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  1.    #1  
    Well...I finally did it. I got the car cradle working after several hours of waiting, driving, buying parts, more waiting, taping, testing, etc.

    It was tough on me for several reasons, but hopefully I remove all those burdens with this guide. Here it is...the best car cradle/kit money can buy.

    It happens to be a small amount of money too...$70-80, excluding the initial cradle that wasn't in working condition. The initial cradle had a problem charging the Treo when I set it in there. I tried pulling the adapter through the top but I tore the plastic off - DOH! I tried pulling it through the top because I couldn't figure out how to open the bottom side. There are four magnets on the bottom....on the other side of those magnets, you'll find the screws. Since the cradle was already broken, I figured I'd rip the thing apart. I could still use the audio in/out, but I figured out quickly that the microphone was WEAK!!

    Anyway, man is it cool to take the phone outta my pocket, set it in it's cradle, and have it instantly start charging and playing music. When somebody calls me, it stops the music and I hit answer to hear their voice over the system. Doesn't get any easier than that. The only thing I don't like is how I can't press the next button on my CD Player to make it go to the next track. I'm sure I'll adjust. Isn't there a program like CradleOn or AlwaysOn something that keeps the screen always on?? I need that so that I don't have to turn it on to go to the next track. I had to change the setting in Aeroplayer to power off never when it was open..good enough for now.

    Here's a comparison between bluetooth headsets/carkits and my setup:

    -Bluetooth headsets are annoying to me as I need to remember to carry the headset with me and put it on my head.
    -Bluetooth headsets won't give you the functionality of the touchscreen/keyboard (i.e. - Dialing, Caller ID, Call Log, much much more).
    -Bluetooth car kits won't allow you to play music over your car's speakers.
    -Bluetooth car kits also won't allow you to use voicedialing (I haven't tested this out, so I don't know exactly how far away you need to be away from the mic for the program to make out what you're saying).
    -Bluetooth headsets/car kits also won't allow you to use another bluetooth device (GPS, anyone?).
    -Bluetooth headsets/car kits also won't allow you to make voice memos.
    -Bluetooth headsets/[some]car kits also won't allow you to charge your phone.

    Anyway, now that you want one, here're the parts you'll need:

    (1) Cradle (has to be this one from eBay: http://cgi.ebay.com/Dock-cradle-for-...QQcmdZViewItem. . .BTW gamebuzz shipped it quicker than podsplus, also gamebuzz's charged, but I doubt that had anything to do with him...perhaps his batch from the manufacturer, however, gamebuzz no longer has these cradles listed. Oh well.)
    (2) Either Auxiliary Input Adapter, Cassette Adapter, or FM Transmitter (You'll have to determine if you have an auxiliary input jack on the back of your cd player. If not and you have a cd player...you'll have to use an FM transmitter. Otherwise, you can use a cassette adapter which would provide slightly better quality than the transmitter; I got my aux. input cable from Installer.com scroll down to or search for PIO-P-35MM: http://www.installer.com/aux/)
    (3) Microphone (RadioShack's Unidirectional Mic Element, the one with the red/black wires; part no: 270-101...you should be able to find it in the trays, one of the ones with the green strips on them)
    (4) Velcro
    (5) USB Adapter Travel Kit (Amazon's got it: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...bosnation0e-20)
    (6) [Most likely] Longer USB cord; USB type A on one end and mini USB type B (5 pin and not 4 pin??) on the other (I didn't think I needed it, but I do; Amazon's got it too (almost at the free shipping now...maybe a pack of cds/dvds?): http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...bosnation0e-20)
    (7) [Perhaps] 26-Guage Wire (I couldn't find any at RadioShack this small...nor at the local car audio places, so I just cut up an old telephone cord...I believe it was 24-guage wire, worked just as good plus it had blue and white wires to match the ones on the cradle)


    Here're the tools you'll need:

