battery life?

Posted by ketsugi on January 5, 2004 at 10:18 PM (CST)

8

All you itrip bashers have to remember that the FCC regulates the amount of signal these things are alloud to transmit. I would assume all companies attempt to take full advantage of it. Ever think that it may just be your car, and/or area you’re attempting to transmit in? I live in the San Francisco Bay Area (extremely crowded air waves) and if I’m in one car, I get perfect reception, better than most radio stations, but if I’m in a different car, I get horrible reception, and cannot even get a good signal. It more than just your transmitter.

Posted by Lance on January 5, 2004 at 10:19 PM (CST)

9

You’re all saying that it will hopefully be better than the iTrip, but there has been an alternative in the Belkin Tunecast (this new one is version 2) and I think the only difference is the original was powered only by the iPod but this one can plug into ciggarette lighter or wall socket which will hopefully produce a better signal. I’m awaiting a review.

Posted by Nuke666 on January 6, 2004 at 1:43 AM (CST)

10

The quick writeup on this page missed the best part: “The TuneCast II scans all FM frequencies 88.1-107.9MHz (as opposed to just four frequencies that other transmitters offer) and selects the best frequency for your music experience.”

Sounds like this will be simply awesome.  Wish they said when it’ll be released.

Posted by thenightfly42 on January 6, 2004 at 7:19 AM (CST)

11

Does this transmitter actually charge the IPOD as you are playing it?

Posted by sleao1 on March 17, 2004 at 8:03 AM (CST)

12

I picked up a TuneCast II and the compatible power cord (F8V7067-APL) for a quick trip to Fla. this weekend. I must say that I was very impressed with its performance. After “fixing” the very weak fuse in the power cord with a paper clip (I was in a hurry). I found a fuzzy station, matched the frequency on the TuneCast II and had crisp, clear tunes for hours. Traveling between states, I had to change radio station two or three times and found myself simply out of luck between Tampa and Orlando becuase of the incredible radio saturation. I did run the TuneCast II on batteries once or twice, but found that as the AAAs start to give out that background noise is overpowering.

All-in-all I am very pleased, I just wish it integrated with the iPod better. Be prepared for a mess of cords between the TuneCast II and power cord. Good accessory, in need of some Apple design work!

Posted by Brandon on March 23, 2004 at 8:22 AM (CST)

13

I switched to the TuneCast II from an older I-Rock which was limited to a few channels and had a ravenous battery appetite. I wanted to improve on these two areas, and found a winner!

Mine came with a cord that provides power to the modulator from the cig lighter with no extra attachments needed.  (It can also use the included batteries.) 

Choosing channels and saving them to the TuneCast’s memory was simple, and the sound came across very nicely. There was a bit of alternator or other whine audible between songs, but not enough to bother me since I drive a loud V8 automobile.  I’m very happy with the reception - no static or fluctuation in volume, even when I put the TuneCast II under a leather portfolio on the passenger seat.

Some dislike the fact that it dangles from the iPod with a wire, but that wire’s why I bought it.  The mini-jack attachment’s placement allows the TuneCast II to be used with more than one type of player (oh, the heresy!)  :-)  I use the iPod mini for short trips and for long ones, a 20G Jukebox I’ve had for years.  It’s not flashy, but I’m usually more concerned with watching for nutty drivers on overcrowded highways than with an innocuous gray device in the cupholder.   

The TuneCast II is the only transmitter I found that’s a) usable with various players, b) self-powered, and c) operates over a wide range of stations.  I’m very glad I bought it.
   

Posted by Abbie in USA on February 2, 2005 at 4:50 PM (CST)

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