Jump to content
themanstan

KCA-420i and Intravee II install

Recommended Posts

Hmmmm, I just received the thing, brand new, about a month ago, after a wait of much longer for delivery. If it is shipped in a non-working state, firmware-wise, it's pretty disappointing IMO.

I agree with you that you would expect that the Intravee would just work out of the box, but I don't think that will be the case. There are a massive number of possible combinations of BMW hardwear that could be installed, it's impossible to test every combination. I know of over 30 different E39 MID modules and 21 different Radio/Tape/CD modules, they all behave slightly differently when you try and do things that they were not designed to do - which is what the Intravee has to do. Any MID/Radio can have several different software versions, so with just UI4 on the E39 you could have literally thousands of possible combinations.

A 1998 E39 with MID and DSP will very almost certainly have a Digital CD Changer audio input, so to use the Intravee you'll need an Analogue to Digital converter.

I have the 3 pin and 6 pin CD changer connections, not the coaxial, hence I am told (according to the blurb) that I don't need the Dice AD converter.

Which 'blurb'? Existance of a 6 pin connector is irrelevent unless it was connected, without a coaxial connector, to a BMW CD Changer that had working audio. The general rule is that E39's with Nav and DSP build before September 2002 will have digital DSP, all E39's with MID and DSP will have digital DSP. However, if any component has been replaced then pretty much anything goes.

The MID can see the intravee but for the most part it's a mess. On the rare occasion I can get Source: iPod, I can scroll through the menus until I get to "Songs" or "Playlists" and the system freezes, everything starts flickering and the MID becomes non-responsive. The last time I had it, I had "Playlist" appearing in different places in the MID, on one occasion in three places simultaneously. After messing about for a few minutes, it reverts to Radio. Sometimes I get "No Magazine", or "Disc Check". I've followed the instructions to reset the UI quite a few times - sometimes it actually responds, sometimes it doesn't but I have no way of actually calling up the UI status to confirm it's setting.

I thought perhaps that there might be something wrong with my car. The CD changer worked fine beforehand but I thought perhaps something had broken (cable-wise during the install). So I took it out and reconnected the CD changer. It works fine, just as it did before. So the car is working fine.

I've read that I can access it using a PC and a serial cable to try and ensure the UI is properly set but of course my PC does not have a serial port. Also, a brief search on "UI4" on the intravention forum shows that I am not alone - with a development bias for UI6 being blamed for it. Furthermore, I have subsequently discovered at least two people who have Intravees (sourced second hand) on their garage shelves because they just couldn't get them working.

I just want to listen to my music. I don't really want to be part of the R&D process, especially considering the cost of all of this. :-(

Thanks for taking the time to reply though :)

As I said, you will need to update the Intravee firmware, if you're not willing or able to do this, send it back for a refund. Can't say anything else really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Which 'blurb'?

The following, from toys in your car website, and the installation guide:

DSP Adapter for BMW Vehicles with DSP Amplifier. PLEASE NOTE: This is for BMW vbehicles which have the DSP amplifier option AND where the CD Changer has the COAX type plug. This adapter will enable you to connect an Intravee II as it will also convert the connections to the 'standard' BMW 3 pin and 6 pin plugs required by the Intravee II.]

The Intravee connects to your BMW via two connectors, a three pin iBus connector for control and a 6 pin connector for audio. If you have DSP and a coaxial cable for digital audio in your car then you will also require a Digital to Analogue converter.

I took that to mean that I would be able to tell what I did or did not need by the CD changer connections. Is this not actually the case? I have no coaxial wiring at the CD changer, and only the 3 pin iBus and 6 pin Audio.

However, if any component has been replaced then pretty much anything goes.

Nothing's been replaced - it's as BMW built it.

I agree with you that you would expect that the Intravee would just work out of the box, but I don't think that will be the case. There are a massive number of possible combinations of BMW hardwear that could be installed, it's impossible to test every combination. I know of over 30 different E39 MID modules and 21 different Radio/Tape/CD modules, they all behave slightly differently when you try and do things that they were not designed to do - which is what the Intravee has to do. Any MID/Radio can have several different software versions, so with just UI4 on the E39 you could have literally thousands of possible combinations.

Understood. I'm not underestimating the complexity of the task, but I assumed that was why I paid £283 for the entire solution, and I would assume that based on the R&D performed that the six UI modes provided cover all eventualities. If the six modes were insufficient, I would assume that there would be more UI modes.

As I said, you will need to update the Intravee firmware, if you're not willing or able to do this, send it back for a refund. Can't say anything else really.

How is this done. Do I need to get a USB/Serial cable to do so?

Cheers :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DSP Adapter for BMW Vehicles with DSP Amplifier. PLEASE NOTE: This is for BMW vbehicles which have the DSP amplifier option AND where the CD Changer has the COAX type plug. This adapter will enable you to connect an Intravee II as it will also convert the connections to the 'standard' BMW 3 pin and 6 pin plugs required by the Intravee II.]

The Intravee connects to your BMW via two connectors, a three pin iBus connector for control and a 6 pin connector for audio. If you have DSP and a coaxial cable for digital audio in your car then you will also require a Digital to Analogue converter.

I took that to mean that I would be able to tell what I did or did not need by the CD changer connections. Is this not actually the case? I have no coaxial wiring at the CD changer, and only the 3 pin iBus and 6 pin Audio.

Yes, that's correct. The problem in identifying which type you have comes when there is no existing CD Changer. Also, some cars have all 3 connections, if that's the case you have to remove one and see which out of the 6 pin or coaxial connections is actually providing audio.

