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      05-25-2018, 03:52 PM   #1
Nickco43
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eBay Bluetooth Streaming Box DIY and Reveiw

This install requires computer skills and knowledge of how MOST works. If you can install an aftermarket head unit and install Windows from scratch you should be able to do this DIY. This was done on a 06 330i with the professional head unit, Hands fee phone and Logic 7. This box is compatible with idrive or Professional head units only. Installation will vary slightly between head units.

What you will need:
Bluetooth Box

Optional but recommended materials:
Add a circuit fuse tap
Crimp connectors

Tools needed:
Plastic trim tools
Philips screw driver
T-20 Screw driver (Optional)
Crimp Tool (Optional)
Laptop with NCSExpert (For cars without factory CD Changer)
Coding Cable (For cars without factory CD Changer)

DIY:

Take your plastic trim tool and pry the climate controls away from the dash.



Remove the two connectors from the climate controls.



Remove the two Philips head screws under the radio and pull out the head unit from the dash.



The main connector on the head unit has a tab on the top you push down and pull pack to remove.




To connect the box to the car we are going to tap into the MOST circuit coming into the head unit. Remove the MOST connector from the head unit harness and remove the light in wire which is the one with the black shielding on it.

Here is the wiring diagram



Take one side of the orange MOST wires that came with the box and push out the little blue holder in the center of the connector. Pull out both of the MOST cables from the connector. Take the light in cable that you removed from the head unit harness with the orange wire leading into the box and use the included junction box to join them together. I lost the cover for the junction box so I electrical taped over the junction. It looks ghetto but it works.



You can see all of the MOST connectors have little arrows that show which side is light in or light out. If you mix one of these up the radio will not work.



Take the light out orange cable and stick it back into the head unit MOST connector.



The GROM Audio install video is helpful to get a under standing of what you are doing.



Watch until 2:35

To power the box I recommend using a fuse tap into the glove box fuse box. I installed my tap on fuse 2 which is 5 AMP going to the head unit. Push the power wires out from the pass side on the center console and then remove the two T-20 screws that hold the panel from underneath the glove box. Push the wires up into the fuse box area and then reinstall the panel. Attach the positive to a switched power source(I used fuse 2) from the fuse box and then ground it out on a bolt in the dash. I crimped on a loop connector and slid it on a large torx bolt holding up the dash support bar. You can also tap into the power and ground from the head unit wiring but I hate modifying factory wiring. Do not use the cheap wire taps that are included in the kit and use some Posi Taps.



If you do not have hands free calling in your car you need to run the included microphone somewhere. I had the non MOST version of this box in my E36 and I had the mic behind the rear view mirror. To remove the pillar trim, pry off the airbag emblem and then there is a torx screw holding it down. My car already has hands free so I didn't need to do this. If you have hands free calling you will need to turn on dip switch 4. I ran a type C cable from the box out the side of the center console. The one I had is a bit short so I would buy a cable longer than one meter. I would like to find a way to retain the factory aux connection but add a USB port from the box next to the factory aux.



Just shove the box into the hole behind the climate controls and button everything back up. Make sure the fiber optic cables are not pinched in any way. If you car already has a CD changer in the trunk then you are all done. Just change the radio to the CDC option. Mine was only pre wired and needed to be coded.



Coding:

I added $672 and removed $694 to the 2URAD, CAS and FRM.

Set up NCS Expert Normaly


Hit VIN/ZCS/FA



Enter FA



Chose E89



Add $672 remove $694



Process ECU



Chose 2URAD or FRM or CAS

You need to repeat this for all three modulus. If you did it right your head unit should have the CDC option and you are all done.





Bluetooth off my phone sounds comparable to a CD. Steering wheel controls work fine. I can stream music from Apple Music and Tune in. I can't comment on the calling function of the box since I don't need to use it. If you knew what you were doing and have a coding laptop ready to go this install should take maybe an hour. Due to the poor documentation this took me a full day of screwing around to finally get it working. But this box is great and I am glad I don't have to drop 1k on a Dynavin N7 or a I drive retrofit to have good Bluetooth audio.



Demo Video:


I am able to connect to both the factory Bluetooth calling and the Bluetooth audio at the same time.

Who wants to buy a slightly used tuni adapter?


