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Thread: 2003 BMW M3 Custom Dash / Overhead Console

  1. #221
    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    I don't understand what you are asking. The CD changer rack should be covered in all cars. I didn't have anything made to cover it. All I had made was the amp rack (the flat part along the top where the computer is protruding from), and it does not block the swing down door to access the storage space on the left (or the cd changer/nav computer in cars with them).

    There is quite a bit of room back there where the changer mounts, yes, but I wanted something a little more accessible. Removing the fiberglass/cloth panel that covers that left side is a huge pain, and I wanted to be able to take the computer out and work on it easily. There is not enough room to mount a standard ITX case, but many people have fashoned their own mounts that fit in the area.
    MY CAR IS FOR SALE!
    See My Project Page for Details - 2003 BMW E46 ///M3
    Custom Dash Monitor Housing - OEM Fitment
    Custom Overhead DVD-ROM Housing in Headliner
    BMW I-Bus Integration
    My homepage with many other fun projects!

  2. #222
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    Oh, my bad about the wording of my post gork. I can see what you mean by it being a pain to remove the liner ever time you want to access the computer for tinkering. Could you point me to any of those guys who have successfully fashioned their own mounts to fit in that area?

  3. #223
    Newbie BMX_BOY's Avatar
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    Thumbs up LCD Dimming

    Hi Gork

    I'm just starting out, gathering info while me and a friend are doing an install in his Renault. Before i start hacking into my nice new Bimmer!

    I wanted to ask if you have solved the LCD Gamma control problem as yet?
    As i would really like my setup to dim with the dashboard lights like my current stereo does.

    Anyway, as i am an electronic engineer i can probably come up with some solution to this, i don't think that it is necessary to use the I-Bus (i hope at least as i have no stearing wheel controls and so was not planning on interfacing with it)

    I will be orderring my lilliput screen soon so when it arrives i will see if i can find a solution to this, if you haven't already.

    Thanks for the inspiration. Your setup rocks!!
    Nice guys come last.....and i'm a very nice guy ;-)

  4. #224
    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    No; I have not found a solution yet, though I kind of gave up on it a long time ago. If you have found my comments about it, you should probably have seen that there is a standard type illumination wire that comes out from the radio harness. In theory it should be fairly simple to wire up some kind of logic that controls a PWM 12V signal to the inverter power to dim it. Some LCD inverters will dim with straight voltage changes, but to make a useful, generic device PWM would be ideal as would making the voltage the board accepts for PWM not fixed at 12V in case some inverter works at 18V or something. My main problem in trying to build something was that there are two seperate grounds and I don't know anything about how to not make them interefere. I just saw the result being destruction of my screen.

    The illumination wire has the following profile (voltages are approximate):
    0V, presumably latched to GND, not just "really low" -> Lights Off -> PWM 100%
    11-12V -> Lights on, max brightness -> PWM adjustable max of 50%-100%
    4-5V -> Lights on, min brightness -> PWM adjustable minimum of 0-50%

    I'd imagine that you'd need to be able to adjust the PWM amount (maybe with a little potentiometer or something on the board as they would only have to be set once) at each of these voltage levels as every screen and every car will be a bit different as to the rate at which they dim.

    The BMW's have a photoresistor that adjusts the brigtness to ambient lighting, so it should be a really neat feature to have.

    Some guy here on the boards got it working, but he had a couple of things going for him: first, his car had an illumination wire that behaved as 12V -> lights off, 4V -> dimming min, 11V -> dimming max. He just powered the inverter using this feed and all was well. I don't know how much stress it's putting on his inverter, though

    If you end up making a device, you'd have a TON of buyers on this board, I know. Please take a look at it as a lot of us really really want this feature. If you remember, be sure to let me know about it
    MY CAR IS FOR SALE!
    See My Project Page for Details - 2003 BMW E46 ///M3
    Custom Dash Monitor Housing - OEM Fitment
    Custom Overhead DVD-ROM Housing in Headliner
    BMW I-Bus Integration
    My homepage with many other fun projects!

  5. #225
    Variable Bitrate BMVEE's Avatar
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    Just getting ready to install the carputer in my '01 325CiC. I am wondering where the factory amp is located. I have looked in the trunk and no joy. I have heard that it is located in the back on the drivers side. Is this correct? I was planning to tap into the existing audio system, only removing the factory HU. Can someone give me some quick pointers. CDR.... I know you have a Cab... did you remove your stock system. I am nonHK. Pointers will be very much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
    BMVEE

  6. #226
    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    Yes; the amp is on the driver's side behind the trunk panel. Both the regular Alpine and HK use the same harness.

