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Low-power FM Transmitters Banned in UK 562

Posted by michael
from the getting-your-priorities-straight dept.
Acey writes "The BBC News is reporting that the Griffin iTrip falls foul of the UK Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 (PDF). In short, the iTrip is an unlicensed FM transmitter and that's not allowed. The UK distributor, A M Micro, have pulled the iTrip. More ominously they warn that "Use of the iTrip in the UK therefore constitutes an offence and can lead to prosecution of the User". Guess that makes me an outlaw, because you'll have to pry my iTrip from my cold, dead hands."
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Low-power FM Transmitters Banned in UK

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  • Sooo.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Locky (608008) on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:45AM (#6587944) Homepage
    Any rewards for turning people in?
  • by davisshaver (583015) <canyougrokme.hotmail@com> on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:46AM (#6587953) Homepage
    How exactly will they enforce this? Will it be like a second degree offence, like seat belts are in some US states?
    • by ebcdic (39948) on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:49AM (#6587996)
      No-one's ever going to be prosecuted for using one, any more than if you use wi-fi channel 12 in the USA. They just won't be for sale here.
      • by dontod (571749) on Friday August 01, 2003 @11:00AM (#6588120) Homepage
        I'm in the UK and recently bought on of these. [merconnet.com] It's an almost identical product called an FM 'Linker' but basically you plug it into any headphone socket et voila you're a radio station.

        They say the range is about 5M (therefore just for personal use) but it is well over 100 metres. So I'm waiting to get busted when I broadcast web radio stations around my house (and over a small portion of town).

        Don

        ------
        There's a 4:30 in the morning now?
    • Sort of. What would actually happen is that if your device happened to be in range of someone's receiver and interfered with the channel they were trying to listen to, they could make a complaint and the equipment would be confiscated.
      • by SiO2 (124860)
        Someone whose radio suffered interference from an iTrip could make a complaint. However, the UK equivalent of the FCC would have to find you. Futhermore, they would have to try finding you at the same time you are using your iTrip. The odds of them seeking you out while you are using your iTrip seem fairly long to me.
      • by Frymaster (171343) on Friday August 01, 2003 @11:46AM (#6588641) Homepage Journal
        What would actually happen is that if your device happened to be in range of someone's receiver and interfered with the channel they were trying to listen to...

        the whole point of a lot of british broadcasting law isn't to protect the listener/consumer, it was originally designed to protect the broadcaster - the bbc. you have to understand that in the uk, unlike the us or europe, the legal tradition has been firmly against private broadcasting.

        originally, the bbc was the only broadcaster allowed in the uk - radio being "too powerful" a tool to be left to private interests. but, of course, the bbc sucked and by the '30s most of the uk was listening to european stations - most notably radio luxembourg - with bad reception but better programming. many of the broadcasting laws from the 40s were designed to discourage these "foreign" stations.

        by the 60s there were a lot of private broadcasters targeting britain, though, by setting up shop on boats outside the three mile limit in international waters. the notable one here is radio caroline of course. the labour government at the time was simply balistic about this movement but couldn't legally squealch it because of that pesky maritime law thing.

        of course, it all came to a grinding halt when a guy called major smedly (who was a bit of a nut job in the first place) pulled a piracy job on a competing station called radio city. eventually, the battle took to dry land and smedly shot and killed calvert. the result was the marine broadcasting offenses act of 1967 which was pretty draconian and the pirate broadcasters were shut donw.

    • Basically it's illegal to sell infringing equipment to people who don't have the proper licences, and they would go after defiant suppliers.

      The authorities could go after an end user, but enforcement of that kind of thing tends to be complaint-led over here; trouble would only ensue if someone managed to cause enough interference in their locality to piss off enough of their neighbours into making proper complaints. Realistically it's not going to happen.

    • by threeturn (622824) on Friday August 01, 2003 @11:25AM (#6588407)
      I can't believe the amount of milage this story has had. Yes the thing it technically illegal in the UK, as are all other devices that transmit at low power in the commercial FM band. As is pointed out elsewhere the law goes back years and years. However that doesn't mean that you can't but these devices, or that lots of them aren't already in use with no problems.

      No, nobody is going to bother to enforce the law. It it doesn't cause a problem who cares? It is a complete non-story.

