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Bluetooth-ache

Discussion in 'Roadster: Technical' started by gregd, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. gregd

    gregd Member

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    I've got an intermittent (now mostly not working) issue with the BTA connection between the NXD-505 head unit and my phone. The connection works just fine for control - I can reliably start and stop the play action on the music player from the head unit - but there is no audio coming out of the system. i.e. I can see the time counter moving, but nothing is heard. Tried different phones, disconnected / reconnected bluetooth on the phone, rebooted the phone, turned off/on the head unit, etc. No joy. The Rocklin SC swapped out one of the modules (not sure which), and that seemed to fix it for a while, then it started getting flakey again after a few weeks. Now it's pretty much not working at all, though sometimes it works after a bit of driving.

    A possible clue is that I hear a periodic "thump" in the audio system every few minutes, like the head unit was trying to reset the BTA adapter after a timeout. (Ok, so that's the software engineer in me speaking - pure conjecture). Once I noticed that there was a momentary "hands-free device connected" message on the phone about the time of a thump.

    Bluetooth itself is a digital signalling mechanism, so I'm guessing that there is either a set of audio lines between the BTA adapter and the head unit, or perhaps some sort of digital audio bus. I talked to the SC service manager (an old time Roadster tech), and he said that the modules are all in a chain, he thought with the iPod one first, then BTA, then Sirius, so perhaps the iPod module is flakey. According to the installation manual for the head unit, the first one should be BTA, so perhaps they've got it wired wrong? He said I could try to take out the iPod one (I don't need it anyway), and see if it helps. Is the audio electrically passed through from one module to the next (such that a faulty module would break the audio chain), or is the cabling separate for each (separate wires in the bundle), which would indicate a broken cable?

    Oh, also, the Sirius module seems to have dropped out of the selection ring (FM / HDD / BTA / iPod are present, but not Sirius), so depending on where it is in the chain might add a clue.

    Before I start digging into the car, any ideas where I should be looking first?
     
  2. ElectricLove

    ElectricLove Member

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    Not sure if it could possibly be this simple but I've had it do that to me and I realized that I wasn't on Bluetooth Audio but was on Bluetooth Phone, both bluetooth but different "stream" of the same connection (different bluetooth service basically)... Maybe toggle that option if you know where it is...
     
  3. gregd

    gregd Member

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    Interesting idea, but I don't think that's what was happening. I was definitely on the left hand side of the head unit, and if I recall, phone calls didn't have audio either. Besides, in Phone mode, why would the Enter and Back butttons work to start and stop the playback timer on the phone?

    Given that things worked for a while, my current thinking is a loose connector that got tightened, and then came loose again. The manager suggested water, but the car hasn't been out in the rain.
     
  4. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I hope you find a solution as my Bluetooth went south and I purchased a replacement unit which is under the VDS in the 1.5 Roadsters. But after a few months the second unit went south. So a loose connection is what I am thinking but I have yet to tear into it.
     
  5. gregd

    gregd Member

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    Troubleshooting update: As far as I can figure out, there is a cable that comes out of the back of the JVC head unit, and daisy chains through the external modules. First is the iPod, then Bluetooth, then Satellite. Whenever the Bluetooth isn't working properly, I see that the Satellite adapter is not seen at all (i.e. it's missing from the rotation). When Bluetooth works, so does the satellite. The local car stereo store thinks that it might be the iPod adapter, though we can't figure out why BTA would be present (without audio), and have the Satellite missing all together. We tested the iPod adapter, and it's audio is not working either. So the plan is to remove the iPod module from the chain.

    My next question: how does one get down to the BTA module? It's supposed to be somewhere in the car body to the left of the driver's knee, below the dash. I've taken out the cover with the headlight switch on it, and the two hex-head screws at the back that appear to be holding on the curved trim piece that covers the transition between the sill and the dash. How does one actually remove that piece? It's a bit loose, but I can't figure out what's is holding it in place. Do I need to remove the door sill piece, or is there a clip somewhere that is holding it from coming out?

