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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that I have been a rather vocal critic of the OEM BT setup, but I got a decent deal on a complete setup from the classifieds (thanks Lanny), and finally had time to install it. Of course, placement in the C5 A6 is not as easy, as the area behind the glovebox is a bit tight, especially if you have a C5 4.2, S6, or RS6 that has the memory module for tilt/telescope steering wheel. I wanted to install the bluetooth module in that location, so I inverted the steering module within the bracket to give me another inch or so of clearance. Inverting the steering module into the bracket required that I modify the mounting tabs of the module to eliminate the wedge-shaped edges of the tabs.

I then used that heavy-duty velcro (plastic on both sides, like they use for toll-booth transponders) to mount the BT module to the memory module. The result was a very nice spot to tuck away the module, not under the seat, and even enough room for the BT antenna! Here is a picture of the area behind my glovebox:



Anyway, I am happy with the setup, but even after some tweaking of the microphone gains etc. the sound quality is not as good as what I had before. I attribute that to the placement of the hidden OEM microphone, not the setup itself. Paired up my Motorola e815 (I know, I should get a new BT phone), and everything paired up very nicely.

Full details, and my feedback on the likes and dislikes can be found here:
http://www.audiworld.com/tech/elec163.shtml

Thanks to NSX_JR for his very useful PDFs on his download page, TeddyBGame for pictures on the forum of his custom harness, AudiA4B6US for his research on Audi pins, and Proxus for his thread on VAG COM codes.
 

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Folks,
Don't forget to read this thread in the A6 forum for more background on some stuff that BostonDriver did not include in his tech article. Happy reading! :D
http://forums.audiworld.com/a6/msgs/697480.phtml

...............


Congrats. I never thought you had the "balls" to actually pull the trigger on this (in lieu of all your OEM BT module "bashing"...over the last year).

Couple of thoughts:
1) in the C5, the OEM location for the Onstar/BT module is mounted vertically against the firewall behind the glovebox...and behind the carpet -- and NOT under the seat (you might want to edit your post). I've swapped a few of the Onstar modules in the C5 and there were all covered behind a think ziplock style plastic cover. It makes sense really. In new installs of the BT module, you can enclose the module in a ziplock bag.

2) the OEM mic is very sensitive (more so than your moto mic) -- therefore you don't need to yell into it. A soft voice tends to sound much clearer on the other side. Plus, you can line the top of your roof (above the domelight/mic area) with Dynamat (to counter any unwanted road/wind noise).

In time, you will find that the OEM setup is far superior to the moto kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ted, well, the bashing may not yet be over, as I still think it is an expensive solution, and not for the masses. For most, especialy those without the RNS-E, the Moto or Parrot kits are plenty useful without dropping some serious coin.

Thanks for the feedback about the location. I had not seen any pictures of an A6 install, but I do recall seeing an install in an RS6 (On-Star replacement). I think that due to car's episode last summer of the blocked battery tray drain, I was hesitant to palce this anywhere that could get wet. The ziplock bag sounds like a nice idea, but for some reason, I just liked the spot I installed the module. Easy to install once I cut those tabs and inverted the module. Bsides, I was never going to cut up the glovebox for the ME-3...decided to keep that in the trunk.

As for the microphone, yeah, I think you are right about the yelling, but even when I lowered my voice (I tried a few experiments with phone calls) it just was not as clear. Maybe the moto mic was just a tad bit better at filtering the ambient sounds? I actually might try playing around with a few more settings via VAG COM. I just wish the module would operate while logged in so I don't have to wait for the BT phone to reconnect after I log VAG COM out of the module.

Dynamat might be a possibility...we'll see. I just don't want to pull the headliner again. That was a major PITA!

Oh, and I finally figured out all the voice commands...I think Lanny had a couple of dummy voice tags programmed in the module that were kind of gibberish. Gone now, but it took me a while to imitate those tags :)))
 

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First let me say that if you microphone is not working well then you have something wrong. The sound should be crystal clear. The problem could come from the kufatec harness you used to install the bluetooth kit. Last time I saw one they were not using a shielded coax cable for the microphone wire. Without this coax wire, it can easily pick up interference.

