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Converting symphony II antenna system use with RNSe

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by JohnS3, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Mar 3, 2009]
    This should be of interest to those of you with 07 and later cars with the newer style headunits, especially if you have since fitted an RNSe and got the "ZF short to Earth" issue in VCDS not to mention degraded radio reception.

    If you've been following my threads on Navplus (Audiforums.us) you'll know I've been using a Golf module to restore "diversity" in the antenna system. This works great, improved reception, but still the ZF short to earth issue, not a huge problem, but it has bugged me since fitting the RNSe.

    [​IMG]


    On 07 and newer cars Audi changed the way the antenna system works. This diagram gives you an idea. The top part is the Phase Diversity system used on newer cars, the lower part shows the Switched Diversity system required for the RNSe.

    [​IMG]

    So this weekend I managed to get around to installing the required parts to convert my existing antenna system back to the old system.

    First I removed my existing golf module which was mounted behind the RNSe. I have to say that the Golf module has served me well and certainly improved my reception. However it doesn't cure the ZF short to earth issue.

    Fitting the new bits was quite straightforward. The tricky bit was taking the trim off the boot lid. There are two torx screws to remove, then you have to lever from the bottom corner of the trim making sure you don't scratch the paint or bend anything. I used a long screwdriver wrapped in a cloth. It's held on by several spring clips, you can see where these are once you manage to pop the corner clips and can see behind the trim. You'll need a long lever to reach in and pop the remaining clips off. Once off you can see the lower antenna amp. You'll also have to remove the trim around the top of the window, again two torx screws and several more spring clips hold this on. Once you've removed this you'll see the upper antenna amp.

    Lower amp
    [​IMG]

    Upper amp
    [​IMG]


    Here's a pic of the bits, you can buy them all from you local dealer, including the Fakra cables.
    [​IMG]

    and a parts list..
    000 098 652A 1.5m female to female Fakra cable (you can get away with a 1m cable, 000 098 652) (£12)
    000 098 692 30 cm male to male Fakra adaptor (£12)
    8P4 035 225B Upper antenna amp (£14)
    8P4 035 225 Lower antenna amp (£150)
    1C0 973 119B Three pin connector housing x2 (£1.50 each)
    000 979 009 Repair wires x3 (£1.20 each, cut them in half to give 6 wires)

    As you can see from the picture above the new lower antenna amp has two extra connectors, 1 Fakra and 1 three pin plug, both circled. The extra Fakra connector is the ZF feed from the RNSe. This will be connected to the Fakra cable which is currently connected to the upper amp. The new upper amp will be connected back to the new lower amp via the two three pin connectors and repair wires. You'll have to make a small loom (I made mine 86 cm long) and wire pin 1 to pin 1, pin 2 to pin 2 & pin 3 to pin 3. This pic should help.

    [​IMG]

    The old lower amp is help in by 3 x 10mm bolts. Unplug the cables first, the three large plugs on the back of the unit (see pic below) have a small red tab which needs to be pulled out before they can be unplugged.

    [​IMG]

    The new amp is a direct replacement. Here you can see the extra Fakra (green plug) for the ZF connector and the 3 wire loom (yellow wires) going to the new upper amp.

    [​IMG]

    and the new upper amp.

    [​IMG]

    Run all the new cables at the side of the existing Audi cables, use cable ties or loom tape if required. When I first switched on there was a short delay then all the FM stations popped up as normal. A quick VCDS scan revealed a few faults relating to unplugged antenna amps. I cleared these out and after a few engine starts can confirm that they didn't come back. So it looks like we have a working fix. I'll keep an ear on FM reception this week and post back if there are any issues.

    I'll hang on to my old bits for a short while, but if anyone would like to make use of my old Golf module and cables or would like to use my old amps (8P4 035 225D and 8P4 035 225C) in a symphony II to symphony II+ "reverse fit" situation drop me a PM.

