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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 05-11-2008, 12:37 PM   #61
ahtim
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Great

Extremely Good At Diy!!!
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:51 AM   #62
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Thanks

Since the project is back from the dead, here are some updates:

After the carputer installation, I decided to add an amp to my system. To my surprise, the setup with the amp installed was full of interference. So bad music was inaudible. Filters did nothing to solve the problem so I moved to drastic measures. First thing was to move the entire carputer/HU installation to the left side of the car's lining, right there where satnav drives are mounted. The Kenwood headunit was also replaced with an Alpine 9873RB model and the amp was replaced with an MB-QUART PAB5400 Premium 5Ch (Instead of an old Legacy amp I had laying around). The new headunit also required a compatible steering wheel control module which I purchased as well (genuine Alpine).

To make the installation as good as possible, I replaced all wiring from trunk to dash with high quality thick power wires and high quality speaker wires. Since at the trunk I have an ISO plug for the speakers, I connected the amp's high power output speaker wires to the plug, therefore eliminating the need to run new wires to the speaker network.

The amp was grounded using 4AWG wire to a grounding point and the power was drawn directly from battery, with an 80A Rockford Fosgate fuse inline.

The RCA outputs from the headunit were connected with the amp using RG58 shielded cable with gold plated RCA plugs.

Result: Crystal clear sound without interference even with the BMW speakers. Can't pump it though because I'm afraid I'll see a speaker cone flying

Electrical Drawing (SmartDraw 2007 Pro):



The amp in the box: MB Quart PAB5400 5-Ch Amplifier


Kenwood unit Out - Alpine Faceplate connected using cat5e network cable and RJ45 plugs (instead of parallel plugs, as seen on the carputer project) I know the area there seems rather abused but the next project is to carbon fibre the entire centre console.


Good to disconnect battery's negative before doing any kind of electrical work on the system. The 4AWG amp wiring is seen and the power wire for the carpc is the thinner one running along the rear part of the trunk.



This is how it looks in the left lining: A bit messy but once cables are tidy, it looks really clean. In the v2.0 of the carpc I'll do a custom made box for the computer.


The alpine steering wheel control module.


HU inserted into the satnav slot and secured with 2 screws on each side. Perfect fitment although I had to cut the back of the plastic insert to make the HU fit.


Some electrical tape and cable ties to secure wires




The amp installed. Upside down using self taping screws (2cm length). Once in place there's no way to move it.


Remote/output/power/ground from one side. This Amp has the wire consealing plates and the connectors are very solid and high quality. It accepts 4AWG wire for power and ground and 8AWG for remote. I also managed to place all the amplified signal wires together in a rubber tube so it looks clean.


The 4ch input from the other side. Short wires and high quality is the key here. The good thing is that power cables are completely on the opposite side eliminating any interference







Now all the covers are back in place and the only thing that is visible is, the amp of course. All wires are consealed very well behind it.
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:53 AM   #63
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Left lining back in place


The head unit appears once satnav cover is opened. For the space below the head unit I will install a DVD drive, on/off switch for the carputer (cutting direct power from battery) at least 15A capable, ethernet port to upload new media on the carputer's hard drive, a usb/card reader on a custom faceplate covered with the same grey fabric.



And of course I have the headunit's drive to listen to audio/mp3 cd in case a passenger hates my techno/trance/house music taste.


The thick tube contains the amplified signal wires and the 4 thinner wires the HU's aux out. Cable ties will be replaced with something more neat.


Not much on the other side, only power and ground. There's a ground terminal already present behind the lining.


The amplifier in operation. Doesn't get hot all, not even warm! I was worried that the upside down orientation would create heat issues but everything seems fine for now!
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:56 AM   #64
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4-Port powered USB 2.0 Hub
Slim-line DVD ROM drive in a usb enclosure

Workbench

Emptied glovebox. I had 2 ideas about where to mount the hub. One was on the sideway below the BMW torch and the other one on the top of the glovebox, fusebox cover. I eventually mounted it sideways next to the torch.


