Best iPhone 3G and iPod 3G car charger FM transmitter?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by iVoid, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2007
    Okay, I'm not looking to break the bank and my car's cassette player doesn't like the cassette adapters I've tried, so I'm looking at using a FM transmitter to get audio into my car radio. It's an older car, so not looking at upgrading the whole radio to get a proper iPhone connection.

    I'd kind of like to use my old iPod 3G at times to have my whole music library in the car, but primarily want to be able to play music from my iPhone 3G and charge it.

    So what's the best iPhone 3G car charger with FM available now? If it can handle the iPod 3G firewire charging as well as charging the iPhone 3G, all the better.

    I do have an old Kensington Liquidaux car charger to aux connection adapter, so could just use a mini=jack to FM transmitter (although those run off batteries, so not as useful).
  2. shmeaty macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2010
    i used the Griffin iTrip Auto FM transmitter. it charges and transmits for the 3G. it worked well for me. some ppl complain about never finding the right station but i never had the problem really. it was kinda pricey, so i got mine from ebay i think, or amazon. good luck
  3. iVoid thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2007
    Well, the iTrip didn't work well for me. Could never find a frequency that wouldn't get static as I drove around. I guess there's too many radio stations in the bay area for one of these to work well.

    I ended up getting this:

    Basically it blocks most (but not all oddly) FM signals from getting through when I have it turned on, so there's no interference when I play songs from my iPhone.

    Fairly simple installation too. +12 and ground and then hook it up between the radio and the antenna.

    There's a bit of faint noise sometimes, but nowhere near what I got with the iTrip. I already had a Kensington LiquidAux from my last car setup, so this worked out very well for me. Even can use the little remote on my steering wheel to change tracks.

    Even with the ford antenna adapters, it only cost me about $40, which is all I really wanted to spend on this old car.
  4. Badfoot macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2009
    London, UK
    Shame about not being able to use the cassette adaptor, I found these very good. This FM modulator would be a good alternative. FM transmitters can be troublesome to use, requiring constant retuning to find a quiet channel as you drive around.
    The nature of FM transmission, as opposed to AM, is that only the strongest signal will be demodulated and heard. So with multiple transmissions on the same frequency or channel, only the strongest will be heard, the rest rejected. But of course signal strength will vary as you drive around and as soon as your chosen 'quiet' channel starts receiving a stronger signal than the puny one put out by your FM transmitter, your music will be lost to the new-found radio station. The modulator gets around this by directly feeding in a stronger signal than would otherwise be NORMALLY received through the aerial, ensuring YOUR modulated signal is always the strongest on that frequency and therefore overriding any radio station. But sometimes it is possible that a very strong signal is picked up on your chosen modulated frequency that will blank you and get through. The strength of the signal from the modulator though should make this quite rare. Similarly, if an FM transmitter could be made with a reasonably high output power, this would have the same effect as the modulator, but this kind of device would not be licenseable.

    In short I would choose the cassette adaptor first, but if you really can't use this with your radio/cassette player, and you don't have an aux in facility, then a modulator would be your next best alternative.

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