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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-07-2010, 03:46 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
DIY DICE Silverline radio mount - business CD, non DSP, non Nav, non changer, no tape

I referred this "DICE Silverline radio mount" DIY to someone today and had to dig through to the 1819th' post in the epic DICE Silverline thread to find this; so I figured I'd make it easier next time by pulling it out into its own thread.
--------------------
See also cn90 "In Dash CD Player+ DICE Install Write-up"
--------------------
My DIY to install the latest DICE Silverline kit
(2002, BMW, 525i, radio mount, Business CD, no DSP, no Nav, no CD changer, no tapedeck, no Sirius stellite radio, no bluetooth phone)

Time: It took me half a day but it should take you (with these instructions) and hour or two at most.
iPod: You can identify your iPod at this web site.

Note the instructions that came with the unit are for trunk mounts, and most on the net are also trunk mounts.
Even those DIYs on the net for radio mount have very different connectors so, that's why this DIY was needed.
As a start, you can follow Tom's suggested X5 instructions for the radio part of the DIY but the connectors were different than mine.
As far as I can find, no exact instructions yet posted on the net have the same configuration as my Blue B, but many were close.
Unfortunately, I had to guess which connectors to leave and which to swap out but I must've guessed right 'cuz it worked!
Note: These steps have been cleaned up by removing the multiple dead ends, wrong turns, & u-turns I actually made.

Preparation:
- Order the latest radio mount DICE integration kit from Tom (see Tom's note about USB charging).
- This kit handles both the old (12v) and the new (5v, 500ma, USB) iPods (released in September 2008).
- Optionally buy a 1/8" 18-inch length mini-stereo-jack AUX extension cable (some suggested Radio Shack).
- Read as many instructions as you can & watch the many videos listed in this posting .
- None (except this one) pertain exactly to my configuration so consider yourself lucky if you found this.
- Clean out the glove box (some instructions recommend removing the glovebox door, but I left it in place).
- Some DIYs recommend recording radio-theft codes (if any), but I don't know what mine is (if it even exists).
- Some DIYs recommend saving radio-preset-button frequencies (I didn't bother; luckily my presets were preserved).

Tools:
- Despite what other instructions say, I didn't need philips or torx screwdrivers.
- I only needed a 1.5 mm allen wrench & a 2 mm allen wrench & a 10 mm box wrench.
- You'll probably want a flashlight also (to find locations for routing wires).

Caveats:
- The DICE will only charge an iPod that can "communicate" with it; so you must have "some charge" in the iPod. From a practical standpoint, in my case, that means I had to buy an external iPod charger anyway even though I only need it for a minute or two until the iPod is charged enough to "communicate" with the DICE.
- The DICE will often "lock up" in ATTACHED mode under a variety of situations, most often after the iPod falls 'asleep'; the reputed 'keep awake' alarms never worked for me; the only solution is a full-battery reboot which I've had to do far far far too many times.
- The DICE has quite a few other "lockup" modes; so don't hot swap; don't change songs too often; and take it out of the car every night. Since, from a practical standpoint, the DICE supported use model is to be taken out of the car nightly, you really want to put the DICE connector in a more convenient spot than the glove box.
- The instructions that came with my DICE said not to put the DICE under the radio; but the cords that came with it negated any other place than under the radio; and Tom says to put it under the radio; so, go figure. The fact that it's in a hard-to-reach spot coupled with the DICE's propensity to lock up, means you can only "reboot" it with a full-battery reboot (which is a royal PITA to have to do weekly). In practice, I reboot the battery about once a month and leave the DICE in ATTACHED mode for about half that time as invariably it locks up within a week or two of using it.

Disconnect the battery:
- Open the trunk (you may wish to leave it open after disconnecting battery cables).
- With a 10 mm box or socket wrench, remove both battery cables, negative first.
- Most instructions say "touch them together" but mine didn't reach each other.
- Touch the positive cable to a ground strap for five seconds (a quick spark would be normal).

Remove the MID unit:
- Cover the gear-shift knob with a soft towel to protect it and the equipment you're removing.
- With your fingers, pull the Multi-Information Display (MID) knob straight out & off.
- With a flashlight, locate the allen-head set screw at the 6 o'clock position just below serrated post.
- Insert a 1.5 mm Allen hex-head wrench & twist 90 degrees counterclockwise to retract the MID lock pin.
- With your hands, using light force, pull the MID unit straight out away from the dashboard.
- Disconnect the MID data-input cable (press the fancy Molex-connector lever & flip it's handle 90 degrees).
- Place the MID unit in a safe place (e.g., on a towel strategically placed across the back seat).

