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  #1  
Old 09-07-2007, 06:19 PM
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B3ND3R B3ND3R is offline
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Default Last Saturday's project - H-K Drive + Play installation

So after looking at all the options for an iPod install, I decided upon the Harmon Kardon Drive + Play (1).

I selected this device because:
  • I don't particularly care for the IceLink.
    Not knockin' that device, but it is pretty expensive and I'm pretty cheap (but not easy).
    I don't like the way the unit functions, using the factory HU controls. It's counterintuitive to how the iPod controls work.
    I don't like being stuck with a one-line display on the factory HU. Again, to me, it is too limiting and counterintuitive to the iPod's functions.
  • I do like the way the Harmon Kardon Drive + Play addresses these shortcomings.
  • The Drive + Play 2 is out now, which means you can score a Drive + Play 1 very cheap (see above - I'm cheap). I only paid $60 shipped for the unit.

So, anyways, here's the results of the install.

A general shot of the overall installation:

Click the image to open in full size.


Yes, I did have to take part of the dash out and drill into it to get the install I wanted, which would be a major downer for some people. However, the jog wheel and display are nearly perfectly situated and the finish matches the anthracite almost to a "T".


A shot looking down the dash, so you can see the position:

Click the image to open in full size.


As you can see, now quite a perfectly flush install due to the curvature of the dash. Honestly, though, since you never see it from this angle you can't really tell. The display and the control knob are both mounted through the dash with three screws, so they are NOT coming off.


Close-up of the control knob:

Click the image to open in full size.


Works just like the iPod click wheel, including depressing the center for "select". Since I opted for a flush install, the wire for this part of the system runs directly out the back and through the dash.


Close-up of the display:

Click the image to open in full size.


This is where it got a little tricky. There is no way to hide the display wire through the mount like there is with the control knob, so I drilled a lower hole and used a grommet. Driver doesn't see the wire at all, and the passenger would have to bend way down to look as it is covered by the display screen. still debating whether i want to use some modeler's paint and color the grommet or not.


Where the iPod lives:

Click the image to open in full size.


My sunglasses don't fit the holder, anyways, and this keeps it from moving around. there is enough slack on the cable to pull the iPod out and look it or disconnect it easily. You can see I used the factory AUX cable "blank" and another grommet as the location for the wire.



Maybe now is a good time to explain how the Drive + Play is wired-up. I have an '03 deck with CD changer (which I wanted to keep, another reason for selecting the Drive + Play). I made an AUX cable instead of using the $40 factory piece, but instead of putting a female end on the cable I put a male end on it so that it could plug directly into the Drive + Play's AUX output (i.e., this is NOT an FM-modulated system).



You can see some of that wiring here, where I put it under the dash:

Click the image to open in full size.


The little cable with the green tape was necessary because BMW has a screwy ground loop in all the factory HU. The factory HU would not recognize an AUX input using the Drive + Play's AUX output until I built that little cable that has a small resistor (the factory HU is looking for a load), a small capacitor (to block DC current), and the grounds lifted. Voila!


Overall, I am really happy with the way the install came out. It took me the better part of the day, but the ultimate benefits are:
  • Matches factory finish
  • Hard-wired (not FM-modulated).
  • Conceelad iPod.
  • Very intuitive and usable.
  • $65 in parts (I'm cheap).

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Old 09-07-2007, 06:31 PM
Slow Paul Slow Paul is offline
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That's a clean install!!!!
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:24 PM
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I'm such a n00b, I am always putting topics in the wrong hole.
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:25 PM
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It's ok buddy.....
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:40 AM
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Nice job. I always like seeing well-executed installs.
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B3ND3R View Post
I'm such a n00b, I am always putting topics in the wrong hole.
haha it's okay, look me been a member for some time and i still put threads in the wrong places....

other than that, you did an awesome job with the installation. Hows it treating you? Is it what you expected?
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Old 09-09-2007, 04:59 PM
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B3ND3R B3ND3R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louisxiii View Post
haha it's okay, look me been a member for some time and i still put threads in the wrong places....

other than that, you did an awesome job with the installation. Hows it treating you? Is it what you expected?
Oh, yeah it works great.

BTW, I see that the Best Buy flyer this week also has them for $59. If you don't mind doing the wiring & monochromatic screen, this little thing is a smokin' deal compared to IceLink and the new D+P2.
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:29 PM
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Nice dude! Good to see some nice alternatives for iPod users with the HK.
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:09 AM
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Nice setup dude!
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:24 PM
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Very nice installation!!
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:14 AM
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Tks, homies!

I like the set-up so much I sprung for another one at Best Buy yesterday to do the wife's car.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:40 PM
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b3nd3r do you know what the rating was on teh resistor you used was? I've got one of these sitting around and im going to get to installing it next week.
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:13 PM
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Nice clean install....I've always liked that ipod setup....Been wondering if there is a way to mount the controls on the top of the shift knob....
Since my hand is usually always there...lol
Great job....may have to pick one up for the H-Day's!
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Old 12-24-2007, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minimusprime View Post
b3nd3r do you know what the rating was on teh resistor you used was? I've got one of these sitting around and im going to get to installing it next week.
Guh... I'll have to look.

I just plugged in small ones in series until the radio "sensed" a load and recognized the AUX input .
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Last edited by B3ND3R; 12-24-2007 at 12:49 AM..
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