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Discussion Starter #1
Ok. So we all have seen how much can be accomplished when we all put our coordinated efforts and minds together from the sticky Bluetooth retrofit threat. Lets see if we can't do the same for these issues.

The solutions to problems like the annoying warning screen on US units but not EU units and the apparent lack of BT phone functions on US units but not EU ones (or, even more suprisingly, EU units changed to US software) are obviously locked inside of the software coding. If we can collectively crack into this coding, and learn to modify, or maybe even cut-and-paste it between versions, we could make an ultimate, custom software version which combines the best features of both US and EU versions.

Lets put our minds together and get these modifications rolling!

:D
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here's a start. What program do I need to view the contents of the .KWI files on the disc? That is probably where we will find the differences, and hence the solutions, correct?
 

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I don't mean to sound negative, but fitting together parts of firmware from different OS revisions to get the functionality you want is a pretty steep challenge. I'm not saying it's impossible, but the people here seem to be (tallented) electronics people.

What you're talking about would require really hard-core firmware engineers who happen to be skilled in the assembly language of whatever processor and OS the RNS-E runs and have the equipment to debug it. If these people exist outside of the companies that make it, they probably don't have time to work on this. Of course, if (Audi?) decided to release the source code to the firmware as public domain, that would change things, but don't hold your breath.

If there were a significant number of RNS-E systems out there, then the Linux community might embrace the platform and port Linux to it. Then all sorts of things would be possible. Again, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Jamie
 

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Most of the unit functionality is encoded in LOADING.KWI file.
you can access is with Ultraedit32.

I found few sections related to TEL functions and WARNING screen.
There is even a text of the WARNING screen so I'm sure it's not a graphic.

Uploading from EU to US doesn't flash EEPROM completly...it's just updating non existant or old parts of the software. Other functionality if not existant on upgrade disk (like TEL functionality) is not touched during upgrade. That's why upgraded EU units keep more TEL functionality that US units.

I'm really curious if loading 360 S/W to US unit and then going back to 040 would load EU TEL functionality into the unit. Problem is that 360 file is indexed higher than 040 so going back is probably not possible.

Even if I would play with index and mark US 040 software as 380 I will be stuck with it because I can flash EEPROM to 0000 (I can go only higher).

If someone will find a way to flash EEPROM we could load any software with any functionality we want - even reverse any updates. I suspect that messing with 90 pin EEPROM chip require more electronic skills and tools that I have so I will leave those tests to more creative minds :D
 

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I agree with jamiehankins in that it will be very tricky to mix software versions. If it is true what Proxus said about the software only updating parts of the code while leaving the rest in untouched, it might really be possible to add features to the US software. While I still think that the disclaimer is just a VAG-COM setting, adding the Euro phone features would be nice.

Several (reliable) sources have mentioned a software erase CD which exists somewhere inside Audi, which allows to erase the current software and start over. It's unknown to date if that software erase CD would be able to allow flashing a US unit with the Euro software or vice versa but at least it would allow to start over many times while playing with the software.

I also seem to remember that the RNS-E software is based on POSIX which is member of the UNIX family. This way it doesn't seem to impossible to re-qrite the complete RNS-E OS, although it's very unlikely that one of the freaks who can actually do this drives an Audi.

Anyway, sound like a lot of fun :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So it sounds as if we really have 2 main things to focus on:

(1) Removing the disclaimer screens from the US software (it is not found in the EU software).

(2) Adding the BT phone features from the EU software to the US software.

Neither of these tasks sound too daunting and, if we can solve them, the knowledge and procedures we learn can surely be expanded. In other words, lets start simple and see where it takes us.

So, where should we start? :D
 

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b5retrofit said:
So, where should we start? :D
From my point of view, I would start from being able to write a NAV disk...

Actually I've tried many times (and each one was quite expensive as I had to trash a DVD+R DL) with no success.

After that, I would happily check if making any kind of change to ANY file would produce a disk which could still be read by RNS-E.

Again, after being able doing this, I would investigate on WHICH modification to apply (or ask to be applied from some friends of mine).

Before this, it's a waste of time (and disks) to me...

Suggestions appreciated.

