I just installed the StarTAC kit in my 2000 E38 and I wanted to share/confirm
previous installation story that Philip Ivanier posted to the 5 series forum a
In short, it's nice to have the phone integrated into the car.
Here is some intelligence for y'all:
1. I paid $495 (phone) + $340 (kit) + $15 (wiring harness) at circle BMW.
They have the E38 kits now, call them about E39 kits. Their web site is
not up to date. This is a little discount from retail price that your
local dealer may quote you.
2. If you know how to use a screwdriver do the installation yourself and
save the $300. The kit comes with the installation manual
anyway. The one installation instruction that was missing was the one about
the wiring harness (read below); The following items need to be installed:
+ microphone (easy); remove the panel, pop the mike holder, connect the
wires to mike, place mike in the holder, insert the panel
+ cradle (easy); remove the cradle assembly, unscrew it from the car, pop the
tray, insert the phone cradle, connect antenna, and wiring harness, re-assemble.
+ in-car phone circuitry (moderate); remove GPS receiver, GPS CDROM unit (if you
have one), connect to the D 25 pin connector; screw mounting bracket;
+ wiring harness for pre 01/2000 built cars with analog phone wiring
(pain-in-the-ass); the reason why this is a pain in the ass is because
you need a special tool the remove 4 pins from existing wiring to
insert the harness. The wiring harness splits 4 wires from an existing
connection: battery (red), ground (brown), phone (white) and I-Bus
(yellow/black). The I-Bus (yellow/black) goes into pin 22 of the
D 25 pin connector; the battery (red,brown) and phone (white) wires
go into a 3 pin connector for an optional compensator (i don't have it).
so i did the unethical thing and striped an insulation of an i-bus wire and
connected to it the i-bus wire from the wiring harness and inserted the other
end of it in the D25 plug in pin 22; FYI, that's the 1 wire that makes your phone
magically apear on the LCD screen. the phone/battery wires of the harness
to the compensator are not currently connected as I don't need one at this point.
if you get the tool to remove the pins or do what i did, do it one wire at time.
you are playing with battery and i-bus connectors and should you short them either
to themselves or the car body you will probably do some damage.
+ antenna (easy)
3. What does not work ?
+ caller id does not show on the OBD for incomming calls.
apparently fixable by a software update in Q4 '00;
+ voice recognition; on post 1/2000 cars, this will apparently be possible,
but the voice recognition component is not available yet; a terminating
plug is included in the kit to terminate that connection in your car
wiring; pre 1/2000 built cars do not seem to be equipped with this
+ the phone has the capability to store 4 numbers per memory entry (100
memory entries); the car knows only about the 1st entry in each memory
+ you can assign symbolic names to your phone entry locations (ie. 'michal @work'),
use lower and upper case for this and some special symbols (like '@')
the OBD seems to reflect that but the LCD does not the '@' sign (tranlsates it
to a ' '); minor but annoying; dunno about other symbols; case is preserved.
+ when you scroll through phone entries on the OBD you see the symbolic
name for that entry which cycles to the phone # (for example
'TEL 09-Michal @work'
+ the phonebook is downloaded into the car from the phone;
if you have GPS installed, the monitor will show the symbolic names
of your phone entries.
+ you can have more than one phone that you will plug into the car;
if that happens, the car downloads that phone's phonebook; only one
phone, however, can be the 'main' phone; things like TOP-8 numbers
are remembered about it.
+ you can use pause dialing from the steering wheel;
most useful for voice mail (ie. dial 8005551212 (wait) 5555 (wait) 66666 (wait))
+ you can talk with an customer service system (press 1 for X, press 2 for Y) by
displaying the dial screen and just pressing the numbers as you are being
prompted (while the phone is in the credle)
+ the phonebook is downloaded from the phone into the car when the phone is
connected to the car. if you add/change a number while the phone is
connected to the car that change is reflected right away in the car copy
of the phonebook - i thought it worth mentioning since there is a download
of the phonebook from the phone to the car and i wanted to check if this
is really 'TrueSync' - it apparently is.
+ i seem to have the phone volume turned to max and on some occasions that
seems barely enough. on others i have to turn the volume down because
it is to loud. dunno if it's just people with loud (quiet) voices or
that has something to do with the quality of the landline that they
are connected to.
+ one interesting thing happens if you take out the GPS receiver and
CDROM unit out of the car circuitry (as you have to do when you install
the phone). It appears that the GPS needs to calibrate and adjust
itself after it is reconnected; this takes a while (20 min to 40 min);
during this time, your GPS will not know where it is.
5. Plugging a standard StarTAC phone into the craddle (CDMA or TDMA).
I have a GTE Wireless branded phone bought some months ago (CDMA)
A friend of mine has Cellular ONE branded phone bought some months ago (TDMA)
If you plug them into the craddle, the resulting action is that the phone
will be powered down. Hence, it will NOT be on while inserted into the
craddle. Dunno if it will charge. Obviously, if it's always powered down when
plugged in you can't use.
If you choose "FCN,1,Phone Options, Phone Info" on the BMW phone you will get
o Serial Num: xxxxxxx
o 800 CDMA/800 NAMPS
o Sofware 6259
o Roam List 1099
o Modem/Fax Capable
o TrueSync Capable
o Browser Capable
o Speaker Phone Capable
I wonder if you can tell that any special software to BMW has been
loaded into the phone from the list above.
That's all folks.