Rdoig
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2022 3:56 pm

AM Radio

Hi, I do a lot of driving out of range of digital radio and far prefer AM to FM content. I understand that some i3s have an AM radio option that might be enabled. My car is a 2014 REX i3.
Is it possible to enable AM in this car?
alohart
Posts: 2683
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: AM Radio

Yes. You need to license the BimmerCode app (~$40) for your smartphone and buy an OBD to WiFi or Bluetooth adapter to enable wireless communication between your adapter and your phone (>$20 at Amazon). BimmerCode supports all sorts of customizations and improvements to default behaviors (e.g., silence seat belt warnings, eliminate legal disclaimer screens that must be dismissed, change the default driving mode, fold/unfold the side mirrors upon certain events).

Be aware that EV's produce a lot of electromagnetic static and that the i3's CFRP passenger module doesn't provide much electromagnetic shielding, so expect more static than usual, especially on weaker stations. Maybe because of this, an AM radio can't be enabled on 2018 or later i3's or maybe doesn't exist.
Aloha,
Art
[22-04-25 to now] 2019 BMW i3 Imperial Blue Metallic, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Heat Pump, 428 Wheels
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Rdoig
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2022 3:56 pm

Re: AM Radio

Hi Art, thanks very much fo that. That sounds like a very handy app. As well as wanting AM radio, I find having to promise not to fiddle with the radio (in my own car) very irritating😖 I’ll get rid of the disclaimer.
Cheers and aloha
Robert
jfran2
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:20 am

Re: AM Radio

As a plus, with Bimmercode you can also activate Hold State of Charge to turn on the Rex manually, if that hasn't already been done in your car.
frictioncircle
Posts: 347
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: USA West Coast

Re: AM Radio

Rdoig wrote: I understand that some i3s have an AM radio option that might be enabled. My car is a 2014 REX i3.
Is it possible to enable AM in this car?
Hello Rdoig, good advice from alohart. Bimmercode is an easy to use tool and there are a lot of great tweaks that can be made once you have it.

I've owned a 2014 BEV and a 2021 BEV s (both from new – the 2021 is the daily driver) and have coded the AM radio on in both, which suggests AM radio is in all US-market i3s – though I recall it was easier to code it on in the 2014.

With over eight years of driving these cars and using the AM radio, my opinion is that BMW overreacted in depriving US owners of AM listening. Granted I live in a big city and my AM listening is mostly reserved for one or two high-power stations, but I've found the AM performance is comparable to every other (metal-framed) car I've owned.

Good driving with your 2014!
alohart
Posts: 2683
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: AM Radio

frictioncircle wrote: Thu Nov 10, 2022 10:17 pmI've owned a 2014 BEV and a 2021 BEV s (both from new – the 2021 is the daily driver) and have coded the AM radio on in both, which suggests AM radio is in all US-market i3s – though I recall it was easier to code it on in the 2014.
If you have the coding details to enable AM radio on your 2021 i3, please post them. I tried what worked on our 2014 i3 on our 2019 i3, but this didn't work.
Aloha,
Art
[22-04-25 to now] 2019 BMW i3 Imperial Blue Metallic, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Heat Pump, 428 Wheels
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frictioncircle
Posts: 347
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: USA West Coast

Re: AM Radio

alohart wrote: Fri Nov 11, 2022 1:55 pm If you have the coding details to enable AM radio on your 2021 i3, please post them. I tried what worked on our 2014 i3 on our 2019 i3, but this didn't work.
I don't have details handy but when I get time over the weekend I'll connect to the car and hopefully figure out how I did it.
frictioncircle
Posts: 347
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: USA West Coast

Re: AM Radio

alohart wrote: Fri Nov 11, 2022 1:55 pm If you have the coding details to enable AM radio on your 2021 i3, please post them. I tried what worked on our 2014 i3 on our 2019 i3, but this didn't work.

Hello alohart –

Haven't had time to check out my settings and not sure when I'll get to it but I came across this post which jogged my memory:

viewtopic.php?t=16982

When trying to code the AM radio so it was available, I specifically remember that the option that has "AM" in the description will not make AM available, which is odd as that was the way to enable it in my 2014 BEV.

In my 2021 BEV s, I believe that the "KW" option is the one that actually enables AM radio. KW may be available at the top level of HU-NBT but it's also possible that it's under the advanced settings.

Note that it might take a combination of setting both AM & KW to Aktiv (or possibly MW?) to get this to work, but it absolutely does.
alohart
Posts: 2683
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: AM Radio

frictioncircle wrote: Wed Nov 30, 2022 8:15 pmIn my 2021 BEV s, I believe that the "KW" option is the one that actually enables AM radio. KW may be available at the top level of HU-NBT but it's also possible that it's under the advanced settings.

Note that it might take a combination of setting both AM & KW to Aktiv (or possibly MW?) to get this to work, but it absolutely does.
Thanks! "KW" is probably a German abbreviation for "short wave" with "MW" being "middle wave". I'll have to investigate whether the AM radio band is considered short or middle wave. I'll post the results of my experimentation.
Last edited by alohart on Tue Dec 13, 2022 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Aloha,
Art
[22-04-25 to now] 2019 BMW i3 Imperial Blue Metallic, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Heat Pump, 428 Wheels
[14-11-05 to 22-06-15] 2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging
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alohart
Posts: 2683
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: AM Radio

alohart wrote: Wed Nov 30, 2022 10:19 pm
frictioncircle wrote: Wed Nov 30, 2022 8:15 pmIn my 2021 BEV s, I believe that the "KW" option is the one that actually enables AM radio. KW may be available at the top level of HU-NBT but it's also possible that it's under the advanced settings.

Note that it might take a combination of setting both AM & KW to Aktiv (or possibly MW?) to get this to work, but it absolutely does.
Thanks! "KW" is probably a German abbreviation for "short wave" with "MW" being "middle wave". I'll have to investigate whether the AM radio band is considered short or middle wave. I'll post the results of my experimentation.
I was reminded that the North American AM radio band is equivalent to the European middle-wave band (MW). I see no evidence that the receiver in an i3 is capable of receiving short-wave broadcasts (KW).

I discovered that when setting the Head Unit (HU_NBT_EVO) setting "AM radio" to "Active" in BimmerCode's standard mode, 3002->RADIO_BAND_KW is set to aktiv in expert mode. However, that doesn't activate AM radio in our 2019 U.S. i3. But when I also set 3002->RADIO_BAND_MW to aktiv in expert mode, the AM radio band choice is available in iDrive and the AM radio works.

I'll ask the BimmerCode developer whether setting the "AM radio" to "Active" in BimmerCode's standard mode should actually set 3002->RADIO_BAND_MW rather than 3002->RADIO_BAND_KW to aktiv in expert mode. Maybe this is a minor BimmerCode bug.
Last edited by alohart on Tue Dec 13, 2022 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Aloha,
Art
[22-04-25 to now] 2019 BMW i3 Imperial Blue Metallic, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Heat Pump, 428 Wheels
[14-11-05 to 22-06-15] 2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging
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