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Created: 30 Nov 1999

Last Updated: 11 Feb 2010

I get asked questions about COMAND every couple of days, I thought i'd write some of them down with the answers.

Questions:

1 What models does this FAQ apply to?
2 My Mercedes was not supplied with the COMAND system. Can this be retrofitted?
3 Where do I get the parts I need to fit COMAND from?
4 My car wasn't designed to have COMAND fitted - can it be done.
5 My CD gets stuck in COMAND - Can it be fixed?
6 My COMAND keeps getting CD errors
7 Where can I get my COMAND repaired.
8 What are the pinouts of the C1 and C2 connectors on COMAND?
9 What is TMC and does COMAND support it?
10 Where can I buy the MAP CDs from?
11 Is there a test disk for COMAND?
12 Can software be updated in COMAND?
13 Will you send me a copy of those CDs ?
14 What does the MY01 update fix ?
15 My command can't send SMS messages. Why not?
16 Are COMAND and COMAND-APS very different?
17 Whats the difference between US and European COMAND systems
18 Can I fit the latest COMAND-APS into my car
19 Is there someone that will put COMAND into my car for me?
20 What is this hidden menu i've heard about?
21 I just installed COMAND but it normally says that I am off-road - why?
22 How do I set the language on COMAND? - mine is in German
23 My COMAND unit in My S/CL says "No Navigation" when I press NAV or MAP - what is wrong?
24 Can I add an AUX input on the COMAND 2.5 in my S-Class
25 I really did buy COMAND from a different model for my car - what now ?
26 COMAND seems to tell me instructions a little too late. [especially if you just had new tyres or just fitted COMAND]
27 Where can I get a manual for COMAND ?
28 Can I connect a DVD player to the RGB video input on COMAND
29 How do speed dials work with COMAND and phone ?
30 My COMAND has nothing connected on the speaker connections

Answers:

1. What models does this FAQ apply to?
This FAQ applies to COMAND 2.0, which is the CD based COMAND system fitted to the W208 CLK, W210 E class, W220 S class (before MY2004), W215 CL (before MY2004), W163 ML, W203 C Class (before MY2005) and CLK class (before MY2005). This includes the widescren CD based system in the MY2003 S and CL.

2. My Mercedes was not supplied with the COMAND system. Can this be retrofitted?
If your vehicle should have had the original COMAND (CD slot)) system, the answer is yes, the type of system originally fitted can be relatively easily installed. Please see my Retrofitting COMAND document.

3. Where do I get the parts I need to fit COMAND from?
You can purchase a wiring loom adapter from Comand Online Web Shop - which will make installation much simpler (i.e plug and play).
Click Here for some useful tips where to buy the parts you need for the above installations

4. My car wasn't designed to have COMAND fitted - can it be done.
If you can put a double din size radio into your dash, then you can probably fit COMAND into it. You need to look at my COMAND retrofit instructions (see Q1 above) but also note that (a) COMAND needs a speed signal that gives 48 impluses per wheel rotation (modern Mercedes do). (b) You should purchase a COMAND for a ML or you will have to purchase the CANbus simulator from Megacomm or Audiocomp (see Q2 above).

5. My CD gets stuck in COMAND - Can it be fixed?
Yes. There is a black roller just inside the slot that gets covered in grease from your fingers that is on the bottom of the CD. Only a tiny part of the roller is visible, so it is only possible to clean it by dismantling the COMAND system and the CD mechanism inside it, which is not a job to do unless you are very handy. I've now written a Document on Dismantling Comand 2.0 with lots of (large) pictures in it.

6. My COMAND keeps getting CD errors
This is either caused by a dirty CD or a copied CD, or by a dirty laser lens or a laser that is dying. Cleaning the laser involves a lot of dismantling, Here is my document describing how to take Comand 2 apart.

7. Where can I get my COMAND repaired.
In the USA, see http://www.midwestelectronics.com/mercedes.html

8. What are the pinouts of the C1 and C2 connectors on COMAND?
This is for COMAND 2.0
Note the pin ordering in the tables matches the layout of the connector

Comand C1 connector
1RGB-Video Red 5CD Changer Ground
2RGB-Video Green 6CD Changer +12
3RGB-Video Blue 7RGB V-Sync
4RGB-Video Gnd 8RGB Shield

Comand C2 connector
1 10D2B Wakeup
2TV-Audio Right 11TV-Audio Left
3TV-Audio Green 12TV-Audio shield
4Aux-Audio Right 13Aux-Audio Left
5Aux-Audio Ground 14Aux-Audio Shield
6Speed Signal 15Reversing signal
7CAN-B Shield 16CAN-TV Shield
8CAN-B LO 17CAN-TV LO
9CAN-B HI 18CAN-TV HI