Second, I don't think you are doing a fair cost comparison in your post. You say that you paid $500 for your parts and that $800 is just too much. Well, you either got used or old model parts and you also spent your own time building your wiring harness. Let me give you a picture of the real costs.

$440 Bluetooth Module - NEW
$150 Microphone - NEW
$15 Bluetooth Antenna NEW
$55 Plug and Play adapter NEW
$40 Other wiring parts, pins, housings, wire, etc

Total PARTS: $700

Now, add two hours of my time building the harness, testing the module, packaging and shipping the kit and you get to my asking price of $799. Does not seem very unreasonable to me.

PLUS, with my kit you get radio removal tools, hardcopy RNS-E manual, and complete installation instructions with pictures and VAG codes.

It is great that you could find older/used parts and spend the time putting everything together for yourself. However, I think it is unreasonable for you to simply state that my package is just overpriced. My time is worth money, period. I have never charged people for advice over the forums or via email or phone. However, if I am giong to sit down and spend my time sourcing parts, building harnesses, and testing parts so that a customer can have a completely plug and play package with instructions then you better believe I am going to get paid for my time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Point taken, your time is worth money. I did not mean to offend, but simply say that I still think the less expensive alternatives are still viable for most. $99 over the cost of the parts is totally reasonable...but still, the total package cost is more than many want to spend.

My unit is a "G" model, is that old? I thought it was one of the newer ones. According to Lanny, only bench tested, never installed in a car. I will take a look at the cables for the microphone, I was thinking the same thing as I've read many posts about something either with the microphone or the cables used. It looks like a Kufatec setup, but I did not know before I installed it that the sound quality would be average. If I cannot tweak the settings well enough with the VAG COM, I'll focus on the wire. At least I have all the stuff necessary to add a "better" quality wire if needed. I am not sure if it is coax or not...I did not rip apart that part of the harness.

I think the main issue with the sound quality was really just in comparison to the previous setup. I think the moto kit must have had a good filter for ambient noise, but sometimes would not pickup on some words (when using voice dial, sometimes it picked up the wrong word or number). The OEM BT kit picks up voice tags and numbers very accurately. I have yet to have an issue with that. I suppose that means there might not really be anything wrong with the setup, only that there is slight degredation in sound qulaity in favor of picking up sound more easily. Maybe Ted is right and I have to stop shouting in the car.

So, in the end, all I really saved is about $200 ($100 in parts and another $99 in labor), but I gained the satisfaction of doing it myself (with lots of help from your reference library), and some time while sitting in front of the TV one evening to put the harness stuff together. You should have seen my floor when I was done! Lots of little bits of cable insulation, and a few "oopsies" with crimping a few pins.

I'm not done tweaking all the settings ytet, maybe I'll fidn one that I like (leaving myself numberous voicemails), and quite frankly, if I had not used a BT kit previously, I would probably be totally satisfied with the current setup!
 

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Just to comment on the new parts over used parts thing, epsecially in Europe, be careful with used parts from ebay or so. There is a lot garbage out there and if you are not buying from a seller that you trust, don't buy at all. The BT interface is used from the car pretty much useless. And unless you have the experience and tools to get this fixed it's costing you more long term than buying the stuff new from a trusted seller, or from Audi direclty if you are in Europe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
NSX JR said:
...I think it is unreasonable for you to simply state that my package is just overpriced.
Okay, let me clarify...I was not saying your package is "overpriced." I was simply stating (again) that the OEM solution is expensive, and not for everyone. As you've pointed out, the prices of the components alone is about $700, and $99 is not unreasonable for your time to put together the custom harness. Many Audi owners will gladly pay $75 for an oil change when they could do it for much less on their own. Hell, I even refer people to YOU when they ask about packages and installation services. Would I do that if I thought you were overpriced? Definitely not.

