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  #1  
Old 12-20-2003, 10:15 PM
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ChiliCooperMark ChiliCooperMark is offline
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This is an installation how-to guide for the ICE-Link product from Dension that allows you to play and power an iPod through the MINI's head unit and control the iPod with either the head unit or the MFSW buttons. The functionality of the ICE-Link has been covered elsewhere in other threads, so here I will focus on installation only.
First, here is a picture of what you get in the ICE-Link package, with my labels.
Click the image to open in full size.
I also ordered (from Dension) an additional proclip adaptor that comes in a separate package, shown here. I'll get to this towards the end of the instructions.
Click the image to open in full size.
[Later edit:] 0. I suggest that you disconnect your battery before this installation. I did not, and found out later that my installation (according to the dealer at least) caused a short in the wiring harness that caused one of my speakers to stop working. I don't know if disconnecting the battery first would have prevented this problem, but it would be safer to do so. In any case, do this installation at your own risk, because it can cause a short in the speaker wiring.


1. Okay, the first thing to do is to remove the downtubes on the center console, and then loosen and pull out the head unit. Instructions for how to do this are available elsewhere, so I won't cover that here. Here is the head unit pulled out as far as I could get it:
Click the image to open in full size.
2. Next, unplug the large black wiring harness plug on the rear driver's side of the head unit. There is an identical type of plug on the wiring harness that came in the ICE-Link package, and this you should then plug into the head unit. You can see on both plugs how a lever is raised to release the plug and lowered to lock the plug. To raise the lever, you need to pinch part of it. The easiest way to see how it works is to play with the one that came with the ICE-Link package first to get a feel for it. Here is a picture after this step:
Click the image to open in full size.
3. You will see that on another part of the ICE-Link wiring harness, there is a smaller white plug that you should next insert into the larger black plug that you just connected to the head unit in step 2. It will help you by way of example to look at the original black plug that you removed from the head unit in step 2, because you can see that it also had a smaller white plug inside of it, and this helps you to see where the white plug fits. Here is a picture at the end of step 3:
Click the image to open in full size.
4. Now look at the other large black plug-like thing on the ICE-Link wiring harness. It is actually a socket that fits the black plug that you removed from the head unit in step 2. Connect these together to get this:
Click the image to open in full size.
5. The next steps are pretty easy. Just take the remaining, small black plug on the ICE-Link wiring harness and connect it to the socket in the silver "connection box". Then connect the two RCA cables and other data cable from the "ICE-Link" to the "connection box". See my photo of the package above for labeled pictures of the "connection box" and the "ICE-Link". Then connect the plug from the wire at the other end of the "ICE-Link" to the top of your iPod. The photo below is after step 5:
Click the image to open in full size.
6. (Optional) If you want to get power from your head unit to your iPod (I highly recommend this) then connect a firewire cable from the bottom of your iPod to the socket in the "ICE-Link". You will need an iPod-to-firewire cable like the one that comes with the iPod. This cable is not provided in the ICE-Link package.
Click the image to open in full size.
7. Test everything. Mine did not work the first time. I simply disconnected and then reconnected a couple of the plugs and everything worked on the second try.
8. Disconnect your iPod and feed the cables back through the center console and out wherever you'd like them to come. I ran mine down to the right and out to the floor behind the left side of the glove box. Then feed the following back into the center console: the "ICE-Link", the "connection box", the rest of the wiring harness, and finally, the head unit. This step is quite difficult, and I had to remove my left-side parcel shelf (or knee bolster) to reach around the back and help coax everything into place. There is room to the sides and top of the head unit, but it is definitely a tight fit and you may need to experiment.
9. Assemble the proclip. I bought the extra adapter to mount it onto the right side downtube. I screwed this onto the basic holder that came with the ICE-Link package using 2 of the provided screws. I did not end up using one piece that came with the ICE-Link package that was for a swivel mount. Once assembled, the proclip is very easy to attach to the downtube following the simple instructions provided. Here is a picture of my assembled proclip with the unused swivel piece next to it:
Click the image to open in full size.
And here is the final picture of everything completed:
Click the image to open in full size.
That's it. I hope this is helpful to you! :smile: :smile: :smile:
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Last edited by ChiliCooperMark; 09-08-2004 at 07:38 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2003, 11:14 PM
Chitown_COOP Chitown_COOP is offline
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Wow!
That's some pretty amazing work there, but it looks doable, I suppose. The part that worries me most is shoving everything back behind the head unit. That's a ton of stuff that wasn't there before that needs to discreetly fit back there, and the MINI isn't exactly overflowing with extra space in the first place. But you're saying that it will all fit behind the head unit? There's not a bunch of junky-looking wires hanging down behind those nice-looking extra gauges, is there?

