iPod Integration w/ Intravee II, Alpine KCA-420i, A/D - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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post #1 of 173 Old 17th April 2008, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
bwherry
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iPod Integration w/ Intravee II, Alpine KCA-420i, A/D

Hi all,

I just did an iPod integration using the Intravee II and Alpine KCA-420i and I figured I'd share the process with y'all. (my car is a 2001 w/ digital DSP, so I'll also cover the necessary A/D conversion -- not needed on cars without digital DSP) I gathered a lot of information regarding this modification from right here on m5board, but in disparate locations. I'm putting this all together in one place, so if you're planning this exact iPod integration scheme, this should be very helpful.

For those that don't know, the Intravee II is basically a box that translates Alpine's AI-Net protocol into the BMW iBus, so it opens up a lot of ICE options with Alpine stuff. One such Alpine product is the KCA-420i iPod interface. The really nice thing about this combo for iPod integration is the iPod is completely controllable from the headunit -- you can browse artists, albums, playlists, etc. Meaning you don't need to be able to physically touch the iPod, so you can leave it in the trunk, out of the way.

Cars with digital DSP need one additional component, an analog-to-digital converter to take the analog audio signal from the Intravee II outputs and convert it to a digital signal that the audio amplifier needs. How do you know if you've got digital DSP or not? Loosen the two screws on the side of your CD changer and pull it up and out, then look at the back where the connections are. All of our cars have a 3-pin iBus connection. Digital DSP cars have a coaxial digital audio output (small plug with a single wire inside, pictured here) whereas cars without digital DSP use a 6-pin connection (using the 6-pin socket that isn't connected in this picture). The installation of the necessary A/D converter for digital DSP cars takes a little more effort/time/skill to DIY. You non-digital DSP guys should thank your lucky stars because the installation for y'all is a piece of cake.

Note: my digital camera apparently s$&t the bed during the installation, so a lot of the pictures have funky lines through them. Many apologies. Hopefully the important stuff is still visible...


Parts:
  • Intravee II - I got mine from bimmernav.com
  • Alpine KCA-420i - I got mine from crutchfield.com
  • DICE A/D converter (only needed if you've got digital DSP!!) - I got mine from bavariansoundwerks.com. There are other (and cheaper) A/D conversion solutions available, but this one is nice because it includes all the necessary wiring, so it's plug-n-play. Well, solder, plug, and play, anyway.
Signal Flow:
  • Audio comes out the iPod and into the KCA-420i via the included dock cable. The KCA-420i's AI-Net output (audio and communications) is routed to the Intravee II. For non-digital DSP cars, the analog audio output from the Intravee II goes to the amp, using the 6-pin connector that used to connect to the CD changer. The 3-pin iBus connector (also used to be connected to the CD changer) plugs into the Intravee II's "Bus" port. Here's the basic layout.
  • For digital DSP cars, the audio output from the Intravee II is routed to the A/D converter, which is then routed to the amp via the coaxial connection. Here's that basic layout.
Installation:
  1. Take your CDs out of the CD changer magazine! Once the CD changer is out, you can't get the CDs out!
  2. Disconnect the negative battery cable (10mm socket). This is located in the trunk under the "trap door". You can close the little cap and rest the cable on top to make sure it stays away from that terminal.
  3. Remove the CD changer. So glad to see that thing go! There are two screws on the right side that only need to be loosened a bit (not removed) and the CD changer can be lifted up and out.
  4. Disconnect the CD changer connections. One is a 3-pin iBus connector that we all have. The other one will either be a 6-pin connector (not digital DSP) or a coaxial connector (digital DSP).
  5. (Digital DSP cars only) Move the navigation CD or DVD drive out of the way (we'll need room in that area soon). Loosen three 8mm bolts (here, here, and here) and finagle it out, and set aside.
  6. Connect everything together like this. (digital DSP like this)
  7. Y'all without digital DSP are basically done. Skip ahead to step 10. Lucky bastids.
  8. Okay digital DSP dudes, all we need to do is get power to the A/D converter. Look for a purple wire with a white stripe -- that's switched +12V power. The fat brown wire going into the amp's big multipin connector is ground (you can also get ground of the chassis, using one of the tail light screw ends, etc.). Strip some of the insulation away and solder up your A/D converter's power wires. In the case of the DICE A/D unit, the +12V has the white stripe (and a big sticker saying +12V). You can also use tap-in connectors (which the DICE A/D unit comes with) but I prefer the smoke, awkwardness, and extreme heat of soldering. Then tape 'em up with some electrical tape.
  9. (still digital DSP only) Plug in the power connector to the A/D unit and route the audio output from the Intravee II (6-pin connector) to the A/D unit's stereo RCA connectors. Then connect the coaxial cable from the A/D converter's output to the coaxial input on the amp. It should now look something like this.
  10. Route the cable to the iPod through one of the vent holes so you can connect and disconnect an iPod without having to open the little cubby door. Like this. Unless you want to leave the iPod stowed away all the time, in which case you're on your own as far as mounting it securely...
  11. Arrange the boxes such that they're secured to the car somehow (I used velcro) and such that the cubby door will still close (shouldn't be that hard -- CD changer was much bigger than these guys). My arrangement looks like this.
  12. Close it up and figure out how to mount your iPod back there... I've got a 3rd-gen iPod that came with a little protective case. I put a couple pieces of velcro on the case, which sticks to the carpet quite nicely. Plug it in and win!
  13. Reconnect the cable to the negative battery terminal.
That's it! Now fire up the car and enjoy having your entire music libaray at your fingertips!

