Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 20 of 218 Posts

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
Joined
·
10,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Gateway 500 for MOST iPod Integration - Good unit, poor documentation

NOTE: I changed the subject line of this post ; it was originally "Not ready for prime time?" because of the poor instructions in the installation manual, and a less than satisfactory user manual detracting from otherwise good hardware. With Firmware update 2.XX and a new user manual, significant improvements have been made; the installation manual (dated "after 03/13/07") still needs revision, so I hope the post below will help until the revision is in place.

NOTE: Fairly recently I was made a moderator of this sub-forum. That permits edit capabilities I did not have before. This thread is very long, and can be difficult to use. As a result, I am attaching a pdf file (see "Attached Files" at the bottom of this post), which you can download. The pdf is much more recently edited, and hopefully, is easier to follow and understand.

Also: When reading this, and the pdf file, please note that Dension has upgraded its equipment. This post was written for version 1 and 2 hardware; Section 7 of the pdf deals with version 3 hardware, and note that the DIP switch settings may have to be different than those for versions 1 and 2. Also, there are differences in installation for cars with Sirius and those without. Last, Dension has indicated compatibility problems for North American COMAND units that have a red and a green "Send" and "End" button for cell calls. Before ordering, BE SURE to check compatibility with Dension!!

Please also not that I am not an installer; I have Version 2 equipment in my car, and that is the latest with which I have hands-on experience. I apologize that this thread (and even the far shorter pdf file) are lengthy and involved, but they demand attention before buying and installing. I will not be able to provide troubleshooting for problems that are beyond my hands-on experience.

I installed a Dension Gateway 500 (GW 500) for MOST bus in my 2005 S500 (U.S. spec). Below, I document the installation from removing the COMAND unit, including the wood fascia; locating and running the three copper cables from the console to the GW 500 location; locating the GW 500 device; and connecting it to the fiber optic ring. This was a difficult first-time project. I accept no liability for damage to your car or to your GW 500 if you attempt it. In addition, I do not repeat the steps of the Dension supplied Instruction or User Guides, but supplement them. You will have to use the installation guide and user guide. In addition, I am familiar with my own '05 W220 because I have done this installation; I am not familiar with other models in detail, and cannot answer specific questions about them. I hope there is sufficient detail below to carry over to other models.

Most of you will already know that the GW 500 is designed to allow an iPod to replace the CD Changer (CDC) on the fiber optic bus, but allow switching back to the CDC if desired. On COMAND-equipped cars, it will display menus as well as song title, playlist name, and play time on the COMAND display; and track information on the instrument cluster multifunction display.

I located the iPod, USB, and AUX connections and the CDC/GW500 mode selector switch in the console, and the GW 500 unit behind the ashtray in the COMAND console space. The cables (copper and fiber optic) supplied require an installation in the passenger compartment; they are long enough if you locate the input cables in the glove compartment, but are barely long enough for a console installation in an S-Class. They truly need to be at least 6 inches longer.

REMOVE THE COMAND UNIT

The COMAND unit is removed by placing the car in "Drive"� (set the parking brake); pulling the ashtray out; removing two screws behind the wood fascia with a #20 Star driver; then fully removing the ashtray (disconnecting the cigarette lighter connector at the back). See first photo.

With the ash tray and screws removed, the air conditioning controls slide right out; I reached under it and gently pulled it from behind. Only two clips hold it after removing the screws. See second photo.

After removing the ashtray and A/C controls, you may place the shift lever in Park. The wood fascia for the ashtray and A/C controls come out with the units, and do not have to be separately removed. All of the wood fascia are sturdy; they are mounted to a metal or heavy plastic backing, and the only special care needed is not to scratch them. I did not disconnect the A/C unit from its harness, but let it hang to the right of the console.

Next, insert a small screwdriver or knife (covered with tape if you wish) at a lower corner of the upper wood fascia, above the COMAND unit, and pry it outward. The fascia is held in only by sturdy plastic clips and will pull out easily. In the photo below, the clips for the A/C controls and the removed upper fascia (resting atop the A/C control unit) are visible. See third photo.

Removing the A/C controls and upper fascia reveal the four Star screws (#20 driver) at the corners of the COMAND unit that hold it in. At this point I went on to installing the iPod, USB, and AUX input/GW 500 selector switch in the console, and routing the wires to the now-open space below the COMAND unit.

However, for purposes of illustration, the last photo shows the back of the removed COMAND 2.0. The MOST version has only five connections: Two fiber optic leads (orange), a +12 volt wire (red/yellow), a brown wire (ground), and a blue/black wire (I believe the dimmer control for lighting the buttons on the front of the unit). That’s all there is for the MOST unit. We’ll get back to the connections made here, later.
 

