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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Bavarian Soundwerks' Mobile Electronics Forum

Bavarian Soundwerks' Mobile Electronics Forum
Have all your A/V and electronics questions answered here. Ipods, A/V, Radar Detectors Oh My!
Sponsored by Bavarian Soundwerks

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Old 01-19-2012, 10:29 PM   #341
jmejiaa
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Sweet thanks,

I bought a used one. Thought long and hard and decided this was the way to go. Initially I really wanted something I can browse through with the radio but I soon realized I don't really use that much, I always just put it in random mode and skip songs as needed.

It sounds like if I want ipod+aux, controlled from the unit I'll lose the ability to select the song from the ipod if I wanted to?

It also came with the "slave" cable, should that make things easier to install?
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:40 PM   #342
steve.325i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmejiaa View Post
It sounds like if I want ipod+aux, controlled from the unit I'll lose the ability to select the song from the ipod if I wanted to?
Nope, control from the ipod moves to CD5. I will dig up the doc & post again later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmejiaa View Post
It also came with the "slave" cable, should that make things easier to install?
Sorry, I don't know what you mean exactly. Do you mean the cable that connects into the 6pin & 3pin trunk interface?
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:44 PM   #343
jmejiaa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve.325i View Post
Nope, control from the ipod moves to CD5. I will dig up the doc & post again later.



Sorry, I don't know what you mean exactly. Do you mean the cable that connects into the 6pin & 3pin trunk interface?
This is what I purchased:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897795

I'm looking to install next week hopefully.
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:26 PM   #344
steve.325i
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ok, so with aux input enabled ...

Button -- Playlist
CD1 ----- BMW1
CD2 ----- BMW2
CD3 ----- BMW3
CD4 ----- All Songs on iPod
CD5 ----- Hybrid Mode
CD6 ----- Aux inputs

HYBRID MODE:
Operate and control the iPod as if it was a CD Changer. This mode allows you to
access up to five playlist on the iPod. (See Playlist Naming in section 4 of this manual
). Additionally
when in Hybrid mode, the iPod clickwheel can be operated directly as if it were in Direct Mode at
any Disc # location on the radio.

1. If playback of a playlist is manually interrupted by using the iPods clickwheel, a song or music in a new
category (file, folder, playlist or artist etc) is played, the interface module memorizes the last played track
number of the new category which is different from the playlist being played. When you return to the
same DISC # on the radio, the interface module will use the "memorized" track number (note: just the
track number, not the last played song in the new category) to playback the playlist related to this DISC #.
2. When the iPod is connected to the interface module, the iPod will take approximately 30 seconds to
complete its external control mode configuration. During this period of time, the iPod screen will continue
to change until the configuration is completed.
3. While in Hybrid mode, you can also fast forward and fast rewind the music track with the fast forward
and fast rewind buttons on the radio or steering wheel.
4.
*G3 iPod is not fully compatible with Hybrid mode. The screen on G3 iPods will be locked and "OK TO
DISCONNECT" will be displayed. Access Playlist on iPod using the DISC button on the radio, but user can not
operate the keys (clickwheel) on iPod directly when DIP switch #2 is "ON". G3 iPods are fully compatible with Direct

Mode.

Also, I don't know what the following cable is for. Possibly a shorter radio harness so you don't have to connect in the trunk .... need to see the other end of the cable. Maybe this is just the bmw aux cable. Sorry, I am not sure.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/542/photo5e.jpg/

Last note, there are at least two versions of the PA12-BMW. One has two dip switches (like mine) ant the newer one has four. Both support the same features as far as I know but you will need to reference the correct manual.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:51 PM   #345
jmejiaa
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I was able to get it install and working with the AUX as I wanted, it was pretty straight forward thanks to all the stuff I have read, including this thread. It was a bit more annoying than I had hoped but I did it in a couple of hours with food break in between.

Sounds quality is much better than what I was using.

My only question I have with the quick test I did is if Random mode can be left on, it seems I have to press it every time I start the car..
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:09 AM   #346
steve.325i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmejiaa View Post
My only question I have with the quick test I did is if Random mode can be left on, it seems I have to press it every time I start the car..
I am glad the install went well.

re: Random - yup, you are correct and I don't like that it's not 'sticky' either.

As far as I understand it, it is the fault of the HU. I expect - but I can not confirm - that if a Trunk CD player was in use, that the behaviour would be the same. The Random even turns off when you select a different play list.
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:37 PM   #347
jmejiaa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve.325i View Post
I am glad the install went well.

re: Random - yup, you are correct and I don't like that it's not 'sticky' either.

As far as I understand it, it is the fault of the HU. I expect - but I can not confirm - that if a Trunk CD player was in use, that the behaviour would be the same. The Random even turns off when you select a different play list.
Yep, not a big deal I guess. The sound is much better than the FM modulator I was using.

Only issue is my FM antenna isn't spliced correctly now, I'll take a look at that over the weekend.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:49 PM   #348
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So I made the mistake of purchasing a Silverline Duo, but am ready to return it this week. I had all sorts of issues with it and Dice has not bothered to respond to my help ticket.

At this point I'm ready to purchase a USA Spec PA-12 module. I've watched parts 1 & 2 of your comparison videos, and aside from some minor dislikes, I like what I see. Because of my experience with Dice, I just want to make sure that these USA-Spec modules are still working up to spec.

Also, I'm open to where I should order my unit from. I'd go Amazon but they're out of stock.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:47 PM   #349
steve.325i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khyams View Post
So I made the mistake of purchasing a Silverline Duo, but am ready to return it this week. I had all sorts of issues with it and Dice has not bothered to respond to my help ticket.

