HOW-TO GUIDE FOR CELL PHONES (Upgrades, Plug-in And Bluetooth) - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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Smile HOW-TO GUIDE FOR CELL PHONES (Upgrades, Plug-in And Bluetooth)

1. This thread addresses the following cell phone upgrade issues for North American specification Mercedes cars: 1) How to add a compatible plug-in phone to replace StarTacs or TimePorts or V60 phones when a service provider will no longer register them; 2) How to convert a StarTac, TimePort, or V60 system to Bluetooth, or to add a Bluetooth system from scratch, in a Model Year ’00 through ’03 Benz; 3) How to add a cell phone to an ’03-’04 E-Class or ’04 S-Class; and 4) Cell phone options for plug-in and Bluetooth for MHI equipped cars (’05 and later). It also briefly addresses 5) compatibility issues and 6) a Tele-Aid digital replacement. So that one does not have to read through useless information, each of the six matters is addressed by a subsequent, same-numbered post in this string.

If you are searching for information on A2DP music streaming, this thread doesn't address it. See the audio systems primer at https://www.benzworld.org/forums/audi...hancement.html

Note on Newer Cars: Much of this thread has been directed toward pre-2010 models,. The MHI system continued to be used in different North American models through 2009, though beginning with the '08 C-Class, and continuing with the '09 CLS, SL, SLK, and S-Classes, Bluetooth was standard equipment and did not have to be ordered separately. The only thing you need to add is a compatible phone (unless a prior owner has removed the puck). You can see the link for covered models and compatible phones at Mercedes-Benz Bluetooth Connectivity (thanks for pointing that out, lkchris ). Beginning in MY 2010, the COMAND 3.5 used in the S-Class and the CL-Class had Bluetooth built into the COMAND unit, and did not use a separate puck.

I have updated this post as of late April 2008 to account for new equipment such as the "Universal PSE" and the "Cradle eliminator" cable that will aid owners of 2000-2003 cars in equipping their cars for the many new state "hands free" laws. The new equipment will eliminate the need to find older equipment such as "Autosense" PSEs and V60 cradles, which are sometimes in short supply. I thank the contributors who took the time to bring these new devices to my attention.

While post #11 at https://www.benzworld.org/forums/audi...02-e320-2.html provides little but history and background, it may help some to understand the rather complicated posts below just a bit better.

2. WHICH POSTS APPLY? Please note that in most cases you only need to read several of the first NINE posts!! Most of the critical information needed is in the first seven posts in this thread. If you don't know which fiber optics type your car has, the first page of the phone bulletin for your model and year (pdf below), will tell you (See the "Notes on D2B" or the "MOST Notes" paragraph - the notes tell you which fiber optics system your car has). If you don't know if you have a StarTac, TimePort, or Autosense PSE, check the parts list toward the back of the bulletins.

--If you are installing a plug-in phone in a D2B fiber optics-equipped car that used a StarTac, TimePort, or Autosense PSE, posts 1, 2, 6 and 7 apply.

--If you are installing a Bluetoooth system in a D2B fiber optics-equipped car that used a StarTac, TimePort, or Autosense PSE, posts 1, 3, 6 and 7 apply.

--If you have a car with a CP-211 system instead of a StarTac, Timeport or Autosense PSE (an ’03-’04 W211 E Class, an ’04 S-Class or an '04 CL), posts 1, 4, 6 and 7 apply.

--Last, if you have a MOST Bus equipped car with an MHI phone system, posts 1, 5, and 9 apply.

NOTE: The phone bulletin for your car will make reference to the type of fiber optics you have, but if you need confirmation see post #2 at https://www.benzworld.org/forums/audi...ml#post3434579 or at page 16, http://www.mercedestechstore.com/pdf...2009-03-02.pdf

NOTE: The phone bulletins we lost on Paul H. Dick's site have been reconstituted by member Ex-Fed in a pdf file attached at the bottom of this post. Try the pdf fle first!! The links cover some models dating from '99, most models from '00 through '05, and some from '06. They also contain the CDC installation instructions for some models. In addition, thanks to member Eric (eric32955), if you have trouble with the pdf file links, we have the procedure for getting them that was used by Ex-Fed, which can be used as a backup or alternate source:

1) Go to the Wayback machine site, https://archive.org/web/web.php

2) Enter the complete URL of the file formerly available on Paul's site (example - archive for the 2005 E-series sedan) from Paul's page such as "http://phdwebsite.powerpulse.cc/Phon...0E%20Sedan.pdf". Paul's index page is still up so this can be used as the source for the URL information you'll need. Phone Bulletins

3) The archive search you've requested will take you to a calendar page. There will be entries highlighted that represents the last time the page was crawled and archived. Click on a highlighted date (in this case, I used Sept 2, 2011).

