If it does have a pair of inputs, that would be the desired route. An
adaptor would be needed to drop the headphone outupt to the lower level
required for the car stereo. Typically, these adaptors are built into
patch cords sold for this purpose.
Failing this, I'd like to see a product that inserts in the antenna
line: this is the correct way to do this if you don't have a switched
audio input. In other words, a modulator box that plugs into the Hyundai
radio's antenna socket.
What such a gizmo does is:
- Generates a carrier wave in the FM band.
- Modulates that carrier wave with an audio signal.
- Generates the subcarrier wave for the left stereo channel and mixes
the L+R signal to the main (mono)channel plus left-only to the left
channel. This multiplexed signal is then pulled apart in the car radio.
This is what the present commercial devices do, only they add more power
and an antenna to transmit this signal for a short distance.
In the device that I'd favor, you'd plug the antenna into the new
contraption. This would be nice and tidy -- the amount of power that
this would consume would be so minute that it could be hard-wired into
the car's supply -- such as in the radio or the cigarette lighter line.
The device could be tucked behind the dashboard.
Logically, too, there'd be one physical switch so that you could go back
and forth between the antenna feed and the external sound source -- this
would be the only thing that would require a neat installation: one
switch. The sound source could be anything with a headphone output --
MP3 player, Ipod, CD player, industrial radio scanner -- whatever.
Strange thing is that I don't think that I've seen a product like this.
I recall that some years ago, there was some sort of product that
inserted into the antenna line; I just can't recall what it was. Perhaps
it was a simple antenna amplifier.
I'm seeing the little transmitter gizmos here and there. But what's not
so sensible is that the only reception point for the car stereo is the
antenna that's _outside_ the car. The steel roof posts and body panels
will block most of the signal from those things, so reception could be
poor from the transmitter to the radio that's right next to it.
That's exactly it. The concept is perfect.
What we still don't know is:
- Is the thing any good?
- Can you tune it to a blank spot on the dial in your area?
- How is it powered? Batteries would be a bummer.
- Is it designed to be easily fastened to something?
- Is the switch on the end of a cord and can you mount it in an
accessable spot in the Hyundai? (Hint: in my 2000 Sonata, a logical
place is in the blank switch bank by the accessory socket).
- Is it sensitive to interference? (This really should not be a problem).
- Does it generate noise of its own?
- Does it provide some way to adjust for the output level of the player?
(it probably doesn't, so you'd adjust the volume on the player itself --
my experience with my new MP3 player sounds like this should not be an
issue -- the sound of the unit is surprisingly clean, that is, given
that MP3 robs fidelity from the music no matter how good the encoding is
- What part of China is it made in? (The good part or the bad part?)
Who wants to buy one of these to try it and give the rest of us a report?
On Fri, 22 Jul 2005 22:08:31 -0700, Richard Steinfeld
This type of device may have been more popular in the past,
I think I even remember seeing one in Radio Shack a decade
ago. I've had an in-line modulator installed on my
motorcycle as part of the CD changer for 10+ years and never
noticed a FM signal reduction or noise. I don't remember if
I hot wired it to the battery or if the power is delivered
in the cable with the audio. I think there is a choice of
three frequencies and I've travelled across the country with
it set to 89.1 with no problem.
Here's a selection from ebay.
By the way, I just fired off your link to my friend Gary. He's got
himself a couple of Mopar 70s muscle cars with AM radios. He found a
factory Motorola AM/FM on eBay for a whopping $200.
The thing was prounounced DOA by the tech at a car stereo shop. I gave
the controls a hell of a cleaning, applied preservative, cleaned the
filthy wires (someone had just cut the leads really short and filthy).
And the thing sounds good-as-new. The surprise was how good the old
geezer radio sounds on FM, and especially the AM. I estimate the output
power at about 3.5 watts, which is plenty in a car.
Hopefully, he'll be able to play CDs in his Dodge Dart. Cool.
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