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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Although I was advised it could not be done, I just successfully updated the Voice Control Module on my 2000 S-500 from a first-generation system (phone control only) to a second-generation system (phone, radio, CD, and tape control). Although I have not tried every command, I seem to have full control over my phone; can select radio, CD, and tape; and can control radio tuning functions and broadcast band changes, CD and CD track selections, and various tape functions by voice command.

I was able to call up the Nav screen by saying "Navigation." However, other Nav function and control of Nav screens or destinations are not available by this voice control module (that capability didn't become available until much later, with newer modules and COMAND systems).

I simply changed out the original Voice Control Module (part A220 820 6426, manufactured November 1999) for part A203 820 6826, manufactured late October, 2000 (no doubt for the 2001 model year). Cost was $49 on e-bay.

My COMAND system is an original equipment 2.5 series (car was manufactured in late November 1999), with a "D" Nav system. The dealer applied a firmware update approximately a year ago, but I do not know to what version.
 

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Sky.. I have an S500 year 2000 and i cannot find this voice module anywhere? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi, tcflya, love your avatar.

The voice control on my S500 is the lower button on the left side steering wheel controls. It is marked with a microphone symbol. If you have this button, push it and say "Help." If voice control is installed (it was an option), and if you have the first generation unit, you will get a spoken list of available commands for the phone (if you don't have an OE phone installation, you probably do not have voice control). If it is a second or later generation retrofit, you will get a list of the equipment your module will control, and when you then name one (phone, radio, CD, tape) you will get a spoken list of the available commands for that selection.

2001 cars and later (and possibly some retrofits) have a lever on the steering column that is also marked with a microphone symbol; you push or pull the lever, depending on the arrows, to activate the system.

The photograph below shows where the actual voice control (recognition) module is in your car, on the left side of the trunk (trunk liner removed). If you look and it is not there, you don't have the option. I bought a second generation module on e-bay for $49. New from the dealer they're over $400.

If you don't have the option and you install it, a dealer or good indie service tech may have to code your COMAND system so that the module works. Right now i have a coding problem that won't let me select my CD player by voice; but once I select it manually, I can control the CD functions. I can select all other devices by voice and control their functions. That problem exists because I am using a module made for a 2001 car with a COMAND unit coded for the basic MY 2000 VCM. I will address this with my dealer soon (they're booked through the holidays).

If the module is there and won't work, check the two connnections on the bottom of the unit. Careful with the orange "wires," they're fiber-optic and should not be bent too much. You may also have a bad microphone in your car, a wiring problem, or a bad box.

Quaintly enough, the first time or two that I chose "CD" by voice, it worked - then stopped being voice selectable, once all the other components were recognized by the system.

Here's the pic :
 

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Skylaw, Thanks for your absolutely imformative posts - i've learned a lot and the effort you've been putting in this forum.

I will try it today and let you know - could you send me an ebay link, coz i searched the heck outta ebay and came up with nothing.

Also thanks abt the avatar comment, i thought it was rare and cool too... :)
 

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Skylaw, I checked the "Help" command and it gave me a list of available commands only for the Telephone - could not get it do anything else? Any suggestions would be super!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Parts aren't are always available on e-bay. You might try searching with "Mercedes Voice Control" or variants.

You could also try e-mailing sellers of other Mercedes phone equipment to see if they have parts that are not listed. I hesitate to put the e-mail addresses of persons who have corresponded with me in a post without their permission - they could be flooded. Some of those folks have been very helpful after I contacted them through e-bay.

One person who sells this sort of thing on e-bay is coyotesaftau; another is mkbaip. I note that right now, a complete kit (including a voice control module) is being sold by coppertop91; it may not fit your car, but the seller may have what you're looking for. Got-ur-cel is also selling a VCM alone. I found those by searching for "mercedes phone." The sellers have a button on the item listing that lets you contact them about the item (or inquire about other items). I have also found items on e-bay by doing a Google search.

You probably have a first-generation VCM, like the one I replaced. It will only control the phone. You have to program the names associated with the number you want it to dial, to dial by name. You do that by speaking the number (break it down - (410 - it recites "410" then 555- it recited "555" them 1212 - it recites "1212" then you say "store" - and it asks you for the name, twice. Do that for each person you want to dial by name.

To use the phone, activate the VCM with the button (or lever); say "Dial Name" or "dial number" - it will say ""the name (or number) Please" - you speak what you want to dial (again, if a number, break it down into groupings of 3 or 4 numbers at a time), and when it finishes confirming, say "dial."

