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  #1  
Old 07-22-2010, 10:30 AM
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Call quality on a 2004 E53 (Antenna problem?)

I've found that call quality in my X5 on Bluetooth calls is not so hot. If the phone is in the front seat with me, there is a lot of static and crackling in the audio and callers indicate that I sound very distant. This has been the case with every phone I've used (Treo 750, iPhone 3G, now a Droid). I've found that putting the phone in the back seat does help considerably, but it's still not perfect.

Could this be related to my BT antenna? Is the only functioning antenna located with the ULF in the rear bay?

Thanks for your help.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2010, 02:59 AM
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Now that is a tricky problem! The antenna for the ULF on the X5 is located above the ULF in the luggage compartment. That could be why you are experiencing better performance when the unit is in the back seat. Although the trasmission is digital, and should be either clear and free from noise or not working at all. Still; try putting the phone in the luggage compartment to see if the audio performance improves. If so, you could buy a 5M cable Fakra and move the antenna into the centre console like in the E46/E39. There is also an option of seeing if there was an updated antenna available with better performance, as the part number chnaged several times during the life of the vehicle.
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2010, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbailey1712 View Post
I've found that call quality in my X5 on Bluetooth calls is not so hot...Could this be related to my BT antenna? Is the only functioning antenna located with the ULF in the rear bay?
Do you know if this is a factory installation or did you or a previous owner do the Bluetooth installation?

It sounds like either the Bluetooth antenna cable is bad, or it may not be connected at all. The BT antenna is so simple that it is not likely the problem. I would verify that the antanna is in the car and that the cable is securely connected. If things look right, then I would buy a new BT antenna cable and see if that works any better.
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  #4  
Old 07-23-2010, 11:14 AM
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Bob & Brian - this is an aftermarket install that I performed with the kit from EAS about 4 years ago.

I'll try putting my phone in the rear compartment and see how it performs as well as checking out the connections.

How would I find out if there's a better antenna available?

Also, I recall when installing the dock in the oddments tray that there was, what appeared to be, a BT antenna in there. Is the one in the trunk the only antenna in the X5?

Thanks!
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2010, 11:38 AM
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If you have an antenna in the dash it may be for the old WDCT wireless handset. This device also operates at 2.4GHz and would be suitable for BT. Unusual that your phone was prewired with the antenna too, but then the US market cars are differnet to the UK cars.

you could find the lead that is connected to the WDCT antenna, plug it into your ULF/TCU and see what happens.

You can note down the part numebrs of your antennas and type them into RealOEM to find out which versions you are equipped with.

You may find your newer antenna relocated to behind the ashtray will give you the performance you are looking for.
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2010, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbailey1712 View Post
This is an aftermarket install that I performed with the kit from EAS about 4 years ago.
Cool, this means you are familiar with the guts of it and are not afraid of digging in a bit. I assume that it is all BMW OE parts. If so, then I am very familiar with what you have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbailey1712 View Post
How would I find out if there's a better antenna available?
I am not aware of a better BT antenna. If I remember correctly, BMW has never changed the BT antenna. It is a ridiculously simple piece of tin with a plastic shell. I think that it has remained the same since its inception.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbailey1712 View Post
Also, I recall when installing the dock in the oddments tray that there was, what appeared to be, a BT antenna in there. Is the one in the trunk the only antenna in the X5?
The trunk is the official Bluetooth antenna location. And, there can only be one BT antenna in the car. It might be worth opening things up to verify the connections. I assume that you have the ULF module from EAS, and it would have the 54-pin main plug on one end and a single FAKRA connection on the other end. You would have connected the BT antenna cable to that FAKRA plug and then connected the BT antenna to the other end. So, look there first. If you connected that FAKRA plug to any other cable, that would be your problem.
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2010, 05:56 PM
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There were two revisions


84508387422 Basis Antenna till 2002
84506928461 Blueooth Antenna
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  #8  
Old 07-23-2010, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big bob View Post
There were two revisions
84508387422 Basis Antenna till 2002
84506928461 Blueooth Antenna
Great find. Though, that first version is exceptionally rare. The retrofit kits appeared several years after that version was discontinued.
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian-bmw View Post
Great find. Though, that first version is exceptionally rare. The retrofit kits appeared several years after that version was discontinued.
Are you sure the X5 never came with the WDCT handset in a drawer up front like the 7er?
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Old 07-24-2010, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big bob View Post
Are you sure the X5 never came with the WDCT handset in a drawer up front like the 7er?
I do not know.

tbailey1712 said that he installed a kit from EAS about four years ago. At that time, EAS was selling the complete BMW OE, ULF-based system complete with the BMW BT antenna and BT antenna cable. So, if tbailey1712 installed everything that came in his kit, he would not have connected anything to existing components in the car.
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