11-15-2011, 04:47 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Doncaster East
My Ride: 330Ci Convertible
| Installed my unit a week or so ago and thought I'd add some insights. They may have been covered previously, but too much information can't be a bad thing.
I have a 330 convertible and I replaced the oem nav/6 stack cd/radio/tv setup (4:3 screen). I also had a Dice Mediabridge with IPOD and Bluetooth, but wanted a bigger screen and digital TV.
The installation was mostly straight forward, thanks to the many posts on this forum, there were no surprises.
The difficulty was that the fakra cable supplied had flat pins and my car has round pins, a mixed marriage that was never gonna work! An email to the supplier (In Carmedia) promptly came back with the suggestion to swap the plug from the short harness onto the fakra cable. Not ideal, but as I was keen to get it installed, I pushed on after reading a post on just that process.
I just used pointy nose pliers to push the flat pins out of the plug and connected them to the fakra plug. It isn't difficult and everything was connected colour for colour, with a couple left over. The extras were for the steering controls, pink to white, was the only exception.
Reversing camera was a bit of a challenge as is seems to be a fit for the sedan and not the coupe or convertible, but with a bit of grinding it went in happily. Not a lot of information about the cabling for the camera, but again after reading a number of posts, the answers were revealed.
At this point it should be noted that the fakra cable was the wrong one, no antenna extension cable was supplied, the cable for the steering controls was also missing and the video cable for the reversing camera was without the built in cutout cable. In fairness, In Car Media did despatch the steering cable quickly, but I went to Autobarn and got a 5 metre antenna extension because I didn't want to wait.
Conclusions are as follows:
There is sufficient information on this forum for anyone to do it themselves, even a more complex installation like this one.
This was a little disappointing to begin with as repeated scans failed to find any TV stations. Probably doing it in my garage didn't help, so I took a drive to a point where I was about 5 kilometres from the transmission towers and could see them, the scan then produced all the local tv and radion stations. Over the next week or so I found that the reception was intermittant and often no tv at all.
I had mounted 1 antenna in the "A" pillar next to the windscreen and the other jammed under a rear headrest. Obviously not the best place for either. I moved the front one up to the windscreen, centered at the top behind the rain sensor. Not visible in the car and the tint band hides it outside. The rear one was going to be a challenge with the soft top, but after investigating, I found that I could mount the antenna in the roof just above the rear glass, but the cable was too short! I then discovered that even though the cable is thin, it uses the same connectors as we use for cable tv, so I bought a cable joiner and ran the extra length I needed. Just a note here on where the cable runs through the roof frame, find the heated rear window cable and run the antenna cable as near to that as you can and you won't have any problems when the roof opens and closes. Make sure it's secured as well.
Results were better than expected with this setup. All stations are mostly available most of the time, even while "testing" on the move. :-)
So here is the summary of DTV:
1. Mount the antenna as high as possible in the car.
2. Horizontal not vertical.
3. Extend the cables to get the best result.
IPOD is a bit disappointing in that it doesn't have the resume function which is a bit painful if you do short trips.
I have found that a DVD with 4gb of MP3's is a better solution as it does resume even after selecting other functions like radio, tv, etc.
BLUETOOTH is pretty good. I am using the inbuilt mic and that is excellent with the top up and the windows closed, not as good otherwise. I will try the external mic at some point to see how that goes. To be able to upload the phonebook from a phone would make a good system even better.
SAT/NAV was supplied with local maps etc on IGO8. Not bad, but I visited a few forums and found Bazzle01 had done a lot of work on a Primo setup. You can find it here:
Excellent work Bazz!
All in all, a fun project over the last few weeks, and I am very happy with the result.
Thank you to everyone who has posted solutions and tips, especially Jeff, they were just what was needed.