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After-market / After Delivery Satellite Radio?

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Electronics' started by dszpiro, Dec 20, 2009.

    dszpiro guest

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    My 2009 sDrive 35i came with the standard audio system. While I did get the iPod interface kit, I did not get a factory installed satellite radio. Additionally, I did not get iDrive.

    I am wondering what would be involved in getting Sirius satellite radio installed at this point. It is listed as a $350 option on the BMW USA web site with the following description: "Sirius is seamlessly integrated with the controls of your BMW's CD radio."

    On the Sirius web site, they show a SiriusConnect Universal Vehicle Tuner that is described as being designed to match with "Sirius-ready" head unit. Presumably that includes the BMW head unit. This tuner retails for $70.

    So, here's what I'm wondering:

    - Is the $350 dollar option from BMW a dealer installed option that can be added to the car after delivery?
    - Do you think the $70 tuner from Sirius would just plug into the BMW head unit and start working?

    I look forward to hearing from anyone who has some experience in these matters.

    • Member


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    I had the dealer add OE Sirius to my 2006 Z4 which I bought in March. The price they charged me was WAAAAAAY more than $350.00, closer to $1,000 actually. Knowing what I do now, I would have probably gone with an after market satellite radio that also uses the radio display. I went with the OE because I didn't want any wires etc. hanging around the dash and wanted the functionality of using the radio controls and display. There are several after market suppliers who make add ons that mount in the trunk and use the radio controls and display. Search one of the Z4 forums and you should find a number of threads about after market satellite radios.
    • Member


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    OK...I'm curious (also) about the factory/dealer installation VS aftermarket, essentially because of the iDrive, voice-activation and navigation interface.
    I've read and heard about a few horror stories, and really don't want to risk the electronics in my '09 E 60
    by trying to save a few bucks.
    Any members with either/both experience(s) out there?
    Love to hear some more feedback.
    • Member


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    My OEM Sirius is not even functional, so I think I regret purchasing it with the car. I have other stand alone Sirius modules, and they all work.

    My car just says 'acquiring' when I use Sirius...I have been to the dealer with a copy of the pertaining SIB (65 37 09). This way we can all understand that there is no fix right now, and that I should just wait....and wait.

    I had a Sirius Starmate in my 328i -- I installed it myself in about 8 minutes -- all I needed was a power source, a 3.5 mm male to male plug, and patience to snake the antenna cable out to the trunk lid. It worked flawlessly for about $65 --

    BMW seems to think that a $600 option that doesn't function is acceptable. :rolleyes:

    Superman07 guest

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    dszpiro - You may have already found a solution for your problem, but I just saw your post and wanted to chime in.

    I believe you will need more than the SCC1 because it needs to interface with the vehicle. The opposite end of the cable is the same as that which goes into the Sirius module. More often than not an interface box is required for the unit to talk to [brand x car]. If you look at their site you'll notice similar boxes or packages for other manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda which I believe are more seamlessly designed to work together. Unfortunate for us BMW owners.

    One of the Alpine or Kenwood boxes may work, but I do not know enough about the specific audio components in the newer BMW models. You may end up needing to get something that fits XM or just generic AUX input. It appears Mobridge is developing an XM direct solution, or they currently have a solution to allow an additional XM unit to link into the system.


    However, if you're set on Sirius then you may only be left for a 3rd party option if you want a cheaper solution. For reference, I had issues with my E46 and instead of spending potentially $1k+ for essentially a Sirius receiver I decided to go with a separate Sirius device. It's not as simple or convenient as OEM, but provides me with much more functionality and hides nicely. Plus I think it cost ~$150 plus some time to install. I've provide my install below.


    NOTE - this was last spring.

    After trading some e-mails and taking some measurements I decided to see how the non-vehicle specific Sirius Connect system would work out. I ended up buying both the controller and tuner as both are required.

    Controller - Universal SiriusConnectâ„¢ Controller System FMSC1
    Tuner - SIRIUS Connect Vehicle Tuner SCC1

    I wanted a very clean install, so I opted to put the unit in the front ash tray under the HVAC controls. However, I needed to take care of two issues. First, I needed a way to route the cables, so I expanded the hole at the bottom/back of the tray (the end of the connector is wider than the cable). Second, I removed the hinge mechanism that stops the tray door from fully opening. This also prevent pushing the bottom part of the hinge "out" when the door opens. On test fittings this was causing the module to shift around each time I opened and closed the door.

    I had a few options on where to place the two modules, but I was limited on the cord length of the display module that connects to the controller main unit. The two options that I felt comfortable with were under the passenger seat or behind the glove box. Based on some searches through common forums and concerns with the ventilation output under the seat I opted for behind the glove box. There are a handful of instructions on the web explaining how to access the compartment. A simple Google search will turn these up so I won't both to reproduce these. An added bonus is that the modules fit snug in the existing structure with prevent them from sifting around.

    Test fitting the modules:

    Hooking it all up:

    At this point I will say that my inexperience with automotive electronics really took a toll. For those not wishing to spend the better part of a day on this project (like I did... ) a few suggestions:

    1) Go buy a fuse tap/add a fuse : Amazon.com: Bussmann BP/HHH ATM Add-A-Fuse: Home Improvement I picked one up at the local auto parts store. (Make sure you add two fuses into this type of unit. It is necessary for pass through of power).

    2) After continual testing I couldn't figure out the problem. The instructions are not entirely clear. Thanks to Josh from TSS I found the problem - you need to hook both 12V lines up to the tap.

    3) Grounding was a pain, but I found a place in the area between the door jam and the glove box compartment (used a screw, washer and nut).

    Since I only wanted the unit to be on when the car was in the "on" position or running I branched off of the same fuse that runs the radio.

    After many, many hours I finally had a working product! Here are some pictures of the final product.



    Overall I am very happy with the final product. I now have a solution that gives me more functionality than the that of the OEM (e.g. artist seek, song seek, traffic jump, game alerts, etc.) and it was a fraction of the cost. Additionally, I can simply close the tray door and everything is hidden.

    It did take me the better part of a day to complete, but that was due to my inexperience with many areas of the car. If I had to do it again I would guess it shouldn't take much more than 2-3 hours.

    Finally I'd like to say thanks to Taylor and Josh over at TSS-Radio (http://www.tss-radio.com/). They were a great help in addressing my concerns before ordering as well as helping with a few hurdles during the installation. I will certainly be using them for all of my future satellite radio purchases. I highly recommend you use them if you need any Sirius|XM products in the future.

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