Belkin Auto Kit | iLounge

Reviews

1

It'd be nice if there was an easier solution for adding an auxiliary audio input for those of us who lack such a feature on our car stereos. All the ones I've seen on the web seem geared towards the professional or hardcore car enthusiast.

Posted by Mark Gardner on July 29, 2003 at 8:10 AM (PDT)

2

After reading this, I went to the Germantown Apple Store and purchased one. I suspected I might have problems with a ground loop, since I had a noise problem before, when I used my old 20 gig iPod with a simple lighter to firewire adapter.

I liked the fact that I could plug the aux in cable from my stereo into the Belkin adapter and then just have the dock connection to my new 30 gig iPod. Before the audio cable was coming out of the top of the iPod and was in the way of the air conditioner controls. I have a Radio Shack Catalog #: 17-531 (I think...) Universal Gripmatic Wireless Phone Holder mounted just below my AC and stereo of my F-150 truck.

When I first plugged it in, it almost blew me out of my truck! The stereo wasn't cranked and the iPod was at half volume, but the Belkin was up full blast! Turn your stereo down first!

I noticed some hum, but thought it wasn't too bad. However, when I started driving, it got much worse, and it would sort of peak, drop the sound all together, and then start again...

So, I went to Radio Shack to get something to fix the ground loop. I purchased Catalog # 270-054 for $15.
http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog_name=CTLG&product;_id=270-054
It has RCA stereo plugs, and comes with one Y adapter that converts this to the stereo miniature plug that fits the iPod and the Belkin adapter. You need another one of these Y adapters. You end up with quiet a bundle of wire. This rig connects between the Belkin adapter and the iPod. I plan to tuck the extra wire under the dash of my truck, if I can find room. No wires to splice, just connectors to plug together.

The good news is it did get rid of all of the noise! So, over $60 later, I'm happy, but poorer... I wish Belkin could build the ground loop fix into the device.

Posted by iTodd on July 30, 2003 at 10:13 AM (PDT)

3

You can use one of 'em tape converters...tacky but will get the job done. Belkin does sell one of these!

Posted by Michael de Silva on August 1, 2003 at 1:35 AM (PDT)

4

I hooked my IPOD into my car through my stereo that supports a CD changer. I bought a cable from Logjam electronics that plugs directly into the back of my regular Honda stereo (2002 Odyssey) and provided 2 rca plugs out. I bought a 3.5mm to RCA plug and now use the headphone jack or line out jack of the docking station. The sound is great and I don't need to worry about interface with radio stations. Installation took about 10 minutes because it took 5 minutes to figure out the fastest way to hook up the cable was to pull out the drink holders.

Posted by Kevin Irwin on August 3, 2003 at 4:47 PM (PDT)

5

Kevin,

I just ordered the Logjam kit for my 2002 Honda Odyssey. Can you share more info about how you got to the back of the stereo by removing the drink holder? Did you just pull the holder, and then you could get your hand to the back of the unit?

Posted by iTodd on August 6, 2003 at 7:25 AM (PDT)

6

I just bought an ipod 15 GB. Has anyone used the iTrip FM kit? Has anyone had experience with FM transmitters.....I do not have a tape player in car stereo. Thanks.

Posted by Ryan on August 9, 2003 at 8:23 AM (PDT)

7

How long does it take to get a full charge from this kit?
Thanks

Posted by Adam on August 11, 2003 at 6:52 AM (PDT)

8

Kevin and iTodd, can you please provide more information about the connection kit to your Honda Odyssy? I'm trying to connect my iPod to my Honda Accord's auxiliary channel.

Also, I still don't understand the benefit of connecting a cable from this Belkin kit to your car stereo than just plugging into the iPod's normal audio out. Seems like the Belkin auto kit is mostly just for charging.

Thanks.

Posted by Richard Ow on August 12, 2003 at 11:45 AM (PDT)

9

U know the ground loop happens bcos of the iPod offering only analog out. Other cheaper MP3 gadgets (Nomad, Archos) offer SPDIF digital out as well that would not hum. Why do Apple charge so much for iPod but not give us real hi-fidelity digital option? Analog is a joke for $500 players!

Posted by Ground Loop Hum on August 12, 2003 at 12:40 PM (PDT)

10

Richard,
I just go my LogJam kit and haven't had a chance to connect it to my stereo yet. I was hoping Kevin would post with more detail on removing the cup holder. I haven't spent much time on it (OK, I looked while I was at a red light!), but I couldn't see how it comes out. Anyone know the trick?

I'm also concerned that since I have a built in CD player (but a changer is an option) that trying to use the changer port will disable my built in CD player. How does that work? Currently, when I pust the CD/Changer button, it switches to the CD player. Does it detect the signal on the aux input and turn of the CD player...?

