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RNS-E into Sept 2007 A3 retrofit questions

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by GeoffT, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Nov 28, 2007]
    Despite having made a mount for my TomTom, I am getting increasingly tempted to fit RNS-E.

    I have searched and found loads of information on here regarding retrofitting RNS-E, but still would like some knowledgable soul to clarify a few points for me before I bite the bullet.

    1) I have a Sept 2007 Sportback with Symphony II+/III (or whatever the correct terminology is - the one that plays MP3s!), Phone prep & MFSW - I had read that the RNS-E was a 100% plug and play fitting into this, but I have since read about some diversity antenna incompatability issues. Can someone clarify what these issues are if any?

    2) As I have GSM phone prep I have sharkfin on the roof. Will this have a GPS aerial in it, and if so, is it cabled to the front of the car? if not has anyone retrofitted a GPS aerial to an existing sharkfin?

    3) Will the MFSW and DIS work OK with the RNS-E or will they need coding with VAGCOM?


    Thanks
    #1
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  3. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Nov 28, 2007]
    It is plug and play as i did it into my 2007 S3 but you will need the car recoding just so it knows it has nav fitted and does not throw any error codes up in the dealer.

    JohnS3 has put a good post up about a solution to the ZF ground to short error but to be honest unless the dealer checks the fault codes in the radio section (something they will never do unless I tell them I have a problem with the radio) nothing shows up on the general error code scan.

    Not sure about the shark fin already having GPS capability but if you source a RNS-E from ebay you more than often get a GPS antenna thrown in whits sits ontop of the unit hidden under the dash which performs with no problems.

    The MFSW and DIS instructions will all work ok too.

    Myself and a few others on here have bought from nikin777 on ebay for the nav units with no problems, reliable and recent manufactured units.
    #2
  4. redbutcher
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    redbutcher Member

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    [Nov 28, 2007]
    I'm looking at doing the RNS-E conversion as well as soon as I get my Sportback. I've read on navplus.us that the radio reception is supposed to be worse due to the aerial wiring difference, but how bad is the radio reception in everyday use? Is it just bad in weak signal areas?

    Jon
    #3
  5. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Nov 28, 2007]
    Thanks for the info. I had read that the GPS antenna works OK under the dash, I just thought if I had already got one in the sharkfin and it was wired or part-wired I might as well use it and get the best signal possible.
    #4
  6. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Nov 28, 2007]
    If you have BOSE you need to move the BOSE pin. There's also a pin called AU/PL which I disconnected. Others have left this connected with no aparent side effects. The ZF issue is caused by Audi fitting a revised antenna system to 2007 cars. As the RNSe requires the old system, this results in poor/flaky reception depending on how good the FM coverage is in your area and the RNSe logs the "ZF short to earth" fault with the on board diagnostics.

    I'm not sure if the fin contains the GPS antenna, although I did read somewhere that the GPS plug is tucked down the side of the boot somewhere, so it may be worth checking this further. Most people fit a hockey puck style antenna under the dash which sees an acceptable amount of satellites. Some even use a GPS tax disc holder.

    My DIS worked, but the RNSe does need to be coded properly so features such as Bose/Non bose, phone prep, tyre size, startup screen etc are aligned to suit whats fitted to your car.

    Hope this helps.
    #5
  7. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Nov 28, 2007]
    Iv'e never noticed really poor radio reception either so will be leaving mine as it is!
    #6
  8. redbutcher
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    redbutcher Member

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    [Nov 28, 2007]
    :icon_thumright: - good news - thanks!

    Jon
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  9. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Nov 28, 2007]
    Is the RNS-E coded using VAGCOM or are they set within the unit itself?
    #8
  10. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Nov 28, 2007]
    It will be set depending on what car and options the car had when it was first in.

    So you may have to change it to a right hand drive model for example to get the nav instructions coming through the correct speaker and changing tyre size for more accurate gps location and speed.

