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    Thread: [DIY Retrofit] :: RNS-315 into 2012 VW Beetle (launch edition) :: Pics + Info!

    1. Member Shaka's Avatar
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      10-18-2011 12:13 AM #1
      Special thanks to Brett (bhaney) for your help with this install!!

      One week ago today we picked up the wife's 2012 VW Beetle Turbo, white launch edition. As we discussed the fact that the launch cars were essentially 'base' turbo models and decided what items we'd miss the most (versus ordering a full loaded car) the one thing my wife/I both agreed was the #1 item we would want was SAT radio, followed second by navigation.

      Lucky for me, it took me just a few days to find someone with a used RNS-315 navigation system, which also included both SAT and GPS antennas. (thanks Vyach!) Our car has the 'shark fin' antenna, but as anyone will tell you, if your car didn't come with SAT radio or NAV, then you can pretty much rest assured you will NOT have those antennas.

      Using THIS THREAD (thanks oempls) the install was a breeze. The only real issue was that the trim piece on the Beetle is completely different from the Mk5/Mk6 but beyond that it really was a breeze. Labor was maybe 30-minutes tops, and the coding/etc is basically the same as what you see in the thread noted. Obviously you may need to re-code your specific radio/nav based on the prior owner's vehicle setup, so for more info on that search these forums.

      My only regret from the install process for you folks is that I totally forgot to take pics of the black trim ring when it was off the car to show the differences, so for that I'm sorry. But I will try to highlight the various spots within the photos attached. Enjoy, and if you have any questions let me know!

      STEP #1 - REMOVE THE TRIM RING
      The ring is already removed in this picture, but basically there are 6 main posts, and the "holes" they go into are shown. Each post is rather long (about 2+ inches) off the trim ring. I'll hope someone else takes a pic of the trim ring, but this is VERY similar to the other how-to so really, just take your time, go slow, and use a pry tool made for dash trim removal. *WARNING: Be careful as you pry near the vents, as to not damage the vents!*


      STEP #2 - REMOVE VENTS
      Believe it or not, I barely needed the pry tools here. One side I did just by friction and my hands. Basically you just carefully pull/slide out the vents. They come out just as this one big piece shown here. SUPER easy.. probably easiest step actually of the entire thing!


      STEP #3 - REMOVE SCREWS
      Four torx screws and the radio slides out.


      STEP #4 - DISCONNECT RADIO
      Disconnect the back connectors (see other threads for how to do that but basically pretty easy to remove the connector(s) on back of radio) and that is that!


      STEP #5 - GPS ANTENNA (and SAT if you need)
      If you already have SAT radio you won't need to add an antenna for that. If your car didn't come with SAT you need to add that if you want this feature to work. No matter what you need to add a GPS antenna for your navigation to work. There are also some cars that have conflicts with the compass, but my car didn't have that so no issues there (search for more help there). Pretty basic here, and you can install the antenna a variety of places. As you can see, I opted for the top of the dash and used holes shown. I was able to place that rubber mat back in place and affix the antennas using double-sided tape on my dash towards the glass.


      FINAL STEPS - Reconnect things, reinstall radio, vents and then trim (in that order) and you're done! *CAREFUL when routing wires to avoid pinching them anywhere, etc. We played around with various routes and took our time to get the wires just as needed to provide optimal placement, etc!*



      Please let me know if you folks have any questions. Realize I also forgot to show pics of my antenna taped down, so I''ll get around to that sooner or later!
      Last edited by Shaka; 10-18-2011 at 12:18 AM.
      .: Shaka ··· arijaycomet :.

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      10-18-2011 08:23 AM #2
      YAY!!!! And i didn't even get a phone call that you guys needed help!!
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    3. Member bhaney's Avatar
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      10-18-2011 09:44 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by mattnucci View Post
      YAY!!!! And i didn't even get a phone call that you guys needed help!!
      This was the easy plug and play install. When I'm elbows deep in my dash tonight trying to wire up the Avic your phone just might ring!

    4. 10-18-2011 07:40 PM #4
      Looks good... congrats!!!

      Got a Q...

      I've never had Navi but am considering it when buying a Bug. How much does it cost to update the database each year? Can it work if you decide not to or skip?

      Thanks!

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      10-19-2011 03:40 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Cadenza_7o View Post
      Looks good... congrats!!!

