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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 06-25-2010, 09:35 AM   #61
Redryan98
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Yea, I know the pictures are useless. I didn't access to a real camera at the time. I'll try and snap some better pics and post them this weekend.

I am definitely still stuck. There was one "bundle" that contained the blue and black connectors (for BT I think) two other connectors (one white and one purple) that didn't have any pins in them that look like analog connectors, and a small 3 pin connector. I followed the wire harness as far back as the rear seat inside the cabin and the CD changer harness is nonexistent.

The person that had the car before me does have an ipod adapter installed (which doesn't work with iphone of course) which I am assuming is installed directly on the radio. Going through the modes on the radio, I have am/fm, track (for reg cd) and "CD 99" so I think it does recognize it should have the changer I just cant find the wires. I'm going to pull the radio and glove box and see what I find back there.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:02 AM   #62
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Nevermind

Nevermind. Yesterday I took the radio out, followed the Ipod adaptor wire from the radio to the CD changer harness. When he installed his Ipod adaptor he pulled the CD changer harness forward under the rear seat. I was looking at it he whole time, just didn't realize it because it wasn't where it was suppose to be. Definitely one of those "shoulda had a V8 moments"
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:34 PM   #63
steve.325i
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Originally Posted by Redryan98 View Post
Nevermind. Yesterday I took the radio out, followed the Ipod adaptor wire from the radio to the CD changer harness. When he installed his Ipod adaptor he pulled the CD changer harness forward under the rear seat. I was looking at it he whole time, just didn't realize it because it wasn't where it was suppose to be. Definitely one of those "shoulda had a V8 moments"
I actually did the same thing when I did my install. I should have thought of asking that. I'm glad to hear you have solved this mystery ... so how does it work?

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/album.p...pictureid=8584
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:34 AM   #64
Redryan98
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I actually did the same thing when I did my install. I should have thought of asking that. I'm glad to hear you have solved this mystery ... so how does it work?

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/album.p...pictureid=8584
Works fantastic. It was a 10+ hour job installing this and my aftermarket sirius radio (10+ hours mostly because I have never worked on a BMW and had to learn the differences in how screws/pins/plastic rivets etc... differ between it and my previous nissan/honda cars)

Now that everything is hooked up it works beautifully. I had the USASpec in my last car and would not consider anything but. Just in time to, because my FM stations suck here and I have forgotten what a compact disc is and how they work

Last edited by Redryan98; 07-13-2010 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:43 PM   #65
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Man, did I get a lemon? Sound quality is my #1 priority. I ordered mine from Crutchfield (I know I could get it cheaper, but in this case I hope it pays off, plus my wife got me a gift card for father's day). They sent me the DSP version, which I've read will work with or without DSP and it's the same price (why don't they JUST make the DSP version?). I hooked everything up in the trunk and tested it out. Initially, I thought it lacked some high end, but I convinced myself I was being overly picky and continued with the full install. Once I got everything hooked up and in place, I started listening again. My music is definitely lacking high frequencies! It sounds "muffled." I am a drummer, and I am having a hard time hearing a lot of the cymbal sounds. A side-by-side comparison with a CD confirmed this, and even my wife who has NO musical background noticed the difference! Additionally, there was noticeable background noise between tracks, and a faint "clicking" sound whenever the info on the display changed. I know the files on the iPod are compressed, but I use a fairly high quality format (256kbps AAC file). I also did a side-by-side comparison to CD in my wife's Pathfinder where I ran the iPod into the RCA inputs on the DVD player via the 1/8" headphone jack and noticed NO difference in her car. I called Crutchfield, and they told me to reset my iPod, but that didn't solve anything. Here's where Crutchfield pays off. They said they would send out a new unit that day, and once I tested it out, I could send the old one back. I hope it works, because if it doesn't it looks like I will have to get an aftermarket headunit to use my iPod, and I'm not sure how that will work with the H/K system. Anyone else hear of any problems like this, or have any suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:43 PM   #66
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RXman

I've read on multiple posts that the DSP version is NOT compatible with non-DSP cars, so I think that's your problem.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:35 PM   #67
steve.325i
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My music is definitely lacking high frequencies! It sounds "muffled." I am a drummer, and I am having a hard time hearing a lot of the cymbal sounds. A side-by-side comparison with a CD confirmed this, and even my wife who has NO musical background noticed the difference! Additionally, there was noticeable background noise between tracks, and a faint "clicking" sound whenever the info on the display changed.
That really sucks that you are having issues. The sound quality should be as good as CD, so you definitely have something weird going on. You should also not have any tic'ing sound caused from the display update.

