Radio or RCU? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Mar 26th, 2006, 10:38 pm Thread Starter
 
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Radio or RCU?

Need help. I have a 99 LT and the radio has died. Get the normal NO RADIO flash and no control over buttons. I have read many threads and tried all the fixes like disconnecting the battery and cleaning all terminals etc without any luck. It appears that I have got a problem with one of the components but the question is which, the radio itself or the radio control unit. My dealer has not been much help apart from to say "we don't have anyone who knows enough to advise you but if you bring it in..... " (wonder how much that would cost me?).

Does anyone out there know how I can find out which component it is? I have sourced both a radio and an RCU but obviously I don't want to buy a part that I don't need.

Please help.

Fitzy
Melbourne, Australia
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post #2 of 12 Old Mar 27th, 2006, 7:51 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitzy79
Need help. I have a 99 LT and the radio has died. Get the normal NO RADIO flash and no control over buttons. I have read many threads and tried all the fixes like disconnecting the battery and cleaning all terminals etc without any luck. It appears that I have got a problem with one of the components but the question is which, the radio itself or the radio control unit. My dealer has not been much help apart from to say "we don't have anyone who knows enough to advise you but if you bring it in..... " (wonder how much that would cost me?).

Does anyone out there know how I can find out which component it is? I have sourced both a radio and an RCU but obviously I don't want to buy a part that I don't need.

Please help.

Fitzy
Melbourne, Australia
Hi, Fitzy - doggone, you've had your share of trouble on your LT, haven't you? Hate that!! Lissen, I'm not knowledgeable with regard to the operation of the radio system, nor the radio control unit, on an LT, butt here's a suggestion.

If you have an LT-owner friend nearby, maybe you could switch units, or partial units, to see if you can isolate the defective/stubborn part. Your friend would have to trust that your unit won't bugger up theirs after the switch, butt I would think it might help to point a finger toward the culprit.

In advance of that, hopefully someone here on the forums will provide more help to ya if they have experienced a similar situation. Good luck, Fitzy.
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post #3 of 12 Old Mar 27th, 2006, 10:14 am
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Fitzy,
I think you just might be between a rock and a hard place with your radio problems. I had a similar experience as I needed to replace my radio and had 4 replacement radios lined up to try, but with no guarantee as to which one or if any of them would work. Long story short, I dug into the stingray and tried 3 separate units before finding one that worked correctly. I even had it all buttoned back up once, and was test riding before I found out that the radio had a heat related problem (I think) in one of the channels as it cut out after just a few minutes of use. I had tested the radio's functionality at every step of reassembly too. As it turned out the radio had to play awhile until the channel stopped functioning. Soooo, back into the stingray again.
I think your only option is to try to find someone with a working bike and try the swap like Dick said. Don't know of a way to test the radio off the bike, and I asked several knowledgeable folks, both here on the board and elsewhere too (dealers & technicians). I'm pretty sure that most dealers would do the same thing. With most radio problems they simply start swapping parts until it works again. I realize that's probably no comfort, but sadly, it's true.
As an aside, and we've written about this before, but I would again say to be careful to make sure that you know the software version of the RCU and radio. I'd hate to see you get everything working again, and introduce the battery drain problem into the mix by getting a software mismatch. RCU Ver 3 only works with Radio Ver 7. RCU Ver 2 works with any Radio software version.
As an afterthought, you might be able to remove your radio and try it in an R1200CL(?) if you know someone who has one. The radio in the CL is in the right saddlebag and is the easiest radio to get to on any of the BMWs. You can swap CL radios in a matter of minutes. I had a cd stuck in one of the radios that I scrounged up, and I hooked it up to the CL to get the cd out. Worked like a champ. That might give you some insight as to the culprit. It sure would be a lot easier than opening up 2 LT stingrays. Just a thought. Good luck!

Bill Edwards
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post #4 of 12 Old Mar 28th, 2006, 12:15 am Thread Starter
 
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Thumbs up

Thanks guys,

Yep I guess you are right, I will just have to try and find someone who might help me do some swapping tests. Otherwise, I will just fork out some dollars and hope for the best. I suppose it has to be one or the other and it does have to be fixed because I cannot stand riding without music much longer.

