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TD
09-16-2002, 08:56 AM
I know one of the XM DJs and he's offered to hook me up with one of the units at an XM "friends and family" price that is well below market price. I am debating doing it but I have questions about wiring everything up.

Basically, as my car came with the HK and CD changer, I am VERY reluctant to ditch the OEM headunit (plus, all of the XM headunits are obnoxiously colored/illuminated).

What are my options for using XM with the OEM headunit?

Ben Chou
09-16-2002, 09:02 AM
You basically have to have the ugly antenna somewhere though. I thought they had a receiver only that allows you to listen thru your radio like old CD Changers did. I could be wrong.

TD
09-16-2002, 09:04 AM
Originally posted by Ben Chou
You basically have to have the ugly antenna somewhere though. I thought they had a receiver only that allows you to listen thru your radio like old CD Changers did. I could be wrong.

From what I've read elsewhere (not BMW specific), the antenna will work from inside your rear window (rear parcel shelf) if your windows are not tinted. Otherwise, yeah, the shark fin is rather ugly.

And, as far as you know, is that the only way to connect? I cannot imagine sound quality will be all that good using an RF modulator like that.

JST
09-16-2002, 09:04 AM
Originally posted by Holden
I know one of the XM DJs and he's offered to hook me up with one of the units at an XM "friends and family" price that is well below market price. I am debating doing it but I have questions about wiring everything up.

Basically, as my car came with the HK and CD changer, I am VERY reluctant to ditch the OEM headunit (plus, all of the XM headunits are obnoxiously colored/illuminated).

What are my options for using XM with the OEM headunit?

You can get one that is a separate unit--it may fit in the sunglasses holder, but I think you'd have to move your SR-1 display.


http://www.xmradio.com/sony_receivers.html

TD
09-16-2002, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by JST


You can get one that is a separate unit--it may fit in the sunglasses holder, but I think you'd have to move your SR-1 display.


http://www.xmradio.com/sony_receivers.html


Yeah, I looked at that at the XM site last night. Even it looks a little tall for that bin. I'd have to pull it's specs and then measure the opening.

Still, how does THAT unit wire into the system?

Ben Chou
09-16-2002, 09:07 AM
Originally posted by JST


You can get one that is a separate unit--it may fit in the sunglasses holder, but I think you'd have to move your SR-1 display.


http://www.xmradio.com/sony_receivers.html

This was the exact one that I was thinking about. It runs 299 street retail. I know someone that has it and if you like music it is pretty cool. The talk channels are not that bad either.

Ben Chou
09-16-2002, 09:09 AM
Originally posted by Holden



Yeah, I looked at that at the XM site last night. Even it looks a little tall for that bin. I'd have to pull it's specs and then measure the opening.

Still, how does THAT unit wire into the system?

Cassette adaptor, unless you get the custom install.

http://www.xmradio.com/catalog/product_detail.jsp?id=6878&type=Tuner

The HACK
09-16-2002, 09:10 AM
Depending on how much your willing to spend and what you have as the head unit, you *may* be able to get a 2003 head unit that has the auxiliary input. If you do not have a CD changer and your car IS prewired for the changer, I think there's got to be a way to hack into the feed for the changer and if you can find one of those XM units with a remote that may work as well?

TD
09-16-2002, 09:10 AM
Originally posted by Ben Chou


This was the exact one that I was thinking about. It runs 299 street retail. I know someone that has it and if you like music it is pretty cool. The talk channels are not that bad either.

YEah, I can get that unit for a lot less.

And I'd mostly be interested in a few of the more obscure music channels (under rock and world music) plus BBC news.

With a 60 mile commute every day, I now am more in the market for gadgets like this. Although I will never have a video screen in my car. Ever.

TD
09-16-2002, 09:11 AM
Originally posted by The HACK
Depending on how much your willing to spend and what you have as the head unit, you *may* be able to get a 2003 head unit that has the auxiliary input. If you do not have a CD changer and your car IS prewired for the changer, I think there's got to be a way to hack into the feed for the changer and if you can find one of those XM units with a remote that may work as well?

