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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 09-23-2011, 03:02 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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I just installed a quality sound solution to Aux input for $65!!!

All, I installed an aux input to my 2002 530i and it sounds great!

(Didn't work well) First I purchased a high end FM Modulator and still got static from time to time

(Didn't work) Second I purchased the BMW Genuine Auxiliary Audio Input Cable Adapter ($35). My 2002 was manufactured in late 2001 so it did not work. If your E39 is a 2003 (made 9/2002 or later) this is the cable for you. http://www.amazon.com/BMW-Genuine-Au...6808471&sr=8-1


WORKS GREAT!!! Finally I purchased and installed the winning ticket:

Audiovox FM100A FM Modulator with IST2 Isolation Transformer ($40)
http://www.amazon.com/Audiovox-FM100...6798829&sr=1-1

Metra 40EU30 2002-Up BMW Vehicle Antenna Adapter Cable Kit ($20)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007WQ8VQ/...SIN=B0007WQ8VQ

I didn't like the toggle switch that came with the Audiovox so I bought an illuminated one at Radioshack ($3)
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=3097457

I also bought Female Crimp-On Quick Disconnects which fit perfectly on the switch ($2)
http://www.amazon.com/3M-Vinyl-Femal...6809142&sr=8-4 NOTE - Retrospeck should use insulated version vs using heat shrink like I did.

Three simple screws hold in your radio/CD player.
Two screws hold in your cup holder NOTE: initially push down on cup holder then pull out. Something catches if you don't.

I used a blue tap splice (pic below of one halfway closed) to tap into the hot lead of the radio control unit (pics below).
I used the back of the CD player for my grounds (has a screw on the very back, center of the unit).
The antenna adapter is self explanatory.

I drilled a couple of holes in my cup holder and that was it.

I tune my radio to 88.7. Since the signal is hardwired into the antenna input you receive ZERO STATIC and very clean sound reproduction (CD quality). The isolating transformer does the trick. Turn the switch off to listen to the radio.

I had to use the noise cancelling RCA jack (comes with kit) to kill the high pitched whine caused by the alternator. Works flawlessly. You will recognize the noise cancelling RCA jacks by the two black cubes in the middle of the cable (one per channel).

Here is an additional cable option for the AUX in plug ($12).
http://www.amazon.com/PAC-IS335-3-5-...6810797&sr=1-2


PROS - Aux input for ANY external device i.e. iPhone, iPod, Satellite Radio. iPhone calls now come through my car speakers. CD quality music with zero static. Easy to install. Very cost effective (less than $70).

CONS - Cannot control tracks via the car radio. Must use the input device i.e. iPhone, iPod, Satellite Radio to control which tracks to play. Have additional switch to turn on/off.


NOTE - If I can find it I will move my hot lead to the glove box flashlight charging cable since mine turns off with the car.
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Last edited by seemyad; 09-23-2011 at 03:11 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2011, 06:18 PM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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Nice post!!! THX
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  #3  
Old 09-30-2011, 03:04 PM
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wow nice work my friend
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  #4  
Old 09-30-2011, 03:25 PM
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Fragzem Fragzem is offline
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nice job
will this work for a 2000?

if my Grom audio ($70 kit) doesn't keep working, I'll do this
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  #5  
Old 09-30-2011, 04:07 PM
ElwoodBlues ElwoodBlues is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
... Finally I purchased and installed the winning ticket:

Audiovox FM100A FM Modulator with IST2 Isolation Transformer ....

I tune my radio to 88.7. Since the signal is hardwired into the antenna input you receive ZERO STATIC and very clean sound reproduction (CD quality). The isolating transformer does the trick. Turn the switch off to listen to the radio.
I'm no high end audiophile nut, but if memory serves correctly, I don't think FM can technically achieve "CD quality" frequency range (20Hz to 20kHz). I think the FM transmission standard inherently limits the higher frequencies. However, with the direct connection you have, it should sound very clean and noise free compared to an actual FM radio station.

Kudos on the install. The switch and input jack looks very clean and in a convenient location.
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  #6  
Old 09-30-2011, 04:41 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fragzem View Post
nice job
will this work for a 2000?

if my Grom audio ($70 kit) doesn't keep working, I'll do this
The answer is yes.

The retrofit plugs directly into ANY car radio with the right antenna adapter (purchased seperately). It lacks steering column functionality but the sound reproduction is CD quality (as in my ears cannot detect the difference between this system and the CD player sound quality). I can plug my Sirius Satelite radio into it as well. Also my phone calls come through the car speakers so now I have hands-free conversations WITHOUT an ear piece.
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  #7  
Old 09-30-2011, 04:53 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElwoodBlues View Post
I'm no high end audiophile nut, but if memory serves correctly, I don't think FM can technically achieve "CD quality" frequency range (20Hz to 20kHz). I think the FM transmission standard inherently limits the higher frequencies. However, with the direct connection you have, it should sound very clean and noise free compared to an actual FM radio station.

