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Navigation & Audio Y Cable Workaround?

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Navigation & Audio Y Cable Workaround?

  #1  
Old 12-03-2018, 12:03 PM
jewishamericanprincess
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Y Cable Workaround?

Hi everyone, I just bought a 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe S a few weeks ago. My first car! I love it to death, but I'd really like to be able to charge my phone and play music at the same time. I've been scouring forums for good ways to accomplish this, but can't seem to find a way that fits what I'm looking for.

Ideally, it would fit these specs:
-play music
-charge phone
-change songs and volume using the steering wheel controls
-still have "cigarette lighter" outlet available
-turn on & connect automatically (if it's bluetooth)
-be able to play music with the key in the ACC position
-no loss in sound quality
-doesn't need to connect to phone's aux port to play music

With it all written out it seems like a lot to ask, but also... is it really? I feel like it shouldn't be this complicated! I have the 30-pin Y cable that came with the car but I can't find a 30-pin to lightning adapter anywhere (that works with the MINI stereo). They were discontinued by Apple a couple years ago I think. I'm trying to avoid paying $90 for the BMW Y cable, but maybe that's my only option.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Even if it doesn't fit all of the qualifications I listed
 
  #2  
Old 12-03-2018, 12:55 PM
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MrGrumpy
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You can take care of it with a trip best buy or a few minutes on Amazon. You can just use a regular lightning cable with a splitter that splits to 1 lightning jack and 1 audio jack. Use the splitter and cable for the usb and then, and this is the important part! Use a 4-conductor audio cable with 2 male ends, one to the splitter and one to the audio input jack.
Most normal audio cords are 3-conductor. You need to use a 4-conductor cord. That’s one with 3 little o-ring things and 4 brass sections showing (see photo)
It sounds hokey but it works, it’s inexpensive, and my personal favorite, plugged in that way, when I use amazon music or Spotify the album art shows on the nav screen, which doesn’t happen if I’m just connected with Bluetooth.
Just be sure to have both cables connected to the splitter before you plug it into your iPhone or else the phone may not register them both.


Belkin splitter


A 4 conductor audio plug


The added bonus because I’m easily amused
 
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2018, 12:58 PM
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MrGrumpy
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I don’t know why the photo of the plug isn’t showing, but it’s there if you tap the little square there. If needed I can post it again.
I realize you said you didn’t want to have to use the auxiliary input, but the factory Y-cable plugs into both the same way, so.....it’s an option.
now it’s there
 

Last edited by MrGrumpy; 12-03-2018 at 01:04 PM.
  #4  
Old 12-11-2018, 07:52 AM
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DaveTinNY
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Mr Grumpy,

Great info!
Will this work for my NON-Navigation, Non-Connected MINI? I have a 2013 R56 w/ Bluetooth.... I never have been able to get my iPhone 6s to show on the display or work through the steering wheel (except for volume)... I have to do everything on the iPhone with the audio mini-jack plugged in (3 conductor) and my radio on AUX. The phone charges through the USB-Lightning adapter I have. The radio display only shows "iPod" not my "iPhone" and it does not show tracks, album, yadda, yadda.

SO: based on your photo and instructions, take the USB and audio (using 4 conductor mini jack) from the MINI's appropriate ports, plug them into the Belkin splitter, and then into the phone and it should work? If this works I might start going to church or something.... Thanks!
 
  #5  
Old 12-11-2018, 10:15 AM
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That should do it, in theory anyway, lol.
I honestly can’t tell you why it must be a 4-conductor audio cable, but when I looked into making this work, that was the consensus.
Also there are several splitters like that available, you may have more luck, but the only one I’ve had consistent success with is the Belkin one. But it works with my iPhone X. Once it’s plugged in and I open an app like amazon music or Spotify, it actually shows up onscreen to select to use the specific app from the menu, if that makes sense. I’ll post a picture of what I mean in a little while when I head out.
Feel free to hit me up if I can help more
 
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  #6  
Old 12-12-2018, 10:06 AM
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Sorry I got busy yesterday, here’s where you can select the app you want.