At this point I'm ready to purchase a USA Spec PA-12 module. I've watched parts 1 & 2 of your comparison videos, and aside from some minor dislikes, I like what I see. Because of my experience with Dice, I just want to make sure that these USA-Spec modules are still working up to spec.

Also, I'm open to where I should order my unit from. I'd go Amazon but they're out of stock.
This April it will be three years for my usa-spec & I am still very happy with it.

I bought mine from www.audiosavings.com ... I just checked and they don't carry them anymore.

I see a couple of ebay stores selling them ($145-$165) and bestbuy.com ($195 - ouch)

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/USA+Spec...&skuId=4522741

www.crutchfield.com is $145
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_581PA12...2-bmw&skipvs=T

Maybe try the usa-spec link to find someone local:
http://usaspec.com/locator.html
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:06 PM   #350
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Steve,
Thank you for your post. I had my GROM for three years and now looking into upgrading it to the USB model. I am not an iPod person anymore (was using GROM as AUX for the past 6 month) - so I think that the USB will work better for me. I am thinking about getting this one:
http://gromaudio.com/store/usb_adapt...sb2-bmw-s.html
and maybe getting the Bluetooth as well.
Any experience with GROM-USB?
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:06 PM   #351
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Opps - sorry for double posting...

Last edited by ArmedBim; 02-08-2012 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:30 PM   #352
steve.325i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmedBim View Post
Steve,
Thank you for your post. I had my GROM for three years and now looking into upgrading it to the USB model. I am not an iPod person anymore (was using GROM as AUX for the past 6 month) - so I think that the USB will work better for me. I am thinking about getting this one:
http://gromaudio.com/store/usb_adapt...sb2-bmw-s.html
and maybe getting the Bluetooth as well.
Any experience with GROM-USB?
Sorry, no direct experience, but I have read that it's pretty good. I believe that the firmware is user upgradable as well.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:44 AM   #353
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Thank you Steve!
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:28 PM   #354
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Steve, You were kind enough to offer advice last year and I got rid of dice and went with USA spec. Loved the sound quality. Unfortunately, I put car away for Winter and pulled it out to use Iphone, but discovered it wouldn't work since I upgraded Iphone operating software to iOS 5. I get the dreaded "no magazine" message on radio. I called tech support at USA Spec and was disappointed by Joe's response: 1 send back unit for software upgrade for $75. or 2. Switch DP switches to off and let Iphone control head unit. I tried this option and the sound is not the same. I think it's using the aux source. When we switch over the radio, you have to remember to turn down the volume. I understand profit, but this is silly for USA spec to expect a customer to upgrade software on unit. Any suggestions? I assume other users have upgraded the operating system. Thanks. If not, I am going to pull this head unit out and finally buy an aftermarket radio. I may not like the look, but at least it should work. Thanks.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:41 PM   #355
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That's odd. Granted I have the 1st generation USA-SPec, but although it won't charge my iPod Touch 2Gen nor the 4Gen (I need to upgrade the USA spec to more current one for the charging capability), I've updated my iOS to 5.1, and has no issues... I can still control the iPod playlists, etc via the head unit. I also have the iPod Photo (yes.. very old!) interchangeably with no issues. and that runs on pretty old iOS..

Sometimes it takes a few tries for the head unit to recognize that the iPod/iPhone is connected. but I take it that is not the issue.

so unless the more recent model has issues that the oldest (I have PA-10 or something) don't... strange.

Sometimes I get a very garbled response from the USA-spec (head unit display is messed up, locks up iPod, etc. something to do with a saved state from the previous connection that gets corrupted). has only happened twice in the past 6 years I've had it. but I found that if I unplug all the cable off of the USA-spec box, wait about 30seconds, and then re-connect all cables, sometimes it fixes things. Sort of a hard-reset. if you haven't had the opportunity to unplug the power source to the USA-spec, you might want to try that and see if it changes anything
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:26 PM   #356
steve.325i
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I absolutely agree that $75 is too much for them to be charging to re-program your existing usa-spec. I think it should be closer to $40 for that service. I wonder you can find a local stereo installer that might be able to offer the service a bit cheaper.

That said, I think it's very cool that they are even willing to provide that service at all. Really this is Apple fault for not being backward compatible with the protocol. They did the same thing when they dropped firewire charging and went usb only. In apples defence, they have maintained the same connector with the majority of the same connectivity across multiple products and lots of years, so I'm not picking on Apple, but it is still their fault.

Sorry if I am not very sympathetic, but I think usa-spec shouldn't be slammed for not being able to forecast Apple's future product interfaces and protocols.

In my case, I originally bought a second ipod nano 3 gen 8gb that stays in my car all the time except when I am reprogramming it.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:11 PM   #357
fios
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There are other users that have reported the "No Magazine" issue due to Apple's new software not being recognized by the USA Spec unit. USA Spec's tech support guy Joe also confirmed this recently for me. Had they been as upfront about this issue before I bought it, I would have been more understanding. I've tried re-installing and removed power to head unit without any fix. Unfortunately, it is the operating software. GROM recognizes this is an issue and you can upload software fix via a thumb drive on their device. The USA Spec doesn't have this capability. They do have the clear sound and no static over the GROM or DICE unit. Unfortunately, phones need to be updated to get the fixes and features so a software fix is necessary. Again, just putting some caution to future buyers. I read the long posts and facts provided by Steve and Demarco about this unit. I encountered the same issues and finally felt I had a good solution. Unfortunately, this software glitch came as a surprise.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:55 PM   #358
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I had no trouble with ios 5.0.1 and my USA spec
haven't tested with ios 5.1
will do tomorrow and update.
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Last edited by Washburn; 03-20-2012 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:52 PM   #359
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Washburn, let me know how you make out. Thanks.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:01 AM   #360
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glad i waited to purchase. i will hold off until I find out if it works with ios 5.1
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