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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > Factory Sirius without Satellite Prep



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      11-28-2005, 01:50 AM   #1
loopsandsounds
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Factory Sirius without Satellite Prep

Just took a car from stock on Wednesday, and in order to get the package/color combo I wanted, I forsook the satellite prep option. Big mistake. I've been scouring this and other forums for hours. It appears that doing a factory satellite install without satellite prep is not possible. That being said, having broadened my search to other BMW models, you CAN do an install without satellite prep using the exisiting cabling for the CD changer on '06 X3's, as the audio components use a standard (MOST?) communication. I believe that the E90 (US) has a cable run for the changer in the trunk, can anyone confirum for sure? Also has anyone tried using that to connect a factory Sirius reciever? I know I would still need to provide my own antenna, unless someone knows that the fin that comes with Assist has the Sat antenna prewired without satelitte prep. Any input is much appreciated.
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      12-06-2005, 10:51 AM   #2
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UPDATE:
Since no ones seems to have tried this, I went ahead with the intstall. I installed the factory Sirius unit and connected it to the CD changer connections in the trunk. Then I rerouted the fiber (MOST) connections behind the drivers side rear seat bolster to allow the Sirius unit to be part of the MOST system. Now when I unplug the Sirius unit it breaks the system (no audio, slash across SOS), and when it is plugged in everything works, so I'm guessing it's now part of the system, but "SAT" doesn't show in the audio menu, so I am guessing I need to take it to the dealer for the software upgrade.

QUESTION:
Has anyone done the DIY Sirius install that HAS the sat prep? After you connected the Sirius unit did it automatically show in your audio menu or did you need the software upgrade (retrofit coding)? This is on a car w/o idrive. Also, does anyone know if the there is an extra set of antenna connectors off the shark fin to connect the Sirius unit to if I don't have sat prep?
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      12-06-2005, 11:16 AM   #3
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How much did you pay for the SAT radio reciever?
my dealer says it's not and won't be available in canada.
I wonder if I can get the US reciever....
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      12-06-2005, 12:01 PM   #4
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I got the unit from a private sale for $375. CircleBMW sells the for $425 plus you need the install kit (another $25). I have NO idea if a US unit will work in Canada, don't know if it would use the same satellites or not. Also, even if you got the US unit and installed it sucessfully, you'd still need to take it to your dealer for a software upgrade, and that probably won't happed in CA where they won't have the software upgrade knowledge/ability?
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      12-06-2005, 12:26 PM   #5
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thanx for the info.
I guess that's the downside of being in such a small market.
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      12-06-2005, 01:17 PM   #6
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Hey..I guess you are putting it to good use! How is that working out for you..I am def curious to find out how well it works..BTW..you WILL have to go to the dealership to have them reprogram the system so that it knows you have satellite radio...
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      12-07-2005, 08:38 PM   #7
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Anxiously Awaiting

Please let me know if it works out with sirius going through the CD Changer connection... still unsure of best place to mount antenna though...

I stupidly forgot to get sat prep on my order... wasn't thinking I guess. It would be awesome if there was a way to get the sat radio displayed and controlled by the head unit.

Thanks for going this route, I hope it works out for you (and then me
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      12-08-2005, 09:05 AM   #8
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I am scheduled for the retrofit coding tomorrow. Once I get that done and verify the unit is recognized, I'll worry about the antenna. I may try to pull the plate off the ceiling in back and see if there is a third set of connectors on the fin for Sat radio, and then run my own connectors.
Kind of like your own DIY sat prep :-) If it all works I will document and post on this forum.

Again, If anyone knows about the fin details or has a wiring diagram for it please let me know.
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      12-13-2005, 08:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthony_h
How much did you pay for the SAT radio reciever?
my dealer says it's not and won't be available in canada.
I wonder if I can get the US reciever....
The Canadian government is afraid that if you hear Howard Stern your heads will explode.
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      12-13-2005, 09:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopsandsounds
I am scheduled for the retrofit coding tomorrow. Once I get that done and verify the unit is recognized, I'll worry about the antenna. I may try to pull the plate off the ceiling in back and see if there is a third set of connectors on the fin for Sat radio, and then run my own connectors.
Kind of like your own DIY sat prep :-) If it all works I will document and post on this forum.

Again, If anyone knows about the fin details or has a wiring diagram for it please let me know.
It's killing me to know if this worked for you. I'm in the same situation ... no satellite prep but would love to add it.
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      12-13-2005, 11:19 AM   #11
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UPDATE:
Still waiting for the dealership to do the software upgrade. My local service center is overwhelmed and USELESS. I live in an area with too many BMW's I guess. As soon as I get the software update I will let the collective know.
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      12-15-2005, 01:19 AM   #12
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Very interesting thread!

Just last night I discovered that it would be too late to add the satellite pre-wire (my car just finished production) to my 330xi (arrives mid-January).

In my case, when I went through all the options with the dealer there was no mention of satellite prep whatsoever. So not knowing of any such option I didn't ask for it, naively assuming the car would be pre-wired. It wasn't until I heard confirmation of Sirius availability in Canada that I finally told the dealer I wanted satellite ASAP and then he mentioned the satellite prep.

