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Thread: CD changer woes

  1. #1
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    CD changer woes

    Pulled out the CD changer from my parts car to test in my wagon. I noticed that in my wagon, I do not have the round plug (silver) as shown in the picture. Plugged in the other two cables. I have a post Feb. '02 (?) radio in the wagon with AUX hooked up and working fine. Non DSP. The parts car IS DSP.The MID seemed to recognize that something was hooked up, because then I had DISC and DISCS show up as 2 separate choices, in addition the AM, FM , AUX.But it wouldn't go beyond that. Just the word showed and nothCD plugs from sedan.JPGing switched over. Hopefully, I'm just missing something simple here, and maybe that plug is "DSP only" related. Any guesses ?

  2. #2
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    All the E39's I have, and have owned, all had that coax cable. Are you sure it's not tucked away somewhere in a nook in between insulation or something?
    Set the controls for the heart of the sun

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    I'm NOT sure if it's not just tucked away under there somewhere, Steve. I will have to take a longer than 2 minute look next time it's warm enough. Maybe tomorrow !!

  4. #4
    geargrinder's Avatar
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    The coax is a digital out signal that's used when you have the DSP. For a DSP car, basically the CD changer sends the audio in digital form directly to the DSP amp (instead of sending analog audio up to the headunit, then getting that sent back to the audio amp in the back). Some cars w/o DSP still have coax connectors in the back that look similar but are for the unicorn-rare telephone interface so maybe that's what you see in some non-DSP cars?

    For the non-DSP car, indeed it sends audio up to the headunit and back in a very 'normal' and intuitive fashion like you'd expect.

    Maybe the DSP changer needs to be recoded to tell it that its not in a DSP car anymore? That said I have never seen "Changer coding" in NCS anywhere, so I really doubt that... and the headunit radio "automatically" switches to/from DSP behavior if it sees or doesn't see a DSP amp (my DSP headunit is working perfectly as an analog headunit now that I've removed my DSP amp...)

    New ground for me, but interesting. Found this thread that doesn't help 100% but shows somebody wondering a similar question.

    https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...coax-connector
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  5. #5
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    GG, that is valuable input; I figured it was a DSP thing. I will have a look at the link, and try to solve the mystery from there.

    In another thread, I asked about swapping out the stock sound system in my wagon with the DSP gear in my parts car. Everyone here advised against it. I must say that the DSP system sounded noticeably better, but I will just hold out for the Dynavin N7 sometime this year. Too many projects on the go.

    Speaking of which, between my new E39 enthusiast acquaintance and I, I believe we have 3 M-sport front bumpers and maybe 2 rears, plus some debatably "often desired" upgrades for facelift cars. We're in Ontario, Canada, and bumpers are big to ship. Well, at least I can get free bumper (cardboard) boxes from work to help with packaging !

    I will compile a list over the next two weeks. This guy has 8 E39's in total. Sheesh.

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    You won’t need the coax cable in a non-DSP amp setup. But, you need to have the middle one in your picture plugged in, which on the other hand a DSP setup does not need. Could be what GG says and the CD player does not output signal using the other interface without reprogramming. But, does the control interface work? Does the player load a disc and begin to play it?

    I retrofitted DSP to my sedan that had the regular HIFI amp and its harness. There should be writeup here about the necessary changes. I would not go out of my way and spend money to do it, but if you already have the components I think it is a worthy of an upgrade.

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    Thanks vinyldude. Back to my 1st post: the other 2 are plugged in. There IS some sort of "acknowledgement" that the changer is back there as per the display showing DISC then DISCS, as I cycle through the modes. I would assume that DISCS meant I have several CD's to choose from; I mean it's never appeared before in the menu.

    I think I can hear some mechanical noise back there like a disc loading. Not sure. There is definitely power there.

    I'm betting it's a recoding thing too. And no, I wouldn't put money into it.

    The dealer wants about $120 total for 2 pieces of bracketry to hold the CD changer in its rightful place in the wagon.
    I think I can set it up in there securely (as long as it's working!!) for next to nothing.

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    OK. The radio module I have - RA_NG.01 module identifier - has a coding parameter named "DSP_CDC_DIGITALLTG", which NCSDummy then translates to "Digital Sound Processor (DSP) CD Changer".