Remove the Business CD & radio combination unit:
- Twist the two 2 mm allen head clamp-adjust screws under the Business CD just until they spin freely.
- With your hands, using light force, pull the Business CD straight out away from the dash.
- Unclip the small black radio aerial connector by depressing the raised ridge with your fingers and pulling straight out.
- Unclip the very large radio-cable harness by depressing a small tab inside the black lever then opening the lever upwards.
- Pull the radio-cable harness connector straight out, away from the Business CD unit.
- Place the radio in a safe place (e.g., on a towel placed across the back seat).

Configure the DICE unit:
- On the DICE control box, locate the "Car switch" dual-inline-package (DIP) switches (two tiny white levers).
- Set both to the "off" position (toward the colored DICE Electronics logo, away from the black-and-white labeling).
- On the DICE, locate the "IPod switch" dual-inline-package (DIP) switches (two tiny white levers).
- Set both to the "off" position (toward the colored DICE Electronics logo, away from the black-and-white labeling).
Note: The definition of these settings was the only place where the installation manual shipped with the DICE was actually useful.
... ...
At this point the referenced X5 DICE installation instructions both become a lifesaver & become less useful.
They're less useful because the physical parts are different (e.g., there is no need to remove a climate control unit).
But, they're a lifesaver because they show the critical stop of swapping out the black bluetooth molex connector!
...
BTW, the otherwise excellent Gunsmoke instructions are too old (and, again, the wiring is too different from mine.)
Likewise with "InCarIpod" instructions (less old, less different, but different connectors and procedures nonetheless)
It's the same with the "BMW installation instructions supplement", which, like most, only covers the trunk-mount method.
...
Even after all the research, I was basically on my own at this major point as to the choice of wiring connectors.
- Given there were at least two approaches, I didn't know which to take.
- The one approach would be to simply splice the DICE cable into the radio harness, without swapping any of the original connectors.
- The other approach would be to swap some or all of the likely molex sub assemblies, and then splice the DICE cable into the radio harness.
- I opted to swap only the one black molex "bluetooth" connector from the old harness connector to the new DICE harness connector.
...
You just have to guess what connects to what based on your intuition.
- I guessed. It worked. I wrote up the guesswork below. The fact that the iPod works fine, indicates I guessed right.
- Be advised, I had to try multiple things, most of which didn't work, and twice and to take it all back apart & redo.
- Below are only the direct-route idealized instructions (i.e., as if I had been a genius and had done it right the first time).

... ...

Route wires from the glovebox to the radio:
- Wedge a flashlight in the glovebox pointing to port, toward the radio mounting.
- Look through the large rectangular opening where the radio was to see the light from the flashlight behind various & sundry items.
- Basically that flashlight shines along the very convoluted path you're going to route the iPod & Aux wires through.
- Pick up the blue end of the DICE IPod connection cable (do not hook it to the DICE controller just yet).
- The direction to thread that blue end is important; start at the glovebox working toward the radio (not the other way around).
- Begin right behind the glovebox support arm and thread the blue end of the DICE cable into the radio compartment.
- It turned out to be easiest for me to angle the DICE cable blue end to port a bit and then to the stern (my little hands help).
- Finally route the blue end of the iPod docking cable through the larger top radio hole grabbing the blue end with your other hand.
- Leave the blue 8-pin DIN DICE iPod round connector dangling out the radio hole for the time being.
- If you're routing an AUX cable, follow the same path and directions as for the iPod cable (I didn't 'cuz it's inconvenient to switch anyway).
- You're supposed to secure connections with cable ties but I didn't 'cuz it took three tries alone to get this right & I didn't know when if was done).

Swap out just one of the multiple Molex connectors:
- At this point, if you already know what do do, it's very simple (it took me multiple guesses and tries but why explain that here).
- Don't even bother with the printed instructions that came with the DICE unit as they don't even resemble your harness connectors.
- First, you must realize the DICE cabling is an "almost" duplicate of the male:female radio-cable harness connector.
- Comparing them, side by side, notice there is an additional black Molex connector in the original radio-cable harness connector.
- Later, I found out from Tom this is the "bluetooth" connector and the X5 instructions Tom referred me to clearly say to swap it out.
- Remove just that one black bluetooth Molex connector from the original to swap it into the DICE harness connector.
- That's it! This was the most complex step for me (should I do it or not was my dilemma). I'll make it easy for you. Swap it out!

