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Old January 14th, 2011, 09:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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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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Old January 14th, 2011, 11:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Do you have a link to the car dock you use?
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Old January 15th, 2011, 12:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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that bb thing is an awesome find. i had no idea they made such a thing.

the only thing i would consider...it's actually not hard to run a poer supply from below the dash, through the panels on most cars to the phone mounted on the windshield.

that is the only thing i can think of that might make it cleaner, less visible wires.

again..major kudos on that bluetooth thing. gonna pick up one for the fiancee's car
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Old January 15th, 2011, 02:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Just for my info... exactly where does the car dock connect to? I know it hooks up to the micro USB on the phone but what is on the other end of the wire and where does it go to?
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Old January 16th, 2011, 05:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i as well would like to know what dock you are using, the one i found was $60 and for some reason you cant mount your sd card while it is in the dock, witch is lame since i use my phone as my ipod and want to listen to music in my car.

but great post, i am getting a ton of great ideas thanks to the BB gateway
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Old January 16th, 2011, 09:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What do you mean you can't mount the SD card while it is in the dock? You mean you can not have your MicroSD inside your EVO when you are using your car dock? If so, that is totally not only useless but completely inconvenient. Why would that be?
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Old January 17th, 2011, 01:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i mean that when you put it in the dock, it has a built in charger that plugs into the phone but for some reason when its plugged in the phone acts as if you are using it as a disk drive and you cant access any of your media or anything through your phone. so if you wanted to hook up your phone to your headunit you wont be able to get to your music on your sd card..... freakin LAME! and like i said its $60! way too expensive for a usless p.o.s. dock
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Old January 17th, 2011, 11:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by thall1621 View Post
i mean that when you put it in the dock, it has a built in charger that plugs into the phone but for some reason when its plugged in the phone acts as if you are using it as a disk drive and you cant access any of your media or anything through your phone. so if you wanted to hook up your phone to your headunit you wont be able to get to your music on your sd card..... freakin LAME! and like i said its $60! way too expensive for a usless p.o.s. dock
Do you have Winamp installed? If so, open Winamp, press Menu and click on Options, and uncheck the first box (auto mount SD card when USB is plugged in...).

Otherwise, go to Settings-->Connect to Computer and change data transfer to charge only.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 05:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sorry about the delay. Busy weekend. Anyway, this is the dock I'm using: Sprint - All Accessories. It secures to the windshield very strongly, and it isn't very bulky. I really like it.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 05:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sorry about the delay. Busy weekend. Anyway, this is the dock I'm using: Sprint - All Accessories. It secures to the windshield very strongly, and it isn't very bulky. I really like it.
Besides charging the phone, what other function does the micro USB connection perform? I guess it tells the phone to launch the various apps but can you connect it to, perhaps, the USB port in your car stereo and stream Pandora to your car speakers and hear your navigation, cell calls, etc through your car speakers? Stream your MP3 to your car stereos?
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Old January 17th, 2011, 10:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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My in car setup here:

Head units lets see em. - Page 4 - Dodge Durango Forum and Dodge Dakota Forums

In answer to the above question; I am using an AT&T charge only cable. This allows BT to turn on automatically when connected to power, and uses the AD2P receiver to steam whatever I want over the system. BT calls are routed through the built in BT on the deck.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 03:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I decided against a BT car stereo. Just got a HU with USB and AUX inputs but no BT. I just connect through the AUX port for streaming, playing MP3 and cell calls...but only for longer drives. For short drives, Im not listening to my MP3 or streaming Pandora - instead, I'm listening to my radio or whatever is in my USB flash drive and I don't connect the wire to AUX. If I were sure that the cell call quality was great, I would have gone with a HU with BT...but I have read very mixed reviews about cell call quality with HU's with MIC on the dash.... Maybe if you used extended MIC over your visor? Anyway...Lots of options.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 02:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I decided against a BT car stereo. Just got a HU with USB and AUX inputs but no BT. I just connect through the AUX port for streaming, playing MP3 and cell calls...but only for longer drives. For short drives, Im not listening to my MP3 or streaming Pandora - instead, I'm listening to my radio or whatever is in my USB flash drive and I don't connect the wire to AUX. If I were sure that the cell call quality was great, I would have gone with a HU with BT...but I have read very mixed reviews about cell call quality with HU's with MIC on the dash.... Maybe if you used extended MIC over your visor? Anyway...Lots of options.
yup...hate my mic in the hu...would have bought a hu with an external mic had a known better. still trying to find a way to just wire on in on my existing unit
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Old January 18th, 2011, 10:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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How does the evo mic perform while in the dock set up like this?

I've always wanted to pick up this for the cable, but it just seems like a lot to buy just for the cable. I emailed them they wont sell it separate. Griffin Technology: WindowSeat HandsFree - Windshield or dash mount with hands-free mic
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Old January 18th, 2011, 11:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I use the built-in mic on my EVO for handsfree talking with the phone mounted similar to the link above - on a goose neck car mount. The call quality is so-so. People on the other end can hear me ok...but would be difficult with music on or window open. I am not sure how much better the quality would be with this Griffin extended mic. I'm sure you have heard people using one of these - not that great but will do in an emergency. This is the reason I didnt buy the HU with built-in BT to use for handsfree talking. If you really wanted to do extensive handsfree talking in a car, I would recommend a BT headpiece with mic....the type you wear in your ear.
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