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  #1  
Old 09-27-2008, 01:08 AM
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DIY - Head unit mod for MP3 playback

****Not responsible for your mistake, you should have some what knowledge of electronic before performing this MOD
Okay my English grammar is not that good but here goes….....
Stuff you need:
1. Cheap headphone you want to destroy.
2. Soldiering iron ( flux, solder and etc)
3. Wire stripper
4. Screw driver Philip medium size
5. Blank cassette tape
6. Small rubber band
7. Lighter
8. Torx screw
9. Beer

I forgot to take picture during removing instruction so I'm using someone else (So don't bite me)
Need to prep prior:
Need to cut your Headphone wires.
Place you need to cut is near ear buds
Strip wires
***Some wires maybe different***
Once you strip the wires you will need to separate the wires and figure out which is the "+" and "-", also usually red coated wire is "Right"
Once you got it sorted with "+" "-". Those wires are coated with something clear. So you will need to use your lighter to burn other tip of the wires so you can solder later. 1 ~ 2 mm length

Photo 1
Need to remove vol nob and use torx
Once you twist the torx to right you should be able to pull the stereo out.

Photo 2

Photo 3

Remove connector…..... you will need to slide latch to remove the connector. So don't force it off.

Photo 4
Remove Screw

Photo 5
Follow picture instruction.

Photo 6
Once you got the tape head unit out…..... this is where it gets fun!

Photo 7
Need to remove 2 screws from silver plate.

Photo 8
Toward the front of the cassette get insert is where we are going to be doing the solder.
As picture describe Left + - and Right +- is where you will be soldering the headphone wires.

Photo 9
Reassemble the cover and run the wire out like the photo 9. Now your going a step backward like, putting everything back together.

Photo 10
Closed lid and screw, make sure in process you don't pinch the wire

Photo 11
Run the wire through side of cassette

Photo 12
Closed everything up…......

Photo 13
Cassette modification
Need to remove all screw from Tape and remove all tape roll, then you will need to put a rubber band around the wheel. So when you rotate the wheel other will rotate as well. ** This one you will need to play with figure out if the rubber band is too big or small enough.

So order to play your MP3 you just need to press on cassette button and it should work ( must have mod cassette in the unit )
Also if you want to play regular music cassette, it will work as well

So far I did 5 Mod and it works fine.... good luck
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Last edited by justtune; 09-27-2008 at 01:37 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-27-2008, 01:09 AM
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Photo 13
This mod audio quality will sound really good, quality is a lot better than FM transmitter or Cassette Aux
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Finally 150K! => 166666 => 190900 =>??? 97 528i

Last edited by justtune; 10-13-2008 at 08:53 PM.
  #3  
Old 10-15-2008, 10:56 PM
TUBBMW TUBBMW is offline
 
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Thanks for sharing. I totally agree...the sounds are great (MP3 quality). Now, my question is...will this mod work on my E36?
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  #4  
Old 10-15-2008, 11:39 PM
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who is this girl in the picture?
  #5  
Old 10-16-2008, 02:23 AM
huttey huttey is offline
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Well done, and great of you to share this with us. You should still be able to use the cassette player as well.
  #6  
Old 10-16-2008, 05:10 PM
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is there a write up like this for the Business CD Player...?...my car does not have the option to have a AUX input kit....
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2008, 12:55 PM
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PSA,
No I don't know about Business CD write up... Sorry.

Huttey,
Wait till I get the bluetooth to work... Less than $40 solution and very simple write up... pending bluetooth delivery... I should have this write up in couple weeks.

Kingdunke,
Stephanie Ly, Some chica with nice fake....

TUBBMW,
Well it will work. just need to find out where the Magnetic head is solder and tap in to it.
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2008, 03:49 PM
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very interested in the bluetooth mod. but wouldn't be easier just to buy the cassest tape that has the wire built in it. like the kind you use for a portable cd player?
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2008, 06:27 PM
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well music really don't sound good with cassette solution... I try it all and this was the best solution.
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Last edited by justtune; 10-28-2008 at 08:01 PM.
  #10  
Old 01-04-2009, 03:39 PM
-Matt- -Matt- is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justtune View Post
Wait till I get the bluetooth to work... Less than $40 solution and very simple write up... pending bluetooth delivery... I should have this write up in couple weeks.
Great idea - that is exactly what I though as soon as I saw these pics.
I will be buying some bluetooth stereo headphones as soon as possible and will wire them up in the same way. Hopefully I can also take power from the tape player.

  #11  
Old 01-07-2009, 12:14 PM
AlpineWhite530i AlpineWhite530i is offline
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This is awesome!

I have one of those 5-disc changer ipod docks they sell at bestbuy (i didn't know about the Dice kit at the time). It's good for what it does (I can change tracks and volume from the stock HU and steering wheel), but my 4th gen nano will not charge when connected to it. Also, I used to be able to scroll through the ipod menus using the ipod interface, but since they changed the power rails (and I assume the GND bias which messes up the capacitive touch feature) I don't have that ability with the 4th gen ipods.

Long story short, I've got an idea for a setup to convert the old +12V rails to what I assume would be the new 5V usb rails. I'd like to include a bluetooth option as well to switch from ipod music to hands free over the car speakers. I had a wired solution working with my HTC phone, but there was always an echo heard by people on the other line. They would hear their voices from my car speakers being caught by my phone's mic. I'm hoping a good bluetooth set with noise cancellation or even using the stock mic from BMW hacked on to the bluetooth headset transceiver might help get rid of the feedback.