4) Bingo!!! There's your PDF Phone Bulletin, complete with pictures.

Shortcut Link for MY '00-'03 Voice Control Manual: https://web.archive.org/web/20060205...M%20Manual.pdf. Note that MY '00 VCM controlled only phone functions, and was operated by a button on the steering wheel; MY '01-'03 VCM operated many more items, and was operated by a stalk on the steering column. It is possible to update the MY '00 VCM to a '01-'03 version (while retaining the button in the steering wheel), and control the full set of features shown in the manual.

Specific Phones: I must also ask your forbearance regarding private messages or e-mails regarding specific cell phones. If I haven’t mentioned it here, I haven’t seen it, and cannot answer specific questions on how to get a given phone to work with your system. I address how to configure your car’s equipment, and point you to sources of cell phones that it will work with; I cannot answer regarding the likely success of a specific phone with the MB equipment, or how to modify the MB equipment (beyond what is already discussed) to work with the "latest and greatest" phone. I also do not address 3rd party retrofits and have no experience with them. For those having cars using a MOST fiber optics bus, Dension and mObridge offer devices that can provide Bluetooth and mp3 player integration. For those having D2B fiber optics busses, 3rd party options for Bluetooth are limited except for complete head unit and audio system replacement (though mp3 player options are available). The Primer on audio systems at https://www.benzworld.org/forums/audi...hancement.html discusses some of those options. My installation experience is limited to my own S-Class cars, so I have not seen all of the wiring and connectors in each model - for that I rely on Paul H. Dick's site for the detailed phone bulletins. The bulletins on Paul's site end with MY '05, and I do not have access to later information; however, some models (such as the '06 S-Class) used identical installations to the MY '05, and the '05 bulletin can be used.

That said, here we go.

3. A WORD ABOUT PRE-WIRING:

“Pre-wired for hands free communication” (or phone) means that the connecting wire and fiber optic harnesses are in place. It does NOT mean that the electronics such as the PSE and cradle, or any other components are present. Cars from the ’00 through ’05 model years were prewired for phone systems, so that adding the required components was simple (so much so that it’s do-it-yourself, except for the version coding of the fiber optics). However, beginning in the ’06 model year MB began making the pre-wiring in some models optional (e.g., the '06 S-Class); I do not have a list of which, and have seen it mentioned only for some models. If your car is not pre-wired for phone, then extensive and expensive work must be done to install the wire harnesses before other equipment can be added. Your VMI may tell you whether a harness is installed, but the best way may be to compare your phone bulletin to the equipment physically present in your electronics bay, and look for the connectors.

4. WHAT IS VERSION CODING?

Simply stated, Version Coding is programming the fiber optics controller in your car to tell it that certain electronics are present on the fiber optics bus, and allowing the controller to fully implement all of the features of the electronics. It is done by a dealer or independent technician using the "STAR" diagnostics computer (a laptop with Mercedes Benz proprietary software). If your car had an original equipment hands free phone system installed, and you are upgrading it, you need not have additional version coding done. The new equipment will work fine. If you are installing a phone system (or other equipment that operates on the fiber optics bus) for the first time, the car must be version coded to assure full operation of the new components.

