(Pocket-lint) - If you want to make your iPod a part of your car proper then there are a number of options available from Griffin and Belkin.

Griffin thinks it has the answer with the RoadTrip - a massive clunky looking bolt-on accessory that will make your CD player dock of yesteryear a thing of beauty.

The main crux of the RoadTrip is a docking station that cradles both the iPod and the transmitter. Slotting in the top, the iPod is charged at the same time and there are a number of rigid booms so you can attempt to get the docking station out of the way of your gear stick. It's not as good a the Belkin approach with its sturdy bendy option, but is certainly a solution.

Just like the iTrip the RoadTrip featues a small screen to display the frequency that you want to transmit on and there is a toggle switch at the side that allows you to manually change the frequency.

The small screen is illuminated and shows the bear minimum information that you need. That information is basically the range of FM signal you can transmit, in this case slightly less than the iTrip at 88.1-107.9 FM rather than 87.9-107.9FM.

Once tuned in, all that's left is to tune your FM radio into that frequency. And here lies the rub; you've got to make sure that the signal your trying to transmit to is free. Try and take over the Radio 2 signal for instance and you're going to struggle with lots of interference, however we did find that the RoadTrip signal strength at transmitting a signal was considerably better than the iTrip, iTrip Auto or Belkin TuneBase FM we've tested.

That said, when you do find a spare bit of signal on the band, you're in business and your favourite tunes will be piped out in your car for you to sing along to.

Where the RoadTrip differs from other car-based docking stations is the ability to remove the transmitter and plug it into your computer so you can use it with your home Hi-Fi system.


In our tests, quality of the RoadTrip was very good, there is no software to install and it’s a case of plugging it in, selecting the channel and away you go.

The downside is that it's such a large device that the majority of dashboards will be swamped.

Big, but good, you've just got to make sure you've got enough space in your car without affecting your dashboard or more importantly gear stick.

Writing by Stuart Miles.