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  #1  
Old 08-08-2000, 09:02 AM
Geezer
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Holland, MI
Posts: 1,316
We purchased a 1996 E300D for my wife 3 months ago. She LOVES IT!

It includes the older-style analog hands-free cell phone. We both have StarTac digital service, so activating the car cell is of no use.

Is it possible to upgrade or convert the wiring to accept the new StarTac digital, as the 2000 models advertise? I'm betting that it is possible, but requires a complete chassis re-wiring. My wife says I'm a cynical pessimist.

In case I'm right, is it practical to adapt the analog phone antenna for use with the StarTac? The antenna is extended/retracted by the power switch of analog phone, and isn't used by the AM/FM radio.

Thanks for any and all input. I'll probably be posting other questions as I think of them.

------------------
1996 E300D
1995 Audi 90
1992 GMC Suburban
1985 300SD
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  #2  
Old 08-08-2000, 04:18 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
What I have seen that works well is to use the hands free Star Tac kit supplied by motorola. Then use the small interior mount antenna. I always find the mute wire for the radio and make it operational. This way everything works together.

------------------
Benzmac:
Donnie Drummonds
1991 GMC Syclone
ASE CERTIFIED MASTER AUTO TECHNICIAN
SERVICE MANAGER FOR 14 BAY FACILITY
MERCEDES SPECIALIST 8 YRS
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  #3  
Old 08-08-2000, 04:55 PM
rojogo
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I work for a large wireless company and have seen my installers put phones in every car out there from a Kia to a Hummer(couldn't hear it!) but every MB that comes thru ends up doing just what Benzmac says. Buy the handsfree made for the phone and have it installed using factory wiring for the antenna and have it wired for the radio muting. It works great! Good sound and reception plus it cost less! Look to spend around $400 for the equipment and installation unless you can do it yourself!

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  #4  
Old 08-09-2000, 03:12 PM
Geezer
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Holland, MI
Posts: 1,316
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rojogo:
... Buy the handsfree made for the phone and have it installed using factory wiring for the antenna and have it wired for the radio muting. It works great! Good sound and reception plus it cost less! Look to spend around $400 for the equipment and installation unless you can do it yourself!

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good stuff, now for a bit more help, please.

What are my chances of installing it myself? I'm an electrical engineer, can sort of find my way around car wiring, but have no experience with phone installation. Is a M-B manual needed to find the antenna and mute wiring? etc...

Where might I look for professional installation? Car audio shops? Wireless shops? We bought the StarTacs at a shop without car installation facilities.

Thanks again, in advance, for assistance.

"Ignorance can be cured. Stupid is forever."

Sign me up for the cure..

BCingU, Jim

------------------
'96 E300D 56kmi
'95 Audi 90 118 kmi
'92 GMC Suburban 138 kmi
'85 300SD 218 kmi
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  #5  
Old 08-09-2000, 03:50 PM
rojogo
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Posts: n/a
I personally do not have the knowledge to do the install myself. I leave that to the pros! I have watched several times and it made me a little nervous when they started pulling panels off, popping consoles out and pulling radio/climate control panels out! They do a great job though! In 4 years they have only had one car come back for a leak from a roof mount antenna on a LX 450! $1275 for a new headliner! Ouch! Anyway look for someone who has an install shop at their location even if it is a competitor of the provider you have. Ask if they are Motorola certified for repairs and installations. Be sure they provide a warranty for the equipment and work. Do this and you will get a quality installation. Hope this helps!
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2003, 10:27 AM
Jon Hrut's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 43
Just another idea here. I had cell phone service before I got my 96 E320. It also came with the analog phone with hands off interphone.

Took me forever to get activation, but I found a well known company to do it.

The tech guy who did the activation told me that he would take the analog phone in the 96 over the newer models any day. He told me that what I had in the car was referred to as "mobile phone" and that many long haul truckers carry these types of phones in bags for use when they get into mountain or low coverage areas. I believe my phone is 6 W while the typical cell is about 0.6 W.

You can go to the motorola website and download manuals for virtually any of their phones.

Just a consideration. My reception has been excellent under ALL conditions since I got the phone activated and the plan is a flat $20 per month.

Oh yea...I still have my original cell phone too.
__________________
- Jon E320 210.055

90 Wrangler
77 Mustang 307,000 mi
63 T-Bird [fully restored]
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  #7  
Old 01-16-2003, 12:55 PM
PaulC
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You may want to consider a phone upgrade before investing in a hands-free kit. I'm under the impression that Motorola no longer offers the StarTac for sale, so if you lose or kill a phone, you would have to purchase a new hands-free kit to house it's replacement.

I went from a digital StarTac to a Motorola V60 and had to replace my hands-free kit because the cradle was a different design for the new phone.

Last edited by PaulC; 01-16-2003 at 01:01 PM.
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