Where did you get this unit, and (if I may) for how much?

Do you think that it would be possible to attractively run the wires out into the Euroshelf area instead of underneath the toggle panel?

Do you think that the less mechanically inclined among us will be capable of doing this?

How controllable is the unit via the MFSW? Is it simply volume (which I would assume you could always adjust) and track forward and back?

Cool. Thanks for the info, and be prepared for more questions!

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Old 12-21-2003, 01:13 AM
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Great How-To... I've been curious about this for quite some time now.

The ICE Link is available at http://www.densionusa.com/merchant/merchant.mvc , but I didn't see an option for the Mini specifically on the site. Do you order the BMW one? Or is it something you have to ask for specifically.

It's 199.00 off Dension's site. I didn't realize it was that expensive. Dang, after spending 300-500 bucks on an iPod, it's hard to justify spending another 199.00 for that. I imagine it's worth it, but wow.

Anyway... Thanks!!!

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  #4  
Old 12-21-2003, 08:26 AM
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>>
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Old 12-21-2003, 09:45 AM
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This is the mounting system I got, which you may want to check out. The proclip is the easiest by far, but if you have the downtubes off in the first place, this one goes on pretty easily, and looks nice.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Also, check out this page for more info on this mounting system. Someone posted it in another thread, and I loved it. Decided to do it.

http://mini.uglydoris.com/archives/000023.html

Good Luck!
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Old 12-21-2003, 12:43 PM
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I have two questions:

1.) Isn't there one of these kinds of devices out there that uses the lower (bottom) plug for both power AND signal out? It seems crazy to have to plug in two things when all the wiring to do it all is there in the big connector.

2.) Does this installation work identically for MINIs with the NAV system? i don't want to lose my NAV audio.

Thanks and terrific pictures!
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  #7  
Old 12-21-2003, 01:24 PM
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Another question, will this work with Harmon/Kardon Sound system?

Happy Holidays
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Old 12-21-2003, 03:28 PM
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>>I have two questions:
>>
>>1.) Isn't there one of these kinds of devices out there that uses the lower (bottom) plug for both power AND signal out? It seems crazy to have to plug in two things when all the wiring to do it all is there in the big connector.
>>

I haven't heard of any other available device yet that allows MFSW control of the iPod. I'm just guessing, but I think it needs to use the connector on the top because that is where the iPod remote control plugs in, and may be the only input for things that can remotely control the iPod.

>>2.) Does this installation work identically for MINIs with the NAV system? i don't want to lose my NAV audio.
>>

I don't have the NAV, so can't answer that one.

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  #9  
Old 12-21-2003, 03:29 PM
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>>Another question, will this work with Harmon/Kardon Sound system?
>>

I'm not sure. I've got the standard Boost head unit.
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  #10  
Old 12-22-2003, 12:21 PM
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i have a couple questions and requests for some more pics:

how is the sound quality??

is there any way u can take some pics of the plugs?

the plugs seem very inconveinent, i have the dock and i just drop in the dock and attach the remote, but on this one u have to put it in the clip, attach the firewire and attach a headphone jack.....

is there anyway to run the audio through the firewire, like thru the dock?? the sound quality is said to be much better...??

overall, how is it working??

could u take some pics of the iPod not in the car, then some pics of the iPod being put in the car??

also, is the screen easy to read? how is the clip/mount?

any other feedback will be greatly appreciated.....
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  #11  
Old 12-22-2003, 07:17 PM
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MeanGRN MeanGRN is offline
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Quote:
>>Another question, will this work with Harmon/Kardon Sound system?
>>

I'm not sure. I've got the standard Boost head unit.
I just ordered the ICE-Link for my '04 MCS with the H/K system. I ordered the DSP option that is an extra $69.00. I got a call from Denison tonight and was informed that the H/K system is just a standard Boost system and that they are refunding me the $69.00. So th answer your question is Yes it will work with the H/K system. I won't know for a while as I am still waiting for my MCS, (it's still in Southampton waiting for the Jingu Maru!!!! )

Cheers,
JD
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Old 12-22-2003, 11:52 PM
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Does anyone know if the Blitzsafe works the same as the ICE link as far as the controls on the head unit?