However, if any component has been replaced then pretty much anything goes.

Nothing's been replaced - it's as BMW built it.

That's by far the earliest E39 I've ever heard of with Analogue DSP from the factory. Maybe early E39's had Analogue DSP too?

I agree with you that you would expect that the Intravee would just work out of the box, but I don't think that will be the case. There are a massive number of possible combinations of BMW hard wear that could be installed, it's impossible to test every combination. I know of over 30 different E39 MID modules and 21 different Radio/Tape/CD modules, they all behave slightly differently when you try and do things that they were not designed to do - which is what the Intravee has to do. Any MID/Radio can have several different software versions, so with just UI4 on the E39 you could have literally thousands of possible combinations.

Understood. I'm not underestimating the complexity of the task, but I assumed that was why I paid £283 for the entire solution, and I would assume that based on the R&D performed that the six UI modes provided cover all eventualities. If the six modes were insufficient, I would assume that there would be more UI modes.

It's more that there are subtle variations within each UI mode than more UI modes are required. Something that works on one variant of the MID or Nav or E46 Business radio, does not work on another variant of what appears to be the same hardware. BMW source their components from different manufacturers, presumably giving them a spec and purchasing from the cheapest source. As a consequence you find that there are head units that look externally identical but behave differently when trying to control them outside of their design specifications (or even sometimes within them!).

As I said, you will need to update the Intravee firmware, if you're not willing or able to do this, send it back for a refund. Can't say anything else really.

How is this done. Do I need to get a USB/Serial cable to do so?

Cheers :)

Yes. Either a built in serial port (getting less and less common) or a USB/Serial adapter. If you go for the USB/Serial adapter you'll need to find out from Device Manager which COM port it's assigned, you'll need to know to set the correct port number in the downloader program. If you need more details on how to do this let me know which version of Windows you are using and I can tell you exactly how to find out - it's different for different versions of Windows. If you have a lot of serial port type devices already on the PC (some laptops create loads of Bluetooth serial ports) then you may have to re-assign the port number so its within the range 1-32, this is easy to do in Device Manager.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Richard. USB/serial cable en route from ebay and I have firmware 6.02-3536 ready to go on when the cable gets here. Thanks for your offer of guidance finding the port number - I may very well need it. Currently running Vista.

That's by far the earliest E39 I've ever heard of with Analogue DSP from the factory. Maybe early E39's had Analogue DSP too?

Beats me. But I've had the car from new hence can confirm that nobody else has done anything to it. I replaced the CD changer once when the original one bust and that's all I've done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Device manager (after much, MUCH messing about) recognises cable in Port 7 and has no code 10 error. Intravee Control Panel says Not in Application or Bootloader? Check Cable.

So far, not so good. Not much to show for an evening away from family and friends....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spent ages getting the ebay cable to be recognised as a specific device. Code 10 error was experienced along the way. Not strictly relevant, just indicative of the journey undertaken :)

That's now solved and my PC is happy with it, displayed as COM7. Changed the downloader port to COM7, and ensured the speed is set to 115200 in both the downloader and the device manager. Using downloader 5.03 232. Ignition set at 1 during process, so intravee powered up

Any way I could ping the intravee or something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any update amauvis? I've been away, sounds like there is a problem with the COM port to me. If you select the com port in the downloader tool and get no error trying to 'open' the com port, but then get no responce it usually indicates that the COM driver is not working correctly - maybe the wrong driver or a resource conflict. I assume you've restarted the PC (not just suspended or Hibernated) sinse you installed the COM port drivers?

Might be worth changing the port number in device manager (properties, port settings, Advanced, or something allong those lines), if there is no built in modem or serial port, COM 1 should be free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope, nothing to add - I am away on business all week. Intravee support also mentioned changing the COM port. Must be said, the PC was running with newly installed drivers and never restarted. I'll have another bash on the weekend :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Done nothing with this. Little time and more pressing things to do. Will hopefully get a chance this weekend. Optimism/expectation levels low.

Question/musing - would it not make sense to ship the unit with the right cable/drivers, so that customers don't have to mess about like this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK - done this. COM1 port was free so I assigned the Device Manager COM port from 7 (which it chose originally) to COM port 1. Rebooted. Opened downloader-v5.03-232.exe, and it immediately complained about not being able to open COM7, which is to be expected.

Went into the loader application, selected COM 1, retrieved the patch and then tried to apply it, twice:

intraveeloader.jpg

Not playing. Going to try and test the cable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to Intravee support, I should be able to use the loader like a terminal emulator so that I can do the loopback test. Well, I can't, as it will accept no keyboard input. If I hit return or touch a key, I immediately get a popup error "bytes written mismatch", and a message to that effect is recorded in the "terminal". What I typed does not appear:

intraveeloader2.jpg

So I can't use that test to establish the cable wiring.

Yes, tried with key in and turned (radio working), but not ignition, and again with engine actually running

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried a loop back test? Connect pins 2 and 3 on the serial cable together, you should then see what you type in a terminal emulator program or the Intravee down loader program. Looking into the D connector, Pin 1 is on the left of the longer row of pins, pins 1-5 are on the top row, you can connect pins 2 and 3 with a flat bladed screwdriver.

If you do the loop back test and get nothing, or an error, then there is a problem with the serial port drivers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, as my previous post :)

I'm not familiar with this technology at all, but as I could not get the downloader to accept any input without throwing up a bytes mismatch error, I subsequently used puttytel to contact the port. The terminal window opened but there was no prompt, nor would it accept input. No errors though.

I don't know if that is significant?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would help if you say where you are located, someone might be able to pop round with a working serial set up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×