Neal

E46 M3 Stereo Build

96 posts in this topic

Great progress Neal.

If you ever come up to Auckland I'd love to hear it.

In the days of compressed audio files and D class amps, us car audiophiles are getting few and far between.

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Is that a fluffy lamb I spy...

Doesn't everyone else keep a fluffy lamb near by the sofa ?

Edited by Neal
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Great progress Neal.

If you ever come up to Auckland I'd love to hear it.

In the days of compressed audio files and D class amps, us car audiophiles are getting few and far between.

Will do :-)

ultimately want to play a few DSD demo tracks should the OS support it at a later date.

Mind you, class D on bass gives the cars electrical system relief and I doubt I can hear the difference on lower frequencies. Used to have issues my old PG A/B Amps overwhemling the alternator and battery on the e36.

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Yea class D is popular nowadays.

Class A is not considered practical by most - putting that size, weight, heat, and battery draw into a car seems pointless to all but a few of us.

Great to see someone using lossless, and through proper dacs.

Your build is an inspiration.

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Gutted the old cd stacker.

Raspberry Pi based system will replace the CD stacker function. Control will be via factory Nav controls.

Kit list

Raspberry Pi 2 b ..... edit Now Raspberry Pi3.

P-Ibus custom board with onboard Ibus interface and hifi components

Wifi dongle

Bluetooth dongle

128gig thumb drive

Asus USB Bluray player for cd/DVDs duties

Mini sata extension cable

Powered 7 port USB hub

Logic relay to send power to usb hub

Modified video loom to BMW video unit for reverse camera and system video

Old pc 3.5 inch system rack trimmed down.

Sabre based USB Dac 96k/24 bit with optical out.This will feed audio directly to car stereo processor via optical interface.

Cd stacker emptied ( got one for $40 off TM)

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Usb Bluray drive. Case removed and sides dermalled to fit stacker opening.

RIMG1328_zps0d4hvlwr.jpg

Usb hub and raspberry position mock up.

RIMG1333_zpsahkbxan1.jpg

Edited by Neal
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very interesting!

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Stacker Pi update

So working through the solution I needed a way to power a hub only when the Raspberry Pi is running to avoid battery drain. The hub means I can add high current USB devices without over loading the Pi. The hub is triggered from a logic relay ( the pibus designer suggested this) The relay gets its trigger power via the GPIo stack on the Pi

The relay has one side connected to the cars 12 volt and the other side connected to a 12v to 5v 3amp power supply. The will be enough to provide full power to each of the useb hub ports.

Stacker chassis with cut down pc disc drive bay and plastic standoffs for Pi and USB hub

RIMG1386_zpswhrwjywz.jpg

Modifying USB hub, added dc power and USB connection directly onto board

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Mounting hub in stacker

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Blue ray player , sata cable extension for USB adaptor

RIMG1389_zpsww9gc1ir.jpg

Sata to USB board holes lined up with usb hub holes nicely

RIMG1390_zpsdoh2liel.jpg

Edited by Neal
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Re-used factory connection  sockets for changer audio output and power / ibus . System will require about 3 amps at 12 volts when running. Existing cd charger power wire ok at this level.

Old alpine pcb

RIMG1399_zpsuhs1svtt.jpg

Replaced with audio and raspberry pi and USB powered hub power.

RIMG1426_zpsmptwdfu1.jpg

 

Pi bus daughter board for raspberry pi. Clever design. Has microcontroller that listens for ibus signals such as infosystem on , boardmointor controls , steering wheel audio buttons etc. It controls start up and shutdown of Raspberry, audiophile grade audio which is feed back into factory stereo replacing cd changer. Also does video switching when selected. Either reverse camera or raspberry pi running openekec OS and xbmc media centre.

More detail at http://pibus.info/

 

RIMG1401_zpss3wt4my7.jpg

Added an old CPU fan to the case. Just in case ......get it .......

Also a couple of RCA sockets for reverse camera input and system video output.

 

RIMG1425_zpsnhc9ncq5.jpg

 

EDIT , fan didn't work out , CPU fan far too noisy. Could hear it inside car. Has been disconnected but unit temp ok on PI without it.

Edited by Neal
update
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added all USB , sata, audio and power cabling

RIMG1433_zpsigjifrcr.jpg

Mounted raspberry pi. Used standard PCB header connectors from Jaycar electronics so everything can unplug from pibus board.

RIMG1429_zpszago3bev.jpg

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Bluray player had small m2 screws. Drilled holes in old 3.5 drive bay bracket and mounted player.