5. WHERE TO GET PARTS

Your dealer is a good place to start, of course (and don't believe any of them who tell you that what follows cannot be done). This string will provide you the part numbers you need, in most cases. It also provides you links to Paul H. Dick's site, a wonderful reference for phone information including part numbers. You can find more on part numbers (and a wealth of other information on Mercedes systems) at Mercedes Electronics upgrades, installation and retrofits. However (with the exception of the new Universal PSE and the Cradle Eliminator) dealer parts tend to be expensive. You can try ebay; 3rd party suppliers such as USA MBDoctor Mercedes Benz OEM electronics parts and devices. or Mercedes Bluetooth (a Google search will reveal more); and quality salvage yards such as Potomac German Auto, Potomac German Auto : Nation's Largest Since 1979. One ebay seller that forum members report as being both reliable and very helpful is Keith Valentine (Cellguy85 on ebay), cellguy85 | eBay - also Tel. 714-746-5930 (voice only, no text) or [email protected]. My inclusion of these sources is merely representative, and is not intended to exclude others, which may be as good.

Mercedes has announced "end of life" for many of the older kits - however, this simply means they can no longer be ordered by a kit part number. The individual components of the kit can be ordered under their own part numbers. Some dealers have told owners the parts were discontinued and no longer available, and were not aware that the individual components still were. We have also become aware that the V60 puck, B 6 787 5856, seems to be in very short supply.

6. A WORD ABOUT PHONE BOOK DOWNLOADS

2006CL600 has run down a bothersome problem that has plagued may owners - phone book downloads. His post applies to North American COMANDS using MHI phone systems. The thread addresses why contacts sometimes do not download at all; how to get COMAND to display multiple numbers under one name, with proper icons for home, work or mobile; and how to successfully transfer information into the Voice Command system and avoid conflicts, allowing voice dialing. See https://www.benzworld.org/forums/audi...side-cell.html

PHONE BULLETINS FOLLOW:
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Last edited by Skylaw; 11-13-2017 at 05:44 AM. Reason: Added new phone bulletin information
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post #2 of 774 (permalink) Old 04-05-2007, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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2. Replacing A Startac Or Timeport With A Plug-in Phone

Mercedes began using the analog/digital StarTac in MY ‘00, succeeding it with the TimePort in MY ’01. The Portable Support Electronics Equipment (PSE) was similar between the two, with the TimePort offering caller ID. During MY ’02, and for ’03, the TimePort was replaced by the Autosense PSE, which could be used with either the TimePort or the V60, by installing the proper cradle. Cars equipped with the D2B fiber optic bus continued to use the Autosense PSE into MY ’04.

The StarTac, TimePort, and Autosense PSEs required Mercedes-branded cell phones that had firmware developed specifically to integrate with the COMAND or other audio system through the fiber optic network. As a result, these phones were very expensive; and identical phones not supplied by Mercedes would simply be turned off by the system if plugged in.

NOTE 1: Although many service providers will not permit non E911 compliant phones to be registered on their networks, including StarTacs, TimePorts, and some V60 versions, contributor Da Nag has reported that in November 2009 he successfully registered his MB-branded dual band (analog/digital) CDMA (Verizon) StarTac on PagePlus' network; it did not wipe his MB proprietary firmware, and he is able to use his StarTac with COMAND. PagePlus is a prepaid provider that uses Verizon's CDMA network. See Startac CDMA Phone Activation - MY 2000+ - MBWorld.org Forums

The V60 Cradle Eliminator/Bluetooth solution (By far the simplest if you do not need a cradle):

Before deciding to use a plug-in phone, you may want to consider going to a straight Bluetooth option, as discussed at post #3 below. There are advantages to a plug-in phone over Bluetooth: 1) Most important, direct connection to you car's external antenna - important if you travel in areas of poor reception. 2) Sometimes, better integration with your car's head unit. The disadvantage is, being limited to very expensive older Mercedes-branded phones that use only Mercedes proprietary firmware. The proprietary firmware was necessary for proper integration, which increased the phone's cost. That said, here are the plug-in solutions.

The V60S Cradle Solution

If a straight Bluetooth solution will not work for you because signal strength using only the phone's antenna from inside the car is not good where you drive, the following solutions allow connection to the car's external antenna for better reception.

The short version of this 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 V60S (Verizon only) phone - see AWS (Welcome to AWS for Mercedes-Benz). Older V60 phones than the V60S cannot be used; they are not E911 compliant and will not be accepted by any U.S. service provider.

The first step when upgrading is to check the equipment you already have, including the Portable Support Electronics (PSE) and the phone cradle. 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 either the “Autosense” version or with a new "Universal PSE," PN Q682 0971 ($208). If your later-production '02 or '03 model already has an Autosense PSE (Q 682 0754, SYN 9266A or B) you may continue to use it.