Update 6/15/18: I did a full CCC iDrive retrofit and the streaming box works as it should with the new setup. Under $500 and the retrofit is worth it if you are non iDrive from factory.
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Last edited by Nickco43; 06-16-2018 at 01:00 AM.
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      05-25-2018, 04:45 PM   #2
ctuna
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Thanks for the install instructions.
Do you think it would be better to run power of the radio
since you need it to switch on and off in sync with the radio?
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      05-25-2018, 05:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
Thanks for the install instructions.
Do you think it would be better to run power of the radio
since you need it to switch on and off in sync with the radio?
It requires constant power.
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      05-25-2018, 06:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickco43 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
Thanks for the install instructions.
Do you think it would be better to run power of the radio
since you need it to switch on and off in sync with the radio?
It requires constant power.
Does this mean that its always on? Or does it switch off once power to the radio is off? Does your phone connect automatically once it turns on and have you tried it with an android phone to see if it works just as well?
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      05-25-2018, 07:24 PM   #5
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There is a difference in some radio's between station memory power and operating power . Always on could possibly drain your battery.
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      05-25-2018, 07:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTO335i View Post
Does this mean that its always on? Or does it switch off once power to the radio is off? Does your phone connect automatically once it turns on and have you tried it with an android phone to see if it works just as well?
I was under the impression it was always powered but shuts off like my dash cam does. I just sat in the car and my phone connected to the box without the car on.

I am going to buy another add a circuit and switch the box to switched power.

Update: Taped fuse 2 which is switched 5 AMP to the hesd unit. The phone connects in 2 seconds once the car is on. I will update the DIY.

Last edited by Nickco43; 05-25-2018 at 08:11 PM.
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      05-25-2018, 08:38 PM   #7
ctuna
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BMW has a complicated power down scheme on these.
The car can stay awake using more power for a considerable
time after you leave it , even though it doesn't appear to be powered up.

Read the first of the following pdf,s about the IBS system.

electical e90 pdf
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...,d.cGU&cad=rja
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...85464276,d.cGU
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...85464276,d.cGU

Good job on sorting out the problems bu the way.
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      05-25-2018, 10:49 PM   #8
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Link to what you bought?
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      05-25-2018, 11:40 PM   #9
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bluetooth-A...NYyQ-s&vxp=mtr

Dension Grom clone at a reasonable price.

If you click on Bluetooth box in entry 1 it takes you to the above link.
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      05-26-2018, 02:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickco43 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTO335i View Post
Does this mean that its always on? Or does it switch off once power to the radio is off? Does your phone connect automatically once it turns on and have you tried it with an android phone to see if it works just as well?
I was under the impression it was always powered but shuts off like my dash cam does. I just sat in the car and my phone connected to the box without the car on.

I am going to buy another add a circuit and switch the box to switched power.

Update: Taped fuse 2 which is switched 5 AMP to the hesd unit. The phone connects in 2 seconds once the car is on. I will update the DIY.
Thanks for the response and update. It finally seems like theres something available without breaking the bank!
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      05-27-2018, 12:32 AM   #11
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Thank you so much for this diy. Another item to add to my list of incomplete projects
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      05-27-2018, 09:30 AM   #12
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Pretty cool that this works, but what makes it any better than a ComBox retrofit? Seems comparable in cost/labor/coding.
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      05-27-2018, 12:47 PM   #13
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Well unless you can get a combo box for less than 150
its cheaper. Also you cannot fit a combox to a non idrive
system(pro radio ) and have the a2dp work. I notice it has both
a sd card and usb slot.(I wonder if they are both usable for
music playback?)
Also the programming can be tricky on older cars that are outside the date range that the combox was introduced in.

Labor is Zero in both cases if you DIY.

Its gonna be hard to get quality comparison's

Last edited by ctuna; 05-27-2018 at 01:19 PM.
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      05-27-2018, 02:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
Well unless you can get a combo box for less than 150
its cheaper. Also you cannot fit a combox to a non idrive
system(pro radio ) and have the a2dp work. I notice it has both
a sd card and usb slot.(I wonder if they are both usable for
music playback?)
Also the programming can be tricky on older cars that are outside the date range that the combox was introduced in.

Labor is Zero in both cases if you DIY.

Its gonna be hard to get quality comparison's
I want to clean up the DIY a bit more and take a demo video. Apparently both the SD card and USB work for playback but I have not used them yet.
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      05-27-2018, 02:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
Well unless you can get a combo box for less than 150
its cheaper. Also you cannot fit a combox to a non idrive
system(pro radio ) and have the a2dp work. I notice it has both
a sd card and usb slot.(I wonder if they are both usable for
music playback?)
Also the programming can be tricky on older cars that are outside the date range that the combox was introduced in.

Labor is Zero in both cases if you DIY.

