Whether your car has a phone system installed, or you are adding one for the first time, the necessary equipment is the same. You may check the equipment you have by referencing the phone bulletins for your car. The difference is that if you never had a phone system, your car will have to be “version coded” after the equipment is installed; and you may have to install brackets, and fuses. Version coding tells the fiber optic bus that the equipment is present; this is done by a dealer (and some independents) with a STAR diagnostics computer (a laptop with proprietary MB software). This post will treat vehicles as if they have a phone already installed, but you can also apply the information to equip a car that never had a phone system.
NOTE 1: Phone Bulletins
- The first step when upgrading is to check the equipment you already have, including the Portable Support Electronics (PSE) and the phone cradle. Phone bulletins contain installation instructions, diagrams, photographs, and part number listings. They tell you what kind of fiber optic bus your car has, cover installation of the voice control unit and CD changer, version coding of the fiber optic bus – and on the last page, provide the part numbers for PSEs, brackets, and cradle kits. Thanks to the efforts of members elc32955 and Ex-Fed, links to the phone bulletins are in the pdf file attached below
The Cradle Eliminator Cable and Bluetooth Puck Solution - Perhaps the Simplest
The newest and possibly least difficult solution for cars already having an older phone system installed is a straight Bluetooth solution using the new "Cradle Eliminator Cable" and the V-60 Bluetooth puck. For cars that never had a phone system, then you will also need the "Universal PSE" in addition.
The V60 Cradle Eliminator Cable, PN Q682 0976, sells for $160, and is used with the V60 Bluetooth puck, PN B 6 787 5856. The cradle eliminator cable will work with the Autosense PSE, and with StarTac and TimePort PSEs that have a "blue label" (the blue label indicated a particular update to the PSE had been done; I do not know more about that update). It is not necessary to purchase a "Universal" PSE" (referenced below) if you have one of these "blue label" PSEs. It is still necessary to purchase a V60 Bluetooth puck to use with the cable for full Bluetooth (non plug-in) use. The Cradle Eliminator Cable does not have a connection to the car's external antenna. It was intended for straight Bluetooth use. If you drive in a weak signal area, it may not be the best solution.
The cradle eliminator cable is a cable with an RJ-45 phone connector on one end (that plugs into the console) and a Motorola V60 connector on the other (that plugs into the V60 puck).
NOTE 2: The "Puck with tail" - a V60 puck with a connector cable already built in, part number B 6 787 5855 - is made with connectors for cars having the CP-211 communications platform discussed in the next post; it is not a substitute for the separate V60 puck coupled with the Cradle Eliminator Cable. The connections to the console are different than those used on the "Cradle Eliminator Cable."
What is the "Blue Label"?
The TimePort PSE I upgraded to in my '00 W220 had the "blue label" update; it was indicated by a blue marker pen slash across the original white label, and also a blue stick-on dot about 1/2 inch in diameter. I do not know if other markings were used. The only way I know to check it is to take the PSE out and look at it (see the phone bulletins, Phone Bulletins
, for where to find it and how to install; just reverse the steps to remove).
Some contributors have noted that one can plug a V60S handset directly into the cradle eliminator cable, instead of a BT puck. Also note that in some Mercedes literature, the V60 puck is called the "V60 cradle adapter," or sometimes, the "V60 Cradle replacer" These are just other names for the "puck", and are not to be confused with the "Cradle Eliminator cable."
The Universal PSE and When You Need It: The new "Universal PSE," PN Q682 0971, is designed for handsfree use in the '00 through '05 cars designed for the StarTac, TimePort or Autosense PSEs, and it sells for $208
. The Universal PSE offers a handsfree upgrade path, either for straight Bluetooth applications or for MB-branded plug-in phones, for cars dating back to the '00 model year. Web sites marketing the "Universal PSE" indicate that it would replace non blue label
StarTac and TimePort PSEs, or could be used in cars that never had a StarTac, TimePort, or V60 phone (Autosense PSE) installed. While I have no confirmation at this time, I believe that the Universal PSE can be used with a V60 cradle, instead of using a "cradle eliminator cable." However, if you use it with the V60 cradle, be sure to read the caveats below regarding cradle sizes and also the necessary connector adapters.
LWB250 has provided an excellent DIY for the installation of the Voice Control Module and the PSE in the trunk of his '03 W220. See post 2, https://www.benzworld.org/forums/audi...-retrofit.html
Although the electronics "Stack" (brackets) may look different in earlier models, the process for installation is essentially the same for '00-'03 models; the phone bulletins will help with the exact locations of modules in '00-'02 models.
It is not necessary to install the Voice Control Module with any phone installation using StarTac, TimePort, and Autosense PSEs, or with the Universal PSE replacement for those. Installation of the VCM is optional with those systems.
NOTE 5: If your car never had a phone system at all, or you just cannot get things to work
, please see cmpcpro's
extremely helpful writeup at https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w220...2000-s430.html
. In his case, he had the PSE and VCM installed, but they had never been connected properly - that is, no tech had ever completed the fiber optic loop (established the "diasy chain" that the phone bulletin discusses). In addition, a prior owner had replaced the phone system's RJ-45 connector in the console with one connected to a 3rd party add-on. cmpcpro traced the problems, and found the proper RJ 45 connector, still connected, but hidden away. His installation tips will help, especially if you're installing a system from scratch.
The V60S Cradle and Bluetooth Puck Solution
The principal advantage of this approach over the Cradle Eliminator Cable is that it provides a firm mounting point for the Bluetooth puck, which may suit drivers with flip-up phone compartments better than having the puck lie loose.
