Frequently Asked Questions
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1. I have an iPhone/iPad/iPod with Lightning Connector. Is the PocketDock Line Out USB compatible with Apple’s Lightning to 30-pin Adapter?
Yes, it is fully compatible and supports both USB sync & charge as well as high quality, line level audio output. Requirement is that your PocketDock Line Out USB is Rev. B (= shipped after Nov. 29, 2007). Previous Rev. A models will support USB sync & charge, but will not provide line out audio.
For other PocketDock models see respective support sections.
2. What type of USB connector does the PocketDock Line Out USB have?
The PocketDock Line Out USB features a USB-B receptacle
. This is the same type as found on desktop devices like USB printers, scanners and external 3.5" harddisks. The idea behind this is the ability to unplug the cable from any of these devices and, when combined with a PocketDock, use it to sync & charge your iPod/iPhone/iPad.
3. When connecting the PocketDock to my iPhone, I get a dialogue that “This accessory is not made to work with iPhone” or “This accessory is not optimized for this iPhone”. What does this mean? How to behave?
Apple has removed this dialogue with the introduction of Firmware version iOS 5.0. If you run any earlier iOS version, we strongly suggest to update your device if possible.
Under Firmware version iOS 4.x
a message saying “This accessory is not optimized for this iPhone” will pop up when attaching your PocketDock to specific iPod touch models or an iPhone:
- Tap Dismiss (or simply ignore the dialogue; it disappears after 15 secs) and your iPhone PocketDock will work without any limitations. You may however experience audio interferences during network communication (e.g. incoming calls).
If you are actually experiencing interferences, you might want to turn on the Airplane Mode in the Settings Menu (which means no calls, no WiFi) and thereby reduce possible audio interferences. Note that this dialogue might periodically reappear.
Under Firmware version iOS 3.x
you’ll see the message “This accessory is not made to work with iPhone”. You have two options to choose from:
Why does that dialogue appear at all?
- Tap No (or simply ignore the dialogue; it disappears after 15 secs) and your iPhone PocketDock will work without any limitations. You may however experience audio interferences during network communication (e.g. incoming calls).
- Tap Yes and the PocketDock will also work without any limitations. The iPhone however will go into Airplane Mode (which means no calls, no WiFi) and thereby reduce possible audio interferences. Note that this dialogue might periodically reappear.
The intention behind this info dialogue is to make you aware that an attached accessory (such as speakers or an FM transmitter) might interfere with the communication modules inside the iPhone, if not specifically designed and shielded for the iPhone. A typical example is the so-called TDMA noise (that “knock-knock-knock” sound), which can be heard through speakers nearby on incoming phone calls.
The PocketDock provides a Line Out signal in any case, however as we have no influence on what’s connected to the PocketDock’s Line Out jack and as we can not retroactively shield your amp and speakers against TDMA interferences (’magic spells’ just don’t work), we are not allowed to disable the shown screen. Disabling the message would also require additional semiconductors such as a microcontroller, resulting in a significantly higher unit price.
Sync & Charge
1. Can I charge my iPod/iPhone using the PocketDock through a USB wall or car charger? Why do some chargers not work?
Yes, except for the 3G iPod (with touch wheel and 4 circular red-backlit buttons) and earlier models, which do not support USB charging.
Note that not all generic USB chargers will work:
- The reason for this is the fast charging option offered by modern iPod models and iPhones. Instead of only 300 or 500 mA, an iPhone for instance may draw up to 1,000 mA from a USB power supply, thus charges twice as fast. An iPad with its large display is charged fastest at 2,100 mA.
The decision on how much power can be drawn (and thus to prevent the charger from being overloaded and blown), is done through specific resistors bridging the USB pins. If a charger is not equipped with these resistors, no power is drawn and the iPod/iPhone won't charge.
In addition to that, other points to be considered are:
- The USB charger must provide enough power. The iPhone for instance requires min. 500 mA.
- Many USB car chargers don’t make proper contact with the electrical pins inside the lighter jack. One should think that all lighter jacks are the same, but they actually aren’t. We have seen various chargers and cars which just don’t fit together, which means they don’t receive power from the car at any point or only intermittent. We therefore recommend to choose car chargers which provide feedback through an integrated Power LED.
If you are looking for an iPod-only car charger with built-in Line Out you should consider the SendStation smartCharge
. (Make sure to check for compatibility with your iPod model before ordering).
Generic USB chargers which carry the ‘Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad’ or ‘Works with iPhone’ badge are guaranteed to work. But how can I be sure that the PocketDock isn’t defective
and that the USB charger is the actual problem?
If the PocketDock works when attached to the USB 2.0 port directly on your computer, then it definitely is not defective.
2. Can I charge my iPad using the PocketDock through a USB wall or car charger?
Yes, however for fastest possible charging the iPad requires 2.1A USB power (which is up to 4x more than an iPod or iPhone). Furthermore the iPad requires the charger have a specific USB configuration. The latter is to prevent underpowered chargers from being blown when attached to an iPad.
