Feedback on RF / FM modulator


vaporeso

New member
I am looking for the best way to listen to my ipod in my car. I was waiting for the iTrip but for what I have read from most people, it's too much of a gamble. My JVC radio doesn't have AUX so I cannot add RCA out and just hook it up through there. I spoke with a guy in Crutchfield, and he recommended an RF modulator:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-a3UxFXo7Cy7/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?i=257KSIF200

Has anyone ever tried one of these or similar? Do I have another way out? Please, I really need help cause I am driving with my headphones on and I will crash and die and it's gonna be your fault. <- JOKE

Thanks to all. There should be a forum called "ipod on wheels" or something.
 

Wolfman200

New member
The reviews on this site and ipoding.com say that the iTrip is reliable and has great sound. In particular, the ipoding.com review says that it sounds better than a cassette adapter, on par with an FM modulator (I think this is the same as an RF modulator). The guy at Crutchfield probably knows what he's talking about, but I suggest you read the review at ipoding before you decide. Good luck!:)
 

vaporeso

New member
Yes, I've read the reviews, but to be honest with you they don't sound like reviews as much as they sound like advertisements. 90% of the comments that follow the review state the iTrip is not worth it. That's why I wanted direct cable connection, but as my stereo cannot take looks modulator is the answer, but I have no idea if that thing is good. Thanks.
 

revmike

New member
Does your stereo have the capability of connecting a cd changer to it? It would be located in the rear of the unit. If it does check at your local car stereo shop for a cd adapter. It plugs into the socket for the changer and allows you to connect a rca to mini plug, where you can connect your ipod directly to your stereo. The sound is superior to fm transmitters or modulators IMHO. Mine cost 35.00.
 

vaporeso

New member
Yes, that's precisely the problem. I wanted to connect with the adapter, but my stereo doesn't have an input of any sort (JVC KD-s550). That's why I have to either get a new stereo or get a modulator. I guess nobody tried this modulator business before? Maybe I should steer away, thanks.
 

baggss

Stoopid Ameican Rednek
vaporeso said:
Yes, that's precisely the problem. I wanted to connect with the adapter, but my stereo doesn't have an input of any sort (JVC KD-s550). That's why I have to either get a new stereo or get a modulator. I guess nobody tried this modulator business before? Maybe I should steer away, thanks.
I have had an iRock FM modulator since I got my iPod. It works pretty well, but it's performance depends on some outside factors. In the US, the FCC limits the amount of power out these unit can give, so if you are in an area with nothing else on the assigned channels, you are good to go. The area where I live ranges from good to poor depending on where I am.
Another factor that I had never considered, is the placement of your car antenna (assuming you are using it in a car). My old cars antenna was on the back fender. As such, the antenna cable ran through the inside of the car and my reception was VERY good from the iRock. My new car has an antenna in the front and the the antenna cable runs outside the passenger cabin and thus the reception is not always so good.
I am planning on getting a new car sterio in the next month or so. The new one WILL have an auxilliary plug in capability, just for the iPod.
 

blackfrag

New member
i was hoping a fm modulator would do the trick for me, but after hooking it up today i was much disappointed. i was probably expecting too much.

i just listened to a couple songs and decided that i would just live without it. it's just not worth all the trouble.
 

ArcticGabe

iPod; love at first sight
vaporeso

I just ordered one of those JVC RF modulators from Crutchfield. They have some in their "scratch n dent" section for $30, so I figured I'd give it a try. They have a 30 day return policy, and they even pay for return shipping, so I figure I have nothing to lose.

I'm in the same situation as you, listening w/earbuds is not the most convenient while driving.

I'll let you know how it works when I get it.
 

downinit

New member
Your talking about an inline fm modulator, correct? I used one for a while and it worked alright. However it tended to weaken the signal coming through the antenna wire, because of the extra connections it added. That wasn't really a big deal because I don't listen to the radio often anyway. Occasionally it also wouldn't turn on correctly. It was supposed to turn on when it sensed a signal coming from the ipod, but under certain conditions it just wouldn't work untill I turned off the ignition and then tried again. This was probably just a fluke with the specific unit thought.
 

ArcticGabe

iPod; love at first sight
Yes, this thing connects between the radio and the antenna. I have to imagine that it should work better than a transmitter since there is no concern about signal strength or outside interference (unless it's set for a frequency directly on top of a broadcast station).

Like I said, I'll give it a try. If it works, it's a cheap alternative. If not, then I'll return it.

I'll let you guys know how it works when it shows up.
 

ArcticGabe

iPod; love at first sight
Hmm . . . nothing to write home about

Well I finally got around to installing this JVC RF modulator tonight.

Installation was a breeze. Just power, ground, and the antenna connection. I ran a mini plug out through the finish panel and down to the console where I usually keep the iPod while driving.

This thing comes with 8 preset stations to tune to. I had about 4 frequencies to choose from that didn't already have a station broadcasting. The unit turns on when it receives an audio signal at its input, and turns off after about 20 seconds of silence on the audio input. This can be a drag when switching from the iPod to the radio, since you have to listen to static for 20 seconds. Guess I can live with that.

So sound quality . . . I guess it's about what you could expect from a modulator. I don't know, though. I had a CD changer that connected through a modulator before, and I think it sounded better. This unit does have some annoying static between songs. Also, I have to crank the iPod up all the way to get a decent sound level in the car. I played with the input sensitivity, but it had little effect.

Overall, it's ok, but nothing to write home about. I think I'll keep it since it's way better than listening to ear buds in the car. Maybe I should have tried the iTripp before I went through all of this, but I'm still worried about the unpredictable performance with any of the transmitter devices.

Maybe this fall I'll get a new head unit!!
 

corp miler

New member
my experience with FM transmitters...

I held out for 6 months for the iTrip to be released and was greatly disappointed. I tried the iRock (FM transmitter) first and, though it worked okay, found it be very hit or miss. It might come in like a distant low power community station then I'd turn the corner and get static. It was annoying so I returned it after a few days of testing. I held out on the FM modulator awaiting the iTrip. Much to my surprise I found the iTrip didn't work as well as the returned iRock. Although the unlimited station options is nice, it is VERY difficult (and dangerous) to navigate through a frequency change while driving. I've tried the iTrip for a week now, really wanting it to work, but I will going back to the Apple Store for a refund. Sad. So I'm not looking at the hard wired FM modulator approach as well. How does yours sound compared to other stations? Is the static noticeable?
 

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