      Like the ability of Freemen of London to heard sheep (or not) over London Bridge lots of laws lie around long after the environment they related to has changed out of all recognition.

    • by SaturnTim (445813) on Friday August 01, 2003 @11:28AM (#6588435) Homepage
      They actually enforce this kind stuff. My company brought a bunch of 802.11b stuff over there for an event, and the day we set it up someone from their department of silly walks and radios showed up to talk to us about it.

      In the end we had everything in order, and a large 802.11b installation will probably draw more attention than a fm transmitter speeding down the road, but they do watch.

      --T
      • "...someone from their department of silly walks and radios showed up to talk to us about it."

        I can't believe I'm reading this crap!

        What's so stupid about licensing the use of your EM spectrum and then making sure that those who've PAID FOR bandwidth can actually use it without fear of interference from unlicensed transmissions? There are portions of the spectrum specifically allocated to unlicensed transmitters, use those if you want but stop fucking up all the other thousands of services that depend on
  • What is it? (Score:3, Informative)

    by muffen (321442) on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:47AM (#6587969)
    For all you people (like myself) who had no idea what iTrip is/was, here's the link from googles cache [216.239.37.104].

    From the page: You are looking at the coolest iPod accessory in the world. The iTrip FM transmitter for the iPod can play your music through any FM radio in your car, at a party, wherever the mood strikes you - and you have a radio.
  • Interface options (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Blue Stone (582566)
    How can someone with nothing but a CD player/radio in their car, listen to their iPod on their car stereo, except by using the iTrip?
    • Re:Interface options (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Simple.. wire in an in-line (through the antenna) FM transmitter.. Since you are only transmitting on a private wire, vs public airwaves you are fine.
    • They can't (legally). Sucks to be them.

      If they've got a tape player, they can use a suitable adapter, of course.
    • There are other FM transmitters, but you might consider using one of these [pie.net]. They fake the in-dash stereo's CD changer input into thinking it's there and playing CD 1 track 1. That selects the analog input, and you just hook anything up to it.
    • Re:Interface options (Score:4, Informative)

      by Van Halen (31671) on Friday August 01, 2003 @01:39PM (#6589742) Homepage Journal
      Like some people already said, you have a couple of options. In the vast majority of cases, the quality will be far better than using something like the iTrip. On Apple's discussion board [apple.com] many people have reported major problems just finding an open frequency in populated areas. Anyway, your alternatives are:

      • Use a cassette adapter, which you can get pretty cheap at any place like Best Buy, etc. The quality is pretty good, but you definitely get some tape hiss type of noise. I use this daily in my truck and am quite happy with it.

      • Hook it up directly to the antenna input using an FM modulator [logjamelectronics.com]. Unlike the iTrip, this is a direct-wired connection that goes in between the radio's head unit and your car's antenna. The quality is pretty much the best that FM can be, as if you were parked right outside a radio station with a powerful transmitter. And with this, you don't have to worry about interference from existing stations because the iPod's signal overrides the antenna when it is in use.

      • Hook it up directly to the head unit's auxiliary input, if one exists. This will give you the best quality if you can do it. Many stereo head units have a CD changer input in the back, even if the car didn't come with a changer. You would need some sort of converter [logjamelectronics.com] for this type of input. Some stereos actually have RCA inputs in the back (or front) and some even have a 3.5mm stereo jack in the front, in which case all you need is a simple cable.

      I ended up going with the third option for my wife's 2002 Nissan Altima, since it has no tape deck and I didn't want to mess with an FM modulator. It has a CD changer input in the back, but the place linked above doesn't have anything for the Altima. I found a guy who makes custom cables [virtualoutlook.net] for it, so I ordered that along with a switch to put the radio in aux mode. Installation was pretty easy and actually kind of a fun project, especially drilling the hole in the dash to install the switch. ;-)

      So as you can see, there are plenty of options. Of course what would be the best is a little dock that provides power, line out, and steering wheel remote controls. Just slide the iPod in and off you go!

