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Xtrons PB7890BP - BMW E90

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By skezza, Senior Member on 5th June 2018, 02:59 PM
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8th June 2018, 03:41 PM |#21  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skezza

They've sent me an RMA too and offered to pay for postage; like you though, I'll end up potentially having no radio while they fiddle and piss around for a few days. I don't think the radio works properly (or even at all) without the canbus box either. If it works partially, I can live without it, but I really don't want to be driving around for a week while they fanny about sourcing a new canbus decoder for me. I'd need to look though which I'll do tonight or early tomorrow morning. I'll update once I know. If it does work, I will get it posted tomorrow so I can get a new one back next week. I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't fix it though.

The canbus powers the radio, but I don't know if the decoder has anything to do with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skezza

Did you watch the video I recorded? The fact, your description sounds exactly the same as mine, means I'm pretty sure our problems are the same. Are you a UK customer as well? Be interesting to see how quickly they operate.

That is exactly what I am seeing. I am in the US and the return address they gave me is the US but who knows where a new one will ship from and how quickly it will arrive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skezza

The 30 second ACC fix should work, assuming your canbus hasn't bugged out already!! It's really really important to note that. Once you've bugged your CANBUS, it's done. Dead..... and it'll be dead for half an hour to an hour or so regardless of this setting. I'm not uber clued up on the car, but I found an article discussing BMW canbus and aftermarket radios and essentially, there's some kind of lockdown system. If any kind of discrepancy is detected, the canbus circuitry for the radio is shutdown. So with that in mind, I think the car detects the unit powering down, but the unit should be powering up as the door has just been opened. This then puts the car into a fail-safe and canbus into a shutdown mode. You could disconnect the battery for a quick answer, I suppose, but no point. Just wait an hour or so. Then you'll have working canbus everytime you enter the vehicle, assuming you have that 30 second mode activated.

This isn't a fix though is it? This is simply booting the radio from cold everytime you enter the car and that really shouldn't be necessary. It was one of the selling points of this particular piece of equipment.

I will try those settings tonight/tomorrow before sending it back. Has to be worth a try.

This is absolutely not a fix, but a work around. Share the article if you still have it. I have a background in vehicle controls but never worked on the CANBUS system. Perhaps it is even something I can code on the car itself.
 
 
8th June 2018, 04:32 PM |#22  
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Originally Posted by erronr

I have used the unit with the canbus disabled. The radio worked, that is all I tested. I was trying to figure out why my canbus stopped before reading this post.

As of now, I don't have the 30 second thing selected and since swapping my canbus to my old one ive kept canbus working. That being said, I havent done a quick turn off/turn on. I will try that shortly.

If you do a quick turn off and on, with the 30 second thing, you should be fine, because it takes more than a few minutes. It takes somewhere in region of 2-5 minutes for the bug to manifest itself. I sat in the car, locked it, unlocked it, got in, got out, and never had an issue. It seems to be having left for a minute or two. Something changes, then you open the drivers door and bang, the unit powers up..... in a powering down state and then the canbus gets fragged and goes tits up.
8th June 2018, 04:37 PM |#23  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skezza

If you do a quick turn off and on, with the 30 second thing, you should be fine, because it takes more than a few minutes. It takes somewhere in region of 2-5 minutes for the bug to manifest itself. I sat in the car, locked it, unlocked it, got in, got out, and never had an issue. It seems to be having left for a minute or two. Something changes, then you open the drivers door and bang, the unit powers up..... in a powering down state and then the canbus gets fragged and goes tits up.

Maybe if enough people complain to xtrons they will come up with a fix. Or they just have no idea how.
8th June 2018, 04:48 PM |#24  
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Originally Posted by jerkeife

The canbus powers the radio, but I don't know if the decoder has anything to do with that.

Is that correct? I was under the impression the ignition powered the radio, but the canbus provided the interface between the car ECU and the radio. Hence the radio operates erratically without the canbus decoder, but you can see it powering on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerkeife

That is exactly what I am seeing. I am in the US and the return address they gave me is the US but who knows where a new one will ship from and how quickly it will arrive.

The only good thing about a few of us seeing it, is that the guys at Xtrons can't easily ignore it. If it's a software bug, it needs fixing. If it's a hardware bug, it needs fixing. I would suspect it's a software bug, because they've been knocking out these units for years and the canbus, as far as I'm aware, has never been a major problem.

Do the US have a service depot for Xtrons? The UK, does but it's operated by an outside company. I guess they just post/receive items and not much else. Probably one guy in a building somewhere. I would drive round, but it's a solid 2-3 hours away so not worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerkeife

This is absolutely not a fix, but a work around. Share the article if you still have it. I have a background in vehicle controls but never worked on the CANBUS system. Perhaps it is even something I can code on the car itself.

I'll have a look for the article. I spent hours yesterday searching for aftermarket radio canbus e90 and there were lots of discussions on it. Most of them were suggesting the canbus isn't compatible with aftermarket radios at all, but that's the whole point of this decoder right?

Like I said, it's a hack..... and it's a working hack and in the grand scheme of things, I would probably still keep this unit because other than this one issue, I'm really starting to fall in love with it. Why the **** can't they get such a trivial thing right though?
8th June 2018, 04:50 PM |#25  
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Originally Posted by erronr

Maybe if enough people complain to xtrons they will come up with a fix. Or they just have no idea how.