Kudos on the install. The switch and input jack looks very clean and in a convenient location.
Thanks for the kudos.

You may be correct (have to do a little research).

If you are correct I need to augment my statement with "my ears cannot detect the difference between this system and the CD player sound quality".

That being said analog has higher fidelity than digital due to analog's ability to attain infinitely narrow peaks. Digital sampling is achieved via a step method. The higher the sampling rate the smaller the steps. Also, if I'm not mistaken the human ear cannot detect frequencies above 20k which may be where that number came from.

I think the human hearing range is 20Hz to 20kHz but it has been over a decade since i read it. I'll go back and check. You may be listing the human hearing range in place of FM restriction range. (MAY is the operative word). Lets look into it.

Last edited by seemyad; 10-01-2011 at 03:03 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-30-2011, 07:30 PM
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Fragzem Fragzem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
The answer is yes.

The retrofit plugs directly into ANY car radio with the right antenna adapter (purchased seperately). It lacks steering column functionality but the sound reproduction is CD quality (as in my ears cannot detect the difference between this system and the CD player sound quality). I can plug my Sirius Satelite radio into it as well. Also my phone calls come through the car speakers so now I have hands-free conversations WITHOUT an ear piece.
lol thanks for answering my question twice. I didn't realize I did that.

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  #9  
Old 10-01-2011, 03:26 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElwoodBlues View Post
I'm no high end audiophile nut, but if memory serves correctly, I don't think FM can technically achieve "CD quality" frequency range (20Hz to 20kHz). I think the FM transmission standard inherently limits the higher frequencies. However, with the direct connection you have, it should sound very clean and noise free compared to an actual FM radio station.

Kudos on the install. The switch and input jack looks very clean and in a convenient location.
Just verified the the numbers you quoted are "Human Hearing Range"

Linked here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoa..._of_perception

You may have confused this with FM as I do not think there is a limit on "modulation" frequency (FM= Frequency Modulation). There are FCC limits on "carrier" frequency range for FM. The carrier frequency range equates to the 88.1 - 107.9 (or so) channels aka stations we can choose from. The carrier frequency is "frequency modulated" with sound and then transmitted. AM (Amplitude Modulation) modulates carrier frequencies with height aka amplitude aka AM. This is why lightning disrupts the sound. The energy from the lightning jacks the amplitude through the roof so there is one instant high amplitude with no readable modulation aka static.

FM is seen in the carrier as one amplitude (of course the overall amplitude shrinks with distance) but the "width" or distance between the sine wave varies which is the modulated "FREQUENCY aka "occurences" of sine waves" aka Frequency Modulation aka FM.

I was a radio communications tech for the US Government some years ago . This is the only reason I was familiar with the range you stated from some class I had to pass in a former life LOL.

Thank you for your input as I learned (or relearned) thanks to you offering the information.

.

Last edited by seemyad; 10-03-2011 at 11:41 AM.
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  #10  
Old 10-03-2011, 10:41 PM
ElwoodBlues ElwoodBlues is offline
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I was referring to the audio frequency range, not the broadcast frequency. I only did a cursory google search, but here's a couple of useful results:

"FM radio uses frequency modulation, of course. The frequency band for FM radio is about 88 to 108 MHz. The information signal is music and voice which falls in the audio spectrum. The full audio spectrum ranges form 20 to 20,000 Hz, but FM radio limits the upper modulating frequency to 15 kHz (cf. AM radio which limits the upper frequency to 5 kHz). Although, some of the signal may be lost above 15 kHz, most people can't hear it anyway, so there is little loss of fidelity. FM radio maybe appropriately referred to as "high-fidelity.""
(http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/navy/docs/es310/FM.htm)

It all boils down to your hearing I suppose. On wikipedia, it looks like the lower end is cheated a little too:

"The (L+R) Main channel signal is transmitted as baseband audio in the range of 30 Hz to 15 kHz. The (L-R) Sub-channel signal is modulated onto a 38 kHz double-sideband suppressed carrier (DSBSC) signal occupying the baseband range of 23 to 53 kHz."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FM_stereo#FM_stereo)

FWIW.....
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  #11  
Old 10-04-2011, 05:12 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I need to add this one to the bestlinks:
- How to add an aux input auxiliary audio port for iPod/MP3 retrofit input to the BMW E39 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

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  #12  
Old 10-04-2011, 05:29 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
CONS - Cannot control tracks via the car radio.p
That's not always a con!

