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BMW X3 Carpc Installation - Newbie - X3

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  • BMW X3 Carpc Installation - Newbie - X3

    Just purchased an X3 and have started the installation of a CARPC. I am taking baby steps. As the series is new there isn't much information on the wiring out there. Any help would be great!

    A little HX - currently have a 330XI which originally had NAV (16:9 display). I upgraded radio to provide an AUX output and added a BT module for my telephone. I installed an IBUS USB interface and connected all of this a couple of years ago to a 1GHz VIA PC with WLAN and BT on it. I get to the CARPC by using the AUX mode on the HU. Currently when running and parked in the driveway the PC connects to the home network so that I am able to upload music and video to the computer. I use the BT to connect to my phone's internet connection so I am able to get internet email and surf the web while on the road. This BT connection works with my HTC wizard (with WM6.0 on it) in conjunction with the CAR BT connection allowing two simultaneous unique connections to the phone. I will be testing a third audio BT connection from the phone to the CARPC. Will need to add it to my CARPC application menu though. I am having an issue with this PC in that I sourced a 12V ignition on wire in the trunk. Just recently decided to add the 12V ignition on PC on circuit so that when autostarting vehicle I can get to a shared drive on it from the home network. I currently utilize a switch to provide 12V (from 12V always on source) to start up PC. I use a circuit with a Tank battery to provide 12V to power the PC. When I start the car in this configuration the PC works well but sometimes just keeps rebooting. I validated that it is not a problem with the PC by directly connecting an AC to DC source to the PC. Wondering if it is the circuit with Tank battery piece. In the meanwhile I have reconfigured it to only using the switch to turn on the PC. I did recently install an auto starter to the car so that I can remotely start it and get to the PC. I am wondering now if I added a solenoid switch to the 12V ignition voltage to the tank battery circuit it would isolate the 12V ignition voltage from the tank battery circuit voltage it would work and solve my problems? Another thing not done that would be great (and I have heard rumors that it has been done) would be to use the IBUS/PC combo to sync the NAV GPS time to the CAR PC and the Car time/date configuration in that the GPS IBUS traffic always provides a time stamp (NTP sort of). Has anyone done this yet?

    My base: 2006 X3 with NAV and Sirius. I intend to install the PC in the drivers side rear right trunk section (adjacent to the NAV unit) OR in the rear lower storage area above the wheel well. To date I have installed a G-Net Video module and it has been tested to work. I also purchased an AUX cable for audio connection to the PC. At this time it appears that my only AUX out is via the back of the radio HU so I may need to run this cable to the trunk. I do have one CD changer cable (along with a coaxial antenna cable in the drivers rear section adjacent to the NAV unit). I believe this cable plugs into the Siruis unit to provide a CD changer connection to the center console. It is only three wires and I believe that it is audio. The other cable plugged into the Sirius box is also three wires and I believe that it might be an IBUS connection. (can anyone validate?) In addition plan on adding a CD changer but would rather install it in the rear section adjacent to the NAV unit versus the center console (I would rather not lose the center console storage).
    I was looking for another VIA computer for this vehicle. This PC will also have a combo BT and WLAN module built in. I may decided this time to put a "wired" remote WLAN antenna for better signal strength to the home network. The issues appear only with what wiring is where on this vehicle. I have been posting for information on the BMW X3 forums but at this time there seems to be some lack in information relating to the wiring of this vehicle. (the E46 has been around a long time versus the E83). Long term would be adding two addition LCD's in the passenger view of the front seat head rests. These two LCD's would have dual video sources (CAR PC and DVD player).

    Please accept my apologies if I have posted in the wrong area or am rambling too much.
    E83 - CIS-IBUS PC interface, AUX & CarPC. Purchased & pending - Angel eyes Pending: remote start.
    E46 - 16:9 display, CIS-IBUS, Radio to V53, AUX, USB IBUS interface,Mini ITX computer & remote starter.

  • #2
    Starting the "build" of the new carpc - initially with a VIA 1200 combo VroomII case. Not sure yet regarding best fit and where. I also have a Cappucino PC which is a very small footprint but gets very warm. Not sure on the video quality of the Cappucino via its RCA out and to the HU unit. Anyone put a VroomII case in their X3 yet?
    E83 - CIS-IBUS PC interface, AUX & CarPC. Purchased & pending - Angel eyes Pending: remote start.
    E46 - 16:9 display, CIS-IBUS, Radio to V53, AUX, USB IBUS interface,Mini ITX computer & remote starter.

    Comment


    • #3
      A CarPC for the X3

      Pete -

      There does not seem to be a lot of posting on this unit, so lets change that!

      Our X3 is on its way beck from Munich and I'm getting started on the build.

      At this time, I've chosen an Intel 210GLY2 fanless mini-ITX fanless mobo for a linux based music and nav system. This is a really inexpensive mobo; I got the board (with soldered processor), 12v PS, 2 GB IDE solid state disk and 1 gb of RAM for ~$200.