Attachments

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
Joined
·
10,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Install connections in console - 1

I wanted all of the input connections and the mode selector switch in the console. These may be placed in the glove compartment far more easily – all, or in any combination. However, I elected to do it the hard way, for future convenience. The first photo shows my upper console compartments (phone and storage), open. The false floor is held in place by three Star screws (#10 driver), two of which are under rubber covers.

I removed the false floor to reveal the MHI phone wiring and Tele-Aid button connector, and disconnected Tele-Aid buttons by prying the side with the small retention clip. The MHI wiring slips out of a slot in the bottom of the false floor (on the back), and need not be disconnected. See second photo, below.

I drilled a hole in the back wall of the false floor using a ½ inch drill bit, and then had to enlarge it to allow the USB connector and 9-pin iPod connectors to pass. I ground the two side flanges off of the AUX/mode selector, and used the two small screws that hold the back panel onto the switch to affix it to the back wall of the false floor as well, as shown in the center photo below. I also cut a notch below the mode selector to allow its wiring to pass. Inside the tiny hole in the Aux/mode selector in the center photo is the reset button.

I also drilled a ½ inch hole in the back wall of the lower part of the console, and enlarged it to allow the connectors to pass. The hole is just below the curve of the black wires. This hole lines up with the similar hole in the false floor. Careful when drilling, so as not to hit your console exterior! 4th photo below.

Below the holes, by the hinge, is a small rectangular tab, which snaps out (5th photo). It is large enough to allow each connector to pass, and be fed to the console floor. I fed the connectors through the two holes drilled, and through the hole for the removed tab. I could not thread the wires through the hinge itself because the space is already occupied by other wiring.

In the 5th photo, the hole exposed by removing the tab is shown with a tan wire passing through it. I started to use this wire as a “fish” but found the connectors would drop straight down to the console floor easily enough (with a little coaxing). I had also removed the console light fixture as a potential aid to fishing the connectors, but this turned out to be unnecessary.
 

Attachments

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
Joined
·
10,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Console Connections 2

Access to the console floor is by removal of the back panel, below the rear A/C vents. Pry it from the upper corners until it pops out slightly; then lift it up. Pull the bundled wires and connectors for the MHI and Tele-Aid buttons out slightly to gain clearance to retrieve the GW 500 connector cables, which can be see at the left side of the console in the first photo below.

Before feeding the connector wires forward, I reinstalled the false floor into the console, and mounted the USB connector clip where I wanted it, to be sure not to pull the wires too far forward, and to ensure enough slack to open and close the console.

One may be tempted not to drill the holes as I illustrated, but to feed the wires over the lip on the back of the console and then into the hinge hole. Doing this will push the console lid forward when closed, making it difficult to open. A little thought will reveal how I know this. Drill the holes. My console setup is shown in the second photo, below.

By repositioning the driver’s seat several times, you can tuck the connector wires under the left side of the console until you reach the front part of the console. Pull the carpeting out as shown in the third photo below, and feed the connectors into the space behind the (removed) ashtray, under the COMAND unit.

The third photo below shows the carpeting pulled back at the front of the console, just ahead of the driver’s seat. The dark space at the left of my hand is an alternate spot to place the GW 500 box, if you wish – it will cause a very slight bulge, but is easier than working in the console space. Of course, I did it the hard way. The connectors are fed through a small space just above my thumb (which could be used to feed the power and fiber optic leads out, if you place the unit outside the console, under the carpet).

Once the fiber optic and power connections are made, the connectors will be inserted into the GW 500 unit as shown in the fourth photo below. Because the connector wires from the console are short, I could not place the GW 500 unit high in the area behind the COMAND unit, where there is plenty of space. Instead I put it atop the airbag control unit (with the orange label), slid it into a space that is just above and behind the airbag control, and affixed it with industrial-strength Velcro (barely visible toward the back of the airbag unit). Care MUST be taken to avoid crushing or overly bending the fiber optic leads plugged into the left side of the GW 500 unit when positioning it here - but there is just enough space to make it work. From left to right, the USB input is just under the orange fiber optic lead; then the 9-pin iPod input; an unused and disabled 9-pin socket; and the AUX/mode selector input just beneath the orange fiber optic cable on the right.
 

Attachments

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
Joined
·
10,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Complete the Connections to the GW500 Unit

Before hooking up the connectors from the console, one should make the fiber optic and power connections to the GW 500, because the short length of wires from the console leaves little to work with. Now for the really fun part. First, remove the COMAND unit as discussed above. After removing the four screws (#20 Star driver), it just slides out, Do not kink the orange fiber optic leads – doing so can ruin them.

