Saturday, April 7, 2012

BlueDUN+: MB Comand OnLine and Android phones

The bluetooth pairing between Android phones and the MB comand online allows the users to share phone contacts and perform telephone calls.  In addition to Navi(gation), Audio, Tel(ephone), Video and System menu-options, you can see another icon:  the web navigation.  
Selecting this menu option, the user can open a web browser and insert URL for web navigation, or access the Comand OnLine functions including weather forecast, facebook, point of interest and more... 

The comand online needs a bluetooth DUN (dial up network) service but Android phones don't support it natively (because it is an old technology), so you have to install an app to activate this service.

The BlueDUN app for Android enables the bluetooth DUN service on your phones; this short guide shows how it is possible to open the web access for MB Comand OnLine:

1. Remove the old pairing between the Navi and the phone
If you have not recently purchased your car, it is quite possible that you have already paired the phone with the Comand to make phone calls.  When you create the Bluetooth 
connection between two devices, each of them searches and stores all the services available on the other device, then when you try to open a web link you may get the message  "Connected phone does not support data communication".   

No problem, it is normal, you have just to return to the initial situation, like if the two devices had never met themselves.  In other words, you have to remove the pairing:   select the Tel menu option / Telephone item on the bottom sub-menu / Bluetooth telephones / scroll the phone list and select the phone to remove / click the white icon on the right / De-authorise option and finally confirm.

2. Open BlueDUN,  Start the DUN Service and create a new pairing

After removing the pairing you'll need to create a new connection between the phone and Comand: normally you should activate the bluetooth interface on your phone and make it discoverable by other devices.  The BlueDUN app automatically enables the bluetooth, but you must check the "Discoverable" option in the properties panel (click the menu/left hard-button to show it):

BlueDUN requires a valid internet connection to start, so, when you click the "Start Service" button, the first message you can see is "Testing Internet connection...".   The app emulates a modem features but it doesn't perform a true dial up call, when the device client requests information, BlueDUN forwards these messages to the wifi or mobile (HSDPA/EDGE/GPRS) data connection and it forwards back to the client all replies.

If the BlueDUN screen shows the status "Waiting Bt Client.."  you are ready to pair again the Comand and the phone following the same steps:   select the Tel menu option / Telephone item on the bottom sub-menu / Bluetooth telephones / search for discoverable devices.

3. Select a Provider and setup the connection parameters
Once the Comand has stored the phone BT services, including the DUN, you don't need to pair them again, but the first time you try to open a web link you will get this message:  "No provider selected or provider data is incorrect. Please check settings".      You need to assign a Provider for the web connection and you can choose one from provider list of your country.

Connection parameters (Phone number, access point, used ID and Password) are not important, so don't care about them.  The only parameter that has effect is the DNS address:  if you enter a wrong IP you may not be able to access the MB server, so it is better to leave them as automatic assigned.  In this case BlueDUN will use the Google's default primary DNS IP (8:8:8:8) and secondary DNS IP (8:8:4:4).

4. Access to Comand OnLine Apps or to a web page
Previous steps should be executed only the first time, in normal usage you can select the web navigation icon and open an URL or the Mercedes Benz Apps menu.

It is important to notice that Comand OnLine doesn't access directly to internet web pages but downloads them from the Mercedes Berz VPN server, this means that download speed is considerably slower respect to the phone browser because it depends on MB server congestion.

I suggest to use the phone connected to a Wi-fi network (such as the home or office wifi access point) when you use the Comand Online the first time for accessing the on-line services:   the navigator gets from the server many data for configuring the menu and the apps and the phone must have a stable connection otherwise you need to restart the process again if the connection drops.

Moreover, you have to remember to start the BlueDUN service on the phone before opening a www link, otherwise you will get the message "Function not possible at the moment".   For this reason, you may activate the "Auto-Start" (and "Auto-Resume") option on BlueDUN property panel;  in this manner the DUN service will be always on while the app is running.

If after several attempts, you can not connect, always getting the message "Connection failed" message, it means that bluetooth channel cannot be reused. 
Try closing the connection by clicking the disconnect icon at the bottom right on the Comand, turn off the bluetooth interface on the phone and finally restart the BlueDUN service.

In the preference panel you may also change the Bluetooth Channel:   the default is number 0 [auto-assigned], but if it seems that you cannot start the bluetooth DUN service, enter a value in the range 1-30.  Generally this has not effect for new version of Android because the DUN channel is always auto-assigned.

Another parameter very important for the connection success is the UDP packet delay;  this parameter represents the time delay between each packet sent to the UDP server.  Its default value is 50ms but you can increment it (for example set 100ms or 150ms) if the phone has connection issues.   [Deprecated on new versions]

If none of the previous actions has success, please enable the "UDP Compatibility" option in the property panel, this option increases the connetion timeout and reduces the download speed, but allows the Comand to connect online.  [Deprecated on new versions]