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The RNS-E B5/C5 Clock Problem Thread

69602 Views 254 Replies 42 Participants Last post by  auditechnik
Ok, so as those of you with B5/C5's already know, there is some issue between the RNS-E unit and the clock in our cluster. Because of whatever the problem is, the clock is usually not correct. Now that the new US software displays the clock on the screen (as well as solves many of our old problems), this seems like a good time to figure out why this is as well as if and how it can be fixed.

Here are 3 observations I've made while looking into this:

1) The clock is always slow; it is never faster than the set time.

2) The clock is always off by multiples of 6, and usually by exactly 6 (6 minutes, hours, or days too slow; also sometimes 12 or 18, but never anything else).

3) In the engineering mode screen it shows the instrument cluster and RNS-E times and dates; the cluster is displayed with the correct time, the RNS-E is not (i.e., the correct time is apparently being transmitted to the RNS-E since it is shown correctly.. it just isn't displayed correctly).

If you have any ideas, any more info, or have anything else to add, please post it here.

With all of the other things we have solved by putting our heads together, I'm sure we can figure this one out, too. :D
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TeddyBGame said:
has anyone tried unplugging their car battery at midnight to try and sync the cluster and RNS-E.
Syncing it at midnight wouldn't do anything since it fluctuates all the time (sometimes it shows the correct time, then it shows the wrong time, then it will show the correct time again later, and so on...). While it would probably sync at midnight, it would lose time again.

Since the engineering mode screen already does display the correct instrument cluster time even when the RNS-E displays something different, I think there is going to be a fix for this other than software.
Ted, I get my CAN signals from the Symphony harness, and I do have the clock problem, so I am assuming that does not matter.

There must be something to the fact that it is always slow in multiples of "6". I actually saw it do it yesterday; the time was 2:15 (on the cluster and the RNS-E), then it changed to 2:10 as soon as the cluster switched to 2:16. I'm going to go ask at my dealership if they can think of any reason why it would always be off by multiples "6".

Especially since the Engineering Mode screen shows us that the RNS-E is always receiving the correct time and date; its just a really weird problem.
NSX JR said:
craigyb said:
Sounds like we need a little module from Dietz that filters out the clock signals from the can bus, like the 1280 filters out GALA/speed pulse.

Any of these solutions would be acceptable to people with clock issues.

1. Filter out time signal completely - allow the RNS-E to use satelites.
2. Convert time signal to infotainment canbus compliant with RNS-E.

Maybe we should ask Dietz to provide a solution.

Who would be willing to pay for such a solution? the 1280 costs around 189 euros, such a filter should not cost any more as they have the hardware ready, it's just a case of reprogramming the PIC to filter out a different signal.


Yep, exactly as I suggested earlier. I vote for option 1... filter out the clock signal completely. That way, your RNS will always have the correct time from the GPS sats. I would be wililng to pay, probably in the lower $100's though. Not sure if an accurate ETA is that important to me right now.
I agree. Could there be a way to deactive the clock signal by recoding either the cluster or RNS-E with a VAG-COM? Maybe by disconnecting a wire from the cluster harness? Any other ideas?

(BTW, I tried recoding the unit to believe it was an A4 unit as was mentioned before, it did not change the clock issue)
Re: B5 clock

Roberto said:
I dont know if I'm missing the point here, but my clock works fine in my 2001 S4 Avant. When I got the unit I went into set up and set the Nav clock to -6hrs GMT. I alos notice in set up that its set to get clock info from satelites.
That may be key, as is the inst cluster is not able to provide that info because the firmware does nto support it, then for the NAV system to get its clock info from satelite only may be the solution? My clock in teh nav is perfect dead on all the time, my arrivaltime on the GPS also is straight on. I of course have other issues like my red DIS does not show any NAV info at all, and nothing I do seems to change that. Also my rear CDC does not work now with the NAV system. :cry:
Roberto, could you please do me (and everyone else here) a huge favor and, if you have access to a VAG-COM, post all of your gauge cluster and RNS-E coding and adaptation settings? If I remember correctly, even with the CAN signals not hooked up, my RNS-E still didn't give me an option for time via Satellites. So, since yours does, the solution to our problem may very well be hidden there in your settings :)
todd1010 said:
TeddyBGame said:
todd1010 said:

