View Full Version : Interest in Bluetooth module to replace OnStar module?
03-02-2010, 10:34 AM
Just checking to see if there would be interest in a product like this (http://costartech.com/pb/products/bluestar.html) for those of you who have an OnStar equipped vehicle.
I've been working with Costar Tech in identifying the requirements for them to make a plug and play product to give us Bluetooth functionality through the OnStar circuitry. This would replace the OnStar module located under the front passenger's side carpet, and would leverage the integrated OnStar microphone, audio mute/input, and overhead buttons to make & answer calls and control functions like volume, sync'ing etc ...
So far, I've taken the module out, and with their help, done enough testing to determine how to interface their module to our cars. Next step is to test a unit out by wiring it in, and get the firmware right. Then order the connector (when we find it) and build a few.
Before we go that far though, it would be nice to know if there is a demand for this, so speak up if you're interested :) This would be a great way for individuals without steering wheel controls or an RNS-e unit to have factory-like bluetooth funcationality at a reasonable cost.
03-02-2010, 10:51 AM
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03-02-2010, 11:34 AM
Ok, apologies. I wasn't looking for a GB, as there is no product like this for sale yet, just letting people know what I'm trying to do and wondering if people would be interested in this type of product. It seems pointless for CoStar to develop it and then not have any market interest.
Just thought my work towards integrating something like this in my car could benefit others on the forum.
03-02-2010, 07:03 PM
U do know that audi already has a BT module that replaces the onstar, it does cost way more so maybe people would be more interested in spending less.... what would this unit do over the audi one?
03-02-2010, 09:02 PM
Really? Do you have a link?
Are you referring to the factory bluetooth module? If so, I didn't know it repaces the OnStar module, and thought you needed a seperate mic and wire harness to hook it up, as well as VAG COM programming to make it work, and could only be installed in a vehicle with either an RNS-e unit or steering wheel controls (which I have neither of)?
Not sure what this new module would cost, would have to ask the vendor what they would sell it for, but I'm sure it would be less than the factory setup.
03-02-2010, 10:30 PM
Here is an example of Audi's module....
Don't need a separate mic or wire harness, well u need a new 54pin adapter or something which allows u to connect the BT module to the old 42pin adapter on the Onstar. Yes you need to VAG your car as well. I recently had one installed to replace my onstar... Lastly yes, its good to have either RNS-E (which i don't) or the Multi Function Steering Wheel....
03-03-2010, 05:59 AM
Thanks. According to the link, the setup he's selling doesn't work with cars equipped with OnStar? Also states it requires installing a seperate mic, wire harness, an overhead bezel for A6s (for mic mounting), and splicing into the radio's harness. Basically, it looks like he developed a way to install the factory BT module into a car which didn't come with one, without having to buy a new vehicle harness. Pretty slick actually ...
What I'm trying to do, is replace the OnStar module with a custom plug-n-play BT module to make this work. No splicing, or extra mic, or RNS-e/steering wheel buttons required, plus I'm sure the cost will be significantly less.
By using the OnStar hardware, the OnStar buttons act as the BT controller, which is how they get around requiring either RNS-e or steering wheel controls.
03-03-2010, 06:32 AM
Hey there thomas,
That guy is selling the kit, meaning hes also selling the mic and harness cables. If u have a car with onstar all u need is the module/antenna/54 pin harness cable. Here's another link showing the steps needed for a car with onstar:
03-03-2010, 06:33 AM
I guess it would be cool if u could use the onstar buttons, since they become useless after u take the onstar module out. I think most cars that came with onstar have a MFSW or RNSE i could be wrong though
03-03-2010, 02:06 PM
My car doesn't have an RNS-e nav unit, or steering wheel controls, but does have OnStar, so I can't even consider the factory option without swapping the wheel or radio; nevermind the high cost for the factory BT unit.
Thanks for the links, the info definitely helps!
11-18-2011, 07:04 AM
I can't seem to find it, but I posted a feeler on one or more of the existing OnStar to CoStar bluetooth conversion threads on Audizine over the summer. Then I got busy with getting the adaptation of the Bluestar 2010 to work with the VW OnStar peripherals (mic, cabling, audio interface, and button controller).
Well... I come back to the 'zine with a success story several times over. There are now multiple working Bluestar installations in VW Passats, Phaetons and Touaregs from the same production years. ;-)
I believe now that this solution will also work for 2002-2005 Audis that have the factory installed analog OnStar option that was declared end of life in 2008 and no upgrade path was provided. This mod does not reincarnate your OnStar services, it uses the OnStar peripherals (cabling and mic) and the phone source capability in the audio system head unit to allow you completely hands-free whole-car audio interface with your Bluetooth 2.1 capable mobile phone. Furthermore, if you have an iPhone or other current generation smartphone, you are in for a treat because the voice command options are so plentiful. My Motorola Droid X (Android 2.3) will read incoming email and SMS/MMS messages, dial on command, and search web for whatever I ask it for with the push of the white button in my formerly useless OnStar control panel. I have seen a VW Phaeton installation with Siri (iPhone 4S) at work tooŚway cool!
A2DP audio interface is still in development, but the phone features of this are worth getting it right away (it is upgradable in the future with downloadable firmware updates from Costar.) I get so much done in my car now that I can call with the touch of a button and voice command.
The modifications requires some button controller board resistor changes and an internal jump within the Bluestar unit to provide a connector lead for the radio mute function, both modifications that I provide (you must send me your button controller board for mods.) Once that is sorted, 11 pins from the Audi Telematics harness connector plug have to be migrated to the GM Onstar harness connector plugs (2) to snap into the Bluestar module (this is the procedure you must do in your trunk with a small screwdriver, I have been told it can take as little as 15 minutes, but no longer than 30 minutes. Very detailed, step-by-step instructions with clear photographs are provided.) When those two procedures are complete, it is a simple snap together and stow the module away proposition. The quick start user guide from Costar for all Bluestars (GM and Audi/VW alike) will get you dialing and talking in 2-3 minutes.
With Bluestar for Audi/VW you can (amongst many things):
Press the White OnStar button for one second and get the voice command prompt from your smart phone.
Press the White OnStar button for three seconds and redial the last number called.
Press the White OnStar button to answer an incoming call.
Press the Blue OnStar button to answer an incoming call with the handset instead.
Press the Red OnStar button to mute a call while connected.
But the best part is, no wires! The Bluestar uses the built-in OnStar mic and the car's speakers. When a call is initiated or comes in, the Audi Symphony OEM head unit switches to "Phone" mode automatically, and the audio from the call is played over the car's speakers.
It recognizes your phone (if present) when you turn on the ignition and connects automatically.
If multiple phones have been paired, it attempt to connect with them in the order they were added until successful (so your phone trumps your spouses when you are together).
It comes with a PC-based management/programming utility that includes a ringtone creator function.
The future A2DP audio out function means streaming PandoraOne. Who needs a satellite radio subscription? ;)
I have worked out a deal with Costar, the makers of Bluestar, to enable our group to get an Audi Bluestar for our OnStar-equipped Audis for $299, shipping included. If interested, please post to this thread, PM me or email me directly at keith at keithbloom dot com for instructions on overhead button console removal, shipping address and payment. When your button board and payment are received, I will modify the button controller and return it USPS Priority Mail with the VW-enabled Bluestar module and two new harness connectors within 24-48 hours. If you send your button controller by 2-3 day USPS Priority Mail or 2nd Day UPS, your Audi should be Bluestar-equipped within a week!
It's ALIVE! (again) ;)