Question for you Bill,

Last time I got the thing stripped down and it came to removing the radio, I could not get the large connector off the back of the radio, you know the main one which needs to be levered with a screwdriver. It came out to a certain point but then just would not separate from the radio and I was scared to use any more force for fear of breaking something. Is there any trick to this connector?

regards

Fitzy
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post #5 of 12 Old Mar 28th, 2006, 12:21 am Thread Starter
 
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Wink

I just noticed that both you guys are from Texas. aint that funny, my unit fried when travelling through the biggest downpour I have experienced in many years and guess where I was? Yep, Texas. But a great country to ride in just the same.
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post #6 of 12 Old Mar 28th, 2006, 8:02 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitzy79
I just noticed that both you guys are from Texas. aint that funny, my unit fried when travelling through the biggest downpour I have experienced in many years and guess where I was? Yep, Texas. But a great country to ride in just the same.
Yeppir, Fitzy - Bill and I live about 25 or so miles apart. I think we've met for lunchies a coupla times, butt his work schedule keeps him busier'n me, so we don't see each other often.

The day you got into some serious rain in Tejas wuz prolly a day when Grif wuz out riding Barbara. I try to stay home on the dayz when I know Barbara is on the road. Grif and I live about 30 miles apart, so occasionally, I'll check with him before I check with the wx forecasters!!

Good luck on your tune repairs, Fitzy.
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post #7 of 12 Old Mar 28th, 2006, 9:27 am
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main connector

If your talking about the big round one, The outside rotates to release the inner part. Just turn it counter clockwise. You'll see a little window in the side and there is a red indicator dot that will line up with it when it's engaged and also when it's released....

I have not spoken on this subject before because there are many who know more about the radio but I am thinking that logic tells me that the RCU is ok because it's doing something... ( display's no radio ) It's probably going to be the radio itself that's bad. ( just a guess now )

Good Luck,

John

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post #8 of 12 Old Mar 28th, 2006, 9:31 am
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Fitzy,
Yeah, that big gang connector on the back can sometimes be problematic. You didn't say whether or not you took the radio out of the housing to remove the connector, but it would help if you did. That way you'd see how the thing actually works. When you've got the radio exposed, just pull up on the top of the connector. It should slide upward about 1/2" releasing it from the "latches". Then just wiggle it until it comes free. It's a pretty strong connector, so it'll be difficult to hurt it. I know others have had similar problems, but it'll come if you're persistent.
If I knew how to attach the ComSystems Installation Manual I would, as it gives a better view of the connector. I know the K1200LT service manual says use a screwdriver to remove, but once you've got the radio exposed you'll see that that's not necessary. I'm not sure if the expression "compression fitting" is correct, but that's the way the thing works. You move that sliding fitting down to compress the fitting to hold it in place, and move it up to release it.
Just tried to attach the whole ComSystems Installation Manual and it seems the file is too big. I've got no idea how to copy and post only one page of the thing. I'll try to send it to your email address if it's listed. If not, if you'll pm me with the address, I'll send it to you that way. It's only about 15 pages, but it's in PDF format. Let me know.
Bill
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post #9 of 12 Old Mar 28th, 2006, 9:53 am
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Fitzy,
Just sent the ComSystems Installation Manual to the email addy on your website. Hope this helps. If you've got another addy you'd rather have it sent to, let me know.
Bill
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post #10 of 12 Old Mar 29th, 2006, 12:12 am Thread Starter
 
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Smile

I got it Bill, thank you very, very much for your help. I really do appreciate it.


Regards

Fitzy
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post #11 of 12 Old Mar 29th, 2006, 8:39 am
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Fitzy,
You're very welcome. And thanks for the kind email. I'd like to take you up on that some day!

Bill
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post #12 of 12 Old Mar 30th, 2006, 6:35 pm
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Fitzy79;
I have a radio (and comm unit) from my ,now gone, '99.
If you want it,make me an offer. I'm cheap & easy. Money back if not satisfied.

Start the haggling at $45 & I'll start at $55. I'm sure we can work it out.
Douglas

Douglas

Last edited by douglas; Mar 30th, 2006 at 6:51 pm.
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