      If I do video to the backseat, I may make changes in this system, either adding a video card or .... As I got the comfort seat option, putting monitors in the headrest maybe problematic.

      You'll need an IBUS adaptor, available several places. Do you have the BMW NAV installed? I passed on this option; used a Garmin Nuvi in Europe (and it was a lifesaver ...).

      Tho I have limited (10 days) experience w the vehicle, I am seriously considering a caseless mounting in the rear area with a small 12v fan and appropriate vent holes to move cooling air through the housing. I'd really like it to be as unobtrusive as reasonably possible.

      My biggest need at the moment is finding a screen (?touch) that would fit in the lid of the non-motorized pop-up storage area where the regular NAV sits. Since mine in not available, I can't measure it. I'm guessing that a 7: screen is all that is likely to fit in there.

      Some folks indicate that it is better to go non-touch w a separate touch pad lower down, but I'm not visualizing a good spot.

      Anyhow, hope we can get some interest going.

      Dave

      Comment


      • #4
        Dave, any news? Purchased a third MB. To date have three setups but have not tried one as of yet. Working on moving AUX to the rear of the vehicle using the CD wiring. It should not be too much of a big deal.
        E83 - CIS-IBUS PC interface, AUX & CarPC. Purchased & pending - Angel eyes Pending: remote start.
        E46 - 16:9 display, CIS-IBUS, Radio to V53, AUX, USB IBUS interface,Mini ITX computer & remote starter.

        Comment


        • #5
          Progress is Slow

          Pete -

          Thanks for asking.

          The unit is essentially complete. wifi, bluetooth, turtle beach USB sound (*much* better than the onboard chipset), backup camera, GPS, USB keyboard and trackball. I built a 'case' (photo on my Zenfolio site (dspeed.zenfolio.com) under Recent) which fits handily into the empty space behind the trip panel on the driver's side at the rear of the coach. After running the box for hours while tweaking the Linux install, I find she tends to run hot and have decided to go w a CoolerMaster HS and fan unit. Looking for some grills now to use for in/out vents in that rear space. Something in black for an 80mm fan I think.

          The unit is currently on Fedora Core 7 (IIRC) with a ton of dev tools all running off a 100 mb HDD which I have mounted to the heatsink/case. Having some probs getting the old girl to synch on the wifi connection for SW updates.

          I picked up a monitor - a 7" Lilliput - to play with. Have tenatively decided that the X3 (E83) flip up bin is too far forwards and too light. Picked up a 16" gooseneck stalk to mount on the LH pass seat bolt, and find its 4 or 5" too long for my taste, but I think it will work out OK otherwise. The SIS video chipset is barely supported, but I got it to run at full monitor res (600x800 IIRC?) and the screen looks fine.

          As I did not go w a touch screen (may or may no be a bad idea), I'm working w a trackball. First Logitech unit too large; considering alternatives.

          Currently working on the Linux Nav package - this is much more involved than I had hoped. Also learning how do pare down for a minimalist package for faster boots.

          In the beginning I went with a Pico PS w little smarts. After some consideration, I think I see why people are paying for the smarter PS units.

          Picked up a rev 0 board for my son to play weather station with and using another rev2 board to run a minimalist mirror raid system for the house in the interim. Also see that some people are successfully running 2gb sticks and have one on order for trials. Have not messed with the SS IDE Disk for faster boots yet.

          Intel is releasing a new generation of boards, but I think they will be a lot more pricey and power hungry, not to mention unsoldered processors. The only downside of this board (IMHO) is not enough 'oomph' to run video for the kids at the same time as taknig care of my needs; this looks to be a seperate system.

          All in all, not bad progress for an old Chemist <g>. Drop me a line and I'll send some photos.

          Dave

          Comment


          • #6
            IBUS Interface for X3

            Here's a picture of the IBUS interface. It will be mounted on top of the Sirius Box.
            Attached Files
            E83 - CIS-IBUS PC interface, AUX & CarPC. Purchased & pending - Angel eyes Pending: remote start.
            E46 - 16:9 display, CIS-IBUS, Radio to V53, AUX, USB IBUS interface,Mini ITX computer & remote starter.

            Comment


            • #7
              GNET Module Installation

              GNET video module in left rear space area of X-3. This is where the small CarPC is going to be installed. Will update posts with more pictures once the CarPC is installed. Might move the GNET video module to below the Sirius box and put the 6"X6" micro PC on top of the NAV.
              Attached Files
              E83 - CIS-IBUS PC interface, AUX & CarPC. Purchased & pending - Angel eyes Pending: remote start.
              E46 - 16:9 display, CIS-IBUS, Radio to V53, AUX, USB IBUS interface,Mini ITX computer & remote starter.

