Hands-Free Phone


Motorola Retractable Self-Install HF Car Kit for Motorola C331t (Cingular SKU 62722) (Manufacturer Part No: 98413)


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Update 5/7/04 | Update 12/12/06

December 2006 - The shape of things to come...


For the last two years I had been driving with my cell phone hung from an overhead strap, using the case hook to hold it in place. I plugged an DC adapter into the phone and cigarette lighter. When I needed to use the phone, I took it down from the storage location and did so.

There were a few problems with this. The DC power cords were in the way, dangled around, and eventually, the plug on the phone got broken and would not stay plugged in to the cord.  I wanted a power cord because this enables me to keep the phone charged at all times.  Unlike my wife, I never have to plug my phone in at home to charge it.  And I always have a power source should the battery run down.

There was another problem. I don't really like talking on the phone when I'm driving. I am from the school of "Hang up and Drive!" (I will leave out the explicative...). Anyway, notwithstanding my preference, I did from time to time find myself with the phone to my ear while the vehicle was in motion. Inevitably, this would entail juggling a beverage, the shifter, the CB-mic, and all manner of other things. Suffice to say, I would get irritable when my wife would call because I was trying to do too many things at once.

I did not want the earphone/mic things. The last thing I want is to look like a Madonna with a 5-O'clock shadow... And those things struck me as not really fitting my life-style. I didn't want to have to snap myself in and out of it.

Cell Phone Mount - Click to Enlarge Well change comes in funny ways. Long story short, my wife decided to find another phone plan, and with it came another phone. I promptly got on the web and started hunting for a suitable hands-free unit that I could install into the Jeep.
At first, when I saw the unit, I didn't think it would work for me. But when I checked it out in person, I quickly figured out how to install it such that it would work and be fairly out of the way.

Motorola C331tMotorola Retractable Self-Install HF Car Kit for Motorola C331t (Cingular SKU 62722) (Manufacturer Part No: 98413)

Motorola Retractable Self-Install HF Car Kit for Motorola C331t

(Cingular SKU 62722) (Manufacturer Part No: 98413)

This hands-free car kit plugs directly into your phone and your car's vehicle power adapter for quick, effortless installation. The retractable cords offer neat storage and convenient transportation. The stylish, functional design not only looks good on display in your car, it also can accommodate various mounting locations.  This new look features a textured base to prevent scratches and is designed to fit most vehicle cup holders. The integrated microphone and 2-watt speaker provide excellent sound quality. And you won't have to worry about your battery running out, this car kit charges a Motorola Original battery to 90% capacity within 4-6 hours.

Retractable microphone cord - approximately 40 inches 
Retractable phone cord - approximately 27 inches 
Non-retractable vehicle power adapter cord - 26 inches 
Diameter - 3.5 inches

I ran a waterproof power socket to the sport bar next to the driver's seat.  I used a floating ground, preferring to ground the power socket to the same location as other devices.  I covered the wires with 1/4" plastic  loom that you can buy in various lengths. 

12 volt power outlet with cover

Fuse panel behind glove box (glove box removed)

I fed the wires under the dash to the switched auxiliary power output behind the glove box.  I added a fuse to the circuit in case, some day, my rocket scientist child decides he might like to plug something different into the socket.

I wire-tied the plug and socket to the sport bar so that it would stay plugged in and not rattle around.  This solved the problem of the long coiled cord I used to have plugged into the cigarette lighter and wrapped around the grab bar on the passenger side.

Note how I routed the power lead down between the bracket for the door catch, and into the trough that carries the rest of the wiring harness below the drivers door, out of the way of the seat mechanism and rear-seat passengers entering and exiting.  

Power Socket - Click to Enlarge Power Harness - Click to Enlarge

Tension Band

I used a tension band to mount the speaker to the sport bar, next to the speaker I installed for the CB.  This required a bolt threaded into the tension band to hold it onto the sport bar, with a nut to hold it tight. 

Speakers - Click to Enlarge

 Then the speaker was threaded onto the bolt with a jam nut and loc-tite (blue) to keep it from shaking loose.