    Its a 'bitflag', therefore its a yes/no thing. Coding files suggest that "off" is the default.

    From my records it looks like I turned that "on" at some point, tho' I dont really recall that.
    Might have been necessary for my old Mediabridge to work properly (when I used one of those adapters that pretends to be a CD changer...), that's probably that explanation.

    If you have a handy NCSExpert/Dummy installation, give that a quick look, see what its set to now.
    2003 M3CicM6 TiAg
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    Former:

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  9. #9
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    We’re you talking about rear sport bumpers for wagons?!!!?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dohalloran View Post
    Pulled out the CD changer from my parts car to test in my wagon. I noticed that in my wagon, I do not have the round plug (silver) as shown in the picture. Plugged in the other two cables. I have a post Feb. '02 (?) radio in the wagon with AUX hooked up and working fine. Non DSP. The parts car IS DSP.The MID seemed to recognize that something was hooked up, because then I had DISC and DISCS show up as 2 separate choices, in addition the AM, FM , AUX.But it wouldn't go beyond that. Just the word showed and nothCD plugs from sedan.JPGing switched over. Hopefully, I'm just missing something simple here, and maybe that plug is "DSP only" related. Any guesses ?
    Did the changer work in the parts car, or is it dead?


    Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.

  12. #12
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    GG, I'm about to get into the software side of things in general, once I pick up my new Bimmergeeks cable tomorrow.

    Edjack, the CD player worked fine in the sedan. No previous issues.

    Steve, I should have clarified those statements RE the M bumpers. All sedan rear bumpers. Glad you caught that so soon. Me ? I'm more fussed about the front end of the car; keep my eyes open though. I'd go Umnitza for the rear if I was to go ahead with mine. Do they even have a rear for the wagons ?

    UPDATE

    Definitely no co-ax cable laying around back there, so maybe just some coding. Thanks GG.

    Just noticed that I already have the bracket for the CD changer in the back. Had started this project just yesterday, and forgot about even looking to see it might fit. Super easy. Just 3 nuts.

    Let's see where I'm at when I get a chance on Sunday to play around with the coding. Thanks guys !

  13. #13
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    The 18 in, or so, coax cable was used to connect the changer directly to the amp for DSP playback.

    Leave it to the Germans to use SMA connectors!


    Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dohalloran View Post

    Steve, I should have clarified those statements RE the M bumpers. All sedan rear bumpers. Glad you caught that so soon. Me ? I'm more fussed about the front end of the car; keep my eyes open though. I'd go Umnitza for the rear if I was to go ahead with mine. Do they even have a rear for the wagons ?
    Umnitza has touring rear M bumpers for about $375 or so. Add $250 or $295 dollars for perfect match paint. That's not a bad deal.
    Set the controls for the heart of the sun

  15. #15
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    It would be nice to have a bumper painted and shipped to my door (hijacking my own thread here !!). Problem is, 15yr. old Black Sapphire Metallic (475) on the car will probably not match up to the brilliance of a new 475 painted bumper.

    Just found out that one of the bumpers that is available to me is Schwarz, so it may as well be green (no offence Steve !!).

    I will have A bumper painted locally.

    Got my Bimmergeek Pro K+DCAN cable today. I've downloaded a zip file folder from there website. Their download page does not display properly on my screen. I'm using the one on the top left that ends in . . . en cables vs. the Standard Tools, correct ? Now I'm not clear on how to proceed. Seems like more people use NCS Expert and INPA.

    Need to try to recode to get that CD changer recognized.

  16. #16
    geargrinder's Avatar
    geargrinder is offline Having No Trouble Here BMW CCA Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dohalloran View Post
    Super easy. Just 3 nuts.
    I had a good high school buddy who had 3 nuts.

    No joke....

    Funny, yes, but no joke.
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  17. #17
    geargrinder's Avatar
    geargrinder is offline Having No Trouble Here BMW CCA Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dohalloran View Post
    Standard Tools, correct ? Now I'm not clear on how to proceed. Seems like more people use NCS Expert and INPA.

