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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2006 X3 with NAV and Sirius. Looking to install a CarPC. So far have installed GNET video module. Location of install will be rear drivers side near NAV unit. Want to also install CD changer (would rather install in rear versus center console). Found only two wrapped connections in rear - one coaxial antenna type and a three wire connection. Not sure what these are for. For the CARPC will need an IBUS and AUX connection. I purchased my AUX cable yesterday but from what information I have the only way to connect is in the back of the HU unit. On my 330XI I used the back of the radio module in the trunk. I believe the IBUS connection is not a problem. Anyone have any details on what wires I should be able to find in the rear storage area of the drivers side?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I have completed the wiring for the CarPC. I took a 15 foot stereo cable with a stereo jacks on each end and removed the AUX connection in the glove box. (BTW - its kind of a badly designed location per BMW mounting instructions). Connected one side of the stereo jack above the glove box. The glove box is easy to remove. There are three screws on the top, two in the back of the glove box and two on either side. The left side screw is a bit difficult because its very close to the hinge. Once loose the glove box comes out. Be carefull removing it in that you have the power wires for the flashlight, glove box light and myself I have the rear trunk release wires. Once I have the glove box off I could run the stereo cable near the top and parallel the fused panel wire cluster. I took the wire down the side and pushed it underneath the door floor edge trim until I got to the rear seat. Once there tie wrapped it to a bundle of wires going to the battery area. I used a short piece of wire to fish it to the opening in front of the battery. While I was by the battery I also cabled a 12 gauage red and black wire for CarPC power. I am now in the process of mounting the CarPC to the drivers side rear Navigation, Siruis, Bluetooth, GNet, Amplifier, IBUS adapter area. I purchase another cover so that I could remove the cover attached to the CarPC and put the spare cover on. I made an easy to remove jack which holds the power, ignition power and negative voltage. The other wires for the CarPC will be an audio cable (one pulled), USB cable (for IBUS), power cable and video cable to the GNET module. Took a while becaue I didn't know what it would take to bring aux to the rear section of the vehicle.
 

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Hi,

Sounds interesting. I had the same plans with my E46 but life changed a bit and I sold my car before getting my plans executed. Now I am rethinking the concept with my X3.

What kind of IBUS adapter are you using? Or did you develop it by yourself? It isn't complex if you take the easy way without any collison detection etc.

What I had planned earlier was to install a computer in the trunk, a small flat display somewhere in the cockpit, small wireless ball mouse and then use the pc as source for everything except radio. Could also link the wheel buttons to control music etc. coming from the computer or browse through file explorer. I was even thinking of skipping CD-changer and use computer to emulate the player and select songs by steering wheel buttons (via IBUS ) and pass sound through aux-in.

With three kids after the creation of the plan, I find it hard to find the time to do all these type of custom things so it may well be that I will never get this done...

Have you taken any pics so far? Would be nice to see what kind of thing you end up with :thumbup:

- p
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am using the Resler IBUS-USB device. Its working fine in my E46 for a few years now. Purchased two at the time planning on X3. The computer in the E46 is mounted in the center under the window in the trunk. Looks good there and fits fine. I still have it connected to a large 12 Volt alarm tank battery. This gets charged when running the car. It gives the computer about 60 of on time if the car is off. In the X3 the computer is in a VroomII case and will be mounted on the cover in the rear drivers side "trunk". I have pictures posted on the X3 world side.

I currently utilize the steering wheel buttons in the E46 and believe the same for the E83.

My kids are now in college and it appears the only time I hear from them is when they are short of money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
CarPC Endeavor - Cross Post from MP3Car

I have an X3 and have started the installation of a CARPC. I am taking baby steps. As the series is new there isn't much information on the wiring out there. Any help would be great!

A little HX - currently also have a 330XI which originally had NAV (16:9 display). I upgraded radio to provide an AUX output and added a BT module for my telephone. I installed an IBUS USB interface and connected all of this a couple of years ago to a 1GHz VIA PC with WLAN and BT on it. I get to the CARPC by using the AUX mode on the HU. Currently when running and parked in the driveway the PC connects to the home network so that I am able to upload music and video to the computer. I use the BT to connect to my phone's internet connection so I am able to get internet email and surf the web while on the road. This BT connection works with my HTC wizard (with WM6.1 on it) in conjunction with the CAR BT connection allowing two simultaneous unique connections to the phone. I will be testing a third audio BT connection from the phone to the CARPC. Will need to add it to my CARPC application menu though. Just recently decided to add the 12V ignition on PC on circuit so that when autostarting vehicle I can get to a shared drive on it from the home network. I currently utilize a switch to provide 12V (from 12V always on source) to start up PC. I use a circuit with a Tank battery to provide 12V to the PC. I did recently install an auto starter to the car so that I can remotely start it and get to the PC. Another thing not done that would be great (and I have heard rumors that it has been done) would be to use the IBUS/PC combo to sync the NAV GPS time to the CAR PC and the Car time/date configuration in that the GPS IBUS traffic always provides a time stamp (NTP sort of). Has anyone done this yet?

