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  1. #1
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    Finally! A Pre-2002 Business CD AUX Input HACK!!!

    It's been far too long since I've posted a decent writeup. School, the baby, and school :) have kept me from my favorite hobby- modding my car.

    Some months ago I asked, like everyone else, how the freak to get a generic aux input jack into my high-tech driving monster. Search the archives and you'll find the same thing over and over. Lots of DICE BlitzSafe, FM modulators, 2002-up business cd upgrade, aftermarket head unit, and so on...

    Well, some kind Roadfly patron mentioned that some guy hacked his radio and replaced the AM input with an aux input. Two nights ago I FOUND IT!
    View it here (take out spaces): http://www.b i m m e r b o a r d.com/forums/posts/134100
    He had an E38 I believe with a refaced Blaupunkt receiver as opposed to our refaced Alpine units. However, it got me thinking about opening my own head unit to see what I could see. So I did.



    Initially, I tried to do as this fellow had and tie into the audio processor IC. Unfortunately, I couldn't verify which IC inputs were which with a listening device and DMM apart from the AM signal, which I DID find. The AM came in loud and clear- rather weak and distorted :). We can't use the AM input like the guy in the post above since AM is mono and the IC has a mono input for it (unlike the bridged #10 and #14 pins he had).

    Giving up on performing microsurgery on the IC, I looked elsewhere for a suitable tie-in. And right here, at the CD module/sound-board interface, I found an excellent tie point.

    Interface is the black connector. Lower right on the photo.




    Some Close-ups:






    The back/bottom of the breadboard was labeled, so it was easy to see what each pin correlated to. I just followed the traces and used a continuity tester to find the solder points in the below photos. We are interested in the Lch, Rch, and GND pinouts.






    These are the connection points I followed the three pin traces to. They are blank positions for capacitors -presumably used in a different model since the same board is often used in multiple models +/- some features. The leads shown soldered here are from a test plug that I harvested from old headphones. The super nice thing about soldering straight onto the board is that there are no sound losses. I was on the cusp of installing a wired FM modulator for $30 that would have lost some sound fidelity in the high frequencies. This DIY hack yields CD quality sound.






    Before I put it all back together, I switched the headphone wires/plug for this beefy piggy-back style RCA cable. This allows me to plug in all kinds of stereo media. I ran this cable to the glovebox and a RCA to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter from there.




    How does the sound get past the CD player, you ask? Well, you have to have a CD in the player and the radio in CD mode. But as soon as you plug it your MP3 or other audio player externally, it overrides the CD signal. Pretty sweet. Unplug the device and the CD signal comes right back on whatever track it happens to be playing at the time.




    Now that all of my secrets are reveled, I will show you how to get at the breadboard inside of the radio.

    First, follow one of the 10,000 write-ups out there to remove the radio. Once that's done remove the faceplate. There are only two screws on either side holding it on along with integrated clips around the face. Pull it off forward b/c there is a pin set that in needs to slide straight out of.






    Next I took the top cover off. There are three screws near the top-rear of the radio holding this on. Once removed, the cover can be pried up. It also has lots of clips around its perimeter holding it down.






    Now the CD unit comes out. This will reveal the breadboard that you need to get at. There are 4 screws up front and 2 screws in back that you'll need to remove. The front screws are on the outside, screwed inward, of the casing. The rear 2 screws are recessed in the bottom-rear of the CD unit. Once defastened, the unit will tilt up from the rear and slide out forward.












    You may find it easier to work on the soldering with the breadboard completely removed -which is what I did. I will leave it to you to take the rest apart if that's what you decide to do. It is just 5 more steps that I didn't take pictures of nor do I want to write on.

    This should take you less than 2 hours depending on your skill. It took me the better part of 5 hours due to the research and development. Cost is almost $0. I had all of the cables and tools for this job. But if you have nothing, get yourself some solder ($3), a soldering iron (~$10), a #1 Phillips screwdriver (<$3), and some cables (~$5).

