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Thread: 2003 BMW M3 Custom Dash / Overhead Console

  1. #31
    Low Bitrate Pogi's Avatar
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    So you used a IDE converter, and converted it from IDE to FIREWIRE??? sweet, if so, give me some more info!!!!!

  2. #32
    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    Sorry everyone.. The forums aren't emailing me so I have missed quite a few posts..

    GezusK: I recharged my mouse when I first got it as per the instructions. It hasnt needed charging again (about 1 month ago).. You could probably wire it to use the car power supply but... it's totally unnecessary. It wouldn't stay hooked into the base very well anyway while you were driving. You could always buy a second battery and the standalone battery charger.. Go to Gyration's web site to see what I'm talking about.. But really, the charger in the car is not necessary.

    1300mer:
    Cool. E36 M3 definately has its place in the M3's. Do you get Roundel? They had a nice article last month about the three generations of M3's and how each is better suited to some things. My last car was a E36 328iS (Sport Packages) .. so driving my "Almost-an-//M" made me plenty jealous of you E36M3 guys for plenty of years

    Anyway, my electrical setup is correct I am using an OPUS for power so it's not a ground loop thing. E46 also uses balanced audio to feed the factory amp, and I'm using a Peripheral VEN4 to interface with that properly. The audio problems are due to the crappy onboard audio as I can hear faint HDD noise, etc. Another reason to go to USB audio from the onboard EPIA is that I won't have to listen to the PC speaker "Beep" during POST come through my car speakers. It's rather annoying... I'll probably go to a M-Audio Sonica at some point though it's not really high priority.

    Pogi:
    Yes I used an IDE<->Firewire bridge board. I just used one I got out of some cheap 3.5" enclosure from CompGeeks.com.. It was about 20 bucks and supported Firewire and USB2.0 with the Oxford911 chipset. I had problems getting my CD-ROM to work on the firewire interface and had to reflash the OXFW911's firmware which was a real chore, but worked OK in the end. This shouldnt be necessary unless you have a problem with your setup. I had it working with other CDROM's without a problem.

    Just buy a cheap external 3.5" HDD firewire enclosure somwhere and get the bridge board out of it.. it's pretty easy to do really. You can order bridge boards seperately from some places, but I've found they are usually far more expensive than just ordering a firewire chassis on sale...

  3. #33
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    Hey Gork, I might be getting a M3 soon. Thinking of putting in the system you did, wanted to know if you got the Onboard Navigation system BMW offers for 1800$ or not. I think it is cut differently for the LCD and may make it easier to put in a touch screen but at a high price :/

  4. #34
    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    BMW's OEM nav system is considered by many who have it to be a piece of crap. The entire thing is controlled by the buttons and knobs which tends to make it tedious .. not like most other companies' nav systems that have touchscreens.

    My whole setup cost less than the option and does more. Anyway, I dont know what route you were planning to take to fit a computer in with the OEM nav system, but it would be pretty difficult to replace the LCD .. it's a 6" screen by default w/o touch and it looks to be impossible to fit a 7" screen into the housing.

    The best option that people are taking to use a car-pc while keeping the oem navigation is to get a hacked BMW TV Module that can display video while moving and hook a PC's TV-Out to the video module's aux input. The problem is that the hacked video module costs another $1000 and gets you NTSC video with still no touchscreen.

    The other advantage to going with the nav system is that you can more easily keep the car's own CD player, radio, etc. There is an I-Bus based MP3 player also that integrates very well with the OEM system (I think by emulating a CD Changer or tape deck) .. displays song titles on the screen and everything .. that you can build in without even worrying about PC video.

    Anyway, my only real piece of advice is that if you want the BMW nav system for some reason, don't attempt to retrofit it after you buy the car because it's very hard and costs over $4000 in parts alone to do. The main wiring harness is different with navigation.

    Small other points about the nav system:

    1) the radio tuner is in the trunk, thus the antenna cable runs to the trunk instead of to the front console.

    2) There is a lot more reliance on I-Bus in a nav-equipped car. You will not be able to have a successful car-pc integration without building an I-Bus interface on a car with Navigation. Knowing how to program would also benefit you greatly.

    All in all, I found that building my own screen mount and learning about BMW's electronics to be a very rewarding experience. I researched the BMW OEM navigation system extensively and was even planning a retrofit (I even own the current BMW navigation maps DVD!) before I decided to approach the PC route. Due to the high cost of new parts, I was scouring BMW salvage companies weekly to get ahold of a nav system. Everyone who has used the car-pc and either owns or has used a BMW navigation system says the PC is better.

    My only complaint is boot times, and lack of a really slick software interface.. both of which I am currently addressing
    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. #35
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    Holycrap! 1300mer you've got a techno-v beast... so do I

    and gork.. NICE


    -- WireSix, Inc. --
    MP3Car Lives Here!

  6. #36
    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    Any of you BMW guys going to BMWCCA Oktoberfest in Austin this year? I'd like to go but can't really make up my mind..
    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. #37
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    Nah my goal was to go to bimmerfest east but I got laid off in august so I'm strapped for cash
    -- WireSix, Inc. --
    MP3Car Lives Here!

  8. #38
    Maximum Bitrate brrman's Avatar
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    Gork - awesome install man. Very clean and done with style. Good to see.

    Spaceboy - Audi's use the VAG diagnostic system. Pretty similar to I-Bus. You can do some nifty stuff with it.

  9. #39
    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    brrman: Do you have any links to stuff on interfacing to audi's VAG stuff? I am looking at their new DSG transmission with much anticipation, and with the newest designs coming from BMW... well my next car just might be an audi a few years from now
    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!

  10. #40
    Maximum Bitrate brrman's Avatar
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    I have not interfaced directly with the car's ECU. I use the VAGcom software released by RossTech (www.ross-tech.com) which is ODBII compliant. However there is a lot to be found about the VAG interface on www.audiworld.com if you ask the right people. If I come across anything I will let you know - I have been pondering direct access to the ECU lately so I should find some decent info.

    The new DSG is going to be sweet. And as much as I like BMW (well... with exception to the new models ) Audi has always impressed me. But hell, an M3 is the shiznit! I was at the Indy F1 Grand Prix this past weekend and saw some majorly tricked out M3's.
    Car: 2000 Audi A4 Avant 1.8t
    Carputer 2.0: removed. Back to stock.

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