They grey cable is the USB 2.0 coming from the trunk where the carputer is located. The other is a 5V/Ground line, coming from the 5v out of the carputer's smart power supply. The power supply is capable of delivering over 150W of power from 7V up to 27V without altering output voltage; 3.3V, 5V, 12V.


The USB hub




For this mod I used velcro with 3M self adjessive. With this way, the hub is easily removed from the glovebox for other uses.


Hub in place


I also have this mini keyboard which I will mount next to LCM some time


The carpc software automatically detects inserted media from usb sticks, dvd/cd rom, and generates playlist. The DVD Drive: Laptop drive and USB enclosure. Got the drive from ebay for $9.00 and the usb enclosure for $5.00


I noticed while testing that the drive would not operate when I connected the 2 cables - USB and Power from USB. It was drawing too much amperes from the USB host, so I threw another powered hub in the car pc area. Didn't want to damage the motherboard by drawing too much current.

Mounted the drive below the headunit. Didn't even have to remove the lining. I just slide it in place and secured it with ultra strong double sided tape.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:08 PM   #65
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:36 AM   #66
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man ur one sick scientist for sure ... awesome job..
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:01 PM   #67
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awesome!!!!!
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:30 PM   #68
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genius

see above
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Old 10-05-2008, 12:48 AM   #69
Darkoz
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Just found this thread, that is some serious fvcken modding.
Congrats for having the balls and know how to do such a fantastic job, from me!
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Old 10-05-2008, 10:20 PM   #70
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very nice DIy, i have a lot of these parts sitting in the garage for a long time now, your thread makes me want to get started finally

one thing i wanted to add is the place i planned (or plan) on mounting the usb hub....

mounted with a custom filler faceplate in the rear ashtray, so you can slide the window up to hide it when not in use
but your way is very nice as well (and in better reach of the driver) . just thought id share the idea to continue the stock look
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:50 AM   #71
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what was your total cost?
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:03 AM   #72
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so what happens when you turn your car off, do u have to shut it down every time or does it power save like when u close a laptop? what happens.
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:30 AM   #73
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Total cost was around $1000..

The M2 is a smart PSU. It needs a switched (ignition) 12v, constant 12v (straight from battery) and a ground. When you switch the ignition off (or use an on/off switch to cut the power to the switched line), the PSU continues to power the car pc and sends a signal to the power button header on the motherboard. There are jumpers on the PSU where you can set a waiting time before the signal is sent from 4", 30", 5' and never. I have it set after 30".

The rest is windows XP setup, in power schemes mod, there are options what to do when the On/Off button is pressed, just like a normal pc. I have set it to hibernate. Therefore, when the PSU sends a pulse at the header on the motherboard, WindowsXP initialize the hibernation procedure.

You can have it to go to standby mode or do nothing as well, but the PSU will monitor the car's battery voltage level, and when it drops below a certain threshold, it will force the carputer to turn off, so that you can start the car later.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:21 PM   #74
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i also meant to ask what where you got that awesome software and if it was purchased or freeware? also how would one hook that computer and software up with obd2, since i see there is a screen for it
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:51 PM   #75
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wow nice work! I hope some day I'm brave enough to try this on my 323i
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:48 AM   #76
paraklas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redronin View Post
i also meant to ask what where you got that awesome software and if it was purchased or freeware? also how would one hook that computer and software up with obd2, since i see there is a screen for it
Software is Centrafuse and is available from fluxmedia.net. It's a bity pricey specially if you get the version with the maps. I have the full version which works perfectly with my AyAySir USB GPS Receiver. The Map plugin is from Destinator. Maps are released every 6 months IIRC. Since another 3 friends of mine did a similar installation, the centrafuse cost was divided between us (we bought a single license )

There are a lot of plug-ins and the OBDII is one of them. Centrafuse v2.0 has its own Bluetooth stack implemented which means it supports a variety of bluetooth dongles and more important, the connection is much more stable than before.

