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[September 8, 2004]

Take Your iPod on a RoadTrip!

BY MICHELLE PASQUERELLO


It’s true. Owning an iPod has become a symbol of stature. It’s hard not to notice someone walking around with those sleek white wires hanging from their ears.  I don’t necessarily have the same luxury, as I commute by car. Before I sold my Honda equipped with a tape deck, I used an old tape adaptor to play my iPod in the car. Now that I own a Scion with only a CD player, I had to find another means to play my iPod. I have been shopping for a good FM transmitter, but I’ll be honest, most of them were costly, rather bulky and seemed a bit too complicated even for me, a self-proclaimed gadget junky. I just want to plug and play. Simple as that.


 

Newer Technology recently launched RoadTrip!, a straightforward, uncomplicated transmitter that pretends to be what looks like a regular cellular phone charger. I was lucky to get my hands on one to give it a go, and when I opened the box to see this small device, I was sort of shocked. No booklet of instructions, no complex pictures or diagrams; only the transmitter in neat plastic wrapping with the following instructions on the label:

  • Plug into your 12v cigarette lighter

  • Connect the mini-jack to your iPod

  • Tune to 107.7

  • Play!

It was almost too good to be true. I sat in my car, followed the instructions, and there they were—all of my beloved play lists in the palm of my hand transmitting straight to my stereo.

 

The real test was going for a drive. Because 107.7 doesn’t necessarily pick up a strong signal on my commute from Connecticut to New York, I decided to go on a longer trip this past weekend to see how well the signal would hold. Much to my surprise, it was perfectly clear, no matter where I roamed.

 

According to Other World Computing, tests were performed in the metropolitan areas of Northern Illinois/Chicagoland, an area with an abundance of high-power FM stations.  RoadTrip! was the only transmitter without signal bleed-through. And driving through Manhattan will provide you with static-free enjoyment as well. From the Upper East Side down to the West Village, my signal was as perfect as Bill Haley’s “13 Women” (A favorite on my play list).

 

Most other FM transmitters require you to set a frequency to load into your iPod, but RoadTrip! relieves you of the effort of configuring your music, allowing you to purely play.

 

The only minor adjustment I had to make was my car stereo’s EQ. Then again, this is probably because I have the bass set to high, a typical trait of a real rockabilly gal.

 

Overall, the RoadTrip! is a fantastic find at a really fantastic price: $19.99. Simple.

 

Product Specifications: Newer Technology RoadTrip! FM Transmitter

  • Cable Length: 30"

    Newer Technology's RoadTrip! pretending to be a cellular phone charger!

    Michael Durance
  • Left & Right channel separation : 70dB

  • Power Usage: 50mA (+- 10mA)

  • Frequency Range: 20-18KHz

  • Output Frequency: 107.7MHz (+/- 0.5MHz)

 

For more information, please visit RoadTrip! on the web.

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle Pasquerello is the Assistant Online Content Director for TMCnet. She welcomes your comments.

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