My base: 2006 X3 with NAV and Sirius. I intend to install the PC in the drivers side rear right trunk section (adjacent to the NAV unit) OR in the rear lower storage area above the wheel well. To date I have installed a G-Net Video module and it has been tested to work. I also purchased an AUX cable for audio connection to the PC. At this time it appears that my only AUX out is via the back of the radio HU so I may need to run this cable to the trunk. I do have one CD changer cable (along with a coaxial antenna cable in the drivers rear section adjacent to the NAV unit). I believe this cable plugs into the Siruis unit to provide a CD changer connection to the center console. It is only three wires and I believe that it is audio. The other cable plugged into the Sirius box is also three wires and I believe that it might be an IBUS connection. (can anyone validate?) In addition plan on adding a CD changer but would rather install it in the rear section adjacent to the NAV unit versus the center console (I would rather not lose the center console storage).
I was looking for another VIA computer for this vehicle. This PC will also have a combo BT and WLAN module built in. I may decided this time to put a "wired" remote WLAN antenna for better signal strength to the home network. The issues appear only with what wiring is where on this vehicle. I have been posting for information on the BMW X3 forums but at this time there seems to be some lack in information relating to the wiring of this vehicle. (the E46 has been around a long time versus the E83). Long term would be adding two addition LCD's in the passenger view of the front seat head rests. These two LCD's would have dual video sources (CAR PC and DVD player).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Starting the "build" of the new carpc - initially with a VIA 1200 combo VroomII case. Not sure yet regarding best fit and where. I also have a Cappucino PC which is a very small footprint but gets very warm. Not sure on the video quality of the Cappucino via its RCA out and to the HU unit. Anyone put a VroomII case in their X3 yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Resler IBUS Interface for X3

Here's a picture of the IBUS interface. It will be mounted on top of the Sirius Box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
GNET Module Installation

GNET video module in left rear space area of X-3. This is where the small CarPC is going to be installed. Will update posts with more pictures once the CarPC is installed. Might move the GNET video module to below the Sirius box and put the 6"X6" micro PC on top of the NAV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
AUX In

AUX & Rear Hatch release installed in X-3. Same AUX port will be utilized for CarPC in rear of X3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Final X3 CarPC connections

Finished wiring/mounting G-NET video module (moved it from previously placed location) and IBUS Resler Interface. The G-Net module is mounted via two brackets to a BMW metal horizontal bracket which goes almost behind the main amplifier. I took apart the entire assembly before mounting the G-Net module. I initially removed the GPS Nav unit and left the Sirius radio unit in place. There are 4 bolts and 1 nut holding the assembly in place. Tested connectivity to IBUS. All OK except for my trimming around the USB connection (a bit sloppy) One thing to note, as I had forgot this regarding the 330XI CarPC endeavor. The 12VDC connection to the IBUS Resler interface has to be disconnected as it will cause some issues with the rest of the devices you have on the IBUS. The interface will draw its power from the PC USB interface and work fine with that. Attached are a couple of pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
CarPCs to Test

Attached are pictures of PC's which I will be testing. A third one is just a micro ITX running a "D" Pentium 3.X processor. I have not installed it in a case yet and not sure if I want to use it. I purchased it because of its size and SVIDEO/RCA video output.

Decided to keep the MINI-PC as a multimedia server running Vista Home Premium. It works well with an out 1080P to my LCD and plays 720/1080P MKV files.

The Micro ATX with the Pentium D used up too much power and the video from the RCA jack was really bad. Decdided to mount this in another mini-itx case and using it as my secondary Zoneminder server.

I went thru two revisions of an Epia ITX board and settled on the same one that I put into the 330XI. It is a 1.0 Ghz/1gig memory/160HD Mini-Itx board with a combo PCMCIA/CF slot on the board. It was difficult to remove the old Epia ITX board out of the Vroom II case but once installed it works ok. Fans are kind of loud and with an Epia board you may not really want to use them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bringing AUX audio from front to back of X3

Writing (will take pictures) of my efforts to bring AUX input from the front to the rear of the vehicle. The easy way (maybe?) would have been to run a cable from the glove box to the drivers side rear where electronics are. Instead I am planning on: (hoping this this will work)

1 - making two cables - one with a female mini stereo plug and one with a male mini stereo plug.
2 - connecting the leads of the front cable to the AUX jack. This would happen in the glove box. The three leads would be connected (with pins) to the CD changer cable connector sitting behind the HU unit.
3 - interconnecting the two CD Changer cables sitting in the center console. Only three connections will be necessary. If I am correct with the assumption that one cable goes to the rear of the vehicle and one goes behind the HU.
4 - connecting the leads of the rear cable to the CD changer cable which is sitting right next to the Sirius Box. I believe its purpose is the the CD changer in the center console.

