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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 10-21-2012, 10:39 AM   #21
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Ok. So after the test with the camera and a 26" screen, we started looking into using the HUD or if it would be too troublesome.

turns out the HUD is HUGE!!!! I don't think there is a way to use it. So, it looks as if we are going with the camera and a 7" display in the car, but the question is, where are we mounting it? I want to retain my factory radio for the time being, and honestly I can't lose the ability for music and phone, so I have to keep it. I am thinking of adding the screen where the center vents are, but not sure.

I'll keep everyone posted with progress.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:46 PM   #22
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So after doing some testing with the camera, I have been doing some thinking on the screen to use, and after a tip by a member of the M3 board, I found my solution.

I will be using the Z4 Navigation screen and bezel. We believe that the motor can be used very easily with a switch some relays and 12 volts.

We plan on replacing the actual screen, but we will get to that later. Apparently it uses RGsB and will not accept a regular video signal, not to mention it requires iBus info to stay open.

I attached 2 pictures of what the screen looks like. The first is the Z4 screen in a Z4, and the second is one in an E46.





And a video showing the operation we hope to achieve, with a different style use.



I plan on using a simple switch to open and close the screen, that will also power the camera when I want it in use. Flip the switch, screen opens, and camera turns on. I might have a video selecter so I can add a rear camera as well.

Planning is going well, and we are getting close to getting this system prepped and layed out. Once all the parts are here, in working order, and the control and video signal is verified, we will start the install.
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:15 PM   #23
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very cool, subscribed
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:20 PM   #24
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Well, as it would have it, the project keeps getting just a little bigger every time we stop and think about it.

I have always wanted to add a portable source of music without the need for CD's and the like, and think we have a solution. First, I want to say we are 99% sure we are replacing the Z4 screen with another screen. That being said, it has one downfall. It only has a composite video it (yellow cable). This lead to many long nights searching for a cheap solution. I didn't feel I should have to buy a $500 video converter just to put in something to show album art.

Well, I recently found an HDMI to Composite cable I bought for $6. This should give composite out for the next addition... An original Apple TV.

We plan on using an SSD, and loading it up with music and album art. This will give us the ability to sync over wifi, and have basically all the music we would want with minimal stuff added. Since the Z4 screen housing will have a different screen in it, we can use a video selector and custom button setup to control the source.

I plan on 3 maybe 4 sources. In order... Thermal, Apple TV, Rear camera and ???. The goal is to have the ability to view front and rear at night, and show the album art song name, album, etc on the display while the actual audio feed is brought through a Dice Mediabridge. We will have Bluetooth for the phone, iPod/iPhone and now Aux, giving the apple TV a place to send it's audio.

We are still missing some parts for this job, and some are harder than others to get. Here is a list of what we need, and if they are cheap enough, we might bite, but I honestly don't want people looking for stuff to sell me. I will not be going head strong into this for another month.

-Z4 Screen. Sourced, just need to send money and get pics before buying it. Seller is a little touch and go so far. I am sure he is just busy.
-Power inverter. We have one, but it is the size of an amplifier, and does 1100 watts. Too big, looking for smaller.
-Rear camera. Easy to find, but hard to find the right one.
-Selector for source to screen
-Buttons: Custom or stock from other vehicles. Needs to match interior lights, and possibly have custom silk screening (Night vision power, source 1+2+3, screen power, Apple TV power (Think apple button) and a 3 position 2 way momentary to raise the screen if the stock buttons don't work)

Not only that, but I have to figure out where they are all going to go. I might do what Alex Roy di, and install non-illuminated switches for the power part on the column itself, leaving just the source and screen up/down buttons to the interior. Not sure yet. Still thinking things over.

Any ideas are welcome, however I want to note. I want each system to be independent. I want to be able to turn the screen off, and the cameras off and the apple tv off independently. That being said, all ideas are welcome.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:18 PM   #25
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OK got to ask. What is the end game? Drive at night without lights? Stake outs? I'm confused.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:36 AM   #26
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Quote:
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OK got to ask. What is the end game? Drive at night without lights? Stake outs? I'm confused.
Safety and security. I can drive at night and have a thermal image available of my surrounding area to show wildlife so I don't hit a deer.

