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Old 02-06-2010, 12:42 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 6,331
My Ride: 335xi Deep Sea Blue
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I previously planned on using Data Port #2 on back of the business CD53 Radio to support the iPod Data in the identical way that Data Port #1 supports the CD Changer/Sirius but I was wrong.

Port #2 will NOT WORK on its own for Data Input support. You can add your iPod Data or 2nd Data Source (IE. CD Changer slaved to Sirius) with a Slave Data Extension Cable branching off the Sirius Receiver/CD Changer. In this case the BMW system gives hierarchy to Sirius as master always and the Data iPod or CD Changer Slaved off of it. If Sirius isn't present but a CD Changer is then the CD Changer must be the Master to Data iPod.

That said you most likely CANNOT have ALL THREE (iPod/Sirius/CD Changer) in your car at once using just the normal Data Link Pre Wiring Cable and Slave Data Cable.

INTERESTING SIDE NOTE: There is a DIY-mentioning from last year where a member at e46fanatics BMWAudio32 from Columbia, SC discovered, while trying to remedy the DICE/Sirius ghost feedback/alternator background noise, that you can actually splice the trunk bound ends of the main Data Link Pre-wire Cable and create two sets or multiple sets of Data Link ends off the main cable leaving the Data Link Port #1 on the back of the CD53 head unit. Then with placement of a homemade toggle switch along the junction where the separate branches meet BMWAudio32 was able to choose from multiple Data Sources (whether it be iPod, Sirius or CD Changer) in his car by flipping the homemade switch between the branches when the SIRIUS/CD CHANGER MODE was selected. This method successfully "fooled" the head unit into thinking there was one only data source when they were actually multiple. The only downside is the DIY time and skill required as well as the non-OEM look of the homemade switch placed in the cabin. Other than that it allowed for multiple Data sources that did not interfere with each other at all and eventually created the best solution for dealing with DICE/Sirius/CD Changer interference noise and issues when slaving various Data Sources.

Read More About that here:

That brings me to my choice in the USA-Spec which was very well reviewed and introduced to the e46 community by Steve325i from e46fanatics. As a less popular unit than the DICE, The USA-Spec is cheaper and has all the features of the DICE including an RCA Aux In Port. The only reported disadvantage of the Spec to the DICE is you are only allowed access to up to 5 User-Set Playlists (Or the option to just Play ALL SONGS on iPod) while the iPod is in fully integrated mode.

The DICE allows for access to more or all the Playlists on your iPod and text display is given for the Playlist. The USA-Spec was fine for me since with Sirius, AM/FM, 100s of songs on my MP3 Data CDs, and AUX input in my car I already have unlimited access to hours upon hours of fresh music. Accessing only 5 Playlists off my iPod would not kill me or be a deal breaker. Albeit the 5 User-set Playlist can have unlimited amount of music in each playlist with respect to the size of your iPod.

So you CANNOT argue that the Spec gives you access to "less" music than the DICE would. It just gives you access to less playlists than the DICE would.

Said and done my install, after a few Darwinian/Homer Simpson moments, ended beautifully. The USA-Spec, when done properly, installs and works smoothly without any of the reported issues you get from the DICE.

Last edited by delmarco; 02-06-2010 at 12:45 AM.
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