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/au...o-system-replacement-upgrade-enhancement.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 :thumbsup
. 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
provides little but history and background, it may help some to understand the rather complicated posts below just a bit better.
Member Tiffany Twisted has provided the following link to the official Mercedes documentation for MY '00 through '05 OEM phones: https://resources.mbdx.us/files/pdf/MB Phone Manual v4.6.pdf
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.
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
or at page 16, http://www.mercedestechstore.com/pdfs/W211_advisor/219 HO Networking (ACB-ICC) 09-03-02.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/Phone%20Install%20Bulletins/2005%20E%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/20060205025156/http://phdwebsite.powerpulse.cc/VCM/2001 VCM Manual.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.
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/au...o-system-replacement-upgrade-enhancement.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/au...5-how-display-proper-symbols-beside-cell.html
PHONE BULLETINS FOLLOW: