After my last Erisin ES9746A Android head unit died whilst performing a hardware mod to improve the rather poor sound quality I hung on and waited for one of the new Intel Sofia 4 core based units – the first to release with an OEM E46 look was Joying, with their JY-BL12N2 model.

I have collected some useful links for this and other Intel based units below, mostly from XDA.  Note these are not MTCB/MTCD units, despite the threads residing under thoes sections!


E46 JY-BL121N2 General Queries – also includes info on the reverse / gearbox switch

Large general thread on Intel units – New Joying Android 5.1.1 2GB Units available very soon !

Steering wheel key customization – V3 (NO KILL) – stop processes killing on hibernate and key reassigning

General Roll Up / tips and tricks thread

Joying Feb 22nd 2017 Update – info on the latest update


Overall I am happy with this unit – it is lightening fast compared to my old dual core MTCB, the screen is much higher resolution and importantly the on board DSP is way better than the previous MTCB!  I have rooted, installed Viper4Android to tweak the sound further, and plan to add a reverse cam and DAB USB receiver next.

I Had some over the weekend – the offside front piston had started sticking in the week so I replaced the seals and cleaned the surface corrosion off the piston.  I had just finished bleeding the brakes when I stamped on the pedal to test for firmness and the rear line split near the ‘U’ bends before the steel pipe joins the flexible pipe.  Luckily it happened on the drive and not down a hill.  Thinking back I remember an advisory on the last MOT but it looks like they’ve corroded much quicker than expected.  So – if your E46 rear brake lines are corroded I have put together a quick guide.  I checked the opposite side and sure enough it was also starting to go – so if one side has gone, the other won’t be far off – replace both.

Options for replacement:

  1. The lines can be replaced by new ones from BMW.  Both join under the drivers footwell somewhere.
  2. Make your own lines from copper / copper nickel and join onto the original steel pipes with unions.

I went for option 2 – mainly because I could get all the parts and BMW didn’t have stock on the day I needed them.  I’m not sure what other floor panels need to be removed to gain access to the unions as I put my joins just before the pipes turn up to go above the fuel tank. More »

I have been getting more and more fed up with my Parrot Asteroid Classic not delivering the potential it could have had. I have noticed more and more ‘generic’ Android head units appearing from China and having followed a few threads on XDA Developers I have bitten the bullet and purchased one designed for my car (BMW E46) – the Erisin ES9746A . I like the fact it retains the OEM look and fits right into the centre console perfectly. It did mean I had to relocate my air conditioning controls down and loose the sunglasses cubby holder, but I never used that anyway.  This is a double din Android head unit with a capacitive touch screen and dual core CPU.
More »

*** Update 08/07/15 (Long Overdue) – I am now using an Android KGL double din touch screen head unit ***

Well I finally admit I am starting to lose hope in Parrot.  I have no confidence that the Parrot Asteroid will ever be much more than the crippled, unstable, unsupported and future development stopped state that it currently is in.  There was a post on the Parrot UK forum a while back about releasing a navigation app due out hopefully by the end of this year (posted on 19/07/2012 here ),  and more recently another wishy washy response from Parrot on 19/11/2012:

The Asteroid range is expanding and not intended to replace the current Asteroid unit. The Asteroid Classic is very much a key unit in the Asteroid range and we are working very hard behind the scenes on the next software version for this unit. This version is taking time as we are working on adding additional key features like multipoint and offering a navigation option following users feedback.

Let’s be clear here – they are taking their time to adding additional features when there are many bugs which should be fixed with urgency as they have been introduced with newer firmware releases.  The latest release 1.6.1 was released on 11/07/2012, nearly 5 months ago.  It’s hard to believe there is a team of developers working hard behind the scenes here, even a single guy could produce more output than what we have seen so far.

Parrot haven’t even been able to release their newer Asteroid products on time either, and I presume this is where the majority of the focus has been.

Unfortunately it looks like the Custom Asteroid Firmware project has struggled to really take off (I presume a lack of time, lack of volunteers and a locked bootloader and encrypted file updates has killed that one).  Shame as it did look quite promising with some interesting ideas and already a more functional Home screen.


So, I started looking for alternatives, so far I have found these Android head units but they are double din (I don’t fancy trying to fit the double din unit, but guess I might have to if I struggle to find a single din unit any time soon).  Although they are more expensive than the Parrot I am happier to pay more if it ensures a higher quality product with better future support.  So far the :

  • Clarion Mirage IVI
  • Ca-Fi
  • Adayo AN6B01

One thing is for sure – there still aren’t many Android head units, but when I do buy a new one it certainly won’t be a Parrot.