I have the DICE Silverline and have had so very many problems with it that I've given up on using it.

In the rare times that it's working, even then it's easier to control hundreds of songs and a score of playlists with the iPod controls themselves.

In fact, I 'prefer' the iPod controls to the MID & steering wheel controls over the lousy DICE Silverline interface.

Details here:
- Questions for e39 DICE Silverline users


Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
NOTE - If I can find it I will move my hot lead to the glove box flashlight charging cable since mine turns off with the car.
This, from the bestlinks, may help:
- BMW Glovebox Flashlight Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter (1) (2) (3)

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  #13  
Old 10-04-2011, 12:00 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I need to add this one to the bestlinks:
- How to add an aux input auxiliary audio port for iPod/MP3 retrofit input to the BMW E39 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
Wow Blubee! To be surrounded by so much knowledge and talent yet able to contribute is an honor for me.

I am glad to have been able to contribute something to this forum.

.
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  #14  
Old 10-04-2011, 12:07 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElwoodBlues View Post
I was referring to the audio frequency range, not the broadcast frequency. I only did a cursory google search, but here's a couple of useful results:

"FM radio uses frequency modulation, of course. The frequency band for FM radio is about 88 to 108 MHz. The information signal is music and voice which falls in the audio spectrum. The full audio spectrum ranges form 20 to 20,000 Hz, but FM radio limits the upper modulating frequency to 15 kHz (cf. AM radio which limits the upper frequency to 5 kHz). Although, some of the signal may be lost above 15 kHz, most people can't hear it anyway, so there is little loss of fidelity. FM radio maybe appropriately referred to as "high-fidelity.""
(http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/navy/docs/es310/FM.htm)

It all boils down to your hearing I suppose. On wikipedia, it looks like the lower end is cheated a little too:

"The (L+R) Main channel signal is transmitted as baseband audio in the range of 30 Hz to 15 kHz. The (L-R) Sub-channel signal is modulated onto a 38 kHz double-sideband suppressed carrier (DSBSC) signal occupying the baseband range of 23 to 53 kHz."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FM_stereo#FM_stereo)

FWIW.....
Great info again! Thanks! I recognized the 20hz - 20khz range and knew that was too coincidental. This new info makes sense but I do have a question:

- The first link states "Although, some of the signal may be lost above 15 kHz...". If the signal is cutoff above 15 Khz how can "some of the signal above 15 Khz may be lost"? This could simply be chalked up to a misprint/typo but I am a little anal.

I think you are correct but I am going to look a little more into this.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:02 AM
ElwoodBlues ElwoodBlues is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
If the signal is cutoff above 15 Khz how can "some of the signal above 15 Khz may be lost"? This could simply be chalked up to a misprint/typo but I am a little anal.
Not sure which statement is more correct. I didn't spend a lot of time researching, I just grabbed the first few search results that explained the basic idea. Regardless of the how and why, if you have decent hearing, I would think you should be able to prove it yourself by doing a comparison test. Play the exact same song from CD and from iPod through your modulator and you should be able to hear a difference in the high end. Use something with a good drummer and listen for the crispness of the cymbals.

You could also do this with regular FM broadcast, but you'll need a large CD library and a lot of patience.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:47 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElwoodBlues View Post
Not sure which statement is more correct. I didn't spend a lot of time researching, I just grabbed the first few search results that explained the basic idea. Regardless of the how and why, if you have decent hearing, I would think you should be able to prove it yourself by doing a comparison test. Play the exact same song from CD and from iPod through your modulator and you should be able to hear a difference in the high end. Use something with a good drummer and listen for the crispness of the cymbals.

You could also do this with regular FM broadcast, but you'll need a large CD library and a lot of patience.

GUESS WHAT EL? We have been discussing the FCC's limitation on FM RADIO STATIONS.

This does NOT APPLY to the modulator as it is not a broadcast station. I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. Anyway, I am here to tell everyone that this direct-connect modulator sounds as good if not BETTER than the CDs that I purchase.

INSTALL ONE NOW and hear it for yourself.


