Saturday, January 13, 2018

Flawless Smartphone to Car Speaker Connection via FM

This is primarily a shout out to frustrated users of Audi TT's who forked out  over 1500 GBP for a DVD & GPS Navigation unit for their car.

In technical terms I'm talking about the 2nd Generation, Type 8J car which ran from 2006 - 2014.  And the unit is the RNS-E 2010 version

No Upgrades
It's actually widespread, so most motor manufacturers are at it.   At the time of sale they sell you a very expensive GPS/ Radio Unit that they never upgrade.

Our Audi unit has Bluetooth link capability to a Phone for the purposes only of a phone call.  Then in the glove box is an Audi Music Interface box with a set of cables to connect from the AMI junction box to your iPhone, Android Phone etc.

Since the Firmware is upgrade-able, wouldn't it be a great idea Audi to produce a new firmware allowing Bluetooth communication from your Smartphone to the Unit for Music and Telephone calls?

But NO!

False Starts
In principle somebody can manufacture an AMI cable to Bluetooth adapter.  Then you would pair your Smartphone with the adapter and the music signal would then enter the AMI interface in the standard wired way.

Except that 2 duff purchases late, one shown above, their solutions simply did not work.

The FM Transmitter Answer

After a tipoff from a friend  (thanks Richard!) I ordered a Bluetooth to FM transmitter for under 10GBP from Amazon.  Here

The simple idea is that this Cigarette Lighter powered device links to your smartphone via Bluetooth and then transmits the signal to your radio on an adjustable frequency between 106 - 108 MHz.

For me it worked first time, and my biggest worry, namely the quality is banished.   The musical quality transmitted is excellent.  (Keep the volume high though. And if I don't additionally want to charge my phone  I can keep my phone in my pocket.

It is just bloody marvelous!

But wait, there is more:

- The device has 2 USB sockets A and B and these can fast charge your phone
- Socket B can accept a USB stick and play .mp3 files from it.
- The gadget has a built in microphone so if someone calls you, then you speak to that microphone with the output being routed (via the radio) to your car's speakers.
- There is a way to pause output by tapping the button, or to select the previous and next track

The Manual

Pretty good right!

In ConclusionTo repeat for the less than 10 GBP I paid   (special Amazon deal, down from 12 GBP)  this is surely the bargain of the month to me.   And of course this can be used on any car, Audi or not,  you just need your car to have a radio (!) and a cigarette Lighter socket.   Absolutely marvellous.