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Thread: BMW E60 install and I-Bus retrofit....tricky

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Niceee, good start! I have the same color trim in my car, but your steering wheel is on the wrong side. Keep us updated on the install! I will be doing the same thing soon, just need to know what I need to make the idrive work with my lilput screens.

    You said there was auxiliary outputs through the idrive? Where are those located? are they just regular RCA connectors?

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Sorry, what I meant was that the oem radio has auxilliary input for audio, selectable in iDrive like the radio or cd player and this aux could be used to connect the carputer audio out removing the need for a seperate amplifier.
    It just means keeping costs down and retaining as much oem equipment as possible.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    Hi guys, i've been searching for answers and think you might have then.

    I've got a 525 E60 (2006 build) and want to install a in car pc but haven't a clue where to start, what I need and what is possible. I have more questions then answers unfortunately.

    Craigy i like what you've done man! firstly, i have a 6'' display - i hear the resolution is rubbish. Can I replace that with a better screen? If so which would you recommend.

    I want a car pc to play music, video, navigation, blue tooth and reverse camera. Where would you recommend I start with the project and what kit will i need ???

    Tech180, cant wait to see pictures of your project. good luck man!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Grand Island, NY

    2005 E60 Plans

    Fellow E60 BMW owners,

    I have a 2005 e60 525i without NAV and the small factory display. I have been also trying to find a way to get my carputer from my old Toyota into the beamer. I have been using a wind shield mount for now. I tried a adapter from GNet Nav Video,, and it really is crap, not very good support from the company. I will sell it cheap if you want to try. I was able to get the backup camera working and some video, but the VGA was very sporatic, and at 640 x 480 res (my video card doesn't even support this low res w/o safemode) I think it is almost worthless. I COULD still use it for a second monitor source so that if I want to see what I am sending to the aftermarket head-rest monitors, I could use iDrive to see it, I just don't know yet.

    I think I am going to hack up my dash. I am going to relocate the seat heater and DTC switches to another area and cut away all of the plastic under the CD player. I will then move the factory display into this area and use the area vacated by the factory display for a touch screen Xenarc. I am hoping to start next week with exploratory surgery to see what is behind the little cubby under the CD player. If there is as much room as I think, then fabbing a monitor housing should be pretty simple, otherwise I will have to build it out over the ashtray in the center.

    There are a bunch of kits to add component video to the factory screen, but I want the higher resolution and touch screen. I have a great custom shop in my area that does some great fabrication work as I suck at that stuff. I will take pictures of my progress.

    I welcome any sanity checks.


  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Grand Island, NY



    Any updates on your build? How did you mount that monitor? How hard it is to run without the monitor hooked to factory (select auto source, etc?)

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Screen interface

    That install looks amazing by the way Craggy

    I've got a 2007 BMW 520d (pre-lci), with a basic idrive system, ie, the 6.5" screen, no tv, no nav etc. I've built a car pc, sufficient for glovebox mounting, and i need to know the best way of integrating the vga output of my board to the OEM screen.

    Can anyone help with this problem?

    I've read reviews on different devices that go in-line with the monitor cable, but with my pc being vga, which interface will allow it to show good quality graphics?

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    E60 Screen PIN-Outs - Connectivity

    This string deserves to go on.
    I am looking to fit a car PC, it is easy to adapt the existing screen using one of the many touch screen add-ons, that allow the 'touch' inputs to be directly entered into the car PC, without any interference to the existing interface. The touch screen face add-ons come with PC USB inputs and software and would be totally independant of the idrive connection, just to controle the car PC only.

    just search ebay for "touch screen panel kit"

    The only issue is how to connect the PC video-out to the screen.
    I can probably work this out and provide a simple circuit, if I know what the inputs to the display are? Does anyone know the pins and input names?


  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Craggy View Post
    the IBus software doesent detect any button presses so perhaps I need an E46 BCM to relay the IBus traffic? Or does anybody on here know how I would build a small circuit to do this task for me?
    Addressing conditions of control units
    In principle, all control units in the vehicle can be addressed via the diagnosis function when the ignition is switched on.