Recently my MP3 player packed up in the car.  It was a TraxData Neo mStation hard disk based MP3 player, which has served me well for the past 9 years and 3 hard disks.  One thing I liked about it was the fact it was hard disk based (IDE) so upgrading to high capacity was easy, and the fact it just browsed the disk directly – no indexing or building of a database of the metadata was required.  I guess it does look a bit 80’s with it’s monochrome display, and this is how it finally died, with a green screen of death 🙁 So I needed something that is new, modern, going to be future proof and have lots of functions and useless features I would never use, but the few critical features a car radio should provide which work well.  So here it is, my installation notes of a Parrot Asteroid BMW E46 install.

So I wanted (needed) another MP3 player for the car as my commute is hellishly boring and radio reception is non-existent to patch at best.  At first I was seeking another product similar – hard disk based with a control that could be mounted in the dash, but I was unable to find anything.  I then started considering changing out the standard BMW Business CD headunit, as mine has had the same CLSM breakbeat hardcore CD stuck in it for about 4 years now, and all of the head units are either heavily iPod based, just have a single 3.5mm jack input for aux, or use USB/SD card for playing other media, but most have small limits in terms of supported storage.

I considered just using the line in, but all I could really find in terms of players were portable MP3 players which have small buttons and screens, and are highly knickable if left mounted to the dash.  Then I came across the Parrot Asteroid – a head unit running Android.  This has to be worth a look.  So I bit the bullet and ordered one. I spent last weekend fitting it and removing the old cabling for the mStation – not so much fun outside at +2 C.  I also rigged up a 500GB self powered USB drive (Intenso).

More »

So following a breakdown on Sunday night (loss of power above ~1200rpm, lots of dark grey smoke (diesel)), I got it recovered and read the fault codes – nothing obvious – an airflow meter fault (tried unplugging it) and a boost pressure sensor range fault (it was boosting, probably too high).

Now it is cool the hesitation is back and persistent, but when the air flow meter is unplugged it drives much better (faultlessly, infact).  So the shopping list now consists of:

Airflow Meter – 13627788744

Glow Plug ECU – 12217801201

Electric Mirror/Seat Memory ECU – 61356916054



11. March 2011 · Write a comment · Categories: Cars, Uncategorized · Tags:

Went over a speed bump and caught the front arch liner with the mudguard on:

Bargain at £40!




01. March 2011 · 1 comment · Categories: Cars · Tags: ,

1. Hold Trip Reset while turning ignition key to on position
2. OBC should show “Test”
3. Use Trip Reset to select function 19.0 that unlocks all the features
3. Wait for display to show “Off”
4. Depress Trip Reset for 1/4 second and release it
5. With no delay press Trip Reset several times to select one of the following function s

BMW E46 On-Board Computer (OBC) Hidden Codes
nr example description
1 Car Engine and cluster data
1.0 46nnn Chassis nr/VIN serial number (last 5 digits)
1.1 4nnn K-number
1.2 690236 Cluster Part #
1.3 045210 Coding (04)/diagnosis (52)/bus index (10)
1.4 1200 Week (12)/year of manufacture (2000)
1.5 09_160 Hardware (09) and software # (16.0) of cluster
1.6 Not used
1.7 04__44 CAN-version (04) KI-revision index (44)
2 (test) Cluster System Test – Activates the gauge drivers,
indicators and LEDs to confirm function
3 SI Data
3.0 1098 Used fuel in liters since last SI (Service Inspection)
3.1 0231 Periodic inspection days; elapsed days (since last SI)
4 Momentary Consumption
4.0 0145+ Instant fuel consumption – 0145=14.5 liters/100km
4.1 0018 Instant fuel consumption – 0018=1.8 l/Hour
5 Distance Gone Consumption
5.0 082 Average mileage; 082=8.2 liters/100km
5.1 0536 Calc. km to refuel (momentary distance to go)
6 Fuel Level sensor inputs in liters
6.0 109330+ Fuel level averaged; Left half sensor input=10.9 liters; Right sensor input=33.0 liters
6.1 0439+ Total tank level averaged; vlgs 6.0: 10.9+33.0=43.9 liters
6.2 0442+ Indicated value (44.2) and tank phase
7 Temperature and Speed
7.0 021+ Coolant/Engine temperature (2.1C)
7.1 130 Ambient/Outside temperature – chg met 5 pts. 125/130/135
7.2 + Engine speed / Current RPMs 1/min
7.3 + Vehicle speed / Current Speed in km/hour
8 Input value in HEX form
8.0 1d0+ System voltage ADC-Value Hex code
8.1 26C33C+ ADC Values HG left/HG right
8.2 0000 ADC Value brake degradation sensor (000=o.k.)
8.3 18C ADC Value outside temperature
9 Battery
9.0 140 Battery Voltage – 140 = UB 14.0v
9.1 242013+?
9.2 074_78+?
9.3 0011+?
10 Not used
11 Not used
12 Not used
13 GonG Gong Test
14 Not used
15 Status cluster I/O-ports (bit codes) 0=low; 1=high
1st-belt contact, seat belt fastened=0; 2) ignition lock contact, key inserted=0; 3) door contact, door open=0; 4) clock button pressed=0; 5) SI reset=0, for reset=0; 6) EGS transmission failure=0
Status Digital Outputs (bits) 0=inactive, 1=active
1) Gong output; 2) Brake warning lamp; 3) Low fuel warning lamp; 4) EGA lamp; 5) seat belt lamp; 6) manipulation dot
16 Not used
17 Not used
18 Not used
19 Lock Status; unlocks functions in range 3-18
19.0 L-On/L-Off Unlock: press button when “L-Off”
20 Not used
21 Software Reset; reset OBC settings
00 End of test

