BMW North American vs. European Radio Headunits... - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-27-2004, 11:44 PM
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Hey guys, I really want to get a BMW Business CD RDS headunit from Germany and don't know if the european imported headunit FM radio works in North America. I don't want to buy it unless I know for sure. So anyone by chance knows if their european-imported BMW headunits can tune correctly in North America or even fine-tune by 0.1KHz? Any info would be greatly helpful! B)
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 12:55 AM
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Ah nevermind, I got it all figured out. The euro-spec Blaupunkts (or any Euro-spec radio) will work on the FM bands in North America. Think 'MHz' and 'kHz'. Now since American stations have some sort of rule of only broadcasting signals on the odd-numbered frequencies on the FM band, think Americans as 'odd' (no pun intended) and Europeans as a mix of 'even and odd'... Just do the math as we were taught in Kindergarten... :P

(Ex: 106.1MHz/106.100kHz)


North American FM- 200kHz steps.

Euro FM- 100kHz steps.


So when US radio system scans on the MHz range, it does something like this:
87.50... 87.60... 87.70... 87.80... 87.90... 88.00... and so on.

But the Euro radio system scans on the MHz, it does something like this:
88.30... 90.50... 91.30... 90.90... 93.70... 93.90... 94.10 and so on.

Get it? You might have to re-read it smile.

So it means Euro radios can pick up any US FM radio stations, but possibly with a slight sound difference (FM broadcast pre-emphasis procedure) which can be corrected with the equalizer.

Basically european FM radio systems scan in 100kHz increments, but the U.S. scan in 200kHz increments. So North American receivers only receive odd numbered stations and European receivers receive all channels.

Only thing that does not work is indeed AM radio broadcasts, since they change on the 9/10kHz tuning steps respectively.
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