Destroy your Volkswagen Touch Adapter for Bluetooth’s Sake

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[Mansour]‘s Volkswagen Polo has a touch-screen adapter with voice recognition to control a bunch of the car’s features, but he wanted it gone.

Voice control of your car sounds like a great thing, right? Well, the touch adapter blocked other Bluetooth devices from connecting directly to the car, and prevented him from streaming music from his phone while he’s connecting it through the adapter. But if you simply throw the adapter away, the car won’t connect to any Bluetooth devices.

So what options are left? Other than a couple of expensive or complicated options, [Mansour] decided to open up the device and desolder the Bluetooth chip and antenna. Admittedly, it’s not the deepest hack in the world, but we’ve gotta give [Mansour] credit for taking the technology into his own hands.

Disabling unwanted functionality is not uncommon these days. Who hasn’t stuck tape over their laptop’s camera or kept an RFID card in a Faraday wallet? What other devices have you had to “break” in order to make them work for you?

Letting Bluetooth take the wires out of your headphones

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This picture shows the gist of [Alan's] hack to transition his wired headphone to internalize a Bluetooth audio receiver (translated).

He starts with a pair of wired “ear muff” style headphones and an aftermarket Bluetooth audio adapter that he’s been using with them. But if you’re not going to plug them into the audio source why have six feet of extra wire hanging about? [Alan] ditched the plastic case surrounding the Bluetooth hardware and cracked open the earpieces to find room for it. It’s a tight fit but there was just enough room.

It is unfortunate that the headphone design doesn’t already have a wired crossover hidden in the arc connecting the earpieces. Alan strung some of that red wire himself to connect the two speakers. The board is mounted so that the USB port is located where the wires used to enter the plastic body. This makes it a snap to plug them in when they need a recharge.

You can play a little “Where’s Waldo” with this one by trying to spot the Raspberry Pi in his build log.

 

Bluetooth hack for Serioux Panda speakers

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[Bogdan] received this set of Serioux Panda speakers as a gift. I turns out that they sound very good and he decided to make them more useful to him by converting them to work as Bluetooth speakers.

To begin with he bought the cheapest A2DP device he could find. This is the protocol that identifies a Bluetooth audio device. The unit is designed to provide a Bluetooth connection for a set of headphones. He patched into the headphone port on that board, but also wanted to keep the option of using the Panda speakers’ line-in. To do this he added a 1k resistor to each of the audio channels. A connection was made from the 5V rail of the speakers to power the Bluetooth module rather than leaving it with its own battery.

Speaking of batteries, the Panda speakers can run from three AAA cells. This battery compartment was a perfect place to mount the add-on hardware. But the speaker can still be powered from a USB connector. Above [Bogdan] is using a portable USB power supply.

Hacking A2DP support into an old car stereo

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[Roofus] had an older car, and unfortunately his stereo’s cassette player just wasn’t doing it for him. He always wanted to simply get into his car, pull out his cell phone, and have his music ready to play without any fuss. After messing around with all sorts of different tape adapters, he got fed up and decided to rig up an A2DP (Stereo Bluetooth Audio) adapter on his own.

He pulled the head unit out and started looking around to see how he could wire an adapter in. He figured the best course of action would be to remove the tape deck, and fool the stereo into thinking that a tape had been inserted. After spending some time tracing wires and studying how his old tape adapters worked, [Roofus] had an A2DP connection wired in and was ready to rock out.

Greeted with nothing but silence, he turned to his favorite hacking site (Hackaday, naturally) for assistance. Some friendly forum-goers helped him identify a ground loop issue, and he set off to his nearest RadioShack for a pair of isolation transformers that would fix his problem.

Once he knocked out the ground loop issues, his adapter worked like a charm. He put everything back together, and aside from a tiny switch he installed to toggle between audio sources, you would never know it was there.

iPhone 3.0 adds custom protocol support for addons

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In middle of all the adding features that should have been available day-one, Apple announced something really interesting for the hardware hacking community. The new iPhone 3.0 OS will support application communication over bluetooth or through the dock connector using standard or custom protocols. From Engadget’s coverage:

10:19AM “They talk over the dock, and wirelessly over Bluetooth. Things like playing and pausing music, getting artwork — or you can build your own custom protocols.”
10:19AM “Now here’s a class that we think will be really interesting — medical devices.” Scott’s showing off a blood pressure reader that interfaces with the iPhone — wild.
10:18AM “Here’s an example — an FM transmitter. With 3.0, the dev can build a custom app that pairs up with it, and automatically finds the right station and tunes it in.”
10:18AM “With 3.0, we’re going to enable accessory developers to build custom apps that talk directly to that hardware.”

No solid connection specification has been published yet. We’re excited about the prospect of developing our own accessory hardware, but we wonder what sort of hoops you’ll have to jump through. Apple doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to approvals. Just this week they denied MSA Remote client App Store entry; it’s a multitouch client that uses the standard TUIO protocol. Prepare for similar roadblocks in the future.

[via adafruit]

Android adds A2DP, AVRCP Bluetooth and more

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While working towards open-sourcing Android, the team continued to work on new features in their own private development branch. These have now been published publicly in the “cupcake” branch. There’s a lot of interesting new features and bug fixes included. We’ve got a rundown of many of the significant additions after the break.

[Read more...]

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