I do NOT want poeple to think that I am saying that YOU are overpriced, but the COMPONENTS are expensive. Remember, the Motorola kit is only $100, and not a difficult install at all. For that, you get a handsfree kit that you can use to place/receive calls, mute the radio automatically, and tap into the voice-dialing features of the phone. Simple, inexpensive, very functional, but missing the "coolness" factor.

Look at it this way...for many, general purpose all-season tires are just fine. Not everyone needs to have high performance summer tires. Both will get you around town.

QUESTION: I thought I got one of the later model BT modules (G suffix) but not the latest (J suffix). Any significant differences between those? I did not see any functional differences in my searches here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
AudiA4B6US said:
BTW, is that 29 minutes you talked to Dave Press just to test the phone interface :lol:
No, we were chatting about other stuff, work, family, blah blah blah...we also were discussing the potential for a "national" A6 GTG at VIR this year. We'll see. I'll at least catch up with the Chicago gang if they decide to go to Watkins Glen this Spring. I would love to see daveykid's R32 on the track!

BTW - I did find a source for those flat pins that fit in the connector III (for Symphony II) for power, ground, K-line, etc. The blade-style pins are not OEM, but they are an exact fit. Let me know if you want the source.
 

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BD,
I commend you for putting all the time and energy into documenting your whole experience. Very few have as much spare time as you. 

As I read your post in AW, it occurred to me that you purchased the OEM BT kit with a bias against it. Therefore, your entire post is somewhat of a contradiction. Pitting the OEM BT solution to a $100 Moto kit is not a true apples-to-apples comparison. Correct? There are probably 20 other features that the OEM kit offers over the Moto kit….but I didn’t see you reference those in your post. Maybe you should have spent more time with the OEM kit before you bashed it.

As I see it, you’ve spent over $500 on a discounted BT kit and then you state that you are unimpressed with the functionality over a $100 Motorola kit. Myself and a few others have upgraded from the Moto kit to the OEM version and found the OEM to be far superior. I can’t think of any of my other harness customers that were not happy with the OEM BT upgrade. Seems to me that you either:

a) haven’t spent enough time learning about it’s feature/functions over the Moto kit…..or
b) it’s quite possible that you botched the installation. This isn’t the first time that you’ve incorrectly installed a RNSE-related device (in your car or others)

I know that you like to consider yourself an authority on all things Audi. That is not the case here. You tend to project your bias against certain upgrades as the “final word†– heaven forbid anyone to speak against your extensive knowledge of the RNSE and related “stuffâ€. Yes, this is your opinion and you are entitled to it. However, everyone should make their decision based on their individual “BT†needs….and not because you posted that the OEM solution is “over pred†and “not worth the $$â€.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, maybe so, but you also thought at one point that the OEM BT kit was "too expensive." No?

I don't think it is a botched install. I've listened to the sound quality, and I would rate it a 8 out of 10 (which is not bad) but the previous setup I would rate 8.5. I think part of the problem is the sensitivity of the OEM mic...it tends to pick up too much ambient noise. Perhaps sound insulation would be better, or the shielded mic cable as NSX JR suggested previously. The funny thing is I've searched last night for "coax" "coaxial" and never found anything referenceing BT, but saw a couple of posts about "shielded" cables but no information about what type of shielded cable to use (gauge, etc.). The harness I got with my kit does not appear to have shielded cable (see the grey wires leading to the microphone plug near the top of the pic)...



Isn't it the same cable that you used for your custom harness below?



I did see a few posts about the sound quality relying on the phone itself, and I'll probably try that later if all else fails...just seems odd that the sound quality is not a "10" as I had expected after reading all the praises on the forums.

Still tinkering with it...not done yet...I welcome any other input you may have.[/img]
 

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Look at it this way...for many, general purpose all-season tires are just fine. Not everyone needs to have high performance summer tires. Both will get you around town.
Then again, we do have Audis when a much less expensive car will get around town.

Although the BT kits are expensive, just like the RNS-E is expensive, they are genuine Audi, and the seamlessness about it is just so lovely. It cannot compare to the integration of an aftermarket kit. Spending 30-40k on the car, 1-2k on the RNS-E... it follows to spend 700$ if you want true bluetooth integration.. just my 2 cents..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
shawnie53 said:
Then again, we do have Audis when a much less expensive car will get around town.