One MAJOR problem.

2003s (actually ANY E46) headunit is not a standard DIN size. The E36s use standard DIN size headunits. A 2003 headunit would not fit.

TD
09-16-2002, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by Ben Chou


Cassette adaptor, unless you get the custom install.

http://www.xmradio.com/catalog/product_detail.jsp?id=6878&type=Tuner

The "custom" is just an RF modulator.

Maybe if I use a VEN4? Anyone? Beuller?

Ben Chou
09-16-2002, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by Holden


YEah, I can get that unit for a lot less.

And I'd mostly be interested in a few of the more obscure music channels (under rock and world music) plus BBC news.

With a 60 mile commute every day, I now am more in the market for gadgets like this. Although I will never have a video screen in my car. Ever.

Aww, come on. Video is not that bad, hell, you could have internet access into your car and surf Bimmerfest while your commuting. Half the other smuckos on the road do worse than that.
:lmao: :lmao:

TD
09-16-2002, 09:14 AM
Originally posted by Ben Chou


Aww, come on. Video is not that bad, hell, you could have internet access into your car and surf Bimmerfest while your commuting. Half the other smuckos on the road do worse than that.
:lmao: :lmao:

Remember, I don't watch TV or videos or DVDs at home (I don't even own a DVD player), so watching anything in my car holds zero appeal to me.

Kaz
09-16-2002, 09:19 AM
I can't help with controller placement in a E36, but for hookup, finding a way to get a line aux in is better for obvious reasons than a RF adapter, though the latter is much easier (and RF adapters have gotten better).

Do late E36s use the same changer bus that E46s do? There might be a way to use the i-Bus -> Alpine adapter that Pinecone or someone around here managed to get working and connect up an Alpine XM tuner to that.

As for an antenna, I agree, those sharkfins are hideous. Saw one on a E39 last week. Ugh. There are a couple that look more like those on-glass cell antennas that don't look quite as bad.

obLu
09-16-2002, 09:24 AM
Someone on the other board posted that Soundgate is advertising a new adapter that will allow you to control xm/sirius through your oem deck. Don't know any more details than that.

Otherwise your option is to somehow get a cd changer adapter with an aux input between your head unit and your cd changer. Much easier to do if you have an aftermarket cd changer since you'd need the adapter anyway.

Then you plug the xm/sirius reciever to your aux input and then run the controller interface line all the way up front (hard part). Not fm modulated.

TD
09-16-2002, 09:25 AM
Originally posted by obLu
Someone on the other board posted that Soundgate is advertising a new adapter that will allow you to control xm/sirius through your oem deck. Don't know any more details than that.

Otherwise your option is to somehow get a cd changer adapter with an aux input between your head unit and your cd changer. Much easier to do if you have an aftermarket cd changer since you'd need the adapter anyway.

Then you plug the xm/sirius reciever to your aux input and then run the controller interface line all the way up front (hard part). Not fm modulated.


Would you lose control (functionality) of the CD changer?

obLu
09-16-2002, 09:27 AM
PS. does anyone know if the signal would go through convertible top fabric? If it goes through glass I would assume it could go through cloth?

I really want xm/sirius but can't find a decent place to mount the antennae in a convertible.

Have seen them mounted on the forward part of the dash. That wouldn't work for me.

Ack
09-16-2002, 09:52 AM
I have Sirius but XM shouldn't be much different. I mounted the fugly antenna in my rear deck behind my headrest and it works perfectly.

The RF modulation defeats the whole purpose of Satellite radio. You are taking a digital signal and rebroadcasting it as an analog one. The sound quality on Sirius is as good as a CD. Some of the talk programs and tv feeds are not as good quality-wise.

My unit was a plug-in-play (C-Net) type that is controlled by my headunit. Mine was very easy to install myself. I don't know how the XM units mount/wire.