  • by youngerpants (255314) on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:48AM (#6587974)
    Walkie-talkies should be banned as their signals can be picked up by an FM receiver (at least my old action man ones could, although the range was about 3 metres)
    • They are, if they use that part of the spectrum and are over a certain signal strength. I remember as a child that mail-ordering what were basically grey imports was the only way to get a set that would work more than a few metres apart.
  • Neuros? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tuffy (10202) on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:48AM (#6587980) Homepage Journal
    What about the Neuros' built-in low-power FM transmitting capability? Are those illegal to use in the UK also? It all seems a bit excessive to me, considering the tiny range.
  • by niko9 (315647) on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:49AM (#6587988)
    This could/can be the begining of eclectic microstations. You can tune into a 24/7 iTrip at work/your building/bus stop etc., instead of listening to one of big conglomerate boring stations.

    My other sig is an ambulance!
  • Legacy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JRSiebz (691639)
    Some early/mid 90's cars with cd players added in the trunk broadcast on like channel 88. something, which is what the user tunes to, to listen to cds.
    (This is before 6 cd changers in-dash existed)

    This is the same thing. Would these be illegal in the UK too?
  • Fun? (Score:4, Funny)

    by chefbb (691732) on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:51AM (#6588006)
    Seems excessive, but if you lived in an apartment complex, you could have some serious fun with one of these things broadcasting to the station your neighbor happens to be listening to. :)
    • Re:Fun? (Score:5, Funny)

      by The Jonas (623192) on Friday August 01, 2003 @11:02AM (#6588128)
      In the 1980's Radio Shack [radioshack.com] used to sell an FM transmitter that you could wire into your car radio. The range was good enough to transmit from vehicle-to-vehicle. We were in high school at the time and the number of radio stations in town were limited. Therefore, if we were lucky enough to be on the road within a couple of car lengths from someone we knew we could broadcast an obnoxious message through their radio if we guessed what station they were listening to. The girls did not seem to appreciate our unauthorized transmissions. ;)
      • Re:Fun? (Score:5, Funny)

        by tmark (230091) on Friday August 01, 2003 @11:24AM (#6588394)
        The girls did not seem to appreciate our unauthorized transmissions. ;)

        Or, they did not appreciate the attention from a people who probably look like people who shop at Radio Shack and have enough time to wire up such a contraption.
    • I don't own one, but my brother does; IIRC, the iTrip can broadcast on one of four FM frequencies: 89.1, 89.3, 89.5, or 89.7. This is because frequencies that low are usually only taken by local college/community stations, and most commercial stations use a frequency from 90.1 on up.
      • Re:not that useful (Score:3, Informative)

        by BobTheJanitor (114890)
        Actually, the iTrip broadcasts on any standard frequency from 87.7 to 107.9. Check the iTrip Features [griffintechnology.com] page:

        The iTrip allows you to select from over 100 stations on which to broadcast. That means that you can find an open band, no matter how many radio stations are in your area. Now you can choose to use ANY station - not just the typical '4 stations' you might find on other transmitters.

    • You've obviously not used one before. You have to *overpower* the FM station before your neighbours will hear ya.

      Tom
  • 1949 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This law was written in 1949! Probably to stop people from setting up unlicensed radio stations (ie. commercial FM). These devices didn't exist!
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummel@@@johnhummel...net> on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:52AM (#6588024) Homepage
    On the one side, I can understand the Governments position:

    Thou Shalt Not have Unlicensed Radio Transmitters.

    This is important, because if just anybody set up shop, soon the radio waves would be a mess of people just putting stuff out, and nobody could hear the station they wanted too - just the one with the biggest pen- ah, broadcast antennae.

    On the other hand, I think the range of this thing is - what - 10 to 30 feet? Watch out, Britian! Those pirate radios will be able to be heard from the other room! Anarchy and chaos as Julie tries to dance to Nsync while Dad's got his iPod broadcasting the Spice Girls in the other room! Mum - you'd best be keeping that "Black Mages" heavy metal to yourself!

    This seems more like an issue of someone in beurocracy[SIC] getting a bug up their ass and not using common sense more than anything else.
    • Re:Er - ah - hm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by misterpies (632880) on Friday August 01, 2003 @11:23AM (#6588378)
      anything with a range more than 6 feet is likely to reach either the apartment above or the apartment below me. 30 feet and it will reach about 10 other apartments in my block. but there's a simple alternative: cordless headphones. OK so you won't be able to tune in from your car radio, but you will be able to listen to your iPod (or any other music source) from up to 100 ft away. I think cordless headphones use an unlicensed UHF band so there's no issue of interference with legit radio stations, though obviously if too many people buy the 'phones in one neighborhood they'll run into problems.

      the ultimate solution is to have a device that broadcasts a local DAB (digital radio) signal. That will eliminate most interference issues (as well as radio hiss) and allow you to view track info on your digital radio. DAB is starting to take off in a big way in the UK now so somesuch gadget is probably not that far down the line.
    • I think the range of this thing is - what - 10 to 30 feet?

