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Old 01-09-2006, 11:05 AM
x5Monkey®'s Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Uranus
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Mobile Innovations

Contributed by: x5Monkey®

X5Monkey's Trip to MI

I finally had a second to get some pics together from my recent install at Mobile
Innovations.


I was going to include the story of my adventures up there but this whole thing got way too long. So, it'll be in the lounge if you care.

Here's what we had done...

- I already had a Pioneer XM radio installed via cd changer direct connection with Soundgate XM adapter. Antenna specialists xm antenna was already mounted on the roof and antenna wires were hidden.

- Nav-TV install. TV antenna hidden in the rear spoiler, completely out of sight.

- Alpine DVD changer-mounted in driver’s side rear cargo area

- Neo Jukebox 60 GIG mp3 player with voice module to speak mp3 info-mounted in pass. Side rear cargo area. Controller mounted in ashtray hole (actual ashtray removed). They built a faceplate in the ashtray so it looks damn near factory installed. Nothing in the ashtray area was broken for the install, therefore I just have to remove and drop in an ashtray and nobody would ever know the difference. The ashtray closes perfectly to hide it all.

- Soundgate BMW docking station- which has 2 sets of aux RCA inputs. It daisy chains the CD changer connection to the back of it so that you can still use it. It also include a switch that toggles between the 3 modes now installed on the CD changer connection. Finally it has an LED which indicates which mode you are in… no light is cd changer, solid light is dvd changer audio, and blinking light is mp3 player. Both the switcher and LED were run the ashtray and mounted next to the mp3 controller. As I wrote, the Soundgate docking station has a connection for the cd changer in the back end, so the Soundgate XM adapter and Pioneer XM tuner were daisy chained to the back. Power for the XM unit is still obtained through the cd changer connection. No hardwire needed

- Reverse, mirror image, video camera, installed into the rear Roundel, which as the name suggests, activates when going into reverse and provides a mirror image(meaning flipped image-as it would be looking in the rear view mirror)

- Audio/Video cables run from the DVD changer to the rear cup holder area, hidden in the storage area. Completely out of sight. This is because I have a TV with aux input that mounts and powers up from the rear cigarette lighter. Plug In TV and Mp3 Jukebox for this and the mp3 player. Not so fancy schmancy for the people in the rear but very simple and cheap and it works perfectly.

- Last but not least, I told Nick at MI, that since the Alpine DVD changer has the ability to play cd’s as well, that I wanted to split the dvd player signal to the Soundgate aux inputs, so that I may also use it as a cd changer. Well, they figured out that that would work but I would not be able to read the track or cd number any place, because the NAV-tv unit plays sound in the mono mode. If I wanted to read it on the NAV screen and listen in stereo, they’d have to create some device to tap the dvd changer directly into the NAV monitor, bypassing the NAV-tv unit.. They devised a swich, mounted in the ashtray also, that looks like a light switch. Whichever mode I was in, NAV, Nav-tv, whatever, if I flipped the switch, the nav monitor would switch to whatever was in the dvd/cd changer and play in stereo through the factory system. I have know idea how they did it, but those guys are frigging geniuses. All I know is, that it works.

Everything is super stealth. You wouldn’t know any of it is there if you weren’t looking for it. If I ever decide to sell the x I can revert back to stock for probably 100 bucks of parts.

Thanks to Nick, Marty and the great installers at MI for all your professionalism and courtesy. Not one single nick or scratch during the install. Thanks to Tommy for getting me in there. Thanks to Ed for the ride back to the city and the offer of more rides if I needed them.

Here are the pics:

Driver's side cargo area. Alpine DVD changer, NAV unit, NAV voice control module. The Soundgate stuff is buried deep in there.


Passenger side rear cargo area. The painted a piece of plywood black and mounted the unit on there. Notice how they installed it a little on the low side so that I can still use the top portion of the cargo area for storage. Nice touch that you wouldn't get at most places. The hard drive unlocks, slides out and then docks on my home computer. It's 60 gigs for God's sake! I have like 700 songs on there now and I'll only using around 4 gigs. The voice module is nice because I can use the remote without taking me eyes off the road.



NAV-TV on the Menu screen.


My reverse image back up cam mounted in the rear Roundel. Barely had to cut out any of the Roundel at all for the install.


The image


The Soundgate BMW docking station. Sorry no pic of the XM adapter.