You will need a V60 cradle, but there are several approaches. The newest cradle, part # BQ 682 0925 (thanks, BigMel), was 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 '04 V60S 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.

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 because others 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.

Original equipment plug-in systems use the car’s external antenna, not the cell phone’s. MY ’00 cars were by and large equipped with single-band linear compensators and antenna switches. The linear compensator is a low-powered amplifier that makes up for signal loss in the system, and the antenna switch connects the Tele-Aid system to the car’s external antenna when it is in use. The linear compensator should be replaced with the dual-band version from the ’01 model year or later. The antenna switch need not be replaced; the analog Tele-Aid system is being discontinued this calendar year because the FCC has reallocated its frequencies. The antenna leads can be wired direct, bypassing the antenna switch. The car’s external antenna does not have to be replaced (no matter what the dealer says)!!!

Dual band linear compensators are available on e-Bay, periodically, for about $50-$75 (perhaps less). So are dual band antenna switches. Both are available from dealers as individual components (last time I checked, compensators were about $400 and antenna switches about $150 from my dealer). In most cases, the compensators and antenna switches are the same among different classes, with only the mounting bracket being different.

MY ’01 and later cars had dual band equipment installed in the first place, so no change is required. MBWorld contributor 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).

NOTE 2: 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.

NOTE 3: 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. 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

NOTE 4: 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.

IMPORTANT: One must also be aware that the over-the-air update feature of some service providers can overwrite the Mercedes firmware, rendering the phone useless with the car when plugged in. The car will shut the phone down. This applies to Verizon's *228 Option 1 programming feature, for example (using *228 Option 2 updates roaming information, and does not have any ill effects on an MB branded phone).

The same applies if a firmware update is flashed to an MB branded phone in-store. However, see the note above on Da Nag's successful placement of a StarTac on PagePlus' network with an OTA update, above.

AWS can provide the proper code for activation of the phones to get past this problem, but you must first provide them with certain information.

The advantage of using a plug-in phone, instead of Bluetooth, is that one is assured of compatibility with the car's system; and the phone can be left in the car, and a second line used with a second phone that can be changed whenever desired, without compatibility worries. Using no-answer call forwarding on one of the phones assures that all calls are received.

FINAL NOTE: 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.
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2005 S500 4-Matic
2000 S500
1978 450SL

Last edited by Skylaw; 07-02-2014 at 08:16 AM. Reason: Added new phone bulletin information
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3. CONVERTING TO BLUETOOTH (except MY '03-'04 E-Class, '04 S-Class & '04 CL)

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.


NOTE 3: 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.

NOTE 4: 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 below.

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

FINAL NOTE: 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.
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4. THE SPECIAL CASE: MY '03-'04 W211 E-Class, '04 S-Class & '04 CL

The MY ’03-’04 (W211) E Class, ’04 S-Class and '04 CL were equipped with a PSE that combined the Tele-Aid and cell phone support equipment into one unit called the CP-211 (Communications Platform 211). This means that all of the cars in the subject line already have the "PSE" - and need very little else to complete their phone system, whether it was ever ordered with the car or not.

The '03 W210 E-Class has an Autosense PSE, and either permalink #2 or #3 above should be followed for that model.

If one wishes to go straight to Bluetooth, and not use a plug-in phone or cradle, then the "Puck with Tail" may be used. This puck differs from the V60 puck used in other ’00-04 cars. The "Puck with Tail" part number, for use with the CP-211, is B 6 787 5855, and it replaces the cradle (and therefore is sometimes called a "cradle replacer"). This is a particularly easy solution if the car does not already have a V60 cradle. THIS MEANS THAT TO COMPLETE THE BLUETOOTH PHONE SYSTEM FOR THE MODELS WITH A CP-211, A "PUCK WITH TAIL" AND A COMPATIBLE PHONE IS ALL THAT IS NECESSARY. The rest of the equipment is already in place in these cars. The "Puck with Tail" looks like a V60 puck with a wire and connectors attached. The connectors are plugged into the same ones in the center console that would be used to connect the V60 cradle. The phone bulletins for your car will show those connections.

NOTE 2: 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 erlc32955 and Ex-Fed, links to the phone bulletins are in the pdf file attached below.

