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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 03-03-2008, 07:55 PM   #41
Canuck328i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJSe46m3 View Post
i realize this is like months later on this thread, but of opposed to replacing the antenna amplifier for $200ish, could you not simple attach the extra wire for the antenna amp to a 12v switched source such as the white wire in the radio harness? I would think that would then turn on the 99-01 antenna adapter. My understanding was that the "extra" wire was to simply send a signal to turn it on when you switched from cd or mode over to the radio function.
It isn't a matter of turning the amplifier on, it has to do with frequency matching between the radio and the amp. It is like attaching a cellular antenna to an FM receiver - it won't work properly.

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Old 03-04-2008, 07:52 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Canuck328i View Post
It isn't a matter of turning the amplifier on, it has to do with frequency matching between the radio and the amp. It is like attaching a cellular antenna to an FM receiver - it won't work properly.

Mark


I've heard that actually works... The frequency is the same for the old amplifier and new one... You just need to power the amplifier...
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:10 PM   #43
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I've heard that actually works... The frequency is the same for the old amplifier and new one... You just need to power the amplifier...
Well, I can say for a fact that the amplifier does get some form of remote power because FM goes completely dead when the head unit is powered up without the key on, but when key is turned on the FM comes to life (albeit with poor reception).

The newer radios can turn on via the power button when the key is off/out, which sends remote power to the amp. But since the old style amp gets it's "mains" from ignition power (not live power), the amp will be non-functional when key is out and ready to operate in key-on position.

Not saying you are wrong, there may be another power lead as well but I kinda doubt it since buying a new one and plugging in will fix the problem. From the research I've done, the poor reception is because the FM signal is modulated a certain way out of the amp and the new radio mismatches to the old amp.

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Old 03-04-2008, 08:24 PM   #44
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anyone else have any idea what the "extra wire" does on 99-01's?

perhaps i'll give it a try and attached it to a 12V switched source and see what happens, don't forsee anything really bad happening if it doesn't work it doesn't work...........
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Old 07-19-2008, 06:05 PM   #45
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Is it possible to get the integrated BT in my 99 E46 that my daughter has in her new '08 328i? California's new hands free nanny law requires it. Now you see people driving along with one hand on the wheel and the other holding their speaker phone just below the side window. The integrated BT that my daughter has is really convienent.
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:51 PM   #46
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You can get a BT retrofit kit, but it wont be anywhere as intuitive as the new e90's RAD2(head unit) units are.

As far as needing to replace the diversity antenna module when using a new headunit: There is a much cheaper alternative.

Simply connect the connector(Smaller round one) to a 12v source that is attached to KL15, such as one of the radio pins.
This is all the module needs to achieve the same reception as it had with an older head unit that had both of the plugs.
It draws very little current, so no worries about overloading a circuit.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:21 AM   #47
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What is KL15? Could you talk me through the process of doing that with an aftermarket Alpine HU? My AM recepetion sucks (although FM is very good), and I'd like to try the cheaper solution before trying the newer, more powerful antenna amp.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:48 AM   #48
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Is there any amplification for AM on a 2003 HU?
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:50 PM   #49
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I know this is a slightly dated thread, but I just recently upgraded my HU and have no signal. Now, from what I read here, the antenna adapter alone is not enough. But what does that mean? Will I get a radio signal, but not a GREAT radio signal? I don't listen to radio much, just NPR on the way to work and traffic info when traveling. There is no way I'm going to spend $200 on a new radio amp. I'll go back to my old head unit before I pay for that. Plus, wouldn't it be cheaper to get DICE with HD Radio?

Any thoughts are appreciated? Also, are there any local places to buy the antenna adapter? Can I make one?

EDIT: Two more thoughts...

1. Is the frequency of the antenna amplifier listed on the back of our keys?
2. Is there a way to build a splitter for the back of the head unit so that it will send power to both antenna wires?
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Last edited by NicB.; 02-11-2009 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:06 AM   #50
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This is a great write-up. I have looked for this info for ages.

Please can you answer a few questions for me?

If I replace the FM amp from the boot with a >2003 unit (mine is currently a year 2000 unit) how will it then recieve power? Currently my 2000 amp isnt working as the newer head unit I have installed cannot provide power to it, but how do the newer amps work?

