Jump to content

Audio Noise on 2014 R1200RT


MotoBones

Recommended Posts

There is electronic noise that comes through my 2014 RT's audio system. Imagine what a digital sewing machine might sound like with a continuous, rapid, repeating pulse. It's audible when the bike’s audio system is played while the BMW Navigator 5 is installed on the bike's cradle.

 

The sound is audible when the bike’s audio system is on and set to FM, SAT, AUX or USB. It’s easiest to hear in AUX since I have nothing attached to that audio input on my bike, but it’s also audible on USB which I do use, and on radio when there is a break, such as occurs briefly between segments. It is harder to hear when a musical composition is loud but unmistakable during quiet passages and between tracks.

 

The sound is audible with a BMW Communication System Bluetooth (through helmet speakers), with a Sena 20S Bluetooth (through helmet speakers or wired earbuds), and through the bike's OEM speakers mounted in the dash.

 

The sound stops when GPS notifications like "Turn left on Mountain Road" interrupt the music, but the sound returns as soon as the music returns.

 

Turn the audio system off (push the ON button on the left side panel audio controls) and the sound goes away.

 

The sound gets louder in proportion to increases in volume of audio being played. That is, turn up the volume and the sound gets louder.

 

The sound appears when the key is on, whether or not the motor is running. The sound does not change in volume or frequency when the motor speeds up or slows down.

 

The sound appears whether or not the paired phone is connected via Bluetooth. The sound appears if the paired phone is powered on or off.

 

If you remove the Nav 5 from the cradle the sound stops. Replace the Nav 5 and the sound returns. I placed a friend’s Garmin zumo 665 (same form factor as a Nav 5) on the cradle and the sound was not there. I placed another friend’s BMW Navigator 4 (from his K1600GT) on the cradle and the sound was not there.

 

I cleaned the contacts on the Nav 5 and the cradle and gave them a thin coating of dielectric grease. The sound was still there.

 

I attempted to rule out interference from other electronic items. I removed the micro SD card from the Nav 5 and replaced it in the cradle. The sound was still there. I tried USB sticks from different manufacturers and the sound was still there.

 

I have a Heatroller temperature controller used for heated gear. Removing that from the bike made no change and the sound was still there.

 

I have a battery powered Gen3 Spot Locator. The sound appears whether it is powered on or off.

 

It’s not the LED Clearwater Lights. There’s no difference in the sound when the lights are adjusted to different dim settings. There’s no difference in the sound when the Clearwater CANopener module is disconnected from the CANbus network and the harness fuse is removed, leaving the bike in factory condition as far as electronics go.

 

I'm not a technician but with that caveat it looks like my diagnostic procedure points either to a bad Nav 5 or to a cradle on the bike that has an issue directly related to working properly with a Nav 5. The dealer tried another new-from-the-box Nav5 and the sound was still there. Today the dealer replaced the bike's GPS cradle and the sound is still there, although it does seem to be quieter than before.

 

Any ideas from the technically inclined? Thanks.

 

Bones

 

Link to comment

My experience with several generations of BMW motorrad audio systems is that they still have not figured out how to totally eliminate self-generated RF noise from the ignition (and on some bikes, the alternator). My '15 RTW is no exception. You could try disconnecting components individually from the audio head unit to try to isolate the worst offender, but I doubt you'll be able to kill all of the RF noise.

Link to comment

Mark, can it be related to ignition or the alternator if the noise is there when the key is turned on but the engine is not running?

 

What components can be disconnected from the head unit? I could unplug the speakers right at the speaker cabinets.

Link to comment

I think you have your answer! You have done your homework sourcing the noise. When you remove the Nav V the noise goes away. If you replace it with a known good Garmin unit, the noise is not there. Replace the Nav V and the noise is back. While it may not make sense, it appears the audio systems have a route through the Nav V while it is in the cradle. Something in the Nav V is bad. Next stop, dealer!

Link to comment
Mark, can it be related to ignition or the alternator if the noise is there when the key is turned on but the engine is not running?

Not the rotating-parts sources, but there are other things. When I turn on my RTW, there is a high-pitched electronic whine -- not sure if it is the ABS pump or the throttle servos (the throttle servo on my last K16 could make a heck of a racket as it dances around the idle point).

 

What components can be disconnected from the head unit? I could unplug the speakers right at the speaker cabinets.