If you can't get it to do those things, check connections on the bottom of the VCM itself. Other than that, it may be a coding problem that the dealer can solve.

You can also order the instruction manual from your dealer - but if you work with the commands in the help list, you'll find you don't really need one.

Thank you for your kind words. I have learned a lot from others who contribute to the forums.
 

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Skylaw,

Thanks for the info on updating the VCM. I have completed the retrofit on my 2000 S500, but have the same problem that you had in accessing the CD functions when you're not already in that mode. Did you resolve that problem? If so, what did you do?
 

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Hi,

Very nice info and I would like to upgrade it. I have 2000 S430 with old Voice Recognition module.

But I called two dealers. None of them found A203 820 6826. I tried to search with everything on the net for "mercedes phone" "voice control"

How can I find out the correct part number to order for an upgraded voice control. There are some info for Mercedes ML retrofit parts but no part numbers for S Class.

I would appreciate any info.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Keep trying on e-bay. You might especially look for sellers coyotesaftau and mkbaip; also the dealer "got ur cell." I have personally dealt with the first two and find them most helpful as well as being honest dealers. I have not dealt directly with Got Ur Cell.

If the sellers are listed, but not showing the VCM, send them an e-mail through e-bay and ask if they have one available - or request that they notify you, or can suggest an alternate part number.

Good luck!
 

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The photograph below shows where the actual voice control (recognition) module is in your car, on the left side of the trunk (trunk liner removed).

Here's the pic :
Hi, the jpg deteriorate in the last 7 years. It shows as tex file. Do you still have it to post?

I wanted to find the unit on my 2004 W220 and play with the MOST cables to make it work. I have Linguatronic factory fitted, but in Comand it shows as "not activated". I have a hunch that I can activate it by disconnecting /reconnecting the wires.
 

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Hi, the jpg deteriorate in the last 7 years. It shows as tex file. Do you still have it to post?

I wanted to find the unit on my 2004 W220 and play with the MOST cables to make it work. I have Linguatronic factory fitted, but in Comand it shows as "not activated". I have a hunch that I can activate it by disconnecting /reconnecting the wires.
The picture still appears fine for me. Perhaps you have some browser issues?
 

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The picture still appears fine for me. Perhaps you have some browser issues?
I can't see it either and I have the latest version of Mozilla Firefox here. Maybe I will try the IE7 I have.

Regarding any search on ebay: Use the words voice recognition (US) or linguatronic (rest of world I think). I needed a owner's manual and could not find it until I learned the proper name.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Hi, the jpg deteriorate in the last 7 years. It shows as tex file. Do you still have it to post?
The picture in post #3 is a .pdf file that you can download and open using Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader. It opens fine for me. However, here is another (forget the stuff about the MikBox). The pic is from a '00 S-Class. You can get photos of an '04 from the phone bulletins at http://home.earthlink.net/~phdwebsite/phone_bulletins.htm but they don't show the Voice Control Module; I believe it is in the same place as the '00, though the other equipment is located differently.

Click the pic below to enlarge it.
 

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Hi folks, coming back to my voice control problem. It is fitted in my Euro Comand but it is not activated. How can I activate it? Do I need a Star system?
 

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I just thought you should see the background details. You can see my vopice control system it in the enclosed configuration screen of my Comand as SBS (highlighted). How can I activate it?

This is an actual screen shot. Is there a guide to understand all these Comand menus? For example, I also have an "Update" screen (enclosed) but when I press the Update (soft-)key nothing happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
You just provided a critical piece of information: You have a Euro COMAND. Your COMAND looks as if it would have to be updated via DAS to turn on voice control - but I am not certain that U.S. dealerships would have the necessary software to do it.

Second, Euro COMAND updates are released periodically. I am guessing, because I don't have experience with Euro units; but my guess is that you would have to have an update disc in order to use the update menu.

European experts, please chime in!

Also, it would be helpful if you would complete your information under your avatar; please include the year and model of your car, and at least what continent you live on, if not the city or country you live in. And if you have a U.S. specification car with a Euro COMAND, we'll almost always need that info to answer telematics questions.
 

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Added the details; W220 S600, MY04

In respect of the voice control function the Euro Version should not be different, I assume. We know the DVD/SAT difference but I hope the rest is compatible.

By the way, I got the screens above by pressing mute + 1 + 3 for 5 seconds. Is there a write-up of the various COMAND screens you get that way?
 
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