Gadget Zone: CCrane Transmitter converts older car audio

If you drive an older car or truck, then chances are that you cannot hear music or audio streams playing on your smartphone through your car audio system. One simple solution I use is the CCrane Digital FM Transmitter 2.

This is a small battery-powered device (two AAs) that plugs into the earphone jack of your smartphone/iPod. You then broadcast the audio from your device through the FM Transmitter 2, using its up-and-down buttons to select any unused FM frequency on your car radio. (The selected FM frequency is shown on the unit’s LCD screen.) Presto! You now have your own radio station in your car!

The CCrane FM Transmitter 2 comes with a Volume dial that allows you to adjust how much sound you are pushing through the unit. The goal is to push make the signal as loud as possible, before the included LED light goes from green to red. If it is red, you are putting through too loud a sound and the resulting playback will sound distorted through your car audio system.

The unit also has an extendable FM antenna, to improve the signal output. (You can use the FM Transmitter 2 to broadcast audio to regular FM radios throughout your entire house, in fact.) I have used this unit for years: It is a great way to stream web audio through my 10 year-old van’s audio system. US$49.99 at www.ccrane.com/transmitter.

About James Careless

James Careless is an experienced consumer tech reporter who has also written for the National Post and the Globe & Mail.