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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,


First post here although a long time reader. I have a certain problem and I cant find a solution...

i have a 2008 smart. i recently bought from the US the highline bosch radio.
I installed it and found out it was working fine... BUT i have the following problems:

1. screen is to dim - (i changed the settings to full brightness but still its dim) - anyone else has this problem? i mean its so dim that i dont think i ll be able to watch anything on a sunny day.

2. since the unit is from the US and i live in europe i have a problem with the maps. can i buy them online? can i go to my local smart dealer and install them?

3. the gps wont find my position. do i need an antenna?? the unit didnt have one with it.

4. this is my biggest problem actually... the unit wont fit. what can i do about it? all the above problems wont matter if i cant fit the unit in the dashboard. also even if i fit it the fascia is different... anything i can do???


i would really be thankful if someone can help me


tks
 

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I'm not sure there is a way to shoehorn a 2011-2013 highline into a 2008 451 smart. as you've noted things have changed. aside from that, other differences might make this more of a project than you were anticipating. there must be tuners closer to home than Southern California that would be able to determine the differences and the probability of success.
I'm guessing it's a long shot. The good news is that there are a lot of much easier to install options for the 2008 that do what the highline does than there are for the 2011-2013 design, at least that is the case in the US.
 

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Hello everyone,


First post here although a long time reader. I have a certain problem and I cant find a solution...

i have a 2008 smart. i recently bought from the US the highline bosch radio.
I installed it and found out it was working fine... BUT i have the following problems:

1. screen is to dim - (i changed the settings to full brightness but still its dim) - anyone else has this problem? i mean its so dim that i dont think i ll be able to watch anything on a sunny day.

2. since the unit is from the US and i live in europe i have a problem with the maps. can i buy them online? can i go to my local smart dealer and install them?

3. the gps wont find my position. do i need an antenna?? the unit didnt have one with it.

4. this is my biggest problem actually... the unit wont fit. what can i do about it? all the above problems wont matter if i cant fit the unit in the dashboard. also even if i fit it the fascia is different... anything i can do???


i would really be thankful if someone can help me


tks
I got a brand new 2011 Passion a couple of weeks ago and everything worked just fine...

But one day I turn on the car, and the screen gets slightly dim... then afetr a bit it gets dimmer... and keeps getting dimmer until I can't see anything. It's just black.

Finally, when I get home to my garage, I can kinda see the screen, but only in the darkness.

I change all the settings;

Auto brightness I set to Manual, and raise it.
Brightness level I set to 115.

Still nothing happens.

My firmware version is V12.08, and if you find ANY way at all of fixing the brightness problem, PLEASE let me know! I have contacted Merc / Smart and they have no idea what's up...

EDIT: Your car needs to have a GPS antenna installed on to it, which then plugs in to the back of the Highline.

EDIT: Also, the maps can PROBABLY be obtained/purchased from Smart themselves, as all the firmware & maps, etc for the Highline are simply contained on an SD card in the back of the unit - which they simply pull out, update, and replace when they need to update any of that stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have a few updates that i would like to share in case anyone finds himself in a similar position.

First of all i want to thank you all for the prompt replies.

So on saturday i went to a shop that specialises in in-car audio equipment/gps etc.

First of all the highline radio fits into older smart cars (mine is a 451 -2008) but it just needs a different case which can be ordered online. Mine came with a case for the 451 2011 model which does not fit into the older smart.

I haven't talked with smart yet but i guess i can buy the EU maps from them. hopefully the price wont be too high.

Also that guy told me that i need an antenna which he can order (or i can buy online) which wont cost very much - i think he said something about 20 euros (25-30 USD)

But apparently the "new" biggest problem is the brightness...

As i said in the first post, on friday night i connected the highline radio with my smart 451-2008 to see if it works. It did work fine but even at night i could barely see the screen. I changed all settings on full brightness (115) etc but nothing happened.

So before my visit to the shop i connected it again. Turned the radio on but it looked like the screen was off. I then realised that the screen was actually on but the brightness was so low that i just couldn't see anything.

So to make a long story short i took the highline unit to that guy, he fired it up and told me that indeed there is a problem with the screen.

He said that the "bulb" behind the screen might have a problem. He was going to open the radio on sunday and see what the problem is and if he can do anything about it. He will also contact a guy that specialises on mercedes oem units to see what he has to say or if he can fix it.

I ll probably have some kind of update on Monday. Hopefully it wont be a big deal.

Please if anyone else had this problem or knows something about it let me/us know.


Also can someone tell me (or direct me to instructions on how i can post some photos)?


thanks again for all your replies
 

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Hey man, I'll be waiting to see what the problem is with the whole dimness issue. Cuz I was pretty sure it was a software bug that was causing the brightness to be all stupid, but I guess it could very well be the backlight itself that just died.

Please keep updating this thread, cuz I really wanna know what the hell is wrong with my radio too ;)
 

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Hey man, I'll be waiting to see what the problem is with the whole dimness issue. Cuz I was pretty sure it was a software bug that was causing the brightness to be all stupid, but I guess it could very well be the backlight itself that just died.

Please keep updating this thread, cuz I really wanna know what the hell is wrong with my radio too ;)
If your car is under warranty why not just have the radio replaced? :)
 

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If your car is under warranty why not just have the radio replaced? :)
Because I currently live in Portugal... and getting ANYTHING replaced around here is the same as trying to move a mountain.

