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5 Series DIY
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  #1  
Old 11-16-2003, 05:51 PM
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KCW002 KCW002 is offline
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X5 DIY Garmin Placement Solution

X5 DIY Garmin Placement Solution . No real big story… I have an X5 without Nav and got tired off storing my Garmin Street Pilot III in the glove box. I tried finding a suitable place to mount the unit, but no luck… So what the heck – I don’t use my vanity mirror and I don’t smoke, so why not replace the mirror with the LCD and fabricate a control panel in the ashtray?

It was not that easy… But it is done, well almost. I am still bench testing the unit for another 18 hours for operation temps ect. I have reinstalled (and removed) the visor and it looked great! During operation I plan to position the sun visor as far forward as possible when in use. Naturally, that would allow the most windshield visibility. I rely primarily on the voice prompts and voice guided directions from the GSP3, more so than the visuals from the LCD. I do need the LCD to enter the address, city, or Landmark ect. The LCD is smaller than the mirror and control panel takes up the top-half on the ashtray. If desired, pens, pencils, keys, or just about anything can be still be stored in the ashtray.

The pics make it look easy – time, trial and error (less errors the better)


Thanks for looking – I just thought I would share my progress on this DIY. Let me know what you think…

Kevin
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Last edited by KCW002; 11-16-2003 at 05:56 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2003, 05:10 AM
TheMatrixz TheMatrixz is offline
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Very nice, I'm sure it wasn't easy. How did you fabricate the longer display cable? please fill us in on the connectors,... also, I've been thinking doing something like this in my 540IT. But will have to see if the visor is too disrupting or not being down most of the time.

Tan
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2003, 01:03 PM
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KCW002 KCW002 is offline
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Tan,

VERY daring! Not to mention the cost of a new visor is $140 and void the warranty on my GSP3.

I did it because I had a visor and the GPS. I dint think it was going to be that bad…

Attached is the cable and guts of the project. The original plan was to fab some connectors to the LDC. For this I contacted the AWESOME people at AXON CABLE for some 20 & 12 pin FFC cable. Yeah... that is over my head too…. After I got the cable (5 inches) I needed it to be 10-10 ft. I outsource cables to match the wattage and voltage and then did the joined the AXON cable to longer pieces of cable. End result 2 super long AXON FFC cables.


After HOURS of work I hit a DEAD END. The AXON cable worked great, however the LCD has a fluorescent light inside that is VERY low wattage. The original power wire for the light was 1 inch. When I made the 1-inch lead 10 ft I hit a dead end. The power wattage was so low that the length of the cable (2 ft plus) was drowning all the power from the power source to power the light. As luck has it I blew the power supply on the GPS and had to pay Garmin $225.00 to replace the entire unit. They shipped a replacement in 3 days. I took it apart and got working ASAP.

Now the entire unit is within the visor and only the antenna and controls are remote mounted.

Also, you will be surprised just how much the windshield is covered with the Sun Visor. I guess one ever notices that while it is blocking the sun, you just kinda realign you vision and go on without it being a real issue. When considering using this SV option, I knew that I would have to place the SV as far forward as possible. I don’t rely on the visual side of the GPS as much as the audio….

For me this is a slick project – for others that focus on the visual, this project would be counter productive.

Thanks for your question- (the pic is of the parts I sent to Garmin, they sent me a complete unit back.)

Kevin
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Last edited by KCW002; 11-17-2003 at 03:45 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2003, 02:45 AM
TheMatrixz TheMatrixz is offline
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DARING was exactly what I had in mind when I posted previously. Very nice work indeed, but I don't think I would go through all that trouble (not that because it ain't worth it, but because of the technical involvement with the wiring).

I'm going to start looking into mounting the Garmin Pilot with either suction cup or Pro-Fit mount. Does anyone have any experience with what the best mount to go with?
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2003, 07:59 AM
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KCW002 KCW002 is offline
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I agree, WAY TOO MUCH TROUBLE. I was in deep before I knew it... After you remove the vanity mirror there is no turning back. I do not reco this project. Thanks for your feedback and good luck with your DIY projects.

Kevin
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  #6  
Old 11-18-2003, 10:35 AM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW002
Tan,
VERY daring! Not to mention the cost of a new visor is $140 and void the warranty on my GSP3.
Kevin
That seems awfully high for one visor. I've picked up several pairs of new visors for about $110...but that was in Munich.