I had to buy a converter to make the antenna cable fit the new business CD head unit I installed - will any conversions be required for the cables that connect to the FM Amp, or are all connectors the same?

Thanks
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:03 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicB. View Post
I know this is a slightly dated thread, but I just recently upgraded my HU and have no signal. Now, from what I read here, the antenna adapter alone is not enough. But what does that mean? Will I get a radio signal, but not a GREAT radio signal? I don't listen to radio much, just NPR on the way to work and traffic info when traveling. There is no way I'm going to spend $200 on a new radio amp. I'll go back to my old head unit before I pay for that. Plus, wouldn't it be cheaper to get DICE with HD Radio?

Any thoughts are appreciated? Also, are there any local places to buy the antenna adapter? Can I make one?

EDIT: Two more thoughts...

1. Is the frequency of the antenna amplifier listed on the back of our keys?
2. Is there a way to build a splitter for the back of the head unit so that it will send power to both antenna wires?
- the frequency is only listed on the amplifer itself. The dealer can also pull it via your VIN I believe (for ordering new keys)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gphillips View Post
This is a great write-up. I have looked for this info for ages.

Please can you answer a few questions for me?

If I replace the FM amp from the boot with a >2003 unit (mine is currently a year 2000 unit) how will it then recieve power? Currently my 2000 amp isnt working as the newer head unit I have installed cannot provide power to it, but how do the newer amps work?

I had to buy a converter to make the antenna cable fit the new business CD head unit I installed - will any conversions be required for the cables that connect to the FM Amp, or are all connectors the same?

Thanks
- You still need the converter you bought for sure to get FM. The antenna amplifeier in the trunk is a direct swap as the DIY shows. The connectors have not changed.

If I were you guys, I'd find my nearest junkyard and grab the amplifier from a 2004+ e46 and give them cheap money for it... You'll probably need to email them the picture at the beginnning of the thread because I'm assuming that they dont have it listed... Check www.car-part.com to find a junkyard with an e46 near you.

good luck!
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:42 AM   #52
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- the frequency is only listed on the amplifer itself. The dealer can also pull it via your VIN I believe (for ordering new keys)



- You still need the converter you bought for sure to get FM. The antenna amplifeier in the trunk is a direct swap as the DIY shows. The connectors have not changed.

If I were you guys, I'd find my nearest junkyard and grab the amplifier from a 2004+ e46 and give them cheap money for it... You'll probably need to email them the picture at the beginnning of the thread because I'm assuming that they dont have it listed... Check www.car-part.com to find a junkyard with an e46 near you.

good luck!
Thanks, so the only outsanding question; once i do get a >2004 amp, where does this get its power from if it is no longer via the 2nd cable from the HU?
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:00 AM   #53
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Thanks, so the only outsanding question; once i do get a >2004 amp, where does this get its power from if it is no longer via the 2nd cable from the HU?
No idea... Maybe the main cable that connects to it... All I know is that it works.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:21 AM   #54
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I found this thread while looking around for info as to why my AM reception is so bad, especially when driving on streets where there are overhead power lines. I get bad static and whistling on many AM stations, but FM reception is pretty good. I have a 2002 330i with the HK system and the Business CD HU. I've tried tightening all the connections to the radio amp in the C pillar. I do have tint installed on my rear window, but it's not metallic. Any ideas or suggestions?
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:39 AM   #55
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Antenna Amplifier Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by sna77 View Post
Background:

This is a DIY for those who have upgraded their 1999 Ė 2001 radio head unit to the 2002 Ė 2005 style. The 99-01 HUís were made by Blaupunkt and the 02 Ė 05 radios were made by Alpine. Many people have swapped 02+ radios into their 99-01ís to take advantage of the increased functionality of the newer style radios (Sirius, AUX input, OEM iPod adapter). NOTE: Sirius requires an 03+ radio.

Anyhow, the one caveat of doing this is a noticeable loss in AM / FM reception when putting the newer HUís into the older carís. The reason for this is because in 2002, BMW changed the type of antenna in the car (NOTE: In all coupes / sedans the antenna is in the rear windowóit is not the shark fin or the bee antenna). The older style HUís have 2 antenna connectors on the back of the radio, and the newer radios only have 1. There is an OEM antenna adapter available that converts 1 of the 2 adapters, allowing basic connectivity of a newer HU to a 99-01 car. The unused wire (I believe) is used to power something known as the antenna amplifier, which is located in the rear driverís side C*****ar. Without that wire connected, there is a significant loss of reception in the AM / FM radio.


