iPod FM Transmitter for car: Is this still a thing?

Lose Remerswaal

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8 year old Subaru we take everywhere, the USB connection no longer works. We have an old (10?) year old iPod touch that still works fine and holds plenty of music, but can't use it thru the USB port any more. I know prior to the Subie we used an FM transmitter that plugged into the cigarette lighter -- the Subie has a cigarette lighter so we could do this, but do they still have those transmitters and has the technology improved to avoid leakage of local stations?

Or would a cigarette lighter/USB insert be a better move?


Edit: Except that won't feed to the AUX line in the entertainment system, so probably not
 
If you're really desperate, you can probably get a pretty cheap car stereo replacement - I did this for my wife's car, so that the face of the new unit had a 3.5mm jack so that you could connect her phone to the stereo with a male-to-male cable. I think it cost about £50 from a local dealer in my Scottish town.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

RIP Dernell
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Mar 24, 2008
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Is there 3.5mm aux Jack? 8 year old car should have one and you can either just get a cable or a Bluetooth to 3.5mm aux.
 

Couperin47

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You can find dozens of obscure name complete modern replacement AM/FM/CD receivers with USB/ipod for under $30 on Amazon, a better quality 'sorta name' brand like Dual will run $40, even Pioneer units can be had for under $100, add $15 bucks for the wiring harness and have a solution that's a real upgrade, not a lousy kludge.
 

jayhoz

Ronald Bartel
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Jul 19, 2005
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My 10 year old Subaru Outback has a 3.5mm Jack inside the center console. Have you checked in there? A direct 3.5mm connection or a Bluetooth adapter that connects to the car via 3.5mm is the easiest and most reliable route.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Good news!

Stopped in at You-Do-It today. Part of the reason we chose this neighborhood to live in was the nearness of YDI. Showed him my 30 pin to USB, he said that would be hard to replace. Only from Apple and expensive. Suggested instead I use a 3.5 mm (both ends) from headphone jack to car input, I sprung for the three footer for $2.25 (1 foot was $1.99) and tried it, nothing. Went back in thinking FM transmitter, 17 year old employee said "mind if I come out to your car and check it out?", so he joined me and tried his phone with the 3.5 mm attachment. Had to turn the volume on his phone WAY up, but it worked. I did the same with my iPod and it worked, so I tried that again with the original cord and it worked, too. Prefer that as it charges the iPod, too.

Literally had the iPod turned to max volume and car radio to 30, I used to have iPod at half volume and car at 15. Kid had no idea why, but "sometimes that works".

This is why I go to You-Do-It. Maybe there every 3-4 years and usually spend $20 or so on some cable, but the customer service has been excellent for decades.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

RIP Dernell
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Mar 24, 2008
4,578
Good news!

Stopped in at You-Do-It today. Part of the reason we chose this neighborhood to live in was the nearness of YDI. Showed him my 30 pin to USB, he said that would be hard to replace. Only from Apple and expensive. Suggested instead I use a 3.5 mm (both ends) from headphone jack to car input, I sprung for the three footer for $2.25 (1 foot was $1.99) and tried it, nothing. Went back in thinking FM transmitter, 17 year old employee said "mind if I come out to your car and check it out?", so he joined me and tried his phone with the 3.5 mm attachment. Had to turn the volume on his phone WAY up, but it worked. I did the same with my iPod and it worked, so I tried that again with the original cord and it worked, too. Prefer that as it charges the iPod, too.

Literally had the iPod turned to max volume and car radio to 30, I used to have iPod at half volume and car at 15. Kid had no idea why, but "sometimes that works".

This is why I go to You-Do-It. Maybe there every 3-4 years and usually spend $20 or so on some cable, but the customer service has been excellent for decades.
So what I suggested a week ago?
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Exactly. I went in there asking for that based on that suggestion. I can see that I left that out, above. I asked if there was a 30 pin to 3.5 mm option, which there wasn't, so they suggested 3.5 to 3.5 as an alternative to the USB connector.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

RIP Dernell
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Mar 24, 2008
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Wait - you chose what neighborhood to live in based on an electronics store you go to every 3-4 years?
Exactly. This is why I told my wife we can never be more than 4.5 miles from a Radio Shack. Every 10-12 years I go in and drop $0.40 on a transistor, capacitor or some wire. Come to think of it, it's been about 11 years, so we'll probably need to swing down to the local one in the next few months!
 

