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29 November 2009 @ 02:03 am
More car stuff  
Some more thoughts now that i've had the car for about a day and a half.

When i was driving my Rav4 i would frequently have my elbow propped up on something on the door. I'm not sure if it was the "window sill" part of the door or the "handle" part. When i first got the Prius i tried the same thing, but the door handle seemed to low and the window sil seemed too high. I remembered that the Prius has a tilty steering wheel so i tried moving it up as much as possible (shelleycat agreed that it seemed a little low where it started out.) After doing that the door handle is _really_ too low, but the window sill still seems a little too high. Maybe it's just been long enough since i drove the Rav4 that i'm not remembering the angle correctly, or maybe it's just an insoluble problem.

I'm definitely pleased with the height of the car in general. I'm sure it's actually a fair bit shorter than the Rav4 was, but it doesn't actually _feel_ much shorter when i'm driving. And when i parked it in the garage it looked a fair bit taller than my neighbor's car. Hopefully this also means i won't end up scrapping it up too much from bottoming out on dips.

I'm thinking perhaps since the stereo system has a tape deck perhaps i should get one of those tape deck audio converter things. I'm sure the sound quality isn't as good as an actual aux in plug, but it may be good enough for audiobooks, which is what i listen to in the car at least 80% of the time. If nothing else it might be a good interim fix until i figure out how to get an aux in installed.

However we finally figured out that the weird connector thing that comes out of the bottom of the dash actually seems to be an iPod connector, or at least the same type of connector the iPod uses. We tried plugging in shelleycat's iPod Touch though and it didn't seem to do anything. I read a webpage or two claiming that some adapters wouldn't work with first generation iPod Touches unless you also plugged something into the headphone jack too, but we tried that and it didn't seem to work that way either. I'm not sure if it's not actually supposed to be an audio in jack, or if it's busted, or if it doesn't actually work with iPods, or if it specifically doesn't work with iPod Touches, or if i just haven't figured out the right way to access the signal yet =P

Edit: I've found a couple posts like this one claiming that certain older dock connectors don't work with newer ipods. Newer iPods such as the iPod Touch 2g that shelleycat has. So perhaps i can buy an old used iPod and get it to work with it. Or even better, perhaps i can find something that converts the old dock connectors to an 1/8" plug.
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Pavajmpava on November 29th, 2009 10:59 am (UTC)
Well, if you want to experiment with the ipod adapter on other instances, I'll have my phone on Monday *shrug*
Kirin: Servbot-3Dkirinn on November 29th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
My experience with the tape-deck line-in converters is that the sound is ok (not anywhere near audiophile quality, but plenty decent enough for playing over traffic noise) but they break at the drop of a hat. I went through two or three before switching to a short-range FM transmitter instead, which probably sounds worse on average but has fewer moving parts and connections to come loose.

But of course, any kind of direct line-in you can get working would be far superior to either one.
balivatn: Rosebalivatn on November 29th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
I have both an older iPod and a tape adapter if you want to try them. I'll happily give you the tape adapter, since I don't need it.
Kevinbellwethr on November 29th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
I've used both tape adapters and FM transmitter solutions. Tape adapters sound fine, but you get the wires just floating around in the car. The higher end FM transmitters work really well, plus can give you a nice car mount for iPod. I use the Griffin iTrip (an older version), which sounds very decent, given the caveats that a cell phone right next to it will cause interference, and you do have to find an empty(ish) channel on which to broadcast.
Pavajmpava on November 29th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, whatever he was using in our trip to see Alex for thanksgiving worked really well. Quality seemed as good as our straight up aux-in connector through the headphone jack. The only 'issue' that came up was that he needed to swap the station once, but that was because we were going a couple hundred miles. I dunno if that'd work in LA though... I recall the frequencies are all pretty packed.
DonAithnendonaithnen on November 29th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the reason i got the new stereo with the aux in in the first place was that i was sick of having to constantly switch FM stations and/or put up with crappy audio as i drove from home to work, not to mention longer trips.

Also, i'd just had my second (or possibly third?) FM transmitter go bad. Having to get a new one every couple of years was rather annoying. As was having two devices that needed to have batteries swapped out instead of just the mp3 player.
Pavajmpava on November 29th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
Wait, I''m confused. You DO have an aux in? What's the problem then? We have an aux in and that's just a 3.5mm male to male from the headphone jack to the stereo. $5. :->

I mean, I guess it doesn't do anything fancy like control the phone for you if that's what you are trying to accomplish.

ETA: Oh, you mean your 'new' one on the old car, I assume.

ETA2: Also, I don't recall all the models of FM transmitters you have, but I remember at least one of them. Note the 'high end' part in the above post. The one he was using seemed to be quite a bit more... 'deluxe' then then one's I recall you using. I don't know that for sure and I don't know if that'd be in your price range anyway, or if that's even relevant, but it wouldn't shock me if that's one area of technology where there's quite a difference between the quality of devices. This one was a dock for the iphone/ipod that powered it (i think) and did the output at the same time. I'm not certain though.

Edited at 2009-11-29 09:09 pm (UTC)
DonAithnendonaithnen on November 29th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the new stereo in the old car, that i angsted a bit about trying to remove after it got totaled but didn't manage to do. Just as well, since it wouldn't have been compatible with the Prius.

The first FM transmitter i got i believe was $20-$30 and worked very well as long as i could find an empty station. The second one also cost $20-$30 and also worked well as long as i could find an empty station. It was a little weaker than the first one, so if traveling from one station area to another i'd usually have to switch it over a little sooner, but other than that no problem.
(Deleted comment)
Pavajmpava on November 29th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
Bah. It gets MY teeth on edge? :-P

Fine, here, lets try this: http://www.amazon.com/Cables-Go-mini-phone-stereo-shielded/dp/B0011Q9DH8/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=musical-instruments&qid=1259529049&sr=8-11. It's all of $2, so no loss if it doesn't help. ;->
DonAithnendonaithnen on November 29th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
When i got the new stereo put in for my Rav4 i just bowed to simplicity and bought the aux cable they had at the store. Since this was specifically an audio store the cable they had was a Monster cable. I probably paid at least twice what i would have had to if i'd gone to another store to find a regular cable, but it must have been shielded because i never got any kind of a whine.