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Accessories Vehicle Dock Review (Video)

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by LateDroid, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. LateDroid

    LateDroid Member
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  2. Tennis

    Tennis Well-Known Member
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    I'd love that for autocrossing.

    But I have to use a tape adapter for my mp3s to play through my radio. So that other dongle would be pointless.
     
  3. burtonvdp

    burtonvdp Android Enthusiast
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    Thanks for the vid! I'm really thinking of getting an atrix and the dock it self isn't that big of a deal but combined with the interface that you just showed it becomes a really nice choice for the car.
     
  4. shalemail

    shalemail Android Expert
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    Nice GTO I have my car dock mounted in a 2005 MBM A4 GTO myself. Love it and the car dock is a must if you own the Atrix, too cheap and too functional not to get it.

    Nice review. 2 thumbs up!
     
  5. LateDroid

    LateDroid Member
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    thanks man! im gonna get that OBD II program and bluetooth adapter soon. should be a perfect combo
     
  6. dsmoot

    dsmoot Member
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    I've got that OBD program and a bluetooth adapter and it is fun...
    The paid version of Torque is much better than the free...
     
  7. LateDroid

    LateDroid Member
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    yes, torque, that's the one. ill be getting the paid version for sure, that's something worth buying, especially now that i have a place to mount the phone
     
  8. Evil.Bonsai

    Evil.Bonsai Android Enthusiast
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    Not pointless at all. I use a tape adapter and just plug it into the usb dongle. Works perfectly.
     
  9. dsmoot

    dsmoot Member
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    Just curious about a few things...

    Does the disk attachment just provide a smooth surface for the surface for the suction cup or does it actually replace that suction cup arm?

    The video makes it appear that there is a collar that you can tighten or loosen around the ball joint at the rear of the dock. Does that ball pop completely out of the socket on the dock? If so could you post some "separated" pics?

    Can you use a normal micro USB without the special USB dongle? I A2DP for phone audio and would not want any more cables dangling than needed.

    Does the Audio out capability work if it is not receiving power from your cigarette light? Just curious if that audio out capability is "passive" and is carrying audio on the fifth conductor of micro USB. Maybe try plugging that "dongle" cable directly into the Atrix (without the dock in between) and see if you get audio out through the dongle.

    Does the cradle seem to hold the phone firmly? Say if I rigidly mounted the cradle on my mountain bike, do you think it could vibrate the phone loose? It looked pretty sturdy in the vid.

    How the heck did you get it for $20?

    I'm jealous, going to try to find it in stock somewhere.

    David

    Update: it appears that the ATT online store has it for $40 for premier at least. Ordered with free second day shipping.
     
  10. LateDroid

    LateDroid Member
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    "Just curious about a few things...

    Does the disk attachment just provide a smooth surface for the surface for the suction cup or does it actually replace that suction cup arm?

    yes, it's just a disk to provide a smooth surface

    The video makes it appear that there is a collar that you can tighten or loosen around the ball joint at the rear of the dock. Does that ball pop completely out of the socket on the dock? If so could you post some "separated" pics?

    ill see if i can post some later. the whole thing comes apart. the ball can come completely out and the threaded wingnut can be tightened or loosened very easily.

    Can you use a normal micro USB without the special USB dongle? I A2DP for phone audio and would not want any more cables dangling than needed.

    you can use any cable, it fits in the back just like the one that's provided

    Does the Audio out capability work if it is not receiving power from your cigarette light? Just curious if that audio out capability is "passive" and is carrying audio on the fifth conductor of micro USB. Maybe try plugging that "dongle" cable directly into the Atrix (without the dock in between) and see if you get audio out through the dongle.

    yes, audio out works when it's not plugged in. before this dock i was just using the aux jack from my headunit into my phone without being plugged in, no problem

    Does the cradle seem to hold the phone firmly? Say if I rigidly mounted the cradle on my mountain bike, do you think it could vibrate the phone loose? It looked pretty sturdy in the vid.

    super sturdy, it's not going to go anywhere.

    How the heck did you get it for $20?

    Microsoft corporate discount ;)

    I'm jealous, going to try to find it in stock somewhere.

    David

    Update: it appears that the ATT online store has it for $40 for premier at least. Ordered with free second day shipping."
     
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  11. dsmoot

    dsmoot Member
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    Let me rephrase one question...

    If you plug that special cable that came with the dock directly into the Atrix, do you get audio out of that little dongle at the end of that special cable?

    I'm curious if the dock works some magic to put the audio signal onto that cable or if the Atrix itself just puts audio onto the "extra" pin not needed for USB.

