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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
**EDIT: Xtrons, who is the manufacturer of the Head unit i chose to go with, now offers complete 'plug and play' kits
for all different Benz models 2003+ with MOST fiberoptics. with the analog to digital fiber converter that is needed, kits run $450 or less. Current head units for sale run android 6.0 or 7.1.**


This last weekend I got around to installing an android 5.1.1 aftermarket head unit for my 2005 E class. Normally, the only way to do this while maintaining decent sound quality would be to completely bypass the fiber optics and install a new amp in the trunk. NOT anymore! AVIN (which just so happens to be a sponsor of benzworld:wink) has a product out for Mercedes vehicles equipped with MOST fiber optics for the audio system, which converts the analog RCA output from the head unit into the MOST digital signal that's sent over fiber! its plug and play from the head unit to the fiber optics plug. Priced at $250, i think this is a fantastic alternative to completely rewiring your cars audio system!

The sound quality is fantastic too, no different than factory from what my young ears can tell.

This install information is specific to my E Class, obviously. But it would extend to any benz equipped with Command and MOST fiber optics between MY's 2003-2011.

Install:

CAUTION!!!!!!!!! BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THE FIBER OPTIC WIRES YOU WILL BE WORKING WITH. DO NOT kink them, they WILL break.

The head unit is bought is : For Mercedes Benz E Class W211 4 Core Android 5 1 DVD GPS 2Din Radio Car Stereo | eBay

The Fiber optics interface for E CLASS is from: https://avinusa.com/most-fiber-optic-amp-interface-for-w211-e-class-mercedes-benz.html
The fiberoptics interface for ML,GL, and R class is from: https://avinusa.com/most-fiber-optic-amp-interface-for-mercedes-ml-gl-r.html

first things first is removing the radio and CD changer. There's plenty of information and videos out there on how to do that.

Next is to wire up ground and 12v constant for both he radio and Avin box. (the AVIN box NEEDS to be connected to constant 12v, NOT a switched source.) ACC is controlled through CAN-B, which ill cover later. now connect the RCA output to the RCA input from the avin box.

NOTE: On the radio i installed, i had to connect the FRONT RCA outputs, not the rears, because for some reason the Phone Bluetooth audio output only came out of the Front RCA output.

Connect the Fiber optic plug into the avin box. I installed the box above the driver side Knee Bolster, that is removed with two screws. I also routed the GPS antenna through there, and up the driver a pillar to the windshield.
The CAN wires need to be run to the CAN-B bridge located under the carpet in the plastic raceway along the drivers side rocker panel. Its a skinny rectangular plastic connector that has tons of Brown and Brown/Red wires running to it. splice on to each one of those wires, and there's your CAN connections. That controls your reverse lead, Radio turn on, steering wheel controls, dimming when headlights are on, and a couple other things i cant remember.

Connect any other optional equipment you want, like reverse camera, ipod, AUX-in, ETC.

Now its time to run the Antenna cable to the trunk! Run that cable under the carpet along the rocker pannel and under the rear seat, and then through to the trunk. you need to connect that to the LARGE antenna wire going into the AMP. remove the amp by removing the 3 10MM bolts holding it in place (its located on the drivers side of the trunk hidden between the fender and false trunk wall, right behind the fuse box.)

There are TWO connections going to/from the Amp with the same connector, disconnect BOTH, and connect the antenna cable you ran to the large diameter cable that you just unplugged from the amp.

Secure the amp back in place, button everything up, and you should be good to go. It was a pretty easy install that i did over the weekend. it could be done in a single day if you busted your butt and had a handy guide like this to help you out. :wink

Here's a video i did with a quick review of the head unit as well as some general install information.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
What does the "loud back" button do?

This is touchscreen correct?
Yes it is a Compacitive touch screen. its very responsive.

LOUD is a equalizer effect. it just....... makes the music louder. haha. I have it on all the time, its a nice sounding effect.

Those physical buttons are basically all shortcut keys, and you can change them to whatever you want! for instance, i changed the 'mode' button to a shortcut to the music app. I also changed the 'loud back' to just a back button, since the 'loud' setting is toggled ALOT less than using a physical back button. Every key also has a changeable long press setting.
 

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How did you splice into the two wires in the floorboard/door area? You just basically T into them and some black tape?

So basically all I would need is Headunit and Avin fiber adapter? No 5m antenna cable, etc?
 

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Have you used the mirroring from phone feature?

Where is the SD card slot?

Is your phone android based? I'll be using an iPhone, curious about compatibility.:nerd

So you download navi from the head unit ?

Very clean looking unit nice install.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How did you splice into the two wires in the floorboard/door area? You just basically T into them and some black tape?

So basically all I would need is Headunit and Avin fiber adapter? No 5m antenna cable, etc?
i used scotch locks with some dielectric grease to splice into the can wires, then wrapped them in electrical tape.

And AHH, i knew i missed something.
yes, you will need a 5m antenna cable to stretch form the head unit to the amp. My radio came with an antenna adapter to go from the Benz antenna connector to standard iso male antenna adapter. looks like this:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Have you used the mirroring from phone feature?

Where is the SD card slot?

Is your phone android based? I'll be using an iPhone, curious about compatibility.:nerd

So you download navi from the head unit ?

