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-   -   Intravee II iPod DIY Install & Review (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=679659)

sna77 06-02-2009 09:58 AM

Intravee II iPod DIY Install & Review
 
Parts Needed:

Intravee II. BMW ibus to Alpine AI-Net module. $250
http://www.bimmernav.com/store/catal...f3cdafabf21f70

Alpine KCA 420i. $100 MSRP (I bought one on eBay for $50)
http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/prod...model=KCA-420i

iPod. I used a 5th generation 30GB iPod video. Its dedicated to the car, and I don't need to worry about a charging adapter for the newer iPods

After many frustrating years with various forms of the IceLink, Dice, Dice Silverline, and Neo, I finally gave up with those products and decided to step up and get a legit, reliable iPod solution for my wifeís 2004 325xi. Her car has factory Nav and Bluetooth, which makes the Dice just about unusable. There is enough info on this forum about the Diceís shortcomings that I donít need to rehash it hereóbasically the same complaints everyone else has: popping noises, alternator feedback, having to constantly disconnect the battery for 10 minutes to reset the thing, the inability to browse by artist on the older modules, freezing text on newer modules, and of course, ridiculous shipping charges for warranty repairs. Basically, Iíve had enoughÖ

A few years ago, Iíd first discovered the Intravee II (IV2 for the rest of this review) and had anxiously awaited its release. By the time it came out, I had already invested too much into the DICE that I didnít want to incur additional expenses of a whole new setup. In hindsight, I would have saved a ton of money had I just invested in the IV2 then.

The IV2 is a BMW ibus to Alpine AI-Net converter. Instead of trying to do the iPod controls itself, the IV2 allows Alpineís rock-solid KCA-420i to do the dirty work. The IV2 acts as a converter between the Alpine and the BMW. Iíve been using the product for about a week now and have no complaints. There is a customer support forum for the IV2: http://www.intravention.co.uk/forum/index.php and the developers are active there helping customers. The firmware is upgradable by customers, so you donít need to worry about shipping charges back and forth for simple software fixes.

The searching of the IV2 is amazing. I was first a bit bummed that the length of the Alpine cables (about 4í) would not allow me to store the iPod in the glovebox. Turns out, leaving the iPod in the trunk is just fineóthe IV2 search is so good (and quick!) that youíll never need to touch it except to remove it from the car to load new songs. Sweet.

sna77 06-02-2009 10:02 AM

Anyhow, hereís the pics of the install. The official install instructions and userís guide are linked on Bimmernavís page.

The IV2 as it arrives. There is a serial port (for firmware upgrades) on one side, and 3 connections on the opposite side. (ibus, CD changer and Alpine AI-net).
http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/01.JPG


Inside the IV2. You move jumper pins if its slaved off a Sirius unit (mine is):
http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/02.JPG


All of the pieces. Alpine KCA-420i, the ipod, the ipod cable, and the cable connecting the IV2 to the Alpine unit:
http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/03.JPG


I am installing my iPod where the CD changer went. I drilled a 1" hole in the back of the CD changer blanking tray:
http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/04.JPG


I used a 1" rubber grommet from an electronics store to clean up the install, and make sure the cables don't pull through:
http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/05.JPG

sna77 06-02-2009 10:07 AM

I just plugged everything in to make sure it worked (it did!):
http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/06.JPG

I then pulled everything out and decided to mount the KCA-420i to the Sirius bracket. There was plenty of room for both. Used locking nuts, of course...
http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/07.JPG

http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/08.JPG


There is plenty of room with the Sirius module mounted to feed the Alpine's 2 cables out the back of the unit. I zip-tied the excess cable and stuffed it between the BM53 radio and the Sirius bracket:
http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/09.JPG

Here is everything put back together. I put the IV2 on top of the Bluetooth ULF so I could easily get to it for future firmware updates. For firmware updates the car needs to be in position 1 (for ibus communication) with the IV2 plugged in and a serial cable running to your PC.
http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/10.JPG


With the carpet back on, its super clean. There is velcro under the ipod to secure it in place:
http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/11.JPG

sna77 06-02-2009 10:13 AM

Of course... pics of the interface. The thing is really fast.

