PDA

View Full Version : New Radio / Music Keg


siciliano
10-10-2003, 11:08 AM
I have a 2001 330i with the wood trim package. The radio I have is the BMW Business CD (don't know the serial number / software version...).

Here is the background story on my ordeal with the Music Keg and getting a new deck - a call for help from my fellow Bimmer owners out there.

I went to Best Buy and talked to the guy in the car audio section. They had a sale and a special, so I was interested in a Music Keg, a Kenwood Deck (KDC-MP522 ) and a free Sirus tuner. Long story short, it was more expensive then I cared to pay, so I opted for the Music Keg only.

The guy sent me back to the installation shop and the installer there told me that I would never be able to install another deck in my 2001 330i without cutom dash work - and that there is no way for the music keg to work without rewiring the car. I had a feeling that the installer was full of crap, so I started doing some research...

Soundgate makes (made) a part called the "Soundgate KBMWSIRV2 BMW to Kenwood Music Keg Dual Purpose Interface". This is supposed to fix the problem! WRONG. I called Soundgate and the company that made this for them went out of business. They are supposedly making a new one, but it will be a few months.

I called around and searched the internet trying to find one of these, but they are inpossible to find. If ANYONE out there knows where I can get one - or has one to sell - PLEASE let me know.

My second option is to get a new Kenwood deck... The guys at Best Buy are telling me that they might have to rewire things and that the steering wheel controls won't work after. They also say that they would have to make create a install kit for the deck...

Is any of this true? I find it hard to believe that people who own BMWs never change out their decks...

What do you recommend? I really like the digital music option that the Music Keg offers. Phatnoise.com makes a BMW-specific "Phatbox" (Kenwoods gets the MK from Phatnoise), but its $800+... I might just go that route...

Anyone out there who has installed the Music Keg or the Phatbox, please let me know what I need to do.

Thanks

Tony
tsicilia@tampabay.rr.com

flashinthepan
10-10-2003, 11:34 AM
Heya Tony,

I am taking in my Bimmer to see what interface is needed to work with the Factory HK system, the audio shop would like to see the connections, if I get a part # or answer I will share it with you !!

·clyde·
10-10-2003, 11:44 AM
The Music Keg is a PhatBox branded by Kenwood running special firmware. AFAIK, the Kegs can only be controlled by certain Kenwood headunits.

You can use the BMW firmware on a Keg to make it compatible with the BMW headunit, but you would still need a special Blitzsafe adapter to make it work. The last I checked, the only place you can get that addapter is from PhatNoise, and they will only sell one to you if you own a "real" PhatBox.

It's been quite a while since I was following developments, but at one point (over a year ago) there was an effort to alter a regular Blitzsafe adapter to make a Keg work with a BMW headunit. At the time, PhatNoise was not selling new PhatBoxes. When they started selling them again, interest dried up because there was no more need to buy a Keg for use with a stock BMW headunit. IIRC, the only change that was needed had something to do with the voltage being passed through the adapter.

You might be able to find more information at PhatNoise's forums.

Terry Kennedy
10-10-2003, 12:21 PM
It's been quite a while since I was following developments, but at one point (over a year ago) there was an effort to alter a regular Blitzsafe adapter to make a Keg work with a BMW headunit. At the time, PhatNoise was not selling new PhatBoxes. When they started selling them again, interest dried up because there was no more need to buy a Keg for use with a stock BMW headunit. IIRC, the only change that was needed had something to do with the voltage being passed through the adapter.

You might be able to find more information at PhatNoise's forums.I have a PhatBox, develop software (http://www.tmk.com/PhatVoice) for it, and have more than a passing familiarity with the subject :D

Note that the BMW edition PhatBox is available from PhatNoise these days, though it costs more than the Keg.

You should be able to make a regular Blitzsafe adapter work by opening it and looking for a jumper labeled "5/12". It should be connected to the "12" side - cut that trace and solder a wire between the center and the "5" side. It may be a bit slower to respond to commands (the stock Blitzsafe has a delay built in). I don't know offhand if you need a special cable or if the generic Blitzsafe comes with the right one.

You can certainly ask on the PhatNoise forums. Personally, I think it'd be rather impolite to ask about converting a Keg to a BMW PhatBox equivalent there, since it'd be costing them a sale.

·clyde·
10-10-2003, 12:34 PM
You should be able to make a regular Blitzsafe adapter work by opening it and looking for a jumper labeled "5/12". It should be connected to the "12" side - cut that trace and solder a wire between the center and the "5" side. It may be a bit slower to respond to commands (the stock Blitzsafe has a delay built in). I don't know offhand if you need a special cable or if the generic Blitzsafe comes with the right one.

Time has certainly dulled my recollections, but my recollection is that it wasn't that easy...or that no one was willing to fry a Keg to find out if it worked.

You can certainly ask on the PhatNoise forums. Personally, I think it'd be rather impolite to ask about converting a Keg to a BMW PhatBox equivalent there, since it'd be costing them a sale.