The short version of the upgrade path is that you will replace the PSE with an Autosense version (if you don’t already have one), and then install the Mercedes V60 cradle kit (not an aftermarket cradle) for your car. Then, add the Bluetooth puck from AWS (Welcome to AWS for Mercedes-Benz
). Note that some Mercedes literature refers to the "puck" as the "V60 cradle adapter." They are one and the same.
The first step when upgrading is to check the equipment you already have, including the Portable Support Electronics (PSE) and the phone cradle.The phone bulletins
formerly on Paul H. Dick’s website, Phone Bulletins
contain installation instructions, diagrams, photographs, and part number listings. They tell you what kind of fiber optic bus your car has, cover installation of the voice control unit and CD changer, version coding of the fiber optic bus – and on the last page, provides the part numbers for PSEs, brackets, and cradle kits. While the bulletins are no longer available directly on Paul's site you can still get them
- see the Note on Phone Bulletins or elc32955'a great post at #667
If you purchased a preowned car, prior owners may have made changes. The most important part of the upgrade is the PSE. The PSE part numbers are as follows: StarTac PSE has part numbers Q 682 0460 or 9460, SYN 0234 A or B; the TimePort PSE has Q 682 0648 or 9648 (I don't know its SYN); and an Autosense has numbers Q 682 0754, SYN 9266A or B. The straight V60 PSE had numbers Q 682 0845, or 0886, SYN 9266B. The "Q" numbers may also show "BQ" (BQ 682 etc.) Since MB often upgrades equipment midstream in a production year, the best way to determine what you have is to take it out and look at it, per the phone bulletins. If you have a StarTac or Timeport PSE, you will have to replace your PSE with the “Autosense” version.
You will need a V60 cradle, but there are several approaches. The most successful is to use the newest cradle, part # BQ 682 0925 (or newer), made for the V60S phone. The V60S phone was larger than other V60 models, and required a larger cradle. Contributors have reported that in some cases, use of the older cradles caused poor contact with the V60 puck, resulting in echo and sometimes dropped calls. However, the cradle is made with FAKRA connectors that do not fit the connectors in the '00-'02 models. Mercedes has begun supplying adapters with that kit, so if you have one of those models, be sure to get one that has them. If you buy an ebay or other used cradle, you may or may not not get the adapters. Check for them.
The other kits for the '03 and '04 models (in most cases this is part number Q 682 0724; but please check the phone bulletins on Paul H. Dick’s site, Phone Bulletins
) may also work. If your car did not have a phone system installed, you may also need fuses, brackets, and other miscellaneous small items - you will need the kit, not just the cradle, because it contains the holder necessary for the cradle.
If you have an ’03 or an ‘04 model with an OE phone installation, (except the ’03-’04 E Class and the ’04 S-Class) you are home free. You should already have the V60 “Autosense” PSE, and the V60 cradle.
All you need now is a V60 Bluetooth puck (or "cradle adapter" if you prefer from AWS (Welcome to AWS for Mercedes-Benz
) and plug it into your current cradle. It's about $325. Mate a compatible Bluetooth phone (not necessarily one purchased from AWS – but see compatibility notes, later), and you're done.
For all models discussed, however, be aware that your V60 Bluetooth installation will use your cell phone’s antenna for communication with cell towers (it uses Bluetooth only to communicate with your COMAND or phone/audio system). The glass in MB cars has metallic IR coatings molded into it, which will reduce the signal between the phone and the tower. This may be worse where additional metallic films have been added.
But there is a solution. SmoothTalker sells cradles for a variety of Bluetooth phones and PDAs (at this time, Motorola, Nokia, and Blackberry) that will again connect your Bluetooth phone to the car’s external antenna, and allow charging as well. See Smoothtalker Hands Free Car Kits Holders and Cradles for use with Motorola Hands Free Devices
If you have a ’00 and use this option, however, you may need to upgrade your linear compensator to a dual band model; see the discussion on replacing StarTacs and Timeports with a plug-in phone, above. Note that Vrodman has also informed is that his dealer says linear compensators are no longer available from MB, and the recommendation is for owners to use a bluetooth solution instead. (Note: This is a problem only if you are upgrading a '00 or if you are installing a phone system for the first time).
Now, of course, you must decide: Why do I want to upgrade to Bluetooth at all, if I have to plug the phone in? Why not just use a plug-in phone? The answer depends on your particular needs. You have greater latitude in your phone choice with Bluetooth; and if you live in an area with a lot of good signal coverage, you may not need the plug-in cradle at all.
It is possible to wire direct from a cradle to the car's external antenna and bypass those components; however, signal strength will be significantly improved with a linear compensator; and an antenna switch is necessary if Tele-aid is to be kept functional.
NOTE 6: Forum contributor MWAti
has done a superb job documenting his installation of OE cell equipment from scratch, bringing a 2002 C-Class and a 2003 SLK to the V-60 configuration - the first step in this process if you have no phone equipment or must update an older system. His pdf file is a wonderful "How to" guide for these cars, with photos, installation instructions; and part numbers for the equipment. A really great job! See https://www.benzworld.org/forums/audi...coupe-slk.html
We do not have much information on this, but a cassette adapter for cars having a tape deck, which many of our older ones do was introduced at the CES in 2014. It is claimed to provide both Bluetooth audio streaming and cell phone capability. See Cassette Adapter Bluetooth - Bluetooth Music Receiver for Cassette Decks - ION Audio - Technology made simple: app accessories, portable audio, and more
- we could use any information on experience with it that owners may have.