    The busses are capable of exchanging information among each other via the IKE control unit (instrument cluster electronics) . It contains the electronic control for the entire signal conditioning function and calculating the data from the instrument cluster and on-board computer. The IKE is the bus master for the I-bus/K-bus. It serves as a gateway for the D-bus that converts the telegram format of the I/K-bus to the format of the D-bus. It transmits and receives data from all modules and control units connected to the IKE via the bus systems. If, for example, the independent park ventilation function is activated at the MID, this telegram must be routed via the I-bus, IKE and K-bus to the IHK that then carries out the corresponding function. In this case, only data are allowed to pass through that, according to the address, are designated for the other bus.

    I think there are simpler in-car entertainment options that will do most things the carpc does.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    If you use a touch screen overlay, commands are entered directly to the Car PC viathe USB connection, so you don't need to worry about the existing Ibus control integration, as you are not interfering with any existing iDrive connections. The only issue that I have seen despite searching the forum is how can you connect a 2nd vidio source to the existing screen, even if is means making a switch (mechanical or electronic) to change the vidio source. Any one have the pin-outs oir schematic on the existing monitor or vidio connection pins, so we can work out how this can be done?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Sorry I think we missed one huge point. The E60 is not using I-bus it is using MOST bus. Below I am posting various documents that explain how the audio and video systems inside modern BMWs function.

    MOST bus

    The MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) network uses a ring bus for data communication between the various control modules. Signal transmission is by means of fiber-optic cable. Data transmission on the ring bus takes place in one direction only. On the MOST ring, messages can only be transmitted provided the bus ring is complete and fully functional.
    If, for example, the power supply or the diode of a control module is defective, it is no longer possible to communicate with the control modules on the MOST bus. Exceptions are the gateway control module Car Communication Computer (or Multi Audio System Controller) and the Head Up display control module. Those control modules are connected to MOST data bus the K-CAN.
    Car Communication Computer or Multi Audio System Controller
    Either the control module Car Communication Computer or Multi Audio System Controller is fitted in the vehicle. These two control modules are the interface between the buses MOST and K-CAN. For the rest of troubleshooting (read fault memory, etc.), at the BMW diagnosis system for the
    • Car Communication Computer all the control module names with the abbreviation CCC must be selected (e.g. CCC-GW)
    • Multi Audio System Controller all the control module names with the abbreviation M-ASK must be selected (e.g. M-ASK-GW)
    In comparison to the Multi Audio System Controller, the Car Communication Computer has two slots at the front. This external characteristic can be used to distinguish the tow control modules.
    Deactivation, excess temperature
    If a control module becomes too hot, this control module switches off for up to 10 minutes. Furthermore, the entire MOST bus can switch off for 10 minutes. After the control module has cooled down, it is functional once again!
    If the fault ”Deactivation, excess temperature” is stored in a MOST control module, the control module concerned and the Multi Audio System Controller (or Car Communication Computer) also store the fault. This means there are two possibilities:
    • Only the Multi Audio System Controller (or Car Communication Computer) has stored the fault: Then this control module has switched off due to excess temperature.
    • The Multi Audio System Controller (or Car Communication Computer) and other MOST control modules have stored the fault: Then only the other MOST control modules have switched off due to excess temperature. In addition, however, the Multi Audio System Controller (or Car Communication Computer) can have switched off.
    At the function selection (Body, Bus Functions, MOST Functions), other test modules for analysis of the MOST control modules or MOST bus can be selected.


    Picture output

    The video output function for
    • television (teletext to be available later)
    • processing video signals from a DVD source
    is provided by the video module 5 in conjunction with other systems.

    For diagnosis requests via the control-module functions, the entertainment source, television, must first be selected via the Central Information Display.
    Brief description of components

    Video module 5

    The video module 5 controls the internal antenna diversity. The video module 5 processes the sound for the TV function. The video module 5 is a MOST framework network node.
    MOST bus

    The MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) bus links the audio, video and navigation systems. Information relating to function requests is transmitted to the relevant control modules by means of MOST bus messages.
    Digital television

    Digital television is enabled with the new Hybrid video module for digital reception. This control module can receive digital and analog television. In the case of digital television, the picture information is transferred via data flow to one frequency. This technology leads to improved picture and sound quality. Depending on the reception quality, the video module switches automatically between analog and digital reception. The customer can perceive the switch from digital to analog television. A noticeable loss in sound and picture quality occurs.
    Window antennas and amplifiers

