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  • AUX input alternative

    I was looking for a way to hook my new MpTrip portable mp3-CD player (which kicks azz, BTW) to my car's Blaupunkt Vancouver CD player. The Blaupunkt has no AUX input, so I read many of the suggestions in this forum, most of which favored either a new head ($200+) or an FM modulator ($60+). Everyone was unanimously against FM transmitters, saying they were cheap, static-y wastes of money.

    Going against all good judgement, I picked up a transmitter (Arkon SoundFeeder SF120) at my local Best Buy, simply because it was only $20, and hey, what the hell did I have to lose but 20 bucks? Much to my surprise, the thing works great! No noticeable static, and my mp3 CDs play in crisp, full bass and treble sound, with similar quality to a very strong FM station! I had to walk the transmitter about 50 feet from the car before I heard any static. The thing also works well with boomboxes or other home receivers that lack AUX input.

    Before any purists jump down my throat, let me just say that I am not claiming that this setup will win any competitions. However, it is an extremely cost-effective alternative for those who don't feel like shelling out $200+ for a new head with AUX in. If you like listening to your current car FM receiver, you can't possibly complain about this unit. It produces sound quality identical to a clear-channel, nearby FM station, with NO static.

    Hope my experience helps someone else.

  • #2
    Blaupunkt makes an optional adapter for their CD Changer controlling head units that gives you an 1/8" connector for AUX in.
    KG6OQD
    www.americansandassociation.org

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    • #3
      I take it you don't have any subwoofers. FM can't handle much under 100hz.

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      • #4
        AVGeek: Thanks for the suggestion, but my unit is not changer-compatible. The Vancouver was a mid-level CD/receiver sold only between 94-95. So my options were few.

        lifter: no, I don't have subwoofers. But let's just say I was pleasantly surprised by the sound, even at low frequencies. The FM receiver is spec'ed 30-15000 Hz +/- 3 dB, (CD is 20-20000 Hz + 1.25 dB), not sure what the SoundFeeder specs are. But the bottom line is, I'm impressed with what I got for $20.

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        • #5
          Where can i get a cheap "excellent" modulator online?!?!?!
          HomePage and Mp3Car Setup

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          • #6
            Taking the advice that the best buy fm transmitter is good, I saw one on bestbuy.com. The site just opened today.
            Car: 1999 Dark Green Mustang GT Coupe
            Audio: Alpine HU, JL 6ch Amp, JL Stealthbox and XR series components.
            Player: Empeg for now; something custom later.
            www.neotechpc.com - Custom built laptops!

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            • #7
              Arkon's soundfeeders

              Actually, there's a better model of SoundFeeder currently available by ARKON. The SF121 does perform better than the SF120. Best of all, I see that both of them are on sale on their site this month...
              See http://www.arkon.com/sf.html

              They are also working on 3 new models of SoundFeeder, all which should be significantly improvements on existing models. I use the SF121 with my iPOD all the time. (They actually came out with a white one .. the SF121i after I had already bought my black SF121. They're the same though... and they both work great.

              Sure there's a bunch of you out there that say, "I love my cassette adapter" Get with the times people...! Most new cars don't have a cassette deck anymore so those things are obsolete for those of us that only have a CD head unit.

              The new SoundFeeders (models SF150a, SF150c, and SF250) I'm told are going to be released in January. Arkon will send you the information on them if you contact them directly. Ben in their customer support department is really helpful. His email is [email protected]

              You'll want to check into the new SF250. It sort of looks like an egg however it has some really cool features. It will be a digitally tuned transmitter as it is based on PLL (Phase Lock Loop) synthesized circuitry. Sorry about getting technical on all of you...!

              Anyhow... love mine... guessing you'll like it as well.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by rolrbl8der
                You'll want to check into the new SF250. It sort of looks like an egg however it has some really cool features. It will be a digitally tuned transmitter as it is based on PLL (Phase Lock Loop) synthesized circuitry. Sorry about getting technical on all of you...!

                Anyhow... love mine... guessing you'll like it as well.
                Digital Tuning? That would solve a lot of the problems I have with the Arkon I've got at the moment.

                Both the Arkons I've had have been really quite good if the frequency was SPOT on with that tiny dial you've got to adjust it with... but it had a tendancy to "wander" and required adjusting a fair amount... minimum 1 a day.

                When I overhaul the stereo system in the Jeep, a HU with Aux in is the biggest priority, but for those without it the Arkon units are pretty good.