      Excuse my ignorance - information please. Would the iTrip be broadcasting on frequencies that might be used by emergency services (fire, ambulance, police..)? This is usually one of the 'safety' reasons for being unhappy about illegal broadcasting that UK gov. gives when having a go at pirate radio stations.

      What is the distance these things can broadcast to? In the UK, 30 feet can quite easily mean from your room right into the middle of the t

  • by nanojath (265940) on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:52AM (#6588025) Homepage Journal
    So, like, is a Mr. Microphone illegal in the U.K.? And did I just date myself by mentioning Mr. Microphone?
    • Re:nutty limeys (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sammy baby (14909)
      I have fond memories of Mr. Microphone ads. Especially when the kid crusing around in the car with his friend says, "I'll see you girls later," as if he was some kind of pre-pubescent stud.

      (For those of you who were too young / don't remember, Mr. Microphone was a kids toy which attached a cheap mic to a low power radio transmitter, so you could talk and pick it up through your car radio.)

      But to answer your question - yeah, I'm pretty sure it would be illegal. Although I don't remember if it used an FM or
    • For the younger ones, Mr. Microphone made an appearance at the end of Toy Story 2.

      And there was also a simpsons episode based around it - the one where bart pretends to be "Timmy" who fell down the well.

      Sting: I'll do anything for one of my fans
      Marge: I don't think Bart actually has one of his albums
      Homer: Shhh Marge...he's a good digger.

      (of course I'm sure someone will correct me with the exact words :)
    • by FearUncertaintyDoubt (578295) on Friday August 01, 2003 @11:24AM (#6588385)
      And did I just date myself

      Dating yourself is a tradition among slashdot readers, and...oh, you meant...I thought that you were talking about...never mind

  • doubt it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:53AM (#6588031) Homepage
    -Guess that makes me an outlaw, because you'll have to pry my iTrip from my cold, dead hands.

    No, it would just take a uniformed constable. Let's not overestimate ourselves here.
  • Very Cool (Score:2, Interesting)

    by diorio (244324)
    GriffinTech should be paying for this spot because I never heard of this thing and I just plopped down my credit card! $35 + Shipping. It is the coolest thing around. I can't wait to use this....no more wires plugging into a tape deck!
  • by tetranz (446973) on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:55AM (#6588064)
    Many years ago I remember reading a British electronics hobbyist magazine which had an article on how to build a metal detector. There was a warning that before using it you needed to go to a government office and get a pipe finders license.
  • by Xentax (201517) on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:56AM (#6588072)
    It seems like the legislature, the broadcasters, and the consumers, ought to be able to work out an exception provision to the existing laws.

    Specifically, they ought to allow unlicensed transmitters below a certain output power (anyone know what the iTrip's broadcast power is?).

    I mean, the spectrum licensees have a vested and understable interest in keeping their airwaves free of interference, but I don't think low-power transmissions like these had been envisioned when the law was codefied (receivers were a wee bit less sensitive and precise in 1949, methinks).

    Xentax
  • According to reports, two other countries - Austria and Iceland - have also stopped sales of the iTrip because of problems with radio frequencies.

    I remember building FM/AM transmitters as teen, cool to be my own DJ...America still home of the free!!!

  • Geeze, just think about it. I don't know the laws in the surrounding (ok, nearby) nations, but think of the black market for these now. An easy 500% price increase to anyone selling one. Remember when blue jeans were going for $500 or so in the USSR? So will this create a nasty black market for a simple, innocent device or will it force the legislators to review the law?
  • by burgburgburg (574866) <splisken06 @ e m ail.com> on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:57AM (#6588087)
    Mr. Microphone?!?

    How will I pick up the chicks? How will I karoake? How will I LIVE?!?!?!

  • ... is they're afraid that folks will unwittingly broadcast their music. If you're stuck on the motorway/freeway, the dude in the car next to you could potentially tune into your iPod.*sigh*

    In short; more paranoia from the music regulatory authorities. A couple of milliwatts of power - an iTrip probably has less range than the average infra-red remote control.