    Its just a case of fitting it to your car and coding it whilst in via the vag com port under the steering wheel to the right.
    #9
  11. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Nov 28, 2007]
    That's true but the RNS-E should still work without any coding. If you have DIS then the RNS-E will use this too with no coding. Also, with regard to tyre sizes, the RNS-E will calculate the tyre size and related speed by using the GPS data.

    For an antenna, I've fitted a tax disc holder on the windscreen (I think I'm the only one who's done this!) which has the receiver inside it. Reception is brilliant but over last summer, the heat has wilted the black plastic backing and it is quite unsightly. I'm planning to keep the receiver but maybe locate it at the front of the windscreen or in one of the vents on the top surface of the dashboard.

    Finally, radio reception isn't brilliant but the RNS-E does try to adjust the frequency slightly which seems to improve things. Sometimes, for the first minute or so after switching on, the reception is poor but then improves.

    Heartily recommend the RNS-E retrofit - it's a great piece of kit :)
    #10
  12. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Nov 29, 2007]
    OK, now that the technical issues are known, all I have left is convincing myself that it's worth the cost of the upgrade.

    How do the Tuner and SD card MP3 playback facilities compare to the current Symphony? For example, on the RNS-E can you easily move through the radio presets using the MFSW? (you can't do this with the Symphony - see MFSW thread). Do you get any options on what info is displayed while playing MP3s? Are there any problems with reflections on the screen on a bright day?

    What would be great was if someone could post (or point me to) some screenshots of the RNS-E in both Tuner and SD card MP3 playback to get a feel for how it works. I've had a look on the Navplus site but, despite it having huge amounts of technical details I can't actually find too much on how it works in these modes. There is a link to the instructions in PDF format but the link is dead.
    #11
  13. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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  14. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Dec 1, 2007]
    Does this mean that if I got a 2007 RNS-E I would not have this problem as it would be designed for the new antenna system?
    #13
  15. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Dec 1, 2007]
    You'll still have the problem, the RNSe works with the old system. So if you specced sat nav from the factory you'd get the old antenna system. I'm waiting for a reply from Kufatec, they might make a conversion kit.
    #14
  16. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Dec 1, 2007]
    OK, thanks John.
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  17. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Dec 2, 2007]
    Thanks for all of the help.

    I have just bought an RNS-E from nikin777 on Ebay. Will post how I get on with the install when it arrives.
    #16
  18. redbutcher
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    redbutcher Member

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    [Dec 2, 2007]
    Got mine from this seller as well last week - bank transfer was done on Friday so hoping for delivery in about a weeks time (collecting new car this Friday so will install shortly after with any luck).
    #17
  19. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Dec 3, 2007]
    Just out of interest what did your bank charge for the transfer? I'm with First Direct and they have just charged me £21. I must admit that if the seller hadn't been recommended by others on here I'd be very nervous of simply transfering money to a bank account in Lithuiana, which doesn't even seem to be in the same name as the seller :scared2: . The first person to trust them was taking a big risk IMO. Fingers crossed!
    #18
  20. redbutcher
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    redbutcher Member

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    [Dec 3, 2007]
    Hi Geoff,

    You got away lightly with that charge - I paid another £14 (thanks Barclays :no:) on top of that for a priority transfer whch is supposed to be 1-3 days. The standard 3-5 days was £20. I'll be happy once the unit is here and in the car and working!

    Jon
    #19
  21. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Dec 11, 2007]
    Well, to my surprise my RNS-E arrived today (from nikin777 on ebay). I was not really expecting it until the end of the week at the earliest, as I only wired the cash last Tuesday. That was supposed to take 2 or 3 days and the delivery was reckoned to take between 5 & 10 days after that.

    There is obviously a better postal service from Lithuania than we get internally in the UK!

    The unit itself seems perfect, I can see no marks or scratches anywhere. I can't test it at the moment as SWMBO has the car ,but will try it tonight.

    The only slight annoyance is that it was advertised as being:

    Partnumber: 8P0 035 192 L
    Hardware Version 74
    Software Version 600
    Production date 2007

    According to the label on it, the part number is the correct, but it's Hardware Version 73 and Software Version 550

    Providing it all works OK, I'm not inclined to make too much fuss, and certainly wouldn't want to send it back, but would be interested to know what the differences are between what I should have got and what I have. I might ask for a discount on what I paid.

