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01-19-2009, 05:09 PM #1BT-IPOD-236/8bananas BD-906/iO-Play iO-BTAPODC "charge-through" A2DP/AVRCP adapters
These three devices are all exactly the same thing:
Bluetooth Transmitter iPod Touch Classic BT-IPOD-236 - eBay (item 230302643977 end time Oct-28-08 12:59:28 PDT)
8Bananas : iPod and iPhone Bluetooth Accessories Experts
Charge & Play iPod and iPhone Bluetooth music streaming adaptor. Stereo Bluetooth dongle
BONUS! I also cover the MacSense BlueICE BTi-600 as it is the only other charge-through adapter I know of, but it isn't the "exact" same.
What are they? They are Bluetooth A2DP/AVRCP converters with a charge pass-through connector (miniUSB) so that you can still charge your iPod/iPhone while they are in use (and adding additional power-drain, I might add!). I found the BT-IPOD-236 on eBay, which appears to be the only place it exists in the US, though you can import the BD-906 and iO-BTAPODC.
Though there are a wealth of A2DP/AVRCP adapters, the only similar device I found was the MacSense BlueICE BTi-600:
Macsense BlueICE Transmitter BTi-600
Unfortunately, it does not appear to work properly with the iPhone/iphone 3G. I had to insert it about 20 times to get it to work each time I wanted to use it. If you want to try it, I found it at Fry's for $20 (Duluth, GA). It used to be $40 or $50 and now the price sticker says "FM transmitter," so I think it's a price-mistake (they do make a similar-looking FM transmitter). The BD-905 and iO-BTAPOD, the predecessors to the BD-906 and the iO-BTAPODC, do not have a charge-through feature but they appear almost identical to the BlueICE transmitter in every other way. when I could get it to work, cellular interferance was much more noticable and it appeared to be more delicate. The one positive thing I have to say about it was that it had a stealthed button for pairing/syncing while the others use a convoluted method involving the iPod app/interface.
Oh yeah, this was supposed to be all about those "others" but I started talking about the wrong one. Here we go:
That "convoluted" method isn't so convoluted on a traditional iPod, but the iPod Touch and iPhone can do so much else that it is strange that you have to start playing music from the iPod interface/library in order to establish a connection and start using it. The iPhone in particular also requires you to first dismiss the "not made for iPhone" prompt to use it. Yeah, so If you are listening to Pandora Radio and you want to start listening on your stereo Bluetooth headphones, you have to plug the adapter in, leave the Pandora app, launch the iPod app, and press "Play" (by default, the mini-player shortcut doesn't work unless it is already playing something). Only THEN will the device "come alive" and start blinking as it looks for the device you last paired it with. If you are switching to a different A2DP device, expect to wait a long while before it moves into pairing mode (at least 30 seconds before it gives up). There is no easy way to switch between multiple devices because it doesn't appear to remember anything but the last device it was paired with. The real problem is that other devices that have been paired with it will "see" it and act like they are already paired, leaving you no choice but to delete all pairing data and lose the ability to switch THAT device easily between two or more A2DP sources (my Parrot SK-4000 Bluetooth motorcycle helmet kit for example). If *all* your devices allow you to selectively delete devices you have paired with in the past, this may not be as much of a problem for you.
Don't expect AVRCP (Audio Video Remote Control Profile) to let you manage your backgraound music while you do other things with your phone. If you Play/Pause or skip tracks while using the Maps app for GPS, expect to be dumped back to the iPod interface. If a call comes through, even though the iPhone issmart enough to pause you music, your typical A2DP headset with HSP/HFP (Headset Profile/Handsfree Profile) will send a "PAUSE" signal also. Because the iPhone does not have native A2DP/AVRCP, it receives a "PAUSE" signal through the dock connector and it behaves differently than native A2DP/AVRCP phones would... expect it to dump you to the iPod interface just as you are trying to see who's calling or manage the call, because that's exactly what it'll do (thanks alot Apple ).
Once you have started it up in the iPod interface, you can stop it, exit, and it'll stream all the other audio from your phone or iPod Touch over A2DP just fine, but DON'T expect AVRCP to work for anything BUT music. Trying to skip tracks in Pandora Radio is just going to dump you into the iPod interface.
Strangely, I don't remember having either of these problems when I tried the Sony TMR-BT8iP A2DP/AVRCP adapter, but I may have had an earlier firmware on my iPhone 3G. Even so, there's no way I can use the phone as a stereo and GPS on my motorcycle with the extra drain of a typical A2DP/AVRCP adapter, so charge-through was a "must-have" feature for me (I wired it up). Regardless, I can't try it anymore for two reasons: I'm on the other side of the country (moved to San Diego) and my 16GB white iPhone 3G died on the trip over (suspected water damage... it was COLD!).
This should have shipped with a charger because, with an iPhone 3G, it doesn't work with the standard 500mA/.5A that USB provides. For all intents and purposes, iPhone 3G owners can only use the wall plug. Oh, yeah, the iPhone 3G on it's own can charge with 500mA, but that is because the battery controller can see a USB host and allows it. When there is no USB host, it expects 1,000mA/1A, just like the wall-charger, but *usually* seems OK with 500mA. With the extra 80mW power draw of the A2DP adapter, it just can't cut it. It might look like it's charging but, unless it's nearly full already, it will switch to "plugged in" (but not charging) within a few minutes and continue draining. Even using a regular USB charge/sync cable without the adapter, the phone does this with some wall chargers. I had an older Griffin Power Duo kit (the newer ones are black and say "Made for iPhone"). So it's not the adapter's fault, but they shouldn't have been so quick to claim iPhone 3G compatibility without giving you the proper chargers and cables.
The ONLY 1000mA charger I could find in stores cost more than the damned adapter ($30 at Wal-Mart or Fry's Electronics)! The Belkin "Dual Auto" charger has both a standard and a "QuickCharge" port where, you guessed it, "QuickCharge" is the 1000mA port for iPhone 3G. The iPhone 3G isn't the only device that draws more than the USB standard-spec 500mA. Typically, USB HDDs have an order-form for a Y-cable or additional USB cable to power them if your PC or laptop can't provide enough power (sometimes they are free with proof-of-purchase). A Y-cable with two 500mA USB ports should work if you have one, but I've never seen them in stores. I did find 1000mA/1A chargers cheaply on eBay and Chinese sites (DealExtreme/VolumeRate) but I didn't have the time to order them.
Be careful when looking for a charger because many multi-port chargers total the output of all ports when listing the specs. For example, a dual-port charger with two 500mA ports will call itself a "1,000mA" charger!
Last edited by CZroe; 01-19-2009 at 10:00 PM.
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08-21-2009, 03:45 PM #2io play poblem
I have a question which seems very simple compared to your post above.
I just got an ipod classic and got an io play and adaptor fitted to my car. Worked fine first time - eventually - but io play doesn't seem to be picking up the music. adaptor is flashing slow blue light which supposedly means that it's connected. ignition is on, volume turned up. it's like the io play isn't recognising the ipod, but the ipod adaptor thinks everything is fine. Any suggestions?
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10-11-2009, 07:41 AM #3