    (1) Fairly small Phillips Tip Screwdriver
    (2) Electrical Tape
    (3) Drill
    (4) Tiny Drill Bit
    (5) [Perhaps] Wire Strippers
    (6) [Perhaps] Rotary Tool (i.e. - Dremel)
    (7) [Perhaps] Perhaps Soldering Iron/Solder


    Here're the instructions you'll need:

    (1) Test the power/audio-out on the cradle (First one I got didn't work; the blue light kept flashing on and off, and my Treo never acknowledged a charging state). Also, picture if you'd like that blue light on your car dash all the time that you're driving (I personally don't want it, but if you've got a rice burner, you just might think it's attractive).
    (2) Flip the cradle over and drill at an angle so that you can pry those magnets out. You're going to want to imagine a horizontal line through the middle of the label...drill each of the magnets at the outter edge of the circle closest to that imaginary horizontal line.
    (3) Pry the magnets out now with a nail or other thin object (I happened to use a tiny flathead screwdriver I had lyin' around.
    (4) Now unscrew the four screws and pull the bottom apart from the top.
    (5) This is when I used a dremel to remove the rightmost plastic edge around the microphone. You're going to want to ditch the crappy mic on there (you can test it if you'd like, but I wouldn't waste my time) and replace it with the one from RadioShack.
    (6) Now I cut up the telephone cord so that I could get an extra 8 inches or so to move the microphone exactly where I wanted on my dash (test it out in your car before you cut, or ignore this step if you don't want to move the microphone directly in front of your face...it'll prolly still sound decent if you leave it in the cradle but drill/dremel a larger hole for the mic).
    (7) Then I chose to use electrical tape after twisting the wires together (Instead of using wire strippers, I used my teeth. . .BTW, the wires going from mic to cradle are black to white and red to blue).
    (8) Test the microphone/audio-out now (If you get feedback, it could be from the power. I didn't get feedback in the car, but I did get it in the house...dunno why).
    (9) If all is well with the world, roll out a strip of electrical tape the length of the wires so that you can hide the bright/loud colors from your dash (my dash conveniently happens to be dark, so it wasn't a problem in any way).
    (10) Wrap it longways around the wires (heh...like you're rollin' a super long doobie).
    (11) If you want that blue light there, don't touch it. If you'd like to take it out, like I did, just bend the two metal wires back and forth 'til they break. Do not remove that black heat shrink material because it's needed to hold the red/black wires together. If those are disconnected, I'm assuming you won't be able to charge your phone unless if you tape/solder tham back together.
    (12)Screw it back together (also put the magnets back if your dash happens to be made of metal) and take it to the car with some velcro.
    (13) Velcro the cradle to your dash in the proper position you'd like (Remember to keep it as close as possible because you're going to have to reach to answer/call/skip tracks/etc...also you want to have enough space for the phone to not hit the windshield).
    (14) Velcro/tape the microphone wherever you'd like it.
    (15) Plug in the cradle's USB power cable into the USB-to-DC adapter, then into the cigarette lighter.
    (16) Plug in the audio out cable to the cradle (and wherever else it needs to plug into).
    (17) Do a test run around the block...and stop smiling, you've only got the coolest car setup you could dream of.


    I think that's all there is to it...pretty simple really. I had a problem with the first 2 microphones I bought from RadioShack; the red wire ripped off the soldering with ease...I tore through the only two at the nearest RS and had to drive another 10 minutes to another one. Other than that, it's pretty basic.

    I'll post pics in an hour or two when I get home...I haven't snapped one of the cradle in the car yet because it's dark now and my interior light doesn't work (maybe a flashlight would work?).

    EDIT: If you use a case, your options are to try the Seidio Innodock cradle (since the cradle I'm using won't work for you) or get the Seidio 2-in-1 Hybrid Adapter and leave it on your lap or the universal car mount (those universal things suck, IMO). Lemme know how it works out for ya so I can update this post.