Solution

If you want to upgrade to the newer style radio and not suffer any radio reception loss, you must replace the antenna amplifier in the rear C*****ar. This amplifier also is responsible for the keyless entry in the car, so you may benefit from increased range with the new amplifier as well.

Important: There are 2 different frequencies used for the keyless entry system (315 MHz and 433 MHz). You must first determine which frequency you have before you order an new amplifier. Luckily, your existing amplifier is stamped with the current frequency, so you simply need to pop the C*****ar off and do a visual inspection to determine which part you need to order from the dealer.

Here are the relevant part #ís for the new antenna amplifiers:

433 MHZ 65256906074
315 MHZ 65256906075

And the link to them on realoem.com:
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...81&hg=65&fg=30



OEM Antenna adapter:





Comparison of Old vs. New antenna amplifier:






Once you have ordered the proper antenna amplifier (circa $200 from the dealership), installation is pretty easy (takes about 20 minutes). Youíll need a flat head screwdriver and a T20 torx screw driver as well. If you can find a stubby T20 torx, that would be very helpful, as the screws are at a hard angle to unscrew.

Step 1: Remove map light. Gently fit a thin flat head screw driver on the top of the map light and pry it out. It will pop right out. Disconnect the light and set it aside.

Step 2: Remove C*****ar. Its actually easier than it looks. Just reach your hand into the opening where the map light is, and pull. There are 2 plastic pieces holding the C*****ar on. They should give way, then pop out.

Instructions from the TIS on removing C*****ar:




Step 3: Remove old antenna amplifier. Use the T20 torx screw driver to remove the old antenna amplifier. I didnít have a stubby torx, and was unable to unscrew the bottom screw, but was able to break the bracket off by bending the amplifier back and forth a few times. No worries, as the one screw holds the amplifier in just fine. Once the amplifier is unscrewed, unplug all the connectors.



Step 4: Connect the new antenna amplifier. I found it easiest to connect all the wires first, then screw the new amplifier into the car. You will notice that there is an extra wire now (this is the wire that powered the older style amplifier that terminates at the HU. It is OK to just tuck this wire under the rear deck. This wire is now connected to nothing at both ends.




Step 5: Verify that everything works. Turn the car on and make sure that both AM / FM radio work. Turn the car off, and verify that the keyless entry works as well. Once everything is tested, simply push the C*****ar cover back on, reconnect the map light, and youíre done!
What if it doesn't work? I replaced the antenna amplifier with the exact part noted in your DIY and used the BMW HU adaptor and get pretty much the same lack of reception. The part was "used", but the remote entry works, so I don't know if my part is defective. I matched the 315 Mhz. Any syuggestions?
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:17 AM   #56
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Are you sure your connections are all good?
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Old 07-03-2009, 11:53 AM   #57
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Background: '02 325i with poor AM reception.

So I tried mucking around with the Amp, but i couldn't get the reading light to pry off. I was afraid it was going to crack if not break since it is plastic.

I am attaching a pic of the C-P i l l a r of my vehicle. Is this the correct panel ? It is attached to the rear door, etc.



Thanks.
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:06 PM   #58
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put a small flat head screw driver under the map light on the c-pillar and pry it off. Driver's rear door

Last edited by sna77; 07-03-2009 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:27 PM   #59
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Thanks for the DIY. I was fortunate enough to buy a newer radio at a junkyard and managed to talk the guy into throwing in the antenna amplifier. He had no idea what it was and didn't seem to care. A couple of things I noticed while installing the unit.

When I installed the new unit and turned on the radio to test, I had static and terrible reception. Thought the unit was bad so I put back the old one and same thing. I tried just putting in the screw just a little bit to see if the metal contacts might have something to do with it. Low and behold, it works. Apparently, the scews has something to do with the reception, at least in my case.

The old unit gave me decent reception but when I drive on a bridge all I would get is static. New one (or junkyard unit in my case) works very well. Even better than before. Either that or it's all in my mind.

I also used this tool to get to the PITA first screw. Worked great.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=691904

Again, thanks for the DIY
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:29 PM   #60
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Forgot to add. I used an old credit card to get the light out. I think I've used this card more than my screwdriver to get panels out. It's free and works very well.
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