Motorola Bluetooth car kit

Tom

I am a FH squatter
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Dec 22, 2003
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Following on from my experiences with the new Motorola A835, I thought I'd let you know about the new in car kit I've just bought to go with it. I installed it tonight. The picture on that website is not quite the same as the actual unit, the buttons are arranged slightly differently, and the cable exit can be routed different ways, like a PC keyboard cable.

I've been using a Nokia CARK91 for a few years now, which basically consists of a cradle, speaker, microphone, and base unit (which is hidden behind the dash). When you make a call, or receive a call, it automatically mutes the car radio (it even pauses the tape/cd), and you can drive along having a conversation without having to hold the phone. It will also charge the phone while sat in the cradle.

This new kit does the same, but more. It doesn't include a cradle, so it won't charge the phone, but you can have the phone in your pocket and it will automagically interface with it. Basically, this is how it works:

Install the kit (not too difficult, if you've wired a car stereo, this will be a doddle)
Switch the phone's bluetooth facility on
Set the car kit to transmit bluetooth 'hello' signal
Make the phone scan for bluetooth devices
When the phone finds the car kit, make it a paired device (usually automatic)
Enter the pin code (in the car kit manual)

Now, the phone is linked to the carkit. It will work with up to three phones, so you don't have to worry about it automatically linking up with somebody elses phone who happens to be walking past the car, because you have to program it for each phone individually.

The device is quite clever, in that it also has voice recognition technology. Like your average mobile phone, you teach it certain commands, I've put a few common phone numbers in there already. All I do is say the person's name, and it will begin dialling the phone. Because its connected via bluetooth, the audio comes out of the carkit speaker, and you speak across a small microphone which I hid just above the A-pillar on the car.

Whats really clever is the way the unit connects and disconnects with the phone. When you wire the kit in your car, it has a permanent 12V, and a switched 12V. When you turn the radio on, or the ignition on, the unit automatically scans for your phone. It then finds it, and interfaces with it to take your calls on the car kit. When you turn the engine off, the unit breaks the connection. If you're making a call, and you turn the engine off, it will let the call continue on the car kit. I've not yet figured out how to pick up the phone and leave the car mid-conversation, although I'm sure its just the press of a button.

It also has an auto-gain, to vary the volume of the speaker with the external noise, so if you drive faster, it gets louder. The buttons are nice and big, very easy to use, and it goes completely dark when the car is turned off, so no thieves can see it.

Its primarily for my new phone, but it works with any bluetooth enabled phone, so its pretty much futureproof. Now all I need to do is buy a cheap cradle/charger, so the phone can charge while I'm driving :)
 

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