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Old 04-18-2013, 01:41 AM
retiredat44 retiredat44 is offline
Location: Oregon
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 315
Mein Auto: BMW
Lightbulb investigated what is needed to add Bluetooth

investigated what is needed to add Bluetooth to my 2001 BMW 530i. What a pain in the wallet! It appears the TCU doesn't have the right electronic parts from this year, and to find one cost several hunder dollars. There are kits and instructions al over the Internet, but basically, I need to swap out my old style tcu (in the trunk) add a BlueTooth Antenna, and change the cable to the BT Antenna as the Gender of the plug is different size. The TCU is expensive as hell. But I suppose for soemone that absolutely needs it, they will pay.

I really would like a new in Dash unit with Navigation, BlueTooth, and the sterteo stuff, computer, GPS. etc.., but that too looks to be $1,000. Depends on which brand, etc,,

I spent several hour investigating whjat it takes in the DIY threads throughout the Internet. Since I bought my car used, I wasn't totally sure what was factory installed and what has been added or removed.

It appears, my 2001 BMW 530i has the M steering wheel which means the sport package (I hope i have the right, it's late and I am tired). The Stereo does not have DSP, nor Navigation, Voice, etc.. but has CDRom in the headunit, and a garage door button up top overhead by the place with a microphone, not sure if there is a microphone in there, I have not taken the panel off to look, but the buttons do program and work to open my garage door.

The center armrest does not have the phone sync button, and the wiring inside has the BlueTooth cable ready for a BlueTooth antenna. Though the car supposedly in those years, the antenna was usually mounted on the read deck behind the rear seats.

The only metal box, with cables and computer stuff in the trunk is the TCU, which ismounted in the rear trunk quaterpanel. I am not sure if it ever had the full 6 CDRom changer, but the panel looks like it is original, and doesn't have any cutout or different shape so it probably never had any more modules there. It was prewired for the phone, etc... as the little plastic tabs say in that area of the trunk.

I rea that early units are not worth messing with , and if I ever do add soem of that stuff, I found list of models that have the correct electronis inside, like the BlueTooth circuit board. But, it will cost an arm and a legg.. So I suppose just having any celular phone wil do. Although I did order a cheap android tablet and will install free software, maps, applications, etc... and load the goodies up and take with me if/when I drive around..

Unless someone knows cheaper ways of doing things,,, cheaper is not always better, but I am open to DIY's, as some are excellent. btw, oneof my deegrees is in electronics, and I understand it fairly well, because I did many years work with it. Althought I haven't worked in many, many years,, and no longer have access to lab equipent,, so I could probably not fix many circuit boards. So, I won't bother trying to fix broen stuff, unless it is just bad solder joints, besides, it appears many bad components are still used as traded in (with cash) for new units, and they are being repaired professionally because they are still in demand.

One last word, at this time we don't travel much, but I wouldn't mind a decent trip and having some nice electronics would be nice..

For now I am tempted to get a cheap stick on GPS..... also still using CDRoms kinda sucks I really would like to use Thumbdrives (USB stick with music, or any music device with USB), although our used BMW cam with a Dice unit for iPods, I don't have an iPod and found that even the broken ones aren't cheap. The Grom unit looks tempting. The wife has TracPhone, and I don't see a need to pay the high prices for a cell phone subscription. The Android Tablet I am picking up, maybe tomorrow.. has Wifi, and I can use the communication programs at HotSpots.

Gotta stop sepnding..... enough is enough....

Anyone with any ideas, I am open to listen.
BMW 2001 530i (E39)
No longer own a BMW, sold it.
(Family cars):
2014.5 Toyota Camry Hybrid
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