.
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  #17  
Old 11-29-2011, 06:40 PM
supra88 supra88 is offline
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The bad sound quality I seen is with FM transmitters and wireless units, the audiovox FM modulator comes with a relay inside, this turn off the external signal because it disconnects the antenna and the FM modulator is the only signal that is plug into the Bmw radio antenna there is no noise or Radio Frequency Interference, sound quality is ok. if that is the only option i will go with that but this is not CD quality to get the best sound connect to the cd changer jack and use an auxiliary input interface
FM is limited at 15,000 hz sound like 96-128 kb by the time it gets to the car stereo so wired fm modulator will sound better
CD are 20 Hz 20 kHz 44,056 Hz sampling rate, 16-bit linear resolution very big difference and is not been transmit over the air it's in the radio or changer also I listen to a metal tape in a 7 series with DSP and the sound quality was close to a CD i was very surprise

Last edited by supra88; 11-29-2011 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:32 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supra88 View Post
The bad sound quality I seen is with FM transmitters and wireless units, the audiovox FM modulator comes with a relay inside, this turn off the external signal because it disconnects the antenna and the FM modulator is the only signal that is plug into the Bmw radio antenna there is no noise or Radio Frequency Interference, sound quality is ok. if that is the only option i will go with that but this is not CD quality to get the best sound connect to the cd changer jack and use an auxiliary input interface
FM is limited at 15,000 hz sound like 96-128 kb by the time it gets to the car stereo so wired fm modulator will sound better
CD are 20 Hz 20 kHz 44,056 Hz sampling rate, 16-bit linear resolution very big difference and is not been transmit over the air it's in the radio or changer also I listen to a metal tape in a 7 series with DSP and the sound quality was close to a CD i was very surprise
Not certain the 15,000 Hz limit applies to a wired system that does not broadcast over the air. Not certain if the 15,000 Hz limitation is due to FM operating parameters. I can't find modulation or freq response specs for this unit. The limitation does apply to broadcast stations.



EDIT -

It appears the FM freq response on the tuner (radio) is limited to 15,000 Hz. If this is correct then you are correct as ALL FM signal input will be limited to the specs of the radio that the signal is feeding. If all radios are limited to a max of 15,000 Hz then the aux signal input is as well. Thank you and the other guy for the info.


Stills sounds as good as my CDs .

.

Last edited by seemyad; 11-29-2011 at 11:50 PM.
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  #19  
Old 11-30-2011, 01:38 PM
SteveAreno SteveAreno is offline
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I imagine this is all about the same with the widescreen gps headunit? Ive been using the aux input through my tape player and am tired of the extra noise. I hope this works!
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  #20  
Old 11-30-2011, 02:34 PM
mifesto mifesto is offline
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i'd love to get some feedback on CD quality vs this....
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  #21  
Old 11-30-2011, 05:06 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveAreno View Post
I imagine this is all about the same with the widescreen gps headunit? Ive been using the aux input through my tape player and am tired of the extra noise. I hope this works!
Due to the direct feed to your radio AND cutting out the antenna (when switched on), you will have clean, high fidelity, sound reproduction. By isolating the input you will have virtually zero stray RF aka noise.

Since it is a direct feed through the antenna input it will work with ANY FM radio system. You will have to find the right antenna adapter for your model.

.

Last edited by seemyad; 11-30-2011 at 05:08 PM.
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  #22  
Old 06-21-2013, 12:12 PM
arapower arapower is offline
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My Navi?

Hi There,

I got a BMW 530IA -01 which has the widescreen navigation system.
Can I use the same kit and procedure to make this work? Or do I need some other modification? And also, how does the AUX-IN switch between the modes, tape, cd, radio and so on?


Many thanks in advance from Sweden
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  #23  
Old 06-22-2013, 06:08 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Originally Posted by arapower View Post
Hi There,

I got a BMW 530IA -01 which has the widescreen navigation system.
Can I use the same kit and procedure to make this work? Or do I need some other modification? And also, how does the AUX-IN switch between the modes, tape, cd, radio and so on?


Many thanks in advance from Sweden
Hello from the USA. Based on the principles of the unit it should work in any vehicle with an rf antenna connected to it. The unit attaches directly to the rf antenna input of any radio. I had to purchase an adapter because our car radios do not have the standard USA, round connector. So the adapter converted our square connection to the USA standard round shape of the AUX unit output. So if your radio has an analog RF antenna connected to it this unit will work. I have an FM preset for the frequency of the unit. I think it is 89.75 MHz or something like that. ZERO static even when no music is playing.
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  #24  
Old 08-10-2013, 01:16 AM
SteveAreno SteveAreno is offline
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You say you want to switch to the hot lead in your glove box since it switches off with the ignition. Is there anything in this setup that would drain the battery if I just splice it in to the back of the head unit like you did? Just got everything in and planning on doing this over the weekend.
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Last edited by SteveAreno; 08-10-2013 at 01:18 AM.
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  #25  
Old 08-10-2013, 04:03 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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IS this a DSP setup?
This is good news!
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"Burning 2nd is a lot like vitamin tonic. Overly harsh, tastes like crap, but somewhere in all that there's good intent......just have to learn to read between the lines, actually you have to squint really hard to see the good, but its there somewhere"

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