Although the BT kits are expensive, just like the RNS-E is expensive, they are genuine Audi, and the seamlessness about it is just so lovely. It cannot compare to the integration of an aftermarket kit. Spending 30-40k on the car, 1-2k on the RNS-E... it follows to spend 700$ if you want true bluetooth integration.. just my 2 cents..
True! I agree on that front, we do drive expensive cars, and the toys associated with these cars are therefore expected to be more expensive. As far as the navigation, I actually considered the aftermarket navigation units, (considered the Garmin or Tom Tom). Those actually have some features that are NOT available on the OEM RNS-E, such as wireless updates on map data, and portability for use in multiple cars. Almost pulled the trigger, but I wanted movies on-the-go without sticking something obviously aftermarket. The DVD player integration into the RNS-E was perfect, and the nav is prety good as well.

However, when asked my opinion about the navigation, I pointed out the advantages and disadvantages from my perspective, and people either decided to go OEM or aftermarket. One guy went aftermarket because of the ability to get map updates more frequently than OEM, and the ability to use it in other cars, since that was important to him. Good reasons for not going OEM, if that is important.

I think almost the same as the BT setup. Sleek integration, especially being able to use the buttons on the steering wheel and the caller ID on the dash, fabulous. But for those looking for simple connection to the car's speakers...a $100 BT handsfree kti is not that bad. Still mutes the radio, still hands-free, and can still have sound via the car's speakers. If that is what is important, then why not consider a less expensive alternative. However, others may WANT the steering wheel button control, caller ID on the dash, access to the phone book, etc. etc., and therefore the OEM kit is the perfect solution.

I am disappointed that I lost the voice-dial features of the phone itself, since it seems repetitive to have seperate voice tags on the BT module. But, I suppose once they are all programmed in, it is harmless.

I just wonder if everyone would agree that the extra features are worth the almost $600 premium (just parts, not including the labor for the custom harness) is worth it. I do not, but that is just my two cents as well...
 

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A coax wire is by definition a sheilded wire with a single conductor core. Perfect for use in this situation, and indeed it is what Audi uses in their harnesses as well. However, it probably wont be worth your effort to try replacing the mic wire. As you know it is a good bit of work to run the wire to the dome light area, and I just dont think it will bring you the satisfaction you desire. Then again, my advice to you time and time again was to keep your moto kit and forget about the OEM parts before you even started this task so this advice will probably be filed on the bottom shelf as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
NSX JR said:
A coax wire is by definition a sheilded wire with a single conductor core. Perfect for use in this situation, and indeed it is what Audi uses in their harnesses as well. However, it probably wont be worth your effort to try replacing the mic wire. As you know it is a good bit of work to run the wire to the dome light area, and I just dont think it will bring you the satisfaction you desire. Then again, my advice to you time and time again was to keep your moto kit and forget about the OEM parts before you even started this task so this advice will probably be filed on the bottom shelf as well.
LOL! I already gave away the Moto kit, so I am going to make this work one way or the other. Running a wire to the headliner is not a big deal. I've pulled so many A-pillars for radar detector installs that it is so fast. Do you avhe a particular recommendation for the gauge wire to use for this application?

BTW, I did change the language of my original post in AW to mention the cost of the "components" instead of it sounding like YOU were charging too much for the package. Sorry if it came across taht way. I appreciated your cost breakdown you previously posted, and I think $99 is totally reasonable for the amount of labor involved in making the custom harness.

I also just got my new RNS-E manual with the telephone section, so I will be reading that over lunch...(munch munch). I've already played with all the voice commands, the phone book access, but I still have to figure out how to enter a PIN for voicemail without needing the handset. Should be a fun read!
 

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Interesting. You rate the sound quality of the OEM setup as an 8 and the Moto kit as a 8.5. .5 doesn't seem like a large delta, yet most of your post states how disappointed you were in the $500+ expense. There is chance that you have been yelling into the mic of the Moto kit for so long that you can’t seem to physically adjust your own voice to account for the OEM setup.