Chris
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2003, 03:01 PM
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KCW002 KCW002 is offline
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True, that is a lot for the single visor. That listing is from my local BMW store at full price. I'd like to have a resource to compare my local BMWs prices to. If you are not buying from the dealer, where do you get OE parts?

Kevin
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  #8  
Old 11-19-2003, 05:16 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW002
True, that is a lot for the single visor. That listing is from my local BMW store at full price. I'd like to have a resource to compare my local BMWs prices to. If you are not buying from the dealer, where do you get OE parts?

Kevin
Crevier BMW or Pacific BMW are two decent places that you'll find cheap BMW at. I think both are in the LA area.

Chris
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2004, 02:09 PM
crwilsn crwilsn is offline
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When you pulled the display apart were you able to tell what kind of video the unit outputs to. I would like to do a similar thing without taking my streetpilot apart, using an aftermarket screen. The garmin is a much better unit in my opinion than the dedicated (i.e. Alpine, Kenwood) systems for far less money. If I could output the video and sound from my glove box to a remote monitor then I could retain the portability without having a box stuck on top of my dash.

Any one have any ideas?

Clay
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2004, 03:41 PM
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KCW002 KCW002 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crwilsn
When you pulled the display apart were you able to tell what kind of video the unit outputs to. I would like to do a similar thing without taking my streetpilot apart, using an aftermarket screen. The garmin is a much better unit in my opinion than the dedicated (i.e. Alpine, Kenwood) systems for far less money. If I could output the video and sound from my glove box to a remote monitor then I could retain the portability without having a box stuck on top of my dash.

Any one have any ideas?

Clay
Clay,

I too prefer the garmin products, but i am telling as a friend, you dont want to take the time and risk of this project. If I had it to do all over... I would purchase the 2610 touch screen and keep it in the glove box with an exturnal ant. Since I already had the SP3, I didnt want to spend even more money.

I would set the 2610 device on the ash tray lid and use as needed. 2610 is super slick! Not as clean, I know, but you will find the garmin products DO NOT offer AV out-puts. The cable that drives the monitor is 20 plus pins. remote monitors are out of the question with garmin.

Also, in you plans, how do you plan to change routes ect if the unit is in the glove box??
Let me know if I can help-

Kevin
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  #11  
Old 02-14-2004, 03:06 AM
crwilsn crwilsn is offline
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Its the 2610 that I was looking at. I was hoping a smiple AV out on the unit, coupled with a screen in place of the cup holder/coin tray (I have a 5 series), and a small remote extention for the remote would allow route control (without the touch screen). Unit is still too new to take apart unknown so thanks for the info on the monitor. If garmin put a video out and remote extention on the 2610 the could put all aftermarket nav systems out of buisiness.
Garmin 2610 $999.99, Great interface and routing, portable.
Alpine N200? $2400.00, Poor interface, slow routing, not portable from car to car.
Kenwood $2600.00, Same as Alpine.
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  #12  
Old 02-16-2004, 07:02 AM
nealh nealh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crwilsn
Its the 2610 that I was looking at. I was hoping a smiple AV out on the unit, coupled with a screen in place of the cup holder/coin tray (I have a 5 series), and a small remote extention for the remote would allow route control (without the touch screen). Unit is still too new to take apart unknown so thanks for the info on the monitor. If garmin put a video out and remote extention on the 2610 the could put all aftermarket nav systems out of buisiness.
Garmin 2610 $999.99, Great interface and routing, portable.
Alpine N200? $2400.00, Poor interface, slow routing, not portable from car to car.
Kenwood $2600.00, Same as Alpine.

go to gpscity.com to get the 2610 it is less than $800 shipped..I got my wife's there..very nice too

they have a small forum over there to answer questions too!
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  #13  
Old 02-16-2004, 07:16 AM
FireFly FireFly is offline
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That's a lot of work but it does look great!

I recently posted a thread on the DIY forum. I made a mount for my new Garmin 60c color hand-held GPS. Took 20 minutes to make and I did not have to buy anything for it.
The beauty of it is the holder can be installed/un-installed in less than 5 seconds and the GPS is located in a some-what ideal viewing position.

Check it out when you have a chance:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52418
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  #14  
Old 03-22-2004, 11:42 PM
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SilverE39 SilverE39 is offline
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i just bought an iPod mount and one for my Garmin GPS V.
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