Car Mount, Car Charger, & FM Transmitter for under $20!

Discussion in 'Android Accessories' started by nmcooke, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. nmcooke
    Offline

    nmcooke New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    For those of you looking for an alternative to paying $60 for a car charger ($29) and car mounting kit ($29) from Verizon, I have found a few generic brands that work well with the Motorola Droid. Not only will you spend less money for a car charger and car mount (I paid $16.57 including shipping) but you will also get a FM transmitter to play music from your Droid through your car speakers.


    First, I purchased a generic car mounting kit from Ebay. I used the buy it now price of $7.69.


    Next, I purchased a FM Transmitter with USB port from Amazon ($5.87 used, shipping included) to use as a charger for the Droid. The FM transmitter has an USB plug to charge any USB powered device. Obviously, the FM transmitter also allows me to play music from the Droid through my car speakers.


    Finally, I purchased an extra USB to micro SD cable in order to charge my phone while in the car. Your Droid comes with one USB to micro SD cable but I'd rather have 2, one for the AC charger I keep inside, and one for the FM transmitter/charger to keep in the car




    Detailed Descriptions:


    Car Mount Holder Cradle Kit for Motorola Droid A855 = $7.69


    Car Mount Holder Cradle Kit for Motorola Droid A855 - eBay (item 280422130688 end time Jan-10-10 01:56:23 PST)


    The car mounting kit works better than expected. Suction cup is very secure and the phone clamps in very securely. There is a little shakiness from the mount but it's not bad enough to prevent reading the display. The mount features adjustable clamps so you can line up the clamps between the buttons on the phone. This is very nice because I can access all the buttons, including the headphone jack and charging slot while the phone is securely mounted.


    The holding arms on the mount feature a ratcheting system of sorts to hold the phone securely. Simply put the phone inside, clamp the arms until the phone is secure and the arms should lock in place. To remove the phone simply hit the release button the arms will retract allowing you to remove the phone. It appears to range from 2” minimum arm length to 4 1/2” maximum. This mount should work fine with any protective cases you've put on the Droid as the mount arms are adjustable.



    For what it's worth, if mounted horizontally (see picture of droid mounted in my car), the video camera is not blocked by the mount. Well, to be true approximately 5-10% of your scren is blocked but could be adjusted to eliminate the tiny black bar on the right side of the picture.


    The car mount did include a car vent mount, although I haven't even really tried it as I don't like having a vent blocked.






    Griffin iTrip Universal FM Transmitter and Charger for MP3 Players = $5.87


    Amazon.com: Griffin iTrip Universal FM Transmitter and Charger for MP3 Players: Electronics


    The FM transmitter works well enough. I would say it's cassette tape quality more so than CD but is definitely passable. I live in Raleigh, NC and only found about 10 or 12 stations that were primarily static and the transmitter has worked well so far.


    Worth noting, you can put the FM transmitter into international mode to get access to stations 87.7 and 87.9 which are never used in the US. The trick is whether or not your car radio can access these stations.


    The FM transmitter worked well playing Pandora or Slacker while running the GPS navigation. The song would stop when the GPS was giving me voiced directions, which was a nice feature.


    Unfortunately, the FM transmitter did NOT work for phone calls. I tried taking a phone call while using the transmitter and the voice of the person calling me was inaudible. On the bright side just switching to speaker phone worked well and the caller could hear me just fine. Looks like the Droid's speaker will have to suffice while taking calls.


    The FM transmitter does have a USB plug so you can charge any USB device (in this case my Droid), but does NOT include any USB cables.



    USB Data Charge Sync Cable for Motorola Droid A855 / CLIQ = $3.01


    Amazon.com: USB Data Charge Sync Cable for Motorola Droid A855 / CLIQ: Cell Phones & Service


    I tested this cable today along with the cable that came with my Droid. It may have just been my imagination but the cable purchased online seemed to make the FM transmitter plug that goes into the cigarette light very warm. I'll need a little more time on the road to fully test but the online purchase cable seemed fine when plugged into the AC adapter.


    It should be noted though, that the USB cable only seemed to be maintaining a charge as opposed to charging the phone. When I plugged the cable in initially the phone was reading 90% charged. On a half hour outing using GPS navigation and Pandora the whole time, the phone was reading 90% charged after I finished my drive.


    Considering I paid a grand total of $16.57 (including shipping) for these items, I highly recommend considering one if not all of the items.


    Following is a link for a youtube video I shot with the Droid in low resolution (MMS) in the car mount. Sure you could adjust the mount so as to get a wider view:




    if the link doesn't work do a youtube search for "vid taken with droid in mount".






    I will update the reliability of the these products and keep you all posted on any concerns/issues down the road.



    Enjoy!


    PS. The picture of the Fed Ex truck and motorcycle was taken with my droid mounted in my car, as you can see there is a small amount of white on the far right side of the picture which is the car mount. Adjusting the droid to eliminate this shouldn't be too tough. All other pictures were taken with my Canon digital camera.