Splice into the main radio-harness wiring:
- At this point, as they say, the rest is simple and intuitive (so, who needs instructions!).
- First, plug in your now-modified large squarish DICE radio-cable harness connector to the back of the radio.
- Plug the other (almost empty) end of the DICE radio-cable harness connector to the original radio-cable harness connector.
- Be very careful not to allow the individual thin blade pin connectors to push back out (as they did on me a couple of times).
- Snap all Molex connector saddle straps down (these Germans sure know how to make a tight connection).

Finish the DICE wiring:
- Now that the radio harness is spliced, it's time to hook up the other two cables to the DICE controller unit.
- Route all wires through the larger (top) radio hole (not the smaller bottom MID hole).
- Connect the blue DIN 8-pin round DICE "IPod docking cable" connector to the DICE "IPod" port.
- Connect the black Molex 12-pin rectangular DICE "vehicle specific connector" to the DICE "Vehicle" port.
- Place the now-wired DICE control unit below the MID, lying flat, shiny logo up, below the waterline of the MID opening.
- Juggle the now-large newly-spliced radio harness cabling & huge molex connectors so as to be out of the way of the radio.
- If necessary, cut the tie wrap around the loops of the DICE cable in order to juggle the wiring to fit the radio.
(I'm not sure what that DICE tie wrap was originally there for but I needed the jiggle room so I had to cut it off.)

Finish the radio wiring & reassembly:
- Connect the radio antenna onto the back of the combination Business CD & radio unit.
- Now is a good time to dangle the MID connector out the lower MID hole so you have it handy for later (lesson learned).
- Push the radio unit back into the dashboard taking care not to pinch the DICE splice harness connectors.
- Twist the two 2 mm allen bolt lock screws under the Business CD until they are both tight.

Finish the MID wiring & reassembly:
- Check that the 1.5 mm Allen hex-head lock pin is still retracted before placing the MID unit back in the dash (lesson learned).
- Connect the previously dangled MID connector to the back of the MID unit & snap down the lock bar.
- Push the MID unit back into the dashboard taking care to slide above the DICE unit stored below the MID.
- Insert a 1.5 mm Allen hex-head wrench & twist 90 degrees clockwise to push out the lock pin (which works like a laptop cablelock does).
- Replace the volume control knob on the MID unit.

Reconnecting the battery:
- If necessary, use the BMW key to manually open the trunk compartment ('cuz it didn't open electrically for me).
- Instructions say touch the battery cables together (but mine didn't fit so short the positive to the battery strap instead).
- With a 10mm socket or box wrench, reconnect the battery cables, positive first.
- Sit inside the cockpit for a few minutes admiring your work and doing a nose/eye/ear smoke test of the connections.

Connecting the iPod:

- Most instructions say to reboot the iPod by pressing on MENU & CENTER buttons or MENU & SELECT for five seconds.
- Of course, that won't work for the iPod touch that I had, so I borrowed an iPod nano just to be sure.
- For the iPod touch, you might try Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings (is a reset really needed?).
- Before connecting the iPod to the DICE, some instructions say to set the iPod to "Shuffle" so that random (RND) works on the DICE.
- Open the glovebox and connect the flat thin DICE iPod connector to the iPod (this is the fun'nest step of all ... no poof... no smoke ... no smell.)
- Whew! Breathe easily. You guessed right. Or at least you didn't guess very wrongly. You hope.

Using the iPod:
- Unfortunately, you can not operate the iPod from the iPod itself; all operation will be thru the BMW radio & steering wheel controls.
- Be patient, instructions say the iPod may cycle through a set of screens while it initializes in the DICE mode (I went inside for some tea).
- So just wait at least 10 seconds to a minute or more before making any selection or changes (it was ready for me when I came back).
- Bear in mind the iPod will not charge unless the key is turned to at least the accessory (Acc) position (lesson learned).
- Turn on your radio and press "Mode" to select the CD mode.
- To step through songs, press the radio ">" or "<" buttons.
- Or press the steering wheel "<" or ">" buttons to scroll through songs.
- Even though you do not have a CD changer, the DICE acts as a CD changer so you'll see new (to you) words on your radio (e.g., "CD 1-01").
- One by one, select CD 1-01, CD 1-02, CD 2-01, etc. to see how each button changes the DICE operation.
- Watch the instrument cluster display go from "PLAYLIST: IP" to "ARTIST: ALL" to "ALBUM: ALL A" to "SEL: IPOD" to "SOFTWARE VER", etc.
- Notice the MP3 ID3 tags display in the instrument cluster (either ID3v1 or ID3v2, I'm not sure because all my songs have both tags).