      Got a Q...

      I've never had Navi but am considering it when buying a Bug. How much does it cost to update the database each year? Can it work if you decide not to or skip?

      Thanks!
      You don't have to update each year, it just means that any new roads/streets won't be in your navigation.

    6. 10-19-2011 07:28 PM #6
      Does anybody know where you can get a unit like this to install in another Launch edition I have.....Thanks Harvey

    7. Member Shaka's Avatar
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      10-19-2011 10:14 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by htg39 View Post
      Does anybody know where you can get a unit like this to install in another Launch edition I have.....Thanks Harvey
      Keep an eye on the classifieds section of these forums, that is where I found mine. Also you could pay for a new one from a dealer or similar, but expect to shell out $1500+ ... your best bet, like mine at $750 .. is used. Also, eBay has them from time to time!
      .: Shaka ··· arijaycomet :.

    8. 01-20-2012 06:20 PM #8
      nice work!! I don't think that the Launch Edition came with satellite as standard equipment, did you get your antenna @ the dealer?

    9. Member Shaka's Avatar
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      01-20-2012 06:23 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by d@n View Post
      nice work!! I don't think that the Launch Edition came with satellite as standard equipment, did you get your antenna @ the dealer?
      The head unit was purchase used here on these forums. The guy selling it included both the SAT and the GPS antennas. You can also find various sources to buy them and eBay has tons of them too. The launch edition did indeed lack SAT pre wiring. Cheers!
      .: Shaka ··· arijaycomet :.

    10. Member Shaka's Avatar
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      01-25-2012 01:36 PM #10
      You will need the two antennas shown in STEP #5 (see above, it has blue writing, and shows the GPS and the SAT Radio antenna). If you want to be able to use your navigation, or your Sirius radio, you'll need those two antenna.

      If you want to route it back to the shark fin that is a MUCH bigger project. And honestly, probably not worth the hassle. As my write-up indicates, we placed them on the dash board. But you can route them wherever you want, depending on how adventurous you want to get.

      You can find the GPS antenna all over the web, here is just a simple example:
      http://www.ebay.com/itm/GPS-Antenna-...-/250850051164

      Plenty of different SAT radio antennas exist to, just an example here:
      http://www.crutchfield.com/p_209XMIC...2.html?tp=1493

      Your picture shows just the "cover" -- under that shark fin would be the real antenna. However, if your car is a Launch Edition car, then you probably have nothing under there since our cars didn't come with SAT nor GPS -- hence why you're better off to just run them to dash (easier) -- but either way you'll need to buy them, regardless of where you route them.
      .: Shaka ··· arijaycomet :.

    11. Member KNEWBUG's Avatar
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      01-25-2012 04:54 PM #11
      So, if I just wanted just NAV with the RNS-315 the one antenna for the GPS is all I need, The antenna on the car (Black Turbo Launch Edition) will work for radio itself. What about the Bluetooth and I Pod Media, they will still work with the RNS-315???



      Thanks again,

      KNEWBUG

    12. Member Shaka's Avatar
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      01-25-2012 05:41 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by KNEWBUG View Post
      So, if I just wanted just NAV with the RNS-315 the one antenna for the GPS is all I need, The antenna on the car (Black Turbo Launch Edition) will work for radio itself. What about the Bluetooth and I Pod Media, they will still work with the RNS-315???
      If your only goal is to add GPS, then yes the ONLY antenna you need to add is the GPS antenna. You only need the 2nd antenna for SAT radio (Sirius) to work, but if you don't want that function you won't need the 2nd antenna.

      Beyond that, yes iPod works still and Bluetooth works too. You may or may not need to use a VAG COM scan tool (see http://ross-tech.com/ for more info) to re-code the radio when you plug it in your car. Depends on if the radio is new/used and how it as coded if it will work perfect right away or not. There are settings (USA vs UK, etc etc) that you can set with that tool to make sure the radio does everything it should appropriately.

      Also, be aware that in our car there is an AUX port below the radio, in that cubby in front of the shift knob. Honestly, I had never tried or tested it with the stock radio. But with the RNS-315, that aux port doesn't work. You have to use the AUX port in the headunit itself if you want 3.5mm jack input. But beyond that, the stock BT works great, and even shows on screen perfect. And the iPod hookup in the glovebox also works awesome.