You can unplug the individual signal inputs that plug into the side of the audio head unit under the seat -- Sat radio, GPS, aux (iPod) connectors.

 

Link to comment
I think you have your answer! You have done your homework sourcing the noise. When you remove the Nav V the noise goes away. If you replace it with a known good Garmin unit, the noise is not there. Replace the Nav V and the noise is back. While it may not make sense, it appears the audio systems have a route through the Nav V while it is in the cradle. Something in the Nav V is bad. Next stop, dealer!

When I replaced it with a new Nav 5 the noise was still there. When I replaced it with a different model the noise was not there.

Link to comment

What other GPS will integrate with the handlebar control and the GPS mount of the new water boxer besides the Nav5?

Link to comment
What other GPS will integrate with the handlebar control and the GPS mount of the new water boxer besides the Nav5?

 

The Nav 5 is the only one that integrates with the Wonder Wheel.

Link to comment
Have your tried your Nav V in a different RT?

Have your tried turning the Bluetooth off in the Nav V?

 

In a different RT, no. That will be next.

 

WIth Bluetooth off? Yes...off, on, doesn't matter, when you have the Nav V on the bike the noise is there, remove the Nav V and the noise stops.

Link to comment

I doubt that Bluetooth is related to the issue. Whether Bluetooth is enabled or not, the sound is there if the Nav V is installed and the sound system is on. Remove the Nav 5 and it stops.

 

When GPS prompts interrupt the current audio source (FM, sat, aux or USB) the noise stops while the Garmin voice speaks (through the Bluetooth connection to my helmet), then when the prompt is done the noise returns.

 

BMW Communication System had the noise, Sena 20S has the noise, bike's OEM speakers have the noise.

Link to comment

Take the bike back to the dealer.

It's not normal, I haven't got that noise. Neither through the external speakers nor through my SRC Bluetooth helmet.

As long as you haven't done any mods to the wiring, i.e added/modified that could have introduced the noise, then my bet is the alternator/noise suppressor or bad earthing of one of the audio system cables.

Anyway....shouldn't be your problem and if the dealer can't fix it, then make sure that he opens a ticket with BMW.

Link to comment
  • 2 months later...

It was brought to my attention that the audio system in the K1600GT/L is the same as the RT. Hmmmm. I searched the GT forums and what do you know? The audio interference has been an issue for the K16 crowd long before I noticed. BMW hasn't solved the problem yet, but a member of the K1600forum found a work-around. It doesn't solve whatever the underlying problem is, but it does eliminate the noise.

 

It's all here:

http://www.k1600forum.com/forum/bmw-k1600-bluetooth-audio/49370-strange-noise-amp-2.html

 

See especially post 13. The work-around involves simply unplugging the GPS audio feed where it goes into the audio amplifier, under the pillion seat. Just like that, the noise is gone. Since I paired my Sena 20S to the GPS, I get turn-by-turn GPS audio via Bluetooth anyway, but there is now no GPS audio to the speakers, should I decide to use them.

 

So I'm not satisfied that the bike's audio system works properly, but thanks to the K1600 guys (especially member ABQ from Albuquerque) I've stopped the annoying noise.

 

Your turn BMW.

 

 

 

Link to comment

I use a Zumo 660 in the cradle, instead of the Nav V, so I don't get directions through system anyway. If this stops the awful audio quality issues when paring bike to my Sena unit, then I'll thank you.

Link to comment

My audio output through the fairing speakers is great, but when paired to my Sena helmet unit is awful and full of static. The helmet speakers, in general sound good, and it's only the bike output audio that stinks.

 

I have a Zumo 660 in the cradle, and paired to the Sena also, in addition to my Android phone, which both sound fine through the helmet speakers.

 

It's extremely annoying that I can't get good sound in the helmet from my bikes SAT, USB stick and FM.

Link to comment

I unplugged the NAV audio feed (as instructed in other thread), and I think the noise is greatly reduced, if not gone. If there is any noise, it only seems to be there for SAT and FM. The music from the USB stick is absolutely clean. It wasn't before. My Zumo wouldn't come through the BMW system anyway, so there's no loss of functionality.

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

SOLUTION!

 

Garmin has provided a solution that appears to eliminate the audio noise from the Nav 5. Simple fix: Plug your Nav 5 into Garmin Express and update the unit software to version 3.2. Power down (full off, not sleep). Restart and Bob's your uncle.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...