Recommendations for setting up the iPod:
- Check your iPod firmware http://support.diceelectronics.com & compare against the manual supplied by DICE.
- The manual I had didn't seem to have the latest-generation I had so you really need to play it by ear (Tom says they all work now).
- Most people don't realize iTunes software (currently at subversion 8.0.1.11) is only required to initially set up your iPod.
- Personally, I recommend Windows users consider deleting iTunes immediately after initializing a new iPod (reasons too numerous & OT to list).
- I also recommend Windows SharePod freeware to manage your songs (for all iPods except the iPhone & iPod touch which don't act as disks). Below you will see agent15 recommends
MediaMonkey which does the same thing but also rips songs off of a Redbook CDROM. Either way, neither of us recommends iTunes for a variety of reasons.
- With SharePod, you simply slide any desired song on or off your iPod from or to any Windows PC without any hassle or fuss.
- I also recommend you strive to MP3 ID3 tag all your songs (both ID3v1 & ID3v2) for consistency (plenty of free software exists for that).
- This way, your instrument cluster display will be more meaningful to you because the meta data is what is displayed (not the file name of the song).

Registering your DICE unit:
- You're supposed to register your Dice at htp://www.diceelectronics.com/register (I'm not sure what that buys you though).
- You're supposed to post your experiences here on Bimmerfest (that doesn't help you as much as it helps the next installer).

SUMMARY:
Caveat emptor ... ASK specific questions ... only then do you get the "full" answer ... e.g.,
Q: Does it charge my iPod?
A: Yes. Of course.

Q: Does it charge a dead iPod?
A: No. Sorry. The iPod must have enough charge to "communicate" with the DICE before it will charge it.


Q: Do you have installation instructions?
A: Sure.

Q: Do you have installation instructions for my car?
A: No. Sorry. We only supply trunk-mount instructions with the iPod. We can refer you to "similar" car instructions that someone wrote on the net but the connectors are all different than in your car.




Last edited by bluebee; 09-07-2010 at 07:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-07-2010, 03:56 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22,028
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
To keep things together, here is the related printout (from this thread) you can keep in your visor for your bewildered passenger who wishes to operate the DICE w/o a prior training class.
----------
Printable instructions for operating the DICE Silverline iPod adapter (in a BMW E39)

The DICE Silverline iPod adapter is a bit non-intuitive to use and by some accounts, does not come with sufficient user instructions for use in the E39...

This is an attempt to create a dedicated thread to improve these single-sheet printable instructions that we keep tucked away in our passenger's sun visor.

This is the third revision (improving upon the first and second revs) so we can more easily update the use-model instructions as needed.

Please add other desired tasks as needed.

DISPLAY:
(6)(>CD-04)(1) Displays song information on the MID
(6)(>CD-03)(1) Displays song information on the Cluster

INPUT:
(5)(>CD-01)(1) Sets the input source to iPod
(5)(>CD-02)(1) Sets the input source to Aux

SONG: Set the Dice Silverline to Song mode
(6)(1)(>) Scroll thru the songs until you find the one you want
(1) Lock in the desired song and remap the arrow button to ...
(>) Scroll thru the thousands of songs on your iPod touch

PLAYLIST: Set the Dice Silverline to Playlist mode
(6)(2)(>) Scroll thru the playlists until you find the one you want
(1) Lock in the desired playlist and remap the arrow button to ...
(>) Scroll thru the songs within that selected playlist

ARTIST: Set the Dice Silverline to Artist mode
(6)(3)(>) Scroll thru the artists until you find the one you want
(1) Lock in the desired artist and remap the arrow button to ...
(>) Scroll thru the songs within that selected artist

ALBUM: Set the Dice Silverline to Album mode
(6)(4)(>) Scroll thru the albums until you find the one you want
(1) Lock in the desired album and remap the arrow button to ...
(>) Scroll thru the songs within that selected album

SUPPORT:
First register at http://register.diceelectronics.com
Then call DICE Electronics Technical Support at 888-342-3999 x2,x1
Or, if you bought from Tom at EAS, talk to him at
866-669-0705 x22

Note 0: This chart assumes a DICE Silverline radio mount
in a 2002 E39 with BMW Business CD, no nav, no dsp, with both Dice DIP switches UP. The command key is that (#) is a MID button; (>CD-##) is a press of the arrow (either steering wheel or MID) when it selects the CD number; and (>) is just a press of that arrow (either steering wheel or MID) when it is mapped to select the track. [This is hard to describe so see the attached photo for clarification.]