It is obvious that you were against the OEM setup from the beginning but yet you decided to do the install and criticize every little nuance of the OEM setup without fully understanding the capabilities. Maybe you jumped the gun with your post on AW. I think yes. For folks like you, sometimes there is just no pleasing you. I think Lee and I predicted that you would go down this path and bash the OEM setup in the process.

As for the coax, I’ve got lots of that in stock. I use that for all of my harnesses. Let me know if you need some….i’d be glad to help you fix your harness for ya!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
TeddyBGame said:
There is chance that you have been yelling into the mic of the Moto kit for so long that you can’t seem to physically adjust your own voice to account for the OEM setup.
Quite possible, and highly likely.

TeddyBGame said:
Maybe you jumped the gun with your post on AW. I think yes. For folks like you, sometimes there is just no pleasing you.
...perhaps, but as you can see, I ahve edited the post a bit based on the feedback here (such as the cost of the "components" vs. the cost of the "package" from NSX_JR.

TeddyBGame said:
As for the coax, I’ve got lots of that in stock. I use that for all of my harnesses. Let me know if you need some….i’d be glad to help you fix your harness for ya!
It looks like the same cable you used in your custom harness pictured in your album. Yes?

I'm sure that the more I use it, and the more I learn all the functions, I'll be happy with the OEM kit. However, it is not for everyone. The "best" is not always most appropriate choise for everyone.
 

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Boston Driver said:
I am disappointed that I lost the voice-dial features of the phone itself, since it seems repetitive to have seperate voice tags on the BT module. But, I suppose once they are all programmed in, it is harmless.
Why don't you just put voice tags on your phone entries, like outlined by NSX_JR in this post.

http://www.navplus.us/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4511

Not much work at all.
 

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FWIW I too have come from the Moto BT kit. There is no two ways about it - the Audi BT is expensive when compared to an aftermarket kit such as the the Moto/Nokia kits. I personally initially found the cost of the BT to be a bit hard to justify, but since biting the bullet I've had absolutely no regrets.

If a simple handsfree is what you're after and you're on a budget, go the Moto/Nokia/whatever kit and I'm sure it will do the job/serve the purpose. If you get the chance to have a play with a car equipped with an RNS-E and the OEM BT kit, you will be envious though!

IMO there is no comparison with the sound quality of my OEM kit and the Moto kit though. The Audi kit just seems so much clearer (like there is no bluetooth kit at all - the sound quality is as if you were talking into the phone), and the integrated extra functionality is fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
bjarne said:
Why don't you just put voice tags on your phone entries, like outlined by NSX_JR in this post.

http://www.navplus.us/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4511

Not much work at all.
Aha! I read that post, but did not see page 2 which shows someone HOLDING the button down...I'll have to try that. Am I still limited to 50 voice tags using that method? I have much more than 50 numbers stored on my phone (for work alone I have about 20, plus favorite restaurants, family, friendds etc. etc.). I suppose normally 50 should be plenty for most folks, but it would be nice to have ALL my favorite restaurants, office contacts, and even occasional contacts available via voice dialing.

I'll give that a go, thanks for pointing me to that thread again...I have to learn to not stop on the first page :)))

I still think it is odd that the function was lost, and I have to store seperate voice "tags" (i.e. my recorded voice) vs. voice recognition (generic speech pattern recognition) that is built into my phone. Voice tags are still a nice feature, just wish we were not limited (if that is the case).

On a positive note, I have already stored 30 tags. I do think the OEM BT setup has the ability to pick up numbers VERY accurately. I never had to repeat a single number in the process. 100% accuracy is pretty good in my book. I even tried dialing a few numbers by using the "select number" saying the number I wanted to dial, got the confirmation from BT lady with the correct number I am dialing, and saying "dial." Again, 100% accuracy, where the Moto kit probably had a 50% sucess rate (meaning every other call I had to repeat the number to get it right).
 
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