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this is my theory....

As an owner of a 1995-2004 A6/S6/RS6/allroad, we have an advantage when it comes to the Nav+ upgrade: they are in very high supply. As I understand it, the Nav+ option is available on most A4, A6 and A8’s in Europe. For the A6 platform, the Nav+ option was commonly purchased with any new A6/S6/allroad etc. However, owners of A6’s in Europe are finding themselves upgrading to aftermarket stereo/navigation equipment (it just has something to do with the demographic of an A6 owner in Europe). As a result, European stereo shops are selling them as “trade-in’s†on the open market (via www.ebay.de aka Ebay Germany). Consequently, because the Nav+ is not a commonly purchased option for the A4 (the demographic of an A4 owner will dictate this), you will not find the same quantities on the open market. Also, the Nav+ option purchased for an A8, tend to stay installed in that car and not get upgraded to an aftermarket solution (again, must be the demographic of an A8 owner); which makes perfect sense to me. Bottom line: If you own a C5 A6/S6/RS6/allroad, you should not have any problems finding a Nav+ unit for your car.

Some thoughts on the regular United States version of the navigation option:
If you have the United States version of the navigation option, then you are probably familiar with the navigation menu that comes up on the Drivers Instrument System (DIS). The DIS is the screen between the speedometer and tachometer. For the most part, the Nav+ has all of those functions plus a much user-friendly experience (e.g. the 5†TFT LCD screen). With the Nav+, your passenger can enter in the destination location, or find “special destinations†(i.e. restaurants, shopping areas, etc) without distracting the driver.

Also, while setting the Nav+ to map mode (but not navigating to specific destination), the Nav+ will give you the name of the street/highway that you are currently traveling (which comes up in the DIS). Have you ever been driving down an unknown road/highway and you want to know what street you are on? In order to have this on your DIS, you will need the TMC/CAN gateway installed (see TMC/CAN gateway device).

I have not owned an A6 with the regular navigation option, so I can’t honestly speak to its limitations. However, after using the Nav+ (in conjunction with the TMC/CAN device), I can say that this is the best user experience of navigation tools that I could ever need. If you have the US navigation option and you want to upgrade to the European Nav+, then please keep note of these drawbacks:

1) Existing navigation equipment: You won’t be able to use the existing jog dial (located near the parking brake) or the CD drive located in the trunk area. The jog dial can be removed, and you can install the cup holder found in most A6’s. You can also probably sell your CD-drive in the used market (i.e. ebay) and recover some money.
2) GPS antenna: You can leverage your existing GPS antenna (whether it is trunk or roof mounted). In either case, you will need to locate the SMB connector in the left-hand side of your trunk; behind the CD-drive).

If you want to use your existing antenna, then you’d have to build or order a 15 foot coax cable with SMB connectors. Here is a company that can build one for your. FYI – they will probably charge you $30-$40 for this cable. The other alternative is to purchase a new GPS antenna and mount it in the dash area (read ahead to see what I did). I purchased my antenna for $40 from www.gpsaccessories.com (See “Sources for GPS antennasâ€) and it saved me the trouble of mounting it in the rear area and spending the time (2+ hours) to run the wire to the dash area.

3) Map disk set: If your A6 is a 2000 or 2001, then chances are, your map disk set is of the C-Navi generation. I believe in some 2001 or newer C5 A6’s, was when the D-Navi based units were adopted. You’ll have to check your current map set to see if it is C or D-Navi. If it is D-Navi, then you can use those map disks in your Nav+, but you’ll need to slightly modify them. See this link to Dan’s site: (http://www.nav-plus.com/instructions/ ). FYI - the last C-Navi disk update was released in the summer of 2001; so several A6 owners have been working from an old mapset.

4) Playing a CD/Tape: As you already know, the Nav+ headunit cannot play an audio CD or tape. Therefore, you will loose that capability. The OEM 6 disc CD Changer is still an option (see other input devices to the Nav+). After using my Nav+ for four+ months, I’ve learned to live without that capability.

5) Recoding your system with VAG-Com: I’m not sure if you’ll need to recode anything as a result of removing your existing navigation option and upgrading to a Nav+. From prior user experience, you do not need to recode your environment to prior to installing a Nav+ (According to a Chicago-based A6 owner - Rick Simpson. Thanks Rick!!).

If you want to use your existing GPS antenna:
You’ll need to purchase a SMB to extend from your trunk area (where the Nav CD-ROM drive is located) to your center dashboard area. You will probably need a 15-20 foot cable (RG174) with SMB male and SMB female ends.
SMB Connector – Below is an example of a 90° angle female end to be inserted behind the back of your Nav+ head unit.

Sources for SMB cables:
http://www.navtechgps.com/supply/misc.asp
http://www.elabelsys.com/digitek/smb_series.htm
http://www.mainlinegroup.co.uk/mless/main.php?act=Card&id_element=892
http://www.midwestelectronics.com/product_info.php/cPath/91/products_id/90

I hope this was useful.

-ted
 
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