Caution 0: DICE SLEEPAPNEA; When the iPod goes into Hibernation or DeepSleep (depending on the model) while attached to the DICE cable, and then the DICE is subsequently restarted while the iPod is still attached, the DICE is known to sometimes (but not always) freeze, permanently displaying "ATTACHED" on your text display (whether or not the iPod is subsequently attached or removed or reattached, etc.). When that happens, the only known solution is a full battery reset procedure (although DICE support says detaching the power to the DICE may also sometimes work, others disagree. YMMV.)

Caution 1: Some reputed triggers for DICE ATTACHED freezes are only suspected:
- GOLDILOCKS: If your iPod battery is not too low nor high enough, it is suspected it can cause the DICE to go into ATTACHED freeze mode.
- HOTSWAP: It is reputed if you hot swap two iPods too quickly, it appears the DICE can possibly enter the permanent freeze ATTACHED mode.
- ITCHYFINGERS: If you give the DICE too many commands in too short a time, it is suspected that also might cause the DICE to get confused.

WARNING: Once frozen, the DICE will permanently output "ATTACHED" on your text display and will not play anything until you perform a full battery reset procedure.

WORKAROUND: If you plan to hotswap, goldilock, or itchyfinger the DICE, it has been recommended you might forestall ATTACHED freezing by periodically turning off the car for 30 seconds or at least cycling through the "MODE" button on your E39 radio to reset the DICE between interactions.

Recommendation 0: Keep a portable iPod charger in your vehicle. You must keep an additional portable iPod charger in your vehicle if you wish to have songs on tap at all times. This portable iPod charger is needed even if the DICE charges the iPod because the DICE will not charge an iPod whose battery is sufficiently low as to not boot the iPod sufficiently for the DICE to communicate with the iPod to charge it. This portable iPod charger is only needed for about 5 or 10 minutes; after that, the iPod is sufficiently charged to boot and the DICE can take over the charging action. This portable iPod charger can be a PC with a standard iPod USB cable or a 12-volt iPod charger adapter or a 120v iPod charging unit connected to a 12v-to-120v inverter.

Note 1: A full battery reset procedure is as follows:

1. Disconnect the iPod from the DICE interface cable
2. Remove the negative battery cable with a 10mm socket wrench
3. Remove the positive battery cable with a 10mm socket wrench
4. Touch battery cable terminals together (away from battery) for about 5 seconds (a small spark is normal as this is stored power draining from the system); on the E39, short with your wrench because the cables do not reach each other otherwise.
5. Allow cables to remain disconnected for about 5-7 minutes
6. Reconnect the positive battery cable
7. Reconnect the negative battery cable
8. Reboot most iPods by pressing on MENU & CENTER buttons for about 5 seconds and then reconnecting to the DICE cable after the reboot process is completed. Reboot of iPod touch & iPhone, which don't have buttons, is a different procedure (please advise so we can write that here for others).


Note 2: Charging: Older iPods charged with 12volts while the newer iPods (after 9/2008) use 5v. If you have a black connector at the DICE end, it will only charge the older 12v iPods; you'll need a new cable to handle newer iPods. If you have the latest green connector (after about January of 2009) it will charge both the older 12v and the newer 5v iPods and it will work on most DICE units retroactively. The blue connector, which is what I have, was apparently a temporary interim DICE that came out late in 2008 but it also charges both 12v & 5v iPods.

Note 3: Inputs: The DICE has two input cable choices: iPod or Aux. Most people use the iPod input. The DICE comes with the iPod input cable but not with an Aux input cable. Both cables can be installed since they each have a separate input on the DICE unit. Suggested Aux cable is 1/8th stereo plug, male to male; but other options exist (e.g., RCA phono plugs, male-to female, etc.). For the radio mount, at least 4 feet is the suggested length for the AUX cable as 3 feet barely makes it to the center console.

Note 4: Control: To put the DICE into Simple UI mode (i.e., to control songs from the iPod UI but without any text display on the MID or cluster) disconnect the battery and then set both DICE DIP switches to the DOWN position; then reconnect the battery.

Note 5: Installation: Most people place the DICE in the trunk or under the MID. Only trunk-mount instructions come with the DICE; however trunk mounts are known to sometimes suffer from electromagnetic interference. Radio mounts are not known to suffer from EMI. Both are easy afternoon DIYs (if you have instructions). For radio mounts, you need to review the installation instructions on the web for your make/model BMW. There were no known radio-mount instructions for my simple E39 radio mount so I wrote them up separately. The only tools I required were two allen wrenches (1.5 mm and 2.0 mm) and a flashlight (to see where to snake the wires from the MID to the glovebox). To remove the MID, remove the volume knob & twist the set screw at the 6-o-clock position under the volume knob 90 degrees counter-clockwise with the 1.5mm allen wrench. To remove the BMW Business CD, loosen the two 2.0 mm set screws which are only visible after you remove the MID. Both units pull out by hand.

