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Discussion Starter #1
First of all a HUGE thanks to Richard for helping me figure out the technical bits of exactly how this cable is put together. The first photo is all the pieces I purchased. 1x 300k ohm resistor, 2x 0.22 micro farad capacitors, 18 gauge wire, (you could probably use 22 gauge), 1x 3.5mm stereo mini receptacle, printed circuit board, (also pictured is the small chunk of circuit board I already cut to use as the splint), heat shrink tubing, and connectors. The connectors are optional but it allows you to make a nice removable cable that you don't have to permanently solder to the connection in back of the nav/radio.
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Here are the capacitors, left and right channel wire, and resistor soldered to the chunk of circuit board. The resistor is on the nav/radio side of the capacitors. This may or may not matter but seeing as it's how the nav/radio recognizes the aux input it's probably safer to place it there rather than on the other side of the capacitors.
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A reverse angle of the build
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Here is the 3.5mm stereo mini receptacle. If you are planning to terminate the cable in the same place I have (next to the cup holders) I suggest you use a similar receptacle as there isn't much room behind there for any other size or shape of receptacle. The longer of the 3 leads in ground.
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Here is the complete cable with receptacle and female connector soldered in. I had hoped to cover the middle part of the cable with heat shrink tubing for a nice professional look but I didn't have any tubing that large. If I had a solder jig I probably could have made the "guts" a bit smaller and thus fitted a large piece of tubing over top. Anyhow, electrician's tape had to do.
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Once you pull off the Nav/radio surround and remove the 6 screws, the unit easily slides out and you find the cable that the Aux input connects to. Placing a tape part way in the cassette deck stops the unit from auto retracting while you are trying to unscrew the lower screws.
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I cut off the oem connector and soldered on the male end of the connector I used for my cable. Black and yellow are R/L, and brown is ground.
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Here is the receptacle in place! Note: I was not able to completely remove the cup holder. There was some tab that I couldn't release. However, once the 2 screws holding it in were removed I was able to pull it out just far enough to the drill the hole and tuck the receptacle in from behind. I wasn't able to center the hole exactly in the middle of the plastic as the design of the back of the plastic and what is behind the dash wouldn't allow it. I decided to line it up with the middle of the climate controls above and that feels about right.
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Here is the final product with my Griffin Bluetrip installed. It allows me to stream music and calls wirelessly from my iphone. The small button on the Bluetrip allows you to answer and end calls plus it activates voice control on the ipod so you can do pretty much everything without the phone leaving your pocket. I plan to make a really short stereo mini cable so that I don't have that extra slack you see wound up. For the money I feel this is a fairly complete sollution that is visually minimal.
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Thanks again to Richard for the help! This beats paying $75 plus tax to my stealer. I know it's cheaper for you guys in the states.
 

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I thought your '03 would have the AUX input inside your glove compartment as a factory feature?

Regardless, great instructions and photos to show how it's done.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't think any cars came with them installed as an option. The newer ones just have the pre-wiring. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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That's very neat, and if I didn't have Intravee I'd be ordering the bits from Maplin already...

YG
 

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Well done. Thanks for the in-depth pics and writeup.

I've been eyeing this project for months after reading this thread on Bimmerfest, Auxiliary Audio Input Retrofit (Questions...) - bimmerfest - BMW Forums. One thing they mention over there, is you can use the 3-pin computer power connector (like the one found on old floppy drives) if you don't want to cut the factory connector from the harness. Kinda nice, as it makes the install fully reversable.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well done. Thanks for the in-depth pics and writeup.

I've been eyeing this project for months after reading this thread on Bimmerfest, Auxiliary Audio Input Retrofit (Questions...) - bimmerfest - BMW Forums. One thing they mention over there, is you can use the 3-pin computer power connector (like the one found on old floppy drives) if you don't want to cut the factory connector from the harness. Kinda nice, as it makes the install fully reversable.

Good to know about the cable. Where were you yesterday!? lol
 

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Discussion Starter #8
can this be done on an 2000 ?

i have 4:3 nav
Cars built before late 2002 dont have the pre wired cable on the back of the nav/radio that the aux input cable plugs into. I believe there are ways to connect it though. Something about tapping into the cassette deck wires. You then just put a dummy tape in the deck and put the stereo in tape mode. Whatever you have tapped into the tape wires will play! You can find better details in other similar threads if you search for "Aux input"
 

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Nixter, thanks for the write-up and pictures. I'm going to have my girlfriend make one for me (she's in school for electrical engineering, so why not) lol.
How do you like the Griffin unit? Does the mic work well, do people have trouble hearing you?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The griffin is Awesome. It's so small and unobtrusive. People have no trouble hearing me at all. I also have a similar Kensington unit on order so I will compare the two when I receive it. The main advantage about Kensington is you can optionally charge the iphone via a usb cable. The downside is that it's a little bit bigger than the Griffin. I've also read some negative things about it's built in mic but we'll see
 

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I thought your '03 would have the AUX input inside your glove compartment as a factory feature?

Regardless, great instructions and photos to show how it's done.

Thanks.
Nope, it was an option you could pay extra for but all 2003+ E39 and X5 came with a little socket at the back of the screen which allowed for a plug and play aux cable to be attached. Next time you come out to a meet I'll show you the install of the OEM aux setup I did this summer in my car.

Nix... seriously, how much did all that cost you? I paid about 35-40 bucks for the OEM cable shipped to my door. :D I do like the location of where you installed it though, I rarely use mine mainly due to it being in the glovebox and the fact that I don't have a stand alone iPod to play music off as someone always ends up calling me. I need to get bluetooth but I don't want to pay $700+ for it... can you macguyver up a kit with richard or what? :D
 

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Good write up and pictures. The OEM cable really is just the same thing but costs more, you do get a little aluminum plate with "AUX" written on it though!
 

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Nope, it was an option you could pay extra for but all 2003+ E39 and X5 came with a little socket at the back of the screen which allowed for a plug and play aux cable to be attached. Next time you come out to a meet I'll show you the install of the OEM aux setup I did this summer in my car.
This is the cable that was used.

Cars made before September 2002 did not have the wires behind the monitor, but if made after about April 2002 do have the Aux capability in the radio module. It the radio module in an older car is replaced then the Aux input would also be possible. For those that don't have the connections behind the monitor you would need to run a cable from the radio module in the trunk, connectin to pins 3 (left), 4 (right) and 10 (ground) of the small sub-connector under the fuse cutout of the main radio plug (X13649).
 

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Good write up and pictures. The OEM cable really is just the same thing but costs more, you do get a little aluminum plate with "AUX" written on it though!
now now, don't forget the screws used to mount the aluminum plate, the zip ties to keep the wire snug against the glovebox door, the instruction manual, the little baggy that kept all the screws and aluminum plate inside and the bigger baggy that kept everything i just listed in it as well sealed with love from BMW with a part number label on it! :blink:
 

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Good to know about the cable. Where were you yesterday!? lol
Sorry :)

I stumbled on that article about 6 months ago, bookmarked it with the intent of re-posting up here, and then completely forgot about it. I've also been experimenting with a circuit that will charge my Droid via USB (I was going to put the plugs side-by-side in the same tray area you used) that is half finished. It works fine on a breadboard, but it's drawing about 750mA of current and the transistor is getting very hot. I was playing with various forms of heatsinks before I got sidetracked on another project.
 

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Hello Nixter,

Thank you for the write up, I plan on doing this shortly. Quick question: Does it matter which wires the black and yellow cables (R/L) from the back of the NAV unit match up to? Obviously the two grounds will connect to each other but does mismatching the other two make a difference? Not sure how you'd know unless the 3.5mm stereo receptical had a little "right" and "left" or "+" and "-" labeled on its prongs...

Thanks!
 

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Sorry one more - Which side is the resister on? The side leading back to the NAV unit or the side leading to the 3.5mm receptacle? Thanks
 

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I did this mod recently and just picked up the BMW cable for $40 instead. Didn't take pics of the installation or even note the part#, but it's a simple harness that plugs into an unoccupied tail in your radio harness. You can mount the jack anywhere you want. I chose here. Maybe I should have dusted the area first.
 

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