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The package's main components are the display, the controller, and the "brain".  The package also comes with everything needed to hook up the unit to the car and the iPod. 

There were two options for powering the Drive+Play: via the cigarette lighter (blue arrow) or direct connect to the car's 12V DC (red arrow).  We think most folks will choose the direct connection so we will as well.  It will also allow us to hide all the wires for a more "factory" looking installation.

The diagram for the connections were pretty straight forward and everything was clearly labeled on the "brain" unit.  With the exception of hooking the power to the car's electrical systems, it's pretty much plug-and-play.  For folks that are comfortable hooking up their home component stereo system, they should have no trouble hooking this unit up to their car.

The Drive+Play will connect to any dockable iPod.  The audio out cable from the unit to car's stereo headunit assumes RCA type inputs. 

The Drive+Play can be connected to the car's audio system in three different ways: standard 3.5mm audio line output, onboard wireless FM transmitter, or optional wired FM transmitter.

Some cars with factory installed headunits may require a special cable.  We'll be hooking the Drive+Play to the Porsche Boxster.  We had previously shown how to install an audio-in cable to the Boxster's Becker stereo system.  We will be using that same connection to bring the audio signal from the Drive+Play's audio-out port to the Boxster's stereo.

The Drive+Play's display unit has multiple mount points for ease of optimal placement.  Obviously this will be part personal perference, part ease of mounting, and again... a dose of COMMON SENSE :-)  In our installation article, our discussion will focus mostly on ease of mounting.

The folks are Harman Kardon did provide some suggestions on possible locations for the various components.  We'll try them all and let you know what we thought will work best for the Boxster.

This should be a really fun installation project and we encourage you to send us any questions or comments about the Drive+Play.





Harman Kardon


By Wan Chi Lau

We reported on the the Drive+Play back in June when Harman Kardon announced it at MacWorld Boston.

Harman Kardon recognized that although people want to hook up their iPod to their car's stereo system, controlling it was next to impossible.

The Drive+Play was designed to allow a driver to safely control the iPod's functions with minimal distraction.  Of course, the user must still exercise COMMON SENSE while using the Drive+Play... but don't get us started on that :-)

The Drive+Play is now shipping and we got one of the first units available.

RainyDayGarage will, of course, do a complete series on the installation and use of this innovative product.


1. FirstLook

2. Placement/Bench Test

3. Mounting Controller

4. Car Installation

5. FirstUse

6. Drive+Play at MacWorld

Review Summary:

Initial Impression- Quality pieces

Usability- iPod interface

Durability- Test in progress

Price- $200


iPod/MP3 Reviews:

1. iPod nano FirstLook

2. iPod nano FirstUse

3. MobiBLU

iPod Case Reviews:

1. iKeychain FirstLook

2. Speck cases FirstLook

iPod installation Reviews:

1. iPod Install in a Porsche

iPod Speaker Reviews:

1. JBL OnTour Speakers

2. Logitech mm50 FirstLook

3. Logitech mm50 FirstUse



Other Boxster Projects:

- Mac mini Carputer installation

- PVC Rear Speakers installation

- Aluminum Pedals installation

- Radar Detector installation

- iPod installation


Photography by Wan Chi Lau
Rainy Day Magazine is a Publication of Rainy Day Entertainment Group © 2005