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Bionic GPS dock

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by John_Roger, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. John_Roger

    John_Roger Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I was thrilled to to find out that the phone will go into the dock with my case on it, not to happy that it will not activate dock mode with the case :-( I have the cheap plastic one from Verizon. Does anybody have a case that will work with the dock?

  2. Blasek

    Blasek Member

    I have one of the gel cases sold by Verizon and mine works.... I just have to push down a bit to get it to activate tou.
  3. biker128pedal

    biker128pedal Member

    Did you take out the insert? I thought with the insert removed there would be more room for a case.
  4. John_Roger

    John_Roger Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    It fits fine, it just wont go into GPS mode with the case on. I have the gel case also.
  5. dragma

    dragma Well-Known Member

    I have found that even when you think you have it all the way in, there is a small amount more that it needs to go. I have the gel case as well, and it works on mine.
  6. messenger13

    messenger13 Android Expert

    That's what she said.
  7. jimdibb

    jimdibb Member

    You have to have power applied to the dock when the phone is inserted in order for it to go into car dock mode.
  8. Tosa90

    Tosa90 Well-Known Member

    Not true.

    Im sitting in my truck right now and just tried it without a plug attached and it went into car mode. I ask using the shell.

    I did have to give it a small amount of pressure downward to activate the car mode.
  9. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert

    Or have no charger connected to the dock at all.
  10. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    Dock is just like before - activated by the magnet housed in the dock itself and the sensor built into the phone. If you cover is too thick for the magnet to activate the sensor, or to allow for proper alignment to allow for activation, then it will not work.

    Those with silicon covers should be able to press more firmly, but with non-flexible materials like hard plastic, you may just be out of luck.

    I bought the shell holster combination and it doesn't seem to work - but I forgot to try without the insert....
  11. John_Roger

    John_Roger Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I tried it unlugged, but It did work without the case and unplugged. I have this case in black

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  12. jimdibb

    jimdibb Member

    Yeah, I tried it again today and it didn't seem to matter much whether it was plugged in or not.
  13. CKwik240

    CKwik240 Well-Known Member

    I'm not so sure its magnetically activated. Perhaps not solely operated by a magnet. I tried putting magnets up to the back of my phone and couldn't seem to trigger it. The Xoom used the data terminals to signal that it was in a dock so that it would allow the charging terminals to become active. Something similar could be in place here.
  14. Tosa90

    Tosa90 Well-Known Member

    I agree. It's not using magnets. It seems to be using the USB port to determine what is plugged into it. This would explain how it knows when it's connected to all of the different docks when there is no backplate to hold a magnet with the WebTop Adapter, Lapdock, and HD/Standard Desk Docks. It provides a small amount of power to the dock and uses that to determine what kind of dock it is and what to do.
  15. CKwik240

    CKwik240 Well-Known Member

    I would have thought it would be a passive signal, but with the HD desktop dock, it will go in and out of dock mode as I insert and remove the power plug. I'll have to test again with the car dock later.

    This brings up an interesting thought though. The HD desktop dock would also provide some sort of signal to trigger the desktop mode. Its also able to pass an audio signal through the USB port as well. When I had a Xoom, I tore open the HD dock and can verify the audio signal was definitely passing through the USB. I'm going to assume the Bionic Docks are similar in this regard. This begs the question: Might we be able to pass the audio through the Car Dock's USB using the appropriate hardware. This could allow those who have an Aux-in in their cars but no BT to avoid having to plug the 3.5mm jack each time they get into the car. I was planning to buy a male microusb jack soon for some other testing I've been wanting to do, but I might have to pick up a female end for a few quick tests. I don't have much motivation to go beyond that as I have put BT in all my cars, and I would almost be tempted to remove BT from 2 of the cars and sell them off, but the GF's Dinc likely wouldn't have the capability to connect the same way then. Still, the audio quality would be nicer and I do recall the phone call quality over the aux-in and using my DX's mics being much better than that of any of the BT units I have.

    I'm picturing that if this can work, it can be a simple circuit the usb-a end of the cable can simply plug into allowing nothing more than a single cable to go up to the car dock.
  16. jimdibb

    jimdibb Member

    Look at the manual that came with the dock. it shows the cable and charger you need.
    Gating that cable has proven difficult so far. I hear the Droid3 and Motorola branded dock come with it.
  17. CKwik240

    CKwik240 Well-Known Member

    Ha. I guess I should read the instructions.

