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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This question probably falls under the "shutting the door after the horse has left the barn" category since I've already done it, but I'll ask anyways:

If I remove my Business CD stereo deck for repair, do I need to disconnect he battery before reconnecting the deck to its wire harness?

Background
Last year I installed a DICE Mediabridge 1500 to add iPhone connectivity. If you're not familiar, this unit plugs into the CD changer wiring harness located in the trunk and emulates a CD changer while offering connectivity to an iPhone (among others) via USB or Bluetooth. With the Mediabridge installed, you can toggle inputs between stereo, CD and the Mediabridge.

The install went swimmingly and I've enjoyed using it lo these many months until the bracket that holds the volume knob onto the head unit of the stereo broke loose.

Taking courage from a lacking-in-detail how-to video on YouTube, I removed and disconnected the stereo from the console, opened it up and found that both screw bosses on the volume knob bracket had broken.

Figuring that you probably can't find replacement parts for the insides of BMW stereos, I decided I would have to make my own. So I measured the broken part, modeled it in CAD (with beefier screw bosses this time), and a machinist friend cut me a replacement out of polycarbonate.

Long story short, the head unit went back together without much issue. When I reconnected it to the car and powered it up, it worked just fine . . . except now when I switch inputs, my only choices are stereo and CD. It's like it doesn't recognize the Mediabridge.

I called up DICE tech support to see if they had any experience that would explain what was happening. They didn't, but told me if I installed the head unit without first disconnecting the battery, I may have "fried the CD changer memory" so that the head unit would no longer recognize a connected device.

Are they right? Was I supposed to have disconnected the battery? What can happen if you don't? Is it true that you can "fry the CD changer memory"?

I haven't been able to find any mention of that happening on Google, so I would appreciate any wisdom the E46 collective might have for me.

Thanks.
 

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Shouldn't be true, but not entirely impossible.

I don't have CD changer or DICE or anything in the trunk, except for the wire hanging there for the same.
And when I switch modes, I do get the CD changer option.

But I'd say check all the wiring, specially the ground. And grab a voltmeter to test the +ve and ground cables so you can make sure the cables are fine.
I don't think it is an issue with the head unit but something with the wiring.

Did you check the wiring harness and made sure everything is connected properly? I mean on the harness side, there are hosts of cables coming in. You might have missed one little harness that goes to the HU.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did you check the wiring harness and made sure everything is connected properly? I mean on the harness side, there are hosts of cables coming in. You might have missed one little harness that goes to the HU.
On my car, there is an antenna connector and the main stereo cable harness, with its multitudinous wires, which terminates all neatly in a monster connector with a clever camming mechanism to lock it closed and pry it open. All of the pins get connected (and disconnected) all at the same time. It's really quite clever and means that there aren't any missing connections.

Thanks for the lead, though.
 

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Chuckle. It's not the best product out there, I'll grant you that.
Lol why do I hear so many comments like this. Whats wrong with it? Is there a better product with similar features? I am mainly looking for bluetooth and aux function. I have heard about the iphone/ipod glitches and that doesnt concern me..

I dont mean to thread jack though. I just started a thread here:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=907715
Please leave a comment if you have any input. Thanks!
 

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Wait, you just gave me a clue... There should be another 6 pin connector below the main connector. That's where the cd changer wires go. Make sure you didn't miss that one

^this is the connector I am talking about OP.
Its a smaller white connector which goes to the back of the HU on that clever harness mechanism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lol why do I hear so many comments like this. Whats wrong with it? Is there a better product with similar features? I am mainly looking for bluetooth and aux function.
It's true that there isn't a better product with similar features, at least that I've found, which is why I bought it. And as I mentioned in my OP, I do enjoy the benefits it brings, enough to put up with its idiosyncrasies. It doesn't mean it's perfect, however.

My main complaints:

  1. There is a periodic chirping that overlays any sound coming through the device.
  2. Despite the fact that they claim to balance input levels, switching from FM to MB at the same volume setting does not yield the same volume level.
  3. Even more insidious, the MB created alerts are way louder than the music.
  4. Audio over Bluetooth doesn't seem to have the fidelity of other sources.
  5. The text display shows the name of the first track played, but doesn't update with the titles of subsequent tracks.
  6. I like to have the trip computer between the gauges show the temperature and the head unit show the time, even when the stereo is on. MB only shows the name of the track. There is no option to show the time.

Other than that, I'm fairly happy with what it does do well, so much so that I almost always use the MB vs. stereo or CD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
My main complaints:

  1. There is a periodic chirping that overlays any sound coming through the device.
  2. Despite the fact that they claim to balance input levels, switching from FM to MB at the same volume setting does not yield the same volume level.
  3. Even more insidious, the MB created alerts are way louder than the music.
  4. Audio over Bluetooth doesn't seem to have the fidelity of other sources.
  5. The text display shows the name of the first track played, but doesn't update with the titles of subsequent tracks.
    [*]I like to have the trip computer between the gauges show the temperature and the head unit show the time, even when the stereo is on. MB only shows the name of the track. There is no option to show the time.
FYI, I've since learned that you can make the clock show again by pressing the clock button on the HU:

<img src="http://mattadams.smugmug.com/photos/i-rTM9QRG/0/L/i-rTM9QRG-L.jpg"/>
 

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Fuses 7 and 41 I believe can also be disconnected (Not 100% sure I have those numbers correct, but pretty sure). Should accomplish the same thing as disconnecting your battery, minus having to lose all your driving stats and clock. Love/hate relationship with DICE. Product when working is amazing. When it fails, it's a headache. With this happening to me in the past, I've noticed that the DICE will drop off the face of the earth if there's some form of error code thrown within the device. You essentially just need to reboot it.

Also regarding the above post, I find it's hit or miss. If you press the clock button, yes you will see the time but only for a brief second. The track name will overwrite it again (really annoying DICE). I've just learned to stick with the time on the cluster.
 
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