I am lucky that I have both sets of CD changer cables already there. Not sure is this is standard with all of the E83's.

Decided not to use my CD Changer Cables (actually purchased kit and CD-Changer so will be installing that in a separate endeavor).

Did it the "easy way" by pulling a stereo cable from the glove box to the drivers side rear compartment. Will attach a few pics of where I ran the wires. While doing this ran 12 guage black and red cable from the battery area. Already found an ignition on cable near the NAV unit and currently using it to power GNET module.
 

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All of this is wonderful. Great write up, and pics!

I'm moving up to an '05 X3 this weekend. Was planning on Car PC'ing my '05 325 until i came upon this X.
So naturally, I'm thinking of Car PC'ing out the new one.
Do you have any pics of where you ran the most recent cable from the glove box to the driver's rear? I hope to be running that same distance soon.

Thanks!
k
 

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Ukemi - that's how I roll
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Some great ideas...have you thought of mounting this in the space directly in front of the spare tire area?

There is a huge area that is accessible by removing three nylon screw taps and three bolts to the rear of that panel.

I have a picture saved if that will help and add it later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Rear Door Release

It was easy but I didn't like the placement of the button in the glove compartment as designed by BMW. Some steps and a picture of my E46.

1 - remove glove compartment
2 - find your wiring by your fuse panel. The docs are accurate relating to colors of wires and position on the fuse block.
3 - cut a hole in your glove compartment using a template provided.

Once installed you have to be careful with the rear door release wiring attached to the glove box.

Works well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
CarPC endeavor FInal pieces

I am just about finished with the CarPC endeavor except for where to put the PC. Initially was thinking to mount it on the side panel (bought a second panel just in case) - but the case is a bit heavier then previously thought.

Evlengr you mentioned a large space in front of the spare tire area. I am not seeing where you are writing about. The picture you mentioned may help me. Currently the space next to the battery in my car has the emergency kit, tools, etc. Here is a picture of it.

I passed the AUX audio cables in from the right (passenger side) into the battery compartment. Are you talking about the area there behind the seats? Might switch over to using a Mini PC inside of the area adjacent to the Sirius box.
 

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Ukemi - that's how I roll
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I am just about finished with the CarPC endeavor except for where to put the PC. Initially was thinking to mount it on the side panel (bought a second panel just in case) - but the case is a bit heavier then previously thought.

Evlengr you mentioned a large space in front of the spare tire area. I am not seeing where you are writing about. The picture you mentioned may help me. Currently the space next to the battery in my car has the emergency kit, tools, etc. Here is a picture of it.

I passed the AUX audio cables in from the right (passenger side) into the battery compartment. Are you talking about the area there behind the seats? Might switch over to using a Mini PC inside of the area adjacent to the Sirius box.
Pete,

Yes, it is actually in front of the battery tool area. Not even the dealers knew where this was.

There are three nylon type bolts that you pull up on to release the portion facing you as you look in from the bumper area.

The area in line with the seats is not so easy and took putting both seats down and very carefully loosening the nuts from the fixed bolts.

There is a small support post made of nylon/plastic on the panel that I cut away with an Xacto razor saw.

Once I removed the back nuts there is a lip that easily holds it all in place. They are in a ziploc baggy until I sell the car in the future.

After that you can see how much room is back there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks Evlengr. I fished my AUX cable on the right side there in your picture but never really knew what was there until I saw your picture. I can't read the text on your picture but should be able to figure it out.
 

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Ukemi - that's how I roll
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Thanks Evlengr. I fished my AUX cable on the right side there in your picture but never really knew what was there until I saw your picture. I can't read the text on your picture but should be able to figure it out.
Says bolt 1 bolt 2 etc.... Lol.
Gotta Redo that with bigger and bolder font.

Curious to see the finished product. I am also adding to my toys. I just got a real DSP sound processor which (on paper) helps adjust for all the imbalances caused by poor placement, hard surfaces (such as glass), soft surfaces and bad compression given in nature of iPod compression.

Have to read the manual on the software but looks pretty easy.

Will pass that on.

Can't wait to see your end game as I am a big proponent of broad band wireless.
 
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