Speakers - Click to Enlarge

Cell Phone Mount - Click to Enlarge

I ran the wire leads for the power/phone, and mic along the sport bar and up the strap that I have more or less permanently running between the footman's loop on the windshield frame, and the sport bar that runs laterally behind the front seats
Cell Phone Mount - Click to Enlarge Microphone

As far as how well it works... Well, like any speaker phone, it picks up the noises around me.  So it can be hard for the other person sometimes.  But the speaker in the Jeep gives me a crystal clear ear on the caller, and keeps me from handling the phone.

The phone snaps in to a clip that holds it when I am driving. The power, mic and speaker attach to the phone easily with a single plug, enabling me to remove my phone easily, with only one connection.

The microphone stays plugged into the hands free unit, so that is out of the way, mounted as close to my face as I can get it. The dialing is voice-activated so I don't have to touch it in the event I want to make an outgoing call.  I don't have to wear an ear piece.  The power cord is tucked out of the way, and the extra socket might be handy for my air mattress pump when I go camping...

7/22/03 - Update:

I found a source for some more 1/4" wire conduit so I bought a few dozen feet and did some cleaning up of the wiring of the phone speaker, power connection, and microphone:


InDash by PanaVise

Indash by PanaVise

Update:  5/7/04

Not surprisingly, I found that my overhead mounting location for my cell phone was inconvenient.  I could not see it, so to use the phone I had to stop the vehicle completely.  As I wear polarized lenses, the LCD phone display is obscured because of the angle that it hangs, so even stopped, it is not very easy to operate.

The hands-free feature has worked very well but I needed to move the phone "to hand", somewhere in front of me.  Surfing the web, I found this little bracket that bolts behind the dash panel.  It offers a promising solution to a hard-mount for the phone.  I contacted the manufacturer and ordered one.  The instructions that follow may be found on their web site.

Pro-Fit Express Mount

The instructions are simple:

  1. Remove the center dash panel,

  2. Bolt the bracket to one of the radio bolts,

  3. Put the center panel back on. 

The tools list calls for a hook tool, but I found it was not necessary.  More detailed instructions:

Part Number: 75122-301 for Jeep  Wrangler  1999-2002

Sold Here or Search Yahoo on "PanaVise InDash"


Right side of radio


  • Hook tool
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • 3/8 socket & ratchet
  • Extension for socket


  • None
Cell Phone & Media Mount
Installation Instructions
Part #: 75122-301
Mfg     Model & Years
Wrangler 99-02

Step# 01
Apply emergency brake. Turn ignition on, but DO NOT START VEHICLE and shift into 1st gear. Remove the ashtray and remove one screw located inside the ashtray cavity.

Step# 02
Using the hook tool or a flat screw driver, remove the top vent grating (snap fit in three places).  Remove two screws located next to the defroster air vents that hold the bezel that surrounds the radio and climate control. Pull on the bezel from the lower corners to release, then pull from the left and right corners of the radio opening with your hands or the hook tool to remove bezel and set aside.

Step# 03
With the 3/8" socket, remove the two screws that hold the radio in place. Pull the radio out just enough to locate a guide pin, which is under the mounting flange on the right-hand side of the radio. Take the InDash Mount and place the slotted hole of the mount on the pin, then pivot it over the radio's face. A portion of the InDash surface with the 1/2" square hole will rest on the radio's face. Push the radio, along with the InDash Mount, back into place.

Step# 04
Take one of the screws that holds the radio and place it in the radio hole through the squared hole, then put the socket through the squared hole of the InDash Mount to install and tighten. Install the screw on the left side of radio. Place bezel back into place by guiding the InDash through the bezel's radio opening and slide the bezel toward the left to have it fall into place; make sure that the spring clips are lined up with the clip holes and push to snap in place.

Step# 05
Reinstall two screws on the top of the bezel. Install bezel strip and reinstall the screw inside the ashtray cavity. Attach the phone holder to the InDash Mount. If using a Portagrip holder, adjust to size of phone prior to mounting.

