Powering two devices from one car power port


Q: I listen to my iPod in the car using an iRiver adapter that transmits a low-power FM signal to the car radio. It plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter for power. I’m thinking about getting a car GPS unit, but all the GPS units I’m looking at also use the cigarette lighter as a power source. I know some GPS units have built-in mp3 player capacity, but I don’t know if they work with iPods. How can I listen to my iPod and use a GPS unit at the same time?

– Cameron

A: While many GPS units can indeed accept external audio via a line-in port so that you can listen to your music and turn-by-turn directions at the same time, this is irrelevant to the power concerns you have.

Luckily, the power problem can be easily fixed with a simple car power splitter like two-device model or this three-device model, both available online and in-store from RadioShack.

These devices will allow you to simultaneously power your iPod and GPS unit from a single car power port. With this solved, you can begin to look for a GPS unit which will share audio output with your iPod. To get you started, take a look at the new TomTom GO units, which not only share audio output with an iPod, but can control an iPod via their touch screens also!

Photo of author

Jerrod H.

Jerrod was a contributing editor at iLounge. He mostly wrote articles about iTunes and iPod accessories. He was known for his in-depth knowledge of both topics and was often able to provide readers with unique insights into the world of Apple products.