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Adding a USB Port

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Old 01-27-2017, 02:50 PM
JohnnyQuest JohnnyQuest is offline
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Adding a USB Port

Does anyone know of a way to tap into the rear plug of the lower-dash mounted USB port? I'd like to tap into the back of the unit and run a separate wire to my glove box and then connect a thumb drive with my music collection to that. That way, I'd have continuous access to my music collection (kind of like my own jukebox) and still have the dash port available for other stuff.

Alternatively, if anyone makes a replacement module that has dual USB ports, that would be good too, but I haven't found one.

As a last option, I could buy a simple USB splitter. That should work, but I'd have the wire hanging out of my dash and I was looking for a cleaner way.

Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2017, 03:52 PM
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Do you know if the system will work with two devices connected at once? Good to know before tackling the project.
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:19 AM
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One of the nice characteristics of a USB is that you can daisy chain the plugs, i.e. connect an almost unlimited amount of devices. Amazon https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&ke...KcxBoCxhXw_wcB carries a wide variety of devices to achieve this, although not as cleanly as just extra plugs mounted in the dash. The USB.org site offers a function to search http://www.usb.org/kcompliance/view for USB devices, but this might not work unless you know what you are looking for. I'll be curious if you find a satisfactory clean solution.
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:49 AM
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Daisy chain in theory with a caveat of power consumption. Depends on what you are trying to run. Don't know how much power MINI has running in the port and what OP will want to drive with the second USB. That's why they make externally powered hubs.
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Old 01-28-2017, 12:02 PM
rkw rkw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyQuest View Post
As a last option, I could buy a simple USB splitter. That should work
The correct terminology is "USB hub", and it probably won't work for power and data protocol reasons.

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Originally Posted by Minnie.the.Moocher View Post
Do you know if the system will work with two devices connected at once? Good to know before tackling the project.
It's very unlikely that the system is designed to deal with it. For example, what would it do with two USB sticks plugged in at the same time?
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:33 PM
JohnnyQuest JohnnyQuest is offline
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Your guess was correct. I plugged in a hub with two thumb drives and it only recognized one of the drives. Hmmm, my BMW has two USB ports and the system recognizes a drive in each. I was hoping a hub would work. It is pretty dumb to only provide one USB port, but I guess I'll have to live with that.
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:26 PM
pw1114 pw1114 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyQuest View Post
Does anyone know of a way to tap into the rear plug of the lower-dash mounted USB port? I'd like to tap into the back of the unit and run a separate wire to my glove box and then connect a thumb drive with my music collection to that. That way, I'd have continuous access to my music collection (kind of like my own jukebox) and still have the dash port available for other stuff.

Alternatively, if anyone makes a replacement module that has dual USB ports, that would be good too, but I haven't found one.

As a last option, I could buy a simple USB splitter. That should work, but I'd have the wire hanging out of my dash and I was looking for a cleaner way.

Any ideas?
I was able to add a second USB port.

Since most of us don't have the armrest snap in adapter, the port for that is open in the head unit. It's the BLUE one. You just need to buy the wire and the USB socket, and plug it into the open blue spot. You can see it without detaching the head unit, just take off the screen/center instrument from the dash. (I have visual boost, but it should be the same for Navigation XL. I don't know what the headhunits for the touchscreen with apple CarPlay looks like, might be the same?)

I bought something like this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-NBT-ret...72.m2749.l2649

Then you need to code so that Snap in adapter shows up on your list of external devices.

CDMM_USB_AUDIO = all (0x03)

It's up to you where you want to put the USB port, in the armrest, glovebox, wherever. It's pretty easy. Now I use the original USB port for my Sandisk micro memory stick for my saved Audio and Playlists, and I use the new USB port to charge my phone, and control Apple Music or Spotify or MINI Connected from the iDrive. You could also use another memory stick as well.

If you have the Click n Drive thingy behind the speedo, I would keep the second Usb port behind the dash and then send your charging/data cable to the steering column.





BLUE spot is where to plug in new wire



Now snap in adapter is in list of devices


Last edited by pw1114; 12-16-2017 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:41 PM
JohnnyQuest JohnnyQuest is offline
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That's exactly what I've wanted to do! Excellent! Thanks so much for posting. I don't understand how to code the car, but I'll have to study up on that part.

Having to continually switch USB drives is annoying. Thanks!
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:43 PM
pw1114 pw1114 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyQuest View Post
That's exactly what I've wanted to do! Excellent! Thanks so much for posting. I don't understand how to code the car, but I'll have to study up on that part.

Having to continually switch USB drives is annoying. Thanks!
The coding is very easy if you buy the Bimmercode app for your phone or tablet.
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:29 AM
JohnnyQuest JohnnyQuest is offline
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How did you access the back of the head unit?

Did you pop off this:
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=64_2033

If not that, did you remove one of these pieces:
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=51_3489

Or one of these:
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=65_2601

Thanks!