              Comment


              • #8
                AUX & Rear Hatch release installed in X-3. Same AUX port will be utilized for CarPC in rear of X3.
                Attached Files
                E83 - CIS-IBUS PC interface, AUX & CarPC. Purchased & pending - Angel eyes Pending: remote start.
                E46 - 16:9 display, CIS-IBUS, Radio to V53, AUX, USB IBUS interface,Mini ITX computer & remote starter.

                Comment


                • #9
                  When using the BT connection, are you able to use the microphone that came with the car in the 330xi? I read and re-read your original post, it seems you are still using the headunit that is relocated using the AUX connection.

                  Can you expand on that a little bit, explain the connections there using the PC to connect to the headunit?

                  Any ideas how to get the phone to work with the PC with BT and microphone without using the headunit?

                  What front end are you using?

                  Thanks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a BMW BT module and a CarPC BT/WLAN USB dongle. I am able to use both. I am using the microphone that came with the BMW for VR and BT.

                    In order to use the PC BT you would have to run a wireless BT microphone.

                    I upgraded the radio module to give me the ability for AUX. In the 330XI I have the AUX connected right out of the back of the radio. The head unit shows aux and when switching to AUX the PC video is enabled.

                    I am using an original BMW TV video module for the video on the 330XI. I am plugging in the CarPC video out into the TV Video module.

                    I am using CarX. I can post my INI file if you would like to see it.
                    E83 - CIS-IBUS PC interface, AUX & CarPC. Purchased & pending - Angel eyes Pending: remote start.
                    E46 - 16:9 display, CIS-IBUS, Radio to V53, AUX, USB IBUS interface,Mini ITX computer & remote starter.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by petec View Post
                      In order to use the PC BT you would have to run a wireless BT microphone.
                      That's what I am trying to avoid and was hoping you may have found a way to tap into the microphone for the BT, but I guess its just something I will have to deal with.

                      My build is a 2000, so I would have to upgrade mine to get AUX also, but I was just wondering how you did that.

                      Originally posted by petec View Post
                      I am using CarX. I can post my INI file if you would like to see it.
                      I may want to see the INI file, but I want to see if I can get it the setup I want using RR and if I get stuck somewhere, I will ask you then so that I can use it as a go-by if at all possible.

                      Thanks for the help.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My E46 (330XI) is a 2001. Upgraded radio to a last model radio made for AUX, installed a BT module with a retrofit kit, upgraded HU from a 4:3 display to a 16:9 display and finally installed a BWM Video TV module. Using all BMW parts for this part was kind of costly. I am still using a Tank battery and a tank charging circuit. Gives a little time running the PC without the car running. Here a a picture of the PC mounted in the trunk of the E46.
                        Attached Files
                        E83 - CIS-IBUS PC interface, AUX & CarPC. Purchased & pending - Angel eyes Pending: remote start.
                        E46 - 16:9 display, CIS-IBUS, Radio to V53, AUX, USB IBUS interface,Mini ITX computer & remote starter.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here's a picture of the HU running CarX
                          Attached Files
                          E83 - CIS-IBUS PC interface, AUX & CarPC. Purchased & pending - Angel eyes Pending: remote start.
                          E46 - 16:9 display, CIS-IBUS, Radio to V53, AUX, USB IBUS interface,Mini ITX computer & remote starter.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Final X3 CarPC connections

                            Finished wiring/mounting G-NET video module (moved it from previously placed location) and IBUS Resler Interface. The G-Net module is mounted via two brackets to a BMW metal horizontal bracket which goes almost behind the main amplifier. I took apart the entire assembly before mounting the G-Net module. I initially removed the GPS Nav unit and left the Sirius radio unit in place. There are 4 bolts and 1 nut holding the assembly in place. Tested connectivity to IBUS. All OK except for my trimming around the USB connection (a bit sloppy) One thing to note, as I had forgot this regarding the 330XI CarPC endeavor. The 12VDC connection to the IBUS Resler interface has to be disconnected as it will cause some issues with the rest of the devices you have on the IBUS. The interface will draw its power from the PC USB interface and work fine with that. Attached are a couple of pictures.
                            Attached Files
                            E83 - CIS-IBUS PC interface, AUX & CarPC. Purchased & pending - Angel eyes Pending: remote start.
                            E46 - 16:9 display, CIS-IBUS, Radio to V53, AUX, USB IBUS interface,Mini ITX computer & remote starter.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              CarPCs to Test

                              Attached are a couple of PC's which I will be testing. A third one is just a micro ITX running a "D" Pentium 3.X processor. I have not installed it in a case yet and not sure if I want to use it. I purchased it because of its size and SVIDEO/RCA video output.
                              Attached Files
                              E83 - CIS-IBUS PC interface, AUX & CarPC. Purchased & pending - Angel eyes Pending: remote start.
                              E46 - 16:9 display, CIS-IBUS, Radio to V53, AUX, USB IBUS interface,Mini ITX computer & remote starter.

                              Comment

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