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  1. #1
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    Parrot CK3100 review

    Alright gang,

    I finally made the sacrifice and shelled out the $214 for the Parrot CK3100 bluetooth kit to use with my PPC6600. I purchased the kit from behandsfree.com here http://www.behandsfree.com/ProductIn...ctid=WRLCK1005

    The package arrived today and when I opened it and was scared to death. It is set up with ISO connectors, which most american cars don't have. I thought maybe I was a little beyond my wiring capabilities. I called parrot's technical support at (212) 337-0056, but no one answered. I left a message and within 20 minutes they called me back. The tech support guy has his PPC6601 set up with a CK3100, so he knew exactly what I needed to do.

    Basically you need to splice all 8 speaker wires and wire the kit in, this is 16 total connections. You need to wire 1 constant 12V power wire, 1 12V ignition wire, and one ground wire. THAT'S IT!!! A total of 19 wires need to be connected, it took me about an hour.

    The tech support guy from Parrot gave me 2 recommendations to maximize this device. I recommend doing both, you won't be dissapointed. The first thing you will need to do is update your 6600 from audiovox's website here http://www.audiovox.com/webapp/wcs/s...ductId=&brand= WARNING - this will hard reset your device, make sure you back up first. The second thing you will need is a software update from the the parrot website here http://www.driveblue.com/(ko10lmb5mgzjzoy3hob5yn3x)/Default.aspx?root=download Note: You will have to bluetooth this update to the car kit, so you will need a laptop with bluetooth, or a bluetooth adapter for this step. I didn't try the device without the updates, but the tech support guy told me that it wouldn't allow all of the functions to work between the phone and the CK3100 without both updates. Since he has done this and is much smarter than I am I trusted him and updated both the phone and the car kit before anything else.

    Ok, now what you've all been waiting for.... the review. All I can say is WOW,!!! This is what I've been waiting for since I picked up my first cell phone. The devices found each other perfect. You can bluetooth contacts from your phone right into the CK3100 (about 300 total #'s), and program voice dials for any of them you choose. When someone calls you the radio goes mute and the phone rings as does the CK3100 through your sound system. You can have the Ck3100 set up to auto answer, so you never have to touch the phone. There is an external mic, so the people hear you as clear as a bell and you can hear them perfectly over you stereo system (both the mic and speakers have volume controls). Here is the best part, you can set up the system to turn on when you say a key word like, "telephone" then it is ready to voice dial. If you've programmed the name in the CK3100 it will pick it up (if there is more than 1 # per name it will beep again and you say mobile, home, work, ect.). Then it will dial the number, again without you ever touching the phone. Another voice command is "Hang up", when you're done talking, checking voicemail or whatever you say hang up, and boom the radio comes right back on.

    I've only played with the device for a few hours, but it's nearly perfect. The only problems I've found so far are that if the phone goes into sleep mode it will loose it's pairing with the CK3100, a problem that is easily fixed by keeping the phone charging in it's cradle. The second problem is that when I first start the car I have to manually pair the devices, which is a pain, but not a deal breaker.

    Downloading all of the numbers to the CK3100 is easy, but I would recommend going with Sprint's voice command for $5/month. Program a Voice Dial in your contacts and make it simply dial "*", which will take you into voice command. So here is my total process to make a call. I say "telephone", the device beeps, I say "voice dial" the devices calls * and takes me to Sprint's voice command, from there I can voice dial ANY number in my address book. Total time to make a call is about 20 seconds, but it does save download and voice programming every contact in the address book.

    Here is a picture of what my device looks like installed. Please note that I have the LCD screen mounted on my charging cradle which is from seidioonline.com and can be purchased here http://www.seidioonline.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=442 If you haven't picked one up it's worth every penny ($50 worth). The cradle holds the phone like a glove and puts it up by the window so you don't have to ever take you eyes off the road.

    I will try to check back in to answer questions, so if you have any please ask.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Parrot CK3100 review-parrot.jpg  

  2. #2
    Registered User luv2chill's Avatar
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    Awesome review, Whorley... the pic is great too (along with the shot of a Season 1/2 Seinfeld episode ).

    I have heard nothing but good things about Parrot's products and support. That's great that the tech had a 6600 himself!

    I've held off because I really want a car kit that can take advantage of the A2DP profile (I want to get GPS prompts to come out of my car speakers). A guy from Parrot told me they are working on this now, but who knows how long it will take? I may jump now... although I'm curious about the model that has the GPS built-in. I have a portable BT GPS, but it would be nice to have one that didn't need to be recharged all the time.

