Monday, October 22, 2012

A2DP bluetooth Stereo dongle

Last year when I was planning my farkle purchases I decided that I had to have a Bluetooth communicator capable of using a GMRS radio so I could be in contact with other riders during our iMBC2012 re-union in Hell's Canyon Oregon.

I was sick of having to have dangling wires and forgetting to unhook from my bike when I parked.  There are not many units capable of communicating with each other as only until recently with the Sena SMH-10 BT V3.0 which can link 4 riders.  GMRS on the other hand can communicate with any other GMRS radio.  On a group ride with dozens of riders then GMRS radio is the only way to go. 

So this is what I bought.  I have the Camos IMC BT unit.  I also had to buy the GMRS 2-way radio adapter and a MP3 BT adapter so I thought that I was set.   This was a top rated unit with good reviews .  Everyone has switched to the Sena units even though it is not capable of linking more than 4 riders.

But I have no riding buddy and have no one to communicate with other than when I am riding with others.   I wanted to be able to be in touch on rides and also to listen to streaming music when I am on the highway

So I purchased an earphone type am/fm Sony digital radio with pushbutton tuning.  I thought that it would be more bike friendly if I could just push buttons to tune stations, or let it scan on its own.  With the earphone connected it works perfectly and it sounds great  but

when I connect it to my cheap BlueTooth adapter it is like there is no antenna and the stations are very weak with lots of static

Most BT adapters are now A2DP protocol so they will stream stereo music into your helmet headset

It then struck me that these type of radios use the earphone wire as the antenna, and without this extra wire the stations can't be received very well, so I dug out my tools and made a patch cable.

I bought a couple of 3.5mm female/male plugs and soldered one up so now it looks like that in the photo.   I plug in my patch cable, then plug the BT dongle into that cable and now I can stream the music into my headset

I am a hobbyist so I have wire, solder and electrical stuff and a VOM meter so I can do continuity checks so I know that it works before I connect it up

I love to solder things

 The additional wire of this cable acts as the AM/FM antenna, which you need to capture the radio signal.  When you are not using a earphone, you have NO antenna, thus the radio doesn't work very well
Here is what it looks like in action.   I can put this under the plastic map window on my tank bag and still push the buttons to change stations, and see the LCD screen.


  1. Everyone as a bad day blogging, but I like this post and am going to check into that adapter set up! Thanks for the info on it.

    1. Katy:

      I wasted more time trying to figure out how to post photos using the Blogger interface and just gave up.

      I am used to using HTML but it is more time consuming and I wanted to streamline my workflow a bit, but simple doesn't work for me.

      I lost my thoughts a bit as I struggled to figure out why Blogger didn't work after photo #3, so this post is sort of, Incomplete

  2. But on the upside - you got to type the word dongle. It just sounds naughty to say doesn't it. Dongle dongle dongle. Have I got you smiling yet Bob? Turn that frown upside down.

    I don't know why the insert image is giving you problems after the second picture. Maybe ours works because we use Macs only and things are a little different with them sometimes.

    Hope you get it sorted without too much more troubles.

    1. Trobairitz:

      Imagine smiling inside with a frustrated outside look. All I want to do is post Xtra-Large photos with text using the "insert image" icon, and it doesn't work. Everytime anyone else posts more than two photos and I notice they are hosted on Blogger, I get upset that I can't do it. Take a look at ScooterChick/Pat and how many photos she just posted. It just makes me sick . . . that I am inadequate and I can't figure out what is wrong.

      Blogger is "on-line" so we are all using the same software. The only difference is our Browser and operating systems. I am using Windows 7, the latest version so that should be okay. Now comes the Browser, perhaps I should try Google Chrome tonight as that should work with Google products. The only other problem is my computer is only 32 bit, when most are now 64 bit. This may be the problem, but I have a newer laptop i7 4 core which is 64 bit so I will try that too.

      I decided I wanted to host my photos with Blogger and use the "insert image" icon but if this doesn't work, then I have to go back to my manual ways and use HTML and host photos on Photobucket but this takes more time and is a bit more cumbersome than what you are doing.

      Just remember that everytime you post more than 2 photos, you are tearing me apart . . .

  3. I don't know about posting the pictures either. I just did a post with 13 images and didn't have the same problems. Maybe I'll try it again on a Windows machine. Just happen to have a VM handy....

    BTW, nice update on the BT receiver. I have been thinking of picking up the Sena unit. Mostly to talk with the phone.

    1. No, it isn't a Windows/Mac thing either. I did another post with IE8 on Windows XP and though the interface is slightly clunkier, it worked the same way. I'm out of ideas. Is Javascript disabled?

    2. Richard:

      Just the other day, SUN SYSTEMS upgraded the Javascript. How do I know if it is disabled or not ? Is it in the settings ? Remember I know nothing about computers.

    3. I take it back, maybe it is a Mac/Windows thing to a point...

      I get inconsistent behavior starting with the third image.

    4. Richard:

      THANK GOODNESS you have duplicated my problem. Bad for you, but now you see what I mean. It works perfectly until you get to image #3, then it doesn't work anymore. How can everyone else post more than 3 images (via: Blogger) and have no issues ? I know Trobairitz uses a Mac and she has no problems. The rest, I don't know. Perhaps we need to find out how everyone else posts multiple photos using Blogger and the "Insert Image" icon

  4. Bob, I have the same radio. I use a set of molded earplugs/speakers. I love them, they're the best money I'e ever spent. I've even sent them in foe repair when I identically stepped on the cord and pulled the little wire out of the speakers.
    I also have an older XM RoadyII that I keep in the tank bag. I really like XM, I can ride across the country and never lose the station. It has a little transmitter in it, and it broadcasts to my radio.

    I hope you get the Blogger issues figured out.
    I always take my blog pictures with the camera's smallest picture size setting. I always do my blogging with the "HTML" button NOT the "Compose". I know there are more features with the "Compose" box, but I never use them. AND, I can always click over and use it if I need to. I had trouble trying to get things where I wanted them when I tried to use "Compose" and gave up. Doing it in "HTML" is easier for me. I can "preview" the page and go back and fix it, if I have to.
    Also, Windows7, Chrome as my browser. I keep my pictures on a portable hard drive or, if I just took them, on an SD card, and use the little "insert image" icon to add pictures to my blog.
    Hope you get it figured out!


    1. Erik:

      Great minds think alike. That Sony is a good radio and I needed it for traffic reports. I've been stuck on the highway before trying to get home but without a radio you don't know where the accidents are

      I also have a portable Sirius Satellite Radio, Stilletto2 which I never activated, but I am going to use it next year when I visit you. I think mine also has a FM transmitter but to keep things simple I'm going to plug it into my BT: Dongle.

      I found my posting problem. It was Internet Explorer. I've switched to Google Chrome now and it all works. I've always posted using HTML just like you, but Compose view is much easier and you don't always have to "preview". The "insert image" icon didn't work for me until I switched Browsers. It was frustrating me to no end, but now I'm smiling again