Any charger advertised as being iPod, iPhone and iPad compatible (e.g. Apple’s iPod, iPhone and iPad USB chargers) works flawlessly with a PocketDock and the iPad, whereas the actual charging speed depends on whether the charger provides 500 mA, 1A or 2.1A of power.
3. Can I charge my iPod/iPhone/iPad using the PocketDock through a USB port on my computer?
Yes. Premise is a so-called high powered USB 2.0 port (min. 500 mA for iPod and iPhone, min. 2.1 A for iPad), which can be typically found directly on the computer or powered hubs. Low-powered USB ports (max. 100 mA) as often found for instance on older keyboards do not provide enough power to the iPod or iPhone.
4. How to play music from my iPod while charging it from my computer at the same time?
When connecting the iPod to your computer’s USB port, the iPod will likely display “Do not disconnect” and can no longer be controlled. There are two options to listen to the tracks stored on the iPod while charging on your computer:
- Through the iPod’s headphone jack or PocketDock’s Line Out jack
Unmount the iPod from within iTunes using the eject button under “DEVICES“ next to the iPod icon in order to gain back access over the iPod’s control wheel/navigation. You can then listen to the iPod either through its built-in headphone jack or, if you prefer better sound-quality, using the PocketDock’s Line Out jack.
- Through iTunes and the speakers built-in or attached to your computer
Within iTunes select the iPod from the “DEVICES“ list. Click “Summary“ on the first tab, check “Manually manage music and videos” from the list of options. Click on the triangle next to the iPod icon to expand the content list below the iPod, select “Music” and you access and play the tracks on your iPod.
1. Can I use the Line Out jack and charge and/or sync via USB at the same time?
Yes. USB and Line Out work totally independent from each other.
2. My PocketDock Line Out USB does not provide a Line Out signal from my iPod/iPhone/iPad. Is it defective?
Not necessarily. We have released Rev. B of the PocketDock Line Out USB on November 29, 2007
to address a change in the iPod’s technical requirements. The Rev. A PocketDock sold before that date won't provide Line Out from the following iPod models:
- 5G iPod nano (and all nano generations thereafter)
- 2G iPod touch (and all touch generations thereafter)
- any iPhone
- any iPad
Note that some resellers might have old stock. If you need a replacement and want to make sure to get a Rev. B unit double-check with the reseller on when the PocketDock was stocked or purchase directly from us through this website.
Another reason why Line Out doesn’t work might be this
3. Is the Line Out signal provided by the PocketDock a true Line Out?
Yes. It bypasses the iPod’s/iPhone’s internal amplifier, thus is the raw, unaltered signal.
The levels are as follows:
- 1G/2G/3G iPod nano: 0.700 Vrms (approx. -0.88 dBu)
- 4G/5G iPod nano, iPod classic, 2G iPod touch: 0.800 Vrms (approx. +0.28 dBu)
- all other iPod, iPad and iPhone models: 0.900 VrmS (approx. +1.3 dBu)
4. The audio from the Line Out jack is very loud and the volume can not be controlled. Is this normal?
Yes, as it is true Line Out with fixed level, which bypasses the iPod’s internal, amplifying, sound-altering components in order to get you the best possible audio quality. This Line Out signal is supposed to be fed into an external amplifier such as a home or car stereo.
To understand the concept: You can compare the situation with scaling a digital image on your computer. Blowing a picture up leads to blurry results, while scaling down renders crisp and clean results. Same with audio: With an amplifier it is better to bring the incoming signal down in volume (= less signal noise), than it is to actually amplify the signal (= more signal noise).
5. Does the PocketDock’s Line Out jack bypass the EQ (Equalizer) of my iPod/iPhone/iPad?
No. The EQ settings are processed entirely digital inside the iPod/iPhone/iPad. There is therefore no need and no method for the PocketDock to bypass the EQ. If you don’t like your audio signal being altered, simply set the iPod Equalizer to ‘Off’.
6. The headphone jack on my iPod/iPhone/iPad is broken.
Can I use the PocketDock’s Line Out jack as a replacement?
PocketDocks provide a true
line out with fixed line level as provided by the iPod/iPhone/iPad
. Volume can not be controlled from the iPod/iPhone. The purpose of this is to provide the best possible, analogue signal to the attached amplifier, home stereo, car stereo or DJ equipment, whereas the attached device is used to adjust the volume.
Line Out signals are not meant to be connected directly to headphones, unless there is a headphone amp inbetween or the headphone has an inline volume attenuator/adjustment on the cord. Note that while iPhone headsets with microphone do have an inline volume attenuator, this control does not work when attached to the Line Out jack.
7. Can I output sound through the iPod/iPhone headphone jack and the PocketDock’s Line Out jack at the same time? Can I use the in-cord remote on the headphone jack parallel to the PocketDocks Line Out jack?
On most iPod models yes, on iPod touch models and iPhone models not.
In case of the iPod touch and iPhone models, whatever was connected last gets the audio signal. So if you plug in a connector into the headphone jack with the PocketDock already attached to the iPhone, the audio will be taken away from the PocketDock’s Line Out jack and routed to the headphone jack instead. If the PocketDock gets connected to the iPhone with the headphone jack already in use, it’s vice versa.
