What’s in the Box:
It came with the Head Unit, microphone, Wi-Fi antenna, GPS antenna, microphone, 2x USB cables, mounting brackets, plastic trim surrounds, screen protectors (2x), a unit power plug with bare wires, and a double ISO power plug to suit my vehicle (a 2010 Audi TT RS).
What else you need (Connects2 products are branded AerPro in Australia)
Connects2: CTSAD002.2 or AerPro: CHAD3C Audi Can-Bus Steering Wheel Control Interface for cars with full Bose systems.
Connects2: CT27AA56 or AerPro: APA60 Double Fakra Antenna Adapter
Connects2: CTMULTILEAD.2 or AerPro: APUNIPL2 Patch Lead (for self-learn of steering wheel controls)
Connects2: CT23AU05 or AerPro: FP8022 and FP953000 Facia kit and mounting cradle
ATOTO supplied ISO power Harness for Audi/VW
ATOTO supplied Bare wires Power Harness if you need to fabricate your own
Removing the RNS-E:
Make sure you get a proper set of HU removal keys. I tried some generic ones without success. The Audi/VW/Skoda ones worked perfectly.
You can fit three of the keys into their slots in the RNS-E, but the fourth requires the HU to be powered on so the screen can fold out of the way to allow access. Place a folded towel over the console to prevent damage to the surface during handling.
Once you’ve released the HU, power the HU down or pull the fourth key out quickly before the screen closes automatically. Release the keys by pressing on the spring-loaded retainers on the sides of the HU.
Here’s what’s left after you remove the HU and release the Audi harnesses. Please note this is an Australian delivered car and it does not have a seatbelt warning light to be removed from the original facia – just a blanking plate which is transferred to the new facia.
Installing the Facia Trim – just guide it in, allowing the plastic retainer pieces to bend, then snap into place
Inserting the cradle – guide it in, keeping it square to the facia piece - I had to Dremel the plastic in the corners of the Audi liner to allow easier insertion of the cradle, which was very tight.
Securing the Cradle – use a screwdriver to press as many of the triangular cut-outs into the liner as you can
Attach the mounting plates that came with the facia kit to the sides of the HU. I mounted the plates as far forward as the adjustment allowed to push the HU back as far as possible. There are tiny tabs that fit into slots in the plate, to give positive adjustment. The ATOTO mounting brackets supplied with the HU are not suitable for use with the Connects2 facia.
Assembling the harness and adapters to the HU – here’s what the HU looks like from behind.
Connecting the harnesses and adapter to the HU
Connecting the assembly to the car
The Quadlock connector is the main connection between the HU and the car. The other connections that must be made to the car are:
The aerial Fakra connector adapter to the car’s Fakra connector
Don’t plug the Steering Wheel Control plug into the HU – this is used only when using an aftermarket IR SWC. If plugged in, it prevents operation of the car’s original SWC.
USB and WiFi receivers can be placed in the glovebox in the area to be vacated by the music interface.
The 2x USB cables (one fast charge and one Easy Connect) can also be placed in this area.
There is one car connection that will not be used – this is the 32-pin connector that connects to the top left-hand corner of the rear of the RNS-E. It remains in the space behind the HU.
Booting the Unit up
When I first connected the unit to the car and powered it up, everything worked, except the sound! Disappointing, but I knew the sound worked, from my prior bench-testing. The radio and music displays showed that sound was happening in the HU, but not getting through to the amp. First reaction was to check the blue wire connection that tells the amp to power up. This was connected properly. Following this was a period of consternation and much re-reading of instructions, to no avail. After some serious thinking, I connected my VAG-COM and found that the code to allow an amplifier switch-on by remote wire was not enabled. When I re-coded to do this, all was well. Your vehicle, if optioned the same as mine, may or may not encounter this issue. Advice received from Aerpro was that they had not encountered this issue before, but it was now noted in their notes for installers.
With everything singing and dancing, all that remained was to load some offline maps and music from a smartphone or a WiFi connection, and allow blue-tooth phone connection, and to explore the Android capabilities of the HU. The HU is a good match (in my non-audiophile opinion) for the Bose system and I believe the sound quality is improved over the RNS-E. The HU has a broad range of capabilities, effectively being an Android phone hard-wired to your car, documented very well in the owner’s manual, as well as being well served by ATOTO Customer Support. At this stage, I’m extremely happy with my choice.