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iDecisive.com » 2007» August

Archive for August, 2007

iPhone in the Car

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

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Some people wanted to know about the iPhone car dock project referenced in the previous blog entry so here’s a quick breakdown:This installation was mostly just some inspired butchery. The hardest part was taking apart the dock to paint it without completely destroying it. I don’t recommend trying it unless you’re prepared to shell out for a new dock. It was not constructed in a way that makes it easy to disassemble and re-assemble. It took a lot of prying and breaking and is not for the faint of heart. I’d suggest either leaving it white or finding a way to paint around the electronics without taking it apart. That said, taking it apart and spraying it with Fusion spray paint to match my car’s interior and then hitting it with some clear coats provided a great result.In my car I mounted the dock on a standard corner bracket available at the hardware store. I have a mustang and was able to put both the bracket mounting screws and the holes for the wiring in a separate dash trim piece that just surrounds the guage cluster. I’d much rather do that than cutting up the large main dashboard section that can’t be so easily replaced (or removed from the car to work on).The switch I use to control whether the dock has charging power is nothing special either. You can get 12V switches at any auto parts store and many other places. These have LEDs in them so they have an extra connection to ground the switch itself. I connected the switch to direct battery power so I can charge the phone without having the keys in the car if I need to (don’t leave your iPhone in a hot car!). To connect the dock to the switch, I used a standard iPhone car charger and plugged it into an extra lighter socket (the lighter socket is also available at the auto parts store) that I installed behind the dash. It’s not the most elegant solution (vs. hard-wiring everything) but it doesn’t destroy the car charger either, so it can still be taken out and plugged into any lighter socket. Plus, this approach lets me use the car charger’s built-in fuse holder to protect the docked phone from power surges.I took advantage of my car stereo’s line-in and the iPhone dock’s line out to handle the audio. This whole solution would be even nicer if I had a stereo with iPod controls because then I could leave the iPhone off and change the song from the head unit. Although, it’s charging in the dock anyway so it’s nice to have the album art visual and everything. Also, I’ve read that some people have indeed been successful using certain car stereos (such as alpine) to control their iPhones, but that you have to put up with the “this accessory is not made to work with iPhone” message every time you plug it in. My line-out solution using the factory iPhone dock avoids that issue. If this project wasn’t such a hack it would have been nice to mold the dock into the interior using some sort of compound (like the “kitty hair” stuff that custom shops use). The bracket I have it sitting on is not too attractive but blends in with the interior pretty well after I painted it to match.I’m sure there are a lot of ways to do a better job of docking your phone in a car but this was just fine for me and it’s been great so far. I’d love to see any other methods anyone has used.-Josh

Launch Day

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

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Ever have trouble deciding what to do for dinner, or which movie to see? Well today is your lucky day because today is the initial launch of iDecisive.Don’t be indecisive. Be iDecisive.Features include the ability to flip a coin when you don’t have one handy (which I never do because I had to stop carrying them in my pocket when the iPhone arrived), quickly get a random number in any range of numbers, or randomly choose an option from a set of 2 or more options. Please use the comments here or the contact button on the app itself to report any bugs.Want more iPhone? How about iPhone in the car?