The Dension installation guide (available on the Dension support site, iPod Car | iPod car Adapters | iPhone Car Kit | iPhone Car Adapter | Hands Free Car Kits - Dension is very badly written. Its diagrams are small, and the text is inadequate. The diagrams for fiber optics, which show the light path, indicate that the GW 500 is to be installed immediately ahead of the CD changer in the fiber optic ring. The installation guide did not address the positioning of the GW 500 in the MOST ring at all. This has been confusing to many. I hope that what follows will clear it up.

Before making any changes to the fiber optics, especially to components in the trunk as described below, label the fiber leads so that you can identify where they were originally connected!! That way, if you make a mistake, you can restore the original configuration if you need to.

Regardless of whether you have a CDC in the passenger compartment or in the trunk, the connections directly between the GW 500 unit and your head unit or COMAND is the same.

One must be very careful to connect the fiber optic leads in accordance with the direction of light travel; arrows are molded into the ends of the connectors showing the direction.

On the back of the COMAND unit there is a single large connector with both the power wires and the fiber optic leads. Remove the connector by pushing down on a spring release at the top center of the connector as shown in the first photo below.

Once the large connector is out, release the tab on the left side of it to release the smaller fiber optic connector, shown in the second photo below. Note the arrows at the end of the connector.

On the side of the connector with the arrows are two slits; after removing the small blue retaining plug, insert a fine blade or screwdriver tip, twist slightly to spread it, and gently pull the fiber optic lead out - see third photo, below. Disconnect the output lead from the COMAND unit in order to insert the GW 500 ahead of the CD changer in the fiber optic loop. Then placing fiber optic leads into the connectors, push in gently until hearing a slight "snap" then replace the blue retaining plug.

The fiber optic connections to the GW 500 unit are in fact simple, but the illustrations are poor. What they (and the text) fail to tell you is that a protective cover (with holes, no less) that looks like a connector but will not fit any of the connectors supplied, is installed in the fiber optic socket of the GW 500 box. This protector must be removed before any fiber connections can be made to the box. Once that is done, the rest of the connections become fairly easy to follow. You use a 2-piece socket - a larger part fits into the GW 500 box, and a fiber optic plug then fits into that.

The last thing to do is to tap into unswitched 12v power and ground wires – either those going to the COMAND unit, or by adding a fuse holder on the dashboard panel and tapping into ground. To do the latter, run the power wires to the front fuse panel and use one of the unused fuse slots and also connect to the ground point in the kick panel (there is a 10 mm bolt with ground wires terminating there). (Thanks to Rob13572468 for that information). The supplied power wires are long enough to do this. Unswitched power is required to allow charging for up to 2 hours after the ignition or head unit is switched off. Then, position the GW 500 so that there is clearance for the ashtray, gently place the fiber optic leads so they are not bent tightly or kinked (photo, lower right), and button everything back up.

If you have a CDC in the passenger compartment, select the "iPod" position on the mode selector, and following the procedure to shut down and re-start the MOST bus (turn off COMAND, turn off ignition, remove key, wait approximately 2 minutes, then insert key, turn on ignition, then turn on COMAND), you are done, and can proceed with setup.

And for a neat music enhancement application for the iPod Touch or iPhone (which you can use with the GW 500), see post #187.
 

Attachments

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
Joined
·
10,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
IF YOU HAVE A TRUNK-MOUNTED CDC - Fiber Optic Connections In The Trunk

:thumbsup: Thanks to the assistance of Rob13572468 in ironing out the shortcomings of the Dension installation manual, and helping to provide what follows.

However, if you have a trunk-mounted CDC: The position of the fiber optic leads between the GW 500 unit and COMAND as described here determines whether the GW 500 comes before or after the CDC, but does not necessarily place it next to the CDC. The swapping of the fiber optic leads in the trunk as described at post 5 below places the GW 500 next to the CDC in the loop, but does not determine whether it is before or after the CDC. The Version 1, 2 and 3 hardware versions of the GW 500 need to be ahead of the CDC and next to it, so both steps must be followed. The newest version, the GW500S BT is a different animal, and may or may not be position-sensitive.

The installation guide is silent regarding placing the GW 500 immediately before the CDC; only the diagrams suggest it. Placing the GW 500 on the output side of the COMAND unit inserts the GW 500 before the CDC, but not adjacent to it. Placing it on the input side places the GW 500 after the CDC. If you have a trunk-mounted CDC and have followed the instructions so far, you have connected the GW 500 so that it is positioned before the CDC in the loop, but it is not yet "adjacent to" it. We will handle "placing" the GW500 adjacent to the CDC with the fiber optic changes in post #5.

