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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/13/22 12:02 a.m.

I discovered a while back that my E39 M5 was wired for a phone. But there was just a useless cavity where the handset was supposed to go. 

Today, I fixed that. 

It doesn't work. It's analog. Heck, it's not even lighting up (yet). But it makes me smile and now I can pretend to make calls to my broker to buy Blockbuster stock or something. This is my current favorite modification.

"I'm calling your from a PHONE in my CAR! Wazzzaaaaap!"

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UberDork
5/13/22 12:12 a.m.

Funny, I was just saying the other day how I miss car phones. Having to pull my keys and my phone out of my pocket to drive sucks. If I had a car phone, I'd only need to take out the keys. (Ok, if I had a modern car, not even that)

Yeah first world problems. 
 

-Rob

edwardh80
edwardh80 Reader
5/13/22 12:15 a.m.

How were those things even configured? Will they work through a mobile network or some other EM spectrum no longer in use? I hope you can get it working and actually make a call!

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
5/13/22 1:06 a.m.

I saw this the other day: an 8 track to tape adapter using a tape to auxiliary adapter to an ancient iPod.

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
5/13/22 7:25 a.m.

I just came across my Startac from the E55, lol; so hilarious.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/13/22 7:33 a.m.
Appleseed said:

I saw this the other day: an 8 track to tape adapter using a tape to auxiliary adapter to an ancient iPod.

Should have had an old Discman instead of the iPod- which would date that back to the 80's instead of the early 2000s.  So that the 70's car that had the 8 track player adapted for a cassette would be used for the next gen CDs.  

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/13/22 9:09 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

"I'm calling your from a PHONE in my CAR! Wazzzaaaaap!"

My first boss was one of those bleeding-edge adopters of new technologies and had one just like that.  He used to call us from the car 1 minute after he left the office to say something he could have said face to face, and call to tell us he'd be in the office in 10 minutes.

One day the receptionist came down and said "I was talking to [Boss Name] on the car phone and all of a sudden he yelled 'Oh berk!' and hung up."

An hour later [Boss Name] showed up with the front fascia knocked off of his company car.

 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
5/13/22 9:12 a.m.
alfadriver said:
Appleseed said:

I saw this the other day: an 8 track to tape adapter using a tape to auxiliary adapter to an ancient iPod.

Should have had an old Discman instead of the iPod- which would date that back to the 80's instead of the early 2000s.  So that the 70's car that had the 8 track player adapted for a cassette would be used for the next gen CDs.  

Do you remember the DiscMan? I do. Absolutely unusable in a moving vehicle. That bastard would skip if a fly farted within 10 feet of it.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/13/22 9:26 a.m.
edwardh80 said:

How were those things even configured? Will they work through a mobile network or some other EM spectrum no longer in use? I hope you can get it working and actually make a call!

I remember reading something about the network they used is no longer extant, but guys were splitting them open and splicing in TracFone guts to get them functional again.

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
5/13/22 9:41 a.m.

Someone was installing modern electronics in antiquated handsets. I can't find any info at the moment. 

You got it in there, you might as well make it work.

 

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/13/22 9:49 a.m.

I expect a build thread on getting it working now, possibly with Soviet aircraft instrument parts. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/13/22 10:19 a.m.

This phone used the analog telephone network, and those have been shut down for years. They were configured with a SIM card, I think. BMW being BMW, it's all modular so it may be possible to splice in a newer digital phone. These things are pretty complex and there was constant change, so there's a lot of deep diving to figure out the exact set of components needed. It would be just as easy to install one of the Bluetooth adapters available and use the various phone controls on the dash and steering wheel to control my smartphone.

I can even get a full modern touchscreen with pretty much every tech jammed inside to replace the factory screen including an identical set of buttons and form factor for a ridiculously low price. That would be the smart solution because it bypasses a lot of the BMW tech. But the thing is that this car isn't used for cross-country driving anymore so really, I just need a way to play music and I have an iBus-to-30 pin Apple converter so I can play my iPod Classic directly without needing a cassette adapter anymore :)

But that wouldn't be as much fun. Mostly, I just want to figure out how to make this handset light up which is probably just a matter of 12v on the correct wire.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/13/22 10:20 a.m.
Appleseed said:
alfadriver said:
Appleseed said:

I saw this the other day: an 8 track to tape adapter using a tape to auxiliary adapter to an ancient iPod.