There are two possibilities:

1. As you said, you may have a lemon. I have not heard anyone having quality issues with the USAspec, but ...

2. Both of your issues could indicate that you have a poor or non-existant ground connection in your three pin connector, and the audio grounds in the six pin connector are being used instead. This would cause a degradation of your audio quality & cause the tic'ing on the audio during display updates.

I suggest that you first try your new unit. If you have the same result, don't give up on your HU yet. Please make sure that the brown wire on the three pin connector has not been dislodged when you connected the USAspec cable. If it looks ok, try the second cable that came with your replacement unit.

If the problem still exists, disconnect the six pin connector and see if the USAspec still operates. You will not get audio, but the control text interface is still plugged in. If it is using the audio ground as a system ground, then you should not be able to interface with it or get text on the HU with the audio connection severed.

If you get to this point the we can work on correcting the grounding issue to clean up things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhart_70 View Post
I've read on multiple posts that the DSP version is NOT compatible with non-DSP cars, so I think that's your problem.
I thought so as well, but this is of off USAspec.com

PA12-BMW_dsp is compatible with both DSP and non-DSP radios.

http://www.usaspec.com/product.php?ProductID=20

Last edited by steve.325i; 07-01-2010 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:17 AM   #68
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I stand corrected. Maybe it is just a lemon, I love mine, works like a charm, I hope you get it fixed.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:09 AM   #69
rxman
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Thanks Steve! I got the new unit, but I am having the same issues (tried the new unit with the old cable, the old cable with the new unit, and the new unit with the new cable, but no difference). On top of that, the new unit didn't have the iPod cable in the box, just the cd changer cable! But I still get the same sound when I ran my iPod to the aux in on the USA Spec using an 1/8" to rca cable, so I don't think that is the problem. If I change the eq setting on the iPod to "treble boost," it starts to sound a little better, but is still "muffled" when compared to cd. There are also three or four quick "ticks" whenever i use the steering wheel buttons to change tracks. Also, I've noticed the constant background noise is only present when the engine is running (the "ticks" happen ALL the time), so maybe it is an issue with the ground. Hopefully I will get some time today or tomorrow to try what you suggested. Thanks again, I REALLY want this to work so I hope I can resolve this with your help.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:56 AM   #70
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Alright, brown wire looked okay. Disconnected the six wire pin and tried it out. No audio (like you said), and the interface DID WORK, but all the background noises were even LOUDER, so I guess we know where it is coming from. So do you think the ground from the interface is poor?
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:00 PM   #71
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I have a multimeter if it helps. I really don't know where to go from here. I pulled the head unit from the dash, thinking maybe there was a loose connection there, but I didn't see anything obvious. I'm hesitant to just start taking everything apart, but I will if that's what it takes.
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:23 PM   #72
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Just a thought, is there any way to tap into the wires behind the dash going directly into the HU? Sorry so many questions, but as I have said before, I really want this to work. The other option I would consider would be a fairly high-end single-DIN unit ($300-$400) and a center-mount dash kit ($100). I sold my '05 STI (which had a nice aftermarket HU, and small underseat sub) and bought this to eliminate a car payment and save money, so I really don't want to throw a ton of money at this just to get the stereo sounding good (I realize that will be difficult because the stock H/K system is already inferior to the no-name system that was thrown into the STI as an afterthought).



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Old 07-05-2010, 10:34 PM   #73
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Alright, brown wire looked okay. Disconnected the six wire pin and tried it out. No audio (like you said), and the interface DID WORK, but all the background noises were even LOUDER, so I guess we know where it is coming from. So do you think the ground from the interface is poor?
Hi, sorry for the slow reply.

The background noise got even louder with the 6 pin disconnected ... wow ... but the interface still worked. I'm still trying to think up a scenario where that could happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rxman View Post
I have a multimeter if it helps. I really don't know where to go from here. I pulled the head unit from the dash, thinking maybe there was a loose connection there, but I didn't see anything obvious. I'm hesitant to just start taking everything apart, but I will if that's what it takes.
A multimeter can test a ground ok at DC, but it still might be high impedance to audio frequencies, so it's not a guarentee. You are right - don't start pulling stuff apart until we have a theory.

Quote:
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Just a thought, is there any way to tap into the wires behind the dash going directly into the HU? Sorry so many questions, but as I have said before, I really want this to work.
Yup, the Dice has the Radio Interface available through EAS that does just that.

