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Bavarian Soundwerks' Mobile Electronics Forum
Have all your A/V and electronics questions answered here. Ipods, A/V, Radar Detectors Oh My!
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:34 PM   #281
steve.325i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AS330i View Post
From everything I read in this thread and looking through the manual the USA Spec has to be installed into a cd changer right? I have a 2002 330i with HK but no cd changer, is there a way to install the USA Spec without creating some sort of custom connection?
I have heard that ALL North American cars are pre-wired for a CD changer in the trunk. I did not have a CD changer, but I was able to locate the wiring harness.

The third bavsound video shows the wiring bundle. If you don't have an in the trunk (I don't) the wiring bundle is stuck up over the rear wheel well.




That said, if you are not pre-wired, we are only talking about six connecions to the HU. I can point you to the details if it comes down to this.

Last edited by steve.325i; 03-23-2011 at 09:42 PM. Reason: video link
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:02 AM   #282
AS330i
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Originally Posted by steve.325i View Post
I have heard that ALL North American cars are pre-wired for a CD changer in the trunk. I did not have a CD changer, but I was able to locate the wiring harness.

The third bavsound video shows the wiring bundle. If you don't have an in the trunk (I don't) the wiring bundle is stuck up over the rear wheel well.




That said, if you are not pre-wired, we are only talking about six connecions to the HU. I can point you to the details if it comes down to this.
Sweet, thank you for the video! I'll go check my trunk tomorrow to see if my cars prewired. Another question if you don't mind, how much wiring did it come with? Was there enough wiring to run the ipod to the glove box or front of the car or did you have to leave it in the trunk?
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:48 AM   #283
steve.325i
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Originally Posted by AS330i View Post
Sweet, thank you for the video! I'll go check my trunk tomorrow to see if my cars prewired. Another question if you don't mind, how much wiring did it come with? Was there enough wiring to run the ipod to the glove box or front of the car or did you have to leave it in the trunk?
Yes, the interface is something like 15 feet long to the usa-spec & then the ipod cable is another few feet.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:12 PM   #284
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So I'm glad that everyone is enjoying their unit. I just got mine installed yesterday, and unfortunately I'm having trouble. I'm trying to connect my iPhone 3GS to it and it connects (it shows the "Accessory Connected" screen), but then the radio says "No Disc." The guy that installed it used his iPod Classic and that worked, and then we tried a guy's iPhone 4 and that worked. I've done a little bit of Google-ing and haven't really found anything helpful. Any ideas or suggestions?
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:42 PM   #285
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So I'm glad that everyone is enjoying their unit. I just got mine installed yesterday, and unfortunately I'm having trouble. I'm trying to connect my iPhone 3GS to it and it connects (it shows the "Accessory Connected" screen), but then the radio says "No Disc." The guy that installed it used his iPod Classic and that worked, and then we tried a guy's iPhone 4 and that worked. I've done a little bit of Google-ing and haven't really found anything helpful. Any ideas or suggestions?
I am not an iPhone guy so I have no direct experience.

It is supposed to work though:

http://www.usaspec.com/page.php?PageID=6

Do your kits with the iPhone?
Yes, all our models with the new and older iPhones, including the new 3G iPhone.
They also correctly charge all the new 3G iPhones.

Could it be your iPhone firmware?? Does you iPhone work in a speaker dock or anything else?

USA-Spec has a tech email address: techsupport@usaspec.com
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Old 04-02-2011, 03:32 PM   #286
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Okay,....okay, I'm done! I have had it DICE, was in denial of the benefits of the USA-spec but couldn't take it anymore. Would have loved the Dynavin, but it's too damn expensive and my car is getting old as it is. So, in comes the USA-Spec,....and we enjoy music once more!
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:26 PM   #287
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Okay,....okay, I'm done! I have had it DICE, was in denial of the benefits of the USA-spec but couldn't take it anymore. Would have loved the Dynavin, but it's too damn expensive and my car is getting old as it is. So, in comes the USA-Spec,....and we enjoy music once more!
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:48 PM   #288
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Alright, less than a month later after installing the USA-Spec and STILL NO PROBLEMS!!!
Glad I ditched that POS dice unit.

