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The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 10-23-2012, 03:35 PM
MonkeyCMonkeyDo MonkeyCMonkeyDo is offline
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Tech Question about glovebox USB

Ok so I completely forgot to check this out when I was in Europe with my car and it has been driving me crazy. Hopefully someone here can answer the following question...

Is the USB port in the glovebox a powered port. I had been told by someone at BMW that some people had been able to get smaller external hard drives to work with USB power, so I think it is. My goal is to use my mobile hotspot in the car powered via the USB port. Being 4G it dies very quickly and if it can stay powered for all day road trips that would be INCREDIBLE. It will be a hell of a lot cheaper than the BMW version they will push out next year for the same exact technology.

Anyone wanna try and see what they can charge and/or power with that port?
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2012, 04:29 PM
E36toF30 E36toF30 is offline
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I'm assuming by glovebox you mean center console. The one in there is powered, but it doesn't seem to provide as much current as most USB ports do. For example I have a portable 2.5" hard drive that works with other USB ports, but this one didn't give it enough power. I'd think it would work fine with your portable hot spot though, and certainly any flash memory stick.

If you think about it, all USB ports basically have to be powered, since almost all USB devices expect it.

Last edited by E36toF30; 10-23-2012 at 04:31 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2012, 04:53 PM
golovko golovko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E36toF30 View Post
I'm assuming by glovebox you mean center console. The one in there is powered, but it doesn't seem to provide as much current as most USB ports do. For example I have a portable 2.5" hard drive that works with other USB ports, but this one didn't give it enough power. I'd think it would work fine with your portable hot spot though, and certainly any flash memory stick.

If you think about it, all USB ports basically have to be powered, since almost all USB devices expect it.
There are two USB ports, one in the glove box and one in the center console. The one in the glove box is for importing/exporting user profiles and music from a flash drive or similar device.

The center console can be used for advanced Office functionality and streaming music.
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  #4  
Old 10-23-2012, 04:56 PM
golovko golovko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyCMonkeyDo View Post
Ok so I completely forgot to check this out when I was in Europe with my car and it has been driving me crazy. Hopefully someone here can answer the following question...

Is the USB port in the glovebox a powered port. I had been told by someone at BMW that some people had been able to get smaller external hard drives to work with USB power, so I think it is. My goal is to use my mobile hotspot in the car powered via the USB port. Being 4G it dies very quickly and if it can stay powered for all day road trips that would be INCREDIBLE. It will be a hell of a lot cheaper than the BMW version they will push out next year for the same exact technology.

Anyone wanna try and see what they can charge and/or power with that port?
I had similar idea as you but not for a hotspot, rather my car's iPod Touch. I was going to use my iPhone as a hotspot since it supports LTE and doesn't require an additional data plan. What I discovered was that the USB port in the glovebox can't be used for streaming. (not related to your question) but I did not notice if it was charging the iPod. The warning label that plugged the port said to use it only for importing/exporting and I thought I remembered reading in the owners manual that it should not be used as a power port, if a power port is required use the center console.
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  #5  
Old 10-23-2012, 05:19 PM
thegandalf thegandalf is offline
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Have considered a 12v Usb charger? You could plug it in the outlet that is below the glovebox (iirc).
Something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Griffin-Powerj...sb+car+charger
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  #6  
Old 10-23-2012, 07:43 PM
MonkeyCMonkeyDo MonkeyCMonkeyDo is offline
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The reason I am set on the USB port in the glovebox is because that is where the BMW branded hotspot is going to go and I know it has to be powered. Besides the point is to have it completely out of the way and using it with the 12v port means more cables hanging around, more items swishing back and forth in the console, etc.