NortheasternPJ

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Nov 16, 2004
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Exactly. This is why I told my wife we can never be more than 4.5 miles from a Radio Shack. Every 10-12 years I go in and drop $0.40 on a transistor, capacitor or some wire. Come to think of it, it's been about 11 years, so we'll probably need to swing down to the local one in the next few months!
I’ve got some bad news. A lot of them closed last year so you may want to get in touch with a realtor. Where else in 2019 can you get gold tipped coax cables that cost 5x more?
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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Sep 9, 2006
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Exactly. This is why I told my wife we can never be more than 4.5 miles from a Radio Shack. Every 10-12 years I go in and drop $0.40 on a transistor, capacitor or some wire. Come to think of it, it's been about 11 years, so we'll probably need to swing down to the local one in the next few months!
Be sure to buy a flashing light, a 286 preloaded with Battle Chess, and a counterfeit version of Shockwave while you're there...you never know when you might need them. And some batteries, but skip the extended warranty on those.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Love where the thread has gone.

Actually, we chose the neighborhood based on our mechanic being walking distance from our house.


And the schools. But we don't have kids, so really the mechanic. And You-Do-It. I'm guessing most of you don't even know about You-Do-It except passing by it on 128. And I feel for you.
 

jayhoz

Ronald Bartel
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Jul 19, 2005
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It's a repair shop where all manner of electronics problems are welcome and are universally solved by the pimply faced Tech wiz via an incredulous point toward endless bins of doohickeys and do dads and the response "you do it".
 

gtmtnbiker

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Jul 15, 2005
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Lose Remerswaal

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Indeed. One floor has all the cables and connectors and everything else you need to build or fix any electronic device. The other floor sells those devices.

And their advice and handholding is legendary. Most of the help has been there for decades, but there are always a few if those 17-21 year olds who live to help with a project or problem.

You can see it from 128 in Needham, across the highway from Muzi.

I am not allowed to go to that second floor.
 

dirtynine

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Dec 17, 2002
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When I worked in Needham I used to wander abound here sometimes. It’s been 10 years but back then it was like end-of-days Radio Shack + the hardware part of Microcenter + one of those sketchy Manhattan electronics shops that sells “legitimate” products out of open boxes.
 

leetinsley38

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Aug 24, 2005
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When I worked in Needham I used to wander abound here sometimes. It’s been 10 years but back then it was like end-of-days Radio Shack + the hardware part of Microcenter + one of those sketchy Manhattan electronics shops that sells “legitimate” products out of open boxes.
That sounds incredible actually. I take back my earlier crack about partially basing a real estate investment on close proximity to YDI. Makes sense now.
 

cgori

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Oct 2, 2004
2,592
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Good news!

Stopped in at You-Do-It today. Part of the reason we chose this neighborhood to live in was the nearness of YDI. Showed him my 30 pin to USB, he said that would be hard to replace. Only from Apple and expensive. Suggested instead I use a 3.5 mm (both ends) from headphone jack to car input, I sprung for the three footer for $2.25 (1 foot was $1.99) and tried it, nothing. Went back in thinking FM transmitter, 17 year old employee said "mind if I come out to your car and check it out?", so he joined me and tried his phone with the 3.5 mm attachment. Had to turn the volume on his phone WAY up, but it worked. I did the same with my iPod and it worked, so I tried that again with the original cord and it worked, too. Prefer that as it charges the iPod, too.

Literally had the iPod turned to max volume and car radio to 30, I used to have iPod at half volume and car at 15. Kid had no idea why, but "sometimes that works".

This is why I go to You-Do-It. Maybe there every 3-4 years and usually spend $20 or so on some cable, but the customer service has been excellent for decades.
I'm very confused. You are using the 30pin-to-USB cable again, and it works, and the volume on the iPod somehow matters? That makes no sense at all to me, since your iPod should not even be applying volume to the USB isochronous data, the car stereo should be doing that.

(Also using the headphone out via 3.5mm cable will probably be noisy at best, you are taking a ~amplified signal and jamming into a line-in, not exactly a recipe for success, even if it might work. If you need a stop-gap for $2 it's fine, but if your car stereo was actually broken, something like a Dual headunit that @Couperin47 suggested is probably the best option for the long haul - $30 at Walmart.)