                Prefer it to cassette adapters definitely. No wires hanging out the dash and nothing to get jammed in there...

                Good luck with it!

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                • #9
                  Belkin do an fm transmitter, haven't tried it but it's AU$50 which isn't bad (cheaper than modulator, AU$80, or aux box, AU$140 for pioneer). I think it's digital.

                  Anyway, heres the link. Feedback from anyone that has tried it would be appreciated.

                  http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProdu...duct_Id=156016

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                  • #10
                    Soundfeeder - Thumbs Down, Way Down

                    I am located in Seattle (where the FM band is virtually full) and have had nothing but one bad experience after another with the two Soundfeeder units I have tried. Both experienced severe drift, on the order of minutes, and adjusting them with the little wheel was a pain in the ***. On top of that, the signal was soooo week that the slightest shift in orientation would cause static, distortion, etc. I went and bought a PLL (Phase Locked Loop) unit at Compusa called an irock (www.myirock.com) and thusfar really like it. It is powered by two AAA batteries or an included cigarette lighter adapter. You can select from one of four frequencies using a little switch on the side and because of the PLL design, you never have to readjust it. I have received good quality audio from this device, despite having two strong stations on adjacent channels. I am very impressed with this $30 device.

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                    • #11
                      I wish I has seen this earlier!

                      Originally posted by Dan Marsh
                      I am located in Seattle (where the FM band is virtually full) and have had nothing but one bad experience after another with the two Soundfeeder units I have tried. Both experienced severe drift, on the order of minutes, and adjusting them with the little wheel was a pain in the ***. On top of that, the signal was soooo week that the slightest shift in orientation would cause static, distortion, etc. I went and bought a PLL (Phase Locked Loop) unit at Compusa called an irock (www.myirock.com) and thusfar really like it. It is powered by two AAA batteries or an included cigarette lighter adapter. You can select from one of four frequencies using a little switch on the side and because of the PLL design, you never have to readjust it. I have received good quality audio from this device, despite having two strong stations on adjacent channels. I am very impressed with this $30 device.
                      I wish I has seen this earlier. Oh well. I have a Sony CDX-MP30 head unit with no AUX ins. So I just ebay-ed a brand new Sony XA-300, normally $100-130, but found on ebay for $41. You Sony users out there, just search for XA-300, and you'll find a whole slew of them.
                      So far:
                      M10000 Nehemiah, 1Gb RAM, Opus 90w PS, Buffalo Tech WLI2-USB2-G54, 160 Gb HDD, GlobalSat BU-353 GPS, iGuidance, Zippy EL-610, Panasonic CW8123B Slim Slot CDRW/DVD, 10" Lilliput, Sony XA-300, Sony CDX-MP30 Head, OBD-II

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tom2112
                        I wish I has seen this earlier. Oh well. I have a Sony CDX-MP30 head unit with no AUX ins. So I just ebay-ed a brand new Sony XA-300, normally $100-130, but found on ebay for $41. You Sony users out there, just search for XA-300, and you'll find a whole slew of them.

                        How exactly does this work? Does it only work with Sony head units...or will it work with other? I have a stock ford head unit with no aux in, will this work?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by [H]Bugster
                          How exactly does this work? Does it only work with Sony head units...or will it work with other? I have a stock ford head unit with no aux in, will this work?
                          It's an FM modulator, meaning that it broadcasts the audio from your source (the PC or a DiscMan) to an unused FM station on your radio. It will work for ANY head unit that has an FM tuner built in!
                          The ALEXIS Project
                          MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
                          Color Coding :
                          DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by deadweasel
                            It's an FM modulator, meaning that it broadcasts the audio from your source (the PC or a DiscMan) to an unused FM station on your radio. It will work for ANY head unit that has an FM tuner built in!
                            are you talking about the iRock! ? Or the sony xa-300? Cause i was asking about how the xa-300 works?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by [H]Bugster
                              are you talking about the iRock! ? Or the sony xa-300? Cause i was asking about how the xa-300 works?
                              Whoops. Sorry! Must've read the question wrong. I'm searching for that Sony myself, since my current X-Plod has that blasted Unilink thing that keeps me from using the AUX without spending $100+ on a CD-changer faker.


                              Edit: ... which is exactly what that thing is that they are talking about... *sigh*

                              No, that isn't likely to work with a Ford system, thanks to that Unilink crap that is Sony's proprietary communication language..

                              Gah...
                              The ALEXIS Project
                              MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
                              Color Coding :
                              DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

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