The only thing they offer freely are platitudes, assurances of "looking in to the problem", and phrases like "we're doing all we can to see if we can authorize a replacement unit for you." What???

Warranty? That's as good as used toilet paper here, sadly :(
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So today i got a call from the guy that was going to look at the highline radio and it's dimness problem.

Sadly...he can't do anything about it. He said the brightness is low (thanks sherlock...) and that it might be a problem with the power supply that is "feeding" the screen - dont know if that makes any sense or if it is really the problem.

He also said that we probably need some spare parts but because it is a rare screen and because it is sold solely by smart that he cant find any parts therefore he cant do anything and i can go and pick my highline radio whenever i want.


My project of installing the highline to the 2008 smart failed.
I ll probably go directly to the smart dealership and see if they can do anything about it before i give up.

If anyone has the same problem or have a solution pls share...

tks
 

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That's just about the worst news we could get :(

I'm gonna poke around the Smart dealership here and see what comes up - if anything...

Thanks for the update, man.
 

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Just on off the cuff kind of thought?

There is an auto dimming feature that reduces your display when your headlights are on? Possible that this feature is not getting the right signal to use full brightness (or getting the wrong signal and dimming too much)?
 

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Maybe the settings.
audio system manual, page 23:
Dimming the screen
The brightness determined by the brightness sensor (pic page 8), (position A) of audio system navigation/multimedia affects the setting options for this function.
When you dim the screen, adjust the display lighting accordingly. You can choose between automatic or manual setting.
x Call up the screen settings menu
Screen Shot 2012-07-17 at 5.28.06 PM.jpg
The entry on the right beside Dimming shows the current setting.
X Select Dimming. A menu appears.
X Automatic setting: press Automatic first and then press &.
The setting is accepted and the screen settings menu appears.
X Manual setting: press Manual. A settings menu appears.
X Press = or Ì to select a value between 0 (very dark) and 16 (bright) for the dimmer.
X Press OK.
The setting is accepted.
X Press &.
The screen settings menu appears.

Setting the brightness
X Call up the screen settings menu (Y page 23).
X Press Brightness. The entry on the right beside Brightness shows the current setting.
A settings menu appears.
X Press = or Ì to select a value for the brightness.
X Press OK.
The setting is accepted.
And the page 8 picture mentioned above:

Screen Shot 2012-07-17 at 5.24.34 PM.jpg click, the sensor is #5
 

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The automatic vs. manual dimming in the display settings menu does not control the screen dimming, as its title misleads you to believe. Rather, that setting controls the changeover from the map day theme to the night theme. The sensor (referenced above as #5) controls the changeover when you select automatic in the dimming setting. If you change it to manual, you pick either the day or night theme and the map will remain that way regardless of the ambient light conditions that the sensor is seeing. The brightness setting controls the actual brightness (i.e., backlight level) of the screen and that will remain constant for all ambient light conditions, even if the dimming is set to automatic.

Actually, this is a source of frustration for me. If you set the brightness to an acceptable level at night, the screen is too dim for daytime viewing. If you up the brightness to a level that makes the screen easily legible for daytime viewing, then it's like a spotlight at night and a huge distraction while driving. I'm longing for my previous car that used a photo sensor to control the immediate brightness level of the screen and the setting you chose in the brightness menu was a general level of brightness, not a specific setting. Now that I think about it, all of the cars I had with factory navigation systems functioned this way and the highline radio is the odd man out. Grrr...
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions, fellas.

But I've A-B'ed every single display-related setting and nothing fixes the issue.

The latest info I have is;

My brother called the Smart dealership (about an unrelated issue) and happened to mention the mostly-dead-screen problem I had on the Highline.

He said that the woman's response wasn't definitive, but she certainly answered as if she wasn't surprised at all, and said she needed to talk to the techies.

So yea, apparently it's common enough that the saleswoman knows of the problem. Now it's just a matter of cutting through European bulldust bureaucracy to get a replacement/fix under warranty... :eek:
 

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How about setting the dimming to auto, then place a little square of black electrical tape over the light sensor on the unit?
 

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How about setting the dimming to auto, then place a little square of black electrical tape over the light sensor on the unit?
I thought about that, but sadly the brightness sensor is not used for that purpose (which would make sense), but rather is for some other stupid reason - mentioned a few posts back.
 

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I thought about that, but sadly the brightness sensor is not used for that purpose (which would make sense), but rather is for some other stupid reason - mentioned a few posts back.
hmm, silly radios. Mine refuses to remember any settings... like the fact that I want metric over imperial, or that I don't want to the startup volume to be 20...
 

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Sadly, this is a problem with both my smarts; one is worse than the other.
They had already replaced the screen in one, but now that one's worse than ever! I have an appointment for Friday for them to look into it, but I'm not too hopeful. I think Mercedes should be ashamed of supplying such a shoddy product - ESPECIALLY as an $1100 option.
 

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I finally found a setting deep in the radio menus that sets the amount of time the radio will remember your settings. I think the max time was 100 hours, or about 4 days. So you have to start the engine once in that 100 hours for it to remember your settings.

'Smart' Design!
 
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