DAB Retrofit - Volvo V40 Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 23-08-2015, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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DAB Retrofit

I've been working on this for a while so I thought I'd start a thread on this project. There are outside factors that may mean it never gets completed, but I'll update this thread with my progress.

I've mentioned before that my car is a 2013 model and the original owner skimped on the options. On 2013 cars DAB Radio was an optional extra. If you wanted it you could spec the full DAB installation, or if you wanted to save some money you could spec the 'DAB Prep' option. This added all the required connections to the floor and tailgate wiring harnesses but left out the DAB Module itself, which could be retrofitted at a later date. Unfortunately my car's owner specified neither.

If you look at the Accessories webpage for the DAB Module ( http://accessories.volvocars.com/en-...CC-472919/2013 ), it states at the bottom that it can only be fitted if the 'DAB Prep' option was specified. The alternative Volvo offer is the aftermarket 'Pure DAB' system that connects to the audio input, requires an extra glass-mount antenna and you end up with the display and control unit stuck on the dash. It all looks a bit slapdash really.

I was resigned to not having DAB when I came across a thread on the Volvo Club Norway forum, where a member called SagaPer retrofitted DAB to an XC70 that did not have the 'DAB Prep' option ( http://forum.vccn.no/showthread.php?...ten-prep-kabel ). This inspired me to look at it again, and after a few PMs with SagaPer I decided to give it a go.

Unlike my last thread where I fitted the Rear Park Assist, the software downloads for this retrofit are not straightforward and that may be where it falls down. Whether it works or not may come down to finding a dealer who is willing to give it a try rather than just looking at the config database and saying it's not possible. We will see.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 23-08-2015, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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From the instructions for the accessory kit I could see what the connections for the DAB module were - it has a 2-pin power plug, a 2-pole Twin FAKRA antenna connector (FAKRA a type of automotive coax connector) and a MOST fibre transceiver to connect it into the infotainment MOST optical loop


The two antenna connections are because DAB has 2 frequency bands - Band III (174-240Mhz, just above the analogue FM band) and L-Band (1450-1490Mhz, just above the GSM cellphone bands). L-Band was supposed to be the international standard, but apart from in the Czech Republic it's been largely ignored (the UK has actually sold the frequency band off for data services) and Band III has become the de facto standard instead.

The Band III signal is provided from the same rear window antenna the FM signal comes from, but L-Band requires a phone or GPS-type antenna module so Volvo put this in the 'shark fin' on the roof, together with the GSM and GPS antennas. I didn't much fancy getting behind the roof liner or removing the shark fin, so I decided not to bother with L-Band (it turns out that from 2014 onwards Volvo didn't bother with it either).

The first thing to do was to find out what the extra wiring and components the 'DAB Prep' option added. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a copy of the 2013 V40 Electronic Wiring Diagram (like what you used to get in Haynes manuals, but a lot bigger and in a PDF file).

The EWD shows all the optional wiring runs as dotted lines, so by looking at the section for the DAB Module I could see what was missing in my car.:
  • A switched 12V feed for the module from Fuse 16 in the underseat fusebox
  • A Ground connection to the ground point near the passenger seat
  • An antenna feed from the FM/DAB Antenna Amplifier (which I'd also need) in the tailgate
  • An extension of the MOST optical fibre loop to the passneger side rear corner

The wiring wasn't so much of a problem, but the MOST fibres are a bit difficult - unless you have the £500 terminating tookit, you have to get the fibres custom made (you can get fixed lengths, but it's never the right length I didn't really want coils of fibre under the carpets).

As well as this Volvo seem to use custom wiring connectors from a variety of manufacturers, so finding them in the aftermarket can be a bit of a problem. Volvo's parts catalogue is particularly poor when it comes ot the connectors too, with no pictures to help identify them and the terminals are usually separate parts too, so you have ot find those as well.