      GL!
      .: Shaka ··· arijaycomet :.

    13. 07-31-2012 10:26 PM #13
      Great documentation; thanks for the post.
      New member to the forum; just picked up our 2012 Turbo today, and opted for the one on the lot instead of waiting for a NAV/SAT-equipped version. Now it's time to do this swap.

      Regards,

      Ray & Constance

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      07-31-2012 11:26 PM #14
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      08-01-2012 05:06 AM #15
      great post

    16. Junior Member cooltiguan11's Avatar
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      08-01-2012 11:09 AM #16
      Excellent post! Very informative! Thank you for sharing!

    17. Member TexasBulldog's Avatar
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      08-02-2012 03:41 PM #17
      Great Job!...

      My fiancee's Turbo didn't come with much and had the cheap/base model radio (310) and I found a damn near new 510 with the touch screen and 6disc changer and sat for $250 shipped and i installed that in it.

      Im going to go back in and throw a sat antenna in there and i was going to put it right in front of the turbo gauges where you can't see it form sitting inside the car but it can have a clear view of the sky.

      Anyone going to take the radio out, just a heads up that it takes a T-20 torx bit. No big deal for most but that might hold you up if you don't have a lot of tools.

    18. Junior Member AirBull's Avatar
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      01-05-2013 10:51 PM #18
      So where is a good place to mount the GPS antenna in the new Beetle if you have that three gauge cluster on the dash? Is there a spot under the dash that will work?
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      01-06-2013 09:38 AM #19
      If there is a spot under the dash that is plastic only you should be able to hide it under there. The gps antennas will normally work through plastic and glass just not metal. It's not as sensitive as satellite radio antennas are. For example, mount it to the left or right of the 3 gauge panel and I'm sure there's enough room and just plastic covering. (looking at picture above it would be between where antennas are mounted and where pliers are shown in background- sorry I'm posting from an iPad so I can't post or edit pics)

      Your satellite radio antenna needs to have clear line of site and you may run into signal issues if you mount it on the inside of the car. GPS antenna should be fine but what I would recommend is to ideally perform your install outside and turn it on prior to putting everything back together and test the signal strength. Most systems will tell you how many satellites they're connected to out of how many available.

      ***install note- make sure all electronic devices and plugs are plugged back in PRIOR to starting the car! If you leave something unplugged you're taking a chance of turning on an airbag light or something else on the dash. Today's cars can be very finicky

      Think the reason is GPS uses numerous satellites in the sky (9-12) vs satellite radio has (or at least use to have) only 2 satellites in the sky

      I do car audio sales and installs but haven't done one of the 12 beetle yet...

      ALSO I HAVE A RNS-315 listed FOR SALE IN CLASSIFIEDS IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED

      Great write up btw by the OP!

    20. n00b nathalav's Avatar
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      04-05-2013 04:31 AM #20
      This need to be done at the dealership? or can i do this myself
      Thanks
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      04-06-2013 12:51 AM #21
      Have you the display of GPS like this?

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    22. Member Code3VW's Avatar
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      05-04-2013 11:45 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by cinimod View Post
      Have you the display of GPS like this?

      Just installed an RNS-510 today, and once coded properly, it works!
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    23. Member vdubjettaman's Avatar
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      05-05-2013 12:04 PM #23
      so if you have a base 310 unit with a red mfd and install a properly coded OEM nav unit it will change to the white display and show all the navi functions?
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      05-05-2013 02:23 PM #24
      Seeing stuff like this makes me wonder what else I might be missing by not having the high line bcm
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    25. Member Code3VW's Avatar
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      05-05-2013 11:55 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by vdubjettaman View Post
      so if you have a base 310 unit with a red mfd and install a properly coded OEM nav unit it will change to the white display and show all the navi functions?
      No, it would stay red. Whether or not it would display the navi functions, I don't know, but it wouldn't change the color.
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      05-06-2013 07:53 AM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by Code3VW View Post
      No, it would stay red. Whether or not it would display the navi functions, I don't know, but it wouldn't change the color.
      The low line red one I doubt will display anything like that
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      05-06-2013 09:46 AM #27
      It doesn't matter if I have the nav functions in my cluster. Just curious if it would change. Hopefully I will have my nav unit by the end of the week.
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