Recommendation:
Print these instructions and place a folded copy in your passenger sun visor for passenger reference.



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  #3  
Old 09-07-2010, 04:05 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22,028
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
While the DICE plays wonderfully, it isn't without it's "issues", so, if you're contemplating the DICE, you MUST, for your own sake, read up on the gotchas (which won't be accurately told you to unless you ask directly - ask me how I know that).
----------
0. Here's the summary of E39 users experience with the DICE Silverline:
- Questions for e39 DICE Silverline users ( 1 2 3) by Fudman

1. For the epic DICE thread, go here:
Official DICE iPod integration kit Q/A thread ( 1 2 3 4 5 ... Last Page) by tom @ eas

2. For the epic DICE Silverline thread, go here:
Official DICE SILVERLINE iPod Integration Kit Q/A Thread ( 1 2 3 4 5 ... Last Page) by tom @ eas

3. I'm not sure where the epic DICE Silverline Pro thread would be ...


Last edited by bluebee; 09-07-2010 at 04:11 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-07-2010, 05:09 PM
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agent15 agent15 is offline
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Location: Tennessee
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Mein Auto: 87 325is, 02 530i Sport
Bluebee, I really like the fact that you try to put all this data into easy-to-digest and easily findable summary threads, but I have a few differences in experience to share about this one.

Those installation instructions seem overly complicated. When I bought my E39 the PO had purchased a Dice unit but it was not connected (his dealer suggested it was to blame for the car's slow dissipation of battery charge; he would leave the car sitting for several days at time for job-related travel). Anyway...

The unit itself is/was located behind the rear seat fold-down armrest; separating the velcro at the top of the leather flap behind that revealed the Dice unit. The business end of the iPod cable is/was run underneath the rear seat and between the center "hump" and the right side of the driver's seat. Wiring it up, for me anyway, was as simple as confirming the dipswitch settings, disconnecting the battery's positive terminal, plugging in the two harnesses to the CD changer controls, hooking the battery back up then attaching the iPod. I turned on the car, selected disc 6 track 3 (once) to select cluster display, then disc 5 track 1 (once) to select the iPod as the input source. Now all I have to do after I start the car is select the CD changer source on the MID (if it's not already) then select the appropriate disc for album, artist, playlist or song (disc numbers 4, 3, 2 and 1 respectively). It appears from the instructions above that disc 6 must be selected each time and that's not been my experience.

You also forgot to mention MediaMonkey, which in another recent thread on this same subject I recommended as the best of the iTunes alternative apps for advanced PC users.

As always, the information you compile for the betterment of everyone's knowledge is most appreciated.

edit: I see in the subject where you specifically wrote "non changer" so that explains some of the differences. My apologies for the oversight. It was not my intent to thread-crap.

Last edited by agent15; 09-07-2010 at 05:36 PM. Reason: it helps if I read the subject...
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:52 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agent15 View Post
You forgot to mention MediaMonkey
Hi agent15,

I welcome your input. The OP was originally written before MediaMonkey existed (AFAIK); so I just now added your recommendation to the OP (see if it's ok now).

Personally, I think people are crazy when they use iTunes, with all its bloat and restrictions ... but that's a topic for another forum altogether.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agent15 View Post
Wiring it up...was as simple as ... plugging in the two harnesses to the CD changer controls...
As you noted in your edit, you are using a trunk mount. I have the radio mount. They're different.

In addition, while the Dice came with trunk-mount instructions, there were no installation instructions for my model at the time (confirmed by Tom after I asked for them); and even the instructions that were closest (for an X5) were not the same as my car (the radio connectors were all different).

So I had to guess which to connect to what. That's why I wrote the DIY.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agent15 View Post
It appears from the instructions above that disc 6 must be selected each time and that's not been my experience
Hmmm... you only have to press "disc 6" if you wish to change the "mode"; otherwise it defaults to the previously set mode.

Actually, in my situation, it almost always defaults to ATTACHED mode; but again, that's the topic of another thread ...


Last edited by bluebee; 09-07-2010 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:08 PM
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For those that are considering DICE, I would recommend considering the trunk mount variant simply because the cable is longer, allowing you to place your iPod virtually anywhere within the driver compartment for easier access. I put my iPod in my center armrest console (an aftermarket OEM part) to avoid reaching into my glovebox. My iPod (Mini) has the bad habit of stalling if I don't use it every day. I then have to disconnect it, restart it (play), and then reconnect it. Much easier and safer to do this when it is next to you. The longer cable has had no noticeable RFI that I can detect. Cost of the two versions was the same a couple years back.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:23 PM
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I put my iPod in my center armrest console (an aftermarket OEM part) to avoid reaching into my glovebox
I agree with Fudman, that the MOST IMPORTANT consideration of all is where you're gonna put your Ipod (I said it so loooong ago here).