I also declined the CD changer so was wondering whether I have a free port and whether it could be used as has been discussed here. However, I have also heard that not all cars may have CD changer pre-wire!! AAAGHHH !

I am so annoyed that BMW would do this that I am considering waiting another two months for a car with satellite prep. There is simply no excuse for a car in this price range not having expandibility built in, especially given that the head and bus are designed for this (i.e. you have paid for this like or not!) Anyway, I'm very interested to hear how you make out with this.
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      12-19-2005, 01:58 AM   #13
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Question Cable route from shark fin to head (and bluetooth unit)?

On the topic of the shark fin antenna, does anyone know the route that the cable carrying the RF takes from the fin to the head unit? I'm assuming that a simple copper wire would run from the fin to the head? In addition to the head unit I guess the bluetooth unit must also have access to the shark fin antenna - but I'm not sure where the bluetooth unit is in the e90 (is it near the dash or the trunk?).

I'm just curious at what points one might be able to splice into the antenna cable? My car won't be here for a few weeks so I don't have a car to poke around inside yet!

Obviously, if worse came to worse it should be possible to splice into the antenna feed near the head unit. I'm just curious as to whether there might be another point where the cable could be tapped that would easily allow for a cable to be run (invisibly) from the intercept point to the trunk?
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      12-19-2005, 12:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderbirdsarego
On the topic of the shark fin antenna, does anyone know the route that the cable carrying the RF takes from the fin to the head unit? I'm assuming that a simple copper wire would run from the fin to the head? In addition to the head unit I guess the bluetooth unit must also have access to the shark fin antenna - but I'm not sure where the bluetooth unit is in the e90 (is it near the dash or the trunk?).

I'm just curious at what points one might be able to splice into the antenna cable? My car won't be here for a few weeks so I don't have a car to poke around inside yet!

Obviously, if worse came to worse it should be possible to splice into the antenna feed near the head unit. I'm just curious as to whether there might be another point where the cable could be tapped that would easily allow for a cable to be run (invisibly) from the intercept point to the trunk?
I'm pretty sure the Bluetooth antenna is not on the roof. It should be inside the car somewhere. The shark fin on the roof should be the antenna for GPS, BMW Assist, normal radio, satellite radio, and the in-car cellular phone adaptor.
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      12-19-2005, 12:59 PM   #15
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I have a US XM radio that I just bought.
I hang the radio in its cradle off the center left vent.
The power cable is plugged into the cigarette lighter.
The antenna wire snakes over my visor out the door onto the roof.

I had ordered Sirius prewire, having read about in a Canadian Car mag.

They forgot to put it in at the factory (or seomthing lie that).


I am glad, because I don't want the CRTC-ized product, and I am happier with XM (live NHL and MLB). I use my Mom's florida address.

Am I happy with the tangle of wires and theugly antenna on the roof? No, but I am so happy with the content that I will put up with the mess until a better solution comes along!
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      12-22-2005, 02:56 PM   #16
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I am also curious of doing this. I would do it if its not too much of a hassle. Thanks for all the hard work guys!
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      12-22-2005, 03:06 PM   #17
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UPDATE: Success!!!
I just got back from the service center, and I now have factory BMW SIRIUS satellite WITHOUT the satellite prep option. I need to do a permanent install of the unit and antenna now (I wasn't going to bother until I confirmed this would all work). But I wanted everyone to know that this is a valid option.
I will post a seperate DIY in that section when I get everything done, and post a link to it here.
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      01-06-2006, 01:01 PM   #18
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Question Questions...

Wow that's awesome, man!!

I also have an '06 330i w/o the satellite prewire option. I was wondering if you have to buy a separate antenna + cable, or if the kit comes with everything you need to install it even w/o the prewire.

Also, can you install both the SAT radio AND the CD changer at the same time? I seem to remember reading somewhere that there is a SAT radio kit that comes with the cd changer. Otherwise, it seems that you only have room for one or the other, not both.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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      01-06-2006, 03:09 PM   #19
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Satellites are the same for all of North America, in fact, only North America. Sirius uses three satellites in a elliptical orbit so that they look like a large figure 8 relative to a single point on earth. XM uses 2 geo-synchronous orbits that look like a fixed point to a person looking up (or antenna). They also just launched a 3rd satellite that for now is an on orbit spare. Both methods have pluses and minuses.

Canada just reached agreement with the Satellite Radio providers for legal use of signals in Canada. Customer service group for Sirius is in Nova Scotia.

Here is a link to graphic on Sirius satellite orbits:

http://www.tiger-usa.com/sirius-xmorbitanim.gif

Last edited by cobradac; 01-06-2006 at 03:10 PM. Reason: Typo errors
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      01-06-2006, 03:42 PM   #20
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Cool Cobradac, and welcome to the board...do you work in Satellite????
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      01-06-2006, 04:14 PM   #21
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Program Manager for Delta II Booster launches from Cape Canaveral. Place all GPS in orbit plus such things as Spirit and Opportunity on Mars. So you could say I am in the satellite business
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      01-07-2006, 07:36 PM   #22
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The saga is documented for humanity here;
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10536
PM me if you have questions.
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