Thanks
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  #13  
Old 12-23-2003, 02:40 AM
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Nicely done how to project. Great job.
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Old 12-24-2003, 01:02 PM
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what about the rest of us who use other brands of MP3 players.....

i got an ARCHOS, which is basically the PC version of an IPOD, except better.

it still uses 1/8" stereo jack out.

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Old 12-24-2003, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
i got an ARCHOS, which is basically the PC version of an IPOD, except better.
Well, there is a PC iPod, and it works great... I wouldn't jump so quick to say the Archos is better
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Old 12-29-2003, 08:44 AM
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EliteCooperS, here are some answers/comments for you....

>>i have a couple questions and requests for some more pics:
>>
>>how is the sound quality??
>>

The sound quality is great...perfect as far as my ears can tell. The ICE-link pulls sound from the line-out jack of the iPod and hard wires it into the back of the head unit where the CD changer input usually goes. I assume I am hearing exactly the same kind of sound quality you would get by connecting the iPod's line-out to a MINI aux input.

>>is there any way u can take some pics of the plugs?
>>

Sorry, the above pictures are all that I took... but all the plugs are shown there, albeit not in close-up detail. To do that I would have to remove the head unit and wires again.

>>the plugs seem very inconveinent, i have the dock and i just drop in the dock and attach the remote, but on this one u have to put it in the clip, attach the firewire and attach a headphone jack.....
>>

Actually, this can be just as convenient as your set-up. The firewire/dock connector on the bottom of the iPod is totally optional and the only thing it does for you is provide power. This morning for example, all I did was slide my iPod into the proclip, and connect the remote-style plug onto the top of the iPod, leaving the bottom firewire/dock connector unplugged. As a result, I was running on the iPod's battery power, but I had all of the MFSW functionality, including power-up and -down of the iPod automatically. And even through the loose firewire/dock wire was hanging loose, I could barely see it, and so it really didn't seem cluttered.

>>is there anyway to run the audio through the firewire, like thru the dock?? the sound quality is said to be much better...??
>>

I don't think so. But are you sure there is a sound quality difference?

>>overall, how is it working??
>>

Great! But I sure would hope so for a total of $240.

>>could u take some pics of the iPod not in the car, then some pics of the iPod being put in the car??
>>

I am not sure what you are after here that is not already shown in the above photos. Please be more specific. Thanks

>>also, is the screen easy to read? how is the clip/mount?
>>

The screen is easily visible from the driver's seat. The clip is easy to use - the iPod just slides in so you only need one hand to mount it. And the clip is out of the way of the glovebox door and my MINI-FINI cup holder below it. FYI, I did not have to use the double-sided tape that came with the part of the clip that fits on the downtube...it seems to stay in place just fine without the tape.

>>any other feedback will be greatly appreciated.....

One thing...don't expect a meaningful display in your headunit when in iPod mode...it basically looks like you are using a CD-changer and provides some meaningless CD number and Track number readout. So you'll be relying on your iPod screen as your display.


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Old 01-23-2004, 12:53 PM
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>>what about the rest of us who use other brands of MP3 players.....
>>
>>i got an ARCHOS, which is basically the PC version of an IPOD, except better.
>>
>>it still uses 1/8" stereo jack out.
>>

I've got an archos too (jbmm20). Haven't found anything commercial to do this yet.

(OT)Not sure what model archos you have, but check out RockBox if you havent already. http://rockbox.haxx.se It's an open source OS alternative to the OS provided by archos. Theyve added some neat features.

Back to the archos->mini. I've been considering trying to rig something myself up. It would have to connect to the serial port (to control the changing of tracks), the AV out port for the sound and the DC in for power, so we're not looking at the most aesthetically pleasing device. Supposidly the serial information sent via the archos remote is available online. Just need to change the signal sent to the cd changer out on the head unit to the commands for the archos. How to do that, I'm not so sure. But one day ... I will be able to store the archos in the glove box and change tracks via the head unit/mfsw. One day..