This is even more important a consideration than:
- Which iPod should I buy
- Which DICE should I buy
- Which DICE configuration (trunk or radio) should I buy

What matters most, in the end, is WHERE you PUT the iPod!

It's ironic that the DICE is designed so that you fiddle with the MID instead of with the iPod ... but because the DICE absolutely requires you to fiddle with the ipod (you are supposed to remove it at least daily), the most important consideration of all is where you will eventually put the iPod.

If you get the radio mount (as I did), you practically can't put the iPod anywhere other than in the (PITA) glovebox. There are those who have put it under the center console ... but they're braver than I.

Like Fudman said, the trunk mount provides longer wires. The bad part about that is some people with trunk mount experience radio interference and 'clicks' which has never (AFAIK) been reported with the radio mount.

So, what we really need (IMHO) are good radio-mount instructions for placing the DICE in the center console. That makes the iPod accessible and also eliminates the interference issue.

Do good radio-mount iPod-in-the-console instructions exist for the DICE?


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Old 09-07-2010, 09:02 PM
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So is the difference between the Silverline vs. the Silverline Pro simply MID interface vs. changer interface?
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:11 PM
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bluebee, you have my admiration for sticking with this, I'd have thrown it in the bin long ago!
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:47 AM
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While the DICE is a fairly cool device for folks sold on IPods, those that just want to replace their changers with a USB stick, should give the GROM Audio unit a look.
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
...but because the DICE absolutely requires you to fiddle with the ipod (you are supposed to remove it at least daily),...
I didn't know this. You learn something new everyday. That's kind of a PITA to do but then again, expectations are one thing and reality is another.
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:23 AM
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I didn't know this. You learn something new everyday. That's kind of a PITA to do but then again, expectations are one thing and reality is another.
As I mentioned in one of the other threads, that has not been the case with mine. However, as I also mentioned, my iPod is only a few weeks old and in that time it has been out of the car at least four or five times for content tweaks, so my experience may be the exception rather than the norm.

To date I've had two issues with my Dice unit. The first was when I had to perform the reset procedure the day after hooking it (back) up; I was getting the "attached" message and called Dice, the guy walked me through the procedure (I had previously re-registered the unit under my name).

The second was over this past weekend. I was about to set off on a drive and I disconnected the iPod from the cable while it was selected on the MID, car running. When I plugged it back in it would only play one album, wouldn't let me switch artists and song selection was inop. Turning the car off, letting it sit a few seconds, then turning it back on (with the iPod still connected to its cable) resolved the issue.
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:22 PM
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So is the difference between the Silverline vs. the Silverline Pro simply MID interface vs. changer interface?
Both kits fully support the e39, the PRO model allows a "Smart Mode" which allows Clickwheel browsing while connected as well as charging support for current iPod/touch/iPhone models.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:14 PM
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the PRO model allows...charging support for current iPod/touch/iPhone models.
Okay, now that's interesting. That may further explain the difference in experiences between me and my Dice unit and Bluebee's. Thanks Tom.
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:55 PM
redbeemer redbeemer is offline
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Quote:
[B].charging support
Be careful. "charging support" is doublespeak. It doesn't actually work when you need it.

Last edited by redbeemer; 09-08-2010 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:52 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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I got a DICE Silverline Pro unit through AudioSource (Amazon) today, have set the DIPs and plugged it in at the trunk to iron out the bugs before putting things in more-permanent locations.

I managed to get things working more-or-less in line with the instructions for this ancient 4:3-screen NAV-equipped 528i, with the Playlist/Album/Artist of the moment showing on the NAV display and able to switch through tunes from the steering wheel, but..... I think I'll have to try the display mode from the Ipod wheel and get a dash mount.

Hold on, if I leave this thing plugged into the DICE unit, will it slowly drain my car battery?

I bought my iPod Classic (80GB) on ebay for $40 a couple years ago (damaged unit, the vid ribbon cable had come loose, easy fix), only now do I find myself learning/needing to use it.