I have so much confidence in the USA-Spec that I relocated it from under the passenger seat to behind the glove box this weekend. Woohoo!
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Last edited by spencers; 04-05-2011 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:59 PM   #289
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^^^ Cool. Thanks for the update!
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:06 AM   #290
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Dice static

Steve.325i, great insight to all the problems with DICE. I too have had some issues with DICE and GROM. I tried using GROM last year, but the same type of glitches came up using the USB port. I grew tired of having to reset the unit. Two weeks ago, I read the DICE advertisements and thought they must have this fixed so it is seamless. Was I surprised. The install went well. However, I was stunned by the static I got with the unit immediately following the install. I traded emails with the company I bought it from. They figured it was a bad unit. Connected me with DICE, who suggested changing the output settings. No change. They suggested, hard reboot of IPOD and hard reset of the car. I too laughed about the recommendation to touch the battery cables together. So did my BMW service dealer. My thinking is DICE and GROM need to post some better warnings about the software hiccups and static that some users experience. Not everyone seems to have a problem. But what's wrong with a mild warning so they don't have as many frustrated users. I plan to return my DICE unit that I just got last week. The company I bought it from has been terrific and makes great speaker upgrades. My car never sounded so good since I replaced my factory speakers. If only the DICE unit didn't have the static coming with it. They do have the playlists working well, but the static is just bad. Listen to my video link below (sorry, didn't have the flash on). There is static coming from hard rock to Jazz. Before the track switches, during the track switch and while you are listening to the new track. Forget about trying to listen to Jazz, the buzz, clicks and whine is overriding the music. I assume this isn't happening to everyone that buys the DICE unit. But when it does, they act surprised that you are having an issue. Again, the company I bought it from has been great. Traded emails on a Sunday to work on returning the product. They were straight with me. Sometimes, the unit does not work as expected. They are fixing this by my returning it. Too bad I am out the the time and postage to return it. One question: I am planning to try to keep the ashtray IPOD doc and try it with USA SPEC unit. I like the factory look on this. Have you had any experience with this one? Assume the IPOD 12 pin cable is the same on all the units. Thanks again for the great posts. I spent a few hours reading everything. Tom at EAS does a good job too. But everyone that sells these units should be up front with the buyers that they may not work in all the cars. What's the harm with that?

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Old 04-17-2011, 09:18 PM   #291
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Hi fios, sorry to hear you are having issue. I agree with everything you have said. They just wont admit that there is a problem.

It sounds like you purchased your Dice from bavsound. I did as well & I agree, they are great guys. I contemplated their speaker upgrade as well, but its a little pricey.

PLAN A - I first tried swapping my rears with a set of alpines but I was still lacking bass.

PLAN B - Then I swapped all four to a full set of energy speakers. The doors were a PIA !!! I made new brackets and had to cut into the doors for allow for the increased speaker depth. Much more work than I planned.

PLAN C would have been to add a sub, but the energy speakers delivered. I still crave a little more bass @ low volumes. I think the Alpine CD53 is in dire need of a loudness button. I have simply learned to listen to it a bit louder


Ok, to actually get to your question ... or actually, your assumption:

"Assume the IPOD 12 pin cable is the same on all the units."

The answer is NO!!! The 12 pin on the Dice box is the CAR connection and the 8pin mini-DIN (round) is the iPod connection.






I have never seen a Spec-dock in person so I can not be sure, but I expect that it plugs into the 8pin DIN of the Dice, no?



I have completely focused on the car interface. I have not mapped out the Dice-to-iPod interface or the USA-Spec-to-iPod interface. I'm sure it can be done ... just haven't had a need to do it.

Just an fyi, here is the 12pin Dice to 8pin DIN USA-Spec pin mapping for the CAR connection.


Last edited by steve.325i; 04-17-2011 at 09:25 PM. Reason: adding pic
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:18 PM   #292
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Steve, thanks for responding. The speakers from Bav really sound great. It was on the high side, but the sound really is something. I compared it to another car recently and the owner was surprised too. As for my current issue, I pulled out the DICE and packed it up tonight to return. It is disappointing since I really did hear some noise interference, but the device was acting up too. You really need to give the DICE unit a head start with most commands you send it. Both issues made me feel it wasn't going to work in my car. So your response above isn't needed because I also returned the ashtray doc along with the DICE unit. Bav really did a nice job with the doc unit. Very tailored. I was not planning to leave the IPOD in the car, but when I heard about the "start at the beginning" issue, I quickly determined it wasn't what I wanted in addition to the static. I have a new question for you if you will indulge me. Why do you think the DICE unit works flawlessly in some cars, but fails in others? I believe on other models it may not be an issue or other people put up with it. However, I also noticed on this string, some users of the USA-SPEC unit report static and feedback. You just do see quiet as many posts. Do you think this is unique? Thanks again.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:51 AM   #293
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A few people, including myself, have had noise issues with the USA Spec unfortunately. However, I have solved my noise issues (see post #114) on the link below. You might want to see if this helps your DICE noise issues. I would be interested in finding out it this helps.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...light=usa+spec


