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Thread: Interest in a fully integrated A2DP Bluetooth solution?

  1. #1
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    Interest in a fully integrated A2DP Bluetooth solution?

    So,, over on the M3Forum, been working with a user there (Ted, t3ddftw) Beta testing the unit he has been developing. I have been testing it on both my E38 ('01 Sport) and my E39 ('02 540Sport). Audio quality on the E38 (DSP, MkIV) is better than CD quality, Completely integrated with the display and steering wheel controls. Even uses the factory mic!!

    He is finally ready to take pre-orders. for actual units. Linky

    All the info is here.

    Waited for bugs to be worked out to post here about it.

    Bill-H
    1 E38, 1 E39, 2 E46's, 1 E65, 1 R22, 1 R75/5

  2. #2
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    This looks pretty cool! I'm curious to hear how it works and even more so, how it does for noise reduction on phone calls (I get a little background noise with my TCU, especially on rough roads).

  3. #3
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    Reading thru the M3 Forum's thread, it sounds like a better integrated version of the Grom Bluetooth device, with differences being:

    • Better Audiotext (ID3 tag) display for mp3 music
    • Factory mic integration
    • Additional i-bus data from the car (mostly nice-to-know stuff)

    Like Grom, it uses the CD changer input (displacing the changer) and will require your radio to be continuously ON and in CD mode in order to function.

    This sounds interesting and I admire his industrious effort.

    I prefer a factory TCU for hands-free calling because it's a completely independent system that doesn't need to be turned ON or switched. The drawback of course is its inability to stream BT audio. But having this new device installed could provide the best of both worlds.

    Frankie
    Texas, USA
    frankies-bmw.com

  4. #4
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    Very cool! That must have been a lot of work and plenty of bug testing.
    '98 740il | 9/97 build | schwarz 2 | sandbeige | 5AT | 238k
    '04 330i ZHP sedan | Mystic blue | Alcantara | 6MT | 113k
    '00 540i sport | Titanium silver | Black | 5AT | 129k
    '85 Mustang GT convertible | Medium charcoal metallic | Gray | 5MT | 215k | one owner, all original

    mods: m-pars | Bilsteins & B&G springs | ValentineOne | StealthOne
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
    Reading thru the M3 Forum's thread, it sounds like a better integrated version of the Grom Bluetooth device, with differences being:

    • Better Audiotext (ID3 tag) display for mp3 music
    • Factory mic integration
    • Additional i-bus data from the car (mostly nice-to-know stuff)

    Like Grom, it uses the CD changer input (displacing the changer) and will require your radio to be continuously ON and in CD mode in order to function.

    This sounds interesting and I admire his industrious effort.

    I prefer a factory TCU for hands-free calling because it's a completely independent system that doesn't need to be turned ON or switched. The drawback of course is its inability to stream BT audio. But having this new device installed could provide the best of both worlds.

    IF Frankie Approves of it I am game to getting it
    El Cid 1999 IL
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  6. #6
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    subsribed

  7. #7
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    Bill,

    Thanks for posting this! Apparently, I had an account here that I've never used


    Quote Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
    This looks pretty cool! I'm curious to hear how it works and even more so, how it does for noise reduction on phone calls (I get a little background noise with my TCU, especially on rough roads).
    Here's a video that shows how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO9WvRbNzZg

    Noise reduction is managed by the BT module itself, which employees Qualcomm's cVc (Clear Voice Capture) protocol. It does a really good job of clearing up the audio, in my testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
    Reading thru the M3 Forum's thread, it sounds like a better integrated version of the Grom Bluetooth device, with differences being:

    • Better Audiotext (ID3 tag) display for mp3 music
    • Factory mic integration
    • Additional i-bus data from the car (mostly nice-to-know stuff)

    Like Grom, it uses the CD changer input (displacing the changer) and will require your radio to be continuously ON and in CD mode in order to function.

    This sounds interesting and I admire his industrious effort.

    I prefer a factory TCU for hands-free calling because it's a completely independent system that doesn't need to be turned ON or switched. The drawback of course is its inability to stream BT audio. But having this new device installed could provide the best of both worlds.
    I didn't know anyone still used CDs !

    The other upside is that I support the digital DSP units out of the box, so you don't need to spend $70 on another adapter

    Thank you for the kind words! I actually have the factory TCU (the BT enabled one from Motorola) sitting on my bench and I have seriously considered toying with it so I could replicate the OE TCU UI and allow hands-free calls to happen even when the radio is off/in another mode. All it would take is splitting the audio output into the 54-pin connector, as well as the CD changer harness and then spending some hours reverse engineering the way that the TCU manipulates the radio. Either way, I don't have this feature on the road map, but it's definitely something I'm considering.

    Quote Originally Posted by racer2086 View Post
    Very cool! That must have been a lot of work and plenty of bug testing.
    It's been almost a year in the making, and hundreds of hours

    Thanks guys!