NOTE: Since I wrote this post 5 years ago, Dension has come out with several new models. Installation instructions for the newest series, the GW 500S and GW 500S BT for MOST, say that the device does not have to be positioned immediately ahead of the CDC in the fiber optic loop - but advises one to put it ahead of the CDC if you have problems in a Mercedes installation. I'd advise to start with it there, if you have a trunk-mounted CDC.

Before making any changes to the fiber optics, especially to components in the trunk as described below, label the fiber leads so that you can identify where they were originally connected!! That way, if you make a mistake, you can restore the original configuration if you need to.

Here is what we will be doing:

1. In MOST bus equipped cars with trunk mounted CDCs and NO Sirius installation, swap the fiber optic connections between the Voice Control Module and the CDC in the trunk (see diagrams below and post #11).

2. In MOST bus equipped cars with trunk mounted CDCs and also with OE Sirius installation, swap the fiber optic connections between the CDC and the Sirius module in the trunk. See diagrams for MOST with Sirius below.

3. Be sure to check your fiber optic diagram in the phone bulletin at http://home.earthlink.net/~phdwebsite/phone_bulletins.htm - not all rings are configured the same!! The diagrams below are from the W220 and are common to some other cars. However, it may be necessary to swap connections among other components in order to position the GW 500 before the CDC. To determine the components to swap, draw your diagram with the GW 500 immediately following the head unit. Look at the very next component in the diagram. Then look at the component just before the CDC; swap those two F/O leads. It should place the GW500 just ahead of the CDC in the loop.

OK, that's the concept. For the detailed description of how to get to the equipment bay and make these changes, see post #11 below. Sorry to make you skip - this thread has evolved over time, and that has made the "flow" a bit difficult.

The GW 500 works, and the sound quality from the iPod is wonderful (especially if the music is stored in high quality formats - not mp3). Song title information and elapsed time are shownon the COMAND display. Only track information and playlist number are displayed on the multifuction (instrument cluster) display. Steering wheel controls work just fine, and in the iPod User Interface mode, all of the iPod functions are available on the iPod (which is why I wanted it in the console, not in the glove compartment; further, the USB input is for music files on thumb drives, and is also the way firmware updates are made, so I wanted it there too). The COMAND CDC controls set normal play, repeat, mix, etc. for the iPod as it does for the CDC.

The lack of adequate documentation is the Achilles' heel of the GW 500. With the unit costing around $500, I feel more like a beta tester, when I should have gotten the gold standard for that cost. However, I expect the results will be worth it, once I learn the interface adequately. The improvement in sound quality over mp3 DVD and the integration with COMAND and steering wheel controls is great.

I hope this documentation and that to follow will help someone. For those who like diagrams, the before-and after MOST fiber optic rings for my '05 W220 are below. They show what you are doing with the fiber optics changes in the trunk - inserting the GW 500 into the fiber optic loop ahead of and adjacent to the CDC. Check the phone bulletins on Paul's site for your car - thay are not all configured the same. The change in position of the VCS (Voice Control System) and CDC (CD Changer) in the diagrams is effected by swapping the fiber optic connections between the two. However, I believe that despite the switch, the MOST master controller still sees the CDC as component 4 and the VCS as component 2 on the STAR diagnostics menu, beccause no STAR diagnostics reprogramming is necessary for the installation. I just didn't change it in the diagram.

After the changes, all of the items on the ring - VCS, nav, radio, telephone, etc. worked as before, except that now the GW 500 would replace the CDC in the ring when desired. If you need to make these changes, they are documented at post #11 below.

I do want to thank Rob13572468 again for his time and patience; we had frequent private message correspondence putting our ideas together to resolve the problem. His help was invaluable. :thumbsup: :bowdown:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Hi Skylaw! Nice description! I wish that you will be a satisfied user, finally. :)

You are right, the documents have space for development :rolleyes: , but imagine this is not only for Mercedes, but you get the same box and manuals for your Audi/BMW/Mini/Porsche/Saab etc.
Each brand has different models/HUs/options/setups, moreover these might change from MY to MY ... the Ideal Manual would be a VERY big book.

These units are built in by professional installers usually. They know the cars better than an AM manufacturing company. For them some words would be enough: "install it right before the CDC in the MOST ring".
After the first couple of ten installation, most of them could write a much better manual than the original one. :)
 

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
Joined
·
10,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
GW500 said:
Hi Skylaw! Nice description! I wish that you will be a satisfied user, finally. :)

You are right, the documents have space for development :rolleyes: , but imagine this is not only for Mercedes, but you get the same box and manuals for your Audi/BMW/Mini/Porsche/Saab etc.
Each brand has different models/HUs/options/setups, moreover these might change from MY to MY ... the Ideal Manual would be a VERY big book.

