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Thread: Good alternative to Audi Bluetooth for those with OnStar

  1. #37
    Registered User DST's Avatar
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    I am starting the mod to install the BlueStar/costar module to in place of the defunct On-star system. I know a few others have previously done this (UrS6, Dynmicracr).

    As part of the mod I need to remove my On-star button module to send in to Keith Bloom for modification. I am concerned about collateral damage to the trim/light lenses in the removal/access process. Does any one have any tips/photos/shop manual pages for how to remove the trim pieces to gain access to the overhead On-star button module in an RS6?

    Any info is helpful.

    Thanks
    '03 RS6 | Avus Silver Pearl | Black + CF interior | SE Exhaust | 64k miles and counting

  2. #38
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    Sub'd... I'll be looking to do this soon hopefully
    -Patrick // 06 Frontier SE 6spd // Mods: a few... // Uprev Tuned @ Z1 Motorsports: 257whp & 292ft-lbs
    09 G8 GXP 6M // All stock other than tint

  3. #39
    Registered User DST's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StormFront View Post
    Sub'd... I'll be looking to do this soon hopefully
    If no one replies with info, I'll document how mine goes and share what I learn for you and others. I'm excited about getting this done.
    '03 RS6 | Avus Silver Pearl | Black + CF interior | SE Exhaust | 64k miles and counting

  4. #40
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    When I did the mod unfortunately I didn't shoot too many pictures but from memory, I did have a little damage to deal with in the console area. IIRC, one or two of the metal pressure tabs 'came off' or stuck in the holes they were in, and due to age there was one clip that broke off. Obviously the heat and age takes its toll on the plastics. I was able to superglue the piece back on and got it all seated back in flush. The module itself is a bit of a PITA as there is not too much cable to deal with so you're working in cramped quarters. Taking the glove box out is a must of course, but that is easy.

    Keith is fantastic to work with, as I mentioned before I could not be more pleased with the transaction and he turned everything around quickly.

    Many months post install, I'm still very pleased with the mod, probably my favorite one creature confort wise. The audio streaming is awesome and I use it pretty much every day, pandora is great to have in the car wirelessly. The SQ is good too, as I mentioned in earlier posts, I picked up an AUX in adapter for the Symphony II and it works like a champ.

    The only thing I have been disappointed in in the setup is the sound quality that people say comes through on voice calls. From the feedback I have gotten, it sounds very tinny/thin. I think that replacing the stock microphone with a higher quality one might help, but I've never gotten around to it. If I were doing it from scratch I'd explore that part a bit...

    Hope that helps some and good luck with it, very cool mod for sure.

  5. #41
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    Thanks for the info Tom. I wonder how one would go about upgrading the mic? Using one from a newer model perhaps? Aftermarket?

    Big fan of Rush?
    -Patrick // 06 Frontier SE 6spd // Mods: a few... // Uprev Tuned @ Z1 Motorsports: 257whp & 292ft-lbs
    09 G8 GXP 6M // All stock other than tint

  6. #42
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    Updated Firmware and Settings for Mic Gain Improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    The only thing I have been disappointed in in the setup is the sound quality that people say comes through on voice calls. From the feedback I have gotten, it sounds very tinny/thin. I think that replacing the stock microphone with a higher quality one might help, but I've never gotten around to it. If I were doing it from scratch I'd explore that part a bit...
    Noise cancellation on the most recent software upgrade is much better. Shoot me your email at keithwbloom at gmail dot com and I'll send you the most recent revision (12-0918 — note there is a version that started shipping on BlueSTARs last month, 13-0318, but it has not been proven to be stable in VAG chassis setups yet, I am currently testing.)

    I am told by Chris at Costar that microphone performance is greatly enhanced when your settings are set to the default once your firmware is current to 12-0918, which you can reset and confirm using the newest version of COSTAR Programming Utility (CPU v 1.2.0.1 ). Here is a link to download that application.