Ciao
 

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You don't have to create a DL DVD to test firmware changes, a CD is sufficient. And if you want to play with POIs and other navi data changes, a SL DVD with just one region should be sufficient. The IDX files are the regions and IIRC the number follows the order they are shown in. For example IDX 1 is Canada on the US DVD, which is also the first region shown. On the Euro DVD IDX 1 is Austria IIRC. Now that may not work with Euro sw 0330 and newer as it comes with some copy protection, which is illegal in most countries to disable.

That being said, I think one of the most interesting subjects for us in North America is the nasty disclaimer. There was once a picture on ebay.de which showed the Euro unit (RADIO button) and the US disclaimer. It was some X software, most likely beta, maybe even a US beta running on a Euro device. Anyway, I still think that the disclaimer can be turned off by making a certain VAG-COM change in one of the undocumented channels in #56. I would volunteer to read all undocumented channels from an "E" and a flashed "C" unit (both US 0020). Someone else could do the same with a "C" or "P" Euro unit (not flashed to US software) and we compare the settings. Some may be car related but some others may open the door to get rid of the disclaimer.

Just some ideas...
 

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AudiA4B6US said:
You don't have to create a DL DVD to test firmware changes, a CD is sufficient.
That's a good clue for me... ;-)

Now that may not work with Euro sw 0330 and newer as it comes with some copy protection, which is illegal in most countries to disable.
I have my own opinion regarding things that I "OWN", until I do not ruin anyone's else rights... and will fight for my opinion too...

Anyway, I still think that the disclaimer can be turned off by making a certain VAG-COM change in one of the undocumented channels in #56. I would volunteer to read all undocumented channels from an "E" and a flashed "C" unit (both US 0020). Someone else could do the same with a "C" or "P" Euro unit (not flashed to US software) and we compare the settings. Some may be car related but some others may open the door to get rid of the disclaimer.
Research always attracts me... I'll use weekend spare time to investigate on my "C" HW:50 SW:0360...

Do you have any good source of already documented settings beside Sebastian's ?

Ciao
 

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Do you have any good source of already documented settings beside Sebastian's ?
Nope, obenobd.org is the best place to go. There are many more settings on the German pages, compared to what's available in English. But you will get at least the channels which are already documented.
 

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what about getting ahold of some of the guys over at:

http://forum.phathack.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi

These are the guys that hacked the Phatbox DMS to be able to upgrade the hard drive with you own. They had to work around some serious eeprom flashing to get it to work. I know the user "judb" over there is someone to talk to. I am very frequently over on that forum and I would ask him what he thougt but I am not computer literate. So I wouldn't even know where to begin what to say.
 

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The real problem is figuring out a way to easily load software onto the rns-e. Preferably directly into the EEPROM, without the use of functioning firmware. The desire I have to make my rns-e do all kinds of cool things is constantly damped by the difficulty to update/change the firmware and the large probability of an expensive paper weight. Once that is done I'm confident that things like the US warning screen could be easily removed.

As far as custom POIs, the information posted above about the KWI files should give you enough information to add one.

Of other interest is that the .MOT file is an S-Record file (a way to describe where and what data should be loaded by a loader). If you convert it to a binary file many of the strings you see on the RNS-E (CD LOAD, REPEAT, etc). Although other companies do use s-records, I would guess something from motorola is in there.

Has anyone opened their rns-e up and seen if they can identify the processor?
 

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Processor?

Found this article:

http://autoweb.drive.com.au/cms/A_54291/newsarticle.html

It mentions the Motorola Power-PC 823e as a processor. Looking at the pictures, it is the "big" MMI from the A6/A8, but one would imagine that they'd use the same platform? Would make sense.

Next step would be to try and find out on compatibility with "other" PowerPC -- I would imagine there is compatibility? Anybody familiar with this processor family?

Also, here is some more information on the .MOT file:

Code:
$ srec_info A2220132.MOT
Format: Motorola S-Record
Header: "AudiRnse  \000\000"
Start:  00003800
Data:   003800 - 003B33
        003B40 - 036FB9
        036FBC - 03749A
It appears there are three data chunks in the image.

Sizes of the chunks (if my math is correct)
819 bytes
210,041 bytes
1,246 bytes

Looks like one big image that has the mother lode :)
 
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