    Attached Files:

  2. jlnguyen
    Offline

    jlnguyen Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    FL
    Ratings:
    +0
    Yay! I was looking for a FM transmitter for the droid! This seems perfect, thanks a TON for this post. As soon as I saw that this would work with the droid AND charge it at the same time, I bought it immediately. :)
  3. Slighter
    Offline

    Slighter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Chicago
    Ratings:
    +0
  4. DJTURNz
    Offline

    DJTURNz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0
    I seem to remember someone mentioning an app that would run continuous video and buffer like 30 seconds of it. The idea being, that if something happened directly infront of you, you could hit the record button and it would start 30 seconds before you push the button.
    It had to be a thread on here somewhere, because this is my DROID world.
    Does anybody know what that app is? I bought an "accessory bundle" on eBay for $20, that came with a similar car dock, plus a USB, a car charger, a home charger, a DROID sock, earbuds w/ mic and a cheap pleather belt case. I had mine mounted to the windshield of my truck and it bounces a good bit. I'm thinking any vids I took would just make you throw up.
  5. lofmarks
    Offline

    lofmarks New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
  6. mikespe
    Offline

    mikespe Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +5
  7. lofmarks
    Offline

    lofmarks New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Where on the mount should the magnet be placed?
    Thank you for the reply!
  8. nmcooke
    Offline

    nmcooke New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Follow up.

    Quick follow-up after using the combo for a while.

    The usb charger coming out of the fm transmitter generally ONLY keeps the Droid at current battery level. It won't charge the phone over whatever percentage you started at if you're using it (in other words using Nav system and streaming music).

    AKA - If your Droid is at 50% battery charge and you drive around for 2 hours using the Navigation and streaming music your Droid will be at 50% when you unplug the phone. (I recently made a 5 hour road trip to the mountains and the phone maintained charge throughout, may have dropped from 50% to 40%).

    The mount is holding up fine but one of the four adjustable arms is a little flimsy. Still holds the phone fine.

    The Droid can EASILY be adjusted to allow full picture/video capability!

    Lastly, the FM transmitter gets a rating of B+ so far. Usually pretty static free although there seems to be some distortion on certain songs. Usually harder, distortion based music seems worse. I've found setting the phone volume to 3/4 instead of 100% often helps.

    Enjoy. For the price I still give the combo 2 thumbs up.
  9. nmcooke
    Offline

    nmcooke New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Oh, by the way:

    The mount will NOT put the Droid in Nav mode automatically. I'm not sure that I would want it to.

    Secondly, the FM transmitter does get rather HOT while using the USB plug to charge the phone. The actual plug that goes into the cigarette lighter is what gets warm. I seemed to find using the USB cable supplied with my Droid didn't make the FM transmitter as hot as the USB cable purchased online (might have just been my imagination).
  10. tjoebgen
    Offline

    tjoebgen Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    cool - your mount is about $1 cheaper than the GTMax unit I bought online from BargainCell. Also bought 3 packages of car and ac chargers with cable ($3 ea) from them - amazing deal. I put the FM transmitter in my Amazon cart and might buy that now. Thanks a heep!
  11. mole'
    Offline

    mole' Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    San Diego (619)
    Ratings:
    +0
    i like that idea.
  12. nmcooke
    Offline

    nmcooke New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    USB charger portion of FM transmitter may have met it's maker. I'll keep you guys posted.
  13. Smeech
    Offline

    Smeech Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Fremont, Ca
    Ratings:
    +2
    Thanks. Even at $10 now, the FM transmitter is a good deal (free shipping). The cord is currently $.02 plus $2.98 shipping.
  14. nmcooke
    Offline

    nmcooke New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    FM Transmitter Bit The Dust.

    ABOUT A WEEK AGO THE FM TRANSMITTER STOPPED WORKING DUE TO HEAT!

    So it turns out overheating the FM transmitter did become a problem over time.

    I noticed one day that the phone wasn't charging and upon further inspection noticed that the plastic casing that plugs into the cigarette lighter was slightly warped, no doubt due to the heat of the device.

    The FM transmitter still works, but will cut off every minute or two. It has a built in feature where it will turn off if there is no audio signal, and apparently this feature got screwed up with the overheating.

    All in all it lasted about 2 months with heavy use.

    Anyone else purchased one of these and noticed the extreme heat generated? Trying to decide if I want to buy another one or hold out for another option.
  15. funken
    Offline

    funken Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Aspen, CO
    Ratings:
    +0
    I bought the same one you did and it cuts out periodically for me too, although I haven't been using the charger. I have to change the station on the transmitter to get it going again, which is very annoying. Why is it turning off? Also, I live in a cold climate and the screen on the transmitter has become discolored after a month or so.

    Any better transmitter options?
Search tags for this page
1st gen griffin itrip hack
,
best car fm transmitter charger with mount#gsc.tab
,
best fm transmitter under 20
,
car charger dock to put phone right on cigarette charger
,

car charger fm transmitter android

,
cell phone fm tramsmitter for droid charge
,
nexus 4 car charger cradle transmitter
,
universal car holder fm transmitter
,
universal cell phone car mounts with fm transmitter
,

window mount fm transmitter android