Cheers!

Brian
Attached Thumbnails
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07_cd_changer_connections.jpg  

08_nav_bolt1.jpg  

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12_power_connections.jpg  

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14_all_connected.jpg  

15_nice_n_neat.jpg  

16_through_the_hole.jpg  

17_buttoned_up.jpg  

18_velcro_on_case.jpg  

19_connected_and_stuck.jpg  

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post #2 of 173 Old 17th April 2008, 11:30 AM
Envisage0
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That's one hell of a post Brian.......

Thanks for what must have taken a lot of effort to share.

Awesome!

**** it, let's do it - Australian proverb

"If you are in control, you're not going fast enough."
Mario Andretti

Last edited by Envisage0; 17th April 2008 at 11:31 AM.
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post #3 of 173 Old 17th April 2008, 02:53 PM
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post #4 of 173 Old 17th April 2008, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b757236 View Post
Any pictures of the Ipod screen on the Nav unit?
I didn't take any 'cause they'd have those purple lines through 'em. But check out this video to see the Intravee in action.

Oh, and I found an installation video (no DSP A/D, though) here.

Brian
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post #5 of 173 Old 18th April 2008, 12:37 AM
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Great write up. One helluva product the IV. Lovin' mine.

2002 M5 Carbon Black
Black/Grey leather
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AiB 3.0 angel eyes
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BMW 545 shifter
Dinan rear sway bar
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X5 4.8 thrust arm bushings
Audio - DSP, MBQuart speakers, Alpine LAT sub, ipod 160G Classic/intravee II/KCA 420i
Bimmernav Bluetooth upgrade
phone cradle V3xx modified
Solaris invisi-bulbs
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post #6 of 173 Old 18th April 2008, 12:44 AM
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Incredible write up! Thanks!

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post #7 of 173 Old 18th April 2008, 05:53 AM
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I'm confused at the need for the Alpine KCA-420i in combination with the Intravee. Are you intending to add more components (like an Alpine CD Changer, DVD, etc)? Otherwise, isn't it a redundant component?

As an alternative installation method, you could choose not to use an A->D converter and instead buy the 6 pin harness which plugs into your radio unit.

Doug
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post #8 of 173 Old 18th April 2008, 06:04 AM
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Doug
the kca 420i is the necessary interface between the ipod and the intravee.

2002 M5 Carbon Black
Black/Grey leather
Brushed Aluminium trim

AiB 3.0 angel eyes
AiB xenon match fogs
BMW 545 shifter
Dinan rear sway bar
TCD rear sway bar brackets
X5 4.8 thrust arm bushings
Audio - DSP, MBQuart speakers, Alpine LAT sub, ipod 160G Classic/intravee II/KCA 420i
Bimmernav Bluetooth upgrade
phone cradle V3xx modified
Solaris invisi-bulbs
Yokohama Advan sport V103 tyres
MkIV Nav V31 custom splash
removed - rogue SSK, dinan camber plates, koni FSD, umnitza predator ice



2004 Toyota Landcruiser Kakadu 4.2 turbo diesel

ex 1959 FC Holden sedan
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post #9 of 173 Old 18th April 2008, 06:49 AM
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Doug,

The intravee speaks "AI NET" by alpine, you need the 420i to convert the BMW ibus language to ai net.

Rob
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post #10 of 173 Old 18th April 2008, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LFC09 View Post
Doug
the kca 420i is the necessary interface between the ipod and the intravee.
Thanks Scott - that makes more sense. I didn't realize the Intravee didn't have native support for an Ipod...

Doug
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