    When resetting the unit to the factory defaults, you must remember to turn on the A2DP profile again else you will loose streaming abilities if you are using them.

    Here is a series of screen shots of the configuration recommended as default once firmware is updated to 12-0918:















    Cheers,

    Keith
    2004 VW Passat V6 30V, 5-Speed Manual, PES G1 Supercharger, Custom FMIC

  7. #43
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    Sorry my photos are not great but they show which side to pry gently on. http://sdrv.ms/10OzWqa I used a credit card to do the prying.
    2003 Daytona/Silver RS6

  8. #44
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    Looks like it is time for me to update the firmware. Now the question is did I leave the device accessible without removing the glove box.
    2003 Daytona/Silver RS6

  9. #45
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    Hi Tom,
    Did you lose access to the internal CD changer by installing the AUX input? I would love an AUX input but I still want CDs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    When I did the mod unfortunately I didn't shoot too many pictures but from memory, I did have a little damage to deal with in the console area. IIRC, one or two of the metal pressure tabs 'came off' or stuck in the holes they were in, and due to age there was one clip that broke off. Obviously the heat and age takes its toll on the plastics. I was able to superglue the piece back on and got it all seated back in flush. The module itself is a bit of a PITA as there is not too much cable to deal with so you're working in cramped quarters. Taking the glove box out is a must of course, but that is easy.

    Keith is fantastic to work with, as I mentioned before I could not be more pleased with the transaction and he turned everything around quickly.

    Many months post install, I'm still very pleased with the mod, probably my favorite one creature confort wise. The audio streaming is awesome and I use it pretty much every day, pandora is great to have in the car wirelessly. The SQ is good too, as I mentioned in earlier posts, I picked up an AUX in adapter for the Symphony II and it works like a champ.

    The only thing I have been disappointed in in the setup is the sound quality that people say comes through on voice calls. From the feedback I have gotten, it sounds very tinny/thin. I think that replacing the stock microphone with a higher quality one might help, but I've never gotten around to it. If I were doing it from scratch I'd explore that part a bit...

    Hope that helps some and good luck with it, very cool mod for sure.
    2003 Daytona/Silver RS6

  10. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chung View Post
    Hi Tom,
    Did you lose access to the internal CD changer by installing the AUX input? I would love an AUX input but I still want CDs.

    No that was the beauty of the adapter I got... it basically 'fakes' a CD changer... so you hit the CD button once, it's the internal 6 disc changer. Hit it a second time and it goes to the 'external' changer... shows track 99 at all times, etc. Also the SAT button lets you listen to the same audio input. I leverage that by setting different audio settings for SAT in case I want an instant bass boost.

  11. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by StormFront View Post
    Thanks for the info Tom. I wonder how one would go about upgrading the mic? Using one from a newer model perhaps? Aftermarket?

    Big fan of Rush?
    Definitely a big fan of Rush!

    Based on Keith's post, definitely going to try the firmware update. I would not have thought that the audi mic would be crappy, but you never know. If a software update can fix the issue, that would be awesome.

    Keith, I'll shoot you a PM.

  12. #48
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    Just ordered the AUX in. Thanks for the info.
    2003 Daytona/Silver RS6

  13. #49
    Registered User DST's Avatar
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    Removal of OnStar Button Controller

