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Old 03-18-2010, 07:42 AM   #1
slickware
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: MA
Posts: 129
My Ride: 323i
GROM Audio Aux install - thoughts and and opinion

I ordered my GROM audio aux input on Friday last week:

http://www.gromaudio.com/store/aux_a...m-aux-bmw.html

If you're not familiar with GROM, they make aftermarket ipod, usb, and standard aux input adapters for vehicles.

On sale for $60, cheap shipping. Came Wednesday. Installed in under an hour.
Now I can play Pandora in my car!

Didn't take pictures of the install (did it at 9pm) but I wanted to share thoughts:

If you don't have an Ipod and don't need scrolling text or back/next capability from your steering wheel, AND you don't have a CD changer, AND you have the craptacular "Business CD", THIS MOD IS FOR YOU.
Plus, it's $60. How awesome is that?

What Works:
- All standard radio controls
- Double-tap "CD" button gets you into "aux" mode (previously CD-changer mode)
- Audio quality is better than a CD you burned from MP3 files
- Radio and CD tray functionality stays (unless you broke something during install
- Kit comes with everything you need, unless you don't own a phillips-head screwdriver.
- Instructions are fairly clear. Maybe slightly less clear than a Crutchfield install pamphlet, but nothing that made the install impossible.
- Users' manual troubleshooting tips cover enough "what if" scenarios for you to fix whatever you might have done wrong.

What doesn't work:
- no scrolling text display (which you wouldn't get from a non-ipod mp3 player anyway)
- no dash/wheel forward/next controls (which you wouldn't get from a non-ipod mp3 player anyway)

Caveats:
- if you buy this, there are 3 wires on your head unit that you have to "tap" in to, using supplied "t-tap" adapters. 2 of them are large enough gauge wire to accept this tap. The 3rd wire is far too small. Strip it first, and you won't run into any problems (like I did). I just nicked a bit of the wire with a pocketknife and it was fine.

Suggestions:
-This kit comes with plenty of cable to run the GROM box (which is a little smaller than a box of cigs/altoid tin) into the VERY empty space behind your glove compartment. Take the extra 10 minutes and run it back there. 6 screws! Don't be lazy. It won't fit behind your radio without some cutting, unless your dash is different than mine.
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:16 PM   #2
slickware
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: MA
Posts: 129
My Ride: 323i
One addition From GROM:

" - If you are going to use iPhone/iPod in the future, there will be no need to buy another adapter.
You can just order iPod cable from here:
http://www.gromaudio.com/store/acces..._charging.html.
It will enable control over iPod/iPhone from car stereo/steering wheel and charging from car battery."
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:00 PM   #3
nathancarter
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 1,394
My Ride: 02 330i
I made an aux input cable for free out of an IDE cable and an old pair of headphones. I chose to do a male input cable since all players have a female output jack, and I don't want to fumble around with an additional cable to make a female input jack work.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:05 PM   #4
slickware
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: MA
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My Ride: 323i
an IDE cable??

The GROX unit comes with a male/male cable, so no fiddling here either.

How did you hook up an IDE cable to your car's headunit??
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:25 PM   #5
nathancarter
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 1,394
My Ride: 02 330i
I used this DIY for inspiration:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1236293

But instead of adding a female input jack, I added a male input cable. I ran the cable out the sunglasses compartment above the ashtray, so I can stow the cable when not in use - or stow the cable+iPod when in use. No pics of the finished product, it's not very exciting to look at but it's clean. A little ghetto, but it works and is entirely reversible, save for the 3/8" hole I drilled in the back of the sunglass compartment.

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Old 03-18-2010, 02:44 PM   #6
slickware
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: MA
Posts: 129
My Ride: 323i
Wow Nathan that's WAY cleaner than the other DIY. I remember seeing that other one, and all the disclaimers, and thinking no way am I touching this. Nice job!
Mine's reversable as well, since the T-taps don't really ruin anything. A little electrical tape and it'll be good as new (or as good as a bmw with 150k on the clock!)
~A
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