    Heck, the Innodock might work best for folks using eGrips...but, I'm not gauranteeing anything, just a guess.
    Last edited by grndslm; 08/08/2005 at 02:16 AM.
  2. #2  
    I'll post pics in an hour or two when I get home...I haven't snapped one of the cradle in the car yet because it's dark now and my interior light doesn't work

    all this work for your treo, and you couldnt fix the light inside your car
    ROTFLMAO
    Wisdom sheds light on the knowledge you have accumulated

    Palm Pre (Sprint)
  3.    #3  
    Umm...yea, I just noticed it like 2 days ago when I was dropping my girlfriend off at her house. Gimme a break, I've got other/better things to do than worry about that interior light.
  4.    #4  
    Well...pics are at http://grndslm.blogspot.com.

    I'll post 1 or 2 more of it inside the car as soon as daylight comes 'round and I'm finished readin' all the new posts for the past coupla days. I've been slacking lately, which could only mean..."LESS SLEEP!"

    BTW, those two rectangular bars in one or two of those pics are some magnets I picked up while I was at RadioShack. They were pretty strong and I thought they might be strong enough to attract themselves to the magnets on the bottom of the cradle, through the dashboard. It's pretty thin but I found out it's not thin enough. The rectangular magnets just fall, but when I tape them the cradle has a lil bit of stayin' power. It just ain't enough for severe situations, which leads to velcro.

    A friend of mine suggested I screw it down. No!
  5. #5  
    now figure a way for it to mute the radio and im sold.
  6.    #6  
    Oops..."I fell asleep at the wheel". Pics are coming soon. I really wish I could find my real digicam.
    Last edited by grndslm; 08/07/2005 at 01:44 PM.
  7.    #7  
    OK....the blog site has been updated. http://grndslm.blogspot.com

    I had to adjust the velcro underneath my cradle. I decided to switch to using velcro to hold up the microphone/cord also. And after taking pics, it's apparent that it'd easily be wroth the money to get that extra length cord. If I can BARELY do it in a Corolla, chances are you'll need the extra length USB cord too.

    About to edit the original post.
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by spider2k
    now figure a way for it to mute the radio and im sold.
    What do you mean by mute the radio?? You mean, the songs on your Treo??

    Well...since you're screen's prolly gonna be on all the time since it's in the cradle, you can just press the pause button on the Treo's screen. I wasn't kidding when I said you'll have the same exact functionality with this car kit as you would with the plain ol' touchscreen & keyboard of the Treo. I believe that the bluetooth solutions lose a lot that the Treo has to offer. But I guess that's just my opinion that I prefer wires for this situation (I'm definitely going to have to wrap those cords together somehow whenever I get the longer USB cable).

    Also...on some CD players, it has a button that reads, "ATT" that lowers the volume dramatically. I don't have that on my cd player, but I can just hold the SRC-OFF button for a second and it mutes all audio (it'll pause it with a CD, but it can't control the Treo's functions...minor issue IMO). And simply press it to turn audio back on. I'll hit the screen though so I don't miss a beat.

    And you can also put callers on hold, or mute them. Can you do that with bluetooth? Perhaps some can do one or the other, maybe even both, but I know it can't be this easy.
    Last edited by grndslm; 08/07/2005 at 06:03 PM.
  9. #9  
    What is the number of the microphone that you got at Radio Shack? I have looked at several Radio Shacks before this post trying to find a decent microphone for my Seidio car mount. None have come up with anything.

    TIA

    EDIT: Found it on their web site. Here is the number on that mic element boys and girls: 270-092
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  10.    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by bigboy650
    What is the number of the microphone that you got at Radio Shack? I have looked at several Radio Shacks before this post trying to find a decent microphone for my Seidio car mount. None have come up with anything.....
    EDIT: Found it on their web site. Here is the number on that mic element boys and girls: 270-092
    That's not the one I used. I bought the 270-101. I'll add it to the list up top.

    EDIT: Also looked at RadioShack's site and saw the three mic elements. DON'T use 270-090!! I'm not sure how the 092 works....I only saw that one at the last RadioShack I needed to go to and didn't try it since I knew the 101 worked well for me. What exactly is the 092 - an "electret microphone element with leads"?? What does that mean?

