BMW 90-02 E36 / E46 Factory Radio Adapter

Posted by Gizmo Guy on 13th Nov 2019

BMW E36 / E46 Factory Radio Adapter

Are you looking to replace your BMW 3 series OEM radio on the 325xi, 330xi and 330xd models. The 3 series is officially known as E36 and E46 produced from 1997 to 2006? 

New features were introduced to the 3 Series in the E46 generation, including satellite navigation, electronic brake-force distribution, rain-sensing wipers and LED tail-lights. However, the fourth generation Bimmer DOES NOT have Bluetooth and are NOT pre-wired for Aux or XM Radio. 

In order to add new smartphone music to your bimmer. You have two choices. One is to replace the radio which could cost over $800 parts and labor. Another option is to use a simple fm transmitter for iPhone. The replacement of radio is not an ideal solution. Due to the electronic component and digital display. You are risking of disable the option and functions built-in to the OEM unit. The electronic components in the E46 are more integrated than previous generations of 3 Series, including the use of a CAN bus system.[59] Drivetrain information (such as engine, transmission and stability control) is communicated using the CAN bus.[60][61] Vehicle electronics (such as the radio, navigation, television and telecommunications) can communicate to each other via the K-bus.[62]

Fm transmitter is a device that converts music to a radio signal that can be receive through the antenna and play music thru your BMW factory radio without a expensive factory add-on kit or complicated modification. FM means Frequency Modulation. As the amplitude of the voice or music changes the frequency of the FM transmitter changes correspondingly. 

The strength of the FM transmitter signal stays the same. Just the frequency changes. FM is ideal for transmitting music and audio from your iPhone to an FM receiver in your home or in your car. A small FM transmitter plug into the audio output of your smartphone and transmit the signal a short distance from your iPhone thru your car’s FM receiver 

This is in contrast to an AM transmitter which uses the audio signal to vary the intensity or amplitude of the AM transmitter signal. AM means Amplitude Modulation. As the strength of the audio signal goes up and down the strength of the AM transmitter signal goes up and down correspondingly. Why FM? Well, a circuit called a discriminator in the FM radio receiver is used to recover the audio signal from the transmitted signal. The discriminator does not respond to the change in amplitude of the radio signal. It only responds to the change in the frequency. Since static is a change in amplitude or strength of the signal not the frequency the discriminator does not "hear" the static. 

This is an Mercedes Benz E-Class. BMW demo video coming soon.

Best FM transmitter for iPhone is made by Gizmo Guy Gadgets by Westley the Gizmo Guy. Unlike those transmitter available on eBay or Amazon which DO NOT work and suffers terrible static problem. It will tune one of the fixed channels in the 87.9 , 94.9 and 107.2 MHz FM radio band. You don’t have to find a vacant channel which is impossible f you live in a place like New York City or Los Angeles. Gizmo Guy Gadget use PLL transmitters, as they do not drift off frequency. Another way of putting it, is to say that PLL transmitters are self-correcting. If they begin to drift, the transmitter is able to self-adjust itself back onto the center frequency. These transmitters usually cost about 3x the price of the VFO ones, but for good reason - they are much more complicated and much more reliable too.

VFO "Free-running" transmitters have NO FREQUENCY DRIFT COMPENSATION. As the transmitter heats up and cools down, the frequency WILL drift. A good VFO design will ensure that this drift is minimal, however, in ALL countries of the world, it is ILLEGAL to operate ANY VFO FM broadcast-band transmitter(above about 20 milliwatts; 0.02 Watts), as the drift could affect licensed radio stations.

More about VFO vs PLL transmitter types, and what exactly all this means to you

and you should be all set.