All you wanted to know about Comand APS NTG 2.5

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gmatj

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All you wanted to know about Comand APS NTG 2.5


Recently fell in my hands a device Comand APS NTG 2.5 which comes in some new car models from Mercedes.

Comand comes from the initials of COckpit MAnagement and Navigation Device and involves a sophisticated form of a car multi informatiom media unit.

Here we deal with NTG 2.5 with an integrated hard drive, DVD player for 6 discs, SD port Bluetooth, voice commands and more.

What stroke me is that despite this one was for series w219 an it was "worn" with no problem or modification on a w211.
Later on I saw a W164 series with a changed from fit as well on a W211 series. It seems the only difference lies on the plastic front cover.


What is more surprising and came as a shock is that the same device as the MB device is used also by VW crafter
(see here http://www.volkswagen-nutzfahrzeuge....jpg/cr0367.jpg).

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Some information for upgrading maps.
The device gets the upgrade from DVD discs and copies into the internal hard drive. The upgrade lasts just under 2 hours! It could be carried out while driving or be connected to a battery charger because the unit draws a good 3 Amps and will drown the battery before completion of map upgrading. During the upgrade only the radio works so you can do the upgrade during the course of a journey without being very quite on your trip.
Theoretically you can stop the process and continue from where it was left off, but I would not suggest it. The DVD could be stuck and then it would be a very expensive job ...
The maps come in 2 DVDs. The first is a DVD 9 dual layer, and the other a simple DVD. The price - with a little caution - is about 250 to 300 euros.
On the Internet you can find some copies sold or possibly find DVD images from them.
Attention, except that it is illegal to buy copies (you should be ashamed of having such a car and wanting copies!!!!), another important factor is that copies would not work. There are at least 2 protection safeguards:
A) DVD discs are read only PTP (parallel track path).
B) reads only discs that are media type = DVD-ROM and ignore the book type.
Unless you have a factory pressing DVDs, you will not get home!

The files contained in the DVDs are with .dat extension and 128MB in size each. In fact all these files (about 63 in the disk 1 and 24 in the 2) is a large container that includes all the small files that are written in the hard disk. File discinfo.inf file gives instructions on how to distinguish them and to what directory partition or disk write.

Some information about the device.
The device is made by Alpine. The model is UCPFv2 and it is based on a processor R8A77701B sh4 RISK 32bit processor and runs Windows mobile CE5 automotive (little endian). The operating system is run from flash memory rather than from hard disk. At present Telematics update is done only with the help of Mercedes with Star Diagnosis . I say "currently" because the device has an option to upgrade the software however presently is not known how!!!!!.
The device has several separate functional boards each (Bluetooth, radio, etc.). The main processor loads the files nk.bin and nk2.bin. The first the operating system CE5 and the second application. In the second file is the skin (file F_main.skn) that integrates menus and icons (in a png). Theoretically, if you allow someone to upload them without the use of DAS (star diagnosis) can also be "tickling" the device as wants by changing the font, so the icons and more.
The menu is made from the open interface in Japan. ()

The upgrade process is patented here Method and apparatus for transferring software modules - Patent Application 20040260751 and here METHOD FOR TRANSMITTING SOFTWARE MODULES - DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG .

Some other general information can be found here . Taking Things Apart d=93


A few words about the hard disk
The hard drive is 40Gb, Toshiba and the machine refuses to work with larger capacities. It is divided into 7 partition from which the latter is unformatted and is used for storing some data of the device. The rest is formatted in FAT32 and hold the map data and voice applications (reproduction and recognition) such as RS solo v4 and VoCon 3200.

A 4Gb partition keeps MP3 files (music register) while another is holding dozens of logs generated during the operation.

Also the hard drive keeps the CDDB gracenote database that has the CD titles sold currently on the U.S. or European market (depends on which maps are loaded). The CDDB can be updated even with an SD card.


The partitions are created during the upgrade. Discinfo.inf file that exists in the first DVD includes information about the creation.

Hidden menus
One is known for a long time and you will find references to the Internet. Here, exclusively, will reveal another (and another at approx.)

The most famous is the "Engineering Mode" that comes with the key sequence hangup + 6 + *.

Information is available almost everywhere that deal with this machine. The choices are few and are essentially a diagnostic menu.


One more hidden menu is called the "dealer menu" that comes with the sequence hangup + 7 + 9.


From this you can upgrade the DVD mechanism and save all settings and parameters (phone numbers, old addresses GPS etc) to an SD card.
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There are also some choices for clearing the flash memory. It is not suggested to touch those seletions, for any reason.


There's one more sequence that leads to another hidden menu.
The hangup + 2, which normally should display a menu, but what really does is restarts the optical ring . Which means that it does what the ON button ON does if you hold it pressed. At present I have not used this sequence that is showing the menu.

Reversing camera
The NTG2.5 device like an NTSC camera type and not PAL if the connection is made directly from the camera into the unit (green FAKRA).

If the camera is connected onto the TV tuner can be of any type as there is a menu to choose from PAL ir NTSC.
.

Hope all above clears some issues on NTG2.5.

All the best

G.


P.S. Full credit goes to zotos in the Greek forum of http://www.zotos.biz/index.php/suppo...and-aps-ntg-25
But as it would be all Greek to you I decided to translate and modify a little for all of the community.



