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Thread: beat the dead horse - Blues with Blue tooth

  1. #1

    beat the dead horse - Blues with Blue tooth

    I have read and read on the how to and what works, but more on how it doesn't work. I cant get my Sena10 to reliably connect to the 1600B ? Seems it is always a struggle and I am un pairing and re-pairing the head set. Cant get my GPS to sync in for some crazy reason either ? I can however get my Enacfire ear buds to pair but they don't have a separate volume and are full on. Clearly the volume control on the bike will not control the output to the ear buds which is a real bummer- the earbuds have much better sound quality.
    No matter what I do I can not get the motorcycle speakers to work ? Hit the dial it just says volume off ? Speakers on the bike with a full face helmet are a waste anyhow IMO.
    -So is there was way to control volume with ear buds and the motorcycle wheel ?
    - How do I turn my speakers back on ?
    - is the Sena 10 even worth the effort on a 2018 1600B ? I read a 20 or 30 is more compatible ?
    - truth is I would rather just get my ear buds to work with the radio and GPS (and my phone if possible) and be able to control volume through the dial. I have been riding motorcycles for 45 years and BMW loyal for over 30. It amazes me that on a top of the line bike they still cant get a decent Bluetooth set up. Its not a huge problem as I dont have to have tunes, it just makes a long ride a little more pleasurable sometimes. Plus I hate to pay 30K for a bike and only have 80% work proper.

    That's my gripe of the day- maybe tomorrow I will get on my exhaust rant

  2. #2
    If the K1600 is similar to the R1200RT, then this video may be useful -


  3. #3
    That was helpful for sure. I am going to give it a whirl. I still would rather use the earbuds if I could get volume control. The video certainly address's the sound sharing when having a passenger which has been a challenge for many.
    thank you

  4. #4
    A much less expensive alternative is to obtain a bluetooth receiver and plug your favorite earbuds into that. I've done this; the bluetooth receiver goes into a pocket and the earbuds in my ear. I favor sound-isolating earbuds; normally I wear ear plugs. Links follow for some of the equipment that I have had good success with.

    Both of these bluetooth receivers have adjustable volume - set on low before pairing with the BMW bluetooth!
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    https://www.amazon.com/Mpow-Bluetoot...34EETZP184KCYE

    Earbud preferences vary widely. My favorites were the Eymotic ER6 earbuds, but these are no longer available.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


    Alas, I have found the quality of the music coming from bmw's bluetooth (2018 RT) to be poor. I have good quality sound when paired with my phone, but when paired with the bike's bluetooth the sound quality is poor (scratchy, frequently broken-up). It seems that others have observed similarly poor audio with the BMW bluetooth implementation. Following is an alternative to improve the bluetooth audio sound quality -

    There are a couple of YouTube videos that clearly illustrate how to use the speaker outputs to drive a Sena Bluetooth transmitter and have much improved sound. Links follow -

    YouTube

    BMW K1600/R1200 Bluetooth audio upgrade Part 1



    YouTube

    BMW K1600/R1200 Bluetooth audio upgrade Part 2


    Components used in these videos are:

    Motochello audio speaker bridge
    https://www.motochello.com/audio-speaker-bridge/


    Sena SM10 dual stream stereo bluetooth transmitter
    https://www.sena.com/product/sm10/

    Motopower Mini USB Outlet

    It was indicated elsewhere that one could use BMW repair plugs "83 30 0 413 580" and "83 30 0 413 581" to make an adapter cable and thus avoid needing to splice and cut into the existing wiring harness. A check with the MAXBMW on-line parts fiche shows -

    83300413580 REPAIR PLUG, 8-POLE / 3-POLE - NO. 611651 $32.27
    Function: 8-pin/3-pin for anti-theft alarm control unit, power supply.
    Part Thumbnail Part Thumbnail

    83300413581 REPAIR PLUG, 8-PIN - NO. 611652 $25.51
    Function: 8-pin for main plug on anti-theft alarm control unit.
    Last edited by robsryder; 05-18-2018 at 08:27 PM.

  5. #5
    Here is a link to a related discussion on a different forum. A conclusion is that use of an audio bridge (e.g., Motochello or Autocom) would be advantageous.

    http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rt-serie...-pictures.html

  6. #6
    Before anyone runs out and purchases the BMW 8-pin plugs to avoid having to cut into their audio wiring harness, let me relate my recent findings.

