Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kia Soul tech

In order to "Evacuate" NYC before Irene hit we rented a car.  We got a Kia Soul for Budget. A huge thanks to Budget for not screwing me on a last minute, one-way rental at 8pm on a Friday night.  It took over 2 hours to wait in line and get a car with a full tank of gas. I wasn't picky and took whatever they gave me. I really wanted the new Focus I saw sitting outside, but I wasn't going to ask for favors by the time they got me a car.

I noticed on Saturday that the Kia had Bluetooth, USB and Aux inputs.  Here is what worked and what didn't.  

Bluetooth
I tried to pair my phone while driving and it gave me an error message something like "Not Available, car in motion."  I could not get out of this screen until we stopped the car. We could not even listen to the radio, it muted the sound when I went into the setup menu and would not exit until I stopped.

After we stopped I paired my Incredible just fine, fired up Google music and streamed music across PA on I-80. It worked well until I got into some 1X coverage areas, the music started skipping and randomly replaying tracks we already listened to.

Since we had to call Southwest to re-book our flights I also got to use the hands-free speaker phone. It worked OK, but at 80+ MPH there is A LOT of wind noise in the Soul. It was hard to hear even with the volume turned up all the way. The lady at Southwest even asked to be taken off of speakerphone, she was having a hard time hearing me as well. I guess I could have slowed down. Nah, we had flights to catch!


USB connection 
  • For my wife's iPhone this would do nothing. No Sync, no audio and would not even charge it. In the Hyundai's you need a special cable that uses the Aux AND USB to get an iPhone to work. I guess we needed that cable to make it work.
  • It charged the Incredible just fine, didn't try USB disk mode because of Bluetooth.
Aux Connection
We didn't use this at all since Bluetooth worked so well for audio.

Oh and we got almost 30mpg out of it as well. 


Too many chargers!

As we were packing for our romantic get away to NYC last week my wife said. "You know, most people take more clothes than chargers on vacation!"  Yes it is true, I took a lot of chargers with me. I rely way too heavily on mobile tech and I was worried about running out of power on the go. We went to NYC for 2 nights last week (we had to leave early because of a hurricane or something.)  Here is the list of tech we took with us.


Wife's

  • iPhone 4
  • iPad 2 wi-fi / Verizon
  • Sony DSLR with 1 lens, extra battery, extra CF card, External Flash, 8 AA's
Mine
  • Droid Incredible (Running Cyanogenmod 7)
  • Motorola Xoom
  • Verizon LTE MiFi
  • Canon ELPH 300HS (I just bought this because I can't find my Canon SX210is. Turns out Canon released new models last week, so this one is getting returned.)
Chargers taken
Things we never used on this trip
  • Spare DLSR Battery, Spare CF Card, DSLR Charger, Flash Charger
  • Spare Canon Battery, Canon Charger
Things I used all the time
  • Portable battery charger
  • iGo Charge Anywhere
So is that TOO much tech / chargers for a weekend getaway?  I'd like to say it is, but I think it's kind of normal for us now.  I wonder if there are better solutions?  What is everybody else using to charge multiple device while traveling?

More tech posts are coming for this trip, things like. Verizon Coverage in NYC, carrying  multiple devices each day, what worked / what doesn't etc...

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