Quote:
Originally Posted by fios View Post
Steve, thanks for responding. The speakers from Bav really sound great. It was on the high side, but the sound really is something. I compared it to another car recently and the owner was surprised too. As for my current issue, I pulled out the DICE and packed it up tonight to return. It is disappointing since I really did hear some noise interference, but the device was acting up too. You really need to give the DICE unit a head start with most commands you send it. Both issues made me feel it wasn't going to work in my car. So your response above isn't needed because I also returned the ashtray doc along with the DICE unit. Bav really did a nice job with the doc unit. Very tailored. I was not planning to leave the IPOD in the car, but when I heard about the "start at the beginning" issue, I quickly determined it wasn't what I wanted in addition to the static. I have a new question for you if you will indulge me. Why do you think the DICE unit works flawlessly in some cars, but fails in others? I believe on other models it may not be an issue or other people put up with it. However, I also noticed on this string, some users of the USA-SPEC unit report static and feedback. You just do see quiet as many posts. Do you think this is unique? Thanks again.
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:59 AM   #294
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Comanche5, I re-read your post. Can you take a quick picture of your fix and post it? Just so I am clear... you pulled apart the pre-installed 6 pin connector on the BMW. Ran a wire from one pin to the next? Did you solder it in place? Once you ran the jump wire, you plugged the 6 pin connector back into the supply cable that run to the DICE or USA-SPEC unit? Thanks.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:46 AM   #295
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I wish I had taken a photo for everyone on here. But its very straight forward. To clarify, yes, pull apart the 6 pin connector on the BMW. With the sleeve off the connector, you should be able to read the pin assignment numbers on the 6 pin connector.

|-|
3 2 1
6 5 4

Pin 1 and 4 are the left and right stereo channels
Pin 2 is the stereo ground (brown striped wire)

By connecting Pin 2 to Pin 3 you are connecting the stereo ground to the common ground. This appears to clear the audio of unwanted noise.


Run a small piece of wire from the back of Pin 2 to Pin 3. Jam the wire securely in place... there is no access to solder. Reconnect the cables and test (you may want to leave the sleeve off while testing to make it easier to connect and disconnect the cable. I actually placed the wire while the stereo was on so I could verify that the connection was made. You can hear an audible pop when the wire making the connection. Positioning the wire correctly can take a number of attempts. Its been a month and I haven't had an issue since. I hope this works out for you. Keep us posted.



Quote:
Originally Posted by fios View Post
Comanche5, I re-read your post. Can you take a quick picture of your fix and post it? Just so I am clear... you pulled apart the pre-installed 6 pin connector on the BMW. Ran a wire from one pin to the next? Did you solder it in place? Once you ran the jump wire, you plugged the 6 pin connector back into the supply cable that run to the DICE or USA-SPEC unit? Thanks.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:54 PM   #296
steve.325i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fios View Post
I have a new question for you if you will indulge me. Why do you think the DICE unit works flawlessly in some cars, but fails in others? I believe on other models it may not be an issue or other people put up with it. However, I also noticed on this string, some users of the USA-SPEC unit report static and feedback. You just do see quiet as many posts. Do you think this is unique?

For starters, static or dit-dit-dit noise is a solvable problem with any that we are discussing. I had noise with one of my Dice kits & I was able to solve it. It is simply a result of unwanted noise being coupled onto the audio path.

In rare cases it can be a simple as a noisy alternator and an inline power filter will be sufficient. In the majority of cases it will be due to a separation of ground connection somewhere in the system and the audio lines are being used as the return path for the digital signalling. The disconnection simply needs to be located & to tied back to the common ground.

Ironically, adding an inline power filter forces a local connection to chassis ground and can inadvertently correct an isolated ground path.

Re: your question - I will attempt to be political because I have gotten myself in trouble before by being too vocal.

IN MY OPINION the USA-Spec circuit board is designed better and the assembly quality is better. I attempted to locate some of my earlier posts where I compare the two but haven't located them yet. I will keep at it and post links here when I do.

The USA-Spec's cable is better - the audio lines are twisted & separately shielded and the complete bundle is shielded again. The other one is made up of only twisted pairs.