Very clean looking unit nice install.
the sd card slot for both music/videos as well as the gps sd card slot is hidden under false buttons on the bottom left of the units buttons. (look at the photo of the unit and you will see what i'm talking about. )

My phone is an android (Nexus 5x), and the screen mirroring works great! not sure how it would work for iphone, but then again i don't see the point of screen mirroring. :grin

the majority of communication between the head unit and your phone is through Bluetooth, so that shouldn't behave any different than with android.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
are you still able to use the in dash microphone?
Yes you are able to use the factory Mic, but i didnt even bother. The mic that's standard in the aftermarket HU is crystal clear from what ive been told by people i've called. Works great for voice recognition as well. my radio included an adapter to plug into the factory mic.
 

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Great information! So your solution is not head-unit dependent, correct? As long as you're using the Fiber>Analog adapter, you can use any of these Android HUs?

Also, is Nav directional information also passed to the instrument cluster as it is with COMAND?

Also, as a 211 bluetec owner, congrats on 410K miles!!! holy shit!

Can you provide a list of all the parts required to complete this install?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great information! So your solution is not head-unit dependent, correct? As long as you're using the Fiber>Analog adapter, you can use any of these Android HUs?

Also, is Nav directional information also passed to the instrument cluster as it is with COMAND?

Also, as a 211 bluetec owner, congrats on 410K miles!!! holy shit!

Can you provide a list of all the parts required to complete this install?
As long as you're using that fiberoptic adapter, you could potentially install any head unit you wanted. you could install a $1000 top of the line double din touch screen head unit if you wanted, or just a simple cheap $50 one. (not sure why you would do that over staying OEM command..?)

Nav information is not displayed on the IC. i didnt even know that was a thing, my car never originally had NAVi. ive got google maps set up with my head unit now, and it verbally tells me the directions turn by turn, as well as put an overlay over whatever app you're in telling you when and where to turn. its great. (i usually just go wherever the google lady tells me:grin)

all the parts needed for this are in the original post. but just to reiterate:
-fiber optic adapter
-head unit of your choice
-solder/shrink tubing, scotch locks, crimp connectors (whatever method you want)
-a couple dozen feet of 16-18 gauge wire for can bus connections and splicing. (i used high quality speaker wire, that way you can run +&- in the same line)
-6m antenna patch cable.

Other than the fiber optic interface, this really isn't any different of a procedure than installing an aftermarket radio in any other car.


And thanks!! i actually bought the car from the original owner at 398K!!:eek
i got a hell of a deal on it cause it was such high mileage. The build quality of these W211's is absolutely incredible. at 410K miles, original engine, original tranny, absolutely NO rust (even on the under body, its incredible. AND its been a Michigan car its entire life.) ive owned a 83 300SD, 86 190D, 91 300D, 95&97 C280(god i hate C Class's), 99 E300D, and now this 2005 E320 CDI. after owning and doing all my own maintenance on all those cars, i can say the CDI is my all time favorite. Best Diesel sedan MB ever made in my opinion. :bowdown:
 

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Thanks for the follow-up and good work. Apologies, but a couple more questions:

1) You mentioned you're using google-maps on the HU you chose. Does it require a tethered network connection to work, or does it download and keep a local copy of google maps?

2) Any tips on the best way to route wires to the rear?
 

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I have to wonder if it's possible to get instructions to the dash with the gps. My E320 has the original navigation system. Amazing thread. I plan on installing my own system in the next few months.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Google maps normally does require an internet connection, but you can download offline maps for you area (i did the entire state of Michigan). Without an internet connection, you can search for address's as well as business names and such and it will give you complete turn by turn directions.
I use the mobile hot-spot app on my phone so the head unit can connect from time to time, so i can download and update apps. It does NOT need to be connected to the internet all the time for it to function properly though.

Frank, that communication is all determined by the can bus communication. The can bus box for the radio is probably not converting the GPS directions into the CAN-B network. I DO think its possible, i just don't think that's been done yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Since you connected to the front RCA outputs instead of the rears does that mean you still have control of fade from side to side and front to back?

i have fade control from side to side, but not front to rear. the f-r fader just basically just fades the output completely.
 

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Does this most adapter work on the cls? I talked to avin and they say no even though I think these cars use the same audio setup. I talked to ali express who sells a most unit and they say yes and it's labeled as working for eclass cls, s class cl class etc. So I dunno.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey Dnasty! just reiterating what i said on MBworld. :wink

From my knowledge, the CLS uses the identical audio system as the E class. so if i were to take a wild guess, i would say that the Avin E-Class module WOULD work for the CLS. The MOST communication system used in these cars is not specific to just Mercedes, there's a few other car manufacturers that use it as well. so i would imagine the actual digital communication "code" is not going to differ between Benz vehicles. If you look on Avin's website, they list 2 most interfaces for Benz. One for the E class, and one for the ML/GL/R. From what i can tell, the only difference is that there is a "wake up" wire on the ML/GL version that gets 12V when the key is on. So i guess that it would work. if you're feeling adventurous, you could contact Avin to see if they offer a money back guarantee/ returns? Maybe you could try it out for the CLS and see if it works! Avin's got great customer service, so its worth a shot.
 

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2009 E63 stereo

I just ordered the exact parts you listed for my E63, will report back how it goes, I don't quite understand the part about grounding the wires because of interference from the engine, can you explain that more, I heard you talk about it in the video but no mention in your write up or I missed it.

Anywhere special to get the antenna cable? I'm just going to have a local installer put it in, will probably print out your instructions as well. Thank you very much for providing these details, my Comand unit just crapped out the other day and this looks like an awesome upgrade.
 
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