Apple is an awesome company, but they have really been f-ing the consumer when it comes to their ipod dock connector. They have been changing the way it works and disabling many accessories that consumers have bought over the years. And for the most part and from what I can tell, there are very few legitimate reasons Apple is doing this.
I won’t go into every example (different charging voltage, different docks for different ipods/iphones, encryption chip to view video, etc) but I will tell you that it pisses this guy off. I have “fixed” my accessories several times to make them work again. And it is a pain in the ass that I don’t wish to repeat. Why does Apple insist on f-ing everyone who bought a car adapter for their expensive factory radio? How about those speakers with docks (BOSE, etc) that don’t work anymore? Special headphone jacks (original iPhone)? Why does Apple insist on making a simple USB charger not work unless certain other pins are held at specific voltages? This was the reason I will never buy Motorola phones again (they will not charge via USB 5V to a computer without a driver installed for that phone!)
Apple claims to be a “Green company” but the amount of material going to landfills because Apple wants more money from their accessory “Made for Apple” program is down-right criminal. The AG for California should look into it :-)
OK, enough of the bitchin’. I feel better now.
So on to the latest chapter in the refuse to re-pay Apple for a cigarette lighter adapter saga…. A number of years ago I bought a Belkin Auto Adapter. The adapter was nice because it was a single connection to my ipod and it allowed for line out as well as charging.
I ran a standard 3.5mm headphone to the back of my stereo in my car and I had a nice system for listening to music. Even better was that the Belkin had a special feature that would pause the iPod when 12V was cut to the cigarette adapter (so when I got out of the car, the iPod paused). This was a great feature which saved the battery on the iPod (from just running down) and also allowed me to start listening to the song or book on tape, etc where I had left off.
Two months ago I bought an iPhone 3g. I already knew there might be an issue with charging the phone as I had heard that for some time now, Apple had stopped supporting Firewire syncing and more recently did away with the extra circuitry for charging off of 12VDC (firewire). I did not know 100% if the Belkin would have the issue, but once I plugged it in, I got the warning that “iPhone will not charge” from this accessory.
So I did a little research and found a few places that sold a converter that had a female dock connector on one side and male on the other. You plug it in and it takes the 12VDC and chops it down to 5VDC (along with the various resistors you need to get the damn iPhone 3G to charge). So I spent $20 or so on a Griffin converter thinggy. I wasn’t happy about it but I had already looked inside the Belkin CLA (Cig Lighter Adapter) and did not see a way to fit a DC to DC converter inside. For $20, it also came with a little dock like thing which I plan on using in the car. So, I was happy.
But when I got the Griffin thing and tried it, I got another warning. The dreaded “This accessory is not made to work with iPhone”. It was charging, so I knew the Griffin thing was working. But what was this other warning? The Belkin lineout was working just fine as well…but ever time I plugged in my iPhone I had to clear that damn warning. Everything worked but the software on the iPhone 3G would always pop this warning.
After a search of the Internet, I found out I was not alone in my frustration. But I had trouble finding a solution until I found this forum. It was all about the issue and many people wanting to use the LOD (Line Out) feature on their iphone 3g but seeing this error. A number of people were saying that instead of the 1M ohm that the Belkin used to tell the iPhone what type of adapter it is (with that special pause feature), the iPhone 3g wanted to see a 68K ohm resister. And while a lot of people claimed it worked, others claimed it did not work…or worked sometimes.
So I tried it and found that it worked on my test bench. I was happy. I put the cig lighter back together and tested it in the car. It did not work in the car! I could not understand. So I went back inside and it was working/failing intermittently now back on my test bench with my 15VDC power supply. I tried a bunch of experiments. Finally I just hooked up a potentiometer to the accessory pin on the dock and tried adjusting the resistance slowly around that magical 68K mark. I found that 68K seemed to barely work on my test bench. But when I was actually testing in the car (which has a slightly lower voltage – most cars are around 13.5 volts) that 68K was not enough to get the line out to work and avoid the warning message.
What I found was that something around 75-85K ohm seems to work and be reliable. I ended up using exactly 78K and so far it looks happy.
I will post this link to the forum and see if this write-up helps some folks.3 comments