PowerJolt Is Simple Solution to iPod Battery Drain
by Derrick Story
I don't know why I've resisted getting an auto adapter for my iPods. It's not that I enjoy running out of music on the road any more than running out of gas. I'd peruse various options every time I visited my local Apple Store, but never took the plunge.
Now I'm glad I waited. The PowerJolt is available for $25, and it works with both my shuffle and the iPod photo. It's simple. One end goes in the cigarette lighter, the other is a USB port. If you're shuffling, just stick the device in the USB port and you're rolling. You will be tired of your songs long before you run out of juice.
Regular iPods can use the supplied cord that's USB on one end and a dock connector on the other. Not quite as convenient as the shuffle attachment because you still have to find somewhere to place the iPod so your best friend doesn't sit on it. But it does get the job done. And it's convenient having one charger for all of your modern iPods.
The PowerJolt excels for the shuffle, however. I leave the charger in my cigarette lighter, then insert the shuffle when I get in the car. I use a cassette adapter for the audio, so I take the dangling cord and plug it into the headphone port. The whole process takes about 15 seconds, and my shuffle is mounted to the dash and safely out of the way.
One thing to keep in mind... the PowerJolt sticks out from the lighter port about 2", then you have to add the length of the shuffle itself. Fortunately, it doesn't interfere with my stick shift, but in some cars this could be an issue. So you might want to do a little measuring before shelling out 25 clams.
3Gs out of luck
Just to confirm the specs I read on the Griffin site, I pulled my iPod 3rd Generation out of the home stereo system and tried it in the car with the PowerJolt. No dice. Not only did it not charge, it stood still in its tracks until I disconnected it. So, looks like modern pods only.
PowerPod vs. PowerJolt
I got an iTrip with my 4G iPod. Of course I couldn't use it with the new 5G with video for my car. So I got the new Griffen iTrip for the new iPod. Now the PowerPod I got can't be used because it requires a dock connection which is now being used by the new iTrip (the old one went on the top of the previous iPod). The PowerPod used a FireWire connection to connect to the power in the car. Now the new iTrip has a connection for mini-USB. Is there some sort of connection to put the PowerPod in the lighter socket, connect the FireWire dock connector to it and then somehow get a connector from the dock connector on top to the mini-USB? Or another cable with a FireWire male connection on one end and a mini-USB male connector on the other end? I would love to not be usuing only the iPods battery when I am using the iTrip. I am used to the old set up where it was connected to car power while using the iTrip. I had to buy a new iTrip, would hate to have to get a PowerJolt and more connectors when I have a PowerPod already. Any ideas?