Apple Universal Dock question

motojavs

New Member
Bronze
Dec 14, 2008
49
0
0
#1
Hello,
I recently bought an universal dock for my iPhone 3G. Yesterday when put my phone on the dock, I got a message saying this accessory was not compatible with the iPhone and if I wanted to turn the airplane mode on?

Has anyone experienced this before and do you know it happens?

Thanks in advance for the help.
 

Marianne

Zealot
Moderator
Jul 16, 2007
2,326
29
48
Massachusetts
marianneschultz.com
#2
This is normal, though I'm not quite sure why. I have both the old version of the Universal Dock and the latest version and it happens with both. If you just ignore the message, it will go away and you do not have to put it into Airplane mode...
 

Marianne

Zealot
Moderator
Jul 16, 2007
2,326
29
48
Massachusetts
marianneschultz.com
#3
The Universal Dock has no speakers to transmit the cellular radio interference.

If I were to be cynical, my guess would be that Apple did this to annoy people so that they would buy an iphone-specific dock that does not prompt this message...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

psylichon

Genius
Moderator
Oct 31, 2007
16,591
751
113
40
Philly
#4
I'm pretty sure it's a new "resistor marking" since the iPhone was introduced. The dock connector for iPods and iPhones have a lot of unused pins so they can add features. One of these pins carries a certain amount of current, and depending on the resistor on the device-side of that connection, it will interpret what device is connected to what. When the iPhone came out, I think Apple added another resistor value to interpret a device as "iphone-compatible", which meant it had circuitry that resisted GSM interference, so you wouldn't get the buzz with audio playback.

Anything made before the iPhone came out (Universal dock included) will show this "airplane mode warning" because it doesn't have this resistor value. As Macgirl said, it's nothing to be concerned about unless you're passing audio, in which case you may hear some buzz.
 

JimP

New Member
Bronze
Dec 10, 2008
86
0
0
#5
I have a few universal docks (the newest ones with iPhone 3G printed on the box). I still occasionally get the alert.... maybe 10% of the time. I have not been able to figure out why.

Another mystery is when I dock, I sometimes connect to the "line level" output... and other times to the "volume control" output. In the former case... my volume control on the phone has no effect on the output level. This is the desired mode. However, other times it connects to the "volume control" output... then I need to set the volume of iPhone... and then also set the volume of my Bose Wave Radio. I really find it to be an annoying behavior. Does anyone know the key to this mystery?

/Jim
 

psylichon

Genius
Moderator
Oct 31, 2007
16,591
751
113
40
Philly
#6
I have a few universal docks (the newest ones with iPhone 3G printed on the box). I still occasionally get the alert.... maybe 10% of the time. I have not been able to figure out why.
Yeah, I have a "3G-compatible" clock radio with the same issue, and about the same frequency of getting that message. I think it has to do with if you slide the phone in at an angle and certain pins connect before others do. Just a guess.

Another mystery is when I dock, I sometimes connect to the "line level" output... and other times to the "volume control" output. In the former case... my volume control on the phone has no effect on the output level. This is the desired mode. However, other times it connects to the "volume control" output... then I need to set the volume of iPhone... and then also set the volume of my Bose Wave Radio. I really find it to be an annoying behavior. Does anyone know the key to this mystery?
Yes, the line-out bypasses the volume amplifier that the volume controls regulate. This will give you better audio fidelity when feeding something with its own amplifier (like powered speakers or a stereo system) because the headphone amp would add some noise in addition to the headache of an extra "gain stage" in your setup. You will also get this volume-bypassed line-out if you use a dock connector that passes audio.
 

Hawk

Genius
Gold
Aug 2, 2007
6,682
241
83
49
ATL
#7
If you only get the error message occasionally, it's possible that you have something blocking one of the pins. I would get the same message from my BT dock for the phone and headset every once in a while. I finally looked at the pins and I had a piece of fuzz or gunk in there. I gave it a sharp blow and blew it out, and I haven't received the message since.
 

psylichon

Genius
Moderator
Oct 31, 2007
16,591
751
113
40
Philly
#8
Good point. Reminds me I need to blast out my car charger with some canned air. Last time I used it, it had some rock salt stuck in there and it really scared me for a while, popping up my airplane mode warning relentlessly. Fortunately my phone was fine once I got home and cleaned and dried it out. Be careful!
 

JimP

New Member
Bronze
Dec 10, 2008
86
0
0
#9
Yes, the line-out bypasses the volume amplifier that the volume controls regulate. This will give you better audio fidelity when feeding something with its own amplifier (like powered speakers or a stereo system) because the headphone amp would add some noise in addition to the headache of an extra "gain stage" in your setup. You will also get this volume-bypassed line-out if you use a dock connector that passes audio.
I am using the Apple Universal Dock with an audio connection to a Bose Wave Radio's Aux input. It is inconsistent if I get the "line out" or "headphone out" connected to the Bose. Just like the "airplane mode"... I cannot figure out what is causing the inconsistency.

I am now experimenting with audio is playing (ex: Pandora)... before I plug it in, as opposed to starting Pandora after the iPhone is already docked.

/Jim
 

psylichon

Genius
Moderator
Oct 31, 2007
16,591
751
113
40
Philly
#10
You're saying that, even though you're connecting via the dock, sometimes you get iPhone control over the volume?
 

JimP

New Member
Bronze
Dec 10, 2008
86
0
0
#11
You're saying that, even though you're connecting via the dock, sometimes you get iPhone control over the volume?
Exactly... and it is annoying!

/Jim
 

JimP

New Member
Bronze
Dec 10, 2008
86
0
0
#12
You're saying that, even though you're connecting via the dock, sometimes you get iPhone control over the volume?
Here is an example that I just performed:

1) I started Pandora
2) While Pandora was booting, I docked the iPhone into the Universal Dock
3) The Bose Wave Radio was connected to the "variable output"
4) I undocked... and docked again with no change (still connected to variable output)
5) The phone rang... I answered
6) I hung up the call, and Pandora restarted
7) I redocked during Pandora restarting
8) My iPhone is now connected to the "Line out"... which is what I think should always happen.

I am still perplexed.

/Jim