Cool factor. Does your E46 have a Mil-Spec thermal night vision system?

The ability to spot idling cops in the median on a high way from over 1000 meters.

See thermal image through dense fog, which we get from time to time.

Plenty of uses, but in reality, a unique idea that does not cost too much, but serves a purpose.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:34 AM   #27
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:05 AM   #28
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This is a great install!

My only complaint is your signature, I have to wildly scroll up and down while reading this to avoid people in my office from seeing the half naked girl. Could be a massive offense in HR eyes... Just saying.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:54 AM   #29
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That better for you?
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:16 AM   #30
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I guess...probably have a better chance of getting into a accident while driving trying to look at the thermal image screen then the actual road

Would be safer and cooler looking if you could put the screen in front of the steering wheel on the dash so it illuminates on the windshield like on the newer bmws.

Either way cool project.

I would do it for only one purpose....when the zombie apocalypse happens...Im readying to drive at night



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Safety and security. I can drive at night and have a thermal image available of my surrounding area to show wildlife so I don't hit a deer.

Cool factor. Does your E46 have a Mil-Spec thermal night vision system?

The ability to spot idling cops in the median on a high way from over 1000 meters.

See thermal image through dense fog, which we get from time to time.

Plenty of uses, but in reality, a unique idea that does not cost too much, but serves a purpose.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:26 AM   #31
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:10 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by kaput View Post
Safety and security. I can drive at night and have a thermal image available of my surrounding area to show wildlife so I don't hit a deer.

Cool factor. Does your E46 have a Mil-Spec thermal night vision system?

The ability to spot idling cops in the median on a high way from over 1000 meters.

See thermal image through dense fog, which we get from time to time.

Plenty of uses, but in reality, a unique idea that does not cost too much, but serves a purpose.
Will stay tuned for the results.

But for my money, if you could retrofit one of those airport scanners that allows you to see under clothes, sign me up.

Perv indeed.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:49 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dillard View Post
Will stay tuned for the results.

But for my money, if you could retrofit one of those airport scanners that allows you to see under clothes, sign me up.

Perv indeed.
If the proper filters were applied to a regular camera, you could get close.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:52 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom3 View Post
I guess...probably have a better chance of getting into a accident while driving trying to look at the thermal image screen then the actual road

Would be safer and cooler looking if you could put the screen in front of the steering wheel on the dash so it illuminates on the windshield like on the newer bmws.

Either way cool project.

I would do it for only one purpose....when the zombie apocalypse happens...Im readying to drive at night
The newer BMWs do not have a screen on the windshield, they use the iDrive screen. Secondly, you are not supposed to "watch the screen". It's purpose is to remain on, but not distract you unless you see a bright object enter on a dark back road. Trust me, I have seen a few demos from Flir, and can totally see why this is a really good idea. Things from bikes and people walking across teh street with a total disregard for traffic, animals, parked cops... It is a no lose situation.

The Audi A8 and the Mercedes S550 both use a digital screen in the gauge cluster. The only car with option night vision and a HUD was the cadillac, and I have the HUD and control panel, and I'll tell you what. If you can find a way to make it fit on an E46 dash and not look like complete sh!t... Tell me.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:56 PM   #35
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From what I have read, the S550 and other Mercedes systems are different. They use a cluster of infared LEDs to send IR light out and the camera picks it up to use for night vision. While both systems read IR light and IR radiation, the Cadillac is more "mil-spec" than the Merc or BMW units.

Here is a video showing off the Mercedes, BMW and Audi setups in action.



I will say this. The clearest to me is the audi system. I have my reasons why. This is not meant to be a clear view tech. You should not see shadows with thermal imagry. You should see dirty, blotchy pictures that show human beings and animals clear as day, and not so much cones and R/C turkeys. Car and Driver lost what little respect they ever had with me because of this video. They talk about how they are "useless" and not accurate. Personally, they were never meant to be the only way to drive a car, and their test was flawed, badly. If you watch my video, remember that the camera outputs in 320x240 resolution. We are filming with an iPhone, and the image is on a 26" LCD TV, not a 7" car screen. The image will appear to be better on the smaller screen, but more importantly you can start to understand what the camera was designed to do.