    There are two TV antennas integrated in the rear window. The receives TV signals are filtered and amplified in the antenna amplifier.
    The antenna amplifier is powered short-circuit-proof by the video module via the antenna sockets.
    Control Display (CD) and Controller

    The Control Display displays the navigation system information and the control options for the navigation, audio and video system functions. Operation is by means of the controller located on the front of the center armrest.
    Main functions

    Video module 5 control tasks

    The video module 5 internally controls the antenna diversity. The TV antenna diversity unit is integrated in the video module. The TV antenna diversity unit ensures that the best possible reception is obtained. The TV antenna diversity unit in the video module connects the antenna with the best reception to the video output.
    The video module processes the sound for the TV function and sends it via the MOST network to the ASK in the CCC as an audio signal.
    Radio/TV/Navigation system sound output

    The video module is connected via the MOST bus to the CCC.
    The ASK in the CCC outputs the audio signals to the speakers. If the SA Top HiFi system is installed, the audio signals are sent across the MOST bus to the amplifier. This outputs the audio signals to the speakers.

    The CCC switches over from radio sound to
    • TV function or
    • Navigation system
    if it receives the corresponding information from the Control Display via the MOST bus.
    Radio/TV mute function

    The ”mute” function turns off the radio/TV sound. The mute function is activated on the ASK by receipt of
    • telephone calls
    • navigation system announcements
    • traffic news bulletins
    If a traffic news bulletin is received when the radio has been muted, the radio is not demuted. The traffic bulletin is suppressed.
    Notes for Service department

    The self-diagnosis function on the video module 5 is initiated every three to five minutes. At worst, a fault may be present for 5 minutes before it is stored in the fault memory. It is possible to start a fault memory search (self-test) in order to check on work carried out.


    CID: Central Information Display

    The CID is the central graphical display unit. The size of the colour monitor is 6.5”.

    Central Information Display (CID)
    Plug-in connection for LVDS data line
    Plug-in connection for CAN bus and power supply

    The Central Information Display is connected by an LVDS data line (Low Voltage Differential Signalling) on the CHAMP. The LVDS data line involves technology that reliably transfers graphical data over a longer distance. For the LVDS data line, special plug connections have been developed.
    The CID is also connected on the K-CAN (body CAN).
    The CID contains a photo-transistor for brightness control of the LC display (depending on the surrounding brightness). The LC display is heated.
    CON: Controller

    The controller delivers the signals for selection of the menus and submenus. The submenus are selected by turning and/or pushing the controller. When released, the controller always returns to its rest position.

    MENU button
    Push-to-talk button
    Plug-in connection at the controller

    The MENU button and the push-to-talk button are behind the controller. The MENU button can be used to open the start menu in the Central Information Display. The push-to-talk button can be used to start the voice input.
    The controller is connected to the K-CAN (body CAN). Terminal 58g receives the controller via the K-CAN.

    System functions

    The following system functions are described for CHAMP:
    • Tuner
    • Audio System Controller
    • CHAMP user interface
    • CHAMP gateway

    Central Information Display (CID)
    Central Head Unit and Multimedia Platform (CHAMP)
    To the antenna diversity
    To the antenna diversity
    To the loudspeakers
    Controller (CON)
    AUX-In connection

    K CAN
    Body CAN
    Terminal 30g
    Terminal 30 switched
    Terminal 30g_f
    In the event of a fault, terminal 30 switches at the MOST
    Terminal 58g
    Locating light
    Media Oriented System Transport (fibre-optic cable)


    CHAMP has a double tuner for AM/FM. While tuner 1 is receiving the desired radio station, tuner 2 works in the background. Tuner 2 scans the station landscape for additional signals. If a radio station on another frequency is transmitting a stronger signal, there is an automatic switch to this alternative frequency. Both tuners pick up information from the radio data system (RDS), transmitted with the signal of the FM station. When an AM station is set, RDS can received traffic reports from an FM station. When a traffic report is picked up, the AM station is faded out and the report is issued across the loudspeakers.