These units are built in by professional installers usually. They know the cars better than an AM manufacturing company. For them some words would be enough: "install it right before the CDC in the MOST ring".
After the first couple of ten installation, most of them could write a much better manual than the original one. :)
Hi, GW500 - good to hear from you again. I agree that verbiage in the installation manual directing installation of the GW 500 unit immediately before the CDC in the MOST ring would be appropriate (and for those who aren't pros, perhaps a statement that "failure to do so will result in the GW 500 failing to replace the CDC in the MOST ring.") By the way, I am not a professional installer - I rate myself as only a "fair" shade tree mechanic on some systems - and not even that on many.

I also understand why the instructions for every kind of head unit could not be included. A bit later I will post photos of what I had to do in my trunk to accomplish proper placement in the ring - and my recommendation (for cars with trunk mounted CD changers) to leave it to a professional installer with Mercedes fiber optic experience, or at least to someone with prior experience working their fiber optic systems. It is a tough job for a beginner.

And, for COMAND owners, I'll post some hints on getting into the GW 500 menus successfully the first time - it isn't completely intuitive from the user manual. Hope to get there tonight or possibly tomorrow - right now I'm revising the photos posted earlier to make them easier to see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,219 Posts
Skylaw,

Congrats on a successful install and your text an pics are worth a million bucks!!
Now that you have the gateway, I feel like I am the only guy dealing with the DVD-Audio.. but I gues a change is coming. I kinda wish I would have kept the GW500 I put in my Audi and tried to do a firmware change to get it to work on my benz but the Dates were just too far away for me to risk support.
Well, your locations are outstanding. Exactly what I had in mind, Forgive me if I copy.. it is truly a work of art..

Congrats.....

Oh BTW. The GW500 I installed in my Audi had a bad habit of forgetting where it was if I turned off the car for too long in shuffle mode. I would restart at the first song in my Ipod Library which happened to be a song I didn't care for much ( LOL ) and I had to manually put it back in shuffe. If you notice your GW500 does the same thing let me know please, I hope they fixed that. it was really irritating sometimes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
My04230k said:
Oh BTW. The GW500 I installed in my Audi had a bad habit of forgetting where it was if I turned off the car for too long in shuffle mode. I would restart at the first song in my Ipod Library which happened to be a song I didn't care for much ( LOL ) and I had to manually put it back in shuffe. If you notice your GW500 does the same thing let me know please, I hope they fixed that. it was really irritating sometimes.
Source of the problem is that the Head Unit forces Shuffle OFF and/or Track 1 at startup. The GW should discard these commands.
It will be solved in v2.00, do you want to take part in a testing round?
 

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
Joined
·
10,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
My04230k said:
Skylaw,
Well, your locations are outstanding. Exactly what I had in mind, Forgive me if I copy.. it is truly a work of art..
Thank you for your kind words, and please do copy.

I am going to grind the tabs on the USB clip a bit, because right now they interfere somewhat with the iPod connector below it. I will also likely enlarge the hole at the back of the false floor a bit (cutting out a notch) to allow the USB connector to slide back a bit. Last, I'll invert the USB clip so that it fits more to the right in the picture. Those steps should give easier access to the iPod connector. Positioning of the USB clip is limited a bit by the need not to puncture the AUX/mode selector on the other side (I used the supplied screw, but will change that to a small nut & bolt).

I use my iPod in the car, mostly - and remove it primarily for updates to firmware and music, so a small bit of inteference from the USB clip isn't a problem. The iPod location requires no clip - the 4th Gen iPod fits perfectly without one, and the "active" clip sold as an option would be too big for this fitment.
 

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
Joined
·
10,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The Rest of the Story

The following steps are unnecessary if you have a CD changer mounted in the passenger compartment. They are also likely unnecessary if you have a D2B version of the Gateway 500, since the D2B bus uses a different wake-up system. This step is only necessary for MOST bus equipped cars having a trunk (or rear) mounted CD changer as discussed in the preceding posts.

Before making any changes to the fiber optics, especially to components in the trunk as described below, label the fiber leads so that you can identify where they were originally connected!! That way, if you make a mistake, you can restore the original configuration if you need to.

I used the phone bulletin for my car on Paul Dick’s great site - Phone Bulletins - to determine the steps for accessing the equipment. The color photos of the console in the ’05 S-Class bulletin are also clearer than in my posts above. Because the placement of equipment is different not only among models of Benzes, they are also sometimes different from year to year. Please consult the bulletin for your car.

Before you start, eject the Nav DVD; when you remove its fiber optic (F/O) connector later in the process, it will try to eject the disc and could damage it.

