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New FM USB module, maybe good for our carputers?

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  • New FM USB module, maybe good for our carputers?

    ADS has come out with an USB FM dongle with external antenna jack.
    Here's a pic of the unit and it's antenna:

    This unit is looking pretty good... (at least for features)
    RDS is fully supported, their software uses it to separate songs and record music in a TiVo-like way.

    It's only $50 from ADS so it should be found online/retailers for even less.

    From this answer in their knowledge base, it looks like there is an SDK available...
    c. All RDS/RBDS functions are supported in the SDK. Interested parties may want to create unique RDS/RBDS applications exposing more RDS capabilities.
    And this answer to 'can it be used on a mac':
    c. However, since Instant FM Music uses standard USB audio drivers and USB HID drivers, it may be possible that third party FM tuner software could work with the hardware, or easily be adapted to work with our hardware. We will make an SDK available to interested parties. You can e-mail [email protected] with any inquires.

    And it looks like there is a number of available options for their antenna:
    a. The Instant FM provides a connector called MCX - We offer antenna accessories on the ADS Tech website that connect to this MCX connector:

    i. Di-Pole FM Antenna with 75Ohm balon and MCX connector

    ii. MCX to Male “F” Connector – connect your own antenna or roof antenna

    iii. MCX to PAL connector - connect your own antenna or roof antenna (Europe)

    iv. USB Extension cable – 6 Ft USB Type A to USB Type A extension cable – moves Instant FM receiver away from your PC.

  • #2
    Yep, a quick check on froogle shows prices starting around $32!


    • #3
      Wow, this looks pretty good. I've been looking into getting FM into my car at some point (no big rush). This would probably be an easy way to do it. I would like to hear some reviews about it first. And hopefully this could be integrated into Road Runner and the LSX skin.
      Car PC Progress

      (>>>>>>>>>>>>---) 90%

      "Don't speak about it, be about it"


      • #4
        USB RDS FM Radio

        I just tried the email address above to get more info about the SDK. The email address is bad. The only other one I could find was [email protected], so we'll see.

        This could be a nice little RDS solution for my CarPC, and with the time shifting and optional use of an external antennae, it sounds even better!
        Front End of Choice: Ride Runner (Is there anything else??? ) & Powered by the DFX5.1 Skin Available in the Mobile App Mart

        My Fiero Build Thread


        • #5
          this sounds good.. i just posted a thread regarding new radio units for RR.

          hey John,

          you think this would go well in Blue Devil? that would be awesome!

          CTS 05, Mobile Information Center...
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          Finished Project
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          • #6
            Looks like it's time one of us grabbed one of these and took it for a spin.
            I'll try to have one fired up to me in the great white north and give it a shot.


            • #7
              nothing against the unit itself but this stuff always looks like more fun than it really is....



              • #8
                Yeah, I had the same look she does when I installed it tonight and it didn't work at all.

                To be honest, I did have a pretty big smile after I rebooted and it did work but I wasn't having that much fun.

                Haven't taken it for a ride in the car yet but it works extremely well in the house. The software sucks for a touchscreen but if we can get ahold of the SDK, that won't be a problem. I'll post more after work tomorrow on the reception while driving.


                • #9
                  The appearance of such threads and questions is one of the reasons I started to create a common radiodriver !
         be able to add new radios at every time (and you see there are always new radios appearing!)... so that ONE developer starts to sit down and write adriver....
                  Then everybody can also use THIS driver in HIS frontend (if it supports my project).
                  The problem is not that anyone (in such a big community) writes a driver (Don't we have a driver for the HQCT ? Don't we have a driver for the Silabs/Cinergy and what they call ? Yes those drivers didn't use the same interface or they embedded in a more or less usefull application !) - the problem is to get the creators of the Fontends to use my project.

                  You could state "FMode's Interface is too generic - I want to have the RDS Error-Information how many bits were corrected from my HQCT."
                  I didn't provide you with this information (on the early binding interface!) as other radios aren't giving them - but there is a late binding interface which datatype is "Variant" at compile time (and VARIANT yor every radio). And you could cast variant to "HQCT_special_Struct" and in HQCT_special_struct is the BIT_Corrected from the HQCT... But if you use that from your frontend you have to check if the driver is a HQCT.

