Version 60 (modified by art, 6 years ago) (diff)


Welcome to OpenBM project webpage

Hi, my name is  Art Tevs and I would like to present you the project named OpenBM_E39.
OpenBM stands for: Open Source Bordmonitor. The project is mainly targeting all BMW enthusiasts, 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.

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
  • Automatic switch to AV1/AV2 when 'R' gear is selected (reverse camera)
  • Original Photo-Sensor of the bordmonitor is used to change the brightness of the display
  • Complete emulation of MID device through OpenBM.
  • Supports following configurations:
    • BMW Professional RDS
    • BMW Buisiness with DSP
    • CD-Changer
  • XBMC is running as a front-end software
  • Plugin to control the on-board computer


The software used by the OpenBM device is currently not publicly available. However, you can ask me for it. I will put online several parts of it, if somebody is get interested.

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.

I have summarized information about used CarPC on the Hardware page. As base for the CarPC I am using ZOTAC's IonITX series F board (with WLAN) housing in an VoomPC-2 enclosure.

Main Software:
Main software is based on XMBC for which I wrote several plugins. The information for the software can be found on Main Software page.


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 :)

07th, September 2010 I've added couple of screenshots showing the self-made plugins to control BMW's equipment in action :)
31th, August 2010 Added information about new release of a gateway between IBus and software applications. D-Bus support is dropped.. TCP/IP is added :)
30th, August 2010 I've updated the session about the CarPC showing images with installation. Also a frame for the radio was rebuilt, here you can find more impressions.
25th, August 2010 The CarPC is now in the car. I've updated the Main Software section showing OpenBM + XBMC in action directly in the car.
9th, August 2010 For my CarPC I am using the XBMC multimedia software. I am currently working on a plugin for this piece of software to control the core BMW equipment.
20th, July 2010 First release of IBus/D-Bus Gateway. A daemon running in the background and forwarding messages between IBus (hardware) and D-Bus (software).
26th, June 2010 Based on the original 4:3 frame the OpenBM housing was created. Additionally cables required for CarPC were installed.
3th, June 2010 OpenBM is just a video output device. In order to bring audio into my car, I installed an AUX-In in the BMW Professional RDS radio.
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


At this place, I would like to thank Bengt-Olof-Swing for his helpfull comments. You can visit a thread from MP3car-forum where he shows his results on an equivalent project so far,  click here.

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