This is for COMAND 2.5 (Fitted to S/CL up until end of MY2002) European and US versions - NOT Japan
Note that connector A is not wired in the standard DIN manner. Connector B (the loudspeaker connector is)
Comand 2.5 A connector
1+12 V 5+12v switched out to aerial
2Ground 6spare
3Phone Mute 7spare
4+12 v 8Ground

Comand C1 connector
1TV Audio Shield 5TV Audio Gnd
2TV Audio Left 6TV Audio right
3spare 7spare
4spare 8spare

Comand C2 connector
1K diagnosis line 10spare
2To Plug E/21 11CAN-B Shield
3To Plug E/22 12To Plug E/9
4To Plug E/23 13To Plug E/10
5To Plug E/26 14To Plug E/13
6To Plug E/25 Shield 15CAN-B L
7D2B Wakeup 16CAN-B H
8spare 17RB-CAN L (TV & E/3)
9spare 18RB-CAN H (TV & E/2)

Comand D connector (5 pin round)
1TV Video Red 4TV Video Sync
2TV Video Green5TV Video Gnd/Shield
3TV Video Blue

Comand E connector (Nav Unit)
1Gnd 14+12V
2To C2/18 RB-CAN H 15spare
3To C2/17 RB-CAN L 16spare
4spare 17spare
5spare 18spare
6spare 19To CTEL Wakeup
7Speed Signal Left 20Speed Signal Right
8spare 21To C2/2 (shield for 9,10,22,23)
9To C2/12 22To C2/3
10To C2/13 23To C2/4
11spare 24spare
12spare 25To C2/6 (shield for 13/26)
13To C2/13 26To C2/5


9. What is TMC and does COMAND support it?
TMC is a system where traffic information is broadcast alonside the RDS signal in Europe. COMAND supports TMC where mapping disks are available with the TMC codes on them (they often cost more with TMC support). In the UK TMC only covers major roads. I dont think there is TMC outside of Europe.

10. Where can I buy the MAP CDs from?
You can buy the latest MAP CD from your Mercedes dealer, but that is expensive, especially as MB is just re-packaging the Teleatlas maps that can be bought from Comand Online Teleatlas Reseller.
Ebay very often has the map disks, often cheaper when in other countries to your own - be careful that you don't end up with copied CDs - they don't work very well in COMAND. The disks are "travelpilot DX" type disks (although note that some early Comands do not support DX disks, and have to have the non DX TravelPilot disks - maybee a software upgrade will make the system DX compatable - see Q9 below). Here is a suitable EBAY search for finding Comand Map CDs (Teleatlas)

11. Is there a test disk for COMAND?
Yes, there is a disk that tests CD, Navigation and does some performance tests. Maybee a Mercedes dealer will sell it to you, it is part number W220 589 01 22 00

12. Can software be updated in COMAND?
Mercedes and Bosch (the makers of COMAND) have made 3 releases of software-update disks avaliable to fix bugs and improve functionality. The latest release was done in 2002, and is part number W230 589 00 22 00 (known as the Software Service CD MY2001). If you have an older COMAND it adds a nice Mercedes startup logo and predictive text when entering street names.
Note that there are some early E class COMANDS that can not be updated - they just power off during the update process, and you have to remove the fuse to revive them.

13. Will you send me a copy of those CDs ?
No - it is not my software to distribute. The service CDs are only a few $ from mercedes dealers and the previous releases of Teleatlas disks are relatively cheap on EBAY please don't break the law.

14. What does the MY01 update fix ?
At least the following: Increased no-load current, wrong symbols displayed, voice control doesnt work, sticking CD changer magazine not noticed, cluster time slightly wrong, CD read errors, no sound in cars with sound system, TV picture switches off, CD restarts at track 1 after power off, bad picture on TV, phone book load doesnt work, hissing from speakers on one side, intermittent blank screen.

15. My command can't send SMS messages. Why not?
SMS support has to be coded into COMAND by the dealer. The COMAND will have to have at least MY2001 software, and you will need a newish phone system (Nokia 6210 or later in Europe)

16. Are COMAND and COMAND-APS very different?
Yes. COMAND uses a different fibre-optic system, and a complete different architecture in the car. COMAND uses the D2B system, COMAND-APS uses MOST. In D2B, COMAND is the master system. In MOST, there is an Audio-Gateway that seems to control everything. COMAND-APS uses DVD for maps, whereas COMAND uses CDRoms.

17. Whats the difference between US and European COMAND systems
They seem to be the same hardware with different software. US systems do not support RDS text, they use US frequency spacing between stations on FM/AM radio, they support satellite radio and the TV button is blanked out (although can be enabled by the dealer). You can install a European system in a US vehicle, then you get RDS. It should be possible for the Mercedes dealer to configure ('code') the Comand using their star diagnosis workshop computer to tell it to use US frequency spacing for the radio. I'm not convinced that Teleaid will work on European Comand systems installed in US vehicles so you should check that it does.