    Thanks,
    David
     
  12. LateDroid

    LateDroid Member
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    ohh, no no. i show in the video that there is a separate cable for the 3.5mm jack at the end of the USB cable. that's for audio. without that, no audio
     
  13. Tennis

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    Oh, so you plug the 3.5mm jack from the adapter into the dock? That'd be nice.
     
  14. dsmoot

    dsmoot Member
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    Let me try one more time...

    The cradle came with a cable that has three heads...

    One head is micro-usb male and plugs into the cradle. The other end has two heads, one plugs into a standard USB "A" power source and one is a female 3.5mm socket for audio.

    I want to know if the cradle itself has any audio circuitry built in or if that audio signal is already coming straight out of the Atrix.

    So if you could, take that three headed cable and plug the micro-USB end directly into the Atrix (not the cradle). Then plug a pair of headphones into the 3.5mm audio socket and tell me if you get audio?

    Then repeat the test with the Atrix in the cradle but with power disconnected from the cradle.

    That way we can find out if the audio signal is always coming out of the Atrix USB, if it is only coming out when in "car dock" mode, or if somehow the car dock creates the audio stream from USB out of the Atrix.

    Thanks,
    David
     
  15. LateDroid

    LateDroid Member
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    ...gotcha...yea that's a test im gonna have to do tomorrow...
     
  16. jessie1290

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    Does anybody know of a case you can put on that will still allow you to use the car dock? The kit comes with a little tray that you are supposed to put in if you don't use a case, so I figured there should be room for one. I have the Speck case that's not very bulky, but it still won't plug in. The case isn't easy to get on and off and I'm in and out of the car quite often, so taking off the case every time isn't a good solution. I'm outside alot so I need a case on my phone all the time. The video review really made me want to run out and get one, LateDroid you should contact AT&T about some kind of commission! Thanks
     
  17. Evil.Bonsai

    Evil.Bonsai Android Enthusiast
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    Before I realized what the dongle was for, I plugged my cassette adapter straight into the heaphone out on the phone (just like I would on any mp3 player.) Worked just fine. THEN i realized what the dongle was for and plugged the adapter into that. Worked just fine. So, yes, it is exporting audio through the USB. However, you cannot plug this special cable directly into the atrix. The atrix has a mini usb port. This car dock cable uses a micro usb to plug into the dock.
     
  18. dsmoot

    dsmoot Member
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    Are you sure about what you state above? I think maybe you are mistaken. The Atrix is a Micro-USB type B Universal Serial Bus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I don't know what is on the cradle but it would be highly unusual to have a different cable for charging through the cradle than for charging directly to the Atrix.

    David
     
  19. LateDroid

    LateDroid Member
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    Hey david. I just did your test. No, with the included usb/aux cable you cannot stick the micro usb end in the phone and put headphones in the female connector on the other end. Music continues to play through the speaker. My guess is that the software enables the phone to send audio through the usb when the car dock feature ia activated.
     
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  20. Evil.Bonsai

    Evil.Bonsai Android Enthusiast
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    Correct. Was trying to use faulty memory. They are both the micro. I did find out, though, that using the cradle cable directly into my ATRIX would not charge at all. When hooking back up the cradle, using the same cable, it charged just fine. I didn't have the regular charging usb cable, so couldn't test that.
     
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  21. dsmoot

    dsmoot Member
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    Thanks guys, so one last question:
    If the Atrix is in the cradle and the three headed cable is connected to the dock but not to power, do you still get audio out the female 3.5mm jack?

    I want to know if the cradle requires power to get the Atrix to put audio out of the micro-USB plug. If it does not, that could be a cool feature the XDA guys could add in a custom ROM.

    David
     
  22. LateDroid

    LateDroid Member
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    nope, definitely does not need power. in my video i mention that the backlight goes out and locks the phone via whatever timer you have it on, but the audio still plays and all the car dock functions are available
     
  23. dsmoot

    dsmoot Member
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    That is interesting indeed...

    That means that the cradle has passive circuitry that puts the Atrix into "dock mode" and when in dock mode the Atrix pushes audio out that extra pin on the connector. It can't be any USB to Audio converter in the dock itself because that would require power.

    Can't wait for the custom ROM's to mature, this thing has potential for a lot of neat hacks.
    David
     
  24. LateDroid

    LateDroid Member
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    that's exactly what i was thinking, it has to be an extra pin that activates the car dock. must be similar to the method of the other docks out there. one type of layout for the vehicle dock, one for the regular dock, one for the multimedia dock, one for the webtop enabled docks...that's some sneaky hardware design
     
  25. pedro0223

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    Is there a way to auto enable GPS when connected to the car dock? Thanks!
     

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