Also, combining a "Cradle eliminator cable" and "V60 puck" mentioned in preceding posts is not the same as the "Puck with Tail" - the connections to the console are different. The "cradle eliminator cable/V60 puck" combination is used only with the Universal PSE, or with Blue Label StarTac, Timeport, or Autosense PSEs discussed in the prededing post. The "Puck with Tail" is used only with CP-211 equipped cars ('03-'04 W211, '04 S-Class, and '04 CL).

To use a plug-in phone in a car that has never had a phone installed, all that is necessary in these cars is to “activate” the cell option with STAR diagnosis, and add the proper V60 cradle (kit Q 682 0882 for the S-Class; Q 682 0828 for the ’03 or ’04 E-Class). In addition, the E-Class phone bulletins indicate that a linear compensator and cable are necessary (only for plug-in operation), and the ’03 E-Class with Audio 50 requires a firmware update.

A caveat for owners of cars other than the E-Class, S-Class and CL discussed in this section: The V60S cradle for the '03-'04 E-Class and '04 S-Class uses FAKRA connectors that are not the same as the connectors for the V-60 cradle for other models, and it should not be substituted unless you can get the adapters that are necessary. The adapters are included with newer V60S cradles sold through the dealership.

Installation- The cradle, or alternatively the "Puck with Tail," connect to the same connections shown for the V60 cradle in the phone bulletins, Phone Bulletins. You can see both options by going to Vehicle Selector, choosing your model, and then whether you want a cradle or a Bluetooth option. Once there, you can also determine which phones and firmware combinations are compatible with the equipment.

I don’t know if the CP-211 can be made to work in installations for which it was not designed (i.e., in cars other than the model mentioned here).

A special word on version coding if you have a CP-211: Some contributors report that they have not had to have their phone system version coded after installing the V60 cradle or the puck with tail. Their phones have worked right away (probably because the fiber optic controller had been version coded for Tele-Aid, which is part of the CP-211). Others have reported that some features did not work properly - such as showing information on the instrument cluster display - until version coding was done. Proper version coding should ensure that all features that should be included in the system are present.

Also: As with the earlier PSEs, it is not necessary to install the Voice Control Module with a CP-211 system. Installation of the VCM is optional with those systems.
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Warren

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Last edited by Skylaw; 09-20-2015 at 09:22 AM. Reason: Added phone bulletin pdf
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post #5 of 774 (permalink) Old 04-05-2007, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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5. UPGRADE OF CARS WITH MULTIPLE HANDSET INTERFACE (MHI) - MY '05 and later

The MHI system is used in U.S. specification cars equipped with the MOST fiber optic bus from model year ’05 on. This covers all models except for the G-Class and the ML, which remained equipped with a D2B fiber optic bus and continued to use an Autosense PSE for several more years. The V60 upgrade path set out above will not work with the ’05 and later cars except the ML and G Class (which use later versions of the Autosense PSE than discussed above). I apologize to R-Class and Unimog owners; I have no information on them.

The equipment necessary to add an MHI system if none was installed is shown in the phone bulletins; it consists primarily of an MHI control module (akin to the PSE in earlier systems), a contact plate for attaching a cradle or puck, and either 1) the plug-in cradle or 2) a puck/cradle combination, or 3) a Bluetooth puck, and some minor wiring for final connections. If you are going to use a plug-in phone or a Bluetooth puck/cradle combo, together with Tele-Aid, you will also need a linear compensator and an antenna switch. If you will not use Tele-Aid, you can omit the antenna switch and instead wire straight through to the linear compensator. Some models will require the Voice Control Module as well; see the note below. Please note that the phone bulletin was written for installation of a plug-in cradle; note the three options. Only one is required, depending on what you want to do. You do not need the plug-in cradle if you are doing a Bluetooth installation (but you will need the MHI contact plate and the rest of the equipment mentioned).

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 at the end of the post, below.

