Question about Becker Indianapolis Pro 7950 CD Player

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Becker/BMW Indianapolis randomly turns itself off and sometimes produces cracking noises on the outputs while playing cd/mp3

I bought a second hand BMW and it came pre-installed with a BMW Indianapolis radio navigation unit. This unit is actually a Becker Indianapolis 7969. The 7969 is an Indianapolis 7920 but with slightly different software for BMW and orange illumination. It's also almost identical to the Becker Indianapolis Pro 7950 except it lacks bluetooth support. But those differences are not related to my problem.

This unit experiences two problems that may or may not be related:


1. After a while the unit turns itself off. Sometimes this happens just minutes after turning on, other times it takes hours. I have it both when playing cd/mp3 or when listening to radio. A press on the ON-button and the unit continues where it left. I took the unit out of my car to test it in controlled environment (stabilized high end 13.8V/10A power supply) but it's showing the same effect. I don't think it's heat related because once the unit turns off you can immediatly power it up again and sometimes it will play again for hours.


2. When playing cd or mp3-cd the unit sometimes
produces "ticking" and "cracking" noises. This happens on the amplified outputs as well as on the line-outs. Sometimes it's just a few cracks every now and then, other moments it's like you're listening to a bad tuned in radio station - except that it's the cd/mp3 playing. When I switch to radio, the cracking is gone. It never happens during radio playback. When I switch back to cd/mp3 the cracking continues. Sometimes it goes away after a while. Power cycling does not seem to have any effect, nor does heat. It happens both when the unit is cold or hot. It's independant of the volume (it's definitely not an overdriven signal). The same problem occurs in my controlled environment with the unit connected to a receiver, so it's not a groundloop or alternator whine related issue.


BMW is of no help. I contacted Becker Europe, but either I completely missed their technical support department or they didn't feel like helping me with a unit that's long out of warranty. I got a reply they can only help me with operation and installation questions. Great... If someone can give me a link / email address to reach Becker's REAL technical support, I'd be grateful.

I don't mind opening the unit, nor am I afraid of some fine soldering. But I need to know where to look - what may cause issues like this.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Posted by on

  • mahi2003 Dec 10, 2007

    Just some extra information for the random power off issue:

    Using my power supply I can keep an eye on the current the unit draws. It's around 0.75A for radio playback up to 1.0A for cd/mp3 playback (using line-out).

    When the unit turns itself off, the current draw remains 0.75A for about 4 seconds after the music stopped and the illumination went dark. Then it drops to 0.5A for a second, followed by 0.35A for 3 seconds. Then it drops to 0.01A and I can hear a soft plop in the speakers indicating the amplifier/pre-amplifier is shut down.

    Why may this be important? When I press the ON-button (which turns off the unit when it's on) I see exactly the same behaviour. In other words, the random power off issue is behaving exactly as if someone would have pressed the ON-button. So it's a "graceful" shutdown, not a sudden power loss or crash.

    There's nothing wrong with the ON-button, though. It's not loose or making false contact.

  • mahi2003 Dec 11, 2007

    Ok, the power off issue is fixed. It was not that random after all. Must have been a wrong perception from my side. Once I timed it with a chrono it became apparant this was intended behaviour.

    The cause is simple. The permanent + is attached to the battery (or my power supply), but the switched + was left unconnected. Once that's hooked up, the unit doesn't power down until you disconnect the switched +. If the switched + is off, and you turn the unit on, it plays for a preset time and then, shuts down to save the batteries.

    My bad... I should have looked into this a bit more carefully.


    The cracking noise issue is still here though. Any help with that would be really appreciated.

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  • 88 Answers

The fact that you pulled it out of the car and tested it using a known good power source says more about your troubleshooting skills than most. Now you're ready to do the inevitable... tear it open. Open it up being mindful of internal connectors and possible ground leads coming from amp boards to the chasis. While there is likely no prints available for this unit for schmucks like us there are some very key things to look for.

1. Burnt components. Easiest to spot but hardest to identify. Hopefully there's another component nearby this one to help identify it. There are many online sources to purchase new components.

2. Deceased and bulging capacitors. Many electrolytic capacitors will swell up when they have given up on life. For safety reasons (preventing them from being a IED) the manufacturers have put little cross hatch cuts in the top to relieve the swelling when the electrolyte boils. This makes it easy to spot and caps are super cheap and easy to find. I do recommend getting one of exact value in the uH rating but suggest maybe bumping up the voltage (i.e. going from a 12vdc to perhaps a 16vdc). This will make them last longer in general.

3. Loose connectors. Give a little tug on each connection to see how much they're clinging to life.

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"If a malfunction of the unit should occur,
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