In addition, do not disconnect the battery when doing this work. Just turn off the COMAND unit and ignition.

Making the changes to the fiber optic connections in the trunk requires 1) opening the trunk (OK, enough jokes), 2) removing the left side trunk liner, 3) removing the upper electronics rack containing the MHI module, Nav unit, and CD changer; 4) removing the lower electronics rack containing the Voice Control System (VCS) module and the Bose amplifier; 5) in cars without an OE Sirius radio, switching the fiber optic connections between the CDC and the VCS module; 6) in cars with an OE Sirius radio, switching the fiber optics connections between the CDC and the Sirius module; and 7) putting it back together. It's simple enough in concept, but carrying it out is a bit of a pain.

The trunk liner is held in by one plastic retainer on the upper side behind the left corner of the rear window, and by the screw holding the left front cargo net attachment point in place on the floor. Remove these (pull the cap on the upper retainer – when it comes out, then pry the retainer out), remove the taillight access door, then pull the liner out from the bottom and from the rear. Be sure you note how it is in, so you know how to put it back.

You will see the upper electronics rack with its components as shown in the first picture below. It is held in place by four 10mm (as I recall; they may be 8 mm) bolts and one flanged nut, as shown. Remove them. Note how tabs on the feet of the upper rack fit into slots on the lower rack near each front bolt on the floor of the trunk – you’ll need to put it back that way. Then gently pull the rack out so you can access the nuts & bolts folding the antenna switch in place. Remove the antenna switch so you can take the rack all the way out. Be careful of the fiber optic cables, especially those going to the MHI unit.

Then remove the two flanged nuts from the lower rack, and pull it out, being careful of the fiber optics again. The VCS module is on the back of the rack. See the second photo below.

At this point I assume that you at least know or have learned how to deal with fiber optic (F/O) connectors from installing the GW 500 in the console. Remove three fiber optic connectors: From the CDC, the Nav unit, and the VCS (third photo below). You must remove the connector from the Nav unit because the F/O leads are not long enough to permit the reconnection without doing so. You do not change any copper wire connections. Again, you should have ejected your nav DVD before this point, because the nav unit will try to eject it when you disconnect its F/O lead.

To remove the F/O leads, you first remove the larger socket, then take out the small connector as done with the COMAND unit. You are only changing the small F/O connectors, not the entire socket. Now, connect the CDC F/O lead to the VCS, and the VCS lead to the CDC. Do not reconnect the nav F/O lead at this time.

Next, place the lower equipment rack back into place, and re-secure it with its two flanged nuts. Be very careful not to pinch copper wire or fiber optic cables, and be mindful of where the fiber optic cables will have to run when the upper rack is put back.

Then, move the upper rack back toward its position far enough to reattach the antenna switch above the MHI unit. Plug the nav unit fiber optic lead back into the nav unit at this time; then slide the upper rack back into place, and re-secure it.

That's it! Now, in the car, be sure your mode selector switch is positioned for GW 500 use; select the "iPod" position on the mode selector, and following the procedure to shut down and re-start the MOST bus (turn off COMAND, turn off ignition, remove key, wait approximately 2 minutes, then insert key, turn on ignition, then turn on COMAND), you are done, and can proceed with setup. (you may have to do it twice) – and you should see your iPod start up and information display on the COMAND (or HU) screen. Success!! Replace your trunk liner, and you’re done with the installation.

Making these changes did not affect the way any of the components on the fiber optic ring worked; voice control still controls all that it should, and the CDC functons normally when you switch it back into the ring using the GW 500 mode selector. All of the other components function normally as well. I did, however, label the original CDC and VCS fiber optic leads in case replacing them becomes necessary (which could happen if the GW 500 is ever removed).

For a neat music enhancement application for the iPod Touch or iPhone, see post #187.

Next – some specific info to get you started with the Dension menus.
 

Attachments

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
Joined
·
10,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Some Tips on the Dension Menus

The instructions in the user manual for using the Dension menus are general, and steps will clearly vary depending on what head unit is used. Controls on head units vary – and some of those on COMAND are not exactly intuitive. I hope this will prove helpful getting into some of the first menus you'll use.

First tip: The user manual gives instructions for setting up the Dension unit for "+paging" in its configuration menu. You get there by rapidly switching the GW 500 mode selector 6 times (3 up, 3 down) and you will see a list of choices beginning with "No Text" (the default). Use the single down arrow on the COMAND audio controls to get to "+paging."� Now, here's where the tip comes in: To enter the selection, you must press the "Fast Forward"� (>>) key (Where is it on COMAND? I never use it; I don't see one). Well, it is the "Seek +" key at the bottom of the row of COMAND keys to the left side of the display (see first photo below). Press and hold it for at least 2 seconds for fast forward. That will set the selection in the GW 500 menu, and you will now be able to see song titles on COMAND when you start your music. If you don't use the "Seek+"� key this way, you will get the title of the first song in text, but all following will show only track number.