Should have had an old Discman instead of the iPod- which would date that back to the 80's instead of the early 2000s.  So that the 70's car that had the 8 track player adapted for a cassette would be used for the next gen CDs.  

Do you remember the DiscMan? I do. Absolutely unusable in a moving vehicle. That bastard would skip if a fly farted within 10 feet of it.

I patched a Discman into my Miata's head unit by hijacking the factory CD input. Used industrial velcro to attach it to the side of the trans tunnel. It worked amazingly well, rarely skipping. It was a later Discman with a buffer in it, you had to really abuse that thing to run out of buffered music.

trucke
trucke SuperDork
5/13/22 10:28 a.m.

My favoritest is much more simple!  Just a hook in the trunk for my grocery bags.  I hate crawling into the trunk to get those stupid cans that roll around back there.  Also, netting to hold more bags.

slefain
slefain PowerDork
5/13/22 10:44 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

That phone armrest WILL test positive for coke if you swab the right areas.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/13/22 12:05 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I discovered a while back that my E39 M5 was wired for a phone. But there was just a useless cavity where the handset was supposed to go. 

Today, I fixed that. 

It doesn't work. It's analog. Heck, it's not even lighting up (yet). But it makes me smile and now I can pretend to make calls to my broker to buy Blockbuster stock or something. This is my current favorite modification.

"I'm calling your from a PHONE in my CAR! Wazzzaaaaap!"

Very cool.  I always liked the solid feel of the build in phones of that era.  Here's some inspiration for you -> Link to a thread the I hope will tempt you to take on a completely useless project

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/13/22 12:20 p.m.

Excellent nerd snipe :) I'll start with lights...

MyMiatas
MyMiatas New Reader
5/14/22 12:07 a.m.

Appleseed said 

"Do you remember the DiscMan? I do. Absolutely unusable in a moving vehicle. That bastard would skip if a fly farted within 10 feet of it." 

I think that line need to be printed in "Say What?" In the next issue of GRM!   LOL  :0D

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/14/22 8:30 a.m.

My Dad was in Real Estate when Cell tech came out. I was teenager-ish and lived with my Mother. 1st thing I said to him when he picked me up in the first summer of Cell was: "Nice purse."

bludroptop
bludroptop UltraDork
5/14/22 7:31 p.m.

There's a phone harness in the console , I have the color codes somewhere... but all you need is switched 12v.

how hard to gut that handset sufficiently to hide components of a Bluetooth headset?

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/15/22 1:05 a.m.
Appleseed said:
alfadriver said:
Appleseed said:

I saw this the other day: an 8 track to tape adapter using a tape to auxiliary adapter to an ancient iPod.

Should have had an old Discman instead of the iPod- which would date that back to the 80's instead of the early 2000s.  So that the 70's car that had the 8 track player adapted for a cassette would be used for the next gen CDs.  

Do you remember the DiscMan? I do. Absolutely unusable in a moving vehicle. That bastard would skip if a fly farted within 10 feet of it.

you were not using it right.  If left sitting on the seat, they skipped like crazy.  If you put it in a carrying bag and hung it over the back of the seat so the "bottom" of the player was resting against the upright of the seat where your back went, it worked reasonably well.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/15/22 1:48 a.m.
bludroptop said:

There's a phone harness in the console , I have the color codes somewhere... but all you need is switched 12v.

how hard to gut that handset sufficiently to hide components of a Bluetooth headset?

I'd love to see those color codes. The harness is all there as is the telephone unit in the trunk, but it doesn't light up with the interior lights. 

tester (Forum Supporter)
tester (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/15/22 8:58 a.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

I built a mount in the center console with egg crate foam covered in tool box liner for a Discman. It worked better than the hard plastic mount. That was a long time ago, mid -1990s. 

akylekoz
akylekoz UltraDork
5/15/22 9:55 a.m.

My 89 M3 had a dealer installed phone.  In 94 or so I had a friend try to make a call while I drove.  It just worked, maybe had to use a credit card to prepay.  It was like $7 for a few minute call. 
 

Holy E36 M3 I just realized, that used car had 136k miles put on it in the first five years.   And I bought a five year old BMW when I was 20 years old for a song.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
5/15/22 1:30 p.m.

We made a few items for Chrysler minivans built in phones , 

the phone was in the sun visor   and we made a mount to hold the handset,

plus we made parts for the bag phones which was just a car phone in a bag with a 12v lead acid battery.

This all changed in 1990 or so when Motorola introduced the flip phone .

Fun times for a few years.....

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