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Re assembly

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Back

Added Molex connector which has input from reverse light and output trigger for BMW video module. Basically the piboard tricks the video module into thinking a reverse cam has been trigger. It will either output camera or media centre to BMW board monitor.

RIMG1448_zps6cvjizhv.jpg

 

Last bit was adding a USB Async sabre audio DAC. Its not normally needed but my aftermarket DSP has a digital input. This means I can go digital audio straight to the processor from music content stored on the Raspberry. It will avoid the audio from going through another three sets of analogue audio stages before hitting the amps. It should in theory provide very low distortion through to the audio amps.

http://hifimediy.com/U2-DAC. 

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bE65jZH.jpg

 

Interested to see your results of playlist navigation, spotify etc.  I've gone down the path of airplay to CIC but it's a pain in the ass to connect and control from my phone.  Looking for something with better value and more DIY (potentially using r-pi) for idrive integration than installing a combox or dension unit.

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Thanks Scott

 

The media software is quite well developed (kodi with large fonts) the serial controller on the pi bus is looking at the ibus  for the hex codes from BMW board monitor controls. Basically the media centre is controlled by the bmw buttons and knobs so no need for iphone control.

kodi is quite good. You can run different skins and choose menu options. Playlists etc. It can also be remotes controlled via iphone app if needed. There is also support for airplay , but a quick check showed issues with ios 9.3 on my phone.

The wider system has some good features. When powered up at home it will WiFi attach to my home storage system and sync any new music libraries. It will also rip CDs and convert to flack which might be handy.

Audio app looks like this http://kodi.wiki/view/Music_playback

 

 

 

 

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I brought a freeview terrestrial tuner kit for the BMW TV module www.pibus.info . I hate having a module that didn't work. Use to watch TV in the car whilst parked up when waiting for the wife to finish work. Not into driving and TV , but its handy to have the audio only sometimes.

I decided not to go with the USB input for playing media or the ir input. The TV module is still controlled from board monitor.

BMW tuner module

RIMG1469_zps4vemjzqs.jpg

 

Circuit board.

 

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Tuner module converting to smb aerial connectors.

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Drill a couple of new holes for new antenna connectors

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Module finished.

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9724A027-15C2-41D5-9EBB-ED4D30F00EF1_zps

Next stage, connecting iphone video output to TV tuner aux in.

 

Edited by Neal
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So been running the media player and working through having the USB hub power up and down when the raspberry Pi wakes up and sleeps. A start up script triggers one of the pi's gpio pins high which triggers a audrino relay, this turns in the 12 volt to 5 volt power supply . This powers the hub and give the blueray player enough power to operate.

the audio quality achieved by the Pi and optical dac straight into the dsp as worked out very well. With the system at full volume there is no background noise .

Have given the system a bit more time alignment so from the drivers seat the left and right speakers have enough delay and offset for the stereo image to appear dash hieght and centred . I've also moved the midbass roll off up to 75 Hz without effecting midbass impact too much.

Also added an M3 theme to the media centre menus.

 

IMG_0995.JPG

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IMG_0997.JPG

Edited by Neal
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Changed phone again so now running iPhone 7 which no longer has 3.5mm jack. But if a pain as can no longer charge and listen using old kit. Will try and get airplay working with Kodi media centre but really need to sort out hands free calling again 

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 Do you not have a TCU or ULF for the Handsfree part Neil? 

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Sorry , missed your post Richard

So hands free is a combination of things. The car came with a Japan telephone module so had the eject box and mic. I removed this which meant tcu to ulf type wiring changes to the telephone loom.

I got one of those dodgy sounding firmware updated ULF's out of Latvia which was an older unit so had basic sound cancelling and voice control, but the unit did work with my iphones (had 5,5s,6,7)  Pressing the phone steering wheel activates siri so I can voice command the phone.

The audio on the call was ok but not great. I changed the mic to the second gen BMW. Got a slight improvement , but people would comment when I used just the iPhone in hands free mode the call was clearer. So now I just use the ULF / Steering wheel to active siri. The iPhone has 3 mics and two are used for noise cancelling and are quite effective.

So basically if a call comes in I have to switch source on the DSP . The iPhone is connected to the aux rca input on the DSP and actually sounds quite good.

I use the 3d printed ashtray insert mentioned earlier and modified it again to remove the old headphone jack I'd put in earlier. It now has one of Apples lighting to RCA dacs / adapter which sounds quite good on well recorded apple lossess tracks. Down side is no phone charging. Not impressed with Apple on this one.

