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Author Topic: Can anyone who has dealt with a radio upgrade and can module swap help me out?  (Read 616 times)

Offline Marticus

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Hi guys, quick one hopefully but I'm struggling a bit.

I was planning on upgrading my radio but read about the battery drain issue so figured I would try upgrading the can module.

So I bought a sh*tty second hand android head unit for testing and a newer gateway module (1K0907530S),

I connected the radio first and confirmed that sure enough it's draining the battery.

And last night I swapped the modules over, using obd11 I configured the control units and long coding from the old module, and except for some warnings about foglight bulbs (I need to go back and copy config from central electrics I guess) everything else seems to be ok.

Problem is that the radio still has power 100% of the time regardless of if the key is in the ignition or not.

From looking at rosstech I think the module I bought should work. So I'm not sure now if it's the module, radio, or something in config.

So for you guys that have done this, how does it look? Does the radio have power all the time? I guess the car should send a signal when ignition is off telling it to shut down?

Or should power be cut?

Offline RetroRaz

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You can still power the radio with or without the keys. What happens when the radio is on and you switch off the car? Does the radio switch off automatically?

Offline fakie1977

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Likely the ignition power and continuous power cables are the wrong way round to the headunit so you will need to swap them around. Use a multimeter and check against the wiring diagram for the headunit. If that is the case you can take the wire pins out of the plugs and swap them over.


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Offline ZoliWorks

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That's how most android head units are, especially the cheap ones. They are powered 24/7. Normally, they should go into standby mode when you remove the key from the ignition but that's just a fancy way of saying "the radio is still on but the screen is black with a clock on it".

They should come with a plug with 2 wires (in my case it was a tiny black plug with a black and orange wire). If you un-do this plug, it'll only be powered on when you put the key in ignition and will shut off automatically when you remove it.

There's no point in swapping your gateway if you use an aftermarket unit as these dont communicate with the car. You only need the gateway upgrade if you're switching to something like a RNS 510 and your car is pre 2008. If you're ever swapping to an OEM unit and your gateway doesn't communicate with the radio, you'll actually get an error saying incorrect communication or something along those lines.


I've had one of these in the past and sold it after a year. sh*tty sound quality, managed to fry 2 of my tweeters due to the badly regulated built-in amp, microphone that's useless as others cant hear you even if you are shouting into it... oh and the unit randomly out of nowhere did a factory reset 3 times in those 2 years.
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Offline Marticus

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Thanks for the responses everyone, got it sorted now.


They should come with a plug with 2 wires (in my case it was a tiny black plug with a black and orange wire). If you un-do this plug, it'll only be powered on when you put the key in ignition and will shut off automatically when you remove it.


This was exactly it, I disconnected those wired and it's off now.

You're right about the quality, my plan is to buy something OEM I just picked this one up second hand and super cheap specifically for testing. And I guess it's done it's job kinda.

Good news is the new gateway module seems to be working fine. So I can tick that off the list.

Thanks again guys.

Offline ZoliWorks

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Nice, glad to hear. You can connect the orange wires from the plugs and leave the black wires separate. This will turn on the backlight on the unit when you turn on your car's parking lights. If both wires are separate, the backlight only turns on when your key is in the ignition and your car's lights are on.

Lot's of people go for the RCD 330 cause it comes with Carplay and it's OEM. If you have a factory amp, I'd suggest you stick to an OEM player or it'll sound like ass. If you have no amp, go for whatever unit you want.

I hear Pioneers are quite good when it comes to sound quality and they have all the features you'd want from them. After the Chinese unit, I went for a Pioneer DMH A3300 DAB and cant say I regretted it. You will need a "Connect 2" or "2 Connects" module, whatever it's called, to basically let the unit take commands from your steering wheel, but those are very cheap.

I went with the RNS 510 and an OEM Bluetooth unit off a 2014 CC cause it fits perfectly with the design of the Mk5 dash and has all the features I need: reversing camera and Bluetooth music.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2024, 07:09:35 pm by ZoliWorks »
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Offline Marticus

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Nice, glad to hear. You can connect the orange wires from the plugs and leave the black wires separate. This will turn on the backlight on the unit when you turn on your car's parking lights. If both wires are separate, the backlight only turns on when your key is in the ignition and your car's lights are on.

Lot's of people go for the RCD 330 cause it comes with Carplay and it's OEM. If you have a factory amp, I'd suggest you stick to an OEM player or it'll sound like ass. If you have no amp, go for whatever unit you want.

I hear Pioneers are quite good when it comes to sound quality and they have all the features you'd want from them. After the Chinese unit, I went for a Pioneer DMH A3300 DAB and cant say I regretted it. You will need a "Connect 2" or "2 Connects" module, whatever it's called, to basically let the unit take commands from your steering wheel, but those are very cheap.

I went with the RNS 510 and an OEM Bluetooth unit off a 2014 CC cause it fits perfectly with the design of the Mk5 dash and has all the features I need: reversing camera and Bluetooth music.

I was looking at the rcd330 as my second gar has Android auto and carplay, and honestly I think I use it more that any of the onboard features.