  8. #8
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    Hi Bill! How have you been? This sounds quite interesting. Please tell me your experience with this latest unit and how you like it.
    2005 X5 4.8is (DD winter) * 2001 750iL (DD summer) * 2001 Ford Excursion 7.3 L <> 2005 X5 3.0 * 2003 X5 4.4i * 2009 X3 3.0 * 2009 X5 3.0 * 2007 Toyota Avalon Limited

  9. #9
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    Well, if it works with a ‘97 with the tapeplayer swapped out for a CD43,telephone prep package and DSP and it would get everything to work With the steering wheel controls, SIGN ME UP...be nice to be able to bring some of the radio stuff up to 2019 standards.... it would be really awesome for you guys with the Mark IV if you could put Appleplay on it:] without having to tear everything out....
    Pete

  10. #10
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    That's really exciting. I've been playing with building something similar. The module he's using for bluetooth is excellent. I'm in for at least one of these if not a handful.

  11. #11
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    I sent him an email. If this will be a complete solution for my 96 750il, I will be thrilled!!

  12. #12
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    Could you do both?
    Have your TCU do the phone calls and this gadget do the mp3 streaming?

  13. #13
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    ^Good question. I like my TCU and how it works...
    '98 740il | 9/97 build | schwarz 2 | sandbeige | 5AT | 238k
    '04 330i ZHP sedan | Mystic blue | Alcantara | 6MT | 113k
    '00 540i sport | Titanium silver | Black | 5AT | 129k
    '85 Mustang GT convertible | Medium charcoal metallic | Gray | 5MT | 215k | one owner, all original

    mods: m-pars | Bilsteins & B&G springs | ValentineOne | StealthOne
    retrofits: full nav | MKIV | bluetooth TCU | BM53 w/ AUX input | video module w/ AV input & backup cam | oem sirius xm | xenon | shades | PDC | rain sensor | BMW DWS TPMS | lighted door handles | front seat heaters | heated steering wheel | euro rear fog lights | ski pass | folding mirrors


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian1960 View Post
    Could you do both?...Have your TCU do the phone calls and this gadget do the mp3 streaming?
    To my knowledge: yes.

    Forum member tmaxx445 had both a Dice MediaBridge and TCU installed. He claimed they both worked.

    Remember, this device plugs in like all other aftermarket devices (such as Grom) and utilizes the CD changer input. This means you must select the CD mode on your radio/nav in order to channel its output. And since a factory TCU mutes all radio audio during a call -- including CD -- it follows that the TCU will take "priority". (I mention this in my Bluetooth DIY regarding Grom.) However, you will encounter duplication of effort as the call pairs with both the TCU and this device. And it's an open question whether the shared mic input will produce interference in such cases (such as echo effects). I'd guess it's unlikely.

    Frankie
    Texas, USA
    frankies-bmw.com

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BimmerFlyer View Post
    Well, if it works with a 97 with the tapeplayer swapped out for a CD43,telephone prep package and DSP and it would get everything to work With the steering wheel controls, SIGN ME UP...be nice to be able to bring some of the radio stuff up to 2019 standards.... it would be really awesome for you guys with the Mark IV if you could put Appleplay on it:] without having to tear everything out....
    Pete
    Pete,

    From what I've read, the CD43 has IBus based CD Changer functionality, so it should be no problem. The DSP, both analog and digital, are fully supported. Steering wheel controls work, after a lot of testing by Bill .

    Apple Car Play is pretty much out of the question. You'd need a lot more kit and integration to get that going (as in: pushing a UI to the nav via the video module and disguising it as the "Television").

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbojsb View Post
    That's really exciting. I've been playing with building something similar. The module he's using for bluetooth is excellent. I'm in for at least one of these if not a handful.
    Yes! The BC127 is a great quality module, although it's not without its faults. You'll find that I've gone for quality components through and through, opting to use only name brand passives.

    Quote Originally Posted by clivesay View Post
    I sent him an email. If this will be a complete solution for my 96 750il, I will be thrilled!!
    To follow up on this, we found that clivesay's current setup will not work with the BlueBus because his radio speaks to the CDC over MBus, rather than IBus. Using a CD43 would clear that up, but you'd have to wire the CDC harness *somewhere* to install the BlueBus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
    To my knowledge: yes.

    Forum member tmaxx445 had both a Dice MediaBridge and TCU installed. He claimed they both worked.

    Remember, this device plugs in like all other aftermarket devices (such as Grom) and utilizes the CD changer input. This means you must select the CD mode on your radio/nav in order to channel its output. And since a factory TCU mutes all radio audio during a call -- including CD -- it follows that the TCU will take "priority". (I mention this in my Bluetooth DIY regarding Grom.) However, you will encounter duplication of effort as the call pairs with both the TCU and this device. And it's an open question whether the shared mic input will produce interference in such cases (such as echo effects). I'd guess it's unlikely.
    Yes sir, this is correct. If you disable HFP on the BlueBus, everything should work fine with the TCU, but you'll have to be connected to both units at all times.