    Need to try to recode to get that CD changer recognized.
    Yes Standard Tools. And if whatever they give you there doesn't install the Daten, then you need to download that also and install separately... maybe...

    Instead of their downloads, you might try "Mike's Easy BMW Tools", its smoother than most of the old-time install packages.

    What you'll need to figure out is how to use NCSExpert to do this, and how to use NCSDummy alongside it.

    From an email to another forum guy just the other day:

    Here's the quick overview on NCSDummy:

    • Its a separate program from the BMW tools, made by Revtor
    • It doesn't communicate read or write to the car live, its purely a file-reading/manipulation tool
    • What it does is to allow you to look at the factory data and see in plain language (and translated language, not just German) and in a very friendly mouse-clickable interface see what the coding options are for any given module
    • It also will then read a trace file that you retrieve with NCSExpert and let you see exactly what options are currently configured for any given module
    • From there you can then 'mouse click' change that file, and create a new file that can be used to re-code the module


    So the NCSDummy process is normally:
    Read module with NCSExpert -> Import file NCSDummy -> Edit in NCSDummy -> Export file from NCSDummy -> Flash new values with NCSExpert

    But its also very handy just for research and learning as you can browse around the modules without actually having connected the car yet.

    Install Mike's first, then install NCSDummy, then fire it up and see what you can see from some simple browsing around in it.
    I'd suggest this isn't the best place to get software help, hit up the diagnostics forum, there's approximately 3 billion threads that already answer any question / problem / hitch you have, I guarantee... and if you can't find it, there's helpful guys over there.
    2003 M3CicM6 TiAg
    2002 540iT Sport Vortech S/C 6MT LSD TiAg
    2008 Audi A3 2.0T DSG (hers)
    1999 Cherokee Sport 4L (trailer-hitched in-law-loaner bomber)


    Former:

    1985 Euro 300SL
    1995.5 Audi S6 Avant (utility/winter billetturbobattlewagen)


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dohalloran View Post
    It would be nice to have a bumper painted and shipped to my door (hijacking my own thread here !!). Problem is, 15yr. old Black Sapphire Metallic (475) on the car will probably not match up to the brilliance of a new 475 painted bumper.

    Just found out that one of the bumpers that is available to me is Schwarz, so it may as well be green (no offence Steve !!).

    I will have A bumper painted locally.

    Got my Bimmergeek Pro K+DCAN cable today. I've downloaded a zip file folder from there website. Their download page does not display properly on my screen. I'm using the one on the top left that ends in . . . en cables vs. the Standard Tools, correct ? Now I'm not clear on how to proceed. Seems like more people use NCS Expert and INPA.

    Need to try to recode to get that CD changer recognized.
    Dood! Paint it green, Oxford Green Too, and ship that puppy off to me! Haha! Yeah!
    Nah, I'll probably get one from Unamitza and paint it at the shop, I do work at a body shop it turns out. Painters a strange dude, but I don't know him too well yet, but everyone said so, and so far, I see what they mean. Good painter though, maybe all the chemicals just ate into his brain or something.
    The shop uses Glasurit waterbase paint, My old SATA 2000 is not really good for that stuff, waterbased paint is thinner, thinking of buying a new SATA 5000, Freakin' $1000 paint gun, but it's badass.

    I read that if transplanting an amp from a sedan to a wagon, or vise versa, it has to be coded, wondering why.
    I had a good high school buddy who had 3 nuts.

    No joke....

    Funny, yes, but no joke.
    Back in high school we had a buddy who only had one, I used to screw with him all the time, playing this old country gem:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f6Y0vD0_Vg

    Haha! First time I heard the song in more than 2 decades! Any way, We'd come rolling up to his house to fetch him for a wild Friday night, pot smoke billowing out of my old E28's windows, listening to some Anthrax, or Metallica, Honk the horn, pop out the tape, slam in the rodeo tape and blast the volume, like clockwork, as soon as he'd come out of his house, the song would start, Lmao!
    Anyway, John still managed to have 6 freakin' cool kids with that single nut, true story!
    Last edited by BimmrMeUpSnotty; 02-16-2018 at 10:00 PM. Reason: Jimbo used the force, and I suddenly thought of editing something out at the end of the post.
    Set the controls for the heart of the sun

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