    It feels good to be the best in the world at something. And, for this moment, I am the very best in the world at putting aux inputs onto a pre-2002 BMW E39 Alpine head unit breadboard. Hmmmm... Famous? Maybe...








    Randall in Provo
    01/01 540iA Black/tan
    Gentle shot of nitrous
    Lovin' the ride

    1995 325i5 Black/black
    DINAN chip, suspension, and exhaust
    Smoked tail lights and headlights

    1993 318iA (rolled) Green/tan
    Wife's car in high school
    Super-clean
    Got me hooked
    We rolled it in CO :(

    See E39 mods @ http://englishisnotmysubject.blogspot.com/



  2. #2
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    Yes | No

    I have a write up to do the same thing, however (m

    mine is for the Business radio. I've had it for ~3 years and even bought another radio to hack, but haven't got around to it yet.

  3. #3
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    I'm super happy to finally have it. Fun upgrade.










    Randall in Provo
    01/01 540iA Black/tan
    Gentle shot of nitrous
    Lovin' the ride

    1995 325i5 Black/black
    DINAN chip, suspension, and exhaust
    Smoked tail lights and headlights

    1993 318iA (rolled) Green/tan
    Wife's car in high school
    Super-clean
    Got me hooked
    We rolled it in CO :(

    See E39 mods @ http://englishisnotmysubject.blogspot.com/


  4. #4
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    Re: Finally! A Pre-2002 Business CD AUX Input HACK!!!

    Hey Spray540i,

    Great write-up!! I've been watching/waiting for this to show up! I have questions regarding left and right channels. I am assuming from the pics that the center capacitor is the ground as the wire connected to it has no colour. Which of the other 2 connections (e202, e201) is left and right channels?

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    that! - ExAlfa
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    Excellent job. You're a real cowboy digging in

    Your next assignment is to determine optimized cam lobe profiles for maximum thrust from your spray can. C'mon, you can do it!

  6. #6
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    Yes | No

    Whoops, meant to address that

    Yes, E200= GND/Common
    E201= Left Channel
    E202= Right Channel








    Randall in Provo
    01/01 540iA Black/tan
    Gentle shot of nitrous
    Lovin' the ride

    1995 325i5 Black/black
    DINAN chip, suspension, and exhaust
    Smoked tail lights and headlights

    1993 318iA (rolled) Green/tan
    Wife's car in high school
    Super-clean
    Got me hooked
    We rolled it in CO :(

    See E39 mods @ http://englishisnotmysubject.blogspot.com/


  7. #7
    Registered Member
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    Haha, I am a little disappointed that there aren't

    many aftermarket cam options out there. Wish I knew something about lobe theory...








    Randall in Provo
    01/01 540iA Black/tan
    Gentle shot of nitrous
    Lovin' the ride

    1995 325i5 Black/black
    DINAN chip, suspension, and exhaust
    Smoked tail lights and headlights

    1993 318iA (rolled) Green/tan
    Wife's car in high school
    Super-clean
    Got me hooked
    We rolled it in CO :(

    See E39 mods @ http://englishisnotmysubject.blogspot.com/


  8. #8
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    Member No: 4328 jimlev will become famous soon enough jimlev will become famous soon enough jimlev's Avatar
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    Actually 4running nitrous the stock cams work best


    "Drive It Like You Stole It, A Sickness for Quickness"
    The Bottle Rocket "King of Spray" 2 Stage Nitrous Oxide
    Dare to be different and stand out among the crowd of me-to-cars!
    No guts, no glory! Tire smoke, not traction control!
    Zionsville all aluminum radiator to replace the 3 leak prone Nissens Radiators!

    NOS Progressive 2 Stage Controller w/3 injectors
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  9. #9
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    Great post - thanks much for sharing!