The USA-Spec's 3pin & 6pin connectors are on a little pcb that connects both 2&4 of the 6pin together to shield the audio - the other one leaves one of the audio return paths connected only at one end of the cable. The USA-Spec's connector pcb also bridges the ground pin 1 of the 3pin to pins 3&6 of the 6pin, again making the connection at both ends of the cable.

Last edited by steve.325i; 04-19-2011 at 09:57 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:50 AM   #297
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I haven't ordered a SPEC-USA interface yet. I wanted to try my old Grom unit with the ground fix for pins 2-3. No luck. There is nothing to connect the 3 pin to the cable on the other side. What would you think about grounding the 2 pin? Also, what's really odd is that if I use the Grom unit's aux port and plug in an IPOD or MP3 player, I get to static. etc. Steve, just so I am clear... You say the USA-SPEC makers have figured this out and ground both sides on the trunk cable, so I would not get interference? Thanks all.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:27 AM   #298
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I haven't ordered a SPEC-USA interface yet. I wanted to try my old Grom unit with the ground fix for pins 2-3. No luck. There is nothing to connect the 3 pin to the cable on the other side. What would you think about grounding the 2 pin? Also, what's really odd is that if I use the Grom unit's aux port and plug in an IPOD or MP3 player, I get to static. etc. Steve, just so I am clear... You say the USA-SPEC makers have figured this out and ground both sides on the trunk cable, so I would not get interference? Thanks all.
Yes, make a chassis ground connection at this point to see if it helps. If it doesn't, then I believe you have a pour ground connection from the 12 pin connector to the circuit board inside the interface box.

The USA-Spec still keeps the audio ground and the digital ground seperate at the trunk connection point, but the digital grounds in both the 3pin and 6pin cables are merged at that point.

ALSO, and this is a hugh plus, the USA-Spec is a four layer circuit board with a dedicated power and ground plane. PLUS it is a single circuit board design.

Brand D has two seperate circuit boards that are only two layers each (refer to pic in post # 291). This means that there are no dedicated layers for power & ground & they need to be routed like all the other signals. Low frequency digital circuits can get away with this but it's not good for audio noise supression.

Last edited by steve.325i; 04-24-2011 at 10:31 AM. Reason: add info
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:18 PM   #299
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Update: Steve, you were spot on. I ordered and installed SPEC-USA PA12BMW kit. It works. No static, clicks, hum, etc. This unit clearly is grounded and handles the pre-wired trunk wires flawlessly. Keep in mind, I too tried the DICE and GROM units. Both did not work. The DICE unit was slow to recognize the command from the head unit and the static was present all the time. Finally, I have a solution. Having said this, I do think a handful of BMW's may have a unique issue that ends up creating the ground static you hear when trying to play music on the IPOD. Or, as you suggest, the other units don't handle ground properly. Regardless, the SPEC unit works. The sound doesn't sound as deep and crisp as the GROM unit, but that may be the settings on the IPOD or my factory head unit. I have some additional set up to run through. It's just sitting in my truck currently and I may leave it there.

As for sound quality, it is unfair to compare the SPEC unit to the DICE unit, since I never got past the static and clicks as I switched to each track and the constant hum when I played a song. You really noticed it during quiet jazz music. I do think it may be unique for us since there are so many favorable posts about DICE operating without a hitch. It just wasn't the case for me, and to figure this out was frustrating. I still can't imagine having to click battery cables as a solution. The supplier should focus on the grounding issue and offer solutions to try to ground the unit properly for the few customers that experience this issue as you and others like us reported.

Just an update on the DICE saga. I returned it obviously. I had to ship the unit back to DICE, not where I purchased it. DICE alerts the vendor when the unit arrives and the seller, issues credit. I received credit for the DICE unit, which was shipped by FedEd to CA. Unfortunately, I had to return the great ashtray docking unit to the original store too. Yes, I did like the tailored finish of the docking unit. It looked like it was factory option. It has been over a week now and despite tracking report showing it arrived in GA, I still have not received a credit for returning the item. I expect to sort this out, but it is disappointing. The company has been responding, by reporting it could take a couple of weeks. This seems like an excessive time. All in all. Lesson learned. I wished I came across your post and Delmarco's post earlier. I would have been fine.

Incidentally, I do have the Grom unit and 15 foot IPOD cord for sale....
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:18 PM   #300
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fios : I am very happy to hear that you are operational.

Glad we could help. Too bad about loosing the ashtray dock. I'm sure we could figure out a custom adapter to it if you wanted to order another one.
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