    Anyway, please give us an update after you've used this for a month... I'd like to know how stable it is for long-term use, etc.

    Thanks again

    Dan

  3. #3
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    I think that Parrot does have 2 models that have the GPS built in, the CK3300 and CK3500. Obviously I can't comment on how it works, but if it's anything like the 3100 I doubt you'll be disappointed. As far as the GPS, get yourself one of the Pioneer head video head units, then you can watch Seinfeld at the same time. Just kidding...

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the review. I may have missed it, but what model car did you install it in?


    Unfortunately I think your two problems are going to be major issues and deal breakers, at least for me. I often keep the 6600 in my pocket when driving. I have a Prius with bluetooth and it never looses connection when it goes to sleep. Also I never have to re-pair it when I first get in the car. It immediately pairs right up.

    I would expect to get the came functionality from Parrot, that is the beauty, just get in and drive, leave the phone in your pocket and dont touch it. I would probably not get the Parrot in my Lexus ES300 until these two issues are resolved. Do you think they are working on them?

  5. #5
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    ahhh yes...someone did it...Thank you. Now to purchase my own.
    James Murray
    HARDWARE:&nbsp;&nbsp;SprintPCS - PPC-6600; Headset: Jabra BT-800; ProClipUSA.com Car Dock with power <-- AWESOME;
    FAV-SOFTWARE:&nbsp;&nbsp;Pocket controller; Spb Pocket Plus; Voice Command; PIEPlus; VM Network Browser; TimeTrakker MX SEQBU;

  6. #6
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    very cool. My wife's car has an integrated bluetooth kit that mutes the stereo and shows CID info on the radio. You can also scroll through the directory or dial via the radio... I've wanted an option like this for my truck and I might end up buying one. Nice review....

  7. #7
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    Final review time,

    I've had the kit in for a few weeks now and I wanted to give everyone a final review.

    The device is now working perfectly!!! There is only 1 flaw left, which I will discuss after the review.

    As far as the connectivity issues, they were easily fixed by doing the following. 1) When you are first setting up the bluetooth connection you have the option on the Parrot to choose different phones. The tech support guy from Parrot told me to use the Windows CE phone setting. This made the devices work perfectly together. 2) Make the Parrot the 6600's prefered hands-free device in the bluetooth manager. This fixed all connectivity issues.

    Since making these changes on the Parrot and the 6600 they are working flawlessly. When I start the car they find each other within 5 seconds and I'm good to go from then on.

    Every person I have showed the Parrot is wowed, they can't believe how clear the sound quality is. No echo of any kind for your callers and I can hear them as if they were sitting in the car next to you.

    Most of the time I don't even take the phone out of my pocket or it's holster at all. The only exception is if I'm going to be in the car for more than a few minutes, I do still use the Seidio car charger, just to keep the battery juiced up.

    ***NOW FOR THE LAST FLAW*** You can download your address book from the 6600 to the Parrot to use for voice dialing, which is very cool. However, when you dowload your numbers they are in the (555) 555-1212 format from the phone. Problem is when someone calls you the parrot uses the format 5555551212 on it's display screen. Therefore ALL incoming calls will show the number on the Parrot, but will not show the persons name, even if you've downloaded your contact information to the Parrot. It's not a big deal to me, because I always answer my phone the same way, but it would be nice to know if it's someone in my phone book or not. I've tried to change the format of the numbers in the 6600, but I don't think it's possible. As a final step, I've sent emails to several people from Parrot explaining the situation and asking for a fix, but no word yet.

    Don't let this take away from the overall appeal of this device. It's quickly gone from something I wanted to have to play with, to a device I don't know how I ever lived without. For anyone who is on the road a lot, or someone that just likes wow gadgets you will not be disappointed by the Parrot. If you can shell out the $200 plus dollars, I really do recommend the device!

  8. #8
    Fisher of Men mwfielder's Avatar
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    The only way I have found to change the format is to change the regional settings to Estonia, instead of US. Then it will not format the numbers to (xxx) xxx-xxxx, it will just be xxxxxxxxxx. However, you would have to go and manually change what has already been done....
    Jeremiah 29:11

  9. #9
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    Great call on changing the settings to Estonian. It seems strange, but it works.

    I tried just changing a few of my contacts after changing the regional setting to Estonian, and sure enough you can get the 5555551212 format to work. I downloaded my new Estonian style contacts to the Parrot via Bluetooth. I called myself from my home line and sure enough the caller ID worked perfect on the Parrot.