Those of you who knew about "Seek+" held for 2 seconds being Fast Forward can have a laugh at my expense. And yes, "-Seek" is Fast Reverse (<<) and also the "remove selection" command for setup options in the GW 500 menus.

Second tip: You get to the highest level of the Dension menus by selecting "Audio" with the COMAND Audio button; then by selecting "CDC" then by selecting "CD Mag." Again, a feature not covered in detail in the user manual because of so many different head units.

Once you're into these menus you will be able to get to the "Charging" menu (one of the folder choices in brackets) and select how you want your iPod to charge when connected - only when the COMAND or head unit is on, or that plus 2 hours after the HU is off, or not at all. Once again, the selection is registered with that "Seek+" fast forward key. Third tip: That's something you'll want to do early. Update: The preceding is true for Firmware version 1.05, but was deleted in Firmware 2.02. There is no charging option available in FW 2.02 - it is set to charge while the head unit is on.

NOTE - I have posted a new string on how the Gateway 500 menus work on the MOST version of COMAND. See http://www.benzworld.org/forums/audio-telematics-forum/1321600-dension-gateway-500-most-menus-comand.html
 

Attachments

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
Joined
·
10,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
GW500 said:
Source of the problem is that the Head Unit forces Shuffle OFF and/or Track 1 at startup. The GW should discard these commands.
It will be solved in v2.00, do you want to take part in a testing round?
Indeed I also have experienced this problem when the ignition is off for long time (e.g., overnight) - even though I have "normal play" selected. If the ignition is off for short periods, the iPod restarts with the song that was playing when the ignition was turned off.

I'd be glad to test your version 2.0 firmware - but I hope there are some written instructions (even if not formal), since I don't really know my way around the version 1.05 menus yet.
 

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
Joined
·
10,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
Joined
·
10,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
Note: With the release of Firmware version 2.02 on June 14, 2007, the operation of the Dension Gateway 500 menus has improved tremendously. In addition, the User Manual has also been improved, overcoming some of the poor documentation of menu function. As of the date of this post, the installation manual had not been revised. The link in the preceding post will take you to a more complete discussion.
Do you have pictures of the New Menus?

I'm looking at getting an 05 or 06 SClass and would be interested in the Gateway 500.

I understand they now have a Bluetooth adapter, any experience with that?

Thanks!
 

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
Joined
·
10,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Do you have pictures of the New Menus?

I'm looking at getting an 05 or 06 SClass and would be interested in the Gateway 500.

I understand they now have a Bluetooth adapter, any experience with that?

Thanks!
Yes, pics for 2.0x are at http://www.benzworld.org/forums/audio-telematics-forum/1344772-gateway-500-menus-comand-firmware-2-0x.html#post2596107.

No experience with the Gateway 500 Bluetooth adapter; I have only seen the information on their site, including the downloadable owner's manual for the GW 500, which discusses the capabilities.

Of course, if the car you buy already has the handsfree phone, all you'd need is an MB Bluetooth puck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
First of all, I want to thank you for your detailed posts. Thanks to you I know a whole lot more about my car than I ever dreamed I'd know.

I don't like the MP3 DVD because it takes so long for the disc to load (I'm pretty sure its a function of the 100's of folders I have on the DVD). The sample DVDs I burned (thanks to your instructions) loaded instantly. Therefore, I've decided to install a Gateway 500.

My question for you is if you would have installed anything differently now that you've had it installed for over a year? Specifically, would you put the aux input anywhere else? It seems to me that where you have it installed it would be impossible to close the center armrest if you had anything plugged into it. Would I be better off installing it in the bottom of the center console?

Also, where did you install the USB connector? Is it also in the center console, or did you put it in the glove box? I couldn't tell from your pics.

Where is the Gateway unit itself located? Is it behind the COMAND module? Could I install it in the trunk w/ the CDC, NAV and MHI equipment? Also, if I decide the ipod will be dedicated to the car, would there be any benefit if I were to mount the ipod back there as well? It may make it a little more inconvenient if I wanted to add songs, but I can't think of any other drawbacks. What do you think? My other option would be to install it where the phone cradle is on your set-up. I don't have the cradle, and haven't decided whether or not I want to get the MB Bluetooth unit. I imagine I'd still have enough room in the center console for both the Bluetooth and the ipod.