*** CAUTION ***

Read instructions completely prior to starting installation. All InDash Mounts are designed so that after installation phone is facing normal driver position for left hand drive vehicles. This mount is not designed to be used in foreign countries with Right Hand Drive Vehicles. Use extreme care when working around the plastic components on the dash. Excess force, can cause breakage of the plastic components.

I followed the instructions for the bracket and soon had it in place.

InDash by PanaVise - 75122-301 Jeep  Wrangler  99-02


The bracket only solves part of the problem.  In order to secure the phone to the bracket, a mount is required.  I wanted something like the simple belt-clip mount I was using overhead.  Another internet search turned up a couple options.  PanaVise makes a mount called the "Clip Caddy".  I does not appear to have any retaining mechanism for holding the phone in the clip.  Also, the screw holes for the AMP mount are visible.

PanaVise Clip CaddyPanaVise Clip Caddy

PanaVise Clip Caddy

I found the Pro.Fit web site and eventually located their mount.  It looked attractive, has a retainer for the phone button, and a rubber pad where the phone will rest.  I settled on the Pro.Fit Express Mount and ordered it online.

Pro-Fit International

Express Mount EM-1224

Installation Instructions | Order it Here

I was a little concerned and disappointed that the instructions listed the mounting method as adhesive tape, like that used for trim.  My experience has shown me that this lasts for a while but when it gets hot, it does not hold up.  I decided that I could probably drill holes to match the AMP pattern on the bracket and hide them behind the rubber pad on the mount.  So I ordered the part.

When the mount came to my house, I discovered that Pro.Fit had sold themselves short - the kit includes holes matching the AMP pattern and includes four locking nuts and bolts.  Perfect!

Next, I bolted the mount to the bracket, and slipped the phone on to see how it fits.

Finished Install - Click to Enlarge

So far, so good!

Now the fun part...  I had run a 12 volt lead to the sport bar behind the driver's seat and plugged the hands-free unit in there.  Now, I have to relocate the hands-free unit and power source.  I disconnected all the leads and fished the 12 volt power plug out of the Jeep.  I removed the extra 12 feet of wire, and reinstalled it inside the dash like my other plugs.   Easier said than done - mostly just tedious tasks, but certainly the biggest part of this job.

With the power outlet relocated, I confronted the problem of mounting the hands-free speaker unit.  I was reluctant to mount it on the dash, but in the end, the wire runs dictated that I do just that.  I chose a spot behind the GPS and close to the center of the vehicle.  I drilled a hole in the dash bezel (after removing it of course) and screwed it into place.  A the same time I decided to make a large passage for all the power leads so that I could send them into the dash directly from the mounting points, reducing the amount of wire loose in the cab.

Power Leads and Opening in Dash (with bezel partially removed) - Click to Enlarge
Opening in Dash to feed power leads

In order to do this I had to trim a portion of the bezel edge to allow enough room for the wire to go through without being crushed when the bezel was put back in place.  This was easily accomplished with a wave of my hand grinder.

Cutout of Dash to all power leads through gap - Click to Enlarge
Cut-out in Bezel to allow power leads to pass into opening
(Bezel partially removed)

With the wires routed through an opening in the dash, I re-installed the bezel, taking a moment to clean it up some.  I applied new adhesive to the wire keepers, put some loom covering on the cell phone lead, and secured everything.

Driver's View - Click to Enlarge

Dressed LeadsDressed LeadsDressed Leads

Dressed Leads - Click to Enlarge

I reluctantly routed the microphone wire straight up behind the GPS and rear-view mirror, back along the web I have strung from windshield footman loop to sport bar, and into the same location as my previous install.   I would have preferred running the lead so that it did not go in front of the windshield but it was not long enough...

Microphone Lead - Click to enlarge

Inside the dash behind the glove box, I got all the wires placed out of harms way, and stowed the PC lead from the GPS in the glove box where it will be out of the way, but handy when needed.