    I know that the software can be updated (if the change from 550 to 600 is worth it) but I'm not sure what difference is makes between HV73 & HV74.
    #20
  22. redbutcher
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    redbutcher Member

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    [Dec 11, 2007]
    Geoff, mine arrived today as well - am planning to fit mine tomorrow. Mine arrived as advertised though - bit of a shame yours is slightly incorrect - you might find the answer to your question on navplus.us

    I'll let you know how my install goes.

    Jon
    #21
  23. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Dec 11, 2007]
    Not much difference between the software versions gents, the only thing thats really been noticed is the radio "waveband" lettering on the screen being changed to something different or vice versa...

    Its really easy to change the software and I'm sure someone on here will be able to send you the files to update it.

    Not sure about the Hardware version though but you wont be dissapointed either way!
    #22
  24. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Dec 11, 2007]
    AFAIK there's little noticeable difference between the hardware versions. I think mine is H50, but it still runs software 0550 okay.
    #23
  25. Marcyboy
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  26. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Dec 12, 2007]
    I had chance to quickly plug the RNS-E in last night just to check it worked OK, and it all seems fine. Will probably leave it to the weekend to fit properly as I want to find the best place for the GPS antenna, which may take some time.

    One thing that did strike me though, is the rather odd colour scheme that Audi have chosen for the radio & SD card player screens - orange and white in a red dash and with red illuminated buttons!!?? It looks like Lawrence LLewellyn Bowen designed it! What happened to Audi red & white?
    #25
  27. redbutcher
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    [Dec 12, 2007]
    Just finished fitting mine and it's working great - very happy with it.

    Two things I changed on the wiring loom:
    • Moved the Bose cable from pin 5 on the Concert II+ plug B to pin 7 on the RNS-E plug B.
    • Disconnect the AUPL lead from the Concert II+ socket as there isn't a need for it on the RNS-E connections.
    I put the GPS antenna on top of the glovebox following the post by benw123 (thanks mate) and it seems quite happy there, so am going to stick with that.

    I also have a Dension Gateway 100 fitted for my iPod and that again is working fine. Only thing I'm not that happy with is the Brodit mount I'm using for my iPod as it just about fouls the nav screen, so needs a bit of a shove when opening the screen to insert SD cards. However, seeing as I'm not likely to be opening the screen that much I think it'll do for the moment.

    In terms of VAG coding, I followed the excellent guide on navplus.us and that worked fine. Only coding I had a problem with is module 56 channel 136 for the voice commands. According to navplus the code should be 02632, but vagcom refused to accept this code, so I tried 00013 and that seems to be working OK - any ideas on this one please folks?

    Finally, I have a ConcertII+ with the radio removal keys still inserted - I can't get them out - is it not possible to remove them again until the unit is inserted back in the car?

    So, a very productive morning which resulted in a working RNS-E with Dension Gateway 100 - I'm very pleased with it :).
    #26
  28. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Dec 12, 2007]
    I found that if you press on the spring release clips inwards towards the unit, that will release the keys.

    I haven't got bose, and didn't move any connections at all. It seemed to work OK for the 15 minutes or so I was testing it. Do you think I need to disconnect the AUPL wire? What is AUPL?

    My software version is 600 according to the unit itself, so it must have been updated by the seller:icon_thumright:
    #27
  29. redbutcher
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    redbutcher Member

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    [Dec 12, 2007]
    Thanks Geoff re the keys, that sorted it.

    Re AUPL - I was looking at this post on navplus and followed the wiring advice here. Having said that people have left it connected with no problems; I just played safe :).
    #28
  30. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Dec 12, 2007]
    Glad you sorted the keys.