Last edited by JohnnyQuest; 12-16-2017 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:16 AM
pw1114 pw1114 is offline
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To access the headunit

first you need to remove the "blind ring", which is the gloss black ring aroundthe central instrument (screen and radio buttons). Doing this is simple, just grab the ring, and turn it counter clock-wise, and it will come off

next, you need to remove the top speaker cover in the center top of the dash. You can pry this off with a trim removal tool. It just snaps on and off the dash.

then, you need to remove the two a/c vents next to your screen. There are for metal tabs that snap it into place. I just jammed in plastic trim removal tools to depress them. then you can pull the vents out (if you don't have the trim removal tools, I suppose any flat firm thing will do)




two metal tabs on the bottom of vent




two metal tabs at top of vent

now remove the central instrument. do this by first removing the two screws on the bottom. Now depress the a tab at the top accessed from the top of the dash with a screw driver and pull the central instrument towards you

https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f...cid/1VnYusDU70


you don't really need to remove the head unit for access, but if you want to for better vision/access, there are two screws on the top corners of the bracket holding the head unit. Just remove those.
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Old 12-16-2017, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pw1114 View Post
To access the headunit

first you need to remove the "blind ring", which is the gloss black ring aroundthe central instrument (screen and radio buttons). Doing this is simple, just grab the ring, and turn it counter clock-wise, and it will come off
For anyone with a F55/56/57, unless it's changed in the last year, you don't remove the blind ring in the same manner as the F54. There are two push pins on the bottom that you can pop out with your thumbnail. There is another thread on the forum that illustrates this. Other than that difference it seems this should also work on the other F platforms.
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:43 AM
TVPostSound TVPostSound is offline
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This is a good idea. Especially the eBay part.

Last I looked the OEM cable was $122, and the USB/Audio port was $60.
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:04 AM
JohnnyQuest JohnnyQuest is offline
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Thanks pw1114,
That's great information. I ordered the cable. I'll tackle this in a week or so when it arrives.

Really appreciate the help.
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Old 12-19-2017, 04:54 PM
pw1114 pw1114 is offline
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Just in case, as an FYI, if after you plug in the HSD wire and USB port you find that your phone doesn't charge and it is not connecting, it is likely because the wire/USB port combo you purchased has the pin connections rotated 180 degrees, so you have to rotate the connection position at the USB port/HSD wire by 180 degrees from the default position like this:




This was the case for me, which i'm guessing is because I purchased items meant for some other BMW model.
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Old 12-20-2017, 10:12 AM
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Thats a great idea. Nice job. What part number did you use for the USB port there are several of them.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:07 PM
JohnnyQuest JohnnyQuest is offline
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I ordered this, but it does not fit! I think it's my own fault, I assumed they would all work since they look alike.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-CIC-NBT...53.m2749.l2649
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:31 PM
pw1114 pw1114 is offline
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Originally Posted by JohnnyQuest View Post
I ordered this, but it does not fit! I think it's my own fault, I assumed they would all work since they look alike.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-CIC-NBT...53.m2749.l2649
I think if you just scrape or sand the guides off the outer circumference of the plug it will fit. Unless it’s the pins themselves that don’t fit.

Last edited by pw1114; 01-07-2018 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:32 AM
JohnnyQuest JohnnyQuest is offline
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I think if you just scrape or sand the guides off the outer circumference of the plug it will fit. Unless it’s the pins themselves that don’t fit.
Thanks, I'll try that. It's just a hair off. One end of the cable is light blue, and the other is dark blue. The dark one fits, but that's the only end onto which the USB connects. The light blue end is a hair larger. I'll try removing some plastic with a razor blade The 4-pins look identical.
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:07 AM
JohnnyQuest JohnnyQuest is offline
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Actually, I discovered that the little splines on the light blue plug are at 2:00, 6:00, and 10:00. They are at 3:00, 6:00, & 9:00 on the dark blue. I just removed the ones at 2:00 and 10:00 with a razor blade and it fits perfectly now. Now to do the coding. Very easy job so far thanks to you. Would have been very difficult without knowing the tricks. Removing the vents was the most difficult part. They require some force, wiggling, and swearing (only a little) to remove.
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:26 PM
pw1114 pw1114 is offline
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Glad I can help. You should be getting power through the cable and your phone can charge even without coding. If you’re not getting power you need to rotate the connection 180
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:25 AM
JohnnyQuest JohnnyQuest is offline
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Pw1114,
It works! There is zero chance I would have figured all that out without your help. Even my dealer said it wasn't possible. All in all it was easy. I too had to reverse the connector as you described. Once I did that it worked perfectly. Thanks again. I owe you. BTW how the heck did you figure all this out? I'm very impressed.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:03 AM
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Glad it works.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:53 PM
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Which cable for f56?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyQuest View Post
I ordered this, but it does not fit! I think it's my own fault, I assumed they would all work since they look alike.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-CIC-NBT...53.m2749.l2649

Anyone know which one would fit F56?
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:37 PM
JohnnyQuest JohnnyQuest is offline
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My guess, is that the F56 uses the same head unit (depending on year). If you go here:
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=61_4646

You can "select another vehicle" and see if the part number is the same. I checked it for a 2015 F56 and it is identical to what is listed for my 2017 F54. I'd imagine that the cable that I used will fit your car. But that's just a guess. If the part numbers are the same, I'd say it's a very safe bet with the modifications that pw1114 described.
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