You can use the in-cord remote control (and microphone) found in many iOS-compatible headsets, while listening through the PocketDock’s Line Out jack. As described before, the only trick is to connect the PocketDock after the remote to the headphone jack (the remote does not work through the PocketDocks Line Out jack, only on the player’s headphone jack).
8. Can I attach a USB headset, USB microphone, USB speakers or a USB DAC (Digital-to-analog converter) to the PocketDock’s USB receptacle?
No. The USB receptacle on the PocketDock can be solely used for sync & charge.
9. Can I attach a wired headset with microphone to the PocketDock’s Line Out jack?
No. While you can attach the 1/8" (3.5 mm) mini plug to the PocketDock’s jack and even will get sound, there are several technical major limitations, due to which we can not recommend this:
- The sound output provided is a true Line Out signal with fixed level, which means it is not volume adjustable from the iPod/iPhone.
- The iPhone typical in-cord remote control and microphone are not supported through the 30-pin dock connector.
- The iPhone does not route phone calls to the Line Out jack. Phone calls can be only heard through the internal speaker, the headphone jack or Bluetooth.
10. Which plug color of the included RCA (Cinch) cable is left, which is right channel?
White is left, while orange is close to red, which is right.
11. Can I output iPhone calls through the PocketDock’s Line Out jack?
Can I use the PocketDock to set up a handsfree speaker phone?
No, as the iPhone does not route phone conversations to the 30-pin Dock Connector. Phone calls are routed either to the iPhone’s headphone jack, the internal speaker or a connected Bluetooth device. Note that this is not a limitation by the PocketDock, but the iPhone itself.
12. Does the PocketDock output the iPhone’s ringtone on its Line Out jack?
Yes. While the actual phone conversation is not getting routed to the Line Out jack, the ringtone is.
13. Can I output the FM Radio audio signal of my 5G iPod nano through the PocketDock’s Line Out jack?
Yes. Note that a cable (either an earphone or audio cord) must be additionally connected to the iPod’s headphone jack, as the iPod uses that lead as antenna.
14. Can I make recordings using the iPod/iPhone headset (attached to the headphone jack) and output those through the PocketDock’s Line Out jack?
Yes, but not using Apple’s Voice Memo App. We found that most free Voice Recording Apps available on the AppStore support the PocketDock’s Line Out jack. Note that the recording can not be heard live (so no pass-through), but only at playback.
15. One audio channel of my PocketDock’s Line Out jack is missing or intermittent. What should I do?
Every single SendStation product has to pass a strict Quality Control process. Despite these multi-pass controls, it is still possible that a defect arises at later stage such as shipping.
First of all you should make sure that the 1/8" (3.5 mm) stereo audio plug is fully inserted into the Line Out jack.
The next question in this case is, whether the PocketDock itself is defective or the supplied SendStation audio cable. To test this, simply connect your earphone plug directly to your PocketDock’s Line Out jack, then start the iPod playback. (Attention: High volume! Careful with your ears!).
If you clearly hear both channels, left and right, the PocketDock works flawlessly, but the supplied SendStation audio cable is defective. If the problem persists, the PocketDock is the trouble-maker. In either case contact SendStation Support for a solution.
16. I’ve connected the PocketDock’s Line Out signal to the Phono jacks of my home stereo. Why is the sound quality so bad?
Phono Inputs are designed to work with the millivolt signal from an unamplified turntable. Modern equipment however has a line level around 1 volt (an iPod/iPhone/iPad has 0.7 to 0.9 volts, see above for details). Make sure to use the RCA input jacks labeled CD, TV or AUX instead.
Dimensions, compatibility with cases, locking
1. Does the PocketDock Line Out USB block the iPod nano’s headphone jack?
2. My PocketDock doesn’t lock properly when plugged into the iPod. Why doesn’t it have the hook-type latches with release buttons?
All our PocketDocks are designed with the smallest possible size in mind. In order to achieve the tiny size, our engineers had to choose a release-button-free design.
The so-called friction latches ensure secure locking, while still being easy to unplug when required (the best way to pull is to put the thumb on top and the index finger underneath). This release-type has been approved through nearly a hundred different cell-phone connectors which we’ve designed in the past. Meanwhile you can find the same locking mechanism even on Apple accessories, best known through the USB cable which comes with today’s iPods, iPhones & iPads.
A simple test whether the PocketDock locks secure enough is to plug in a cable into your PocketDock and the PocketDock into your iPod. Place a big, soft pillow on the floor, lift the iPod by the cable a few inches above the pillow and gently shake the cable. According to our tests the latches inside are strong enough to keep the PocketDock in place. If it falls out too easily, you can improve the locking stiffness by slightly pulling out the latches using a needle or some small pliers.
3. What are the dimensions of this PocketDock model?
for dimensions of all PocketDock models.
Backing up from digital cameras etc.
1. Does the PocketDock allow me to sync my digital camera with my iPod/iPhone/iPad?
2. Is it possible to attach a memory card reader (Compact Flash, SD Card, etc.) to a PocketDock in order to download images or data to the iPod/iPhone/iPad?