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Discussion Starter #1
I've figured out why I can't get radio (FM or AM) reception on my RNS-E. The antenna connectors (both primary and diversity) are damaged. The tiny pin in the middle of the plugs is missing. I actually have two RNS-E units with this problem.

Does anyone have an idea of how to get replacement connectors, or do I now have $3K worth of paperweights?

Thanks,
Jamie
 

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It looks like the inner pin is somehow separate, if you get a male Fakra plug, you may be able to repair that somehow.
 

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You can get male fakra terminal ends from digikey.com. It would be a major pain to have them reconnected to the circuit board, but it is possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I just took the back cover off my RNS-E, and took the first circuit board off. After that, it looks like it would be major dissassembly to get the board that has the connector soldered to it out. Even if I managed to do that, the connector is soldered down to the board with a large shield soldered over it. I have no soldering experience, and I don't think this is where I want to start. This is just way beyond my comfort level. I can't believe that an expensive piece of hardware could be rendered useless by an insanely fragile little pin that's insanely difficult to replace.

Well, I just geniunely don't know exactly what to do. Here's what comes to mind:
1. Try to find an electronics shop that will replace the connector. I've found that most repair shops don't like to work on things they aren't familiar with, though. Recommendations are appreciated.
2. Try to find someone who doesn't care about radio reception and sell it cheap (I have two, though with the same problem).
3. File a claim with PayPal. It's been over 30 days with all of the wrangling to get the right harness, etc. PayPal probably won't help. The seller claims that I must have damaged the pins installing it. Of course, he's in Germany.

You've all been great here. I'm sorry for all the whining. It just seems like I've had a terrible run of bad luck in this venture.

Jamie
 

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Replacing this connector shouldn't be a problem. personally I wouldn't try to resolder anything on motherboard but if you already removed your back plate and have access to this FAKRA connector you should be able to replace it (resolder with new one). Any electronic shop will be able to do it for few $ if you don't want to play with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Having it done is the path I think I'm headed down. In order to get good access to be able to replace the connector, the logic board it's on would have to come out. Getting that logic board out would be non-trivial.

It turns out that one of my units has the radio antennas messed up while on the other, the radio connectors are fine and the GPS connector is messed up.

It looks like the correct part for the GPS connector is in DigiKey's catalog (http://dkc1.digikey.com/US/PDF/T053/WINZIP.html) on page 263. That double connector for the radio will be more of a challenge to find, though.

These guys (http://www.carstereohelp.com/audi.htm) say that they will be meeting with the company that makes the RNS-E in January and may be able to get spare parts then.

These guys (http://www.carradio.com/) say that they may or may not be able to replace the connectors.

Jamie
 
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