So iTunes is not necessary? I really liked that it will let me adjust AAC/MP3 audio quality higher than what I"ve expected from these things....
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:11 AM
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I am wondering if this is the easiest coolest way to get my iPhone music on my car speakers. Cause the tape deck just sounds horrid!
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
if I leave this thing plugged into the DICE unit, will it slowly drain my car battery?
Some say yes, including the PO of my car. My personal experience is no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
So iTunes is not necessary?
No. I used iTunes only to activate my iPod, and haven't touched it since. If you're somewhat tech-savvy, you'll likely want MediaMonkey. If you want simple with less features, try SharePod. Here's an article with an overview of them and others.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
DICE Silverline Pro
My comments below are for the DICE Silverline ... (Pro should be similar though)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
I if I leave this thing plugged into the DICE unit, will it slowly drain my car battery?
Reeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllll slooooooowwwwwwwlllllllyyyy..

Mine does not appear to drain the battery. I think the power is negligible for the time that you're using it.

HOWEVER ... and this is a biggie ... The DICE guys say over and over and over again (see Tom's millions of posts) ... that the supported use model is NOT to leave the iPod in the vehicle glovebox attached.

In fact, I wrote up a long response (somewhere here) about even Apple says not to leave the iPod in the glovebox (due to heat degradation of the batteries).

If you leave the DICE connected 100% of the time (which is my use model), you WILL have the dreaded ATTACHED problem (which I got almost weekly until I finally gave up on the DICE).

Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
So iTunes is not necessary?
I know this one inside out. Agent15 is right. iTunes is necessary ONLY to initially set up a brand-new iPod. You do not need (or want) iTunes after that. I use SharePod and see Agent15's post for other programs that do everything iTunes does and with less bloat and obnoxious use models (e.g., iTunes will destroy your song collection under certain common circumstances such as the song list on your computer isn't exactly the same as that on your iPod and you synch which it does automatically by default).

Last edited by bluebee; 10-01-2010 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
If you leave the DICE connected 100% of the time (which is my use model), you WILL have the dreaded ATTACHED problem...
FWIW, mine is a Pro unit and that's not been my experience. I also leave my iPod in the car and connected to the Dice unit 100% of the time, unless I'm editing content which I've done three times in six weeks of ownership (of both the car and the iPod). Sometimes when it's a little sluggish to respond I'll change the source to radio for a few seconds, then back to the changer (Dice/iPod) and it's fine.
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For me, the e39 is the ... best balance of luxury ... performance ... good looks and class. Sort of the Catherine Deneuve of cars, if you get my drift.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:12 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Okay, I'll just have to keep an eye on the battery juice. Maybe the "display" mode with hands-on ipod control is better than locked, in that you can reach over and turn it off, not worry about it sitting and running in a "paused" state in the trunk or glove compartment with the screen still on? Being lazy I was going to just leave everything in the trunk... scratch that.

Configuring iTunes, I found that it allowed me to place my "library" on my network drive, and select only the albums in the library I want to "sync." That's all I need. Don't see much point in having more than five or six albums on the pod at any given time. Past that, though, I really don't care for the services iTunes tries to keep running. Will check MediaMonkey out.

Wish I'd known about the GROM USB interface; seems that gives you more choices as to what you plug in. A chip-based thumb drive with just a directory full of mp3 files is simple enough, and simple is nice. None of the ipod's "which playlist, album, artist" nonsense.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:12 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Okay, I'll just have to keep an eye on the battery juice....
Too late. Went out to the car today and it wouldn't start. Now I have to buy a charger. Indicator (black or no color) on the battery = "insufficiently charged." Last time I checked, it was "green." Just when I thought things were fine......
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:44 AM
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Too late. Went out to the car today and it wouldn't start. Now I have to buy a charger. Indicator (black or no color) on the battery = "insufficiently charged." Last time I checked, it was "green." Just when I thought things were fine......
The DICE will go into sleep mode, pulling less than what a typical CD Changer would draw - It's doubtful this would be related to the DICE.

Is this the original battery in your 5er? If not - when was the replacement purchased?
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:49 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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The DICE will go into sleep mode, pulling less than what a typical CD Changer would draw - It's doubtful this would be related to the DICE.

Is this the original battery in your 5er? If not - when was the replacement purchased?
Yeah, it -was- the original battery but I replaced that over the weekend with a Duralast from Autozone and have not re-installed the DICE.

Plenty of posts all over the web about folks with DICE units draining their batteries. Still, I'm not yet ready to accept that the DICE was to blame in my case.
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:06 PM
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Yeah, it -was- the original battery but I replaced that over the weekend with a Duralast from Autozone and have not re-installed the DICE.

Plenty of posts all over the web about folks with DICE units draining their batteries. Still, I'm not yet ready to accept that the DICE was to blame in my case.
Not on DICE kits. However, this was true on failed ice>Link Plus kits.
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