Wishing I was an EE major in college now ... I'll be sure to post if I make any progress, for now its just a dream.
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Old 01-27-2004, 12:58 PM
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>>One thing...don't expect a meaningful display in your headunit when in iPod mode...it basically looks like you are using a CD-changer and provides some meaningless CD number and Track number readout. So you'll be relying on your iPod screen as your display.
>>
>>

I just gotta hope that the folks at Dension are working on this, perhaps even with Apple. How slick would it be to be able to hid the iPod in the glove box in dock and see all the iPod screen info on your head unit???

BTW I couldnd't tell from the pics, which gen iPod do you have?


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Old 01-28-2004, 04:06 PM
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KerMini, that would be cool. I am not sure I'd give up my downtube mount though, because I like to use the iPod's scroll wheel to change playlists and stuff that is not available through the MFSW. (BTW, I don't monkey with it while I'm driving - just at stop lights!)

My iPod is a brand new 3rd Gen 40GB model. This week I finally finished loading my CD collection of 3,400 songs, and I still have 25GB of free space left to go! I guess I better start in on the old cassette tape collection.
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Old 02-04-2004, 02:52 PM
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On the ICELink page there is a question about whether or not the radio has a DSP connection. Do any MINIs have this type of radio? How can I tell if mine does (without taking the unit out of the dash).

Great pictures and information! Thanks.
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:42 PM
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lpetre, welcome to NAM!

I am not sure about the "DSP connection." When I placed my order on the Dension website, I just remember chosing the BMW model, and I don't think I got any question about a DSP connection. I noticed that the same ICElink model fits the MINI as well as a bunch of BMWs, and the order form gives you a comment area in which I specified that I had the standard BMW Boost head unit for the MINI.

I heard somewhere (not verified) that all of the standard factory MINI head units sold in the U.S. are the BMW Boost type ("Wave" is the other type.) You can verify what type you have by looking at the owner's manual for your stereo that you should have received in the folder along with your MINI owner's manual. My manual clearly stated that I had the Boost type right on the cover.

Hope this helps. :smile:

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Old 02-04-2004, 04:48 PM
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Just reading older postings and came across this how-to install for the ICE-link. No one asked this question, so I still need an answer: Does plugging the iPod into the Aux input provide the same control through the MFSW? If not, what's the difference?
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Old 02-05-2004, 06:52 AM
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>>Just reading older postings and came across this how-to install for the ICE-link. No one asked this question, so I still need an answer: Does plugging the iPod into the Aux input provide the same control through the MFSW? If not, what's the difference?

No, it does not. With the Aux input approach, you will have volume control only on the MFSW. With the ICE-link, you can also change tracks via the MFSW. Also, the ICE-link provides an (optional) firewire cable connection that provides power to the iPod. I think that you can do source selection either way, but with the ICE-link, the iPod automatically powers up/down when it is selected/deselected as the source, and I doubt if this happens with the Aux jack connection.
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:20 PM
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Okay guys, just installed my ice>Link with the 2.07 firmware... No text on the radio... did a little bit of exploring... and found two things.

1. You can install the Beta firmware... poo on that, right?
2. For the more cautious you can use a special configuration file (found here). This enables ID3 display capabilities on MINIs with and without NAV. Its a shame we can't use it to display on the OBC... anyway... haven't done this yet (have iPod and computer issues to iron before I can install the update on the iPod). Let me know if I am mistaken in endorsing this solution.

Edit: Tried those configs and it worked great until the car detected it as a phone... now the ID3 text shows up on the headunit and the speed dial menu (which appears on the NAV screen).
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Old 11-16-2005, 09:31 AM
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Better audio with a dock connector

Note that in this installation, he's using the amplified, headphone jack instead of a line out.

All iPods with dock connectors allow for line out audio and most folks use that connection instead for better quality. You'll be using all of your MINI radio to amp the signal.

Sik has two cables (nearly the same) worth considering that give you 3/8" line out and Firewire out: the sik din or the sik ram din. Both are available in black or white.

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North American Motoring is an independently operated web site supporting MINI owners and enthusiastsworldwide. As such it has no official relationship with MINI USA, BMW AG, or BMW of North America.All original artwork and design is Copyright © 2002-2004 North American Motoring.
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