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Old January 14th, 2011, 09:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
ejchis
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: MI
Posts: 110
 
Device(s): HTC EVO 4G
Carrier: Not Provided

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Default Car Setup Solution

I recently picked up the HTC car dock for my EVO, which I actually think is really handy. The problem was this:

Before I had the dock, I would plug my 3.5mm auxiliary jack into the headphone plug on the top of my EVO when I was in the car. That way I could listen to music, get navigation instructions, and have phone conversations all using my car's stereo (I have no bluetooth interface with my car stereo). I could have continued operating this way, but I have the dock suctioned to my windshield on the left side of the steering console. I have the power cord running up from the center console, which isn't ideal, but it stays plugged into the dock, so it isn't a huge problem.

I don't ever have to be messing with wires or plugs when I want the phone to be on the charger while it's in the dock, and I like that. I wanted similar convenience with my audio, and I did a lot of research to figure out a way to do that. This isn't rocket science or even all that complicated, but it actually works, so I thought I'd share in case someone else is wondering how to get a similar setup.

The Solution:

First, I picked up one of the Blackberry Remote Stereo Bluetooth Gateways from Amazon. Amazon.com: BlackBerry Remote Stereo Bluetooth Gateway for BlackBerry 8100, 8110, 8120, 8130, 8300, 8310, 8320, 8330, 8800, 8820, 8830, 9000 (Black): Cell Phones & Accessories. And I also picked up a mini-USB (not micro-USB) car charger for the Gateway.

I tested this out, and it works great. Of course, it does sync up with the EVO. But it also does both audio and phone over the stereo. I had read that many of the bluetooth audio receivers won't do both. So I was pleased with to find that the BB Gateway did.

Next I picked up a Wagan Twin USB and 12V DC Cup Holder Power Adapter. Amazon.com: Wagan Twin USB and 12V DC Cup Holder Power Adapter: Automotive. I'm using this to power both my phone charger and the BB Gateway simultaneously using the only DC outlet in my center console.

On my phone, I installed Custom Car Home. Custom Car Home - Android app on AppBrain. As well as Vlingo. Vlingo Virtual Assistant - Android app on AppBrain.

I set CCH to automatically enable bluetooth when the phone goes on the car dock and to disable when it is removed, and I set Vlingo In Car to activate when a bluetooth headset is connected (be sure to also change the Vlingo settings to not listen via bluetooth headset since the BB Gateway is just an audio receiver).

The one thing that needed to happen for everything to work properly was that the BB Gateway needed to get power AFTER bluetooth had been enabled on the phone. Easy fix there. I get in the car, put the phone on the dock, which launches CCH and enables bluetooth without a delay. Then I plug in the Wagan adapter. My phone starts to charge, and the BB Gateway starts looking to connect to my phone. In just a moment, Vlingo In Car launches. I speak out loud with the command I want the phone to do, and Vlingo will give me directions, call someone, text someone, whatever. All audio still comes over the stereo just as it had before. And, if texts or emails arrive, Vlingo reads them to me over the stereo.

This is just one more thing that makes me love Android and the EVO. I put the phone on the dock and plug in one power adapter when I get in the car, and I'm good to go.

If anyone has any recommendations for updating this setup, I would love to hear them. I know Tasker is an option to launch some of the things as well. I haven't jumped into the Tasker process yet though.

Thanks,
Eric
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