Caliper Repair Kit – BMW 330

I thought something was up with it the orther morning, it started pulling to the left.   I finished my drive to work and the nearside brakes were starting to fade and a bad wheel wobble occurred when going over 35mph.  Very frustrating – so I searched forums – most people go with a caliper replacement, but at £248 from BMW and ~£150 from motor factors I decided to see what else could be done.

Scouring RealOEM I found a caliper repair kit – which consisted of 2 rubbers – the dust boot and the piston seal, so for a £20 gamble I thought I’d give it a shot.  There is a repair kit on eBay from a company called Big Redd, but as I needed it the next day I ordered from BMW.

So I stripped the caliper down, fairly straight forward for pad and caliper removal, then to remove the piston, bearing in mind it has seized – get someone to push the brake pedal down a few times and it will pop out of the bore in the caliper.

Once out lightly clean the piston with some fine wet and dry – if it is scored badly then you need a replacement I’m afraid, and I doubt you can just get the piston from BMW 🙁

Pull the dust cover rubber from the caliper – most likely it has failed and the caliper has started to corrode where there has been an ingress of dirt and water.

Remove the rubber piston ring from the caliper – just check it is clean so the new one will seat correctly.

Clean the lip on the caliper thoroughly – get it silver all the way round, removing all corrosion as the new rubber is very tight to fit.

Fit the piston first – lubricate it with some new brake fluid and ease it in – it will be tight, so you might need to tap it with some wood and a hammer, or use a G clamp – make sure it goes in sqaurely.

Then fit the new rubber.  Try and get even pressue all the way round and go careful not to damage the new one.   I made up a press from a piece of exhaust – not quite the same circumference (slightly too small), but opened up and with the sharps taken off this made a great press with a  block of wood from the caliper lugs where the pads sit.  See the point in bold above – if you are having problems getting it to sit on, take it off and re-clean the problem area.  Fit dry, do not lubricate!

Re-fit the caliper and pads to the car, bleed the brakes, check for leaks, ensure the brake pedal pressurises, give it a try!

Takes a couple of hours, but perfectly DIY-able, and much cheaper than a new caliper!

I haven’t used the electric mirrors for a while, until yesterday – with the switch in the nearside mirror position, I get no movement on both axes. With the switch in the offside position the offside mirror moves as expected, but the nearside mirror moves on the opposite axis! E.g. when the offside moves up, the nearside moves left. When the offside moves left, the nearside moves up (or down, I forget).

It has turned into some crystal maze type game trying to get each mirror where I need it to be now, and I can never get both mirrors where they need to be at the same time!

So I whipped the switch out, hoping it would be this at fault:

BMW E46 Electric Mirror Switch

So I think it is probably the nearside/offside switch at fault – you can see the contacts in the black housing on the left – the 2 silver blocks, each with 2 contacts which you can see contact against the PCB on the right.  A simple ohming exercise on the large gold contacts on the PCB proves that the different blocks are open or closed – clearly they should be consistent with no switch to bridge the contacts!