Its gonna be hard to get quality comparison's
I've been keeping an eye on feeBay for the past few months...prices of comboxes vary, but they come up for less than $100 sometimes. There are a couple of cheap ones on there, currently.

Won't work for non iDrive, ok, valid point, if that's the case.

By labor, I meant the amount of work needed to install either, not cost.

Coding is necessary for both, thought the date range thing has been figured out and older cars can be updated...maybe I have this wrong.


Either way, not trying to dismiss the device the OP bought/installed, just trying to find the benefits/drawbacks of both, and decide on what the best option would be.
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      05-27-2018, 03:22 PM   #16
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combox works on pro radio for usb just won't work for
A2DP streaming until sometime after 2012 I think is what
I seem to see here.

Yes you can change the production date and load the combox
software on older cars the same as you could for mulf 2 but its
extra programming steps and I have seen quite a few posts
where people have to go through a lot of steps to finally get it
all to work. No having to put a new vin number in or any fsc codes in the new module if that applys.

Just doing the cd add programming step is less of a big deal
with less chance of falling into a gotcha trap.

Last edited by ctuna; 05-27-2018 at 03:34 PM.
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      05-27-2018, 03:26 PM   #17
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Thanks for this guide!
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      05-27-2018, 04:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilime75 View Post
I've been keeping an eye on feeBay for the past few months...prices of comboxes vary, but they come up for less than $100 sometimes. There are a couple of cheap ones on there, currently.

Won't work for non iDrive, ok, valid point, if that's the case.

By labor, I meant the amount of work needed to install either, not cost.

Coding is necessary for both, thought the date range thing has been figured out and older cars can be updated...maybe I have this wrong.


Either way, not trying to dismiss the device the OP bought/installed, just trying to find the benefits/drawbacks of both, and decide on what the best option would be.
If I had idrive I would have shopped around for a combox. But getting a combox to work on my 2006 car would have been hard if had Idrive. If I ever find a LCI e90 for under 1k at the insurance auction with idrive I will buy it and do a swap.


But for now I just wanted bluetooth audio that sounded good and steering wheel controls.
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      05-27-2018, 07:52 PM   #19
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nice DIY....but it would have been much easier by getting a Kinivo BTC480 Bluetooth kit. You don't have to remove the stock headunit or any kind of wiring. Plus, it's WAYYY cheaper.
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      05-27-2018, 07:59 PM   #20
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nice DIY....but it would have been much easier by getting a Kinivo BTC480 Bluetooth kit. You don't have to remove the stock headunit or any kind of wiring. Plus, it's WAYYY cheaper.
You can't use the steering wheel controls using a Bluetooth to Aux adapter. Plus the aux quality sucks on at least the early cars like mine.
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      05-27-2018, 08:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
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You can't use the steering wheel controls using a Bluetooth to Aux adapter. Plus the aux quality sucks on at least the early cars like mine.
As often as I use mine, I don't even bother with the steering wheel buttons. As for the sound quality, it may just be your speakers. I have the same car as yours. But then again, I did upgrade the crappy front door (sail) tweeters.
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      05-28-2018, 03:16 PM   #22
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I think the point is here that the aux is a weak point of the equation. There are dozens of different adapters specifically made for BMW applications that utilize the stock Aux/USB combo, and functionally they work well. I have a Tune2air, for example, that does well by me as far as steering wheel controls and the abolity to stream via bluetooth - as well as maintain and juggle between my stock bluetooth phone pairing.

The crux of this sort of quest lies in the DAC at the point the digital signal is converted. For me, regardless of the conveniece, the weak point is that the Tune2Air does the digital to analog conversion and out through the AUX but then gets reprocessed again going through the headunit. His solution seeks to maintain a pure digital signal until the headunit for a single DAC conversion, which is ideal if you believe the headunit DAC is worth its snuff (and you’d go through it any way).

Once I get off my butt and install everything, I’ll have an option of doing the same thing via my VX800/8i as a secondary source bypassing the headunit. However that comes at a cost of headunit display information. So everything has a sacrifice.

You could even argue that a Bluetooth adapter itself is a point of sacrifice since A2DP is inheritly lossy (significantly less than the potential quality of directly playing a CD in irder to maintain a strady transmission). ATPX codec aims to resolve most (read not all) of that, but you have to make sure you find a bluetooth receiver that supports that (as well as a streaming device).

So to me you’re both right and wrong and just seeking different levels of audio fidelity with each making their own justified sacrifice.

But as it included figuring out the VO coding that would work, I think this is a great write up with a great solution vs the Mobridge/Densions of the world.

Last edited by bluewater328; 05-28-2018 at 03:24 PM.
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