My ashtray now. Looks like it was done at the factory, doesn't it? The controller is for the mp3 player. The push button switch switches between the 2 RCA connections and CD connection. The green LED indicates which mode you're in. And the light switch looking thing on the left is the switch to automatically switch into DVD stereo mode.


Rear cupholder area RCA connections for DVD. Completely hidden in the storage area.


Finally, some not so great pics of the two monitors together. My digital camera isn't great.





And the Saga Continues......

Sirius retrofit finished...

Just finished the other day. I've been doing some reception experiments before I made any recommendations to the board.

The retrofit was kind of a biznatch because 1st time I received the radio tuner from bimmernav.com it was the wrong one. Apparently, there are now region specific tuners that cannot switch between Euro/USA/Japan modes. And with my luck, I got the Euro only one. Martin didn't get another USA one in for another week, so, in the mean time, I had my X torn apart but I had to just twiddle my thumbs until the new tuner arrived.

Next problem was the location of the Sirius tuner. As I have the NAV TV tuner installed in the OEM Sirus tuner location, I tried to follow Jan's excellent instructions on x5world and wedge the tuner in the same location near the tv tuner, under the spare tire. But, I have the NAV TV big style harness that was tucked into that location. Also, there are a lot of plastic brackets down there that appeared to need cutting out in order to fit the Sirius tuner down there. I have a pretty complicated a/v install down in that area so I really just didn't want to chance f-ing it up.

So, all those reasons led me on a search for a new location for the tuner. Most of you guys know I have a Neo Jukebox 60 gig mp3 player located in the passenger side rear compartment, bolted to the body of the x. The hard drive slides in and out of a metal docking station that sits permanently in the x. I decided the best thing to do with the Sirius tuner was to use some 3M Heavy Duty 4010 Mounting Tape and mount it on the mp3 dock.

now you don't...with the black cover reinstalled...

So far so good. Not a rattle to speak of, nor does it appear to be detaching.

Next came the antenna. Actually, I did this during the time I was waiting for the new tuner, but that's not important right now. I decided to go the inside the spoiler route. I was pretty intent on not having any reception problems, otherwise I would have preferred to mount in on the roof. I called the antenna people, Terk, and spoke to their Tech Support for an explanation and some advice. As it turns out, it still is necessary to mount the antenna on metal, but not for the reasons once thought. It is not an electrical ground. So, just mounting it on a small scrap of metal in the spoiler ain't gonna cut it. Terk called it a "Reflective Ground". Meaning, the more metal you have directly under and near the antenna, the larger the surface for reception. Kind of the same principal as the dish on a tv satellite. Terk recommended using aluminum foil if no metal surface is available, so insead of trying to mount it on a loose piece of foil, I went with 3m aluminum foil tape. (Terk also recommended the metallic Dynomat for this purpose)

I lined all non-essential parts of the spoiler with the tape.


The two raised box areas without tape contain the GPS antenna on the left and the cell phone antenna on the right. You can probably see the tv antenna in there, as well. The antenna I used was the Terk Sir Mini. I originally was going to use the newest BMW mini antenna, but it is taller than the Terk one. So, i cannibalized the Radio ALC and antenna splitter from the BMW mini antenna, but mounted the Terk:



Nothing seems to be adversely effected by the foil tape. The BT phone antenna still works great and I'm receiving just as many GPS satellites as
before.

The Sirius reception is fantastic. The only dropout I've had lasted less than one second. It was when I was stopped in traffic under a spaghetti function hwy overpass. When actually moving I can go under any width overpass or bridge with no reception problems whatsoever. I haven't tried a tunnel yet but I am able to get reception inside my garage.

Now, at this point you guys might be wondering why there is a already a satellite antenna mounted on the roof of my x if I am trying to hide this Sirius antenna. The answer is, that's an XM radio antenna. Yes, I am sporting XM AND Sirius right now. Yeah it's overkill but wtf. I gotta keep up with you mod-maniacs somehow. BTW, my xm connects via the cd changer connection and a Soundgate adapter. No text, but excellent sound since no fm modulation.

I didn't want to try to hide the xm antenna because it is super low profile and the reception I get is fantastic. I've already tried to mount a different xm antenna in the spoiler and the reception stunk once i got outside of urban areas and past the land repeaters. I think there is something inherently better about the reception from the Sirius satellites.There is absolutely no interference from the two satellite radio antennas at all.So, there it is. let me know if you have any questions or comments.

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