Monday, October 10, 2005

Drive Safely With Your Cell Phone


Or: "Avoid that Crick in the Elbow from Long Conversations While Driving"...

So I realized that when I talk on my cell phone and drive (tsk tsk, I know) I do tend to get a sore elbow after a while, and also I have a tendency to lean with said elbow on the armrest causing me to tilt my head which probably isn't a good driving practice. To top all of this off, if I'm holding the cell phone, that hand is not available to do other things like hold the wheel, adjust mirrors, play with the radio, and... um... eat breakfast. Not that I'd ever do that. So - I thought about this, and have seen some of those gadgets on TV that promise to pipe your cell audio through your stereo via a doofy-looking FM transmitter that plugs into your cigarette lighter. These, in addition to looking doofy, are more than I want to pay for what they provide. I decided that since I already have an adapter to run audio from a headphone jack into my tape deck and since I have a microphone from a headset that I never use that I would make a little plug that would send the audio from the microphone into the cellphone and the output from the cellphone into a headphone jack. To do all of this I stopped at Radio Shack after work and bought a 3/32" stereo plug with solderable contacts and a pair (that's how the packages come... I've now got a spare for another day!) of 1/8" stereo headphone jacks. I then took apart the headset I already had and determined which wires go where with my multimeter. The "sleeve" of the jack (the part closest to the wires) is ground for both the microphone and the speaker. The center goes to the other side of the speaker and the tip goes to the other side of the microphone. I then soldered the microphone to the connections for ground and tip and the headphone socket to the connections for ground and middle. This accomplished, I tried it out by clipping the microphone to my visor and plugging the input to my tape adapter into the headphone jack and dialing a number using voice-dial on the phone. First time - worked like a charm! It's kind of cool really to hear the cell audio going through the car stereo and being able to dial and talk without taking my hands off of the wheel except to answer and press and hold the voice-dial button.

I'll add pictures later - currently on a lousy dial-up connection...
Picture added - I have no macro lens for my camera, so the "in progress" ones look terrible

1 comment:

KWright said...

Your article was very informative. Have you done any research in the laws regarding cell phone use while driving?