 

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To SUM UP
Regarding hidden menus.
There are 4, yes, four known hidden combinations.
1. Engineering mode with keys hangup + 6 + *
2. Dealer menu with keys hangup + 7 + 9
3. Unknown function with keys hangup + 2
4. Keep pressing the ON button will reboot the optical ring.
Another 3 facts:
1. There is an option to disable HDD protection using some unknown (so far) pin. But what is "hdd protection"?
2. There is a disabled menu called "driver distraction" that in theory can be used to alter several functions.
3. Is is possible to update the unit firmware using CD or SD without DAS but we do not know yet the procedure
 
Backside of the NTG2.5 Unit

Connectors as follows :
A Double white Connector - AM/FM Aerial

B Blue Connector - GPS Aerial
Green Connector - Rear View Camera

C Mustard Connector - Bluetooth connector

D Middle square Connector - For Video In , Audio In , Audio Out

E Main Connector - Speakers, Fiber , Power
 

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Anti-theft Protection on NTG2.5 units

Anti-theft Protection on NTG2.5 units

If you tried to install an NTG2.5 unit in your car and the unit was manufactured after the third quarter of 2008 then you stand a very good chance to see the "Anti-theft Protection activated. Please visit your Mercedes-Benz workshop." message.

Units manufactured after the third quarter of 2008 have PIN code protection enabled
It is believed that if the unit was installed in a different car before the cars VIN is stored inside the unit. So when you put it in a diffrent car then it compares the value in its memory with the VIN of the new car and if it not the same then it gives you this message.

You can always go to your MB dealer to as him to unlock it (He has to contact MB HQ to get a special code) however be prepared : MB Dealers are very reluctant to go through this procedure

- The theft protection function is available as of May 2009.
- The radio is locked when the theft protection has status 'ACTIVE'.
- The radio is not locked when the theft protection has status 'NOT ACTIVE'.

Some more info on the attached DAS pictures
 

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Informative in parts but there are some errors in it unfortunately.

On the whole it will be useful though.
 
Informative in parts but there are some errors in it unfortunately.

On the whole it will be useful though.

Please Alfie do correct me on the errors - Point them out so other members can see.

Thanks for the time effort to read through
Regards
G.
 
Please Alfie do correct me on the errors - Point them out so other members can see.

Thanks for the time effort to read through
Regards
G.

Hi Alfie
I am still waiting for you to point out the errors !!
All the best
G.
 
Thanks, interesting information..... also would like to know the errors/correct information.

1. There is an option to disable HDD protection using some unknown (so far) pin. But what is "hdd protection"?
They wouldn't give you the chance to turn off the anti-theft surely, so i wonder if it encrypts the phone adress book if it's transfered, maybe using the anti-theft status as a trigger


2. There is a disabled menu called "driver distraction" that in theory can be used to alter several functions.
Could that be related by any chance to the "no video media whilst moving" ??
 
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Thanks, interesting information..... also would like to know the errors/correct information.


They wouldn't give you the chance to turn off the anti-theft surely, so i wonder if it encrypts the phone adress book if it's transfered, maybe using the anti-theft status as a trigger



Could that be related by any chance to the "no video media whilst moving" ??

Driver distruction always refers to capability of having Video In Motion and under what conditions this can be achieved.

However s/w enabled VIM has not being achieved yet - either as a menu option or DAS developer enable option.
 
Thanks, interesting information..... also would like to know the errors/correct information.


They wouldn't give you the chance to turn off the anti-theft surely, so i wonder if it encrypts the phone adress book if it's transfered, maybe using the anti-theft status as a trigger



Could that be related by any chance to the "no video media whilst moving" ??

I would not have thought that "it encrypts the phone adress book if it's transfered".
 
interesting option though, even if just for curiosity
 
i've seen a couple of these units now, some have round buttons on the front and others have square, similar to the NTG 2.0 units..... any differences in these other than visual appearance ?
 
Shape of button just depends on model of car its for. Only spec difference is the unit either comes with or without a built in 6 dvd changer.
 
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Yes, NTG2.5 is much superior to NTG2. If you are retrofitting, go for NTG2.5.
 
OK, as npuk said, buttons can be different based on model application, but do make sure it's NTG2.5 and not NTG2....

Incidentally, mine looks exactly like the one in the first post - albeit with a different eject button as I do not have the changer option (as npuk noted).
 
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Shape of button just depends on model of car its for. Only spec difference is the unit either comes with or without a built in 6 dvd changer.

Thanks for the info, it was making me wonder !

the disc changer you speak of can you confirm it's a DVD changer and not a CD changer..... and i assume that if i currently have COMAND 2.0 and a CD changer that the CD changer would be redundant, because the 2.5 unit wont see it on the MOST ring

Same i'm assuming would happen to my existing phone kit.

I will certainly be giving this some thought, but it looks likely to be un-economical to be fair
 
Yes DVD changer, and your existing changer wont work. There are no external cd / dvd changers for the Comand NTG2.5. Phone pre-wire wont work, NTG2.5 has full bluetooth connectivity built in.

BTW a 2005 C class wont have a Comand 2.0 will be NTG2. COMAND - All about COMAND

To upgrade you would need the Comand NTG2.5 unit from a CLC, and this conversion kit: Comand Online Ltd :: Mercedes SatNav/COMAND :: COMAND Retrofit parts :: A/B/CLC/ML/GL/R COMAND NTG2.5 (Hard Disk) retrofit kit - cars with phone.
 
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sorry, my mistake, far too many version/build numbers going around in my head, i'm always mixing them up !

If no external changers for the 2.5 where is the changer housed ?

By full Bluetooth, your talking about basic headset functionality with phone book download, and not SAP capabilities right ?
 
The changers built into the headunit it is not external. It has full bluetooth connectivity to pair directly to a phone, a cradle is not needed. The basic headset functionality was in the older Comand units.

See the NTG2.5 section on the link I posted previously COMAND - All about COMAND
 
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