    EDIT: 8P4 035 225D and 8P4 035 225C now sold
    EDIT: Diversity module now sold
    #1
    Tom Sawyer and nally like this.
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  3. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 23, 2009]
    John
    Off to buy the bits for this during the week with the intent of installing on Saturday morning.
    Did you break / damage any clips / trim panels during the procedure and should I look to buy any of these ahead of the job so I am not caught short?
    Many thanks for a really useful post - spot on.
    #2
  4. Sem
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    Sem Member

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    [Mar 23, 2009]
    Excellent info, i'll add these parts to my shopping list.
    The RNS-E is great but the poor FM reception has really annoyed me.
    Also, do you know of a fix to stop stations from being greyed out?
    #3
  5. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Mar 23, 2009]
    I didn't manage to break anything, but the spring clips that hold the boot trim on are a devil to get off. You may find they ping off, but you'lll find them in the boot/boot trim somewhere!

    If anyone wants the 3 pin loom making up, just let me know.
    #4
  6. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Mar 23, 2009]
    When you have the new amps installed you shouldn't see greyed out stations. You may find adjusting the dx/lx settings and sensitivity settings may help you.

    You can get the lower amp from a breakers, it's a bit pricey from a main dealer. Stoke Audi might be worth a try for a bit of discount
    #5
  7. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 23, 2009]
    John, I can see in your photo where the newly wired Fakra connector attaches to the new lower amp (the blue connector below the white & grey ones).

    Where does the other end of the new Fakra connector wire go to? If is there a female receptor point inside the boot lid?

    cheers
    Warren
    #6
  8. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Mar 23, 2009]
    Your existing upper amp has a fakra connector plugged in.
    [​IMG]

    When you change the upper amp, it is now connected to the lower amp by the 3 pin harness, this gives you a spare fakra which was on the top amp.
    [​IMG]

    Still with me? This spare fakra now connects to the extra plug on the new lower amp which gives you the ZF return the RNSe requires.

    That should make sense. ;)
    #7
  9. aristides
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    aristides Member

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    [Mar 23, 2009]
    John are you sure that the Lower Amp has the part number : 8P4 ?

    I went to the stealers to ask for the prices , and they told me the Lower Amp should be : 8P0 035 225
    #8
  10. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Mar 23, 2009]
    8P4 is correct, you can make out the part numbers in my image below.

    [​IMG]
    #9
  11. Sem
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    Sem Member

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    [Mar 24, 2009]
    John,

    Is the same lower amp 8P4 035 225 fitted to all A3's before 2007?
    Just checking the breakers and they have an 06 plate A3, would it have the correct amp?
    #10
  12. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Mar 24, 2009]
    No not all, but it should be in an 06 A3. That's where mine came from. If you can get to the breakers and check the part number all should be OK. You might want to check the top amp whilst your there as you'll need that too.
    #11
  13. p3eps
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    p3eps Member

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    [Mar 28, 2009]
    Should every '06 or older A3 have this lower amp... or is it only between a certain age range? Its probably not a part they sell alot of, so it might be difficult explaining to the lady what it is I actually need! Obviously it will have the part number when she sends out one of the guys to bring it back.

    Out of curiousity John - what did they charge you for a 2nd hand one?
    I'm happy enough buying the rest of the bits new as they're cheap enough - its just the £150 one that sounds a bit steep!
    #12
  14. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Mar 30, 2009]
    I bought mine from Germany for 50 Euro + shipping
    #13
  15. p3eps
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    p3eps Member

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    [Apr 4, 2009]
    Looks like I got a bargain. Managed to pick up the lower amp for £40 from my local scrappie this afternoon. They had NO IDEA what they were looking for - so I gave them the pic above! After sitting for about 45 mins in the waiting room and the guy coming back and asking me questions several times (like - the one in the A3 we have has different coloured wires to your pic) he eventually got it! Checked the part number, and all was good.

    Now I just need a car and an RNS-E!!!!

    On another note - will I need any adapters to fit the RNS-E in a 2009 S3? (apart from GPS antenna?)
    #14
  16. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Apr 4, 2009]
    Well done! You don't need any adaptors as cars from 07 onwards already have the quadlock fitted.
    #15
  17. p3eps
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    p3eps Member

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    [Apr 5, 2009]
    Thanks... thats what I thought, but I thought I'd better double check.

    I don't suppose anyone can tell me which pins on the RNS-E are for power? I'm going to start bidding on one soon - although I have 3+ months to wait after I order the S3! Hopefully with some cheeky bids in 3 months I can get one at a good price. The only problem is that most of the eBay sellers offer a 10 day warranty - which will have run out by the time I get the car. I have 12v power supplies at work with I've used in the past to test stereos etc - so I would like to test it when I eventually win one... if that makes any sense?!

