Comments on: Multi-Connector Microphone Module

Palm TX Mic ModuleTech Center Labs is now shipping their Multiconnector Microphone module. It is primarily designed with the Palm TX in mind, so that it can take advantage of 3rd party voice recording apps and VoIP software over WiFi. The Mic Module sells for $14.95. The company also has an interesting LED Color lights multi-connector add on that will preform a multi-colored light show to your digital music.
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Made my own for $8

Jamerican @ 7/6/2006 11:54:47 PM # Q
Look here...

Trust me a mic is not worth $15


RE: Made my own for $8
Garfie1d @ 7/7/2006 7:52:17 AM # Q
In the article you refer to, the guy already had a mic and bought the casing for $8. Without knowing the cost of the mic he already had you can't say how much it would cost in total.

Furthermore, the case really costs $13 but he was lucky (something to do with back orders) and they refunded him the shipping, reducing the price to $8.

Therefore the real cost of the mic you refer to comes to $13 for the case plus whatever the actual mic costs.

$15 for this mic is therefore very good value for money - you're getting the actual mic and the construction for an incredible $2!

RE: Made my own for $8
fierywater @ 7/10/2006 1:54:09 AM # Q
The guy? I think "the guy" is the person you're replying to. =P

RE: Made my own for $8
Garfie1d @ 7/11/2006 3:51:38 AM # Q
Ah, erm, sorry mate! ;-)
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bulls96 @ 7/6/2006 11:59:14 PM # Q
What if you need to charge it while you're using it? You will have limited minutes on the voip app with that

RE: Power?
KultiVator @ 7/7/2006 2:31:50 PM # Q
But this is the TX - it has the best battery life of any colour Palm I've ever owned (and I've owned a few).

I'm more interested in whether software written for the T|T / T|2's / T|3's internal MIC will work without modification on this external MIC unit (e.g. the hi-quality voice recorder feature found in recent versions of Agendus - which hasn't been as buggy as a lot of people make out).


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Now if only...

crimewave @ 7/7/2006 4:47:43 PM # Q
Now all I need is an app that would make my palm a handsfree kit for my cell phone via bluetooth. Anyone heard of such an app?

Computers don't make mistakes, people do.
RE: Now if only...
AdamaDBrown @ 7/7/2006 8:26:41 PM # Q
No, Palms (aside from the Treos) don't support the headset/audio gateway profiles, and even if they did, there's no app to direct the audio the way you envision.

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How 'bout it Palm?

joad @ 7/7/2006 5:17:13 PM # Q
Maybe with the popularity of add-ons like this it'll convince the bean-counters at Palm to just include a mic as a standard - especially in their "high-end" PDAs. It's not like this is revolutionary - Handera had 'em 6 years ago on their model, and Handspring included a microphone too.

I can only guess it's the partnership with the cellular carriers that forces Palm into leaving off obvious basic components like this in their devices ten years after they started the Palm-sized catagory.

Then again - they DID build the Tungsten W - the "cell phone without a microphone." Maybe they just rely on their users and third-party developers nowadays to point out the obvious to them.

RE: How 'bout it Palm?
LiveFaith @ 7/9/2006 8:37:36 PM # Q
Palm's high end PDA does have a mic. The LD is the only high end model unless you include the Treos which also have mics.

The TX is a midrange model. Palm needs to differentiate mid and high range models to give buyers a reason to spend the extra cheese.

This is all the results for a company who gave up on PDA innovation years ago.

Pat Horne

RE: How 'bout it Palm?
cervezas @ 7/9/2006 9:36:02 PM # Q
Definitely one of the stranger slips Palm has made in recenter years: leaving out a microphones.

How I miss the old Handspring Visor which seemed to present this "anything is possible" outlook between the microphone at the bottom and the Springboard slot at the top. I actually never owned a Palm-branded Palm until the Tungsten T3, due mainly to the fun I had tricking out my old Visor with cellphones, voice recorders, digital cameras, GPS receivers and WiFi adapters. There was always something new you could convert it into.

