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Discussion Starter #1
If you remember, after installing the Audi iPod adapter (firmware A.10) I noticed that its volume was much lower than radio or SD. I was also not very impressed how it handles playlists (only 5) and how to play the other songs (as CD6 all listed alphabetically).

I still had my Dension IceLink Plus which I never installed and thought I give it another try. I updated the firmware from version 2.06 to 2.14 (http://install.dension.com/ICE-LINK_PLUS_FW_214.exe) and connected it to my old Symphony which I still have.

One thing I noticed is the fact that the Dension allows the selection of any playlist though the IceLink menu. This obviously requires that the iPod is installed somewhere visible. I have my dock cable currently ending in the center armrest and it's a little tricky to see the iPod display in that location. There is also an option to change the pre-out voltage (4V, 2V, 1V and 0.5V) which may solve my volume issue but since I haven't installed it yet I can't tell for sure.

The other thing I noticed is that the head unit harness which came with the IceLink Plus is exactly the same as the one which came with the Audi adapter. The interface is physically different (different size) but the plugs are the same. May I will try tomorrow to connect my Dension iPod mini dock to the Audi interface. Or the Audi iPod cable to the IceLink?

I haven't had the time to finish this test today. Maybe tomorrow I will replace the Audi adapter with the IceLink and see how it sounds with the RNS-E.

Just thought I would share...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Some updates which might be useful for those uncertain which adapter to get.

The Dension IceLink Plus and the Audi iPod adapter are fully pin compatible. I swapped today just the Audi interface with the iceLink, leaving the Audi head unit harness and dock cable in place and it worked right away. This means that any Dension IceLink Plus docking cable should work with the Audi adapter.

I also noticed that the IceLink volume matches the other audio sources better than the Audi adapter. And the strange noise I heard with the Audi adapter when changing tracks does not exist with the Dension.

The functionality of both adapter is very similar, both allow control of the iPod and allow accessing the first 5 playlist as CD1 to CD5. The Audi adapter allows to access all songs on the iPod via CD6, ordered alphabetically which isn't the greatest idea on earth. Selecting CD6 with the IceLink opens a menu on the iPod to choose settings or to access all playlists, very usefull feature if you have a lot of songs on the iPod.

I would have kept the IceLink (firmware 2.14) installed but ran into a strange issue. With the IceLink, the prev/next track button are used to select a menu entry while the >> button is used as Enter key. This worked fine with my Symphony II when I tested this yesterday but it did not work with my RNS-E (E unit with US sw 0110). I was unable to go into any of the menus and therefore couldn't access the settings or any of the other playlists. Has anybody else seen this?

Thanks for reading...
 

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Dirk,
Nice summary. Thought provoking and very thorough. :) Seems like the two adaptors have their pros and cons...but it seems like most of the pros lean towards the Icelink.

All things considered, I would love to find out who created/developed the ipod adaptor for Audi. It appears that some other manufacturer other than Dension designed it. Not sure. If that is the case, then the Audi adaptor will be about 2 years behind the IceLink in terms of feature/functionality. Therefore, folks should consider:

a) Will Audi offer access to newer firmware releases or will that be open to the manufacturer of that device? I don't think this is something that Audi would manage (unless the owners' manual says otherwise). I've heard that customer support from Dension is horrible; but, they do offer firmware patches via their website (so that is good). Also, with the OEM Phatbox, Audi would defer (unoffically) customers to Phatnoise.com for support issues etc.

b) Your Audi headunit of choice: Seems like these adaptor always favor an audi headunit that has 6 direct buttons for disks 1-6. For instance, the Phatbox was always easier to control before I upgraded to the RNS-D and/or RNS-E. Luckily for me, I had 12 months of usage of the Phatbox prior to upgrading to the RNS-E.....so I knew the menus very well. For others, this might be more of a challenge. Just food for thought.

Also, I should also point out that I don't own/use an iPod nor do I have one installed in my car. This doesn't change my opinion of the iPod at all....as I feel that they are great devices and anyone who owns one should continue to enjoy it. :)

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A little update on the Dension IceLink Plus: It works with the RNS-E. I made the mistake to assume it would work exactly as with the Symphony, which is not the case. With the RNS-E you have to hold >> for a second to confirm a selection, with the Symphony II it is just a moment. After figuring this out I had full access to the IceLink menu.

Now, with the Dension working with the RNS-E, it is clearly the better choice. Access to all playlists, a better volume match and no noise when changing tracks are clearly atvantages compared to the Audi iPod adapter. However, neither of both gets even close to the comfort of using SD cards. Let's hope that Audi removes the file limitation in one of the next RNS-E firmware updates...
 

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speaking about iPod....I will just spoke with one company in Europe. They are working on speciall MMI for RNS-E which supose to handle Video signal and iPod in the same time. i don't have any details yet because it's a first phase of design but from what I understand, this unit will have separate screen for iPod controll with names of the songs. This would be great...I will keep bugging those guys for more info.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
PROXUS said:
speaking about iPod....I will just spoke with one company in Europe. They are working on speciall MMI for RNS-E which supose to handle Video signal and iPod in the same time. i don't have any details yet because it's a first phase of design but from what I understand, this unit will have separate screen for iPod controll with names of the songs. This would be great...I will keep bugging those guys for more info.
On the same subject, Dietz is rumored to develop a CAN connected black box to allow any USB storage to be used as MP3 source, displaying the title/artist on the DIS. No info about the control mechanism though, may be CDC, may be TV controls or something else. If TV based, the issue with no display while in motion has to be fixed - without breaking Nav.
 

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that sounds like someone found the way to access SD protocols from outside connectors. That would be great :D Unless it is TV based black box.
 

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Dirk,
one other addition to this thread....

1) the wiring for the original Icelink and the Icelink Plus are slightly different.
2) the Icelink uses a 14 pin Molex (9 pins used) while the IceLink Plus uses a 12 pin Molex (9 pins used). The 12 pin Molex is also commonly found in the Audi OEM Ipod interface and (probably) the new DICE Ipod interface.

I had to build a custom interface for a customer that had a regular IceLink and hardwired it directly into the RNS-E harness.

-Ted
 

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iceLink

That user would be me!

Yep the ice link original has a different wiring scheme and it alse only allows track forward (the ice link plus is FW updatable not the ice link)

Still love it and am waiting for something that will allow track selection on the screen

Kudos to TeddyBgame for his great work in getting me going.
 
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