Top technology to breathe new life into your old car

BelkinF8M117cw

Noel Campion looks at a selection of new devices to give your car an uplift

Most new cars now come with Bluetooth, making it easy to pair your mobile phone with your car for handsfree operation.

However, those of us with older cars can still reap all the same benefits by using devices like the Belkin F8M117cw (€89).

It still amazes me to see people driving while holding a mobile phone. Yes, it’s illegal but also unsafe. At the very least, buy a phone holder and use the built-in speaker phone to make and receive calls. Some phones have a car mode that allows you to use voice controls to make and receive calls.

The Belkin F8M117cw CarAudio Connect FM Bluetooth will allow you to make hands-free calls and play music from your phone directly through your car speakers. CarAudio Connect instantly connects your smartphone to your car stereo so no tricky wiring to worry about. All you need to do is pair it with your phone via Bluetooth and connect to your car stereo by tuning into the same FM transmission that is displayed on the CarAudio Connect.

ClearScan technology finds the best FM signal to transmit your calls and music to your car stereo.

Set the dial to the suggested station and CarAudio Connect does the rest. If music is playing when a call comes in, it will automatically fade out and you’ll hear the caller’s voice loud and clear through your car speakers. Use the Call/Play button to switch between talking and playing audio files stored on your phone or streaming audio.

To power the device you’ll need a spare 12V socket but the supplied power adapter comes with a dedicated USB port so you can use that to charge your smartphone while you drive.

During calls you’ll be using the microphone embedded within the Call/Play button — can go just about anywhere on your dashboard but avoid placing it too near other devices or especially the car stereo to avoid interference.

There are lots of devices like the Belkin and many of them are cheaper too — so check them out and get what suits your needs.


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