The usefulness of the Belkin audio jack is two-fold. First, it lets you make a single connection to the bottom of the iPod for both power and audio. In my case, not having a wire coming out of the top of the iPod keeps it from blocking by AC controls. Second, the Belkin audio port has a volume control that seems to over-ride the iPod volume control, so there is less chance of increasing the volume by accidentally touching the scroll wheel. You can set the Belkin volume to a comfortable level, one time and then either use it or the stereo volume to adjust the sound level.

Posted by iTodd on August 13, 2003 at 6:51 AM (PDT)

11

Sorry for the slow response on hooking in the cables.

I just removed the cupholder on my Odyssey (small screwdriver and the "stop" is on the bottom of the tray"). Use the diagrams that come with the kit to identify which side of the stereo the connector needs to be plugged into. It should be the only available connection spot. Then, you just plug in the cable. The lead on the logjam kit is long enough to run out the back of the dash (use a flash light to find it) and along the floor. You then should be able to hit the CD/Changer/AUX button on the stereo and the CDC-001 will show up on the display (may have to hit 1 or 2 times). I have been using the IPOD with its base and the line out to listen to the music. This set up has proven to be fairly stable.

Posted by Kevin Irwin on August 29, 2003 at 6:46 AM (PDT)

12

Kevin:

Thanks for the Logjam post. I puchased and installed a kit for my Avalanche and it was well worth it. I own the iRock and the iTrip FM transmitters and both don't compare with the direct connection. As easy as the kit was to install, anyone considering an FM unit for car playback should look hard at the Logjam kit if it is available for thier radio model.

Posted by Thom Vince on September 1, 2003 at 12:20 PM (PDT)

13

Yeah...Logjam is the way to go.

I tried assembling a FM 'Mini-Mitter' with a band-pass filter...obviously very prone to interference in urban areas...like listening through a bad AM transistor radio.

I've tried a Sony cassette adaptor....bass is clipped...passable not great quality through the tape head.

Finally I went to Logjam's website and found the right auxillary input converter for my car. Clearly a direct Line-in to the stereo is the best choice. All I need now is a Line-out lead that will attach to the iPod through dock connector not the 3.5mm audio socket on top.

Posted by Sambo on September 3, 2003 at 5:50 PM (PDT)

14

I just installed the exact accessories seen in this review. The Belkin auto kit and combined it with the Arkon CM625. This makes my iPod Car SetUp complete, and i was lucky enough to have an after market radio that has AV input smile

Posted by Loudest Noise in Houston, TX on September 8, 2003 at 5:01 PM (PDT)

15

i guess i don't get this gizmo, or the maybe the review, at all...is the audio being routed thru the docking connector at the bottom, and not coming out of the top of the ipod? how do you use the remote control then?

heck, i have a dc-ac converter under the dash in my van...i think that cost about 60$ and has two ac plugs...and i just plug the ipod in using the charger and then route the sound out the top and into my cdchanger. simple. sounds great.
jiggy

Posted by jiggy on October 7, 2003 at 9:29 AM (PDT)

16

Here are some pics of how I implimented the same solution:

http://www.thegamersforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7082&highlight=ipod

Posted by Chad on October 7, 2003 at 10:46 AM (PDT)

17

Ok, I just got my ipod yesterday. I put off getting one for so long because I thought Icould not play it in my car whih only has cd player in dash, not a tape player (It os a 20002 mitsubishi lancer). I was told that all I would need is th Belking Auto kit, which I happily bought, but of course when I plugged it in it did not work, so I am obviously missing something. If I understand what I read correctly, I need an audio out line in my car stereo? I do not have one and am unclear as to how to go about installing one. Can someone please help me with this? If I can't use it in the car then it is worthless to me since that is where I spend most of my time. I don't want to get the FM transmitter as I heard it does not work well.. HELP!!!!

Posted by Andrea on October 12, 2003 at 4:56 AM (PDT)

18

i am not a car audio expert but i think the first thing to check is if your cdplayer has aux input (left and right stereo channel) usually two rca plugs in the back of the unit. if so, the solution is radioshack and a cable to go from your headphones out / or belkin gizmo to the cd changer aux inputs. your cdchanger will have an aux button or menu option if it does (best guess). that takes care of sound. then there is the power issue. imho, return the belkin gizmo and get an ac-dc converter and just use the supplied charger (radical thought), as with the ac-dc converter you can get more use out of it, like plug in a curling iron or small microwave. cheers, jig

Posted by get jiggy in nepal on October 12, 2003 at 5:09 PM (PDT)

19

i don't have the belkin, but it looks like the sound is going out the bottom, thu the doc connector. is this true? if so, this is kinda cool, as i would suspect you could then use the headphone plug for headphones (probally illegal in the states). can anyone verify this assertion and tell us what happens when headphone jack is used with the belkin adapter plugged in? curious in nepal, jig

Posted by get jiggy in nepal on October 12, 2003 at 5:13 PM (PDT)

20

how would you get this to work on a mazda protege (03)?

Posted by Paladin on October 16, 2003 at 4:00 PM (PDT)

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