 

Took out 3.5 mm plug and added lighting to 3.5mm headphone out (Note this dock normally wouldn't need the filler done as the lightning cable is a snug fit but I'd modded mine for my old iPhone 6 3.5mm output as well)

DB8983B8-0F7C-445B-8CCB-8CFE266B6E15_zps

Plastic dipped sprayed black for rubberized finish.

84A415F1-C2BF-4D2D-ACF4-14F719460EE9_zps

Edited by Neal

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3 hours ago, Neal said:

Sorry , missed your post Richard

So hands free is a combination of things. The car came with a Japan telephone module so had the eject box and mic. I removed this which meant tcu to ulf type wiring changes to the telephone loom.

I got one of those dodgy sounding firmware updated ULF's out of Latvia which was an older unit so had basic sound cancelling and voice control, but the unit did work with my iphones (had 5,5s,6,7)  Pressing the phone steering wheel activates siri so I can voice command the phone.

The audio on the call was ok but not great. I changed the mic to the second gen BMW. Got a slight improvement , but people would comment when I used just the iPhone in hands free mode the call was clearer. So now I just use the ULF / Steering wheel to active siri. The iPhone has 3 mics and two are used for noise cancelling and are quite effective.

So basically if a call comes in I have to switch source on the DSP . The iPhone is connected to the aux rca input on the DSP and actually sounds quite good.

I use the 3d printed ashtray insert mentioned earlier and modified it again to remove the old headphone jack I'd put in earlier. It now has one of Apples lighting to RCA dacs / adapter which sounds quite good on well recorded apple lossess tracks. Down side is no phone charging. Not impressed with Apple on this one.

 

Took out 3.5 mm plug and added lighting to 3.5mm headphone out (Note this dock normally wouldn't need the filler done as the lightning cable is a snug fit but I'd modded mine for my old iPhone 6 3.5mm output as well)

 

What gen ULF did you end up getting?

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Microphone was this one

https://store.bimmernav.com/collections/products/products/bmw-new-version-upgraded-microphone

and the ulf was a 

84 21 6 934 552 end of life 06/03 1st generation

I mentioned dodgy as the first ulf sent from eBay was a model 7. But I could not get it to work in hands free mode. ( but did pair with iPhone) Was disappointed when a model 1 replacement was sent as it doesn't support txt and the dsp for cleaning up the call not great. Tried to return it. But ended up getting ignored by the eBay seller.

For the money spent I should have gone with a Denison.

 

miore info here on ulf models

https://store.bimmernav.com/blogs/installation/history-and-comparison-of-bmw-ulf-modules

 

 

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Neal, why not get the lightning splitter and mount that to the dock instead, then your Apple headphone Dac on one leg and your charger on the other leg? You could use 5s-7s? iPod nano7, iPod touch, anything with lightning connector. 

 

The more i hear about these ULFs  (13 generations? And they don't work on every phone?) the gladder I am the USA never got them. I have a $50 -993 TCU ( 05, our first Assist module with BT calling) and it is perfectly fine for calling.  Just doesn't activate Siri from the talking man, I recitals last number if you press it. I can push button for Siri myself... or use my watch whilst driving, lol. 

Edited by Onizukachan

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Bit of a story, but much of the lightning accessories have to short a lead to get into ashtray mount. I brought one of those lightning extension cable you see on eBay, but it fell apart.

I also had an issue with alternator whine with audio plus changing hence audio only.

Of late I've been experimenting with the iPhone streaming over wifi to my test Kodi Raspberry Pi3. It's using the audio stream via appletv on the phone. Seems to work ok and should stream without codec conversion so audio in theory should from lossless tracks. Not convinced yet though. Some critical listening needed.

Agree in the ULFs . They should support standards based Bluetooth but seem to have trouble with later phones that should be backwards compatible with the standards.

 

apple watch eh, been thinking about one of those. 

 

Edited by Neal

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Tried an alternative tune for the system.

The 5.25 inch ppi drivers weren't giving the mid bass performance I was after where as the sub could quickly overwhelm the system. 

Ive changed the cross over points so the 5.25s now crossover at 97hz and brought the sub upto 100 Hz. I've also reduced the sub output by -10 db.

I've offset the passenger side by a 20 cm time delay to sync with sub distance and then adjusted time delay on drivers door speakers until I hear a mono image in centre stage.

The result has been better than expected without the perception of bass coming from behind. Midbass has improved emencly and finally the system is well balanced with good up front sound. 

I'm ready now to start fine tunning the 1/3 octave equalisers on each channel via a microphone. 

Also need to sort out the photobucket mess in this thread

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