Originally posted by obLu
PS. does anyone know if the signal would go through convertible top fabric? If it goes through glass I would assume it could go through cloth?

I really want xm/sirius but can't find a decent place to mount the antennae in a convertible.

Have seen them mounted on the forward part of the dash. That wouldn't work for me.


I don't believe that the signal can go thru fabric. It needs a direct line of site to pick up the signal. I don't blame you for not wanting to mount it on the dash. The satellite antenna is very bulky still. I remember when they first were talking about them, they were supposed to be the size and a little thicker than a quarter. The XM unit is smaller than the Sirius one but they are both still very large.

JST
09-16-2002, 10:22 AM
Originally posted by obLu
PS. does anyone know if the signal would go through convertible top fabric? If it goes through glass I would assume it could go through cloth?

I really want xm/sirius but can't find a decent place to mount the antennae in a convertible.

Have seen them mounted on the forward part of the dash. That wouldn't work for me.

I've been giving it some thought, and I think I'd mount it behind the rear headrest; if it could be mounted vertically on the back of the headrest itself (or to a bracket that went under the headrest), I think that would be ideal. I assume that the antennae are paintable; if you painted it tan, it might blend better.

You could put it on the tonneau cover, but you'd have to run the wire down the hinge in such a way that the cover could still open and close.

·clyde·
09-16-2002, 10:49 AM
Originally posted by Ack
The RF modulation defeats the whole purpose of Satellite radio. You are taking a digital signal and rebroadcasting it as an analog one.

And your speakers are stepped digital devices (your ears too for that matter)? It's got to go analog at some point. (Exaggeration to make a point).

Yeah, RF is going to degrade the signal, just as it does anything else that you pass through it, but the superior (assuming as I haven't heard a demo and probably couldn't tell the difference even if I did) quality of the digital signal of sat radio vs an FM broadcast isn't going to sell all that many units. It's the content and the ability to get to the content you want wherever you are.

TD
09-16-2002, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by Clyde@work


And your speakers are stepped digital devices (your ears too for that matter)? It's got to go analog at some point. (Exaggeration to make a point).

Yeah, RF is going to degrade the signal, just as it does anything else that you pass through it, but the superior (assuming as I haven't heard a demo and probably couldn't tell the difference even if I did) quality of the digital signal of sat radio vs an FM broadcast isn't going to sell all that many units. It's the content and the ability to get to the content you want wherever you are.

Exactly. I am interested because of content not because of sound quality. Hell, the stuff they play on commercial radio does not deserve better sound quality.

JPinTO
09-16-2002, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by Holden

With a 60 mile commute every day, I now am more in the market for gadgets like this. Although I will never have a video screen in my car. Ever.

Give yourself a good decade of 60 miles daily commutes and even *you* might change your mind. Particularly if most of the 60 miles is more stop than go like it is on my commute.

Getting the most road feel may take a back seat to saving your sanity. I'm looking at XM radio even though it is not officially available in Canada.

Use the FM modulator.... sound won't be the absolute best but it's an easy integration into the stock system.

bh330ci
09-16-2002, 05:02 PM
There is not currently an adapter that will allow the OEM head unit to control an XM tuner. I've tested the BMW/Alpine adapters on my 330ci and a coworkers '97 528i(BMW/Pioneer).

Presumably, there will be a Sirius adapter in the near future and, within the next two years or so, aftermarket stereos will be compatible with both formats-if they both survive-so there's always the possibility of direct connection down the road. Nothing immediate though.

The quality of the RF modulator is not bad at all though. Your major potential for trouble would be all the local radio stations in DC that might interfere. Between Howard, AU, GU, GWU, and all the rest there's not a lot of free space low on the dial.

Anyway, I guess if the deal's good enough, you could get the gear and sell it on Ebay if it just isn't gonna work out.:dunno:

Nick325xiT 5spd
09-16-2002, 05:12 PM
All I can say is that XM had better not declare bankruptcy in the next month, since we're finishing a condo conversion right next to their headquarters. :p

ObD
09-16-2002, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by JST


I assume that the antennae are paintable; if you painted it tan, it might blend better.