    Audio System Controller

    As audio system controller, CHAMP has the following tasks:
    • System master controller
      The system master controller links the individual control modules in CHAMP.
    • Power master controller
      The power master controller initializes the network and switches the MOST bus on and off (wake-up, Sleep mode).
    • Network master controller
      The network master controller controls and monitors the MOST bus. Every time the network is started up, the exact system configuration is scanned and compared with a saved target configuration. If systems are not working correctly, they are reset and disconnected from the MOST bus. Every fault during operation of the network or every deviation from the target configuration is saved in a fault memory for the MOST bus.
    • Audio master controller
      The audio master controller collects all the audio signals in the vehicle, processes the audio signals and outputs them across the loudspeakers. The audio master controller also creates acoustic signals for warnings and the Park Distance Control (PDC). Mixing or fading in and out achieves a ”soft” acoustic switch between the signal sources.
    • Connection master controller
      The connection master controller distributes the signals of the audio sources and the acoustic signals to the loudspeakers. The signals are distributed to the loudspeakers as follows:
      • Front left and right (acoustic signals, telephone, traffic reports)
      • Front left and right, rear left and right (signals for parking-aid Park Distance Control, PDC)
      • All loudspeaker (all sources of the menu ”Entertainment”)
    CHAMP user interface

    The control module CHAMP user interface (CHAMP-BO) processes the signals of the controller: e.g. selection of the menus and submenus. The CHAMP-BO also controls the output of displays on the Central Information Display (CID). The data present in the graphics processor is immediately transferred as digital signals - Low Voltage Differential Signalling (LVDS) - to the CID.

    CHAMP gateway

    The CHAMP gateway control module forms the interface for data exchange between the MOST bus and the K-CAN (body CAN). The two bus systems transfer data formats with different data transfer rates and formats. In order to communicate with all systems, the data for each bus is configured accordingly in the CHAMP gateway.

    Notes for Service department

    General information

    Resetting CHAMP
    CHAMP can be reset with the following measures:
    • Control-module functions in the BMW diagnosis system
    • Disconnection from the vehicle network
    On the CHAMP, no reset button or reset button combination is implemented.
    Note! CHAMP may only be replaced as a complete unit.
    CHAMP is replaced in service as a complete unit.

    Diagnosis instructions

    For the CHAMP, a large number of tests are available in the control-module functions.
    Example: a CD that is jammed in the CD-drive can be ejected using the control-module functions.
    The favourite buttons introduced with CHAMP (programmable buttons) can be diagnosed by a control-module function.


    Functional description, see BMW Technology:
    TIS -> Document -> SI Technology -> Enter SBT Number
    SBT number: 840103004
    Brief description

    The M-ASK (Multi Audio System Controller) is the central control unit of the communications systems. The following functions are integrated in the M-ASK:
    • M-ASK user interface (motherboard)
    • M-ASK gateway
    • M-ASK navigation system (if a navigation system is fitted)
    Different audio system can be combined with the M-ASK. As standard, the stereo system is fitted (no external amplifier).
    Audio program

    The audio systems are divided into 3 levels:
    • Stereo system
    • HiFi system (additional analog amplifier)
    • Top HiFi system (additional Top HiFi amplifier connected via MOST)
    The audio systems differ in that various sound pressures can be achieved or there is improved system linearity. The stereo system consists of 6 loudspeakers; the HiFi system or top-hifi system consists of 10 loudspeakers and various additional amplifiers. The central bass speakers are located under the front seats.
    Service mode

    Proceed as follows to call up the Service mode:
    • Call up the start menu
    • Press and hold down the controller for at least 10s
    • Turn the controller 3 positions to the right
    • Turn the controller 3 positions to the left.
    • Turn the controller 1 position to the right
    • Turn the controller 1 position to the left.
    • Turn the controller 1 position to the right
    • Press the controller once.
    To exit the Service mode, press the menu key.

    The M-ASK is the MOST master controller. It forms the gateway between K-CAN and MOST bus.


