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1990 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL(RIP),1997 Mercedes-Benz E420
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Discussion Starter #1
As the title suggests, Ive been searching around for a marriage between the two systems. I understand the factory unit is an Analog design, not compatible with the technology in current wireless networks...

I'd prefer to keep the cellphone as stock as possible as to not defect the interior design from Mercedes.

I've used bluetooth modules that connect via radio stations, but this was mostly used for iPod to radio selection, not for cellular use.

Has anyone had any experience and success with my situation?
 

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL(RIP),1997 Mercedes-Benz E420
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Discussion Starter #3
How about a cellphone module that will fit in the original location as the factory one. Even if its an aftermarket one.

One that could use the dash speakers and the microphone. I'm sure its possible with todays technology and geeks lol. I feel like this system would be awesome if it was actually operational.
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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It depends on which factory phone system you have. If you have a Motorola 60x (doubtful on a '97) then you can buy the MB converter (aka puck) to plug into the cradle and buy a blue tooth phone. Check: Home for compatibility.
 

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL(RIP),1997 Mercedes-Benz E420
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for this tip.


I'm gonna call the local auto sounds store that carries and specializes in this area to see if this is do-able.
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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You're welcome Brandon, and good luck! What I told you is what I did and the system works as intended. My only problem is reloading the phone book after I make additions with new contacts. My salesman knows how to do it but even after watching him I still don't understand what he did.
 

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1999 E 430
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157 Posts
I've actually been wondering about this for quite a while. When I first got the car I looked into it and I remember the only solution I found for the older models (I'm not quite sure when they updated to the newer motorola phones, 2000-ish?) was a convoluted method which cost something like $1500. I don't remember what exactly it was because upon seeing the price I just said "Nope!" and moved on. :surrender:
-Andy
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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Andy, my car is a 2001 but the original owner had the dealer install my Motorola v60 phone at some point after they bought the car. So exactly when MB installed Motos in the factory is anyone's guess.
 

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Forum Administrator , RC Colas® & Moon Pies®
1981 380SL 151K: 2005 S500 116K
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Shoot a PM to Skylaw. He moderates the Audio & Telematics Forum here on BW. I think he told me about a module that you can buy for around 8 bills that installs somewhere in the rear fender that allows the obsolete phone to work again. IIRC, removal of the phone system screws up something else that M-B tied into the system but it was several years ago when I looked into it so my memory may be flawed.
 

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL(RIP),1997 Mercedes-Benz E420
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Discussion Starter #10
I will look more into this, the literature from my repair site is just so abundant. I called two shops here and both were unable to meet my needs. I'm reading more and more into it.

If anyone needs any information to solve this problem, or would like to inform me the area I should be checking specifically in the manuals, let me know!

Searching the web I found an eBay seller who makes a converter for the 93-96 (Or something like that) volvo phone systems... So the technology may be around then since it goes that far back...

I'll be back with more...
 

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL(RIP),1997 Mercedes-Benz E420
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
It depends on which factory phone system you have. If you have a Motorola 60x (doubtful on a '97) then you can buy the MB converter (aka puck) to plug into the cradle and buy a blue tooth phone. Check: Home for compatibility.
I have taken a look at your suggestion, thanks.

I believe...If I understand correctly through the readings, its a "CTEL" design or make in comparison to Motorola.

I understand the phone is connected with the radio/cellphone handset/ and instrument cluster, in that they affect each other...
 

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99 E430, 01 E430 Sport, 00 SL500
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Registered
1999 E 430
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Andy, my car is a 2001 but the original owner had the dealer install my Motorola v60 phone at some point after they bought the car. So exactly when MB installed Motos in the factory is anyone's guess.
Well my car was manufactured in 5/1999, and it came with a "Motorola model # Q6820404" I attached the photo because I see a lot of confusion as to which phones are which.
 

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Premium Member
2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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Well my car was manufactured in 5/1999, and it came with a "Motorola model # Q6820404" I attached the photo because I see a lot of confusion as to which phones are which.
Thanks Andy. I was under the impression that in 1999 they were still using a TimePort or StarTac phone system. I don't know what company made those but I do know those 2 are both analog and therefore obsolete.
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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10,978 Posts
Brandon,

I am simply not aware of a conversion kit that would allow for the use of OE, other than going to the outmoded CTEL system (I'm not even sure if they were offered with digital capability). I also do not know of a Bluetooth conversion for a CTEL installation. Your best solution is likely to be a 3rd party kit such as those sold in the larger cellular retail stores; some of these have their own speakers, and others can be fed to existing car speakers.

Have you considered a Bluetooth headset?
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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Thanks Andy. I was under the impression that in 1999 they were still using a TimePort or StarTac phone system. I don't know what company made those but I do know those 2 are both analog and therefore obsolete.
It won't help the OP, but in the the StarTac and TimePort systems there were only two things dependent on digital or analog capability. One was the phone itself - the later StarTacs and all Timeport phones were made with both capabilities (early StarTacs were analog only). The StarTac and TimePort phones were Motorola; I don't recall who made the PSE.

The other was the antenna switch that changed the antenna between the (analog-only) Tele-Aid equipment, and the cell phone system. The earlier antenna switches would not pass digital frequencies, and would have to be changed out with dual-band switches. Of course, with Bluetooth systems, none of that matters at all, since transmission and reception is via the phone's own antenna (in most setups, anyway; there are some exceptions with specialized cradles that connected the cell phone to the external antenna when they were positioned in the cradle).

The linear compensator passed both analog and digital frequencies; and while dealers would tell you that you had to change out the bumper-mounted external antenna, that was not so. The bumper-mounted analog antenna was close enough to the proper length of a quarter-wave digital antenna that it could be used just fine, and it did not introduce any standing wave problems that would overload power transistors in the phone circuitry.

None of the rest of the system (mainly, the PSE) cared whether the frequencies were digital or analog; they worked fine.

Sorry for the exposition; I went through all of this when I started using digital plug-in phones with my '00 S-Class before MB came out with Bluetooth.

The V-60 systems were the first MB systems to be able to be easily equipped with a Bluetooth puck. Owners then found they could retrofit a V-60 cradle to a StarTac or TimePort system, and also use the puck. Later, MB came out with the "Cradle Eliminator Cable" that would plug into the V60 puck and eliminated the need for the cradle altogether (there were fit problems between the earliest V60 cradles and the puck, because the puck was designed for the larger V60S cradle). And, as stocks of StarTac, TimePort and Autosense PSEs dwindled, MB came out with the "Universal PSE." All of which led to a nightmare for owners trying to understand how to go hands-free when state law began to require it.

Unfortunately, this will usually not work for the pre-'00 ('99 in Europe) models. I did come across one owner with a very late-production '99 W140 who was able to retrofit one of the systems (I don't remember if it was a StarTac or a TimePort that he used).
 
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