    I also noticed you don't need to completly re-enter all contact information. You can change the regional settings to Estonian, go into each contact and manually delete the () and - from all phone numbers. When you switch back to English, the format stays. Now I just need to do that for 300 plus contacts and remember to do it for all new contacts I build.

    Thanks for the great tip....

    NOW THE PARROT IS PERFECT!!!

  10. #10
    Registered User luv2chill's Avatar
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    Whorley... thanks for the update, just as promised. Glad to hear that it's still working well for you.

    As for the number formatting, I'm pretty sure the reason for that is that Parrot is a french company, and in Europe they don't bother with the () - paradigm for phone number formatting like we do here (or at least not that I've seen).

    However, that seems like an issue that parrot could easily fix in a firmware update. They would just need to add handling for the parenthesis and hypen to tell the CK3100 to ignore those characters (either when transferring them over, or when it queries the database during an incoming call). It seems to me that Parrot is a good company that listens to its users, and since this is a systemic issue (would affect anyone who uses North American settings) then I bet they'd take the time to issue a fix. Then you wouldn't have to pretend you're Estonian!

    Thanks again... I plan to get one of these puppies this summer.

    Dan

  11. #11
    Fisher of Men mwfielder's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Whorley
    Great call on changing the settings to Estonian. It seems strange, but it works.

    I tried just changing a few of my contacts after changing the regional setting to Estonian, and sure enough you can get the 5555551212 format to work. I downloaded my new Estonian style contacts to the Parrot via Bluetooth. I called myself from my home line and sure enough the caller ID worked perfect on the Parrot.

    I also noticed you don't need to completly re-enter all contact information. You can change the regional settings to Estonian, go into each contact and manually delete the () and - from all phone numbers. When you switch back to English, the format stays. Now I just need to do that for 300 plus contacts and remember to do it for all new contacts I build.

    Thanks for the great tip....

    NOW THE PARROT IS PERFECT!!!
    That is how I was able to transfer contacts to my Lexus from the 6600. I can't take the credit; another fine member of the forum found that workaround.

    On my car, I had to enter the contact info into the "radio tel" entry---weird, but that was the only one that would transfer.
    Jeremiah 29:11

  12. #12
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    Whorley, glad it all worked out for you. I want to give it a try, and have a few questions:
    what model car did you install it in?
    sounds like you did it yourself, anyone know someone who could do the job for me in the Los Angeles area?


    Thanks

  13. #13
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    I put the unit in a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix.

    I know that it seems like an overwhelming task, but it's really not that difficult to do it yourself. The Parrot tech support guys will be able to walk you through it no problem. I can also help if you have any specific questions.

    As far as installers, you might try the yellow pages under Automobile Radios & Stereo Systems. I know there were a couple of listings in my area under that heading. You could also try your local Best Buy or Circuit City. None of these options are going to be very cheap, and they will probably say that they can't do it, just tell them to call Parrot and the tech support department will walk them through the process.

    Hope that helps...

  14. #14
    My Wife thinks I am a total dork davidgelb's Avatar
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    Hey all,
    I am looking for that cradle (just a charging car cradle), but don't need any integrated BT. Anyone have links for websites that sell the auto cradles for the 6600?

    Thanks!

    -David

  15. #15
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    I used the Seidio system in the picture above. I love it. The suction cup keeps it right at eye level on the dash of my car. The cost is $50 including the suction cup system. Seidio is capable of doing all of the GPS stuff, but their base model is just a cradle and charger. Here is the link to Seidio http://www.seidioonline.com/ProductD...e=CK4AG21P6601

    Hope that helps.

  16. #16
    My Wife thinks I am a total dork davidgelb's Avatar
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    Hey all,
    Thanks for the links for the cradles. I will check them out. Is anyone using one of those cradles with a case that allows docking without having to remove the PPC from the case? I would like to use a cradle, but think it would get a little annoying having to take my phone out of it's case every time I get in the car. I know there is at least one case like this, but can't find it in the forums right now.

    Thanks!

    -David

  17. #17
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    does it come with that carmount? i cant tell if its attached to it

  18. #18
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    ? on CK3100 compatablity wy Sony\Ericsson T637

    I am not sure if the CK3100 will work with T637?

    Also, can I default to having the sound passed to my Jabra BT250 in lieu of CK3100 microphine and external/car speakers when I want to "hear" privately should I have a passenger in the car.

    I guerss this also begs the question as to how difficult it is to toggle between the CK3100 and the BT250 while on a call.

    Any answers would be graetly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Claude H.
    Claude Haussmann

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