The antenna is paint-able.

ObD
09-16-2002, 05:17 PM
BMW is supposed to offer an OEM Sirius receiver that works with the OEM head unit. This has been said for many months, but no product yet. Vaporware. :D :dunno:

bh330ci
09-16-2002, 05:21 PM
Yes, it's paintable, but paint seems to come off very easily. Especially on the piece of rubber that hides the wire running from the antenna to the window. Of course, seeing that you aren't mounting it externally, you could probably do away with that piece.

Ack
09-16-2002, 05:34 PM
Originally posted by bh330ci
Yes, it's paintable, but paint seems to come off very easily. Especially on the piece of rubber that hides the wire running from the antenna to the window. Of course, seeing that you aren't mounting it externally, you could probably do away with that piece.

Yeah, that piece just houses the wires for the antenna. I'm sure you could pull the rubber off to expose the wires.

dineen
09-17-2002, 07:12 AM
This fall GM is offering XM satellite radio as an option in some of there cars.Does anyone know if BMW has any plans on offering it as an option?I also wonder if it is ordered as an option from the factory, is the antenna somehow built into the vehicle ,not visible from the outside .I agree the antenna that comes with the service is very ugly.

bh330ci
09-17-2002, 07:25 AM
For MY2003 BMW and Sirius have a partnership. There will be no XM option in the immediate future.

TD
09-17-2002, 07:29 AM
BTW, digging around, apparently there are a number of antenna options. Here's the listing of antenna models stocked by Crutchfield. http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/S-KaxaDZnCJCN/ProdGroup.asp?c=3&g=102500&s=0

There are quite a few, incuding a few tasteful models. And it looks like there is a decent Pioneer model XM tuner that connects via an RF modulator.

Hmmm....

dineen
09-17-2002, 07:35 AM
I've never heard of Sirius before.Do they offer the same service as XM?Do you also mean that all the 2003 BMW's are wired for the service?

scottn2retro
09-17-2002, 07:50 AM
Originally posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
All I can say is that XM had better not declare bankruptcy in the next month, since we're finishing a condo conversion right next to their headquarters. :p

Your condo conversion is across the street from the FedEx terminal? How is real estate investment in that part of town? When I was there, I saw a lot of 'urban rennovation' type projects all over the city.

I've actually been to the XM facility a few times working on the ground system that flies the Satellites. Kind of IKEA meets warehouse look on the inside (I also worked the spacecraft missions after they were launched). The people here that have it like it, but I haven't done it. The facility is neat though. :)

bh330ci
09-17-2002, 07:53 AM
Sirus is to XM as DishNetwork is to DirecTV. Sirius offers commercial free music channels at $13 a month as opposed to XM's $10 a month. Hardware costs about the same but Sirius is more limited with antenna options for now. The rumor is XM has a better broadcast quality, but I tend to think that has less to do with reality and more to do with early XM owners trying to justify why they didn't wait for the luxury of no commercials. Both are great in my opinion:dunno:

uter
09-17-2002, 08:53 AM
The owner of a 2001 330i at www.my330i.com did a sweet install of XM radio. In the "garage" section, he's posted an entire DIY file with photos. In one, he shows how he hides the Pioneer XM display unit in his ashtray.

Also, he has high marks for an aftermarket connecter ($75)from "cdadapter.com" that links OEM CD changers with XM radio receivers and eliminates the need for FM modulation as well as the need for an additional power supply.

Anyone think this will work in a 325 touring with Nav? I haven't yet had a factory CD changer installed.

Nick325xiT 5spd
09-17-2002, 08:58 AM
Damn, Uter... Now I'm tempted...

TD
09-17-2002, 09:02 AM
Originally posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
Damn, Uter... Now I'm tempted...

Okay, I looked up the adapter and JUST got off the phone with the lady from CDAdapter.com. You CANNOT use that adapter and retain the functionality of your CD changer. It's one or the other.