Also the center console port is for the phone to stream music, charge my phone etc. But a 4G hotspot will allow my son or my wife to play on the iPad, check directions and mail them to the car, stream netflix and TV shows in the car, etc. I just want it out of the way.
http://www.bmwblog.com/2012/07/10/bm...t-to-the-road/
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:48 PM
thegandalf thegandalf is offline
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I totally get you. I was just pointing to a possible solution in case the glove box port is not suitable. If it is then the glove box would be the bedt spot.


in that case is there a power outlet in the trunk?maybe putting the hot spot there would keep it out of the way...
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  #8  
Old 10-23-2012, 08:05 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyCMonkeyDo View Post
The reason I am set on the USB port in the glovebox is because that is where the BMW branded hotspot is going to go and I know it has to be powered. Besides the point is to have it completely out of the way and using it with the 12v port means more cables hanging around, more items swishing back and forth in the console, etc.

Also the center console port is for the phone to stream music, charge my phone etc. But a 4G hotspot will allow my son or my wife to play on the iPad, check directions and mail them to the car, stream netflix and TV shows in the car, etc. I just want it out of the way.
If neither USB port can power your hotspot, fear not. It will cost very little money for any BMW performance shop to splice one off the main power lines up and into the glove box, the trunk, anywhere you want it.

Couple hundred bucks, that's it.

BJ
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  #9  
Old 10-23-2012, 09:28 PM
golovko golovko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegandalf View Post
I totally get you. I was just pointing to a possible solution in case the glove box port is not suitable. If it is then the glove box would be the bedt spot.


in that case is there a power outlet in the trunk?maybe putting the hot spot there would keep it out of the way...
There is a power outlet in the trunk on the left side.
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  #10  
Old 10-23-2012, 09:32 PM
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FrogmanF30 FrogmanF30 is offline
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I just tried mine.

My glove box USB port will charge an iPod nano, but it will not power a 2.5" USB HD.

You're just going to have to experiment with your device. It will all depend on how much current it is requesting from the USB port.
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  #11  
Old 10-23-2012, 10:07 PM
Cbinc Cbinc is offline
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I just picked up my f30 today and I happen to have a 4g LTE hotspot that I was planning to leave in the car also. I'll try it out and get back to you Monkey.
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  #12  
Old 10-24-2012, 07:01 AM
MonkeyCMonkeyDo MonkeyCMonkeyDo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrogmanF30 View Post
I just tried mine.

My glove box USB port will charge an iPod nano, but it will not power a 2.5" USB HD.

You're just going to have to experiment with your device. It will all depend on how much current it is requesting from the USB port.
That was my guess. Good to know.

Cbinc-
Fingers crossed.
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  #13  
Old 10-24-2012, 07:11 AM
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dealio dealio is offline
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all USB ports are "powered"... the question is how much electrical current (amperage) it can provide.

If the hotspot runs from its internal battery, and USB just charges the battery, it should work with a regular low amperage port.

Sounds like that could be the case..
Quote:
The hotspot additionally comes with a built-in battery pack and antennae, allowing portable use for up to 30 minutes outside the vehicle without an external power supply. A standard USB power supply unit even enables fully autonomous use without the need for either vehicle or battery.
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2012, 03:48 PM
Cbinc Cbinc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyCMonkeyDo View Post
That was my guess. Good to know.

Cbinc-
Fingers crossed.
Ok so I completely drained the battery in my samsung hotspot from Verizon and then plugged it into the glove compartments USB port and it did not power up at all. It usually instantaneous when I connect it to a desktop. Anyway, I let it sit in the glovebox (connected) for about 10 mins and when I came back the hotspot was powered on. So to answer your question; yes, the USB will power a hotspot device.

Now I'm trying my Android tablet, after that my iPad.
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  #15  
Old 10-25-2012, 03:57 PM
MonkeyCMonkeyDo MonkeyCMonkeyDo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbinc View Post
Ok so I completely drained the battery in my samsung hotspot from Verizon and then plugged it into the glove compartments USB port and it did not power up at all. It usually instantaneous when I connect it to a desktop. Anyway, I let it sit in the glovebox (connected) for about 10 mins and when I came back the hotspot was powered on. So to answer your question; yes, the USB will power a hotspot device.

