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#1 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 07:25 AM
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ipod advice in 93 525i

Looking for some advice on installing an iPod in my 93 525i with an OEM (Alpine3) HU. I want to do what makes the most sense sound and $ wise. I don't have to keep the OEM HU, but am attempting to keep the costs down right now. The tape portion of the HU keeps flipping from side 1 to 2 no matter what cassette I use - don't really care about this, but wanted to mention it b/c I don't think I can use a cassette adapter with this issue and I have not attempted this either. I know this is one of the lowest sound quality routes, but it would be easy and cheap. I have the six speaker OEM sound system and know this is lacking sound quality wise....don't even go there. I have had car systems that cost more than the cars they are in. I want to have power to the iPod too.
1) If I hard wire the iPod to the cd changer cable is there anything else I need to connect besides the right and left channels for the OEM HU to recognize the signal? Don't have a cd changer in the car.
2) Are the FM modulators any good these days? I see that Belkin has the TuneFM that is a FM modulator which also charges the iPod for $50.
3) What is a good switched power source in the e34? Need this for the iPod charger and a V1. Is it best just to come off the radio switched power or is there another source that is recommended?
4) Are there any other decent options keeping the $ down?
TIA
REV

93 525i aka Silka

Last edited by RobertV; 12-31-2010 at 07:31 AM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 10:06 PM
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Keeping the cost down would be an FM modulator. As far as quality, they'll be just a touch better than your best radio station. Like you said, about 50 bucks. Really the next step is replacing the HU, roughly 150-200 for a decent HU with the ability for an ipod interface. Cheaply look for one with an mp3 input. Higher end units actually let you charge and access your ipods controls. An aftermarket HU will give you more than double the power you currently have, and CD and a better tuner, and your ipod hookups you are after, and a better EQ, and...I think you get my point Good luck on your decision...



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#3 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 10:29 PM
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Option #1 will require an adapter. I think you can find one that turns the CD changer into an aux input. here is no easy way to just connect the audio in and magically control it form teh headunit.

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#4 (permalink) Old 01-02-2011, 07:49 PM
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Keeping the cost down would be an FM modulator. As far as quality, they'll be just a touch better than your best radio station. Like you said, about 50 bucks. Really the next step is replacing the HU, roughly 150-200 for a decent HU with the ability for an ipod interface. Cheaply look for one with an mp3 input. Higher end units actually let you charge and access your ipods controls. An aftermarket HU will give you more than double the power you currently have, and CD and a better tuner, and your ipod hookups you are after, and a better EQ, and...I think you get my point Good luck on your decision...
Thank you for the input. I didn't think that the FM modulator had gotten much better in the last 20 plus years since I used them. The pain with replacing the head unit and using it's internal amp is that I believe that I have a factory amp = I would have to rewire the speakers = pain. I have found a harness that will use the factory plug and has rca plugs to use the OEM amp with an aftermarket HU. Need to do some more research on the factory amp issue and ways around it.

93 525i aka Silka
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-02-2011, 07:59 PM
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Option #1 will require an adapter. I think you can find one that turns the CD changer into an aux input. here is no easy way to just connect the audio in and magically control it form teh headunit.
I was just going to tap and solder the wires to the exiting cable, but an adapter would be easier. Yup since the OEM HU is so old I knew only a new HU would allow me to control the iPod. Thanks for the input...now to find an adapter for a 18 year old HU

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#6 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:14 PM
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If I remember correctly, yours should be the Pioneer cd changer. I cant really remember what year they swapped over in the E34s. I'm not 100% sure if they make an adapter to give you an input from the changer cord. The newer ones are made by Alpine and they did make adapters to do that.

When I installed my HU, I just ran 4 speaker wires from the HU to the rear (to the amp), cut the factory amp plug and used the stock wiring to feed the speakers.

If you use the hardwired FM modulator (the ones that have two antenna leads and a couple of power wires), they are better, because they electronically disconnect the cars antenna and the only signal the radio receives is the ipod.



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#7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 08:17 PM
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I found a OEM Alpine cd changer for a good price and installed it the other night. Thank you to all for the advice. I do plan to upgrade the sound system in the future

93 525i aka Silka
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