You can wire the USA-Sec directly in behind the HU but that will change your stock wiring. Do you care about that?

I'm still thinking on your first post.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:03 PM   #74
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Don't worry about the slow reply. I'm thankful for all the great info. Please do not feel like I'm rushing you! If you think wiring into the head unit might fix the problem, I am willing to try that. I saw the adapter, I think it was about $40. It looks like it is pretty plug and play, and fairly easy to revert back to stock if needed. The picture of the plugs for the changer cable on the eas web site look a little different (maybe that's what you meant by changing the wiring). Maybe I'm looking at the wrong one? Thanks again for all your help, and let me know if you have any other ideas.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:08 PM   #75
rxman
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I wish I would have kept the stereo from the STI, because you could change the color to match the BMW's interior and it had built-in bluetooth.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:42 AM   #76
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Mine car also makes a ticking sound when I change tracks with the steering wheel button, but it happens on & off. Although I don't have any audio quality issues, I'm interested to see how this gets resolved.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:43 PM   #77
steve.325i
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Don't worry about the slow reply. I'm thankful for all the great info. Please do not feel like I'm rushing you! If you think wiring into the head unit might fix the problem, I am willing to try that. I saw the adapter, I think it was about $40. It looks like it is pretty plug and play, and fairly easy to revert back to stock if needed. The picture of the plugs for the changer cable on the eas web site look a little different (maybe that's what you meant by changing the wiring). Maybe I'm looking at the wrong one? Thanks again for all your help, and let me know if you have any other ideas.
Hi, when I talked about modifying the wiring I meant if you wanted to wire into the HU harness without purchasing a radio interface kit. The radio interface kit from EAS of course has the Dice 12 pin connector that would need to be modified to the USA-Spec DIN connector. But lets not go there yet.

Please try this first:

Again, with the 3pin connector attached to, and the 6 pin connector detached from, the USA-Spec cable.

The 6 pin connector has three wires - the white/brown is the common audio ground that is used for shielding and the white/red and white/blue are the left & right channels (or vise versa).

Would you be able to ground all 3 signals to an exposed metal surface? These are only audio inputs and grounding all three signals is safe. If this does not mute all the noise you are hearing, then the shielding of the trunk interface in your car is somehow insufficient & the crosstalk from the digital portion of the interface is bleeding across.

If this is the case, disconnecting the trunk interface @ the HU will be necessary.

Since we are only talking about six wires to connect the USA-Spec at the HU, you may be comfortable with wiring these in without using a Radio Interface adapter.

Let me know?
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:54 PM   #78
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When you say ground all three, do you mean at the same time? Everything is put back together at the moment, and I am going out of town early tomorrow, so I'm not sure when I will get a chance to do this. If I do end up wiring it in the back of the HU, how difficult is this process? I have soldered together wiring harnesses for aftermarket installs. Would be much harder than that? I'm guessing I'll have to cut some wires to the factory harness?
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:33 PM   #79
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When you say ground all three, do you mean at the same time? Everything is put back together at the moment, and I am going out of town early tomorrow, so I'm not sure when I will get a chance to do this. If I do end up wiring it in the back of the HU, how difficult is this process? I have soldered together wiring harnesses for aftermarket installs. Would be much harder than that? I'm guessing I'll have to cut some wires to the factory harness?
Wiring to the back of the HU will not be difficult. No worse than installing an aftermarket HU. It just means that your trunk interface will have to be cut. I would hate to suggest that you do this first & then it still not solve the issue.

delmarco has previously posted the CD53 pinouts:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=737799

The connections to the rectangle connector A would have to be cut. This is where the three lines that connected to the 6-pin would connect.

The 3 pin connections would splice into the 12V acc, gnd, & I-bus connections on the 17 pin connector.

I have the wires identified by color in the USA-Spec connector. I will post again shortly.

When/if you choose to try to ground the audio lines on the 6 pin connector, you can try just grounding the white/brown signal - this should be sufficient, but if not then try grounding all three lines at the same time.

Let me know how it goes wheneveryou get the chance.

Last edited by steve.325i; 07-07-2010 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:27 AM   #80
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So functionality wise, this is identical to the OEM kit that I already have? I think I'd rather have the DICE or something since my library is definitely more than 500 songs (and each playlist only supports 99 tracks). Also, my OEM kit definitely locks up and crashes every now and then. I have to unplug/replug the iPod to get it to work again.

Edit: Okay, saw the video, and it is nice that it reads the information of the song unlike the OEM setup.

Last edited by TerraPhantm; 07-08-2010 at 04:31 AM.
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