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Pandora (streaming music) + Kyocera KR1 (EVDO router) test

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  • Pandora (streaming music) + Kyocera KR1 (EVDO router) test

    I was fortunate enough to be able to test two new toys today. The first was the Kyocera KR1 (EVDO router) and the second one was an application of that wireless Internet, the streaming Internet personal DJ service Pandora (a music discovery service, powered by the Music Genome Project).


    What's different about Pandora versus other Streaming Internet radio services is that you select what songs you like and then it uses an algorithm to find other new music that you might like. You can select what kind of music you like and it will learn to play only music that you like all the while introducing you to new material. Pretty cool.

    To do this test in my car I needed the following:
    - KR1 Internet Router (should be out in February for the public)
    - EVDO subscription and PCMICA card(I used Verizon’s EVDO service ~$59/month)
    - Car computer with a decent stereo system
    - 5 volt voltage regulator for KR1 (I used the OPUS Point of Load PSU)

    The Pandora page open on my car computer:




    The KR1 allows you to put in a EVDO wireless PCMICA card and then create a portable Wifi “hotspot.” It also has a 4 port Ethernet switch. I chose to connect my car computer via Ethernet. If you had other Wifi devices they could also connect to this. For example, if your passengers had laptops or PDA’s they could all share the wireless Internet connection simultaneously.

    The KR1 isn't for sale yet (should be out in February):


    The 120 volt power brick enclosed with the KR1 wasn’t going to work in the car without an inverter so I quickly grabbed and OPUS point of load power supply and a spare power cable. I set the output voltage jumper of the OPUS Point of Load power supply to 5 volts. This power supply will take care of converting the car’s unregulated 12v electrical system down to a clean 5 volts required by the KR1.

    Opus 5 volt regulator:



    During my test I drove about 45 miles between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. I started by leaving the KR1 in the trunk. This worked first while stationary but not even one mile into the trip the Internet connection dropped due to lack of signal from Verizon’s network. I stopped and relocated the KR1 onto the rear deck in the back window area. This worked much better. I started up Pandora again and enjoyed it for the rest of my trip. I was amazed at how reliable it was. I had a few minor drop outs when getting closer to Washington. I suspect this was due to poor signal strength (poor signal strength = low Internet connection speeds) while traveling between cells or congestion on Verizon’s network. I suspect that an external antenna mounted on the roof would improve this and possibly eliminate any dropouts caused by poor signal strength.

    KR1 installed on my rear deck:


    KR1 as seen through my back window:


    Here's a couple of demo videos:

    http://www.natwilson.com/videos/KR1demo_2.wmv - This is me driving along with it running, I get a phone call at the end. (22 seconds)

    http://www.natwilson.com/videos/KR1demo_3.wmv - Showing off the hardware (45 seconds)


    Pretty cool if you ask me. I sold my XM radio stock back in 2004 thinking that it would bomb whenever wireless Internet became more affordable and widespread, because streaming Internet radio would be so much better. The stock went on to hit record highs so I guess I was a bit early in my assessment, but I still think I’m right.

    A couple of reasons while I feel Internet radio is more will become more of a key player in the mobile music world:
    - Internet radio can be found for free
    - New services such as Pandora allow for a more personalized music experience, tailored exposure to new talent
    - Internet radio allows for a more High Fidelity audio experience (for those who find satellite radio sounds too compressed)

    Once high speed wireless Internet gets more prevalent in cars it will be interesting to see what new applications make it worth while. As for me I’m quite happy with the Pandora music service.

  • #2
    Driving and using your camcorder?

    Nice review.

    Thanatos.
    RexBruMet Skin for FrodoPlayer

    Nissan Aux-in MOD


    Originally posted by bgoodman
    We're an international forum, post in whatever langauge you like.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by thanatos106
      Driving and using your camcorder?
      I didn't have my camcorder on me. It was my digital camera. It works about the same for short video clips.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Zip-Lock
        I didn't have my camcorder on me. It was my digital camera. It works about the same for short video clips.
        You are crazy.

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        • #5
          Very nice, thanks!

          i'm going to have to pick up one of those routers when they come out, thats exactly what i've been looking for.
          肚子笑痛了
          S60 Install

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          • #6
            The router looks interesting, I wonder if other suppliers will bring out similar.

            Comment


            • #7
              i'm happy because they are saying that router will support the Sprint Novatel card, which is the one I have.
              肚子笑痛了
              S60 Install

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Gobby
                The router looks interesting, I wonder if other suppliers will bring out similar.
                There are already some others out like the StompBox but they all cost $700+ USD. This will cost around $200 USD.

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                • #9
                  I was meaning well known manufacturers such as Linksys, Netgear, and I see that D-Link work with Kyocera on this so hopefully they will release a version of their own.

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                  • #10
                    hmm, why not just throw in a pcmia pci controller card?
                    Progress,.... that is what I keep forgetting ;)
                    planning_[++++++++++]. 110%
                    parts___[++++++----] around 60%
                    install___[-----------] -9,000%

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Haystack
                      hmm, why not just throw in a pcmia pci controller card?
                      You could but that assumes that you have a PCI slot. With smaller cases that's not always an option.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Haystack
                        hmm, why not just throw in a pcmia pci controller card?

                        impossible for me because I use a normal motherboard so no pcmcia slot, and I use a right angle adapter for my AGP video card, so i'm SOL for a PCI card. So it's either serial or this, which is awesome because then I can share it with other users in the car.
                        肚子笑痛了
                        S60 Install

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jcdillin
                          impossible for me because I use a normal motherboard so no pcmcia slot, and I use a right angle adapter for my AGP video card, so i'm SOL for a PCI card. So it's either serial or this, which is awesome because then I can share it with other users in the car.
                          You mean your two other computers in the car along with the other users

                          crazy
                          -Jesus- King of Kings Lord of Lords

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                          • #14
                            What about users out of the car?... cus remember that we going to caravan to the national meeting.... Wow! free internet on the rouad

                            Thanatos.
                            RexBruMet Skin for FrodoPlayer

                            Nissan Aux-in MOD


                            Originally posted by bgoodman
                            We're an international forum, post in whatever langauge you like.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by antimatter
                              You mean your two other computers in the car along with the other users

                              crazy

                              lol, damn skippy




                              Originally posted by thanatos106
                              What about users out of the car?... cus remember that we going to caravan to the national meeting.... Wow! free internet on the rouad

                              Thanatos.
                              Of course, as long as your a few cars away you can have internet as well
                              肚子笑痛了
                              S60 Install

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