    Actually, I remember reading that post that you linked to, but had forgotten about it - information overload! I think I'll remove that connection to be on the safe side. Did you remove the connector pin (if so is it easy?) or just cut and isolate the wire?
    #29
  31. redbutcher
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    redbutcher Member

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    [Dec 12, 2007]
    Yup, I removed the connector pin - a small screwdriver or safety pin is all you need to press down on the top of the pin (it's got a raised metal bit which you need to push down on) and at the same time pull on the wire - it comes out nice and easily. I just taped it with insulating tape to the existing loom so I can reconnect when I come to sell the car and put the Concert II+ back in.
    #30
  32. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Dec 12, 2007]
    What do you think of the colours used on the RNS-E screen for radio/cd?

    Is it me being picky, or does it jar a bit compared to the perfect matching red of the Concert/Symphony
    #31
  33. redbutcher
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    [Dec 12, 2007]
    I think it's a good contrast - 'stands out' from the norm - i.e. obvious its something a bit special :).

    I like it - I'm sure you'll get used to it - I'd seen it before so knew what to expect.

    Jon
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  34. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Dec 12, 2007]
    Good stuff - if you find that the reception isn't strong enough, then you can move the antenna around without having to take the RNS-E out again and again.

    To check the number of satellites visible to you, press NAV and then "Nav-Info". In good conditions you should be seeing 7-8 satellites. I've never seen more than 8 but 9 is possible apparently.

    And for more detailed satellite info, check out the Engineering Mode (press NAV once, then hold down the upper left button from the main knob for five seconds, release, then hold down the upper right button next to it for another five). Lots of interesting screens are available, plus the very cool screenshot mode (switch it on and then from any screen, hold down the next track button ( >| ) for five seconds - the screen goes black briefly, and then a picture is saved to your SD card) :)
    #33
  35. redbutcher
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    [Dec 12, 2007]
    Cheers :icon_thumright: . I'll have a play with that tomorrow. I've got a couple of 2GB SD cards on order, but I've got a 1GB SD card I can play with in the meantime.
    #34
  36. MarcQuinlivan
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    [Dec 13, 2007]
    had the same problem, so took a stab at 00013 and it worked. I think I read somewhere that the newer units wont accept the longer numbers for some reason.
    #35
  37. redbutcher
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    [Dec 13, 2007]
    Thanks Marc for the clarification - thought it was me going mad for a minute!

    Update on the Brodit mount - it's had to come off as isn't useable with the nav screen, so I've ordered a centre console mount to see if that's any better - it looks like it should solve it.

    Jon
    #36
  38. PetrolDave
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    PetrolDave Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 13, 2007]
    The newer European SW versions accept the same codes as the US SW versions always have done.
    00013 = RHD, 00005 = LHD

    BTW the new 2008 DVD is just appearing in Germany and has SW version 0650.
    #37
  39. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Dec 14, 2007]
    Fitted the RNS-E last night. Found a gap above the unit between the vents on the dash and managed to get the GPS antenna to fix there with some self adhesive velcro pads. So it's now virtually central on the dash, with a good "view" out of the screen, with only the plastic of the dash above it. On a very quick test drive it was picking up 5/6/7 satellites so I'm happy with that and haven't had to take the glovebox out.

    Haven't done the VAGCOM coding yet (waiting for a cable from Terry McG).

    I have noticed that the radio won't stay in "memory mode" once the unit has been turned off. What I mean is that when you switch the unit on and go to Radio, it always shows the full list of stations rather than just the ones stored in memory. If you go into memory mode it will stay in that mode if you switch to CD/Nav etc and back, but once you turn the unit off, it wil always revert to the full list on startup and you have to select memory mode again. Is this normal or is there a setting somewhere that I am missing? Or is it because I haven't coded it properly yet?

    Still think the orange is a **** choice of colour for the Radio/CD screen! Don't suppose it's progammable or hackable?
    #38
  40. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Dec 14, 2007]
    Sounds like normal behaviour, it's something you have to get used to.

    As for hacks, keep an eye on the excellent Navplus site, the guys on there are working on cracking the firmware, who know what they might be able to do once they find a way in.
    #39
  41. GeoffT
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    GeoffT Member

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    [Dec 14, 2007]
    #40

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