Since we introduced our iSimple IS75 Polywire iPhone/iPod Hardwire Kit to the Harley touring market, we have had a large amount of requests from Android users about a similar offering. Without getting in to the specifics of handset manufactures and the fragmentation of the market, it is best to simply state that…there are entirely too many differences in the Android environment and manufactures struggle to find a one-size-fits-all solution. However, we are pleased to announce that we have found a great solution…the iSimple TranzIt BLU Bluetooth Audio Module.
The iSimple TranzIt BLU Bluetooth Audio Module is simply a wireless module that accepts the incoming bluetooth audio stream from your phone. Once you pair the device with your handset, tablet, etc., any audio is then sent wirelessly to the module and the module will output this audio via RCA stereo outputs, or via FM modulation. Available in either the Apple App Store or the Google Play store is a free app that allows you to power on/off the iSimple TranzIt BLU Bluetooth Audio Module, set the power to “auto”, or change the FM channel that the module broadcasts. It is a very slick implementation and one that allows you to hide the module anywhere you desire and still be able to control the unit without having physical access to it.
Items you will need:
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Double Sided Adhesive Tap – We recommend 3M VHB
- Wire Strippers/Cutters
- Stereo RCA to 3.5mm adapter cable (Male to Male)
- Wire Ties
- Shrink Tube
- (2) Female Spade Terminals
In the image above you can see all of the details… The module itself consists of the following connections:
- Fused Power Lead
- Ground Lead
- Inline Power Switch
- Inline Power Switch Bypass (In case you do not want to use the switch)
- FM Antenna Input/Output
- RCA Stereo Outputs
I am going to spare you the process of removing your fairing since this is fairly self explanatory. I am however going to show you my process of installing the bluetooth module as well as how I solved the charging issue. Since this is a wireless solution, we have to be able to charge the phone, right?
Clean the top of the radio or inner fairing with rubbing alcohol… wherever you plan on mounting the module, MAKE SURE IT IS CLEAN! While you are at it, make sure you clean the bluetooth module on the side you plan on applying the double sided adhesive tape.
Apply a double sided adhesive tape to the bluetooth module and fasten it to the stereo (or fairing).
This next one is a little tough to see… I ran the power and ground leads from the module down to the cigarette lighter. I removed the existing terminals from the cigarette lighter and combined the wires into a single power terminal and a single ground terminal. Follow this up with some shrink tube to give you a nice connection. This is a clean way to route the wires and it will provide power to the bluetooth module anytime the bike is on, or the ignition switch is in the ACC position.
At this step you need to make a decision… do you want to use only the FM modulation, or use the RCA outputs to send the audio thru your AUX input on the face of your radio. There is nothing wrong with using both methods… in fact, this is what I did. I figure if I have a problem with one connection, then I have a backup to use. I can tell you that the audio is CONSIDERABLY clearer if you use the RCA outputs. You loose a lot of range in the audio by using the FM modulation. It doesn’t sounds bad, just not near as good. Below are steps 4a and 4b that shows both approaches.
Step 4a – FM modulation:
Remove the antenna from the factory radio and plug that into our female end of the bluetooth module. Then plug the male antenna end from the bluetooth module to the factory radio. This puts the bluetooth module in-line with the radio antenna allowing it to receive the signal from the bluetooth module. We will be able to use the iPhone/Android app to then switch which station to use.
Step 4b – RCA Output:
For this step, you will need the optional Stereo RCA to 3.5mm (Male to Male) cable. Plug the RCA cables into the RCA outputs on the bluetooth module, route the cable to the front of your stereo, as you desire, then plug the 3.5mm end into the AUX input jack.
As you can see… we routed our RCA to 3.5mm to our rear facing AUX input. You can learn more about this on our blog post… How To: Hardwire AUX input on Harley-Davidson stereo
That is it! Pretty simple process really (no pun intended). Now, for the apps… Here is a screen shot of the Apple app. You can see that it allows you to switch the broadcast channel for the FM modulation. It also allows you to turn the iSimple TranzIt BLU Bluetooth Audio Module on/off, or set it to auto. “Auto” simply puts the module into a “listen” mode. Once your device connects to it, it will turn itself on, then after a period of inactivity, it will turn itself off.
You can download the app from these stores:
OK… so what about the charging issue?
Well, there a couple of options. The easiest solution would be to buy a cigarette lighter, plug it in… and vuala! However, we are Harley owners, we want clean! So… here is what I did. Now, before I go into the specifics, I am an iPhone user, so the images you are going to see are specifically for the iPhone 5 and the lightning connector. The same approach will work with any phone than can utilize a cigarette lighter charging cable.
In the next few steps we are going to route a 12VDC Extension Cord from inside the fairing or nacelle to the ACC switch port located underneath our seat. This will allow us to turn the power to the phone on/off via the ACC switch located on our dash. This is beneficial because this cord will be exposed to the elements when not in use. If it rains, you need to make sure to switch the power off so it doesn’t short out.
Purchase your car charger of choice. Here you can see that I purchased the Belkin Car Charger with Lightning Connector. I also purchased a 12VDC Extension Cord available at Radio Shack. Cut the male end off and leave as much wire needed to route underneath your gas tank to underneath your seat.
Solder the ground and power leads to our Supplemental 12v Power Point and seal the solder joints with shrink tube. Now all we need to do is simply plug the assembly directly into the ACC port located just under our seat.
Now we are going to remove the gas tank so we can route the 12V Extension Assembly. Using a 1/2″ socket or T-40 Torx bit, remove the front and rear mounting bolts.
Disconnect fuel line by lifting the chrome sleeve and pulling down on the fuel supply fitting.
Disconnect fuel sensor connector.
Remove breather tube.
With the gas tank disconnected, remove the tank from the motorcycle. Make sure you take off any rings, watches, etc. to avoid scratching your tank. Also, watch your belt buckle. Now we have access to the wiring tunnel. Open up the tunnel by unsnapping the plastic lid then run the wire assembly thru the tunnel and into the open area underneath the seat. Replace the plastic lid.
Insert the Deutsch plug into the ACC port located just in front of the battery. Generally this has a rubber cap on it from the factory.
Place tank back on bike by reversing the removal process. The proper torque values for the tank mounting bolts are 15-20 ft-lbs (20.3-27.1 Nm).
On my particular install, I ran the extension to the back of my nacelle, this way I could access it easier than removing the fairing. (The Road Glide fairing is more of a pain in the ass to remove than the Street Glide.) Plug your car charger of choice into the extension and then run the charger cable to the location of your phone. I wasn’t able to take a photo, but I did use some extra large shrink tube to seal these two connectors from the elements. Electrical tape will work just as well.
That is it! You now have switched power to your phone. Just use the ACC switch on your dash to toggle the power on and off.
We have put together a Power Kit for you guys that will include everything you need (Just provide your specific USB charging cable for your phone). It includes a 12v to USB hardwire adapter along with our own Supplemental 12v Power Point. The installation instructions would remain the same as above.