    This post is how to remove the button controller located overhead near the courtesy lamp. Removal is required to send the controller to Keith Bloom as part of the BlueStar/CoStar upgrade.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Remove the light lens by pulling down on the rear of the light lens, the front of the lens has a lip to hold in place.
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    Remove sunroof access panel (this is also covered in the Ownerís Manual, page 169). Using a thin flat tool (small screw driver or trim tool) gently pry down on the rear-most side of the housing. The front has a lip to hold in place. There are two spring clips along the rear edge of the housing, one near each corner.
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    Once the housing is free disconnect the button controller wiring harness plug, by pulling apart. Mine was a little tight and I had to depress the tangs that keep the plug from separating. You can pull the lighting wire loom out of the holder channel to get a bit more working room, so itís not on such a short leash.
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    Removal of the single screw that holds the Onstar wire harness is not required. I removed mine and discovered I did not need to do this afterward. Removing the button controller from the housing was a bit of trick. Having good light is essential (open the sunroof shade or use a headlamp). There are two long plastic clips on the front side (toward front of vehicle), than need to be gently sprung back with a small flat tool, I used a small screw driver, one of mine was pretty hard to pull back, I thought I was going to break it, but didnít. Once the clips are free the button controller will slide up out of the housing.
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    After the Onstar button controller is removed, reverse process to re-install the housing and the lens.
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    My button module is on its way to Keith Bloom for modification will be returned with my BlueSTAR module. I will update the post with installation of the BlueSTAR module when Iím at that point.
    '03 RS6 | Avus Silver Pearl | Black + CF interior | SE Exhaust | 64k miles and counting

  14. #50
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    Hopefully the new firmware fixes this http://www.costartech.com/forum/view...php?f=71&t=703

    I just ran into this problem right before my auxin came to install. I now cannot get the device to read to reprogram.
    2003 Daytona/Silver RS6

  15. #51
    Registered User DST's Avatar
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    Hmmmm. That's a bummer. Have you contacted Keith about the issue? He seems pretty responsive.

    Also my understanding is that a Line-in connection is not needed to play/stream music from iPhone. Maybe line-in is needed for Droid users? Let me know how this works out. Waiting on arrival of my Bluestar module.
    '03 RS6 | Avus Silver Pearl | Black + CF interior | SE Exhaust | 64k miles and counting

  16. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by DST View Post
    Hmmmm. That's a bummer. Have you contacted Keith about the issue? He seems pretty responsive.

    Also my understanding is that a Line-in connection is not needed to play/stream music from iPhone. Maybe line-in is needed for Droid users? Let me know how this works out. Waiting on arrival of my Bluestar module.
    Keith is pretty responsive but given it was Sunday I didn't expect him to respond right away. I was able to get my firmware updated by manually selecting the COM port and ignoring the "timeout errors" The unit appears to work.


    I actually never tried to stream audio using the Phone input. Theoretically you could stream A2DP and have the Bluetooth unit stream the audio via the "phone" input. I think that there would be a significant audio quality drop doing that given the phone input was designed for conversation quality audio.

    Crossing my fingers when I put this all back together my issues don't come back.
    2003 Daytona/Silver RS6

  17. #53
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    Just a quick update, after I had put the brakes on sending units out because of a firmware update problem, I am pleased to offer I am shipping them once again to interested Audi/VW owners with the defunct analog OnStar Telematics. The cost is $319 including postage. PM me or, for faster response, please email me at keithwbloom at gmail dot com.

    On a lighthearted note, I have discovered that I can test these readily in my car before sending them out without the aid of another party to accept my call. I have an iPhone 4S so I just ask Siri a few questions she will respond to with spoken answers. My kids have begun to add to the question list, their favorites are "Siri, will you marry me?" and "Siri, why are fire trucks red?". I like to ask her what the local time is in cities around the globe, not just the usual suspects either. Small towns in Germany, tiny south Pacific Islands, etc. If she can understand my spoken queries about obscure distant destinations, I figure the mic and noise cancelling systems are doing a pretty good job. As an added bonus, she'll give your the weather expected that day in the same locales.

    My Passat is soooo much smarter with BlueSTAR and Siri.

    2004 VW Passat V6 30V, 5-Speed Manual, PES G1 Supercharger, Custom FMIC

  18. #54
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    Should we be updating our firmware? Out of curiosity do you know of anyone that has tried to upgrade the microphone? I would like to see if an array mic would work in there.
    2003 Daytona/Silver RS6

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