    William
    Richardson, Texas
    2005 BMW 330i Auto, TiSilver, Prem Package (her car)
    2000 BMW 540i Auto, TiSilver, Sport/Prem Package (my car)

    Retired/sold:
    2006 Dodge Charger Daytona - Top Banana
    2002 M3 Coupe with SMG
    1995 525i auto
    1991 535i 5-speed manual

  10. #10
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    Thanks!!!


  11. #11
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    Re: I'm super happy to finally have it. Fun upgrade.

    so this mod allows for aux input, but it limits cd player quality? even when the ipod is disconnected will the quality be less if playing a cd?

  12. #12
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    CD quality is not changed >>>

    The CD plays the same when the ipod is disconnected -doesn't play at all when the ipod IS connected...








    Randall in Provo
    01/01 540iA Black/tan
    Gentle shot of nitrous
    Lovin' the ride

    1995 325i5 Black/black
    DINAN chip, suspension, and exhaust
    Smoked tail lights and headlights

    1993 318iA (rolled) Green/tan
    Wife's car in high school
    Super-clean
    Got me hooked
    We rolled it in CO :(

    See E39 mods @ http://englishisnotmysubject.blogspot.com/


  13. #13
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    I followed the instructions....

    ... and it worked perfectly except i could hear sound from the CD. But i have a solution. Make a CD in your computer with 3 or 4 tracks with just silence. Play them random and the CD never stops.

    Thanks for all your ideas.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote 109.58.116.10

  14. #14
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    Nice! Works as it should! I hear no CD-sound while playing AUX.
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  15. #15
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    How do myou tell what radio/cd you have. My cd is located above the radio in the dash under a flip up door. How do you tell what wire on your aux input is left and right channel?

    2000 540ia w/sport package 9/99
    Silver/black, Eibach springs and Koni FSD equiped
    1998 528i 5 spd w/sport package
    white/tan
    1987 535is
    silver/red
    1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 340 SixPak 4 spd
    (stroked to 420cid, 5 spd Tremec TKO 500)
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote 70.62.255.174

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fritracer View Post
    How do myou tell what radio/cd you have. My cd is located above the radio in the dash under a flip up door. How do you tell what wire on your aux input is left and right channel?
    Never moind. It says Business cd right on it. dduuuhhhh...

    2000 540ia w/sport package 9/99
    Silver/black, Eibach springs and Koni FSD equiped
    1998 528i 5 spd w/sport package
    white/tan
    1987 535is
    silver/red
    1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 340 SixPak 4 spd
    (stroked to 420cid, 5 spd Tremec TKO 500)
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote 70.62.255.174

  17. #17
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    Will this input jack work for a MP3 player and XM radio? or is it just for an I phone/Ipod?

    2000 540ia w/sport package 9/99
    Silver/black, Eibach springs and Koni FSD equiped
    1998 528i 5 spd w/sport package
    white/tan
    1987 535is
    silver/red
    1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 340 SixPak 4 spd
    (stroked to 420cid, 5 spd Tremec TKO 500)
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote 70.62.255.174

  18. #18
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    Yes | No
    It's just an audio input, should work with any device.
    I have a spare cassette deck that I hope to find time to take apart and see if this input mod is in the same location.
    Just a few mods.
    If it ain't broken make it better and quicker!
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote 174.62.177.126

  19. #19
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    No silent CD needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    ... and it worked perfectly except i could hear sound from the CD. But i have a solution. Make a CD in your computer with 3 or 4 tracks with just silence. Play them random and the CD never stops.

    Thanks for all your ideas.
    One of your audio channel (L or R) is switched with Ground pin. That's why you are hearing CD sounds as background. It happened to me too, but now fixed.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote 96.24.79.34

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    I just got everything apart and for some reason my cd player is different inside ? Take a look, anybody have any ideas on how to go about install the aux port on this version ?

    IMG-20120227-00168.jpgIMG-20120227-00167.jpg
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