I decided the easiest thing to do would be to get the floor harness from a written-off V40 that had DAB and then I'd get all the wiring, connectors and fibres in the correct colours and lengths.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 23-08-2015, 06:35 PM
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Buzby - I suspect you'd prefer the challenge of getting the Volvo one installed and working But - have you seen the DAB kits that work through the USB in of car stereos? It comes up on the display as the radio channels are MP3 tracks? A neater solution than ones with a little header stick on for the dash... I suspect you can get them/fit them cheaper than this link too.. seem to remember looking at these when I was thinking of getting a BMW instead of the V40...

http://www.justconnectme.co.uk/digit...justdrive-usb/
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 23-08-2015, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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I thought it would be easier to get the floor harness from a written off V40, but that turned out to be an underestimation. I'd searched the big UK Volvo breakers stock lists (Evolv, ACP, Hills, Reams, Huddersfield Volvo Breakers) and seen a few likely donors, but when I contacted them I either got no reply or a 'sorry we don't do that'. It looks like they either cut the looms up when removing parts, or rip them out and shred them for the scrap copper.

I'd seens a couple on ebay from smaller breakers around the Midlands or down South and had promising responses from the sellers, only again for them not to get back to me, or one did get as far as sending me pictures but then stopped replying when it came to negotiating a price. I even went as far as contacting a breaker in Sweden who at least responded but it was their 3-week national holiday and they must have forgot to get back to me afterwards.

The last possibility was a 64-plate V40CC that I'd seen on ebay. It was a UK car that had been in a big front ender and had it's roof cut off. a Lithuanian breaker had bought it. I contacted him and he was good enough to send me some pictures which confirmed it had DAB. He then removed the whole floor harness and we agreed a reasonable price and shipping.

It arrived a couple of weeks ago and this is what it looked like when I unpacked and laid it out in the garden:








The MOST fibre loop in the car splits into 2 pieces where the dash and floor harnesses interconnect. The loop in the section in the floor harness goes Interconnect Point - AUD Module - DAB Module - Interconnect Point. The low-spec version in my car just runs between the Interconnect Point and the AUD module. I decided it would be easier to leave my loop in place but not connected and replace it with the one from the scarp car.

It looks slightly untidy as I had originally asked just for the wiring for the DAB Module before deciding to take the whole harness. It was just a matter of unpicking the harness to extract the sections I needed.
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Last edited by buzby; 23-08-2015 at 06:57 PM.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 23-08-2015, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motmot View Post
Buzby - I suspect you'd prefer the challenge of getting the Volvo one installed and working But - have you seen the DAB kits that work through the USB in of car stereos? It comes up on the display as the radio channels are MP3 tracks? A neater solution than ones with a little header stick on for the dash... I suspect you can get them/fit them cheaper than this link too.. seem to remember looking at these when I was thinking of getting a BMW instead of the V40...

http://www.justconnectme.co.uk/digit...justdrive-usb/
Yes, I 've seen those - SagaPer has tried one and it didn't work due to the odd way Volvo access the USB interface. The manufacturer of the one he tried are supposed to be reworking their firmware to try to get it working on Volvos though, so if all else fails it might be my last resort (though I would try and use the existing rear window DAB antenna rather than a stick-on one).
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 23-08-2015, 07:14 PM
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Good effort Buzby... having re-shelled a couple of cars - the wiring loom was always the worst part to do/get right... Looking at that loom laid out on your lawn almost gave me palpitations
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 23-08-2015, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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After a few hours of tracing the wires and fibres and unwrapping the harness I managed to remove the wiring for the DAB Module, even removing the wire and fuse terminal from the fusebox intact. It was then another few hours of tidying the wires and fibres up and wrapping them in Tesa fibre tape to protect them (it also reduces noise if the wires are too close to a panel):


I've not completed wrapping the MOST fibres yet as I've run out of tape (I had a 15m roll), The Ground wire and MOST fibres will run from the LH rear corner over the wheelhouse and along the passenger sill to the AUD Module and Interconnect Point in the passenger footwell. The Power wire runs across the rear crossmember and then down the driver's sill to the fusebox. It is very thin gauge so to reinforce it I wrapped it together with a thicker gauge piece of wire.

