What Cellphone








I drive a company car and I would like to have a full car kit for my Nokia 2110, but the boss wonít allow me to have any holes drilled in the dashboard. I could probably get away with using one of those air-vent mounted cradles and a  power cord (the car is a P-reg Ford Mondeo), but I donít think that would be very satisfactory. Can you think of any way of fitting a car kit, without making any holes?

Sara Levington, Doncaster


All of the full-spec car kits weíre aware of require some holes to be drilled, but a skilled installer can minimise their impact, and may even be able to make sure theyíll remain out of sight, when the kit is removed. Maybe you could persuade your employer to talk to a couple of local firms, for reassurance. If he wonít see reason then youíre only alternative is one of the Ďsimpleí hands-free kits, like those made by Ora and Vivox. In both outfits the speaker is built into the power adaptor, that fits into the cigarette lighter plug. Youíll have to use it with a vent-mount cradle, or an Easy Mount bracket, designed specifically for your make of car, which fits onto existing fittings on the dashboard.



I have noticed that several petrol stations in my area now have notices saying that mobile telephones must not be used on the premises. Why is that?

James. T. Rodd, Ilford


Thereís a couple of reasons. The first is that radio transmitters can, in theory at least, generate or induce sparks in nearby metallic objects. Clearly that would be a bad thing if it happened inside a tank containing several thousand gallons of four-star. We have to say that it is extremely unlikely that a hand-held cellphone, which has an output power of just a few milliwatts, could do such a thing. Nevertheless, itís possible that higher-power transmitters, including proper carphones, mobile radios used by emergency services, taxi radios and CBs could pose a threat.


The other reason why garage owners donít like radios transmitters being used on their forecourts, is that the signals can affect the sensitive electronic microcircuits inside their pumps. It may be one of those urban myths, but there are stories of pumps going haywire when someone is using a phone nearby, dispensing tank-fulls of fuel, with the display just showing a few pence. It could just as easily go the other way though, and charge you ten quid a litre, so itís sensible to obey the rules!



Six months ago I had an Ericsson hands-free car kit installed in my car, which is a rather smooth Volkswagen Golf Gti. Since then I have noticed that several of my tapes, including oneís by the Spice Girls, Take That and Snoop Doggy Dog have started to sound really hissy. Is there any way the phone could be wiping them?

Alistair Creely, Knutsford


If itís only affecting those three tapes then Iím tempted to say that it must be a design feature, that we commend to anyone with any sort of musical taste. But seriously, itís highly improbably that the phone itself is responsible, it doesnít generate any magnetic fields, at least none that would strong enough to wipe a tape cassette. The most likely suspect is the car kitís speaker, if its anywhere near where you store your tapes. Otherwise check around for other sources of magnetism, maybe youíve had some new car stereo speakers installed lately? Powerful amplifiers can generate magnetic fields? Makes sure you keep your tapes in a purpose designed box, avoiding places that may experience extremes of temperature, out of direct sunlight and away form sources of vibration.



R. Maybury 1997 1402    



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