NOTE 2: Generally, through the '05 model year, the wiring harnesses (in the trunk and center console) necessary for installation of an MHI phone system were standard equipment, even if the rest of the MHI system was not installed. This is called "hands free prewiring" or some variant. In '06, MB started making the prewiring optional; cars that do not have this prewiring must have the harnesses installed before installing anything else. The best way to determine if an '06 or later car has the prewiring is to ask the dealer to check the vehicle data card for the "handsfree prewiring" option; If your VDC includes Code 359 (Tele-Aid installation) and a cryptic note, "With Cell Phone Preinst," then the harness should be present. Alternatively, MY '06 owners may use the phone bulletins for the '05 model year and see if the connectors for the MHI controller are present.

The fastest way to determine whether your car has an MHI installation (in addition to the "prewiring") is to check your center console for the "contact plate" into which a cradle or a Bluetooth puck will slide. The phone bulletins have photographs of the console and the contact plate location for each model. If you have the contact plate, you probably have the rest of the supporting electronics (including the prewiring). If not, you probably need to buy and install it. Part numbers of necessary equipment is in the phone bulletins (usually).

The photo below is the MHI contact plate in my car; it will be in different locations in other models, and it may be under a plastic cover having the same shape as the contact plate. Also shown is the harness under the floor of the center console, to which the contact plate wiring connects.

NOTE 3: Beginning in MY '07, several models (S-Class, CL -Class) began using the COMAND NTG 3.0 system, which has some Bluetooth connectivity built in. It also had the MHI system built in as standard equipment, and could use any of the bluetooth pucks discussed in this post. Because it is MHI, that system could also use the same variety and options of plug-in and hybrid cradles discussed here. The Bluetooth pairing instructions for cell telephony are those in the instructions supplied with the puck or hybrid cradle used. You can check the equipment applicable to your car at http://www.mercedes-benz-mobile.com/com/com/ and you can also download the pairing instructions from the equipment page for your car.

MHI equipped cars (those having everything up to and including the MHI contact plate) can use a variety of options to finish the system. They can use 1) a cradle for a Mercedes-branded plug-in phone that offers full integration, including connection to the car's external antenna and ability to handle text messages; or 2) a Bluetooth puck that replaces the plug-in cradle and works with a variety of Bluetooth phones; or 3) a phone-specific Bluetooth/cradle combination that connects the phone (or PDA) to the car’s external antenna. The AWS website at Home covers all of these options with a vehicle equipment compatibility matrix and a phone compatibility page for your car, as well as part numbers for the various options. At the time this post was last edited, the current Bluetooth puck part numbers for North American cars were B6 787 5878 (silver and blue) and B6 787 6131 (smaller, and black). No differences are known between the two in terms of electronics and firmware. Both are compatible with a wider range of handsets than the first MHI puck, B6 787 5839.

The plug-in phones offered by AWS for MHI are still expensive, because they still use the MB proprietary firmware for integration. Non MB branded plug-in phones still will not work with MHI in a plugged-in mode (non-MB branded plug-in phones such as the Motorola V710 that also have Bluetooth capability can be used with the MB Bluetooth unit, subject to the equipment and firmware limitations discussed earlier).

The Bluetooth puck for MHI can be used with a variety of non-MB branded Bluetooth phones, subject to the same limitations as those discussed in preceding posts for the V60 puck for earlier models. The MHI puck also uses the phone’s antenna, not the car’s.

NOTE 4: CLK owners, see eddieo45's comments on some unique problems doing the MHI installation in his '05 CLK beginning at post #186 , and especially post #198 at 1. HOW-TO GUIDE FOR CELL PHONE UPGRADES, PLUG-IN AND BLUETOOTH - Page 8 - MBWorld.org Forums

However, one may purchase either a cradle such as the SmoothTalker (Smoothtalker Hands Free Car Kits Holders and Cradles for use with Motorola Hands Free Devices) or one of the AWS cradle/Bluetooth combination units listed on their site. These cradles are made only for specific phones or PDAs. The advantage of such a combination unit is that one can connect to the car’s external antenna for greater signal strength (stronger signal, fewer dropped calls, less static, and sometimes better voice quality) than one gets using only the phone’s antenna; but where signal strength is satisfactory, the phone need not be plugged in. The combo units also allow charging of the phone in the car.