The power test showed that everything works as before, with the cell phone handset finally easy to see and use.  I still don't plan on doing much talking on the phone while I drive, but this setup definitely reduces the problems associated with using the phone.


Number Plate

Motorola HF850 Bluetooth Deluxe Hands free Car Kit

Blackberry 7520HF850 Deluxe Bluetooth Car Kit HF850

Blackberry LogoMotorola Logo


Update:  12/12/06

Change is inevitable - especially when it comes to electronic devices and the services surrounding them.  When I got my new phone (Blackberry 7520) the hands free system installed in my Jeep was no longer compatible.

Blackberry 7520

Initially the compatible replacement that I found was several hundred dollars and I opted not to spend that kind of money right away.

But time wore on and I grew to miss the hands free capability.  I did some checking and found the hands free system I wanted had two different pricing schemes.  You can either buy just the hardware and install it yourself.  For a $200 savings you get an instruction book and advice to have the unit professional installed.  Or you can buy the hardware and installation all in one price.  Cha-Ching!

I downloaded the owners manual and reviewed the installation instructions.  I came to the conclusion that the professional installation was recommended because of the work involved in getting inside the dash to route the wires, stow the junction box, and to identify and connect the power.  Needless to say I have already spent considerable time inside the relatively simple TJ dash.  There was nothing there I couldn't handle.  The installation itself once you get the dash opened, is a matter of connecting two power leads (switched and unswitched DC 12v), a ground, and optionally a mute lead to the stereo.  The rest of the connections consist of plugs for the speaker, microphone, power leads, and minute control pad.  There's only one way they plug in, and everything is so small it's easy to find a place for the hidden components and the not-so-hidden ones.

So when I had a couple hours of daylight and some warm-for-December weather, I cracked open the dash.  This consists of removing the glove compartment door, center fascia, and knee pad under the steering wheel.  I had already put connectors on the power, ground, and mute leads the night before to speed up the install.

HF850 Deluxe Bluetooth Car Kit HF850

With everything labeled, terminated, and opened up, I ran each part and chose a location.  The length of the wires for the speaker, microphone and control pad dictated the choices to some extent.  I ended up with the speaker bolted to the a-pillar - not my first choice.

HF850 Deluxe Bluetooth Car Kit HF850 Speaker - Click to EnlargeHF850 Deluxe Bluetooth Car Kit HF850 Speaker - Click to Enlarge

I placed the microphone as before.

HF850 Deluxe Bluetooth Car Kit HF850 Microphone

I put the control pad centered on the dash below the GPS units, and the junction box inside the dash under the steering wheel.

Bluetooth Handsfree Controls

HF850 Deluxe Bluetooth Car Kit HF850 Controls - Click to Enlarge

I ran all the wires to be sure they'd reach their destinations.  (click drawing below to enlarge)

Handsfree Wiring Diagram (Bluetooth and Pioneer Tuner) - Click to Enlarge

Everything was fine.  Next, I removed the old hands free system along with the accessory plug I had installed for it.  I connected the power and ground leads and tied that off.  Then I connected the mute wire to the stereo.  That left nothing but to plug in all the leads into the junction box and see how it worked.

And it didn't.  The power came on and the control pad lit up but that was with the ignition turned off.  So I checked all the connections.  Everything was correct but still the control pad lit with the key off and went off with the key on.  After a little double checking I found the problem - the ground was no good.  I fixed the ground and everything came up perfect.

Next I linked the Blackberry with the Bluetooth system according to the instructions in both the hands free and Blackberry manuals.  It worked first try.

This brings me back almost to the capabilities I had previously.  The Blackberry does not support voice dialing so I must still pick up the Blackberry if I want to make an outgoing call.  But still, the wireless connection and the return to being able to take calls without handling the phone is wonderful!

Bluetooth at Night

GPS, Bluetooth, Palm m100DashDash

HF850 Bluetooth Handsfree Deluxe Car Kit Owners Manual | Blackberry 7520 Manual | Blackberry 7520 Getting Started Guide





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