18. Can I fit the latest COMAND-APS into my car
Its virtually impossible to put COMAND-APS into a car that was originally only supplied with COMAND. There are a couple of very experienced retrofit guys that have done this on cars that the COMAND-APS was released in a facelift (i.e W203 C class), but it normally requires new phone/cd/sound-system and instrument clusters and probably lots of other stuff as-well.

19. Is there someone that will put COMAND into my car for me?
Most Mercedes dealers will not - or it will cost an arm an a leg. If you are in the UK, then the best people to supply and fit (or arrange fitting) is Comand.co.uk. In Australia, see Benzmodz. And, Steve at MBenzNL visits the US and probably most of the world regularly on "retrofit missions" fitting COMAND and lots of other stuff to Mercedes vehicles. And, in the UK there is also Braybrooks

20. What is this hidden menu i've heard about?
COMAND has a whole set of hidden menus which allow you to look at error codes, see software versions numbers etc. Full details can be found in my document COMAND Hidden Service & Diagnostic Menus

21. I just installed COMAND but it normally says that I am off-road - why?
This is most likely because your speed signal is not connected or is missing. Ensure it is connected to both connector A pin 1 and C2 pin 6. Check for the speed signal in the infos menu in the hidden diagnostic menus (see above).

22. How do I set the language on COMAND? - mine is in German
The languages are stored on the Mapping disk. So, insert a mapping disk, then under the SYS menu is a "something sprache" menu which will no longer be greyed out - set it to English there.

23. My COMAND unit in My S/CL says "No Navigation" when I press NAV or MAP - what is wrong?
Mercedes supplied COMAND without navigation in certain models/markets. The units seem to be identical but have different software in them - and it is not clear whether such vehicles have the GPS antenna installed in them. The answer is to replace the unit - but there may be other ways to enable Navigation - although the dealer can not do it from their Star Diagnosis system.

24. Can I add an AUX input on the COMAND 2.5 in my S-Class
No, the input electronics is used for the tape player. The widescreen COMAND 2.0 in later S-Class vehicles has an AUX input capability as it does not have an integrated tape player.
f you have the TV tuner option then that has 2 auxilliary video/audio inputs on it. The later units have phono connectors (RCA), before that you needed a special loom - often found on ebay.

25. I really did buy COMAND from a different model for my car - what now ?
Well, assuming the COMAND is the correct shape to fit in the hole, the issues are (a) brackets, (b) gyroscope angle (c) CANbus and Speed signal
The brackets are same for ML and CLK, different for E. An E unit with its brackets removed will slide into the ML/CLK slot, but not lock in place. The CLK style brackets can be purchased on Ebay from time to time
Gyrosccope angle - getting the correct clip is impossible - dont bother
Different units expect to see speed signal in different places. Also, the signal to turn on and off ignition and lights is either provided discretely on wires, or across the CANbus. Most CLK units can be recoded to behave like an ML unit if they have MY2001 software update on them. More information on this can be found at comand.co.uk

26. COMAND seems to tell me instructions a little too late. [especially if you just had new tyres or just fitted COMAND]
Ensure that you did the 'calibration' sequence, setting the tyre size appropriately. You should always do this when you put any new tyres on the car.
Ensure you have a map disk in the COMAND unit then press the NAVI key, then select Settings menu, then Calibration. Select new or used tyres and enter the tyre size of one of the rear tyres, holding down the right hand rotary know for a few seconds to enter the new values.

27. Where can I get a manual for COMAND ?
There is a document on My site with part numbers for COMAND and COMAND-APS so you can order them from your dealer. There are some manuals available via this page on mercupgrades.com. You can purchase some manuals from www.comandonline.co.uk.

28. Can I connect a DVD player to the RGB video input on COMAND
COMAND expects to see a TV tuner and communicates with it over a CANBUS link (on connector C2). COMAND will say 'no TV tuner' and ignore the input unless it is communicating with the tv tuner. There are devices out there that pretend to be the TV tuner and have a RGB PAL input, to which you can connect the DVD player. Or you can use the proper TV tuner which has 2 composite auxiliary inputs.
Use This ebay search to find the devices, or See www.megacomm.de or www.audiocomp.info

29. How do speed dials work with COMAND and phone ?
The speed dials use the numbers from the 1st 10 numbers on the phone SIM (rather than the speed dials configured on the phone) - so you need to ensure those are the numbers you want. Refer to your phone manafacturer to work out how to do that - its not trivial - sadly.

30. My COMAND has nothing connected on the speaker connections
This is because your car has digital BOSE audio system (option code 810) and the amplifier is separate. The sound is sent from COMAND to the amplifier via the fibre optic (D2B) bus connection.


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