It's a shame that in Handspring's rush to capture the "communicator" market (and then rejoin Palm) the whole idea of modularity had to go out the window. If the Treos could be modded up like the old Visors--especially with GPS, WiFi, or maybe a high-end digital camera attachment--it seems like Palm could do a lot to capture that whole "customization" and "personalization" thing that we keep hearing is important for mobile phone vendors and customers.

What about a small, sleek PDA body with compact flash slots top *and* bottom and a handful of Palm branded modules from which you could choose two free ones at time of purchase. The modules would need to have enclosures that made them thoroughly integrated with the device (unlike many of the old Springboard modules) and to make the device complete you'd need one top and bottom.

Modules for top slot:
* cell phones, of course: pick your radio and carrier. You'd have to pick one of these if you wanted the carrier subsidy.

Modules for top *or* bottom slot, as you please:
* WiFi adapter / SD slot combo
* GPS receiver / SD slot combo
* Document scanner / SD slot combo
* Big chunk of flash memory and extra-quality audio circuitry
* Decent 2Mp camera (let 3rd parties come up with the *really* decent camera)
* Powerful video circuitry and processor for gaming / SD slot (maybe this is actually two modules so you get the good gaming controls on either side of the landscape screen)
* Extra battery to run all week on a charge

The body would come in two models: one with QWERTY keyboard and 320 x 320 resolution and one without keyboad but a 320 x 480 screen. Otherwise, keep the bodies pretty much identical to keep overall costs down. Then let the aftermarket develop the exotic stuff over time like fuel cells, WiMax adapters, RFID scanners, personal massagers, tasers, etc. :-)

Would that be a fun device or what? I wouldn't care if it was a big Treo-ey brick if it were a brick that did what I want it to when I want it to.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog

RE: How 'bout it Palm?
hkklife @ 7/9/2006 11:32:09 PM # Q

Good concept but it'd never fly in reality. Look at all of the dashed hopes caused by the SDIO vaporware cards Palm & Panasonic demo'd back in 2001. And just think how poor ol' FrankenGarnet would absolutely MELT under the strain of "modular" components!

Remember, Palm is a MARKETING company now. First & foremost they achieve success via smoke & mirrors and selling high margin add-ons. That said, here are some (possibly) more realistic alternative:

#1 Sell "fancier" versions of standard Palm handhelds/Treos as exclusives.

Some examples:

LifeDrive with an 8gb HD & a black housing

TX with higher capacity battery and 416mhz CPU (just like the T5)

Treo 700P in black with a 2400mAh battery standard

#2 Palm should offer a variety of supported, "official" ROM updates on their web site.


-Graffiti 1 plugin for ALL OS 5.2+ units

-Latest versions of DTG, Blazer, VM etc. with ROM UPDATERS so precious RAM space is not used to "lay" newer versions over the original ROM bundled versions.

-CDMA phone BT DUN functionality (drivers, fixed BT stack etc) for TX etc handhelds. Pay Verizon/Sprint whatever per license and let American users who still want a dedicated PDA have a choice of something other than a Treo.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: How 'bout it Palm?
cervezas @ 7/10/2006 12:03:17 AM # Q
hkklife wrote:
Good concept but it'd never fly in reality.

Who said anything about reality? I thought this was PalmInfocenter!

And just think how poor ol' FrankenGarnet would absolutely MELT under the strain of "modular" components!

Nah, Garnet would do just fine with this. And if it didn't all they'd have to do is roll back the OS to version 3.5.2H to handle it! ;-)

More seriously, this would be a job for Palm's skunkworks Linux OS, coming soon....

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog

RE: How 'bout it Palm?
LiveFaith @ 7/10/2006 12:31:32 AM # Q
Dreamers. All of you!

Are you talking about the same Palm that (to name a few) still uses the originally bulky (now archaic) underwhelming T|E form factor after years, celebrates it's 10th year of innovation by delivering us yet more devices with Pilot 1000 alarms, considers Chinese water torture (ie. screen whine) to be acceptable, considers an industry standard 3.5mm audio jack to bulky to fit into a smartphone (see iPod Nano), puts 1800mah batteries in flagship Treos while 2400mah non-OEMs already clutter eBay, and boot its flagship mobile manager from a hard drive ... in minutes, not seconds???

