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Iphone4 Thru Cassette Adaptor


wanderson
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Like others I'm using a Monster Icarplay cassette adaptor thru the Nakamichi on my '99 LS to my Iphone with decent results. Earlier this week I came across a Belkin car adaptor I purchased 2 or 3 years ago. It's mainly a 12v charger that plugs into the Iphone dock connector but also has a female 3.5mm phono output jack on the charger body with a volume control knob, basically to output signal from the dock connector. I'd used this in my previous vehicle that had an amp but no head unit. Anyone who owns an Iphone probably knows the sound quality thru the dock connector is much better than the headphone jack, and in this case it made a pretty significant difference. Both sound volume & quality are much better. The bad news is that while I was searching on the Belkin website for a name/model number for this great gizmo it seems they don't make it anymore. But if you can find one,or something close to it, you'll appreciate the improvements in sound as well as being able to charge your phone. Considering there are a lot of vehicles with AUX inputs it seems someone has to still be making an Iphone dock to AUX/headphone jack solution.

On another note, I use a Belkin FM modulator in my company vehicle, it's much older as it's only compatible with Ipods and won't charge Iphones but it's always performed well. I considered purchasing a newer version that was Iphone compatible but most online reviews were terrible. Other FM modulators didn't fare much better. Apparantly, the FCC decided a few years ago to significantly reduce the max allowable transmitted power for these devices, so most of the newer ones aren't performing as well. Some other solutions plug directly into your antenna cable but I have no idea if any of these would be compatible with an LS400 or their obscenely proprietary Nakamichi system.

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I use a Belkin gadget for the iPhone. It's a cradle that charges the phone and is also supposed to be a speaker phone (where the caller's voice is routed to the stereo speakers). I use a cheapo cassette adapter into the Belkin's input, and the sound quality isn't bad, though as everyone knows, it's not CD quality. The Belkin is also supposed to be an FM transmitter too, but it is either so weak, or the Lexus stock radio reception so poor that I can't stand to use it. Thus, I use the cassette adapter, which I'm pleased with as there's no good way to upgrade to an iPod specific dock.

The speaker phone would be perfect except that the microphone picks up an echo. I've tried all sorts of things to alleviate the echo, short of making my wife furious enough not to call me while I'm in the car. Checking voicemail is great, listening to conference calls that I don't have to participate in is also great. Because of the echo problem, I will normally use a bluetooth headset for any calls I make.

The fact that the Belkin charges the iPhone, and sends my stored music, Pandora, or Navigon GPS directions through the speakers with only small amounts of cassette noise mean I would purchase it again, but only on sale, which is how I bought it the first time. Plugging the phone into the cradle is nearly as routine now as putting the key into the ignition. I rarely listen to broadcast radio anymore and I've used the CD changer may be twice.

In order to use the cradle, I have to have it plugged into the cigarette lighter, which takes away from the clean look the dash would have with the lighter/ash tray closed. I don't have cords strung around the dash though, so that's good.

Micah

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Whenever you use these FM transmitting devices for iPODs and the like it is important to find a frequency with no local radio stations on it. In large markets this is sometimes hard to do (NY, LA, Chicago). Once you find a dead channel park your FM modulator on that channel. If there is a weak radio station on the same channel your car FM receiver can get confused and jump from one signal to the other. FM radios behave on a principal called FM capture. They'll lock onto the stronger of two signals on the same channel.

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My old Belkin FM modulator works best at it's lowest frequency (88.1). The placement of the wire (which houses the antenna) makes a difference as well. In my work van I pick up a lot of static & interference if it hangs down to the floor but it sounds best when it's looped around my cup holder in the dash. But it's a chance thing, I've tried in other vehicles and some work well and others don't. The ones that worked best had the 'old school' steel whip antenna on the front fender.

Whenever you use these FM transmitting devices for iPODs and the like it is important to find a frequency with no local radio stations on it. In large markets this is sometimes hard to do (NY, LA, Chicago). Once you find a dead channel park your FM modulator on that channel. If there is a weak radio station on the same channel your car FM receiver can get confused and jump from one signal to the other. FM radios behave on a principal called FM capture. They'll lock onto the stronger of two signals on the same channel.

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