 
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2019, 12:30 PM
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Well, I went and bought the four conductor cable for the iPhone 6S and used in conjunction with the Belkin adapter, I still see the message on my display stating the cable is incompatible. Oh well... A big difference between your MINI and mine is I don't have the GPS/display.... the speedometer is all I have. I wonder if I need to have a connected MINI. When I had a loaner recently, it was connected and I could play music, do everything, through Bluetooth alone. I may need to look into the BMW official cable to see if that works... but I'll try it before I take it home.
 
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:44 PM
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Sorry to resurrect this, and my first post, but I've got such a close variation on the same question it might be worth posing here, too, since this seems the most similar to my question.

I've got an '09 MCS R56 without navigation, and the ports themselves seem to be working. I can charge off of USB, and I can do aux in with a 3.5mm cable (either from a headphone jack on a phone with one or with a lightning-to-headphone dongle on one without). So, thinking I had it all figured out, I bought the BMW/Mini Y cable (USB+Aux -> Lightning) and...nothing happens. When I choose USB on the head unit, it briefly says 'Load' (which it didn't with just the phone cable) but then just switches inputs to satellite, and there's no sound when Aux is selected.

Now, I realize I can't 100% verify the provenence of the adapter - I got it from ebay second hand, but it was claimed to be working, and definitely appears to be the genuine part (the 3rd party ones I've seen don't look like knockoffs of the real thing exactly, so I don't have reason to suspect it's a copy). I also don't think I'm having the issue described here, https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...on-my-r56.html, because I do have the satellite and aux icons, and aux on its own works.

Am I wrong that that adapter should work with my non-nav radio? Or is there some secret I'm missing? I've tried audio both on the phone itself in the Music app and streaming (spotify) with the same result.

Anyway, it occurs to me that a reasonable solution to get audio and charge at the same time with a single plug (convenient on my current iPhone 6S, necessary when I eventually get one without a headphone jack) would be the Belkin adapter plus a lightning and aux cord and just use the Aux input. I wouldn't have controls but I'd have music and power, which is better than power + nothing from the Y connector right now. But if there's something I'm missing to get the adapter working that'd be nice (plus I've already bought the damned thing).

Thanks everyone! Sorry again for the thread resurrect/hijack.
 
  #9  
Old 02-25-2019, 03:20 PM
mynamegib
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Originally Posted by DaveTinNY View Post
Well, I went and bought the four conductor cable for the iPhone 6S and used in conjunction with the Belkin adapter, I still see the message on my display stating the cable is incompatible. Oh well... A big difference between your MINI and mine is I don't have the GPS/display.... the speedometer is all I have. I wonder if I need to have a connected MINI. When I had a loaner recently, it was connected and I could play music, do everything, through Bluetooth alone. I may need to look into the BMW official cable to see if that works... but I'll try it before I take it home.
hey davetiny, I have an 11 r56 without navi and the same issue as u. I have to skip songs through my phone and the radio display doesn’t show the song that’s playing. Has the Belkin solution worked? I really don’t feel like buying a $90 adapter from BMW, especially since I’m about to get the expensive cravenspeed dipstick because I can’t read the oil reliably. If it hasn’t worked, is the Y splitter worth the money in ur opinion if you’ve gotten it?
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:49 AM
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^
 

Last edited by mynamegib; 03-06-2019 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Posted twice
  #11  
Old 03-27-2019, 01:33 PM
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Y cable workaround

I had the same problem with my 2012 S and then read about a solution which involved changing a file coding line in the car from “Analog” to “digital “ and it worked, I use the USB to charge the phone and to play music with full steering wheel control.
No need for the expensive BMW cables which now sit collecting dust and never did work properly.
 
  #12  
Old 03-27-2019, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Davers View Post
I had the same problem with my 2012 S and then read about a solution which involved changing a file coding line in the car from “Analog” to “digital “ and it worked, I use the USB to charge the phone and to play music with full steering wheel control.
No need for the expensive BMW cables which now sit collecting dust and never did work properly.
Do you have nav in your car or the standard "boost" stereo without nav?
 
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Old 03-27-2019, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by gnarmach View Post
Do you have nav in your car or the standard "boost" stereo without nav?
originally had the Boost radio which had the USB/Aux and I did the recode with no problem, I have since done the OEM Sat/Nav retrofit.
 
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