... this kind of faith I've yet to see in all the internet!

Pat Horne

RE: How 'bout it Palm?
cervezas @ 7/10/2006 1:31:13 AM # Q
Then came the disciples came to Jesus apart, and said, "Why weren't we able to perform Bluetooth dial-up networking between our CDMA phones and our Palm TX handhelds?"

He said to them, "Because of your unbelief. For verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say to this mountain, 'Move hence to yonder place,' and it shall move; but you still may experience some screen whine with the TX."

Thus saith the Lord! :-o

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog

RE: How 'bout it Palm?
fierywater @ 7/10/2006 1:58:39 AM # Q
I hate to bring this up, but not only have older Palm OS devices had microphones, all Pocket PCs/Windows Mobile devices (and most pre-PPC WinCE devices) have had one. It's standard. Why the hell isn't it with Palm?

RE: How 'bout it Palm?
hkklife @ 7/10/2006 9:29:54 AM # Q
Well....remember, the "flagship" TX & T5 (and midrange E2) all utilize the FF of the archaic (and very underwhelming back in '03!) of the T|E. The only major changes Palm has made to that design aside from color is the Athena connector on the bottom panel and making the fullsize reset button opening on the back of the body.

It'd be quite easy to make two of the most requested changes by ONLY modifying the top panel of the unit. Then Palm's OEM wouldn't have to retool to do a whole new body.
Looking at my TX there's plenty of room between the headphone jack & the power button to add a small microphone up there. A top mounted mic wouldn't be ideal for VOIP but it's better than nothing!

The power button's recessed design could also be changed slightly to accomodate an internal LED for charging/alert notification.

A TX2 with an internal mic & VR app, charge LED, higher capacity battery, larger DBcache/heap size, CDMA BT connectivity and a small internal storage drive (512mb?) would a near-perfect compromise between users still wanting a decent conventional PDA and Palm's penny-pinching beancounters.

All of the above changes would hardly be more expensive to manufacture than the current TX and would make a lovely unit for $275-$300 MSRP.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

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Next project?

Adif @ 7/7/2006 5:30:45 PM # Q
Maybe they can make an Athena-UC adapter that would let us use our ultra-thin keyboards with newer Palms. That would definitely lower the upgrade bar a bit for those of us with working T3's.

RE: Next project?
joad @ 7/7/2006 9:59:46 PM # Q
You would think that wouldn't be too hard - similar to the Palm V-III adapter that was out (but obviously the video and whatever was added to Athena wouldn't port, but who uses them anyway).

Although there is a definite market for these adapters, don't expect Palm to be releasing them - they'd rather you toss away your $50 cradle and buy another instead of offering a $5-10 adapter that would essentially accomplish the same thing (and create a whole lot less waste). A truly innovative company would design things from the *start* to be interoperable - same ports or easy ways to use the same basic pieces with interchangable adapters if need be. But I guess the more of the earth we throw away - the more dollar bills there are to decorate our bodies with.

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And yet

Konstantin @ 7/8/2006 12:45:22 AM # Q
Its is very bulky.
Someone must redesign the multiconnector, maybe.
Well its not gonna be me so I will su now.

RE: And yet
twrock @ 7/11/2006 12:55:37 PM # Q
It can be made much smaller (mic only). The only "necessary" part of the connector is the small part that clips into the wider section of the jack (see pic in the link below). The mini microphone is tiny enough to mount on the side of that connector section, sitting right where the "power" part of the connector would be. The only problem with this idea would be getting it to look "pretty" enough.

I did build one of my headset adapters ( by cutting the plug down to half its length. And that required me to install a mini 2.5mm jack and a resistor (not the 2.5mm jack show in the pics, a smaller one). It is smaller by half, but it doesn't look quite as nice as the full size one.

It might not be the "mythical color HandEra", but I'm liking my TX anyway.

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