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May 6, 2008

When hackers unite: Creating hardware to hook a microphone to a mobile phone

I have been following for some time a small but active subsection of N95 users: Video journalists. Robert Scoble broadcasted his interview of me using Qik and his N95. I found out [via Debi Jones] that student journalists wielding N95s covered the US Super Tuesday Primaries in February for MTV. Debi Jones, herself, roamed around in an Airstream broadcasting interviews from her N95 using Flixwagon during CTIA.

But one thing that all these video folks grumble about is getting good audio into their N95. The phone mic is not sufficient, nor does plugging in a headset help. Debi Jones has a good overview of the ins and outs of folks trying to hack a microphone to the N95. Shelby Highsmith actually has a video and instructions on how to do one version of the N95 microphone.

But, look no further. The folks who made the audio connector for the Reuters Mobile Journalist kit have released the specs.

Now, I don’t know why they placed it under such an arcane, albeit accurate, title. Also, I had a hard time finding it searching for anything related to journalism.

No matter, since here are the links you need to go and download the info from the Forum Nokia site.

While there is no word that Nokia Accessories will produce these, I am sure some enterprising individual can whip up a few of these and sell it to all of us who want one.

Anyone interested?


Nokia AV 2.5mm/3.5mm Connector

(under Home: Resources: Technologies: Connectivity & Interfaces: Wired Interfaces: Nokia AV 2.5mm/3.5mm Connector)

Nokia AV is a 2.5-mm or 3.5-mm analog interface providing stereo audio out and video out to standard audio accessories and consumer electronics (home stereos, TV, car stereos, etc.). The Nokia AV 2.5mm/3.5mm interface is available in various Nokia devices, including low-end Series 30 devices, Series 40 devices, S60 devices, and Nokia Internet Tablets. All Nokia AV devices, such as the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet, support headset and audio out and some devices, including the Nokia N95, Nokia N95 8GB, and the Nokia N82, provide also composite video out. [from Forum Nokia]

Nokia AV Hardware Interface Specification

This document gives the required technical information concerning the Nokia AV connector 2.5mm/3.5mm (Audio/Video) interface, specifying the electrical AV interface between Nokia mobile terminals and accessories, for example headset and video cables. The document also defines the accessory hardware level identification process of the mobile terminal. Product-related details, control data, and advanced accessories are not covered in this document. [from Forum Nokia]

Image from Forum Nokia