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07 September 2005 @ 01:07 pm
Better living through search technologies.  
I recently purchased a Palmone / Handspring Treo 600 "smart phone." In at least one way, it's too smart for its own good.

My digital camera stopped working in Australia recently. My old Kyocera 6035 Palm phone started freaking out and, thanks to a little damage on the bottom, would no longer work with a sync cradle. I have been wanting to purchase a portable music player (y'know, something that plays mp3s and oggs and whatnot). This seemed like a good solution for all three, in an easy-to-carry-around package. I even got a 1 gigabyte SD card for it.

It turns out that it does indeed play music if you purchase the right software (I couldn't find any free music players for Palm, not yet anyway) via the little internal speaker, which isn't bad for an internal speaker. If you purchase a headphone adaptor for it, you can listen to music via the headphones, and, I hoped, via the input cable for my car stereo.

I got the adaptor and plugged it into my car stereo, and I got music... through the little speaker. What?? I tried real headphones, and those worked fine. I could get the music to go through my car stereo in mono if I plugged the adaptor in just a little bit. I thought about taping it in place like that, but instead, I went inside and brought up Google.

After reading several results for searching: "treo 600" headphones "line in" , I found mention of a (now broken) link for: "audio line-out workaround" , and putting that into Google brought me to: http://discussion.treocentral.com/tcforum/showthread.php?t=43706 which pointed out the problem. The Treo, too smart for its own good, detects via impedence whether you've attached it to headphones or a handsfree unit. The handsfree unit has a speaker and a microphone, and the headphones have stereo speakers, so it's good for the Treo to know what it's talking to. Several solutions are listed, some involving soldering, but the one I chose is Radio Shack's Gold-Plated Volume Control Cable for Stereo Headphones. Connecting through this gives the Treo the right impedence so it thinks you have headphones plugged in. Bingo, my phone is now a music player that actually works through my car stereo.

I love that even though I don't understand all of the technology involved, I can benefit from the ingenuity of people I've never met, making a frustrating problem relatively painless to solve.

Now there's the fact that while I'm charging the phone via the cigarette lighter adaptor and listening to music via the phone, I get a feedback-ish whine through the car speakers. I got the same thing when I used to charge my laptop and listen to it through the car stereo. I managed to cut it way down by removing the three-way accessory adaptor (lets you use three cigarette lighter adaptors at once), but if I want to cut it out entirely, I may have to bring up Google again.
 
 
Current Mood: geeky
Current Music: Bond: Shine (Dubshakra Mix) via the Treo's little speaker
 
 
 
Mikhailasoquili_gitli on September 7th, 2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I loved my 6035. I miss it so much. But it died a horrible death on concrete. Then the replacement started to wig out totally, dialing numbers randomly, powering on and off randomly, etc. I bought a Thera, which SOUNDS like a lower cost Treo, really. But you got the better deal.

As for the feedback, I KNOW there's something at Radioshack to fix that. Having worked there, I remember seeing it frequently. But..of course...now I can't remember what it's called.

I HATE Radioshack, but...well...sometimes they're the only solution. Though here in the bay, Fry's SHOULD have what you're looking for. If you can find someone that understands you well enough to know what you're looking for. I THINK it's called a ground loop interrupt, but I could be totally on crack.
ashi: p-chanashi on September 7th, 2005 05:43 pm (UTC)
Google: "noise filter" alternator "cigarette lighter", "ground loop interrupt"...
Conclusion: inconclusive. Some recommended the ground loop interrupt. Some recommended a filter for the power. Some recommended a hard line to the fuse box or the starter leads. I found one that recommended a choker.

Radio Shack: Get our $50 Monster branded FM transmitter, or get some power filter, probably for the speaker wires, at a car stereo store.

I decided to look around at what they did have for something cheaper. I went for the ground loop interrupt, and it worked like a charm. I can't detect any whine! :) I even went back in to tell them.
Mikhailasoquili_gitli on September 7th, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
*dance*

*dance dance dance*

Yay!

Glad I was able to help!
chucklemagne on September 7th, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC)
BTW, I'd heard bad things about the 1G SD cards, so I bought a 512. Friends that I talked to had to take the 1G cards back often enough that they were just not buying them anymore.
ashi: arrrr!ashi on September 7th, 2005 05:45 pm (UTC)
Hmm, what about 2G cards? They don't seem worth the price quite yet though.

I'm wondering if I should get an extra or two to have friends fill up before they go with me on a road trip.
Dr3Am3ndergesellschaftoi on September 7th, 2005 06:21 pm (UTC)
hrm..
If the device has an a/c power adapter I'd suggest purchasing a d/c-a/c power inverter.. the price has come down significantly, and it's nice to have the same 110v household outlets in your vehicle.
300Watt for 28$
http://www.acortech.com/.sc/ms/dd/1114462325011063/9/nc/ee/1907/DC%20to%20AC%20Dual%20Outlet%20Power%20Inverter%20300Watts

if you wanted to add color, for a little bit less money and this little baby would be enough for your new toy and it's cute
http://www.pcimicro.com/.sc/ms/dd/1101348996228650/9/nc/Cable%20%5E2F%20Accessories--Accessories/3480/Generic%20100-Watt%20Automobile%20DC-AC%20Power%20Inverter
ashi: arrrr!ashi on September 7th, 2005 11:01 pm (UTC)
Re: hrm..
It's all hooked up and working. :) See my comment above. The colourful one is cute though.
Dr3Am3ndergesellschaftoi on September 8th, 2005 04:50 am (UTC)
Re: hrm..
Huray! :D
just another strangerladyakumu on September 7th, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC)
Um so Thai Village on Friday. Pick me up when? and where again?
ashi: arrrr!ashi on September 7th, 2005 11:04 pm (UTC)
10:40am near the Admissions and Records building. I'll be holding a green plastic plate. (:
just another strangerladyakumu on September 8th, 2005 04:07 pm (UTC)
Dude could you just pick me up at home? I don't have any morning Friday classes. 424 Curie Dr (You can have the city and state) =P
ashi: arrrr!ashi on September 8th, 2005 04:12 pm (UTC)
Sure. See you then.
just another strangerladyakumu on September 8th, 2005 04:31 pm (UTC)
what's your #? a cell would be nice
ashi: Marmalade Boyashi on September 8th, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC)
cell 408-515-4381
pager 408-696-0002
just another strangerladyakumu on September 8th, 2005 05:18 pm (UTC)
you're welcome to come to my house early if you get bored... once it's like 9:30 or 10:00 or something. we can play dreamcast games.
ashi: toddletashi on September 8th, 2005 10:17 pm (UTC)
Cool. I'll see what time I wake up. Do you have the 12 something class?
just another strangerladyakumu on September 9th, 2005 09:08 am (UTC)
Yeah, class is at 12 30... so I should be on campus like at 12 20?
Hein: Kashira? Kashira? Gozonji Kashira?fub on September 7th, 2005 11:56 pm (UTC)
I love that even though I don't understand all of the technology involved, I can benefit from the ingenuity of people I've never met, making a frustrating problem relatively painless to solve.
This is the key to humanity's success: through communication, we can pass on the solutions to problems to others, so that they don't have to do the research/trial-and-error we did.
The internet (and search engines) have only accelerated this!

I'm glad you have been able to bend the technology availablt to you to your will.