Types of car kits

When it comes to hands free for mobile phones, there are many products, features and options. Here’s a quick guide to the main options available:

  • Personal hands free - usually an earpiece , wired or wireless Bluetooth. These can be used anywhere and are not typically considered a car kit. Unless worn all the time, they can be a safety hazard if a driver is fumbling with an earpiece while driving.
  • Portable or Plug-in - these include cigarette lighter or sun-visor clip-on types. These are standalone units, usually Bluetooth, and can be moved from car-to-car. They are battery powered and have to be charged (either in or out of the car). 
    Microphones and speakers are built-in. They do not offer features like radio mute or stereo integration. They also do not charge the phone.
  • Bluetooth car kits (hard-wired) - The most common type of car kit today. These kits are fully installed with external microphone, radio mute and stereo integration. Some systems allow music playback and control via your phone.

Connecting only via wireless Bluetooth to your mobile phone means that the kit won't charge your phone but a charging cradle can solve that problem (see below).

 Bluetooth kits are available from all the popular manufacturers and offer a range of options, from simple buttons to LCD screens to integrated systems that use your car's steering wheel buttons.

  • Cradles can be added to a Bluetooth system should you want to hold and charge the phone while in the car. Some cradles also offer antenna connections. Cradles are now mandatory in most states for using mobile phones while driving.

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About using Bluetooth

Bluetooth is a short-range radio technology which allows devices to communicate over a wireless connection. Found in most devices today, it has become a radio standard which is convenient, reliable and secure. Using Bluetooth in the car offers a wealth of benefits

  • To use Bluetooth – You will need to initiate a search from your device and you will be displayed with a list of other Bluetooth devices within range. Select the one you want to connect to and enter the password. This is called “pairing” and is done only once.
  • Trusted devices – Once connected, you can authorise this connection to take place automatically whenever the devices are within range. It won’t ask you again, it will just connect.
  • Disconnecting – Your devices will disconnect either when you tell it to or when your car is shut down.
  • R2DP is the latest from Bluetooth. This new technology allows the high-speed transfer of audio from your mobile phone or PDA.

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What is stereo integration?

The factory-fitted stereo systems in most vehicles make provision for mobile phone kits. Usually designed for their own dealer-branded parts, these features can also be available to you with a range of aftermarket products and options.

  • Adaptors and Interfaces – We have a huge range of vehicle-specific adaptors and interfaces to allow routing of the call from the car kit directly through to your speakers. These systems include auto-mute, and many also allow for music playback through your car stereo.
  • Tele-mute - Found in most stereo systems, the tele-mute feature allows your hands free car kit to automatically mute the stereo during a call. Some will display "phone" or "tel" on the screen, some will simply switch off. When your call is ended, the stereo system resumes as before. 
    If your stereo does not support a tele-mute feature, we can fit an additional part (a mute relay) which will cut off the power to the stereo in a call and return it once the call is completed.
  • Audio input - If your stereo supports a telephone input, then you can enjoy clear conversation with the call audio playing via your car speakers. The volume is adjustable on the radio or steering wheel.

When you book your hands free installation, be sure to ask us what's available for your car.


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Cradles. Do I need one?

A cradles basic function is to hold the phone or PDA, usually mounted to the dash or console with a no-holes bracket, keeping it secure and well-positioned for safe and convenient use.

Some phones require a cradle, connecting to the brain of the system via a cable.
These cradles will be phone-specific, charge the phone and may also have the ability to connect to an external antenna. Most kits nowdays offer the convenience of upgradeable cradles.

If your phone has Bluetooth, you do not necessarily need a cradle, as your phone connects wirelessly with the car kit. Adding a cradle is optional and would be independent of the Bluetooth system. These are available as passive holders or active holders which will charge the phone.


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Using your steering wheel buttons.

Thanks to a range of aftermarket integration products, you can now enjoy all the features of a factory-fitted phone system at a fraction of the cost.

Experience true hands free convenience by using the buttons right there on your steering wheel to control your mobile phone. -- Answer, hang up, redial, voice dial and volume adjustment without taking your hands off the wheel.

For the cleanest looking installation and the freedom of wireless Bluetooth, these systems really are the ultimate in hands free. No wires, no buttons, no cradles (unless you want one).


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How parking sensors work


Parking sensors commonly consist of 2, 4 or 8 sensor heads fitted to the front and/or rear of the vehicle. Usually drilled into the bumper or surface-mounted on utes or trucks.

  • Engaging automatically when selecting reverse gear, an ultrasonic radio wave is emitted, creating a “detection zone” around the sensors. Usually up to a distance of 2m.
  • Object alert – Should the system detect an object, you are warned by an audible tone.
  • Distance to the object is measured in the “beep beep “frequency of this tone. Becoming faster as the object gets closer until a solid “beeeep” indicating the driver to stop.

Some systems offer a visual display as well as an audible tone, which shows the actual distance to the object on an LCD display.

Front sensors are usually in an “alway-on” mode, but with shorter detection distance. They can also be manually turned off by a switch if desired.


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What colour are the sensors?


Sensors are usually black but can be colour matched to suite your car's paint finish.

Just provide us with your car's Colour Name as well as Colour Code and we will have the sensor heads prepared, sprayed and finished by a professional service before we come out to fit them .

This code can be found in your owner’s handbook, on the compliance plate in your vehicle or from your dealer.


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Types of camera systems


Camera systems are available in a variety of types and sizes. Depending on the vehicle and the application. With these systems you will have a full-colour image of what's behind the vehicle, but will not have an audible alert or distance display as you get with a sensor system

Camera types:

  • Bumper-fit are barrel-shaped and drilled into the bumber
  • Mini cameras are attached either under the boot latch or number plate light
  • Commercial cameras are larger and can be fitted at the top / bottom of the vehicle

When selecting a camera, there are different technologies available:

  • CMOS - Basic imaging technology, lower resolution.
  • CCD - More advanced, digital technology, higher resolution
  • The higher the resolution, the clearer the picture will be on your display.

Selecting a camera for night use:

  • the LUX value of the camera represents how well the camera will perform at night.
    The LOWER the LUX value the better.
  • InfraRed is available on some cameras which is designed for night vision. usually available only in larger cameras.

Now that you understand cameras, there are options for displaying the image:

  • Factory-fitted screen - if your vehicle has a built-in colour monitor, there are ways of connecting the camera directly into the system so that you get the rear image up on the display. Some vehicles offer a video input, others will require 3rd party interfaces or adaptors
  • Aftermarket screens - Available in a multitude of shapes, sizes and types. Typically these consist of:
    Window / dash-mount
    Rear-view-mirror replacement or clip-on screens
    Sun-visor mount

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Can I have sensors & camera?


Yes. Fitting both sensors and a camara gives you the ultimate parking assistant.

Both types of systems have their strengths and their downfalls. Combining the two together gives you complete piece-of-mind.

See whats behind you with a full colour image, be alerted to objects and know how far they are.

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Can I use my existing screen?


If you have a colour screen factory-fitted in your car, chances are you will be able to add a reverse camera and have the image displayed in full colour up on your in-dash display.
These will activate automatically when selecting reverse gear.

Some car's have an input available for cameras, most dont. Aftermarket interfaces and Video input adaptors are available for those that don't. Just ask us what's available for your car.


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