    I'm patiently waiting for them to begin outlawing that part of the electromagnetic spectrum ... :-/

    • Paranoid nonsense (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ebcdic (39948)
      All countries regulate use of the wireless spectrum. It's just that in Britain the exemptions for low-power devices don't happen to cover this kind of device, unlike the USA apparently. Nothing to do with the music industry at all.
  • Low powered FM (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 56ker (566853) on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:57AM (#6588094) Homepage Journal
    The FM range 88 - 108 MHz has been used for wireless microphones for ages - how are these Griffin Itrips any different?
    • Re:Low powered FM (Score:3, Informative)

      by LostCluster (625375)
      Because microphones in the UK never could use those frequencies. Flea-power FM transmitters are legal in the USA for whatever use you want, but not in the UK. Different place, different rules.
  • Isn't the iTrip just like any of the dozens of other low power FM transmitters on the market today? I recall using one years ago with my JVC DiscMan, and I know they were around even back to the handheld cassette player days, for playing those on your car stereo. I've personally got an iRock for my pod for road trips.

    The USA has a limit (what is it, 10mW?) that anything running under that transmit strength doesn't have to be licensed because it's too weak to cause interferance. My iRock has a range of a
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:59AM (#6588108)
    Why the fuss over low power FM? Because it allows anyone to become a broadcaster or content creator. By raising the specter of 'interference', broadcasters and others can FUD the legislatures into banning enabling technologies like this.
  • "Use of the iTrip in the UK therefore constitutes an offence and can lead to prosecution of the User". Guess that makes me an outlaw, because you'll have to pry my iTrip from my cold, dead hands."

    This view seems to becoming more prevalent. An illegal action or device is banned or otherwise action taken against, and people just ignore it because it doesnt suit them. This device is illegal, and it hasnt even just been made illegal, its been illegal for a good number of decades, so under what premise do

    • This view seems to becoming more prevalent. An illegal action or device is banned or otherwise action taken against, and people just ignore it because it doesnt suit them.
      It is the responsibility of every citizen to ignore dumb laws.
      • No, it is the responsibility of every citizen to ignore unjust laws.

        And you do that properly - using an illegal transmitter and hoping you don't get caught is *not* legitimate civil disobedience. It's called criminal action.

        It could be civil disobedience if you
        (a) lobbied for a change in the law
        (b) told the newspapers you were deliberately breaking the law
        (c) did so in public. Fully prepared to go to jail, along with a few dozen other people.
        • You got it precisely.

          There is, however, a (d) -- to use the concept of jurisprudence (which is valid in the UK as well as the US, since both are based on common law) to decline to convict someone of breaking an unjust law.

          Which is why serving on a jury is one of the most important things you can do. No, it's generally not fun, it's a pain in the ass and a disruption from what you want to do, but it's still important. Especially if you can get on a jury that can affect the ruling in a case regarding an unj
  • No news here (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erroneous (158367) on Friday August 01, 2003 @11:04AM (#6588155) Homepage
    The UK has *not* just passed a new law banning the iTrip specifically or deliberately, as half the posters on slashdot seem to believe.

    The distributors of the iTrip, having taken legal advice, have decided that use of the iTrip probably constitutes a breach of an old law about FM broadcasting and have therefore chosen not to distribute it here.

    Nothing has actually changed and British police are not about to start hunting down people with suspicious bulges on the top of their iPods.
  • Knowing the RIAA, they will most likely follow suit... We wouldn't want anyone thinking they have become 'softies' would we? Honestly, I don't see the problem here, since it seems that this transmitter/jammer is of low power consumption, it is reasonable to assume that it's transmission properties could not spread to far from the source of the Jammer itself... Not to say the RIAA won't want in on this as well. After all, they have the image of 'Big Brother' to uphold...
  • Why is this news? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by orblee (66225) on Friday August 01, 2003 @11:19AM (#6588316)
    The wireless telegraphy act makes sense. We're only a small country and a typical radio FM transmitter can cover a fair proportion (about 1/10-1/20) of the population. Just my twiddling a screw in most FM transmitters, you can get it to broadcast on any frequency, and (for instance) stick it in your local neighbourhood and broadcast something other than your local radio station on a specific frequency. Video senders (boxes that transmit video signals over UHF and FM bandwidths so a TV upstairs can pick it up) were banned for a while for similar reasons. They found a way to make them legal and everything was fine :-)
  • CD changers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cyclist1200 (513080) on Friday August 01, 2003 @11:24AM (#6588393) Homepage
    How does this affect CD changers that use the same trick - namely transmitting a low power FM signal that your car stereo can pick up?
  • by n8ur (230546) on Friday August 01, 2003 @11:31AM (#6588470) Homepage
    In the US, Part 15 of the FCC regulations governs unlicensed radio transmitters, and basically says two things: first, there are specific bands where you can operate unlicensed with specified power levels (like the 902-928 and 2.4GHz bands), and second, you can transmit anywhere else, including the broadcast bands, with much lower power levels (not specified in actual transmitter power, but in microvolts/meter of received signal strength at a specified difference).

