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Thread: E46 BMW guys, any thoughts?

  1. #11
    Newbie GeddyT's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input.

    Are you running the memory in dual channel mode or single channel? Those things are finicky, but usually only when you try unmatched ram sticks in dual channel mode. I'm only planning on single channel. I guess I could get PC2700 memory and save $4, but I figured I could always clock it down and add stability. And for $4, who cares? It was memory bus issues that initially made me consider a miniATX over an EPIA solution when I saw that EPIA uses PC133 memory, I got the impression that it probably sucks at multimedia.

    Would you think that if you got the m10000 you wouldn't have that mpeg2 hardware acceleration problem? And when you say that if you had to do it again you would get an XPC or IWILL, does that mean you would use one of those over an EPIA in a car or are you talking about for the media PC in the play room?

    Wait, I just noticed that the MII 10000 DOES have DDR. I think I'll just get that, then. Thanks for the input.
    This goes for the guys, too. Because sometimes the guys are tapped out. But check your lease, Man, 'cause you’re living in F*bleep* City!

  2. #12
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    I am in almost the same exact boat as you. Good with PC's, ok with wiring, crappy with custom work for mobile audio stuff, oh and I have an e46 and my main motivation is no decent iPod adapter (BMW's adapter sucks.)

    I will be using a blitzsafe adapter (www.blitzsafe.com) for the aux in, and you are correct, it just plays whatever is being fed to it, no changer emulation required.

    Check out this guys Bimmer install for how your monitor mount will look, he has mounted it pretty much how you've mentioned.
    http://www.mini-itx.com/projects/bmwpc/

    Perhaps we can help each other along the way, I am also about to ordered parts. I'll try to post as much as I can and I hope you do the same.

  3. #13
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    BTW, the wierd looking connectors in your trunk could possibly be fiber cables. I've heard that some mercedes and BMW's use fiber links for CD Changers.

  4. #14
    MySQL Error jcdillin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edrock200
    BTW, the wierd looking connectors in your trunk could possibly be fiber cables. I've heard that some mercedes and BMW's use fiber links for CD Changers.
    Look more like coaxial connections for GPS or SAT radio. One those might be some sort of toslink though.
    肚子笑痛了
    S60 Install

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeddyT
    So any adea of what I'm looking at there? I'm sure it's something that's posted elsewhere, so I'll start looking, but any help would be appreciated.
    I know that some of the wires in the trunk there are for:
    -CD Changer
    -OEM Bluetooth kit

    I wouldn't worry about any plugs that you don't know what they are used for.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeddyT
    Now my goal is to run the audio from the PC into the auxiliary input behind the head unit so that when the head unit is set to aux, it'll play what's on the PC. And program the IBUS so that when a CD is in the head unit, the steering wheel buttons control the head unit and when aux is selected, the steering wheel buttons control the PC (I know NOTHING about doing this, so I would need some help--that is, if it's even possible...). Also it would be nice for the skin to automagically turn to the nighttime skin when the headlights turn on through IBUS.
    I don't mean to discourage you in this regard, but I think you are wanting to do the nearly impossible (very difficult anyway). I don't think it is possible to have the steering wheel controls do BOTH the PC and factory head unit at the same time. One or the other I think...The nightime skin via headlights would be difficult/impossible to figure out too. For the amount of work it would require, I would just be satisfied with interfacing the steering wheel controls with the PC.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeddyT
    Here are the things I'm a little sketchy on (eternal thanks for input):
    1.) Has anybody else out there made this work without removing the factory head unit? My main reasons for keeping it are the high quality radio receiver, the ability to easily and quickly throw CDs in, and that it looks good. That and it will allow me to keep the factory amp for now and therefore put off another fat wad of spending.
    I know that some peeps have opted to keep the factory head unit. I ditched mine and put the screen in its place. Will you really use the radio and CD player that much if you have all your CDs on your PC anyway? Just a question - maybe it is a better option for you to keep the factory head unit, but I decided it wasn't something I wanted to keep. Especially because I managed to make a custom mount for the screen that makes it look OEM.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeddyT
    2.) Is PC audio --> auxiliary input adapter --> factory radio gonna sound like whales crapping?
    If you are a music purist at all, I would guess that you wouldn't be happy with it. At the very least, get a USB external sound card - that will clean up the audio some. More than that, use a good quality line driver (www.audiocontrol.com - I use the three.1)

    Quote Originally Posted by GeddyT
    4.) Video signal from the trunk all the way to the center console: Long VGA extension the way to go or will that add too much noise and there's a better way that I don't know about?
    Xenarc sells an extension for their touchscreen. This is what I have and it works flawlessly. I'm not sure about Lilliput. You definitley have the opportunity to add a lot of noise if you get a poor quality VGA extension and don't run it appropriately by running it next to power lines etc.

    Good luck with the project - my advice is just jump in. You will figure out a lot of stuff on your own as you forge ahead but ask questions in this thread thoughout the project. Also, make sure to a tonne - there is actually lots and lots of E46 info on this board.

  7. #17
    Newbie GeddyT's Avatar
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    Sorry about the lack of replies for a while, guys. I've been on vacation.

    My parts are rolling in about one a day. My plan is to start out by getting the front of the car ready to go because I've got vacation time and that takes the most fabrication/disassembly/assembly time. Then put the computer in the trunk later when I get another chance. So far I've got my axiliary adapter, my slimline drive, a USB adapter for it, and the IBUS interface (which I won't be needing until later). I'm still waiting for my LCD and for some carbon and epoxy that I bought to come in. Both should be here within the next couple days (FedEx is SO much faster than UPS). I'll try posting some pics of my progress if I'm able to get started before my vacation runs out.

    Edrock200, I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Thanks for the input. You too Jackboot.
    This goes for the guys, too. Because sometimes the guys are tapped out. But check your lease, Man, 'cause you’re living in F*bleep* City!

  8. #18
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    Good luck Keep us posted of the progress!

  9. #19
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    GeddyT,
    I'm on the same path as you. I still can't decide whether I will relocate the a/c unit to the pocket below it and put a touch screen in with ibus integration (effectively eliminating my HU) or integrate with my HU with an aux pack. Someone on these forums is developing a USB radio module that sounds promising, and I found a bracket for the monitor...so it would have a nice stock look and feel.

    Only problem is my car has a dsp stereo system, and anytime I had looked for after market HU's in the past no one wanted to touch the system. I'm not sure why, I'm assuming because of built in amps/advanced wiring. Anyone know of where I can find a schematic for a 99 e46 328i BMW with DSP? Before I start ordering parts I have to figure out if I'll be keeping the HU or ditching it.

    I've been doing tons of research over the last few weeks...if I've learned anything from these forums it's to plan, and plan well.

  10. #20
    Newbie GeddyT's Avatar
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    From everything that I've read and from the people at installers that I've talked to, if you ditch the HU, you're ditching the amp and usually the speakers as well (because at that point why wouldn't you?). The reason being is that BMW uses "twisted pair" wiring between the HU and amp which allows a lot of noise in and the electronics in the amp cancel out that noise and distribute clean signals to the speakers (anyone can feel free to correct me if this is wrong). So there's no way to get a signal from any aftermarket HU or from the computer's sound card into the factory amp.
    Buying a new amp isn't necessarily a bad thing, though, because it would certainly sound better than the one that's in there. But you'd have to build your own crossover network as well. And with the amp and the time and everything... I'd just rather keep what's there.
    This goes for the guys, too. Because sometimes the guys are tapped out. But check your lease, Man, 'cause you’re living in F*bleep* City!

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