    I'm also going to order the Alpine iPod kit from Kufatec - so I'd like to hook it all up to try that too before fitting!
    #16
  18. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Apr 6, 2009]
    You need to be in connector D -

    Pin 12 - Earth
    Pin 15 - +12v

    [​IMG]
    #17
  19. p3eps
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    p3eps Member

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    [Apr 6, 2009]
    Thanks again...
    I didn't realise the pin out was on the back of the unit (since I don't have one yet!!)

    Hopefully I can get a bargain in the next few months and get it tested!
    #18
  20. bfn
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    bfn New Member

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    [Apr 12, 2009]
    I have a 2007 a3 sportback and have also build in the golf box, but I don't have the idea my reception is improved.

    It looks like replacing the amps will do the trick because we get the orignal setup back.
    Or will it only resolve the error message to ground?
    #19
  21. pns2007
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    pns2007 Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 12, 2009]
    Hi John, in a previous post you commented on the A3 Cabriolet and in particular the amplifiers on this. I have had a quick look on ETKA and it doesn't appear to show a different Amp for the RNS-E over the standard Consert whereas for the hatch/sportback it does.

    The Amps appear to be in either side of the front windscreen pillars and one under the drivers side dash board.

    With your expertise are you able to offer any advise on changing the diversity so that I don't get the VDS errors.

    Many Thanks

    Neil
    #20
  22. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Apr 13, 2009]
    It fixes the reception (as you essentially fit the correct Audi antenna system) and also gets rid of the ZF short to earth error.
    #21
  23. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Apr 13, 2009]
    From memory there is a diversity adaptor fitted under the drivers dash. This may only need to be fitted with the RNSe. Do you know if you have this in your car? I'll check in ETKA/ELSA later on.
    #22
  24. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Apr 13, 2009]
    With regard to the cabriolet.... From what I can tell, with the RNSe there is a diversity adaptor fitted under the drivers side dash (item 13). I guess you don't have this fitted? Your local parts guy can tell you what's fitted to your car against your chassis number.
    [​IMG]


    Your present system is probably wired like this. Your left and right antenna amps (R24 and R111) are wired direct to the headunit (R)
    [​IMG]


    With the RNSe things are a little different. The schematic spans two slides, the headunit is shown below (J402) and this is connected to the aerial selection control unit (J515)
    [​IMG]

    This slide shows the two antenna amps (R24 & R111) connected to the same aerial selection control unit.
    [​IMG]

    It looks like you just need to add the aerial selection control unit under the drivers dash (or behind the RNSe) along with a little antenna amp rewiring.

    Hope this helps a little.
    #23
  25. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Apr 14, 2009]
    Found this pic which shows you where the antenna wires connect to/from the control unit.
    [​IMG]

    EDIT: This unit is most likely fitted behind the glovebox as the Audi schematics show LHD cars.
    #24
  26. pns2007
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    pns2007 Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 14, 2009]
    Thanks very much john for this, I apreciate your time in looking.

    In essence it doesn't look to difficult, I'll have to have a look in the car for where the current areial wiring goes.

    If I've not over simplified this, I presume I will need the switch over box (item 13 on the etka diagram) together with the holder (item 12). Would it then be easiest to then buy 4 extension fakra cables, two to go from the current aerial socket which plugs into the RNS-E to the switch over box, and two to go from the switch over box into the back of the RNS-E.

    Doing this will probably save me removing trim, however, finding out which amp is which might be difficult (i.e which is R24 and R111). I've tried to remove the trim on the inside of the window pillar but it won't come off easily. Does you have any info in elsawin on how to do this. I have a copy of elsewin but it won't run on my vista laptop

    Cheers

    Neil
    #25
  27. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Apr 15, 2009]
    It does look quite strightforward.... The proof is when you have all the bits plugged in!!
    You'll know the difference between the two antenna amps as one of them (R111) will have a connection to the central electronics unit, so it has two fakra wires coming from it. You'll have to watch the connectors, the back of the RNSe has a double fakra and all the other connectors are single fakra. You might have to run cables direct from the amps to the selection unit, then back to the cables that were previously connected to the amps, if you see what I mean. You might be better asking Kufatec to make up some custom cables as stock audi cables will get a bit expensive! The A pillar trim just pulls off (it has to as there is normally a curtain airbag under there) I can send you a pdf, but I'm sure H5DJR has posted it somewhere.
    #26
  28. pns2007
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    pns2007 Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 15, 2009]
    Thanks again John.