    If you just want to use the factory amp w/ no headunit, the easiest way to do it is to attach to the factory stereo harness rather than trying to splice into the wires that feed the amp. Unlike aftermarket amps, the only plug on the amp is a ~40 wire connector that is going to be a real pain to tap into. You can do it by just buying a BMW harness from Best Buy or any car stereo shop. Hook the harness connector up to the outputs of a Peripheral Electronics SVEN4. Loop the 12V ignition wire to the 12V antenna wire (this is your amp turn on wire also) and you're all set to plug RCA audio into the SVEN4. Another user has suggested to me that you use a line driver to turn your stereo audio output from the PC into higher voltage RCA input for the SVEN4. This is recommended, but not absolutely necessary.

    You are basically going to build yourself one of these except you will probably be using an SVEN4 rather than the VEN4 that I used (it is now discontinued):



    The biggest advantage for using this method of attachment is that you do not have to cut any wires! It's just like plugging in an aftermarket headunit. In fact, aside from looping the iginition wire back to the amp turn on, this is how you wire aftermarket headunits in the E46 to the stock amps.
    MY CAR IS FOR SALE!
    See My Project Page for Details - 2003 BMW E46 ///M3
    Custom Dash Monitor Housing - OEM Fitment
    Custom Overhead DVD-ROM Housing in Headliner
    BMW I-Bus Integration
    My homepage with many other fun projects!

  7. #227
    Variable Bitrate BMVEE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gork
    Yes; the amp is on the driver's side behind the trunk panel. Both the regular Alpine and HK use the same harness.

    If you just want to use the factory amp w/ no headunit, the easiest way to do it is to attach to the factory stereo harness rather than trying to splice into the wires that feed the amp. Unlike aftermarket amps, the only plug on the amp is a ~40 wire connector that is going to be a real pain to tap into. You can do it by just buying a BMW harness from Best Buy or any car stereo shop. Hook the harness connector up to the outputs of a Peripheral Electronics SVEN4. Loop the 12V ignition wire to the 12V antenna wire (this is your amp turn on wire also) and you're all set to plug RCA audio into the SVEN4. Another user has suggested to me that you use a line driver to turn your stereo audio output from the PC into higher voltage RCA input for the SVEN4. This is recommended, but not absolutely necessary.

    You are basically going to build yourself one of these except you will probably be using an SVEN4 rather than the VEN4 that I used (it is now discontinued):



    The biggest advantage for using this method of attachment is that you do not have to cut any wires! It's just like plugging in an aftermarket headunit. In fact, aside from looping the iginition wire back to the amp turn on, this is how you wire aftermarket headunits in the E46 to the stock amps.
    Remember... I have a Vert.... Is this still accurate for me... I am told that it is not with respect to the location of the amp. I have the aftermarket wiring adapter and am otherwise ready to rock.

  8. #228
    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    Oh; Hmm. I don't know where the amp is in the cabrio; may not be in the same place, but if you wire via the radio harness it doesn't really matter since you do not have to hook anything up to the amp itself. I do know that the CD changer and nav computer go on the left side in them, so I assumed that the amp was there too like in the coupes.
    MY CAR IS FOR SALE!
    See My Project Page for Details - 2003 BMW E46 ///M3
    Custom Dash Monitor Housing - OEM Fitment
    Custom Overhead DVD-ROM Housing in Headliner
    BMW I-Bus Integration
    My homepage with many other fun projects!

  9. #229
    Variable Bitrate BMVEE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gork
    Oh; Hmm. I don't know where the amp is in the cabrio; may not be in the same place, but if you wire via the radio harness it doesn't really matter since you do not have to hook anything up to the amp itself. I do know that the CD changer and nav computer go on the left side in them, so I assumed that the amp was there too like in the coupes.
    Since you are being so helpful.... I am going to install my system next weekend and I am wondering about the A/C relocation kit P/N. Do you happen to know what it is. I noticed that you had to relocate yours and your install is fantastic. I know I can do a direct install of the A/C controls, but I'd rather not fabricate the install myself if there is a BMW kit available (unless you have some suggestions from your install). While, I'm at it, I might just as well ask about dash disassembly instructions/ recommendations and that beautiful skin you are using in your pics.

    Many Thanks in advance!
    BMVEE

  10. #230
    Variable Bitrate Hark's Avatar
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    Gork, do you think this is the same wiring harness that you referred to that you can get from Best Buy for the factory amp? This one says it's for BMW's 1990 and up (which worries me a little).

    http://www.cardomain.com/item/SCOBW01B?vq_id=none

    These pics and the info has been extremely helpful in my install - I feel like I'm almost there. Thanks for all the great information.

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