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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the shutdown of AT&T's 3G service eminent, I've been thinking about options to keep out old MMI 3G+ systems connected to the interwebz, mostly for the Google Earth map style (which still works in our '14 A4) and the occasional on-line destination search.

In the U.S. market, the embedded phone module that provisions the 3G connection is the Cinterion AH6A-US (inside VAG PN 8T0051431):



Current Cinterion LTE devices appear to have a similar form factor, but different electrical connectivity (PDF HERE). I haven't actually opened a U.S. PPIS UMTS phone module (post T-Mobile) to see what the Cinterion device looks like.

Then there would be the problem of getting the old QNX system to work with the device, if the device connectivity problem can be solved within the MMI main unit footprint.

External data connection solutions have been around for a long time; I summarized some of these last year HERE. One of these may be project this summer (assuming we hold onto our A4q for a while longer).

Anyone else out there thinking about MMI3G+ mobile data post 3G ? --g
 

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@DrGER Did you find this thread?


This thread shows pictures of the internal phone module. It looks like the modem (in this case a Telit unit) is built on an LGA form factor.

a selection of modules can be found here:

This is good news as the units are designed to be interchangeable and offer an upgrade path.

The alternative would be to use an external 4/5G modem connected via the AMI port.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@JohnS4 : I did see that old Audizine thread at some point in the past. Alas, the images referenced in this post New telephone module don't show up in my browser (do they exist at all?).

In your case, a Telit 4G/LTE module that behaves like the existing Telit 3G module might just swap out. In our North American case, the goal here is to locate an LTE equivalent to the Cinterion AH6A-US phone module (if such a thing actually exists). I'm surprised that my bit of Googling hasn't discovered any examples of people trying this 3G to LTE phone module swap (even to report negative results). --g
 

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@DrGER interesting that the photos are not visible for you. I’ll repost here.

Inside there the telephone module is Harman Becker PPIS UMTS, Type BE 9449, #9449GZ0C5115435:
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Inside there the mobile chip is a Telit UC864. In Europe you will have Telit UC864-E Module-AUTO GSM, and in the USA you will have a Telit UC864-AWS-AUTO:
Circuit component Passive circuit component Hardware programmer Computer hardware Electronic engineering

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for that @JohnS4 . Not exactly plug-and-play, it would seem: the board appears to be from HB, so you'd need to be able to remove the affixed 3G module without damaging the circuit board first. Hmmm, not something I have the equipment for on my workbench at home. But surely someone has the tools & expertise to prepare this experiment. --g
 

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Long ago i have made some research...
There are two modem types - Cinterion(now gemalto) and Telit.
Unfortunately I was not able to find a compatible 3G/4G modem that can be used as plug-and-play replacement.
If there is one that at least matches the pinout then there is a big chance that there will be no driver for it.
Raspberry Pi is an option or work in direction of using hostless USB modems.
Again there will be need for driver which can be challenging ...

Regards,
Nik
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@congo & @JohnS4 : What do you all think about "LTE Router" devices like the Alcatel LinkHub HH41NH to provide ethernet to the AMI port through a proper OE AMI-USB cable and USB ethernet device ?

User Manual

Something like the LinkHub could easily live behind the trim panel in the luggage compartment; running switched power and ethernet cables to it under door sills should be easy enough. --g
 

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I actually bought the kit to do this some time ago. I was planning on using a TP Link mini router to connect to a hot spot from my phone. Never got around to setting it up. If I recall the MMI is picky on the chip set in the USB to ethernet adapter. I’ll edit this post when I can find what I actually bought!

The unit you linked looks fine, except the power draw, one answer on the Amazon page stated it pulled 2A which seems rather high. You may even be able to use a Fakra to BNC cable and connect your roof antenna.
 

