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March 15, 2008

Kyocera KR2 EVDO Router & FJ Car Computer Update

The good guys at evdoinfo.com just left a comment on my blog about the availability of the new Kyocera KR2 EVDO Router.  I've used the Kyocera KR1 in my FJ Cruiser to provide high-speed wireless Internet access to the car computer and anyone else who happens to be in or around the FJ when it's running.  I even used it to take a Microsoft Tanjay VoIP telephone up into the mountains of Colorado to prove that it would work wirelessly.  If you need wireless Internet access where it isn't practical to connect to DSL or Cable, this is a pretty good solution.  I use a Verizon EVDO card, so when I'm traveling I pop the card out of the KR1 and drop it in my backpack so I can have EVDO anywhere.  I usually don't bother connecting to WiFi anymore unless it is free, and even then EVDO is just easier for a quick connection between planes.

So you wonder, how's the FJ Car Computer project going?  Not so good I'm afraid.  I reported back in June that the Infill T3 that I bought from mp3car.com had died on the road.  Since it was in warranty, we called MP3car.com and after a little back and forth, they agreed to replace it with a brand new dual core machine with a transflective screen.  The Infill T3 wasn't in stock, plus I liked the idea of a faster machine even though it meant I was going to have to modify the FJ's dash to install the new screen.

After months of waiting, I got the new computer, screen and a box of parts.  After unpacking everything and setting it up in my office, I realized that there was no radio module.  I'm not quite ready to have a car computer that replaces my radio, but doesn't actually have to ability to BE a radio.  Usually I listen to music via my Zune software, but I'm not ready to give up on local AM/FM radio.  I was supposed to get a new product that mp3car was working on that would provide AM/FM plus HD radio, but I keep hearing that the product has been delayed.

Now it seems from the forums at mp3car.com that the product won't be available until late summer.  (Update - I didn't read it right - they were reporting that it would be available LAST summer.  Now they report it is "in certification" where it has been since at least January.)  If that's true, I might have the car computer back in the dash a YEAR after the Infill T3 from mp3car.com died.  Everyone from mp3car.com has been nice to talk to, from the CEO on down, and they did ship me a computer that may even be worth more than the original Infill T3, but here I am nine months later, and the car computer is still sitting on a desk in my office.

I'm bummed out about it and tired of waiting.  Any suggestions?


March 15, 2008 in Car Computer | Permalink


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Terry, not sure the "reconfigure" the dash of your FJ is the best bet. And who can survive without a daily dose of public radio? Not me. How this saga finally plays out is worth following, however.

Posted by: Jerry Lewis | Mar 16, 2008 4:00:19 PM