There will definitely be a solution to this problem. They just need to debug it. Perhaps the problem lies in what jerk said above, regarding coding of the car.

I need to buy the coding tool off eBay as i can't do it right now.

Edit: Hello, so there are certain door configurations you can code..... I wonder, I wonder.

I now NEED to buy a USB cable to code this car. Problem is, I'm used to VAG. This is a minefield for me.
8th June 2018, 04:56 PM |#26  
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I'm looking at codes now. Will update if I find anything.
8th June 2018, 09:16 PM |#27  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erronr

I have used the unit with the canbus disabled. The radio worked, that is all I tested. I was trying to figure out why my canbus stopped before reading this post.

As of now, I don't have the 30 second thing selected and since swapping my canbus to my old one ive kept canbus working. That being said, I havent done a quick turn off/turn on. I will try that shortly.

I missed this. Good to see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by erronr

Maybe if enough people complain to xtrons they will come up with a fix. Or they just have no idea how.

Hopefully.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skezza

Is that correct? I was under the impression the ignition powered the radio, but the canbus provided the interface between the car ECU and the radio. Hence the radio operates erratically without the canbus decoder, but you can see it powering on?

Let me correct my phrasing. Full disclosure - I need to check wiring diagrams but this is what I assume to be correct. The radio should have a designated power circuit (through a power bus - think fuse box). However the radio has an enable mode to actually pull power from that circuit. Some sort of built-in switch that cuts the power (like an accessory-on circuit.) When the ignition is turned on the controller (ECU or whatever BMW uses) reads the ignition on and sends the signal to allow the radio (and anything else that should be on with the ignition on) to pull power. I don't think power is actually run over the canbus but the canbus is the logical place to control the state of the radio. This "accessory-on" circuit could be built into the radio itself or it could be outside the radio. I suspect that an outside module controls the state of the radio. This would mean we don't require on the aftermarket decoder to turn on the radio (tested and proven by erronr) . The decoder is only needed when the two modules need to communicate with each other. For instance I believe that the radio actually stores and shares the time with the message center on our instrument cluster. This means the radio sends out an encoded message that the instrument cluster needs to decode. So in the case of our car, the xtrons radio sends out a coded message for the time. Our decoder translates that from xtrons language into BMW language and passes it along to our message center. The message center reads and

Quote:
Originally Posted by skezza

Do the US have a service depot for Xtrons? The UK, does but it's operated by an outside company. I guess they just post/receive items and not much else. Probably one guy in a building somewhere. I would drive round, but it's a solid 2-3 hours away so not worth it.

I'm assuming the US is a similar situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skezza

I'll have a look for the article. I spent hours yesterday searching for aftermarket radio canbus e90 and there were lots of discussions on it. Most of them were suggesting the canbus isn't compatible with aftermarket radios at all, but that's the whole point of this decoder right?

Same as above.

Like I said, it's a hack..... and it's a working hack and in the grand scheme of things, I would probably still keep this unit because other than this one issue, I'm really starting to fall in love with it. Why the **** can't they get such a trivial thing right though?[/QUOTE]

The trivial things are often missed because they are secondary or tertiary considerations.
9th June 2018, 06:15 PM |#28  
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I'm returning the canbus on Monday but I am really not convinced it's a hardware issue. It's clearly a software bug and i'm not even convinced it's the car now, because earlier when i tested, the steering wheel was still able to communicate with the air conditioning unit.

Xtrons need to look at this and work out a fix asap.
9th June 2018, 08:20 PM |#29  
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I've noticed my old canbus has a different software version than the new one. But could be different manufacturer and make no difference. I haven't run into the canbus issues since swapping them out, but not extensive enough testing yet.
9th June 2018, 09:16 PM |#30  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erronr

I've noticed my old canbus has a different software version than the new one. But could be different manufacturer and make no difference. I haven't run into the canbus issues since swapping them out, but not extensive enough testing yet.

So are you running your old canbus box then? Is it working fine whereas the other canbus it isn't? If so, I think that answers the question really. It's clearly a buggy canbus box, not even the software. The big problem is, if their replacement doesn't fix it, then it's a hardware issue with that decoder and we need the same one as you, and I cannot see us getting hold of them easily. They're car specific after all and each manufacturer does it differently. I had a look on Erisin they have their own canbus, maybe they would sell me one. Be interesting to see how much they wanted.

I've fitted the unit more permanently today. I tried my best to make the climate control unit fit flush. Filed the tabs off, modified the bracket etc, but nah, I can't quite get it flush. I think if I keep going at the bracket I could get it nearly flush though, so I'm half tempted. It's only the bracket after all. Xtrons would probably sell me a new one for a few quid. I'll have another look in a few days. Had enough of it today.

The unit is good. I like the unit. Therefore, when I weigh it up, I would still keep this radio over sending it back. Yes, the sleep thing is annoying but we'll see if a new canbus decoder fixes it. I would still prefer to keep it though.
10th June 2018, 10:29 AM |#31  
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I've asked the guys at Erisin for a price on how much for one of their canbus decoders. There's a fair chance it'll be different to the Xtrons one so might work better. I've noticed something very strange today. When I pop the boot on my car, a little logo appears on the head unit to say the boot is opened. This doesn't happen for the front drivers/passenger or rear doors. Should it? It also doesn't read anything from the AC climate controls? Again, should it? This is all pointing to a bad canbus box to me.
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