Saturday, 21 January 2012

How to Easily Bluetooth Enable Your Car

Bluetooth has been around since 1994, originally introduced by Sony Ericson to the mobile consumers to unite fixed and portable devices to share and exchange data and functionality. In fact this unification function of bluetooth has something to do why it is called Bluetooth.

Short History

According to WIKIPEDIA, the word "Bluetooth" is an anglicised version of the Scandinavian Blåtand/Blåtann, the epithet of the tenth-century king Harald I of Denmark and parts of Norway who united dissonant Danish tribes into a single kingdom. The implication is that Bluetooth does the same with communications protocols, uniting them into one universal standard.

The Bluetooth logo is a bind rune merging the Younger Futhark runes Runic letter ior.svg (Hagall) (ᚼ) and Runic letter berkanan.svg (Bjarkan) (ᛒ), Harald's initials.

Car Application

UK Driving Laws on Handheld Devices

One of the many functions which is very useful in a car is the way it can handle mobile calls. This is a truly handsfree operation that can free the driver from talking into a mobile phone while in a car and also free from liability when get caught holding a handheld device while driving. Here in the UK, it's a 3 point penalty ( 6 points will get you back to a learner status).

Newer model of cars now includes bluetooth enabled services as a standard. For the older models, having it fitted with a well known company costs hundreds, even upgrading the radio with built in bluetooth can be expensive, and would not be a good option if you have already a good sound system installed.  Example below:

 Using a standalone bluetooth receiver can be a good option but  in the long run, it is not a good investment especially when it's battery will no longer charge, as the price of a new rechargeable battery is not far from the unit itself.

Practical Option

The most practical option is to buy a bridge between the handheld device and the car stereo system. Most of these devices do not need batteries as they use the car's 12volts cigarette port.

Bluetooth Receiver With FM Transmitter 

I have been using this bluetooth receiver device(similar pic above) since I have started my oncall rota about 6 years if I am not mistaken. This is made in China and I can tell that this is the most useful and sturdiest device I have bought yet from there. It is still functioning and meets well my expectations.The device also has a remote control which I do not really need.

The bluetooth device is so easy to connect and use. Once it is plugged in into the cigarette port of your  car, it is already ready to be paired without touching any button. Get to the bluetooth function of your phone and click to search for new device. The default pairing code for most China made devices is 0000.

The way it function is, when connected to a bluetooth mobile device, the call function of the connected device is transferred to the bluetooth receiver, the bluetooth receiver  then broadcasts the voice data it receives into the car stereo by sending it into the same FM frequency as it is being transmitted. I usually set my bluetooth device to broadcast at 88.1FM and I have saved station 88.1FM in one of the stereo's preset buttons. You can choose any stations you like as long as there is nothing broadcasting to those frequencies.

Another wow factor for this device is it can play WMA and MP3 music. It has a slot for USB and SD Card for this purpose. It has also a built in mic you can use when making a call. If the unit detects a USB device, it plays the detected compatible files continuously, with the remote control, you can play randomly and can select equalizer presets. The music stops playing when you receive a call, just press the phone call icon to answer the call. The music then will automatically resumes when the call is ended! The same when making a call, dial from your mobile, the music stops when your call is being connected and the music resumes after ending the conversation.

Tips  On Using Bluetooth Receiver and FM Transmitter with MP3 Function

The device I own plays music from the root directory only and I do not know if newer models can play music within folders. So I would suggest to place all your music at the root directory level. 

I would also suggest to use  smaller capacity of USB Stick or SD card. 1GB would do. For the reason that, it is easier to navigate the music with fewer files especially when they are all in the root directory. If  your device can read within folders then bigger capacity is a better option.

Enable "authorise this device" or "remember this device" function, if your mobile phone has this option when connecting into the Bluetooth receiver. This is to automatically connect your mobile into the bluetooth device when you start your car.

Bluetooth Receiver and FM Transmitter
The price starts from £12, delivered to your door. This is from ebay. Similar price is also available from amazon, but at the time of this posts, here are the deals below. Check out the sites

From Amazon

From Ebay


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