I'll have to take pics and post them here of the old wired setup, but send me a PM if you want to exchange ideas on the bluetooth setup. I assume you'd use bluetooth for music and phone calls, right?

Oh yeah and who's the hot chick in the photos?
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Last edited by AlpineWhite530i; 01-07-2009 at 12:18 PM. Reason: spelling/grammar/and who's the hot chick?
  #12  
Old 01-07-2009, 02:40 PM
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Is it an allen wrench or a torx wrench to remove the E39 MID & radio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justtune View Post
Need to remove vol nob and use torx
Once you twist the torx to right you should be able to pull the stereo out.
Wonderful instructions! (I didn't know you could add your own AUX that cheaply!). I'll add them to my set!

The only minor caveat I would note is that I used a 1.5mm allen wrench, not a torx, to twist 90 degrees the lock bolt under the MID volume knob to remove the MID.

Likewise, I used a 2 mm allen wrench to loosen the two BMW Business CD bolts to remove the radio itself when I added my radio-mount DICE Silverline.

No big deal, but, can someone confirm (for we purists) whether it's a torx or an allen wrench to remove the BMW E39 MID and radio?

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Last edited by bluebee; 01-07-2009 at 02:42 PM.
  #13  
Old 03-25-2009, 04:59 PM
mahsoud mahsoud is offline
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i got business cd too... interesting if i could somehow add aux in ... noticed couple of wires in trunk for "6 cd changer"...may be use those? was wondering if there is any info avaible about that
  #14  
Old 03-30-2009, 11:51 PM
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JustTune,

Great write up.

BUT, after I opened up my tape deck, I found it is a bit different inside, so I aborted the surgery!

Now, as I put the deck back in place, I shorted out the lights in the tape deck. Is there a fuse for just those lights?
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  #15  
Old 03-31-2009, 07:27 PM
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Well I guess I get to bump myself with this one, because somehow, the lights are back on today! Don't know what reset but I am happy.....weird.

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  #16  
Old 06-01-2009, 02:54 PM
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  #17  
Old 06-21-2009, 01:55 PM
RobV15 RobV15 is offline
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How is the audio quality of it? I have a tape with an audio wire running out, but the quality is cheap! I was wondering if this mod had much better audio qualitiy? Any distortions? Interference?

Last edited by RobV15; 06-21-2009 at 02:04 PM.
  #18  
Old 07-07-2009, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobV15 View Post
How is the audio quality of it? I have a tape with an audio wire running out, but the quality is cheap! I was wondering if this mod had much better audio qualitiy? Any distortions? Interference?
Thanks what I want to know too...is the quality that much better than a cassette tape connection? Is it worth the trouble?
  #19  
Old 05-07-2011, 11:54 PM
QCDStick QCDStick is offline
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A couple observations of my experience with this. I just tried it two ways, firstly I tried it this way - http://jcrowell.info/bmw-aux-in.html which is the same basic thing, but merely tapping the other end of the circuit board. It worked well enough, but there was a fair bit of hiss that I had to knock the treble down a couple pegs to minimize. I didn't have an actual cassette tape around to use for testing, the only thing I could find was a CD to tape adapter (the dummy cassette with the headphone jack). So, just for kicks since it was already in anyway, I plugged in to that instead of the modded connection I had just made, and lo and behold the sound quality was much better on the cassette than direct to the circuit board. This was the opposite of what I was expecting! But none the less, continued experimenting clearly showed that to be the case.

So, then I got back down on the computer and searched some more and found this page. If you look at the first link, it uses a shared ground (as did the headphone line I cut up) so I figured however unlikely, it could be a contributing factor. I noticed this DIY used more of an RCA setup with separate ground wires for each channel. So, I removed the headphone line and wired up a set of RCA leads exactly as shown in this DIY. Hooked up a RCA to 1/8" adapter and went back to the garage to test it. Again it worked no problem, but the sound quality was distorted. Using the cassette adapter vs the modded connection provided a MUCH better sound.

Some further observations with this with respect to gain: With the first setup, the gain on my source device (my droid2) needed to be set at 60% or less to avoid clipping and distorting louder notes. When I did it the 2nd way (the way shown here) I had to have the volume on my droid set at the very very lowest setting or I got a LOT of distortion. Looking at the circuit board, I presume this is because the way shown in this thread taps in very near the magnetic pickups for reading tapes. I presume the pickup from the tape readers would be a very low signal level, and would be boosted quite a bit before being sent to the radio. So, by tapping in there near the pickups, vs later down the line as in the linked tutorial, the source feed needed to be at a very very low volume or it clips very badly. I also noted that tapping in as shown here resulted in a very bass heavy and muddy sound. I presume this also has to do with the way the signal provided from a tape needs to be modified to produce accurate sound.

In conclusion - both methods work, but in my case neither worked as well as the actual cassette adapter. The one linked here http://jcrowell.info/bmw-aux-in.html to my ear without a doubt provided better sound quality than the method shown in this thread, but still paled compared to the purpose built tape adapter. Any of the 3 are probably better quality than a FM tuner would be. I bet if you didn't hear the various inputs side by side you may never know the difference, as before hooking up the tape adapter I thought it sounded good. So if you can't stand the wire coming out of your tape deck, these hardwired solutions are viable options. In my case, i went back in and removed the modifications and will deal with the cord and get the better sound quality.

YMMV, just thought I'd share my experiences with this. I know many have said the hard wired solution provides far superior sound to the tape unit, I just had the opposite experience. Maybe not all tape units are made equal?
 

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