We shot this video with the camera mounted on a shelf, 6ft in the air directly in front of the 26" TV (you can see it cuts off part of the screen). The first and second persons (me and my brother) walk the length of a garage to be seen in the image. We are at the end of his garage for the most part. At the end, I walk across to the neighbors house, which is two garage lengths away (minivan) and you can see the camera come into it's own. At that distance, I stick out like a sore thumb. While we were testing this, a group of kids walked by, and threw a smoke on the ground. Not only did they show up brighter than you could imagine, but the smoke they threw stayed bright white for at least 2 minutes. Because of this kind of test with the Raytheon system, I believe aside from pedestrian detection, it is by far and wide the better system, even if the resolution is lower. Trust me, you can see it is a person.

And here is what the Raytheon system looks like (My video)

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Old 11-17-2012, 10:39 PM   #36
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awesome project, good luck with your goals.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:39 AM   #37
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Update: Z4 screen purchased from the M3 Forum for $36 shipped including motor assembly and housing. Still hunting a front lens repair kit. Found a few, just need the dough to get them.

Now looking for a Euro LCM from plate with rear fog light button. I think I'll either use it to trigger the cameras power, to retain a factory look. The Z4 screen I bought is missing the actual screen and the buttons, but I am not worried. I have a screen I can place inside, and might be able to source those buttons, or some similar buttons.

Camera was fired up the other night, and did some little tricks, like placing your hand on the wall and pulling it away to leave a hand print on your wall, or painting your arm with ice cubes. I also did a test with my 5 year old where he ducked behind a large plate of glass, and disappeared. Pretty cool stuff.

Anyway, parts are arriving, and ideas are flowing. Once the screen is retrofited into the housing, and the cabling is manufactured and tested, we are going to start the install.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:57 PM   #38
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I'm glad the company I work for might be part of your project
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:02 AM   #39
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Update: After doing some reading regarding the control features of the screen, it looks like keeping the OEM electronics in will not work.

We discovered with a little bit of research, that the kit is using a Stepper Motor for tilt control. Simple solution? Acquire the entire Z4 radio/GPS/Wiring setup... Which is not going to happen.

Cheaper and more comple solution? Arduino. We are going to build our own controller and program it using Arduino. A few things that make this solution better than using the OEM stuff:

-Easy to program stepper motor control
-Can trigger the screen from ignition to open and turn on, rather than require a switch
-Allow the entire system to turn on using a light sensor (like auto headlights) giving this a really cool factor of just opening and turning on without the need for driver distraction
-Allows video switching from multiple sources automatically (back up camera triggered by placing the vehicle in reverse)
-Allows video switching by simple momentary switch engagement (tap for next in rotation, when it reaches the end, returns to the first source)
-Independant power control for Cameras, video sources and screen possible with minimal switching
-USB programmable, so I can connect a laptop to the car, to change settings.

We think the Arduino community is large enough to complie the simple codes we need to get started. Once the base code is made, we will simply adjust as needed.

I found another interesting piece I need for this to remain OEM+ and pretty trick, as long as the rest of the pieces are out there.

I found a rear sunshade switch that I would like to use, but I am not sure if the other switches (Sport/DSC/HK) are available as single switches, and even if they are retrofitable. If they are, I need the different console part and the switches. I'll wire up the Rear Sunshade switch (which looks like a screen BTW) to turn the system on or off when pushed. I'll use the rear fog light switch to power the Thermal imaging camera, and have complete control over the system as a whole.

I purchased a Euro LCM with auto lights, and rear fog button from ebay.co.uk for $17 on friday. I'll install it when it arrives and post a pic.

Anyone know of any other partially rare or interesting switch gear that is OEM for the E46, or other BMW that I can retrofit to control aspects of this? I want to keep everything as sleek and OEM as possible, rather than add all sorts of buttons that look out of place to the interior. Aside from the sunshade switch, and the folding mirrors switch I can't think of any or find any.

Well, that is all for the moment. Once the Arduino stuff gets here, along with the monitor, I will be doing some programming, and testing of the system, and of course I'll post a video of the setup.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:22 AM   #40
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I think I found the switch I'll use to open the screen...



Yup, an OEM E38 TV switch. This gets better and better as I dig...
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