I have a USB bluetooth dongle which I use to connect the Centrafuse with my Ipaq business navigator phone. The phonebook, sms messages, calls are automatically transfered in the carpc. I can make phonecalls too and voice is routed through the car's speakers. Unfortunately the OEM BMW microphone cannot be connected in the Mic-in to the motherboard for some reason, so I had to buy a normal microphone for PC. I took it apart and placed it in a discrete way at the top of the driver's pillar. There's a list of supported phones in fluxmedia's website. Most are Windows Mobile Phones / PPC.

In order for the OBDII to work, you will need an ELM327 based interface. It is the only IC that is supported in Centrafuse. I bought the interface from ebay for $40. It works very good and provides a lot of real-time data in a nice interface. The screenshot is from the older version. I now have the latest version which is more attractive. The bad thing is that the OBDII port is right in front of the gas pedal, and if you have the hardware connected you will definately kick it at some point I'm in the process to find a used OBDII port with wires so that I can "copy" the existing port (have 2 obdii ports) somewhere out of the way.

Carsoft,BMW-Scanner and other hardwares will NOT work with centrafuse.

I'm also in the process to get a USB radio since Centrafuse also provides a radio plugin. There's a list of compatible radio tuners too.
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Last edited by paraklas; 10-07-2008 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:56 AM   #77
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wow nice work! I hope some day I'm brave enough to try this on my 323i
It's a lot easier than it looks. Taking panels off from the E46 is very easy, in fact you need a philips screwdriver only! You can even use the screwdriver in the trunk toolkit.

Also, instead of using a parallel interface (see page 2) to make the Radio to Faceplate connections, it's MUCH easier to use RJ45 plugs with female-female straight connectors (not crossover) and some patch cat5e cables. GL when you start the project!
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Old 10-07-2008, 04:36 PM   #78
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would it have been possible to keep the stock bmw cd player with this kind of setup, even mounted in the trunk somewhere?

or does the audio wiring require an aftermarket head unit?
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:01 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by paraklas View Post
It's a lot easier than it looks. Taking panels off from the E46 is very easy, in fact you need a philips screwdriver only! You can even use the screwdriver in the trunk toolkit.

Also, instead of using a parallel interface (see page 2) to make the Radio to Faceplate connections, it's MUCH easier to use RJ45 plugs with female-female straight connectors (not crossover) and some patch cat5e cables. GL when you start the project!
thanks, im a college student so ill be a while in saving up to get all the parts but this is definitely something I want to do.
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:02 AM   #80
paraklas
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Originally Posted by redronin View Post
would it have been possible to keep the stock bmw cd player with this kind of setup, even mounted in the trunk somewhere?

or does the audio wiring require an aftermarket head unit?
It's fine to keep the stock HU, as long as you fabricate/buy the AUX-In cable, to allow input from the carpc's soundcard. But you would still have to mount it somewhere with easy access, because you cannot change the input source from anywhere else (i.e. steering wheel controls), unless you plan to keep it forever in AUX-In mode .

An Alpine or Kenwood unit will go up to $200, + $70 for the steering wheel controller and you can split it like the way I did and mount the faceplate somewhere within reach, retaining full functionality (changing folders in Mp3 mode, input source, etc etc). You don't need high-end HU for this purpose specially if you are satisfied from the stock HU.

The aftermarket HU faceplate can be mounted in the euro tray below armrest, in the front ashtray with a little bit of work, in the compartment on the left side of the steering wheel (fits perfectly in there) or even in the glovebox for stealthy installations.

If you don't split the HU, you can put it in the glovebox, below passenger seat (if you don't have electric seats) by butchering the first aid box and in the compartment left of the steering wheel.

Stock HU will only fit in the glovebox since it's larger than aftermarket Headunits.
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