I was just telling my coworker this morning how my iPod FM transmitter apparently stopped working. I can barely hear the music while dialed to 87.7FM. There was a strong station on 87.9FM, but I tried getting it to work over a 32 mile trip and it was 99% static with barely audible music in the background. I actually only used this iPod FM transmitter once, and was going to write a review on it, but I must have forgotten, so it sat in my winter hibernating Viper for the past 8 months.
While cleaning the car I realized I had forgotten about this little gadget, so I took it to work with me in my 3000GT. Unfortunately, as previously stated, the iPod FM transmitter barely worked. It made me wonder if perhaps my 3000GT's radio antenna (located in back of the car) is too far from the iPod FM transmitter? When the FM transmitter was working in the Viper, I wonder if it worked because the Viper has its antenna built into the window, so it was literally only 2 feet away from the iPod FM transmitter plugged into the cigarette lighter. If indeed the 3000GT's FM/AM antenna is too far from the FM transmitter, then that is one WEAK transmitter! Must be those damn FCC rascals limiting the power output...
I'm not naming this particular iPod FM Transmitter by name (yet) since I want to do some more tests first - like re-test it in the Viper when I get home.
Ironically, after discussing my iPod FM transmitter woes, I received an email just a few hours later that states:
I did some "googling" of this iPod FM transmitter, but can't seem to find it anywhere on the web, including their own website - http://www.sakar.com. It must be so damn new, their own webmasters haven't even updated their website! LOL! Anyway, I've asked for an eval unit and a photo, which I will post here once I get it.
Well, I tried my iPod FM transmitter in the Viper and the static/interference disappeared and the audio quality was perfect. I'm using a NewerTech iPod FM Transmitter (87.9FM model) which apparently is the same frequency as a very powerful local radio station also located on 87.9FM. The reason why it worked in the Viper is the close proximity to the wire antenna in the window vs. the external power antenna in the 3000GT located in the rear of the vehicle. I've talked with other users of the NewTech iPod FM transmitter and they have had no problems with it since they are using the 107.7FM model which is pretty much unused in the Tri-State area.
Moral of the story: Try your radio first before buying an iPod FM transmitter and pick a station with the weakest signal (most static) - you'll get the least amount of interference that way.
I've compiled a comprehensive list of iPod FM transmitters, including excellent ones from Griffin and Belkin., who are respected iPod accessory manufacturers. Check it out
Update #2 - 3/28/05
Hot off the presses! I just got photos of the new Sakar International's iConcepts 3 in 1 car kit, so I thought I'd share them below:
Here are some other cool iPod FM Transmitters
worth reviewing before you buy: