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Thread: Becker/BMW Indianapolis meets Indianapolis Pro

  1. #1
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    Becker/BMW Indianapolis meets Indianapolis Pro

    Some of you may know the mod I made to invert the display of the Becker/BMW Indianapolis 7969 to match the other displays in our cars - Becker/BMW Radio Navigation Indianapolis display mod II.

    The Becker Grand Prix and Indianapolis series are in my opinion the most modern head units that look stock in the E31. The Indianapolis 7969 is a version made by Becker for BMW and features a BMW label (instead of Becker Indianapolis) and BMW orange illumination. The only drawback is that the Becker Grand Prix and Indianapolis series all have a positive display (black text on an illuminated background) where the E31 has negative displays (illuminated text on a black background). That's what my mod was about.

    The Indianapolis was succeeded by the Indianapolis Pro, but that one never got a BMW version. The only difference between the Indianapolis and Indianapolis Pro is Bluetooth. It may be of little importance, but can be a great addition for people with cell phones who want to phone hands-free.

    I just got my hands on an Indianapolis Pro and decided to put the whole front of my modified Indianpolis on this unit. The result:



    A unit that still looks 100% BMW original, but now also features Bluetooth.

    Thus it seems the front can be interchanged between all Traffic Pro, Grand Prix, Indianapolis and Indianapolis Pro models. If you now have a BMW Traffic Pro or BMW Indianapolis, you could put its whole front on a modern Indianapolis Pro and still retain the BMW orange illumination. The only drawback is that the genuine BMW units boot with "BMW" on the display, whereas the Becker Indianapolis Pro shows a Becker logo on boot up. Oh well, you can't have everything in life...



    Update 2016-05-30 - summary of posts further down this thread

    As mentioned above I lost the "BMW" logo at start-up because I am now using a Becker Indianapolis Pro BE795x instead of the original BMW Indianapolis BE7969:



    I looked into changing the logo but got nowhere. Years went by and I had already given up changing the logo until a few Spanish fellows figured out where the logo was stored (link) - the 24C64 EEPROM on the main PCB. Using their findings I wrote a tool that makes it very easy to replace the logo in the EEPROM dump - the Becker Logo Editor:



    Now I was able to finally finish my mod:

    Last edited by revtor; 07-23-2016 at 03:50 AM. Reason: Update 2016-05-30

  2. #2
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    That looks real good. I like it a lot!

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    wow, beautiful.
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    Would you post instructions with pics.
    LouM...

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    I have a blaupunkt unit that is VERY similar... is this something that can be done to other units with a similar setup?
    *840Ci Picture coming soon*

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    Quote Originally Posted by LouM View Post
    Would you post instructions with pics.
    I already made write-ups of the conversion from a positive display to a negative display on the Becker/BMW Indianapolis 7969:
    Becker/BMW Radio Navigation Indianapolis display mod - first attempt. The inversion was performed by replacing the polarizing filter foil on the display. Just after completing it I was euphoric about the result, but it was far from perfect and after a few weeks I got annoyed by it and decided to do it all over again - this time using a completely different approach.
    Becker/BMW Radio Navigation Indianapolis display mod II: The second and final attempt. The older version of the Indianapolis - the Traffic Pro - did have a correct negative display. I noticed there were a lot of similarities between the Indianapolis and Traffic Pro, so I decided to get one and test the Traffic Pro's front on the Indianapolis. It worked! A quick solution would then be replacing the Indianapolis' front with that of a Traffic Pro, but I don't like the Traffic Pro's design. And thus I fitted the hardware of the Traffic Pro's front in the Indianapolis front. The result exceeded the expectations - I'm very happy with it.


    Original Becker/BMW Radio Navigation Indianapolis 7969 on top. My modified unit below.


    Modified unit installed in the car - the MID/OBC is not properly inserted at this picture, I had to take it out again

    The last step presented in this thread is actually very simple. Since the fronts are interchangable between the Traffic Pro and Indianapolis series, I did not see any reason why the front would not work on the Indianapolis Pro - after all, there are less changes between the Indianapolis and Indianapolis Pro, than between the Indianapolis and Traffic Pro. I was pretty sure it would work, but I just never tested it. Recently I got my hands on a new Indianapolis Pro and decided to do the test. What you see in this thread's opening post is the result.

    I did not make pictures of it, but it's very easy to swap the fronts between two Beckers. Remove the top panel (just clicks in place), remove the two screws that keep the chassis together near the front, push the sides outwards and lift the PCB a bit. The front should now easily come off. It's attached to the PCB with two small flatcables - one on each side. Unplug these at the front side. Do the same with the other unit, swap, and reverse the instructions for installation. 10 Minutes work.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1chiban View Post
    I have a blaupunkt unit that is VERY similar... is this something that can be done to other units with a similar setup?
    I really can't say. You'll have to open both units and compare the hardware. If there are a lot of similarities, there's a good chance you can swap parts. Otherwise, don't even think about it.

    What Blaupunkt units are you referring to?
    Last edited by revtor; 01-28-2014 at 02:02 AM. Reason: link fix

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    Very nice Revtor, as always. Yours will be the definitive writeups I'll use for this mod. Cheers.

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    Agreed. Very nice. I will also save in my "mods to do" file. Thanks.
    LouM...

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    Hi Revtor, the mod is very nice indeed. I see you are from Belgium. I am from Germany and wondered if you could mod my BMW Indianapolis display like your own, that would be really nice.
    Last edited by phats323ti; 08-05-2009 at 07:01 PM.

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    Joylove: I didn't look for that. Even if one could figure out how to make the Indianapolis display negative through software or a simple hardware trick, the result would be poor. Since the display itself is still positive, it will look exactly the same as before when the unit is turned off - a silver grey display whereas all the other displays in our bimmers are negative and thus black. Also, because the display is still positive you'd see the pixel grid in negative mode (just like a negative display shows the pixel grid in positive mode) - ugly. Even if you don't mind all that, there's the problem of the Indianapolis' weak backlight in comparison to the Traffic Pro. In bright light the display will appear black-and-white instead of proper black-and-orange - as if there was no backlight. And because negative displays don't work well with only reflective light, the display would be very hard to read... Believe me, the only way to do a proper inversion is by physically changing the display - either by using the display from a Traffic Pro, or by changing the polarizer film and increasing the backlight brightness. Finding a good polarizer film may prove to be more challenging than swapping with the Traffic Pro display, though...
    Last edited by revtor; 01-19-2011 at 04:01 AM. Reason: Typos...

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    Amazing solution! Why doesn't Becker sell Indianopolis like these?!

    Quote Originally Posted by revtor View Post
    A quick solution would then be replacing the Indianapolis' front with that of a Traffic Pro, but I don't like the Traffic Pro's design.
    Revtor,
    Like you I also think the negative display looks so much better than the positive on a E31 dashboard. The solution of replacing just the LCD is awesome!
    However I'm not as skilled as you on the electronics field so I wonder if simply replacing the whole front would be easier. Can you tell me if this is a direct fit? The Indianapolis front has exactly the same attachmet points as the Traffic Pro?
    Thanks in advance!
    JPO

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    jpoliv: I did not test fit this myself, but both Traffic Pro and Indianapolis have the same enclosure with the same mounting points. Electrically there isn't a problem either (that's what my mod is about), so yes, I would say it's a direct fit.

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    wow, bluetooth, gps, ipod compatible, and factory look? I'm sold! I'm adding this to my list to do.

    One question, what kind of aux in does it have....do you end up with a 3.5mm jack hiding someplace? I don't see a female receptacle in the actual head unit face.
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  16. #16
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    This is a European radio. The GPS doesn't work in NA (no NA maps) and the AM won't work either.

    And of course, no direct Sirius hookup either...
    Last edited by Dr. T; 02-15-2011 at 02:21 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. T View Post
    This is a European radio. The GPS doesn't work in NA (no NA maps) and the AM won't work either.

    And of course, no direct Sirius hookup either...
    I thought the head unit used disk-loaded maps and that there are maps available for north america?
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  18. #18
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    CaifanSC: No map data available other than Europe. It's predecessor, the Traffic Pro, had maps for North America but these are not compatible with the Indianapolis...

    Regarding the auxiliary in - there isn't one on the front (luckily - that's ugly), but there is an input available on the mini ISO C3 connector on the back. Anyway, if you want to attach an Apple iPod device, it's recommended to use the Becker Remote Kit instead. The Becker Remote Kit shows track and artist information on the display, supports playlists and offers fast navigation through the iPod's music collection. Sadly the Becker Remote Kit is incompatible with the BMW version of the Indianapolis (the Remote Kit uses the cd changer interface which is different in the BMW version).

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    FWIW, I recall a fellow modifying the Ferrari HU spec Bekker maps for use in the standard unit. I think he copied the disks to his HD, modified some files, then reburned them onto a disk. Don't have any more details unfortunately.

  20. #20
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    SO it sounds like for Ipod use the BMW Indianapolis is out.... are there any other models that would work and have the correct orange illumination?
    Thx

  21. #21
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    Auraraptor: Does Ferrari have Indianapolis navigation maps for North America?

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    Ferrari uses(used? Latest ones are now not one dins) bekker HUs in their cars. I distinctly recall that Ferrari maps being adapted for use in other Late model bekker units is possible. The exact model, I am sorry I don't remember. (I do know the HU had Bluetooth and voice recognizition, however). I will look through old files and see what I can come up with.
    (posted ex phone)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by revtor View Post
    ....to attach an Apple iPod device, it's recommended to use the Becker Remote Kit...Sadly [it's] incompatible with the BMW version of the Indianapolis....
    Couldn't people use the Dice adaptor for iPod with the BMW version?

    Frankie
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    FWIW, Harmon/Becker/Traffic Pro II at US Ford Dealers?
    US Maps
    http://www.trafficpro2.com/buy.asp

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by revtor View Post
    Regarding the auxiliary in - there isn't one on the front (luckily - that's ugly), but there is an input available on the mini ISO C3 connector on the back. Anyway, if you want to attach an Apple iPod device, it's recommended to use the Becker Remote Kit instead. The Becker Remote Kit shows track and artist information on the display, supports playlists and offers fast navigation through the iPod's music collection. Sadly the Becker Remote Kit is incompatible with the BMW version of the Indianapolis (the Remote Kit uses the cd changer interface which is different in the BMW version).
    if I recall correctly you can get a cable for that mini ISO c3 connector that ends up in a 3.5mm audi jack, correct? I agree, for ipod compatibility the remote kit would be great...but I also sometimes listen to online radio from my phone and since i'm not a big fan of the FM transmitters the 3.5 mm jack is pretty necessary.

    I think i can live with the indianapolis pro's positive display until building the courage to fiddle and do the mod you did.
    CB42366 - 1991 850i 6-speed. Brilliantrot & Black Nappa Leather
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