Notes on Voice Control: Unlike the older systems, installation of the voice control module (VCM) is necessary for certain cars using the MHI system. The '05-'06 CL, SL and S Class require it; others do not. In those particular models, the phone's input to the audio system is routed through the VCM. Other models in those years do not need it, nor do most later model cars ('07 and later). If it is any consolation, the voice control for the models that need it also provides extensive control of other systems, including navigation (e.g., ability to spell the town, street, enter the house number, resize the screen, start navigation and the like, by voice). Of course, it also controls the other components of the audio system.
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Last edited by Skylaw; 05-13-2015 at 07:37 AM. Reason: Added phone bulletin pdf
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6. Compatibility Issues and Adding An Antenna Booster for Better Signal Strength

The following compatibility issues apply to all current MB Bluetooth units, regardless of whether they are V60 pucks, MHI pucks, or MHI cradle/Bluetooth combo units.

According to American Wireless Solutions, the cell phone sales unit that Mercedes has partnered with for wireless communication in its vehicles, compatibility issues are twofold: 1) equipment compatibility, and 2) firmware compatibility. However, firmware is provided by individual cell providers; MB has no control over it, and does not write the firmware.

The compatibility issues may manifest themselves in freeze-ups of COMAND, failure to properly download phone books, dropped calls or disconnects from the Bluetooth unit, and poor voice quality. For more on these issues, see:
1) Bluetooth Voice Quality - assessment of RAZR V3 cradle combo - MBWorld.org Forums for a discussion of compatibility and connectivity issues; it deals with the RAZR V3, but is applicable to most phones. NOTE: I have seen no reports of freeze-up of COMAND or other head units with newer phones. Most problems are failure to download the phone book, or in some cases overmodulation of voice so that it it unintelligible.
2) Partial Solution to Partial BT Phone Book Downloads - MBWorld.org Forums for a discussion on some phone book download problems not caused by firmware conflicts, that may appear as conflicts.

Some recurrent compatibility problems in earlier systems: Sprint firmware; TREO PDAs.

The newest Bluetooth pucks for U.S. MHI systems are part numbers B6 787 5878 and B6 787 6131. They are the same electronically, and as far as I know, their firmware is the same. The 5878 puck is blue and silver; the 6131 puck is black, and is smaller then the 5878 puck. Both are compatible with a wider variety of phones than the original MHI puck, B6 787 5838 (Europe) or 5839 (U.S.). Some have reported success with Sprint and Treo firmware with the newer pucks.

Phone and Firmware Compatibility (UPDATED): You can check compatibility of current models of Bluetooth phones with past and current phone systems at Mercedes-Benz Bluetooth Connectivity . AWS has also listed MB approved phone and firmware combinations for older systems - see http://www.wireless4mb.com/MB.pdf. You can also go to the AWS home page, Home, and choose the Vehicle Selector option to check equipment options and compatible phones (and pairing instructions) for your model year. However, AWS is no longer testing new phones with the retrofit Bluetooth equipment, so they are no longer updating the compatibility list for phones. While the equipment options shown are still good, before you buy any new phone, be sure to test it with your car's equipment!!! It is a LOT easier to buy a phone that works with the equipment already installed in the car than to change the car so it will work with a particular phone. The sales staff at full-service stores and Apple stores will usually have working versions of the newest phones, and can test them in your car. Do not assume that if the phone pairs, it works - check phone book download, and place a call to check voice quality on both ends of the call..

STILL ANOTHER SOLUTION

If a Bluetooth installation will not meet your needs, but the phone you wish to carry is Bluetooth only, consider a two-line solution. Use a plug-in phone in your car (such as a V60S or a V710); sign up for a family plan, and get a second number, and assign that number to the phone you carry. Give out only one number, and set that number for no-answer call forwarding (if your carrier offers this feature). Regardless of which phone you elect to carry, you will always receive calls in your car on a phone that is fully integrated with it, and through which all of the design features of the car’s system are available (including display on COMAND or other audio system, better signal strength, full phone book download, and the like). And, you can carry whatever phone you like. This is especially affordable if you are already on a family plan.

ADDING AN ANTENNA BOOSTER

See wallyp's excellent analysis at https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w220...ml#post5700365 You can add an external antenna tuned to the frequencies for your phone system, or tap into an OE antenna, for increased reception and connectivity.