I was also seeing some of the newer pioneer, and other big brand headunits also now have phone mirroring or app support, but like you I enjoy the OEM look.

The only thing putting me off the rcd330, is that there are so many variants and 'fakes' about. It's exhausting trying to figure out what you need.

I need to think in it some more, but not too long because this one I'm using for testing now is terrible :wink:

Offline lazy

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I just googled RCD 330 to find out what it was and found www.rcd330.co.uk
Has anyone heard of this company and are they reputable, what they're saying on their website sounds good. They also sell a CANBUS gateway simulator, I'm wondering if this means you don't have to do any programming, which should make installation easy.
I to want to upgrade my head unit and want the OEM look, do you think it will look too modern in a Mk5, and what would you need to be able to use it for hands free calling

Offline pudding

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I seriously wouldn't update the CAN gateway as it often causes more issues than it fixes. Especially given the royal pain in the backside location of it  :grin:

The battery drain issue in relation to OE radios only affected the earlier RNS510 retrofits (revision A, B, C etc up to E iirc), but you found the cause with your aftermarket one, nice one  :happy2: The later LED screen RNS510s had an inbuilt battery drain fix via a firmware updated, revision P onwards iirc if anyone is considering one, although personally I woudn't bother as they are all sh*t  :grin:

I just googled RCD 330 to find out what it was and found www.rcd330.co.uk
Has anyone heard of this company and are they reputable, what they're saying on their website sounds good. They also sell a CANBUS gateway simulator, I'm wondering if this means you don't have to do any programming, which should make installation easy.
I to want to upgrade my head unit and want the OEM look, do you think it will look too modern in a Mk5, and what would you need to be able to use it for hands free calling

I don't know about that company specifically, but as they correctly point out, the RCD330 was a legit OE head unit from VW, but sadly region specific.  Why VW felt the rest of the world didn't deserve it is a mystery to me, but hey ho.

Not sure what you mean by CANBUS gateway simulator as the MK5 has an actual CAN gateway as standard.  It's above the pedal box in a god awful location to access.  Best to attack it through the plastic panel under the wiper linkage if you need to change it out for a newer one, just make sure you back up there long codings with VCDS or OBD11 first!  They probably mean certain CAN signals the RCD330 needs can be simulated. Best to speak to them to get the ins and outs of it.

No I don't think the RCD330 looks too modern at all in a MK5 tbh. It's a decent OE solution if you want Carplay/Android Auto.  Although if you want hands free calling, try and get a VW RCD330 compatible microphone as aftermarket ones can sound crap, muted and echoey.



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Offline lazy

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https://www.rcd330.co.uk/collections/all-products/products/canbus-gateway-simulator-prevent-battery-drain-pre-2010-cars
Looking at the picture of it, it looks like it plugs between the radio and the car wiring, but I could be completely wrong. Really I need to get in touch with them and get some info off them.
I don't really want to cause myself a headache and how you describe  getting access certainly does sound like a right pain.
Also another thing I don't want is poor music sound quality but if they are genuine VW items I can't see that being too much of a problem, the sound out of the basic system seems good enough for me although I haven't had much chance to really have a good listen


Offline ZoliWorks

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Yeah this is exactly what it says it is. Just a module you plug in-between the radio and the radio's harness to prevent battery drain. It does exactly what changing the gateway would do. No need for both.

Now as far as the gateway goes, it's actually not that bad to change. I've done it a few times and I always do it from under the dashboard. Pull the seat as far back as you can, get some chair and a plywood to lay with your back on, feet hanging out of the car, head under the dash, by the pedals. A head mounted flashlight will get you plenty of light. You just need to pull off the plastic cover from above the pedals (3x T25 screws), unhook the footwell light and the VAG-COM socket and set it aside. Then just find the gateway, tucked away to the right (or the left, probably, if it's a RHD car) of the steering column with a red plug. Pull off the plug, unhook the gateway from the 2 clips that are holding it in and voila, it's out.

Just make sure you back up the installation list from the gateway on your car prior to replacing it. Once you have the new one in, just open it up with VCDS and check/uncheck the same stuff as you had previously. You'll likely have a lot more stuff you can check, but you shouldn't check anything that wasn't checked before the swap.

Sound wise people praise the RNS510 but the RCD330 should be so close that you cant tell the difference.
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Offline lazy

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I think RCD330 with the CANBUS simulator wire is the way I'll probably be going, seems like it's the best looking and easiest to fit option.

Offline Marticus

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I just googled RCD 330 to find out what it was and found www.rcd330.co.uk
Has anyone heard of this company and are they reputable, what they're saying on their website sounds good. They also sell a CANBUS gateway simulator, I'm wondering if this means you don't have to do any programming, which should make installation easy.
I to want to upgrade my head unit and want the OEM look, do you think it will look too modern in a Mk5, and what would you need to be able to use it for hands free calling

I don't know about that site, the one I've seen recommended is https://www.rcd330.com/homepage/

Offline lazy

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Ok thanks.
 I'll have a look on there to.