They still make their money from Kenwood's license (depending what the terms are). I know that there was a fair amount of discussion about it on their old forum (http://www.phatnoise.com/phorum/) (and there were a number of links to other places). Not sure if the current forum (http://www.phatnoise.com/forum/index.php) has much info.

At the very least, siciliano can lay out his situation there as he did here and see what kind of response/help that elicits.

siciliano
10-10-2003, 01:31 PM
At the very least, siciliano can lay out his situation there as he did here and see what kind of response/help that elicits.

Thanks all - This is the most help I've gotten on this.
I'll let you all know what I find out.

Terry Kennedy
10-10-2003, 01:43 PM
Time has certainly dulled my recollections, but my recollection is that it wasn't that easy...or that no one was willing to fry a Keg to find out if it worked.Well, I've had a Keg (KHD-C710, to be specfic) hooked up in my BMW*, but using the PhatNoise-supplied Blitzsafe adapter and cable. So there isn't anything preventing you from hooking up a Keg in that respect. I've never had the need / urge to try a generic Blitzsafe.

* Note: you do need to have the BMW firmware loaded on it, which you can do from the PhatNoise Music Manager software.

flashinthepan
10-10-2003, 03:40 PM
Terry,

Does the keg work pretty well with the HK head unit now that you have had it hooked up for a while ??

I dont mind paying for the proper adapter etc... just wondering how you think it all works, once hooked up ??

siciliano
10-10-2003, 04:36 PM
Well, I've had a Keg (KHD-C710, to be specfic) hooked up in my BMW*, but using the PhatNoise-supplied Blitzsafe adapter and cable. So there isn't anything preventing you from hooking up a Keg in that respect. I've never had the need / urge to try a generic Blitzsafe.

* Note: you do need to have the BMW firmware loaded on it, which you can do from the PhatNoise Music Manager software.

Terry - What is the P/N for the Blitzsafe adapter and cable? I've looked on the Phatnoise and Blitzsafe websites, and I don't see it anywhere.

This is the best news I've had all week!!!

Terry Kennedy
10-10-2003, 05:26 PM
Terry - What is the P/N for the Blitzsafe adapter and cable? I've looked on the Phatnoise and Blitzsafe websites, and I don't see it anywhere.

This is the best news I've had all week!!!They don't sell the Phatbox version of the adapter. I should clarify my previous post - I have a Phatbox in my car, with the Blitzsafe adapter and cable that PhatNoise shipped with it. That's my regular car setup. For an unrelated purpose, I was testing using a Keg in the car, but with the PhatNoise Blitzsafe adapter and cable.

As I said earlier, I think you can use a regular Blitzsafe if you make the 5/12 jumper change. But you still need the cable that connects the Phatbox/Keg to the Blitzsafe.

Terry Kennedy
10-10-2003, 05:30 PM
Does the keg work pretty well with the HK head unit now that you have had it hooked up for a while ??

I dont mind paying for the proper adapter etc... just wondering how you think it all works, once hooked up ??I have the PhatBox in the car - see http://www.tmk.com/bmw and I like it. I thought the voice interface and using the CD changer buttons might be a bit clunky, but I got used to it rapidly. I like it enough that I (and others) developed PhatVoice (http://www.tmk.com/PhatVoice) to provide speech announcements for song titles (the standard PhatBox only announces Artist / Album / Playlist / Genre) as well as supporting pronunciation hints for things the PhatBox can't pronounce. The PhatVoice URL above has a link to the speech for the 2000 or so CDs I have in the car PhatBox (spread across 3 60GB cartridges - about 800 CDs per cartridge).

flashinthepan
10-10-2003, 07:32 PM
Nice !!

Very nice !!! :thumbup:

siciliano
10-14-2003, 09:01 AM
Update on my project...

I decided to go with the Kenwood solution and hunt down a Kenwood KCA-RC170FM FM Modulator / Controller. HA! - easier said than done. I finally found one at Circuit City. It was the last one in the store and it was the demo model on the wall... in fact, it wasn't even out on the floor. They gave it to me for just about nothing and I had them install the M/K and RC170.

I had the controller run into the small compartment (with the flip door) just below the climate control. the controller is just as tall as the compartment is, so i can wedge it upright and it looks like it was installed! After tuning my radio to 88.3 FM, I was able to scan through the 15 virtual discs of music that I downloaded to the DMS cartridge.

AWESOME! It sounds great and is a great addition to my new bimmer. It was cost effective as well... Music keg, FM modulator, installation = $400. PhatBox BMW-compatable player, installation = $1000.

ALSO - is anyone is interested, Best Buy is selling the Music Keg for $499, and Circuit City is selling it for $249. Now, after the price match + 10% program, I have $300 back to spend on a subwoofer!

Can anyone recommend a great subwoofer for the E46 4-door?

Tony