Version 18 (modified by art, 9 years ago) (diff)


Welcome to OpenBM project webpage

OpenBM stands for: Open Source Bordmonitor. The project is mainly targeting all BMW enthusiast, who would like to improve the standard BMW multimedia equipment with their own configurations. On this webpage, I would like to present you a device made out of the original BMW's 16:9 bordmonitor housing found mainly in E39/E38 as also X5. The device can seamlessly be included into original BMW equipment and deals as an output/input device for a CarPC. Parallel to my implementation, Bengt-Olof Swing started to do his own. He presents his project  here. The implementation is completely different and is mainly meant to be for E46 with additional support for E39.

Project Constraints

  • Original Look 16:9 Bordmonitor with a CarPC.
  • use Bordmonitor for Input/Output? of CarPC
  • Being able to seamlessly connect Rearview camera as also DVB-T/DVD
  • Be cheap


Here is a list of current features supported by the device.

  • 800x480 native pixel resolution
  • 3 Input sources, 1xVGA and 2xAV (composite video)
  • Full support of all buttons and encoders. Buttons support press, hold and release states
  • All the control LEDs can be set into any flashing state controlled by a bit pattern, i.e. 11111111 - LED on, 01010101 LED flash every 1/8sek
  • Support switching between video sources as also turning on and off of the display
  • Original Photo-Sensor from the bordmonitor can be used to detect current brightness in the car (can be used to detect night or day time)
  • Almost complete emulation of MID device through OpenBM. BMW Professional RDS Radio can be controlled by this device



The software used by the OpenBM device is currently not publicly available. However, you can ask me for it, and you can get the firmware used by the OpenBM device.

Operating System:

I started currently developing a Linux daemon, which will interact between serial port (this is where BMW's i-bus will be connected later to a CarPC) and D-Bus, which is an interprocess communication software bus. The software will be put online, after first tests.


coming next...


The following list represents the timeline of this project. Every time there is new event, it will be published on an extra wiki-page and added to the list. So take a look on those events, already happened :)

26th, June 2010? Based on the original 4:3 frame the OpenBM housing was created. Additionally cables required for CarPC were installed.
1st, June 2010? First software running emulating MID device. I made a video showing the device in action.
April 2010? Prototype replaced by professionally etched PCB. SMD soldering and error patching was then performed by hand.
January 2010? First prototype of a button field controller module for the bordmonitor housing
October 2009? Put a new display into the bordmonitor housing. In this case I am using a 7'' display with native resolution of 800x480 pixels.
October 2009? Reverse engineering of original BMW's 16:9 bordmonitor housing. Special interest goes to the both button fields as also LEDs

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