                  ...and back to this AdsTECH:
                  The Silabs Radio is just a demo for developers how the Si4701 chip works...
                  I think it is quite possible that ADSTECH uses a Si4701 chip !
                  So if I were you I would download the Silabs Software (Source!) and try it with the ADSTech !
                  (I guess the USB Vendor ID and stuff is changed - so change it into the source!)


                  • #10
                    I've said that if you have at least one driver on your interface that isn't already available in RR I will gladly work on that interface. I will not however, go back and drop everything already there to force people to use it. I would like to keep what's in place the way it is to avoid problems for those already using it. Nevertheless, none of what I said prevents you from adding the code to RR yourself and I would gladly merge it to the main sources so you don't have to do it on every release. Don't take me wrong, I'm def. supportive of your generic interface, I just don't have the time to mess with it right now as there are many other features and fixes on higher priority right now.
                    Ride Runner RR's Myspace

                    "Being happy is not about having what you want, it's about wanting what you have."
                    "The best things in life are always free - but that doesn't mean money can't buy you good things."


                    • #11
                      sorry I am stupid !
                      with some usage of my brain I could get the thing that you will think that you are meant.

                      David (CF) and guino (RR) are explicitly excluded !


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RickS View Post
                        Yeah, I had the same look she does when I installed it tonight and it didn't work at all.

                        To be honest, I did have a pretty big smile after I rebooted and it did work but I wasn't having that much fun.

                        Haven't taken it for a ride in the car yet but it works extremely well in the house. The software sucks for a touchscreen but if we can get ahold of the SDK, that won't be a problem. I'll post more after work tomorrow on the reception while driving.
                        Have you tried it in the car yet?
                        I just got mine from tigerdirect and will try it in the car tomorrow.
                        The snaptunes app isn't too horrible for a touchscreen, at least it has biggish buttons, but yeah, can't wait for the SDK to show up and get integrated


                        • #13
                          External Antenna?

                          So far any FM receivers I have seen in a car have really needed good external (as in external to the car) antennas for decent reception. Probably need to hack together an MCX to Motorolla antenna adapter to make this work well in a car for US users. I think I have an old GPS antenna lead with MCX connectors on it.

                          One complication is that this device states one of it's external antenna options is a 75 Ohm antenna.. There will most likely be impedance mismatch issues connecting it directly to the car antenna which I believe is set up 50 Ohm.. any input from our RF experts?
                          Location: Millbury, MA


                          • #14
                            I thought I had posted this the other day but I guess I didn't hit the button.

                            The reception in the car as I drove was a ok at the start then it got a little sketchy then got progressively worse as I made my way around the beltway (30 mile trip). After I got to work, I took it in the office and had horrible reception there so it only works well if there's a good signal.

                            I had also ordered the MCX to F connector adapter and it came in yesterday so I threw together a coax adapter to connect the car antenna (motorola) to the F connector this afternoon. I went to try that out and I had the same problem that I had the first night I got the sound at all (regardless of which antenna I was using). I tried rebooting and that didn't help so now I'm stuck getting this POS software to work.

                            It would be good to hear if there will be any issues with my adapter to an adapter from someone who knows what they're doing. If I get the software to work again, I'll hook it up in the car with the adapters and let everyone know how it works.


                            • #15
                              When I first tried the adapter, I couldn't get the adapter to work with either piece of software so I tried with another computer and got the same result.
                              Thinking the little USB extension cable might've had a bad connection I unplugged that while everything was running then plugged it back in again and it suddenly had sound. (and the simple radio software stopped showing 292Mhz and went to a real number)
                              So, give that a try, just unplug/plug while it's up N running.

                              Oh, have you noticed any RDS response from either piece of software? We're supposed to have a couple of RDS stations in town, but I've not seen the software respond to any of them.