    Thus, all these very low power transmitters that talk in the broadcast bands are legal here.

    Many other countries don't have nearly so liberal a policy about unlicensed transmitters -- that's why WiFi isn't technically legal in some places (like the Caribbean island that was the topic of an article a few weeks ago) and gadgets like this aren't allowed in the UK.

    Although we like to bitch about "big gummint" in the US, at least in the communications arena US policies are far more open than in other parts of the world.

    Another (off topic) example: radio scanner enthusiasts here like to complain because it's illegal to listen to cellular phone transmissions. But we can listen to damn near anything else, including police radio, while in many countries listening to any non-broadcast (or non-ham) radio service is strictly forbidden.
    • The difference between the US law that you quote and the one a few posts up that quotes British law is this:

      In the U.S. the airwaves belong to the people (collectively). The FCC can regulate the use, but in the end the use must benefit the people. You can use any frequency in the U.S. as long as it does not infringe on other's right to use the frequencies as the FCC outlines.

      In the U.K., (no expert here, just glimpses of fact) the airwaves belong to the government and the people are allowed to use them as
  • by mykepredko (40154) on Friday August 01, 2003 @11:35AM (#6588503) Homepage
    In response to "you'll have to pry my iTrip from my cold, dead hands."

    Your Proposal is Acceptable.

    Now, where's a giant space cockroach when you need it.

    myke
  • by Buran (150348) on Friday August 01, 2003 @12:54PM (#6589272)
    I bought an iTrip for use in my 2000 VW Golf GLS (no Raintronic, so no weird coating on the windshield). It doesn't work. It never has. The car's stereo can't pick it up, even if I hold the iPod up through the open sunroof so the whip antenna on the back of the car can see it directly without the sheet metal of the car in the way. I have a European radio retrofitted into the car but that should have no effect as the only difference in the FM band is that it will try to tune to even-numbered frequencies as well as odd ones. (Too bad transmitters won't broadcast on those freqs, as I guarantee no regular commercial station in the US will be licensed for an even numbered frequency.)

    Anyone want to buy it? Seriously. I want to get rid of the thing. My solution is going to be hardwiring an adapter to the car's CD changer plug and adding a switch that lets me toggle between the CD changer (I got one used off another VW owner, cheap) and the RCA inputs.

    And the other FM transmitter I have, a Belkin TuneCast, doesn't work either -- if a radio broadcast so much 'looks' at it crosseyed, it's static hell.

    Low-power FM transmission is, in my experience, a joke and a marketing tool. It ranges from nonexistent to having more static than an interplanetary broadcast from Martians.
  • I'd like to have an el-cheapo car stereo with a "line-in" function and an AM/FM radio. Why fool with klunky low power radios and cassette adapters? It's not like the interface is bulky or expensive -- look at cheap sound cards.

    If anyone has seen something like this, please let me know.

    GF
  • legal in New Zealand (Score:4, Informative)

    by brucehoult (148138) on Saturday August 02, 2003 @12:26AM (#6594029)
    Here in NZ we seem to be somewhere between the UK and the US (as in many other things).

    The top and bottom 1 MHz of the FM band is reserved for unlicensed transmission with an effective radiated power of less than 300 mW. So as long as you tune your iTrip to 88 - 89 MHz or 107 - 108 MHz you're fine.

    I've been wondering about getting an iTrip once the version for the new model iPod is available (Apple changed the connectors on the top...), but my car's radio.casette has a line-in (marked "CD") on the front panel anyway, and that's better quality.

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