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iPod FM Transmitters (!!)

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by j-raj, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    I just got an iPod FM Transmitter for my week long visit to Anaheim this next week and it's a tad buggy. I was trying it out in my car and there is a bunch of static. Depending on where I have it in the car, the signal is stronger or weaker.

    The one that I ended up getting is a Belkin Tunecast. It might do ok for NAMM (rental car), but it's going to be returned for a better model when I get back.

    Any suggestions/tricks on getting a better signal?

    What are the best model available?
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Use an FM modulator that connects into the antenna line on the stereo. The transmitter types are prone to extrnal noise dependant on the car's electrical system.
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Do you not have a tape deck? I think a high quality tape adaptor is superior to even the best FM transmitter. I have a griffin smartdeck, it sounds and works brilliantly.

    Edit: Trevorus' idea sounds really good.
  4. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    The iTrip sucks as well.
    I went thru all of them, Belkin, Radio Shack ones, and the iTrip.
    None of them work real good. I'm on the road quite a bit and in and out of rental cars and such.
    My Honda Element has a 1/8" jack on the dash for MP3 player hook up. Doesn't get any better than that. But I'm yet to find a FM transmitter that works cleanly. Outside of the ones mentioned that hook directly to your raido.

    Good luck.
  5. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Element's MP3 jack
  6. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Thanks Mike, I know which ones have been tried! Why don't all cars have 1/8 or RCA jacks in or under the dash?

    Sounds like dirty electric supply issues that I have on gigs periodically...
    wish I had a tape player... I would definitely try the griffin.

    Are there any "sure fire" transmitters that work very well?
  7. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    I have an I River transmitter for my Dell DJ. It works fairly well, but I think I'm probably in an area where the airways aren't too crowded. I have found out that the lower on the dial you stay. (I currently use 89.7), the better the reception is. When I go up higher, even on a clear frequency, there is more interference.
  8. Allthough earlier in this thread someone trashed it, I use the iTrip. It all depends on your radio/antenna/tuner/ect.
    In my wife's Envoy with the premium radio it sounds incredible. I can't tell the difference between that and a CD. In my VW passat, I get a bit of static. The iTrip comes with software so you can switch the station you are tuning to also, so if the default 87.9 doesn't sound good, you can search for a better station.

    As far as any FM transmitter, it's all going to depend on your vehicle, so my rec. is to buy/try/return if necessary.
    Otherwise, the hardwired route is the way to go. Stores Like best buy will hardwire an iPOD connector to any factory radio for like $100.
  9. A friend of mine has one, altho i think they are a tad on the illegal side over here, and his is buggy, it has something loose inside so now and then you need to shake it for it to work, and again, same problem, depending where it is in the car gives huge differences in volume/clarity
  10. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    this morning I figured a way that might work for little while... I have it dangled from the rear-view mirror.

    The reception improved a tad, except when going past the airport.
  11. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    You're not going to get a really good FM reception with any of the transmitters in the Atlanta area. The waves are too crowded. I get a decent signal on 85 near Duluth and sometimes the gods smile on me, but they all have the same craptastic success rate.
  12. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Yeah I have to pass by the PDk Airport and then I loose my signal... I wonder how the TuneCast is going to perform in LA...
  13. I have a Griffin RoadTrip. It's kind of big and slightly expensive (79) but it's very solid. It attaches to the cigarette lighter and features a dock. So you're charging while playing. In addition, the music comes through the dock NOT the headphone jack which makes for a cleaner sound. You don't have to turn the ipod volume up or down, only the stero. The FM transmitter portion detaches from the unit for use in the house or whatever. Simply use the USB cable that comes with the RoadTrip and it will work in your house.

    I've hade horrible luck with iTrip because you couldn't choose the station on the unit. The new iTrips have the dial right on the outside. I can't comment on those. The Belkin Tunecast worked fine for a while but then started cutting out. In addtion, you need batteries for the transmitter and there are wires dangling and stuff.

  14. UHHHHH. The iTRIP comes with software on the CD to install all the other stations into your ipod so you can change it depending on reception and your area. Also, my itrip has no wires hanging or batteries. It runs off the ipod battery.
    I'm just curious what the heck kind of itrip you bought?;)
  15. If you had the Itrip, it would be possible to turn that sucker into a pirate radio station
  16. PinkFloydDan


    Jul 4, 2005

    I have one I plug into my lighter thing. I found a few tips. FInd the best most clear station, and if it is static, adjust the volume on your Ipod. I found that lowering the volume on my Ipod helped decrease the static to a point where I barely could hear it. But no matter what, you'll never get stereo clear sound.

    I hook the Ipod to my viser, and the chord is straight, not bent or tangled. I haven't had any major problems and I drove 6 hours listening to it. I love it.
  17. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Except for the problem of the range being only 20 feet or so.
  18. Come on, he never said it'd be a big pirate radio station :p
  19. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    Where did you pick up the Smartdeck?
  20. I had the original iTrip. You pick the station via the iPod NOT an external dial. Reception was ok, but if you stop to get gas and have to power down, you've got to "re-connect". If you're shuffling your library or any playlist, you lose where you are because you have to navigate to the station on your iPod. The NEW iTrip has a dial on the outside that lets you choose the station independently of your iPod.