    The male 8-pin plug (part ending in 580) is a good fit into the Alpine audio unit. Alas, the female 8-pin plug (part ending in 581) "almost" fits into the existing male
    8-pin plug (which has been unplugged from the Alpine audio unit).

    The two BMW plugs (580 and 581) fit nicely together. I don't see at present what is causing the interference that prevents 581 from fitting to the wiring harness plug.

    Bummer!

    I would be keen to hear it someone has actually come up with a solution or found an alternate plug that fits.

  7. #7
    Attached are a couple of photos showing the 8-pin plug to the Alpine audio unit. This plug contains wires to the speakers. I found these photos on one of the forum discussions cited earlier.

    bmw alpine audio1.jpg

    bmw alpine audio2.jpg

  8. #8
    BMW does not provide a wiring diagram (that I've found) for the audio. Research by others, and what seems a general agreement, reveals the wire codes from the 8-pin connector at the Alpine audio unit to be -

    Color codes for the wires coming out of the Alpine unit:
    Left spkr + =yellow w/ red stripe. Connect to black wire of audio cable
    Left spkr - = yellow w/ brown stripe. Connect to white gnd of audio cable
    Right spkr + =blue w/ red stripe. Connect to red wire of audio cable
    Right spkr - = blue w/ brown stripe. Connect to white gnd of audio cable

    The instructions from Motochello have the +and - wire colors reversed, but a discussion with Motochello indicates that their shown hookup will work (due to the use of isolation transformers in the unit). Failure to use an audio bridge can result in mono rather than stereo and possibly damage to the Alpine unit. It was stated in some other discussions that BMW dealers have indicated that modification to the audio unit or wiring can void warranty coverage.

  9. #9
    Hooray! I got the BMW R1200RT Alpine speaker output redirected to a Sena bluetooth transmitter and the sound quality is much improved. Last night I was having problems connecting to the BMW connector plug. It seemed that there was some obstruction with the new 581 connector. I decided to order another 581 connector on the off chance that this was a one-off defect. (The 581 connector will have to come from Germany and will take a week or so). Meanwhile I decided to test the set-up, even if I had to make a destructive modification to the 581 connector. It was my goal to leave the stock hardware unmodified.

    I cut part of the new 581 connector away (shown as the white connector in the photo below) so that the pins could plug directly into the BMW connector. This was successful. If necessary I can use a bit of safety wire and some shrink tubing to keep these connectors mated.

    The new 580 and 581 connectors have numbered yellow wires coming from them. At present I have a rat's nest of wires. I will have to clean this up and make a few other decisions. One such decision is the location for the Motochello Audio Bridge Switch and the Sena bluetooth transmitter. I don't use the front "pockets"; these are lockable, yet readily accessible. There is still a need to push a button on the Sena bluetooth transmitter to enable pairing with a headset. And the possibility exists that I may wish to switch back to the speaker output at some point (e.g., when setting up the tent and not moving). I will likely use a switched source of power for the Sena transmitter. In the previous video the power was always on to the transmitter. Since I have the Clearwater lights and the CanOpener it is easy to have a switched power source (via a relay).

    I have verified that I can re-store the stock set-up with no loss of functionality. Now to set about cleaning up the wiring.

    bmw-alpine-audio-patch (2).jpg
    Last edited by robsryder; 05-21-2018 at 10:20 PM.

  10. #10
    Appreciate all the info. I ordered a plug and other items , hoping to get it figured out soon.

  11. #11
    I obtained a second 581 plug from the local BMW dealer, but it also "almost" fits into the Alpine audio plug. This is interesting as the other gender plug (the 580 plug) fits very well into the Alpine unit. Well, I have a solution.

    The photo below shows the new 581 plug -
    bmw 581 audio plug new.jpg

    Next is the modification that I made by sawing off part of the connector. Note: the sawing should be done so as to NOT damage the connecting pins. -
    bmw 581 audio plug modified.jpg

    This modified 581 plug was connected to the disconnected Alpine audio plug and the connection was secured by safety wire -
    bmw 581 audio plug safety wired.jpg

    Then the plugs were further secured by use of some electrical tape then a bit of silicone "self-sealing" tape -
    bmw 581 audio plug taped.jpg

    A similar usage of electrical tape and silicone tape was wound about the wires to create a short wire harness. These wires were tucked out of the way beneath the rear seat.

    The next photo shows the location for the Motochello audio bridge and Sena bluetooth transmitter. These fit beneath the front seat (this is on a 2018 R1200RTW) beneath the straps for the BMW tankbag. The front seat is very easy to remove, the rear seat less so.
    motochello and sena bluetooth under front seat.jpg

    For the upcoming trip to Iowa I am forgoing use of Bluetooth and will use hardwired earbuds. I have been experimenting with several types, including some that use active noise cancellation.

    I very much have come to like several of the SiriusXM channels in my X3 and expect to listen to these same channels during much of the ride west. I also have the $80 BMW cable that allows use of a small Apple device (e.g., SE iPhone or iPod) to listen to music. [Note: - the iPhone + will NOT fit in the compartment with this cable!!]

    I have been experimenting with direct plug-in of a USB "thumb drive" in the supplied cable in the right front compartment. Music in the form of mp3 files has been copied onto thumb drives after the thumb drives are formatted in the FAT32 format. I have made a number of these music thumb drives having storage capacities ranging from 2 to 16 GigaBytes. The 16 GB drives will hold several thousand mp3 songs. I expect to switch out the thumb drives periodically, i.e. at fuel and restroom stops.

    Thus far the music sounds really, really good through the earbuds. I use the wobbly wheel (wonder wheel?) to change / select songs and to adjust the volume. The volume adjust feature is not available with the stock (awful sounding IMHO) bluetooth system.

  12. #12
    I have found my earbuds for use while riding my motorcycle. They are called S Plugs. I found the sound quality from the single driver version to be quite good. These were very comfortable in my ears and very good sound isolation was provided. As with the most earplugs it was still possible to hear surrounding sounds (e.g., emergency vehicles) albeit at a much reduced sound level. These earbud speakers were plugged into the Motochello Audio Bridge unit mentioned above.

    Typically the sound volume was set at a pretty low level for most of the SiriusXM radio stations that I listened to whilst travelling to and from Iowa. For some of the music saved on a USB thumb drive I slightly increased the volume using the wobbly wheel.

    Link to product website follows -
    https://www.plugup.com/the_S_plug_st...rbuds_s/67.htm

    s-plug-earbuds.jpg

    Here is a video review of the S Plugs by a GS rider -


  13. #13

    I did the K1600 Bluetooth audio upgrade a couple of years ago and

    I did the K1600 Bluetooth audio upgrade a couple of years ago and now itís seamless. A couple of hours and some $$ boom like it should be from the factory.
    Quote Originally Posted by robsryder View Post
    A much less expensive alternative is to obtain a bluetooth receiver and plug your favorite earbuds into that. I've done this; the bluetooth receiver goes into a pocket and the earbuds in my ear. I favor sound-isolating earbuds; normally I wear ear plugs. Links follow for some of the equipment that I have had good success with.

    Both of these bluetooth receivers have adjustable volume - set on low before pairing with the BMW bluetooth!
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    https://www.amazon.com/Mpow-Bluetoot...34EETZP184KCYE

    Earbud preferences vary widely. My favorites were the Eymotic ER6 earbuds, but these are no longer available.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


    Alas, I have found the quality of the music coming from bmw's bluetooth (2018 RT) to be poor. I have good quality sound when paired with my phone, but when paired with the bike's bluetooth the sound quality is poor (scratchy, frequently broken-up). It seems that others have observed similarly poor audio with the BMW bluetooth implementation. Following is an alternative to improve the bluetooth audio sound quality -

    There are a couple of YouTube videos that clearly illustrate how to use the speaker outputs to drive a Sena Bluetooth transmitter and have much improved sound. Links follow -

    YouTube

    BMW K1600/R1200 Bluetooth audio upgrade Part 1



    YouTube

    BMW K1600/R1200 Bluetooth audio upgrade Part 2


    Components used in these videos are:

    Motochello audio speaker bridge
    https://www.motochello.com/audio-speaker-bridge/


    Sena SM10 dual stream stereo bluetooth transmitter
    https://www.sena.com/product/sm10/

    Motopower Mini USB Outlet

    It was indicated elsewhere that one could use BMW repair plugs "83 30 0 413 580" and "83 30 0 413 581" to make an adapter cable and thus avoid needing to splice and cut into the existing wiring harness. A check with the MAXBMW on-line parts fiche shows -

    83300413580 REPAIR PLUG, 8-POLE / 3-POLE - NO. 611651 $32.27
    Function: 8-pin/3-pin for anti-theft alarm control unit, power supply.
    Part Thumbnail Part Thumbnail

    83300413581 REPAIR PLUG, 8-PIN - NO. 611652 $25.51
    Function: 8-pin for main plug on anti-theft alarm control unit.

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