This is the main "playing" screen with full screen Nav enabled:
http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/15.JPG


Playing screen with split-screen Nav enabled:
http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/13.JPG


The searching interface. You can skip forward and backwards 10 albums / artists at a time, which is fantastic, and makes for much quicker searching.
http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/12.JPG


The main search screen:
http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/14.JPG

Kamil 06-02-2009 10:35 AM

:bow::thumbsup:

I love your obsessive attention to detail.

Nice slippers BTW.

kent330i 06-02-2009 11:24 AM

Wow..... I might do the same after I saw this awesome post. Going to sell my dice silverline first.

sna77 06-02-2009 11:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kamil (Post 10061246)
:bow::thumbsup:

I love your obsessive attention to detail.

Nice slippers BTW.

Thanks... And they are "flip-flops" not "slippers." ;)

sna77 06-02-2009 12:52 PM

Just labeled the pic with everything in it to make it a bit easier to see. Where I'm going to put the reverse module is beyond me... ;)

http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/10-labeled.JPG

profM3 06-02-2009 02:24 PM

Nice job. I mounted both the iPod and Intravee in the tray (where you have your iPod). Mine are turned 90 degrees to yours.
http://www.bimmerboard.com/members/p...inal/Pic09.jpg

sna77 06-02-2009 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by profM3 (Post 10062526)
Nice job. I mounted both the iPod and Intravee in the tray (where you have your iPod). Mine are turned 90 degrees to yours.

Ha, great minds think alike... ;) Where is your thread on bimmerboard btw? I didn't see it there...

I actually had the Intravee II there first, then decided to move it ontop of the BT ULF. Its my wife's car, so she's going to be taking the iPod in / out of the car, not me, and didn't want to confuse ehr with anything extra... I can just see her jamming the ibus cable into the ipod dock connector. ;)

fmzip 06-02-2009 02:36 PM

Nice......I've been running a hacked Phatnoise in both by BMW's for sometime. I looked at the Intravee a few years back and loved the concept. The limitation for me at that time was the small capacity of the Ipods comapared to 160GB's Phatnoise DMS's with everything ripped in a lossless codec.

Looks slick!

imnes 06-02-2009 02:41 PM

I've had the Intravee II installed for about two months now. I've been very happy with it. I got the Intravee II new, a used alpine unit from eBay, and a refurbished 120gb ipod classic from apple. It's all wired in and tucked into the storage tray in the trunk, I need to take the trunk apart and actually mount all the hardware correctly. I have a convertible, it looks a little more involved. One of these weekends I'll find time to tackle it!

Nick

sna77 06-02-2009 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fmzip (Post 10062626)
Nice......I've been running a hacked Phatnoise in both by BMW's for sometime. I looked at the Intravee a few years back and loved the concept. The limitation for me at that time was the small capacity of the Ipods comapared to 160GB's Phatnoise DMS's with everything ripped in a lossless codec.

Looks slick!


You have 160GB of music?! Good god. Haaa. My 30 GB ipod has about 15 GB free. Edit: Just noticed the "lossless codec"... Yeah, that'll build up the file space a lot faster for sure...

Quote:

Originally Posted by imnes (Post 10062663)
I've had the Intravee II installed for about two months now. I've been very happy with it. I got the Intravee II new, a used alpine unit from eBay, and a refurbished 120gb ipod classic from apple. It's all wired in and tucked into the storage tray in the trunk, I need to take the trunk apart and actually mount all the hardware correctly. I have a convertible, it looks a little more involved. One of these weekends I'll find time to tackle it!
Nick

Nice! Glad to hear there's other user's out here of the IV2. It gets almost no mention on this site, since half the sponsors sell the DICE... In fact, I fully expect this thread to be magically deleted... ;)

fmzip 06-02-2009 03:31 PM

I use the FLAC codec for my whole house audio as well......I wish the Ipod could handle this codec, it would be a no brainer to switch.