Thanks again for your willingness to share your knowledge about the audio system in these cars. I'm sure I'm not the only one out here who has benefited tremendously from your experience.
 

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
Joined
·
10,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Golfnut,

I would install some things slightly differently. Mainly, I would spend more time learning how to remove the center console, so as to run the cable from the upper storage compartment to the Gateway electronics module with more slack.

Although the clearances for the AUX inputs are tight in my installation, there is room to plug in flexible RCA jacks (stiff insulators would pose a problem). However, 1) I don't use the RCA jacks, and 2) I have several sets of 90 degree RCA connectors that would fit easily - some already molded into the stereo cables. The largest portion of the RCA jacks are located under the telephone door, which has more clearance.

I use the bottom of the center console for storage, so I didn't want the iPod there. However, it could work well if you can give up storage; when I used a predecessor to the Gateway 500 in my '00, I had the iPod mounted at an angle in the front part of the lower compartment (high against the front wall of the compartment, sloping toward the floor, in a clip that I bought through Dension).

The USB connector sits just above my iPod, and projects over its lower side slightly. It is screwed into the divider against which I put the AUX inputs (as I recall, it had some projections on the outer case that I filed off so it would fit). If you click on the tiny photos, they will enlarge. If you can't get good results, copy the enlarged pic to your computer, and blow it up using photo software - or alternatively, send me your personal email address (via PM or the forum's e-mail feature, so as not to make it public), and I'll e-mail you the original pics. The original photo files are large, and won't go through the forum's e-mail system.

I placed the Gateway unit atop the airbag control module, behind and under the COMAND unit, securing it with industrial strength velcro. I could just as well have put it beside the center console, under the dash.

The wire harness from the Gateway module to the inputs is not long enough to allow trunk installation of the Gateway and mounting of the iPod in the passenger compartment. As to mounting all in the trunk, you may find it a problem during the initial programming, after firmware changes, and troubleshooting (if necessary). It would make use of the iPod interface impossible. Because I have COMAND and readout of the album, artist, and playlist sorts, I find the Gateway interface very usable, so don't use the iPod interface (which allows the iPod's controls to remain active) much; folks who don't have text-capable HUs usually need the iPod interface, and should not trunk mount their iPod at all.

If you mounted the iPod in a clip on your trunk liner, where it would be accessible, adding songs would be no problem. You use your computer for that, anyway. If you mounted the USB input next to the iPod, doing periodic firmware updates would also not be a problem (they are done via a thumb drive using the USB; your iPod screen tells you when the process is complete, so you want them co-located). The biggest difficulty would be using the mode selector switch, which is on the AUX input box; you need to use it in conjunction with your COMAND during the initial setup, and it is recommended after firmware updates. If you don't mind walking between your front seat and trunk a few times during initial setup and during updates, it could be done. You also need to use the mode selector to switch the GW 500 out of the system if you're having any maintenance done; otherwise, the tech could get improper readings.

You could probably figure out the fiber optic changes you'd have to make for a trunk mount. They would be different from mine, but it could likely be done. The fiber optic connectors provided with the GW 500 will not reach from the trunk to the COMAND unit - and routing them would be a nightmare even if they would. You'd likely make your connections at the CDC (the GW 500 must fit immediately prior to the CDC in the fiber optic loop). With that, you wouldn't have to remove your COMAND during the installation.

You could probably also figure out where to tap into power and ground, with all of the electronics back there. Dension provides fairly long wiring for that, but other than splicing into existing wiring, I don't know where the taps might be. You'd definitely want something switched (perhaps the CDC power).

If you try that, we'd be interested in seeing the results.

If your car has the phone option installed, it is an MHI phone system, which is a good thing. Makes it simple to install either a plug-in phone or a Bluetooth module. You'll probably want to use the phone compartment for that, and not for the iPod.

By the way - Dension has just come out with a GW 500 add-on module that will allow iPod video, including movies, to be displayed on the COMAND screen. I have not seen it, or played with it - but it works with the video-capable Gen 6 iPods. I don't know how Dension's interface will work with that module - and whether access to the iPod controls will be necessary. Because Apple is now providing full-length movies as well as certain TV programs for download over iTunes, that could be an interesting option.

UPDATE: As Rob points out subsequent to this post, the add-on mentioned will not feed iPod video directly to COMAND; additional equipment would be required.
 
1 - 20 of 218 Posts
About this Discussion
217 Replies
40 Participants
dmpc
Mercedes-Benz Forum
BenzWorld.org forum is one of the largest Mercedes-Benz owner websites offering the most comprehensive collection of Mercedes-Benz information anywhere in the world. The site includes MB Forums, News, Galleries, Publications, Classifieds, Events and much more!
Full Forum Listing
Top