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Car Navigation, Audio & Electronics sponsored by BimmerTech
BMW navigation, audio upgrades, XM Radio, Sirius, Bluetooth, and Radar Detector discussions here!

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  #1  
Old 08-20-2004, 02:25 AM
descartes descartes is offline
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Location: NoVa
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: 2003 330I
Questions re XM Direct and CD Changer Install

I have a 2003 330I w/ pp and cwp and w/o nav. I have a few questions regarding XM Direct:

1) where is the best (read: cheapest) place to get it? I live in North Virginia but I am not opposed to ordering it over the internet.

2) does the kit include everything I need to install it?

3) I have never done any modifications to a car. How difficult will it be to install myself?

4) I read that some people mount the antenna on the rear passenger deck. I assume that is inside the car behind the rear headrest. Is that right? I would prefer to have it inside the car but am concerned about reception issues.

5) I also read that the XM Direct allows pass through for a cd changer. I am contemplating adding one while I am installing the XM. I found on Crutchfield the following Alpine changer w/ mp3: Apine CHA-S634- for $300- Is there a better price out there? If I install the XM, do I still need these two adaptors: Alpine KCA-130B
Female Ai-Net to Male M-Bus Adapter and Blitzsafe BMWDMX1 OEM CD Changer Adapter
that Crutchfield recommends?

Thanks in advance for all your help.
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2004, 09:25 AM
brybarrett brybarrett is offline
I'm a lurker
Location: Central Jersey
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 123
Mein Auto: Alpine White 328 on order
this is where I got mine.

http://www.myradiostore.us/bundles/c...ni-cooper.html
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  #3  
Old 09-08-2004, 10:12 AM
Terry Kennedy's Avatar
Terry Kennedy Terry Kennedy is offline
There and back again
Location: New York
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,602
Mein Auto: 2003 325xiT, 2006 Atom
Quote:
Originally Posted by descartes
I have a 2003 330I w/ pp and cwp and w/o nav. I have a few questions regarding XM Direct:

2) does the kit include everything I need to install it?
It contains all the components, cables, etc. (XM tuner, antenna, BlitzSafe adapter, instructions) but doesn't have any mounting hardware. The components are small, so you should be able to use some Velcro to stick them to your audio/NAV bracket.
Quote:
3) I have never done any modifications to a car. How difficult will it be to install myself?
Very easy. There are illustrated instructions. The hardest thing for most novices is finding the appropriate cables in the trunk - the CD changer cables are wrapped up in fuzzy tape, and there are a lot of cables back there. But there are good DIYs for CD changer installation to guide you in finding the right cables.
Quote:
5) I also read that the XM Direct allows pass through for a cd changer. I am contemplating adding one while I am installing the XM. I found on Crutchfield the following Alpine changer w/ mp3: Apine CHA-S634- for $300- Is there a better price out there? If I install the XM, do I still need these two adaptors: Alpine KCA-130B
Female Ai-Net to Male M-Bus Adapter and Blitzsafe BMWDMX1 OEM CD Changer Adapter
that Crutchfield recommends?
The XM Direct changer pass-through just sends the regular BMW changer signals through. If you want to use a non-BMW changer, you'll still need whatever adapters and cables are needed, just as though you were hooking that changer up to a BMW without XM Direct. You should be able to find a used BMW changer though, which will cut down on the number of cables and adapters back there.
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  #4  
Old 09-09-2004, 07:16 AM
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Mark_325i Mark_325i is offline
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Location: New York
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 556
Mein Auto: '03 325i, '88 325iC
I purchased my XMDirect kit from BMW of Fairfax (should be in your Northern VA neighborhood) for $249. Very easy install. Directions for installation are packed with the unit and they are very straightforward.
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  #5  
Old 09-09-2004, 08:05 AM
descartes descartes is offline
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Location: NoVa
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: 2003 330I
thanks for all the responses. I actually bought the xm direct from Fairfax and did the install. Pretty straightforward as others said. I kind of stuffed it all in the trunk compartment when I was done. Since I am planning on getting a cd changer later, I will wait until then to clean it all up. I actually ran the antenna through the trunk (fold down seats) into the passenger area and velcroed it to the shelf by the back windshield. Reception is fine with only ocassional cut outs when under tunnels and surrounded by trees.

One question, is there anyway for the headunit to automatically display the artist and title without having to push the "inf" button each time? Right now, I have to push the inf button once for the artist and once again for the song name. Alternatively, is there a way to access the information from the steering wheel controls? Thanks again.
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  #6  
Old 09-09-2004, 12:11 PM
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Mark_325i Mark_325i is offline
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Location: New York
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 556
Mein Auto: '03 325i, '88 325iC
Quote:
is there anyway for the headunit to automatically display the artist and title without having to push the "inf" button each time?
No. Read the instructions that came with the XMDirect. They say that the scrolling of info is not available.

BTW, why does everyone think that they know better than the engineers at XM and Sirius? Both recommend the antenna be placed outside the car. The little XM antenna fits nicely on the trunk lid, and the thin wire runs right through a grommet in the trunk area and down into the unit. I did this -- certainly it was easier than snaking the wire into the car and around the seat -- and the only time I get a droput is when I drive through a tunnel or the deep mountain valleys in VT. But, I still read over and over agian that people mount the antenna behind the back seat. What is the advantage?
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2004, 11:15 PM
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TLudwig TLudwig is offline
Stuck in Monday
Location: Houston, TX
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,767
Mein Auto: 2009 M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_325i
No. Read the instructions that came with the XMDirect. They say that the scrolling of info is not available.

BTW, why does everyone think that they know better than the engineers at XM and Sirius? Both recommend the antenna be placed outside the car. The little XM antenna fits nicely on the trunk lid, and the thin wire runs right through a grommet in the trunk area and down into the unit. I did this -- certainly it was easier than snaking the wire into the car and around the seat -- and the only time I get a droput is when I drive through a tunnel or the deep mountain valleys in VT. But, I still read over and over agian that people mount the antenna behind the back seat. What is the advantage?
I put my antenna on the rear package shelf and dropped the wire straight into the trunk. It couldn't have been any easier. There was definitely no "snaking" of the wire. It is a VERY clean looking install, much better than on the trunk lid IMO. My reception is perfectly fine, even in the back corner of my large parking garage. No tunnels here, but going under large overpasses does not affect my reception at all. I also don't have to worry about anything happening to it sitting outside on the trunk. Call me crazy, but I honestly don't know if i would have done XM radio if I had to mount the antenna outside.

I could see problems and complaints arising from consumers in areas without as good reception, where optimal placement is key. I could also see complaints coming from owners who have metallic tint on their windows, which interferes with the reception. These kinds of considerations could easily lead to a broad recommendation for everyone to put their antenna outside.
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