Switching codecs means re-ripping or converting ALOT of files!

profM3 06-02-2009 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sna77 (Post 10062591)
Ha, great minds think alike... ;) Where is your thread on bimmerboard btw? I didn't see it there...

I actually had the Intravee II there first, then decided to move it ontop of the BT ULF. Its my wife's car, so she's going to be taking the iPod in / out of the car, not me, and didn't want to confuse ehr with anything extra... I can just see her jamming the ibus cable into the ipod dock connector. ;)

My install thread is actually on M3Forum.net; the pics are just hosted on bimmerboard which attaches the logo to them automatically (it's a bit self-serving but they're paying the bandwidth).

Your install has much more attention to detail, very nice. :bow:

profM3 06-02-2009 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sna77 (Post 10062915)
You have 160GB of music?! Good god. Haaa. My 30 GB ipod has about 15 GB free. Edit: Just noticed the "lossless codec"... Yeah, that'll build up the file space a lot faster for sure...



Nice! Glad to hear there's other user's out here of the IV2. It gets almost no mention on this site, since half the sponsors sell the DICE... In fact, I fully expect this thread to be magically deleted... ;)

I have about 80G of MP3 formatted music on my iPod (160G classic). I have even more music on my computer but there is actually is a limitation on the KCA-420i (and hence the Intravee) of 511 artists. Once you exceed 511 artists you can no longer search the ones beyond 511 (at the end of the alphabet). For me this first occurred at about 50-60G but with some thought and tagging of compilation albums (read about it on the Intravee forums) I pushed the music to about 80G of MP3 files before hitting the 511 artist limit.

sna77 06-02-2009 11:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by profM3 (Post 10064893)
My install thread is actually on M3Forum.net; the pics are just hosted on bimmerboard which attaches the logo to them automatically (it's a bit self-serving but they're paying the bandwidth).

Your install has much more attention to detail, very nice. :bow:

Thanks... Wish I'd attached the velcro like you did on the bottom of the IV2... I'm covering my serial number... Oops.. ;)


Quote:

Originally Posted by profM3 (Post 10064968)
I have about 80G of MP3 formatted music on my iPod (160G classic). I have even more music on my computer but there is actually is a limitation on the KCA-420i (and hence the Intravee) of 511 artists. Once you exceed 511 artists you can no longer search the ones beyond 511 (at the end of the alphabet). For me this first occurred at about 50-60G but with some thought and tagging of compilation albums (read about it on the Intravee forums) I pushed the music to about 80G of MP3 files before hitting the 511 artist limit.

I enabled "Advanced Search" earlier, and discovered I have 138 artists, so I'm in good shape...

Also, to get around the hibernation, I just setup silent calendar reminders every 12 hours (my iPod is a 5th generation iPod video)

Your AI-Net cable looks different than mine. I have a blue cable with right angle adapter going into the Intravee unit... Its actually annoying me because the right angle is pointing up and not straight back...

BTW, are you running Sirius also?

sna77 06-02-2009 11:12 PM

Here is the Advanced Search menu. If you have Nav 4/80 or higher you can run this. Seems to create an artist cache and allows very quick scrolling when searching for artists / songs etc...

http://www.bigpatsfans.com/iv2/advancedsearch.JPG

danielkspencer 06-03-2009 12:56 AM

Nice Job dude.

profM3 06-03-2009 06:14 AM

I use the advanced search menu, it works pretty well.
I don't have Sirius, though I am thinking of adding HD radio with an Alpine TUA-T550HD. I requires Intravee firmware V6 which isn't out yet, so I'm waiting.


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