Now I'm trying my Android tablet, after that my iPad.
I am guessing the babiest of trickle charges when the two tablets are in sleep mode. It is however good news that it should maintain the hotspot charge.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:06 PM
JohnnyO JohnnyO is offline
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Be aware that a fully drained device might not be able to "trigger" a charge, whereas something that is, say, 40% charged -will- be able to pull enough charge to either keep the device running, or maybe even charge it. I found this out the hard way when I let a device get down to 5% before I plugged it in to an external battery. It did not take a charge. Later, after fully charging from a wall charger, I ran it down to 40%, and plugged it in to my battery, and it took the charge as expected.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:10 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Checking in on this thread for a friend.

He just picked up his F30 last night and is wondering if anyone was able to get an iPhone 5 to work as a hotspot and have an iPod Touch docked in the USB port able to run BMW apps, Pandora, etc

He wants to get text message alerts by having his iPhone on Bluetooth but yet still be able to use Pandora, Facebook, etc. via the docked iPod. Anyone succeed with something similar?

BJ
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:37 AM
golovko golovko is offline
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I can charge an iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 from the glove box USB port, I have confirmed this.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:39 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golovko View Post
I can charge an iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 from the glove box USB port, I have confirmed this.
Cool.

Were you able to use an iPhone as a hotspot and have an iPod touch run data off of that to support BMW apps?

BJ
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:42 AM
golovko golovko is offline
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Cool.

Were you able to use an iPhone as a hotspot and have an iPod touch run data off of that to support BMW apps?

BJ
I haven't tried this because I have an unlimited plan that I do not want to break to add hotspot (on AT&T). If they enabled hotspot on the iPad LTE then I would but AT&T is also blocking this.

From a technical point of view I see no reason why this would not work. The required apps run on the iPod Touch and having an internet connection is required. A hotspot would work no different then coming into range of your homes wifi. For the short time where your iPod has not auto discovered your hotspot when its in range it would be no different then using your iPhone for BMW apps and driving through a dead spot with no service.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:09 PM
bmmcgraw bmmcgraw is offline
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I apologize if this may seem like a simple question, but I have been out of the country for a year, and I am not spun up on a lot of things that have changed. My 335i is supposed to be delivered in about two weeks and I am trying to understand a few things. I did not order BMW apps or Nav, but I am really only interested in being able to stream music from my cellphone using Pandora to the car. Is an iPhone 5 able to do this (I don't actually have a phone yet, so I would get an android phone if Apple can't)? Can I get a 4g hotspot, plug it into the glovebox, and run my tablet in the car as well? Thanks.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:31 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golovko View Post
I haven't tried this because I have an unlimited plan that I do not want to break to add hotspot (on AT&T). If they enabled hotspot on the iPad LTE then I would but AT&T is also blocking this.

From a technical point of view I see no reason why this would not work. The required apps run on the iPod Touch and having an internet connection is required. A hotspot would work no different then coming into range of your homes wifi. For the short time where your iPod has not auto discovered your hotspot when its in range it would be no different then using your iPhone for BMW apps and driving through a dead spot with no service.
My friend got this to work today. Has his iPhone 5 as a hotspot, connected his iPod Touch via USB, apps are all working, can get text alerts via Bluetooth.

Added bonus, his kids use the hotspot on their iPads in the back seat.

BJ
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:33 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmmcgraw View Post
I apologize if this may seem like a simple question, but I have been out of the country for a year, and I am not spun up on a lot of things that have changed. My 335i is supposed to be delivered in about two weeks and I am trying to understand a few things. I did not order BMW apps or Nav, but I am really only interested in being able to stream music from my cellphone using Pandora to the car. Is an iPhone 5 able to do this (I don't actually have a phone yet, so I would get an android phone if Apple can't)? Can I get a 4g hotspot, plug it into the glovebox, and run my tablet in the car as well? Thanks.
First off, welcome aboard.

There is an option called BMW Assist With Enhanced Bluetooth and USB. In order to stream via Bluetooth, you must have this option on the car. You will be able to USB connect your iPhone to the car via the "Y" cable and listen to Pandora that way.

BJ
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Last edited by boltjaM3s; 11-16-2012 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:17 AM
bmmcgraw bmmcgraw is offline
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Okay, thanks. That answers a few questions, I didn't know the iPhone 5 could become a 4g hotspot and Y cable it is then.
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