You said your CD changer doesn't work sometimes! Well you should try running a ground wire from the actual cd changer. I went thru this with the Phatbox and OEM Sirius Tuner. There's something in the new RNS wiring harness that's not sending the ground to the rear for the CD changer.
From my install experience taught me, the CDC ground behind a Sym I is within the red 10 pin connector. The RNS-E pnp harness usually doesn't account for you have to relocate that wire to the 20 pin connector (prior to plugging in the pnp harness). I haven't done that yet....but my phatbox works fine as it's large metal chassis is attached to my CDC bracket in the trunk which is grounded to chassis of my 2001 A6 Avant already.

Food for thought.

Yeah thats the only way mine works is when it actually mounted in the CD changer spot. I actually had to put to screws in each side to fully mount/ground it in my car.
No offence, but lets try to stay on topic here (at least a little)
todd1010 said:

So has Roberto responded yet? If not lets send him a private message or an email. I'd like to investigate further.
I PM'ed him with the same message I posted here, hopefully he gets back to us because it sounds like the solution is hidden somewhere in his VAG settings or wiring configuration :D

Seems that, since we now have one confirmed report of someone having the option for time/date sync via satellite (instead of the instrument cluster) on their RNS-E (in a B5 S4 no less), its just a matter of time until we find out how to unlock that option. Before I wasn't sure if there was another choice available, but now that I know there is, I'm dedicated to finding out how to unlock it. Audi wouldn't have made it possible without someone out there knowing how to turn it on (or oppositely how to turn off the instrument signal, if that is the case).
AudiA4B6US said:
I think I saw once a posting mentioning that with Euro software 0050 or 0060 the selection was possible, even with CAN connected. I have never seen this again, nor do I remember where I have seen this.
From reading through the archives, I'd unfortunately say that is incorrect. What I did find was some people mentioning that the clock was not displayed in older EU software revisions (like those you mentioned), but they were referring to the time display on the screen (new in EU 360 and US 110), not the actual time/date information received by the unit.

Since Roberto has a unit in his B5 S4 which he is able to switch to time/date via satellites, I'm pretty confident that this is going to be a coding or wiring issue, and not an unsolvable or unachievable software issue (like the BT TEL controls for example).

Roberto, if you read this man, please, PLEASE post your system info (nav unit version, software version, etc), your VAG COM coding, and your VAG COM adaptation values.

:!: :!: :!: OK, THIS MAY BE HUGE :!: :!: :!:

I was searching through some german pages with Google (thanks to the good ol' langauge translator), and here is what I found (note the option to activate or deactivate the remote clock):

Control Module Adaptation

Select 17 (Instrument Cluster)
Adaptation -> Function 10

-> Channel 19 (Misc)

xxxx?: Remote Clock

0 - Remote Clock not active
1 - Remote Clock active

xxx?x: Ambient Temperature

0 - no Display, Illumination inactive
1 - Display and Illumination active

xx?xx: Driver Information System (DIS)

0 - DIS 1
1 - Highline without DIS
2 - DIS 2

x?xxx: Board Computer

0 - only Level 2 (long time memory)
1 - Level 1 and 2

?xxxx: Illumination Option

0 - Needle and Scala only active at 'Light on"
1 - Needle already active at 'Ignition on'
2 - Scale already active at 'Ignition on'
3 - Scala (2. Map) and Needle at "ignition on" active
Now this info was in reference to an A4 8E model, NOT A B5 S4. However, I believe this is further proof that this is going to a VAG COM coding solution, and again, since the clock apparently seems to be deactivated in Roberto's B5 S4, it must be an available option which we can change.

Now we just need to find out which value needs to be changed. I'm not near my car, so I can't check to see if this is the same coding info for a B5 S4, but I am assuming its not (someone near their car, please verify this one way or the other if possible; thanks).