I wonder if I could develop some sort of A/B switch.

Nick325xiT 5spd
09-17-2002, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by Holden


Okay, I looked up the adapter and JUST got off the phone with the lady from CDAdapter.com. You CANNOT use that adapter and retain the functionality of your CD changer. It's one or the other.

I wonder if I could develop some sort of A/B switch.

Heh... Well... I don't have/don't want a changer. :p XM vs. MP3 CD changer... Hrm...

TD
09-17-2002, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by Nick325xiT 5spd


Heh... Well... I don't have/don't want a changer. :p XM vs. MP3 CD changer... Hrm...

Ah, but I have an E36 that has an in-dash TAPE DECK.

JST
09-17-2002, 09:09 AM
Originally posted by Holden


Okay, I looked up the adapter and JUST got off the phone with the lady from CDAdapter.com. You CANNOT use that adapter and retain the functionality of your CD changer. It's one or the other.

I wonder if I could develop some sort of A/B switch.

The website seems to say that you can use both, but you have to buy a cable different from the one the guy on My330 used. Are "M" bus CD changers different from the factory unit? Would you just have to buy a new changer?

http://www.cdadapter.com/bmwxmalp.htm

EDIT: Alternately, you could pick up the CD-43 in dash CD player from the Z3 and ditch the CD changer altogether.

Nick325xiT 5spd
09-17-2002, 09:11 AM
Originally posted by Holden


Ah, but I have an E36 that has an in-dash TAPE DECK.

*****, *****, *****, moan, moan, moan, whine, whine, whine. Wanna swap cars, then? :D

TD
09-17-2002, 09:11 AM
Originally posted by JST


The website seems to say that you can use both, but you have to buy a cable different from the one the guy on My330 used. Are "M" bus CD changers different from the factory unit? Would you just have to buy a new changer?

http://www.cdadapter.com/bmwxmalp.htm

Yup. It'll work.

I just spoke to her again. $85 for the adapter plus $7 shipping.

TD
09-17-2002, 09:28 AM
Originally posted by Nick325xiT 5spd


*****, *****, *****, moan, moan, moan, whine, whine, whine. Wanna swap cars, then? :D

Ah, I just got my solution. Now I'm back to feeling cheap and waffling on the whole idea. Damn frugality...

uter
09-17-2002, 10:13 AM
Originally posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
Damn, Uter... Now I'm tempted...

So, as you read through this stuff, do you think that I can install an OEM CD changer AND the satellite radio (using this adapter from www.cdadapter.com)?

I wonder if the rear trim panel that's necessary for the CD changer is big enough to accomodate the XM receiver stuff? (Picture from Cowboy's website)

Kaz
09-17-2002, 10:20 AM
The changer panel gives you LOTS of room, especially if you also have the NAV/changer brackets installed. The amp gets relocated from under the glass to behind the jack, and if you're not gonna put a changer in, there is a 4x6x9 or so space without mods, or even bigger if you cut away parts of the bracket.

CD-55
09-18-2002, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by obLu
Snip

Then you plug the xm/sirius reciever to your aux input and then run the controller interface line all the way up front (hard part).

Tom, Clyde, & I already did that with his SR-1 install.:angel:

TD
09-18-2002, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by CD-55


Tom, Clyde, & I already did that with his SR-1 install.:angel:

Yup, doing mine will be cake.

Josh's won't be much harder than mine.

And, well, Hunter, yours will be easy as you don't have a car yet. :D

JST
09-18-2002, 01:34 PM
Originally posted by TD


Yup, doing mine will be cake.

Josh's won't be much harder than mine.

And, well, Hunter, yours will be easy as you don't have a car yet. :D

I think he should put it in his track car. Then he can be like that guy in Iron Eagle.

Ben Chou
09-18-2002, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by JST


I think he should put it in his track car. Then he can be like that guy in Iron Eagle.

Hunter should just start humming like Sly Stallone in Driven.

"When he is driving on the edge, he does this thing.....he just hums......."