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Replacement headunit options that suit the E30 interior

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    I saw that a couple of people were wondering about swapping the faceplate illumination on some HU's to orange, since everything BUT the lighting matches the E30 interior. It is pretty straightforward to do the swap since the parts are usually all 0805 or 0603 size. You will want LEDs with a spectral output peak at 605nm since this is the same orange that the E30 interior light filters produce.

    I have used these in the past with good success. You'll need to disassemble your faceplate to make sure that they will fit the pads where the original ones are.
    General illumination on faceplate PCB: https://www.digikey.com/product-deta...94-1-ND/637107
    LCD backlighting (some use right-angle LEDs, so these would not work there): https://www.digikey.com/product-deta...7-1-ND/2425034

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      These are the LEDs I used for the Continental head unit:

      LCD display:
      https://www.digikey.com/product-deta...262-ND/4901619

      Buttons:
      https://www.digikey.com/product-deta...3-1-ND/2356228



      Originally posted by bmwman91 View Post
      I saw that a couple of people were wondering about swapping the faceplate illumination on some HU's to orange, since everything BUT the lighting matches the E30 interior. It is pretty straightforward to do the swap since the parts are usually all 0805 or 0603 size. You will want LEDs with a spectral output peak at 605nm since this is the same orange that the E30 interior light filters produce.

      I have used these in the past with good success. You'll need to disassemble your faceplate to make sure that they will fit the pads where the original ones are.
      General illumination on faceplate PCB: https://www.digikey.com/product-deta...94-1-ND/637107
      LCD backlighting (some use right-angle LEDs, so these would not work there): https://www.digikey.com/product-deta...7-1-ND/2425034
      I tried that Rohm series of LEDs originally (in 0603), but they weren't bright enough. To get them to match the original Continental LED's brightness, they needed a lot of current. Too much, almost 20mA for each LED.
      Last edited by earthwormjim; 12-04-2018, 06:35 PM.

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        Hmm, yeah I suppose it depends on the HU and how the light is filtered through the buttons and stuff. I ran into the opposite problem with the RMT-200 and an old Pioneer HU...things were too bright and the Rohm ones seemed to be "dim enough" to match the rest of the HVAC panel.

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          Originally posted by bmwman91 View Post
          Hmm, yeah I suppose it depends on the HU and how the light is filtered through the buttons and stuff. I ran into the opposite problem with the RMT-200 and an old Pioneer HU...things were too bright and the Rohm ones seemed to be "dim enough" to match the rest of the HVAC panel.

          The Continental was pretty easy to work on. Each LED set has a series resistor to set bias current, so you had a bit of wiggle room.

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            Originally posted by earthwormjim
            Damn that looks good. How did you go about switching the LED's? I'm a complete newb with electronics but would be willing to give it a shot if it could come out like this. The only thing holding me back (aside from ECS backorder) from ordering this head unit is the backlight color
            Albie

            '86 325e Zinnoberrot /// '02 325ci Schwarz II /// '18 M4 Azurite Black Metallic ///

            Albie325 Build Thread | Albie325 Feedback | Albie's M4 European Delivery

            Comment


              Originally posted by Albie325 View Post
              Damn that looks good. How did you go about switching the LED's? I'm a complete newb with electronics but would be willing to give it a shot if it could come out like this. The only thing holding me back (aside from ECS backorder) from ordering this head unit is the backlight color



              Have you ever soldered? If not, I wouldn't attempt it.

              If you have soldered, then at the very least the display backlight isn't very hard to change, it's just two T1 LEDs.

              Have you ever done surface mount soldering? If not, definitely don't try to replace the button LEDs, which are quite small 0603 sized surface mount parts.

              The radio uses lead free solder, so you need a high powered iron too, with a very fine tip.


              I posted more info here in the other radio thread:
              https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...3&postcount=21


              If you're not comfortable with the work, PM me, I'm offering the mod as a service.

              I bought my radio on ebay, I recall it being cheaper than ECS at the time.

              Comment


                Haven't soldered much, I've since watched a few youtube DIY's and it's definitely some intricate stuff. I'd really like to not ruin a brand new head unit, PM incoming.
                Albie

                '86 325e Zinnoberrot /// '02 325ci Schwarz II /// '18 M4 Azurite Black Metallic ///

                Albie325 Build Thread | Albie325 Feedback | Albie's M4 European Delivery

                Comment


                  Originally posted by Albie325 View Post
                  Haven't soldered much, I've since watched a few youtube DIY's and it's definitely some intricate stuff. I'd really like to not ruin a brand new head unit, PM incoming.
                  Jimmy did great work on my headunit. Highly recommend him for providing this great service.

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                    @bmwman91 does that Conti headunit work with your RMT200 preamp boards?
                    I BUY/SELL REFURBISHED CM5907s & CM5908s

                    HOWTOs:
                    DB vert plastic bumpers
                    OEM Keys
                    MTech1 docs

                    88 ix Lach/Card
                    91 ic Calypso 3.1
                    86 Cosmo 2.7

                    OEM+ or bust!


                    reelizmpro: I will always be an e30 guy.. I still do all of my own labor
                    TrentW: There's just something so right about a well-built M20 in an E30
                    e30m3s54turbo: I save my money for tuner parts.

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by bradnic View Post
                      @bmwman91 does that Conti headunit work with your RMT200 preamp boards?

                      I don't see why not, you would just have to find the pre-amp signal on the continental unit.


                      There's tons of open space inside of the radio too, especially if you get the non-CD version.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by bradnic View Post
                        @bmwman91 does that Conti headunit work with your RMT200 preamp boards?
                        Electrically, I am 99% sure that it can be made to work since these things all use the same or very similar DSP chips and stuff. Physically, I do not know if it will fit well anywhere inside. If someone has a Conti unit and is willing to open it up to post some photos, then I may have a better idea.

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                          Does anyone have an alpine recommendation for the e30?

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                            No aftermarket Alpine fits the E30 interior. The lighting can be made to match, but the overall design of their radios don't work. They're too busy or glossy.

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                              Ok appreciate that. Is there anything similar? Not a fan of the continental so much.

                              Comment


                                Clarion M508 looks pretty nice after swapping the LEDs to orange or painting them orange.

                                https://www.clarion.com/us/en/produc...508/index.html

                                I forgot to take pictures of the finished radio before shipping it out, but this gives you an idea of what can be done:


                                This Blaupunkt updated radio looks pretty nice too. Should be available next month.



                                https://ferdinandmagazine.com/update...46-coming-2018
                                Last edited by earthwormjim; 03-23-2019, 06:51 PM.

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