The picture mentions a MOST 'Loopback' connector- this is simply a MOST connector with a small section of fibre linking the input and output together. This is needed to complete the MOST loop if one of the nodes is missing, so it's taking the place of the DAB Module until it is fitted.

I then looked at the tailgate loom. The breaker had supplied this as well, but when the roof had been cut off they had cut though the bellows that take it into the car so the last 20cm of all the connections had been cut off. There was plenty of spare coax in the floor harness though, so I cut a section and set about working out how to get it from the tailgate into the car:


I tried to thread it though with the bellows in place but it was basically impossible. I then worked out that it simply clips into the holes in the metal panels, so I unclipped it on both sides and this made it slightly easier to get through.The beige box is the FM/DAB antenna amplifier (part no. 30761703) that replaces the FM-only version fitted to my car. I got this one from ebay.

The coax will eventually connect to the spare output on the amplifier via a Black FAKRA connector once I manage to find someone who sells FAKRA crimp connectors for RTK031 coax cable - the commonly available FAKRA connectors are made for RG58 or RG174 coax. RTK031 is right in the middle of them in size, so won't fit properly in RG58 or RG174 connectors but it has much better attenuation characteristics than either of them.

Here is what it looks like at the other end:

The DAB FAKRA connector will eventually be routed just below the white FM connector.

Here's where the DAB harness will eventually go:


The module sits on a mounting bracket that fits between the wheelhouse and the rear pillar. The passenger side wiring will then follow the existing run up the wheelhouse and into a duct that runs to the rear end of the sill. The driver's side wiring will run in a duct along the rear crossmember and then follows a similar route to the sill.
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Last edited by buzby; 24-08-2015 at 09:28 AM.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 23-08-2015, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motmot View Post
Good effort Buzby... having re-shelled a couple of cars - the wiring loom was always the worst part to do/get right... Looking at that loom laid out on your lawn almost gave me palpitations
Even though I'm colourblind I love doing wiring - there's nothing that looks better than a tidy, evenly-wrapped wiring loom. It takes a lot of patience to do it properly though. Unwrapping can get a bit tedious however, particularly with Tesa tape as it basically welds itself together.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 24-08-2015, 01:21 AM
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Following with interest buzby, please continue to take plenty of pictures!

How did you find removal of the rear trim, for example in the boot on the left/right and the boot lid itself? Was it easy enough to do, or can you share any tips? If it's back on, did it seat back in well or were there issues? I'm considering removing panels to hide wiring but am worried I'll mess something up!
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 24-08-2015, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bapbap View Post
Following with interest buzby, please continue to take plenty of pictures!

How did you find removal of the rear trim, for example in the boot on the left/right and the boot lid itself? Was it easy enough to do, or can you share any tips? If it's back on, did it seat back in well or were there issues? I'm considering removing panels to hide wiring but am worried I'll mess something up!
It's actually quite easy, the only tool I've needed so far is a Torx screwdriver to remove the 2 screws on the boot sill cover. Everything else can be removed by getting your fingers behind the edges of the panels and gently pulling until the (mostly metal) trip clips release (the hardest one to get off is actually the boot sill cover, and that has 4 plastic 'pin and socket' type clips).

It helps to know where all the clips are so you know where to put your fingers though, and what order you have to remove the panels in. The instructions for some of the retrofit accessories are good for this, particularly the Park Assist Camera ( http://accessories.volvocars.com/en-...-461642-2/2013 ) as it involves having to take a cable from the D-pillar all the way to the LCD display in the dash so covers removal of pretty much all of the trim panels. It's basically the same as the disassembly instructions that are in VIDA.
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