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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 02-03-2010, 05:35 PM   #1
parody
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Dover
Posts: 30
My Ride: 2004 e46 330d
DIY E46 Aux Bluetooth connection

Hi All

First post, hope you like it

I have been after a way to stream my tunes from iphone to standard business stereo with 6 cd changer. Up tlil now I have been using a jabra SP7000 handfree which has a built in FM transmitter, and ultimately I didnt use it because it needed retuning every few miles when radio stations faded in and out.

I found a few solutions on ebay between 30 for a CD changer to RCA\headphone adapter to 80 for a CD changer to SD card \ USB Stick adapter:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

Then I came across this thread on these forums

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=427248

Thing is I didnt want it physically connected with the cables everywhere, or should I say couldnt be bothered to route the cables neatly. So taking the above idea of coming off the CD changer, I combined it with this little gem

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

to make a "bluetooth cd changer". Simply soldered the cables as described in the above guide to the RCA inputs of the bluetooth adapter, and a small mod to the box to allow the cable out. Luckily I already had a 10 pin IDE cable so didnt need to cut a 40 pin one up.

Just finished it tonight, will test at weekend. Worst case scenario is I mixed up the pin assignments but ill let you know how well it works!!

Heres some photos:
http://img59.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=photofh.jpg
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:22 AM   #2
Ballistic325
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,191
My Ride: slow and steady
Looks really interesting... do post your results once you've tried it!

GL!
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:26 AM   #3
dvsntt
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Denver
Posts: 138
My Ride: 01 325xi
Interested in seeing results, and your opinion of how well it operates..
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:40 AM   #4
parody
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Dover
Posts: 30
My Ride: 2004 e46 330d
UPDATE...

Well good news and bad news. As a principle it works very well- i.e. bluetooths conneciton was fine, powered from brown (earth) and purple/white (swicthed 12v) from the OEM wiring harness. With a little trimming of the plastic edges the 10 pin IDE fit nicely in the OEM CD changer socket, and transferred the audio correctly from phone.

However the quality of the audio was not good. Very distored.

So to test where the problem lay I hooked up the 12v power to a molex connector in my PC and used the proper RCA out to my amp (which is pretty neat in itself - a bluetooth amplifier!) but still poor audio. So next I unsoldered my additional IDE cable so see if that was generating interference. Still no good.

So my conclusion is either a faulty Bluetooth to RCA adapter, its a poor quality bluetooth audio chip, or I have damaged the pcb or chips when I soldered the wires (perhaps too much heat) but I doubt this as the RCA connecters are a far way away from the chips.

I am going to try and get a replacement adapter from the ebay seller and try again...

Otherwise this would have worked flawlessly in terms of connectivity!
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:12 PM   #5
sycE46
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Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 1,889
My Ride: 323ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by parody View Post
UPDATE...

Well good news and bad news. As a principle it works very well- i.e. bluetooths conneciton was fine, powered from brown (earth) and purple/white (swicthed 12v) from the OEM wiring harness. With a little trimming of the plastic edges the 10 pin IDE fit nicely in the OEM CD changer socket, and transferred the audio correctly from phone.

However the quality of the audio was not good. Very distored.

So to test where the problem lay I hooked up the 12v power to a molex connector in my PC and used the proper RCA out to my amp (which is pretty neat in itself - a bluetooth amplifier!) but still poor audio. So next I unsoldered my additional IDE cable so see if that was generating interference. Still no good.

So my conclusion is either a faulty Bluetooth to RCA adapter, its a poor quality bluetooth audio chip, or I have damaged the pcb or chips when I soldered the wires (perhaps too much heat) but I doubt this as the RCA connecters are a far way away from the chips.

I am going to try and get a replacement adapter from the ebay seller and try again...

Otherwise this would have worked flawlessly in terms of connectivity!
have you tried connecting it to a home stereo and seeing how it sounds?
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Old 02-06-2010, 06:26 PM   #6
ZZen330
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
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My Ride: 2002 330Ci
bluetooth audio streaming is not going to sound reliably as good as a wired in aux port
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:01 PM   #7
parody
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Dover
Posts: 30
My Ride: 2004 e46 330d
Quote:
Originally Posted by sycE46 View Post
have you tried connecting it to a home stereo and seeing how it sounds?
Yup, thats the plugging into my amp bit! (An Arcam AVR350).

Nothing will ever beat a wired connection of course. But I know what an a2dp connection should sound like and this was not it! (have had car stereo with built in BT a2dp before and several sets of BT open and in-ear headphones)
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:52 AM   #8
parody
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Dover
Posts: 30
My Ride: 2004 e46 330d
I just looked up the a2db spec, and audio streams at 768kbps. I very much doubt anyone has mp3's encoded that high or higher so A2DP should be of comparable quality to a direct connection, assuming no signal drop outs.
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Old 05-21-2014, 04:14 PM   #9
Blake Bolton
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Longview Texas
Posts: 2
My Ride: Silver 2005 BMW 325i
I found a very inexpensive alternative...

I have managed to figure out a way to have good quality Bluetooth streaming in my 05 325i, for about ten bucks too. I did the aux input by soldering to the CD changer input and then adding an 8$ Bluetooth receiver that I found on eBay. Super simple to install, and it sounds just as good as straight aux in. Let me know if anybody has questions about the details.
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:33 AM   #10
jslinnha
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: E Sussex
Posts: 1
My Ride: 330d
Quote:
Let me know if anybody has questions about the details.
I would love extra details on this. I'm after a simple installation to play audio over bluetooth from my phone.

Thanks
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:32 AM   #11
Blake Bolton
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Longview Texas
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My Ride: Silver 2005 BMW 325i
It's pretty much as simple as following the aux input diy found in many different threads. You have to have a certain radio, but there's almost always a way to add aux on the cheap. All I had to but was the aux input from RadioShack for like 3 bucks. Then I bought a USB Bluetooth receiver on eBay for under 8 dollars including shipping. It plugs into any 5V USB charger and then plugs into your newly created aux input and voila! Media streaming for around 10 dollars. You could easily pay a bit more to have hands free calling and voice control, but my plan was to spend the least amount possible. Just Google cheap e46 aux input, you'll find plenty of results.
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