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MMI accepts only USB to Ethernet hardware with the following chipset: AX88772 AX88772A AX88172

From post 916:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I'm not too worried about the USB/Ethernet device as the recommended DLink & TRENDnet devices seem to plentiful from eBay sellers. Nor am I too worried about the current draw from the Alcatel LinkHub, as 12VDC/5VDC micro USB power adapters can handle this (I have one connected to our Samsung wireless charging dock that is hardwired to a switched fuse circuit in Fuse Panel C; adding another for this is easy). And I like the idea of accessing the existing GSM antenna in the roof aerial (since the MMI won't need it after the 3G shutdown): Fakra D male to SMA male pigtail: 2.79US $ |FAKRA cable Fakra D male Plug to SMA male Plug connector for GPS Antenna Extension Cable Pigtail Cable RG316 free shipping|plug connector|sm plugplug f - AliExpress

This will definitely be a project this spring. --g
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
And with the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), we're finding interesting devices like the Digi TransPort Router WR11 XT (LTE Ethernet router): https://usatcorp.com/pdf/datasheets/Digi-Transport-WR11-XT-Datasheet.pdf

I'm seeing these from several eBay vendors: this looks like an ideal solution for an automotive application due to its size and specification. Another interesting project direction. --g
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@JohnS4 : No, I haven't had a compelling need to poke at any of that yet. What (software) tools would be involved in such a project ? And how would one use this information, apart from inspection ? I don't see how we can import our own custom POIs into legacy 3G+ systems (see, e.g., Audi). --g
 

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I am in America and have a MY2015 RS5 Cabriolet. Given that this is the last year the cabriolet option is offered, it will need to be pried out of my cold, dead hands. Yes, I'm absolutely concerned about this and would love to find a solution. I can't believe that Audi would just leave all customers prior to introduction of 4GLTE out in the cold. I am quite good friends with my service manager so I will check with him next week to see if he has heard anything. the 3G is basically unusable at this point with the rate caps T-Mobile has introduced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I found a Digi WR11 LTE router (WR11-L600-DE1-SU for AT&T LTE) recently on eBay for a fair price; it arrived today, complete with a couple GSM antennae and a 5 VDC power supply. After working through a few setup menus in the web admin tool of the device, I had the WR11 configured as an LTE router with my spare Freedompop SIM connected to a Win10 laptop (screen shot of the web admin tool home page):
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This looks promising for getting mobile data working in our old MMI 3G+ post 3G shutdown through the AMI port using an AMI/USB cable and a UGREEN USB2.0 Ethernet adapter (which uses the required ASIX chipset). I expect to pull switched (Terminal 75) power for the WR11 from an existing add-a-fuse device on Panel C and GSM signal from the roof aerial using a short Fakra D to SMA cable. More on this when (1) AT&T 3G data is switched off and (2) it warms up again here. --g

n.b.: Digi made two versions of this device: WR11 & WR11 XT (for industrial applications); I think the XT version will be better suited for this automotive application:



Update: A recent post on audiworld.com about a dodgy AMI connection got me thinking about pulling a USB connection off the MMI main unit directly to avoid having to run the USB/ethernet connection out of the glovebox where the AMI connector is located. It seems someone has already thought of this for us: 9.14US $ |Car USB MMI 3G AMI Input Socket Adapter for Audi A6 A4 Q5 Q7|Cables, Adapters & Sockets| - AliExpress
Given that we don't use the AMI connection for anything on a regular basis, this should help clean up the solution physically (and reduce the number of cables/electrical connections between J794 and the ethernet adapter). --g
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I found another one of these Digi TransPort LTE routers on eBay with which to experiment for a fair price, this time a WR11 XT (as pictured above), model number WR11-M600-DE1-XB for North American LTE networks using a Telit LTE V2 modem (Telit chipset). After a bit of poking around various configuration menus, I can confirm that it provisions LTE data from the AT&T network using one of my legacy Freedompop SIMs.

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The WR11 XT is the industrial version of the (consumer) WR11 LTE router. I expect to use this one (WR11 XT) to provision mobile data to our MMI 3G+ system after our AT&T 3G service goes away next month. --g
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I sourced a "spare" NAR MMI main unit recently (8R1035746D), and pulled the later U.S. 3G data module (for AT&T) out of it to take a closer look. I was surprised to find that the Cinterion 3G module pictured in my first post, above, is separate from the MMI interface board:
Circuit component Passive circuit component Electronic component Electronic engineering Hardware programmer


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Passive circuit component Circuit component Hardware programmer Computer hardware Electronic component


The MMI interface board, above, has the violet Farkra D GSM connector, MMI main board connector, and data modem connector. The Cinterion modem board appears to be glued in-place to the the metal case, as moderate force upward force (by hand) isn't moving the board. The black plastic piece fixes and spaces the interface board with regard to the modem and the case. Next step: applying some heat to try to remove the Cinterion modem board from the case. --g
 
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