    If you're using the TCU, there's no reason to connect the mic to the BlueBus (as all voice services work over HFP), so interference would be a non-issue

  16. #16
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    Awesome..

    I would prefer to use the BMW Bluetooth for calls.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the reply Bill, yeah, I know Appleplay was out.. I keep forgetting the MKIV is a TV screen, not a display....will sign up for a pre order....
    pete

  18. #18
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    t3ddftw;

    This is not a test! I just read all the posts on the m3 forum and WOW!

    Somewhere in there I believe I read that it will work on anything with ibus. This is a real "stretch" question, but here goes...

    If you look at my signature, I can pretty much cover the gamut of BMW and Mercedes generations, except the really new stuff (no loss), anyway would you be able to guess if your unit would/might work on E32 and E31 systems? Also, any possibility of Mercedes? I don't know if any generations of Mercedes used ibus, but I can find out.

    At this point, I'm groping around in the dark, but I am pre-ordered for 1 system w/mic adapter for my '98 E38 (MkII Nav - DSP). If it works like I think it's going to, I'm going to be buying a whole bunch more if it will work on the real antiques.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Mike Drives:
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    E32 - 750iA - (1) 1990 (Not an "L") (EC German National)
    E32 - 735iL - (2) 1990

    E38 - 740iLA - (2) (1) 1997 & (1) 1998
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  19. #19
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    Interested and subscribed

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    "A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering." - Freeman Dyson

  20. #20
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    I'm excited to see it on a MID for sure. I would love this in my e39 especially considering it is dsp compatible out of the box.

  21. #21
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    Mike,
    Thanks for the reply! Sorry it has taken me a while to reach out, but I guess I haven't configured email notifications for subscribed threads

    To answer your question: I can tell you for sure that it won't work with your Mercedes because the IBus is BMW proprietary. As far as your E31/E32's: I'm jealous. But no, really, I don't think they will work with the BlueBus out of the box. If they have the CD43, then the Radio is IBus compatible but the protocol is significantly different than what the E38/E39 use. I could really only bring support if I found a CD Changer compatible with your E31/E32's and was able to document the protocol. Even then, I don't think you'd have any kind of UI since back then they didn't have the telephone option (IIRC), and therefore no method of impersonating the telephone in order to write to the Radio screen.

    In short: It won't work in its current state .

    Quote Originally Posted by kahlilj View Post
    Interested and subscribed

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Asbradley21 View Post
    I'm excited to see it on a MID for sure. I would love this in my e39 especially considering it is dsp compatible out of the box.
    Ask and you shall receive
    bluebus_mid.jpg
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  22. #22
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    I know the website gave an ETA of April 2019, any updates on that?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by serious7series View Post
    I know the website gave an ETA of April 2019, any updates on that?
    Howdy!

    I'm still working out some noise issues, getting feedback from beta testers and waiting on some quotes. It was "late April" at best, and that might turn into mid-May :/. I'll have a better idea where things are in a week or so, and if there are any delays I will send everyone an email.

    Thanks!
    -Ted

  24. #24
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    T3, sure looks like a nice product... quick question, to make sure I under things correctly, since Chasing electrons in not my stong suit.. your Bluebus plugs into the trunk in place of the 6 disk CD player?
    Looking at your website and video, the plugs connectors on your Circuit board does not look like anything I have in the trunk..Am i missing something or is there something else needed? My car is a stock ‘97 with DSP and Phone prep, and I just installed a CD43 CD player up front...
    these are the connectors I have..the 2 cables in my hand are I presume part of the Telephone module that is not installed..the other is the back on the CD player ....
    Pete
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by BimmerFlyer; 04-09-2019 at 07:41 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by masbury View Post
    ...if your unit would/might work on E32 and E31 systems?
    Quote Originally Posted by BimmerFlyer View Post
    ...the plugs connectors on your Circuit board does not look like anything I have in the trunk...My car is a stock ‘97 with DSP
    Yes, you can get this device to work on E31, E32, and pre-9/98 E38 by converting your M-bus audio system to I-bus. All Bluetooth streaming and phone features will work. However, its supplemental I-bus functions (such as car info and live data streams) will not work.

    For E31/E32, swap in an I-bus capable radio along with matching CD changer data cable (which runs from radio to trunk). You'll also need to swap CD changer power plug and run an I-bus wire from there into pin 7 of your radio wiring harness. For pre-9/98 E38, verify this wire is present (should be). For those with DSP, the CD changer data cable won't be necessary (since digital inputs are used and, apparently this device supports DSP out-of-the-box). For pre-9/98 E38 without DSP, you'll need the data cable.

    These changes will update your audio system to "modern" BMW standards.

    These details are outlined in my DIY dated from 2004: Factory-Look Audio Upgrades. (Written for E36 but applicable)
    Last edited by Frankie; 04-10-2019 at 06:36 PM. Reason: clarification

    Frankie
    Texas, USA
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