    Audio amplifier

    The sound reproduction is optimized by the 2 types of amplifier:
    • Stereo/HiFi amplifier and
    • Top HiFi amplifier.
    They are fitted according to the desired type and number of speakers:
    The active frequency gates transmit to the amplifier module concerned only that frequency range that can be effectively reproduced by the connected speaker system. The speakers (high, mid and low-range speakers) are connected to those output stages.
    Brief description of components

    Stereo/HiFi amplifier

    HiFi amplifiers are amplifiers with active frequency gates. Active frequency gates achieve better acoustic results than passive frequency gates.
    The HiFi amplifier does not have speed-dependent volume adjustment or speed-dependent equalizing. The function of the HiFi amplifier is only to amplify the low-frequency output.
    The HiFi amplifier is a non-diagnosable control module.
    Top HiFi Amplifier

    Top HiFi amplifiers are amplifiers with active frequency gates. Active frequency gates achieve better acoustic results than passive frequency gates.
    The Top HiFi amplifier is a control module on the MOST network which has following functions:
    • High and mid-range output stages, 4 x 40 Watt
    • Subwoofer output stages, 2 x 70 Watt (2-channel subwoofer amplifier)
    • Vehicle-specific equalizing
    • Speed-dependent equalizing
    • Volume-dependent equalizing
    Audio System Controller (radio/M-ASK/CCC)

    The Audio System Controller (ASK) is integrated in the radio/M-ASK/CCC control module. The ASK manages all audio signals.
    Subwoofer amplifier with Stereo/HiFi options

    The additional subwoofer amplifier is a two-channel design. The subwoofer amplifier integrated in the amplifier.
    The subwoofer amplifier has a separate power supply. The subwoofer amplifier is switched on by signal from the ASK (> 8 V = ON / < 6 V = OFF).
    On request from the ASK, the subwoofer amplifier performs speed-dependent volume adjustment. The low frequency range in particular is boosted at high driving speeds.
    Control display (CD) and controller

    The space simulation and user-programmable equalizer functions are operated with the aid of the Control Display. The desired function is selected by means of the Controller on the front of the center arm rest.
    Main functions of Top HiFi amplifier

    Electronic power-up

    The amplifier is connected to continuous positive and ground as the power supply. The amplifier is woken up via the MOST bus. The amplifier becomes active when
    • it detects a voltage above 9 Volts at the control input and
    • a voltage at the constant positive input that is greater than the voltage at the control input.
    Electronic power-down

    The amplifier is connected to continuous positive and ground as the power supply. It operates within an operating voltage range of 9-16 Volts at the control input.
    At voltages < 9 Volt at the control input, the amplifier is automatically switched off. This ensures that the amplifier is not left on when the vehicle is parked, for example.
    Undervoltage cutout

    The amplifier is automatically switched off when the engine is started because the voltage falls below the lower operating voltage limit of 9 Volts for a brief period.
    Once the conditions for switching on are satisfied, the amplifier is automatically switched on again.
    Speed-dependent equalizing

    In conjunction with the Top HiFi amplifier optional extra, the ASK (Audio System Controller) provides the 7-band equalizing function.
    This increases the volume of a set sound frequency range in order to counteract vehicle noise when the vehicle exceeds definable speed thresholds. The volume of the individual frequency bands, and particularly the lower frequencies, is individually adjusted in response to the speedometer A signal.
    Space (room) simulation

    The Top HiFi amplifier features a spatial sound function which enables improved space acoustics. The spatial sound effect is particularly effective in conjunction with ”pure” sound sources (CD mode).
    The spatial sound function is switched on when terminal ”R” is switched on (identification lock in position 1). It is switched off by means of the Controller.
    Note: The spatial sound function is not recommended for predominantly voice reproduction or poor radio reception.

    N38a CCC/M-ASK
    Connector overview
    Number X-pin, color Description
    X13812 16-pin, black Component connector CCC/M-ASK
    X13813 12-pin, black Component connector CCC/M-ASK
    X13814 12-pin, natural Component connector CCC/M-ASK
    X13820 10-pin, natural Component connector CCC/M-ASK
    X14084 10-pin, natural Component connector CCC/M-ASK

    Pin assignments at plug connector X13814
    Pin Type Description / Signal type Connection /
    Measuring notes
    1 E Signal, microphone Voice control microphone

    2 M Shielding Video module

    3 E Video signal, red Video module

    4 E Video signal, green Video module

    5 E Video signal, blue Video module

    6 E Signal, microphone Voice control microphone

    7 Not occupied

    8 Not occupied

    9 Not occupied

    10 Not occupied

    11 Not occupied

    12 E Signal, rear left wheel speed Connector X1101 (rear left wheel speed)

    Attached Images Attached Images    

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