    I'd still stick with the 101 since I know it works....but if others say the 092 works, I'll add it too.
    Last edited by grndslm; 08/07/2005 at 05:29 PM.
  11.    #11  
    About an hour or two ago, I tried putting one of those two large magnets inside the cradle and the other one underneath my dash. It worked!! I could move the lower magnet and the cradle would move also.

    But the problem arose when I took it for a test drive around the block. SHARP right turn and onto my lap it fell. Back to the velcro I went.

    Also, while I had the cradle open one last time, I took that annoying (IMO) blue light out. Just bend the metal close to that black heat shrink stuff....but do not rip those black & red wires, they're clearly needed to complete some circuit. I'm guessing you won't be able to charge the phone if you tear those apart (unless if you solder/tape them back together).
  12.    #12  
    The only people who should be disappointed with this are people with cases. They definitely can't use this cradle with their case on.....but for those people, you could try the Innodock case and try to come up with someway to hold the Treo & case still in the dock since it doesn't have any sides. Or if you don't think you'd trust that cradle to hold your precious during sharp turns, maybe just use seidio's 2-in-1 hybrid adapter and a regular DC adapter (I'd recommend either the DC adapter mentioned above in the travel kit, or the rugged car charger available on TreoCentral...the smaller ones fall out too easily because of the coil in the cord).

    You could then either leave the Treo on your lap, or use one of those universal car mounts on TreoCentral or eBay. They're decent, but that just seems to troublesome....3 steps getting in the car, 3 steps out versus 1 step in, and 1 step out. So for your casers, it seems like it's innodock on the dash, set it on the lap, or bust!
  13.    #13  
    Copy & Pasted from another thread:

    "I promise it's not hard if you order all the parts at once, and have all the right tools (you can do it with only a screwdriver, drill, and a small drill bit). It would prolly take you half an hour, give or take 10 minutes to have it installed once you open all the packaging. I know I've got a lotta steps, but they're quick & painless....here's a general concept of what I did: opened the bottom of the case & switched out the microphone, then put it back together and velcroed the bottom side of the cradle to my dash so it wouldn't move around.

    The only problem with what I did is that it's really not a good idea to put it on your dash. It was definitely a quick temporary fix, tho...until I have more time.

    I'm going to try buying a little bit of sheet metal and making a pop-out base that stems from the upper-left of console where the cd player & a/c controls are. That way it'll be within reach of my hand (virtually just as close where the prev & next buttons were I was complaining about subconsciously moving my finger toward over and over....I've already started to break the habit), it'll be easier for me to read the screen since the cradle angles it upward (harder to see on the dash than it needs to be) and it'll be slightly closer, it won't get as hot from being directly on the dash, it'll be outta the way of the airbag, glove compartment, and knees that are popping in and out, AND it'll allow me to hide the cords a lot better. I just need some sheet metal and a couple more hours. I'll prolly spray paint the cradle a dark grey or blue to match my interior and/or the phone.

    If you don't care about looks, I'd follow the original instructions I wrote and take the half an hour outta my time to do it....it'll work for a quick, reliable fix.

    If you do happen to care about looks...perhaps wait until I get a lil' more time and sheet metal. Then you could pay somebody to do it with my instructions...or maybe they could even up mine somehow. At least it'd be more reliable than the $eidio kit."
    Last edited by grndslm; 08/10/2005 at 01:23 PM.
  14. mlarsen23's Avatar
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    #14  
    Does the cradle successfully transmit music in stereo to your vehicle?

    Thanks.
  15.    #15  
    Absolutely...it's no different from listening on stereo headphones. It's a wired solution...it's not bluetooth.
  16. #16  
    i meatn like some hard kits do for the mute. i dont want to push a button i want the radio to mute when a call comes in. im not going to hear the phone ring if i have the music turned up id like a way for the radio to mute automatically so i know i have an incoming call.

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