Warren

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Last edited by Skylaw; 03-19-2013 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Add information on antenna booster
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7. Tele-aid Upgrade To Digital

The U.S. FCC has reallocated the frequencies used by the analog Tele-Aid system in early 2008, and MB is discontinuing its analog Tele-Aid service by February 2008, according to correspondence I had with them.

With respect to Tele-Aid, Wolfgang has posted some information on an analog-to-digital upgrade for older cars. I don't know how this upgrade will affect the equipment required as discussed here, if at all. See http://www.mercedesdealernews.com/my...es-benz-t.html. One contributor has reported that he had the Tele-Aid upgrade done; Cost for the new Tele-Aid unit is $600; plus $294 for 1 year of service; or plus $548 for 2 years of service. These are MB MSRP, but the dealer is free to set its own price. Prices do not include labor.

The MBUSA website indicates that some MY '00 S-Class cars may not be able to be retrofitted; others may be able. Later models can be retrofitted.

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Last edited by Skylaw; 07-13-2013 at 05:51 PM. Reason: Align thread title number and permalink number
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post #9 of 774 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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Update:

Mercedes has provided information concerning the new Version 2 pucks (V-60 puck Part B6 787 5856, "Puck with Tail" B6 787 5855, and MHI pucks # B6 787 5878 and B6 787 6131 among them) and their extended capabilities. It is still best to check compatibility of phones and pucks on the AWS site, http://www.wireless4mb.com/page8/page8.html. The MB information stated:

The new telephone module with HFP software complements the factory-fitted solutions currently offered and is available for virtually every Mercedes model series. Sending and receiving e-mails, making phone calls, checking pictures and presentations – the new Mercedes-Benz Bluetooth (HFP) telephone module allows BlackBerry 8700g, 8700v and 8707v are compatible.

The module has a single button, used to activate the pairing process, where the mobile phone or BlackBerry is connected to the module for the first time. Once pairing has taken place, connection is always automatic. Integration on board also allows safe, intuitive control of the telephone functions via the multifunction steering wheel, the audio system and the central instrument cluster display.

The Bluetooth (HFP) telephone module for UHI, (optional extra Code 386), is also suitable for Motorola PEBL U6, Nokia 6131, Nokia 6111, Nokia N70, Sony Ericsson K610i, Sony Ericsson W550i and BenQ-Siemens EF81 mobile phones.

High-end telephony: the second generation of the Mercedes-Benz Bluetooth (SAP) telephone module offers even more possibilities.

The Bluetooth® telephone module with SAP (SIM Access Profile) technology can now also be used with the Nokia business-optimised E60, E61 and E70 mobile phones. Up to four telephones can be paired with the module. Once a device has been paired, the module instantly recognises it as soon as it is within range and automatically establishes a connection. The SIM card PIN (Personal Identification Number) can now be stored too, making the system even more convenient to use.

Alternative for mobile phones without Bluetooth: genuine mobile-phone holders from Mercedes-Benz

Mobile phone cradles from MB allow non-Bluetooth mobile phones to be operated using the multifunction steering wheel, and the telephone status is indicated in the multifunction display. The mobile’s battery is also charged. Before you can use one of these holders, your vehicle must be fitted with the optional extra pre-installation for mobile phone with interface (Code 386) or with the optional extra Mercedes-Benz mobile phone (Code 388).

The Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH range is very extensive and is constantly updated. It currently includes genuine Mercedes-Benz mobile-phone holders for the following mobiles

Nokia 3120, 6020, 6021, 6100, 6210, 6220, 6230, 6230i, 6310, 6310i, 6610, 6610i, 6820, 6822, 7250i
Siemens S65, SP65, SK65, CX65, CXT65, CX65V, CX70, CXT70, CX70V, CX75, M75, ME75, S75, SL75
SonyEricsson T610, T630, K600i, K750i, W800, W800i, W810i
Samsung SGH-D600 and SGH-E720
Motorola RAZR V3, V3i and SLVR L7

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Last edited by Skylaw; 05-04-2013 at 10:06 AM.
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post #10 of 774 (permalink) Old 05-06-2007, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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More on the new BT Puck

Bonesb has posted a very nice rundown on how a number of different phones work with the old puck, and the differences when used with the new puck, at Mercedes Bluetooth (AWS) Phone Compatibility List - Page 5 - MBWorld.org Forums, post #243.

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