    I actually saw this post last night and searched around a bit on the tpoic on my tablet and I concur, it appears it is difficult to get just the cable. Perhaps not even currently possible. And it does indeed appear to only come with the Motorola branded versions of the car dock. Which sucks since they are putting MSRP at $60. Amazon had it for $55. Still pricey compared to the $30 I paid for each of mine using the 25% off deal.

    Regardless, I'm not sure the cable is ideal anyways. I would have preferred they stick a male 3.5mm jack on the end of that. The way they have it, you need to use an intermediate cable or a male to male adapter. Just feels like it could create an unnecessary bundle of wires near the radio. Still, I'd love to get a hold on one just to see how they did wire it.

    I also noticed HTC had something similar available for some of their phones. It has me wondering if this might work on the Incredible. If so, I might ditch BT on my cars and just use the Aux-in. It would certainly eliminate a few problems we have had. Namely, I was following my girlfriend from her parents on night and she couldn't get her phone to connect to the car she was driving. Meanwhile, Pandora kept mysteriously pausing and unpausing on my phone. We didn't realize my phone was connected to both cars until we got home and she told me she was having issues connecting.
  18. amageus

    amageus Android Enthusiast

    I bought the GPS dock as well as the shell/holster from VZW. I have no issues with it not going to Car Dock. The phone with the shell doesn't sit properly and I have to push down some to get it to switch to Card Dock. Also the power button doesn't line up but that's not a big issue. I'm also using some unknown micro USB charger I've been using for my OG Droid. Also using the supplied 3.5mm audio cable. Works fine for phone calls and Pandora.
  19. jimdibb

    jimdibb Member

    Depends on where you're starting from. It might not be typical, but the aux on my ( aftermarket) car radio is a male 3.5 plug. So the moto cord is perfect.

    My concern would be that it functions like the headphone jack in terms of audio routing, especially for speakerphone calls.

  20. HotDawg

    HotDawg Android Enthusiast

    I have no cover at all.
    Mine wouldn't go into Dock mode the other day - my charge cord was not plugged in. I need to play with both and see if it makes a difference.

    I am using a Moto charge cord that I had for my OGD.

    Also, when it was in Car Dockmode - I no longer have voice search in maps? WTH happened to that? It certainly is NOT handsfree this way. Very annoying.
  21. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    Mea cupla - it's not magnetically activated, unless the magnet is the actual micro-USB connector itself.

    Also, I have the Shell / Holster combination, and it fits both my docks and activates the respective Dock mode. The fit is a bit tight, but it fits.
  22. Flash408

    Flash408 Newbie

    I too have this problem, I get no audio when I finally get the car mode to start. Navigation, Pandora, TuneIn radio...nothing. How is this supposed to be handsfree?
  23. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    Car Dock is working flawlessly for me. Might want to check the pins on the micro USB connector - perhaps one of them is acting funky or broken or bent?

    I've put my BIONIC in the car dock with and without extended battery and with and without the holster part of the shell / holster combo case into the dock, and only with the shell part on have I had any difficulties - and that was that the phone tends to lean forward, so the locking mechanism does not fully lock until you press the phone backward and then lock it.

    If nothing else, take your car dock to a VZW store and test it with a store model - if it works, phone is screwy - if not, dock is.
  24. CKwik240

    CKwik240 Well-Known Member

    I don't disagree. For me though, my truck's factory aux-in is a female port not far from the 12 volt jack. On one of my other cars, I didn't bother wiring up the aux-in as I didn't have a use for it, but in the other one, I added a female aux-in jack to the console under the ash tray. I try to minimize how many wires are hanging around when I can.

    I have since bought and received a Motorola branded car dock so I can experiment a little with the cable. Did some quick tests and it turns out the cable doesn't work at all (For audio or charging) unless its plugged into the car dock. I tried plugging it into my old DX as well and same result. I also tried plugging the cable into the DX car dock and still no dice. Of course, it works fine when plugged into the back of the Bionic Car Dock. Bummer. But the extra dock might workout for me anyways. When I was using the DX, I had my 2nd desktop dock modified with the magnet flipped to activate the car mode so I can use it for media while at my desk. So I'll just use this extra dock at my desk instead. Its easier to remove the Bionic from the car dock than the desktop dock anyways.
  25. lewwill

    lewwill Well-Known Member

    I have the shell/holster case and it fits in the car dock fine with the insert removed. I am using my DX auto recharge cable with the dock. The only problem is the cord in back of the micro usb plug is too thick to fit in the groove but it works fine.

Motorola Droid Bionic Forum

The Motorola Droid Bionic release date was September 2011. Features and Specs include a 4.3" inch screen, 8MP camera, 1GB RAM, TI OMAP 4430 processor, and 1735mAh battery.

September 2011
Release Date

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