    Thanks,

    Greg
     
  6. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

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  7. gregd

    gregd Member

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    #7 gregd, Dec 30, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
    Mmmm, I've got the panel with the switches out already. Yes, just pulled on it. I think I need to get behind the curved one right below. Seems to be locked to the dash above and the sill below... Or are the modules accessed elsewhere?

    The car is a 2.0, by the way.
     
  8. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    #8 MLAUTO, Dec 30, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
    SAM_3888.JPG You need to remove the sill. The Lotus parts are different due to the lower sill in the Tesla. The sill uses a Velcro like attachment, just peel it up from the rear. There are clips near the A/C vent in the top section, and you will need to pull the entire piece straight back to pop it loose from the dash. Once you get it off, all the components you seek are buried straight down in the rocker panel. Just make sure you have removed all six screws holding it on before you pull it off.
     
  9. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I have also needed to remove the dash piece on the instrument panel and around the steering wheel as both the sill plate and instrument cluster are on top of the trim piece that needs to come out. PM me with an e-mail address if you want some pictures.
     
  10. gregd

    gregd Member

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    An update...

    I spent the day up to my elbows inside the dash. The local SC manager showed me how they get into it - remove the screws (he said 4, I found 6) and just pull from above the driver's side vent. He said it just peels down, and you'll hear the thing sound like it's breaking stuff when it's just pulling out of the clips. Then go fish for the clips.

    I didn't see any clips, and when I pulled down, the piece separated in half. As suggested in a PM, the top half is from Lotus, the bottom from Tesla (recall they lowered the door sill), and the two are glued together. The glue was pretty dry on mine, and the two separated there. It did go back together ok in the end, so I don't think there was any real damage, but I don't yet know how many squeeks and rattles I created in the process. The right hand edge is captured under the piece of dash to the left of the steering wheel, but it was loose enough to get the piece out and back in with some difficulty. Your dash might be different.

    The wiring of the modules when I opened things up was from the Head unit to Sirius, then to Bluetooth, then to iPod. iPod must be last in the chain, as it only has one connection. The Bluetooth module's uplink cable (towards the head end) is fixed at the module end, while Sirius uses a separate cable to connect it to the head. It's possible that the fault is in that cable, or the Sirius module, so I used the Sirius cable as a pull line and threaded the Bluetooth cable behind the dash to the head end, putting it first in the chain. It worked!

    Unfortunately, connecting neither the Sirius nor iPod modules to the downstream side of the Bluetooth module got any sort of activity from either one. I left it with Sirius and iPod in the chain, in case they decide to wake up later, but I'm not holding my breath. Maybe a reset is needed? I'll ask the SC on Monday.

    We'll also see how long this lasts; the prior time the SC got things going, it started failing a week or two later. But for now, I'm happy.

    Thanks to all who helped here, and via PMs. I can't overstate how helpful this forum is.
     
  11. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I put in a new JVC expansion module and it worked great, for a week. Now the Bluetooth is out again. I do not see how the car is at fault but the JVC unit is not very well guilt as this is my third expansion unit.
     
  12. gregd

    gregd Member

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    Probably should have posted an update to my last... Bottom line, it appears that the fault was definitely in the Sirius module. Putting the Bluetooth module first in the chain has allowed the BT to work perfectly. Sirius does appear to function from time to time (I don't have an account, but see it in the lineup sometimes, and it's missing altogether other times). The car was wired with the Sirius unit upstream of the Bluetooth, so swapping the two let the BT unit work when the Sirius isn't.

    As I noted earlier, the BT unit's uplink cable is fixed on the module, so you have to fish the wire back through the dash to get to the back of the JVC. I just taped the end of the BT cable to the one that feeds the Sirius, and pulled gently on the JVC-end of the cable to fish the BT cable through the back of the dash. Plug it into the JVC, and then use the cable you fished out of the dash to plug the Sirius into the BT. I did not have to reset the JVC.

    My guess is that your Bluetooth will start working, and the Sirius will fail.

    Good luck!
     

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