In the meantime, lets all keep putting our minds together on this. I'm more and more sure we can solve this with each new discovery along the way :D [/b]
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NSX JR said:
If you go back and read roberto's original post, he doesnt say he can switch back and forth between cluster or gps... he just says his works off gps. Also, he says his DIS does not work which would lead me to think his CAN lines are not connected to the cluster. That would explain why his RNS unit is getting the time from GPS.
Yes but, as I stated, when I connect the RNS-E to my car without the CAN connected I do NOT get the option for time/date sync via satellite. So I think this is more than just a missing CAN connection.
todd1010 said:
Do you think that maybe Ross-Tech might have some idea of a coding somewhere in the instrument cluster or HU that might fix this?
I actually already contacted them about 3 hours ago :D

Just waiting on their reply.
Off topic just a little, how are there still channels which we don't have information on? Obviously there must be some sort of manual out there with descriptions of all of them for the service techs, right? Why would Audi put them there but them not tell anyone what they are for. Somewhere out there someone must have that info. Maybe I'll drop by my dealership and ask the techs (they are pretty cool there).
:!: :!: :!: New Info :!: :!: :!:

Asked around a little and learned that, according to the wiring diagram, Pin #12 on the grey gauge-cluster wiring-harness is labelled "clock". Could it be as easy as just snipping that wire?
todd1010 said:
Unfortunately, I won't be near my car until early tomorrow afternoon. I'll try it then. If anyone else tries it before then, please post your results. Hell, if it doesn't do anything we can always just reconnect it :)
todd1010 said:
So if this were the case as just snipping the wire. We won't get anything displayed in that area of the cluster, correct?
I would assume that we would still have the display, the data just wouldn't be transmitted out of the cluster.
NSX JR said:
b5retrofit said:
:!: :!: :!: New Info :!: :!: :!:

Asked around a little and learned that, according to the wiring diagram, Pin #12 on the grey gauge-cluster wiring-harness is labelled "clock". Could it be as easy as just snipping that wire?
No, the clock wire is an older data wire that was part of the communications between your old symphony radio, the cluster, and the older style telephone transceiver. This is similar to the "Data clock" wire that communicates between the headunit and the cd changer.
Not sure I'm following your logic here... if it is a data wire between the cluster and the headunit... wouldn't that be a good thing???

Regardless, Roberto replied to me and we are in the midst of exchanging information on our setups. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this problem very soon.
Re: Yeah, I'm still alive

Roberto, from the IM you sent me, you obviously just don't have any CAN signals at all going to your RNS-E. If the unit doesn't power on/off with the car and the lights don't illuminate with the dash (like you IM'ed me), then that is 100% certainly the problem. Not all S4's have the CAN wires at the Symphony unit, 2001.5 and 2002 models must splice into the CAN signals somewhere else (usually the gauge cluster). That is what it is, hands down.
NSX JR said:
It seems to me like the solution is still to have someone create a black box to filter out the clock signals over CANbus from the cluster to the RNS.
How would you say we should go about doing this?

Another option I thought of the other night would be to actually open up the cluster and physically disconnect the clock from the CAN. I would expect that the cluster clock display would still function as it is a function of the cluster, not the CAN, but that the data would then not be transmitted over the CAN. I can't think of any reason to have the time/date data over the CAN other than for the nav unit, so eliminating it would not have any negetive consequences I can think of.
Please keep us posted. If they can offer something, I would certainly be interested in buying it.

I'v also contacted Ross-Tech (the makers of the VAG COM cables and software), and will post any findings they have for me.
This just keeps getting stranger and stranger...

Just came inside from checking out the Engineering mode time info. Here is what I found:

The Gauge Cluster Read - 7:04pm (correct)
The GPS Info in the Engineering Mode Screen Read - 00:04 GMT (correct)
The Instrument Cluster in the Engineering Mode Screen Read - 19:04 (correct)

However, when I exitted back out of the Engineering Mode Screen, the RNS-E displayed 1:04pm (6 hours slow).

So, according to the Engineering Mode screen, the correct time is being transmitted by the GPS satellite AND the cluster. Very strange.
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