    I don't have airbags in the front pillars. Have tried to pull them off but they won't budge and one did start to crack.

    I'll try and look for the amp later
    #27
  29. crazylegscrane
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    crazylegscrane Active Member

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    [Apr 15, 2009]
    OK might be a silly question but does this mod apply if you are changing the concert head unit in a facelift S3 to RNS-e?:uhm:
    #28
  30. crazylegscrane
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    crazylegscrane Active Member

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    [Apr 15, 2009]
    bump....
    #29
  31. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Apr 15, 2009]
    Bump bump.... Yes it does!
    #30
  32. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Apr 15, 2009]
    I'll see what's in ELSA for the cab, stay tuned!
    #31
  33. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Apr 15, 2009]
    Here you go...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #32
  34. pns2007
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    pns2007 Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 15, 2009]
    Cheers John, I'll have a stab at this at the weekend. I tried to remove the pillar trim earlier and gave up. I didn't realise you had to take the whole trim off along the top!

    Do you (or anyone else reading) run your elsawin with XP? Can it be run on Vista in some dummy XP mode
    #33
  35. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Apr 15, 2009]
    I run it in XP.
    #34
  36. scottie123
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    scottie123 (●̮̮̃•̃) (●&# VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 15, 2009]
    ok all,

    Help me decide!

    I have installed a dbl din concert into my 05 sportback.

    I am now getting the reception loss after around 10 secs of engine start. ( sometimes it can be a minute and the other day it worked for around 5 mins!)

    love the stereo and the mp3 and also the look. But eventually i am looking to rns-e. Howwever, i cant see this happening for quite a while.

    So , basically, what should i do?

    I am pretty sure someone would want to swap amp systems to enable rns-e in a <07car, but i am eventually going to need the amps myself for the rnse.

    Is there another way of getting around this as i would really like to keep the amps i have ready for rns-e.

    sorry to be a pain , but i cant think for myself atm, sleepness nights with the newborn!
    #35
  37. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Apr 16, 2009]
    Just curious, if you don't start the engine is the reception OK?
    #36
  38. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Apr 16, 2009]
    Just a wild thought to throw in whist I'm here......:idea:

    Why don't you just fit a new top amp with a fakra extension cable connected to the white HF feed (which you would disconnect from the existing lower amp) to the headunit? This would give you half of the antenna system the Concert ii+ requires.

    As it's quite cheap, in the region of £35 for the parts, it might be a good half-way-house until you get the RNSe?

    EDIT: It's just an idea, but it should work.
    #37
  39. scottie123
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    scottie123 (&#9679;&#814;&#814;&#771;•&#771;) (&#9679;&# VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 16, 2009]
    correct. ~If i dont start the engine , it is fine.

    'Why don't you just fit a new top amp with a fakra extension cable connected to the white HF feed (which you would disconnect from the existing lower amp) to the headunit? This would give you half of the antenna system the Concert ii+ requires.

    As it's quite cheap, in the region of £35 for the parts, it might be a good half-way-house until you get the RNSe?'

    this sounds very good.

    dont suppose you have any part numbers... also, is this fairly easy to doi would you say?

    cheers
    #38
  40. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Apr 16, 2009]
    Mmmm. I don't understand why though....

    Part numbers below. Stick a post in the Stoke Audi section for a bit of discount.
    000 098 652A 1.5m female to female Fakra cable (you can get away with a 1m cable, 000 098 652) (£12)
    000 098 692 30 cm male to male Fakra adaptor (£12)
    8P4 035 225C Upper antenna amp (£??)

    It's quite easy. Have a read at the top of the thread. The tricky bit is getting the cover off the boot lid, but as you have a sportback here's a guide from Fleagle....

    http://www.fleagle.org.uk/_new-site/car/a3-rear-washwipe/index.htm
    #39
  41. scottie123
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    scottie123 (&#9679;&#814;&#814;&#771;•&#771;) (&#9679;&# VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 16, 2009]
    John, as usual, you are a legend! :yahoo:

    cheers for the info.

    will get some prices, and give it ago:)
    #40

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