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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I just picked up an A3 (’06 certified preowned) this weekend with CONCERT (Single Din) and am looking to do a retrofit to Nav. First off I have spent the last 5 days reading thru the forums & KB but am still left with questions (some are based on posts being old and maybe out of date or contradictory). Below are my questions :) .

1) Do I need to make a Bluetooth decision now or is the Bluetooth install plug and play later on (once I have the RNE-E Installed?)

2) Other Inputs (iPod, Aux, Sat Radio)
* What options work here? I have read that ICE works (for some but not for others), I've seen people sell there DICE units because they upgrade to nav, and other say that DICE works fine with nav.. In short there is some contradiction here :).. Also what complications are there for using an ipod integration kit and XM Radio? (I have been reading about needing different wiring, but I have yet to find specifics). If DICE is out of the question, what options are there to add just an AUX port and XM? Does that create any incompatibilities I should be aware of?


3) RNS-E Software/Firmware.. Here I am REALLY confused. I am in the US (Austin, TX to be precise) and would like to add XM radio, but all of the headunits I am finding are EU headunits (So they will need to be flashed to US for Sat Radio support). Now I know they can be flashed but then I read an FAQ that said

"Loading US software on EU unit (works only if EU unit has software 0140 or older)".

Does that mean I can't flash an EU headunit to US if its software version is to new? Given that the current version is what V222? If that is the case, how can I validate ahead of time that the headunit is in fact "old enough" to be flashable before I buy it? If that’s NOT the case, can some one point me to the forum post about how to flash an EU headunit to the most recent US?

4) Is there a way to use a US flashed headunit and unlock video while moving (so I can get Sat Radio and Video input)? I don't plan to use the headunit for DVD or TV but I just want to know my limitations now :)

5) On my test-drive the Nav unit I used disabled input while the vehicle was moving, is there a way to disable that for US flash or is that disabled for all (US and EU)? Again just seeing what my limitations are if I do a US flash so I can get XM radio.

6) Are there any good sources online for Audi OEM parts? Because I will be doing a single din to multi din conversion I will be buying a lot of OEM parts.. If there is a particular stealership that has "better prices" I would like to know who they are :). (for example my dealership wants $97 for the double-din housing which seams a little high based on what I have been reading).

7) Lease important question :) .. I had heard (on a CNET review) that the original RNS-E headunits placed the SD card slots DANGEROUSLY close to the screen when it folded down. This made the SD cards hard to get out and they could even slip down behind the screen if you weren’t careful. It then said that in 2006 the Slots were moved, is this true, if so what is the part# for the A3 RNS-E with the “moved” SD Slots? If this is bogus info then that’s what I get for reading CNet reviews :p ..

Lastly (and this may require PMs) what are your vendor Experiences? I am considering the following and want users feedback on their support and experiences :)..


http://www.navparts.com/


Thanks for the help, thus far this forum has been an overwhelming wealth of information.
Josh Handel.
 

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Some answers:
1) Yo ucan add BT at any time later but it would make sense that you get a retrofit harness that already has the connectors for BT if you consider doing this later. Even if you just get the normal RNS-E adapter you can always add BT without losing any functionality.
2) My iceLink (fw 2.17) works fine within the limitations of a CD changer device. The Dice should work the same way.
3) The US software can be loaded on any European RNS-E. In most cases you will need a VAG-COM cable to complete the cross region upgrade but even without VAG-COM there is a way to load the US software (in this case future updates won't be automatic though).
4) Most of the vendors offering VIM unlocking do this while the Euro software is installed. However, you as the customer won't see the difference because they know how to switch the software. Most of them shold even be able to unlock VIM and change the software on your Euro RNS-E to US 0150 without you needing to do anything.
5) Certain features are locked while moving (entering a destination or dialing a phone number), this is the case in all software versions and cannot be removed.
6) Clair-Parts is one of the more popular online retailer for VAG parts, or look on Audizine, there is one guy selling parts from Europe as well.
7) I have not seen any RNS-E that had a different hardware layout than the first units. All RNS-E look the same form the ouside and I doubt that they have changed anything in that area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the quick reply and information :)... I do have an follow on question to your comment about VIM. I will be getting a VGA-COM plug, can I do a VIM unlock on my own (if so is there a post showing that process), or does it need even more special software/hardware to do that unlock?

Thanks again for your reply.. you have helped clearup parts of this process for me :)..

Josh Handel
 

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No, you cannot do VIM unlocking just with a VAG-COM cable, you will need special tools to do so.
 

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I can actually provide you with a complete navigation plug and play kit including bluetooth and VIM unlocking. See my website and webstore to view my experience and products. Email me with questions and for a price quote on the entire package (including all the double-DIN dash parts you will need).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
NSX Jr,

Actually I've been to your website and didn't see an RNS-E kit for an A3 so I didn't list it... PM me with pricing with more info :)
 
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