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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
UPDATE UPDATE: Read on, there may still be a solution for this.

UPDATE: turns out this won't work. All the Nav DVDs have the code for each model: Ridgeline, MDX, RL... on the same DVD. When you pop in the DVD it talks to the head unit and sends the appropriate code so even popping in a MDX DVD would still upload Ridgeline code. Oh well, back to square one of complaining to American Honda, squeeky wheels get the grease


Making a new thread for this as I think it's an important developement. Below I've copied the messages about it from another thread.

csimo:
The Ridgeline uses the EXACT same nav hardware as a 2005 Acura MDX and RL (it is a completely different system than the Accord, Pilot, TL, TSX, and Odyssey have). The current DVD version for the MDX and RL is 4.13a. The Ridgeline uses DVD version 4.20.
If you were to put a Ridgeline DVD into an MDX or RL it would automatically upgrade to version 4.20 and DISABLE the trip computer.
If you put a version 4.13a DVD into a Ridgeline it will tell you "incorrect version" because you can't go backward in versions without getting the service department involved.
You need to have the service department enable the nav unit for a backwards revision. Once the unit is wiped clean you can then load DVD version 4.13a from a MDX or RL and the trip computer SHOULD be enabled.
So the bottom line is that you need a cooperative service department and a DVD from a 2005 (2004 and previous won't work) MDX or RL. Don't count on burning a copy because it just won't work.
If you accomplish this you can't put the Ridgeline 4.20 DVD back in the unit or it will automatically upgrade and disable the trip computer.

vertrkr:
My DVD version is 4.13a although hondanavi.com says 4.20 is the latest and only version shipped with the Ridgeline, guess I got jipped on that too. Basically I need a DVD in there so if it did update with someone's elses borrowed DVD I still have to put my original DVD back in so either it will reject it because it's a lesser version or update the firmware again disabling the trip computer. So, then I guess at this point my only option is to fork out $185 and buy a MDX DVD when they release a new version higher than what I got and then I can keep that one in. So I guess I'll wait it out until then. Hopefully Honda will see the light and re-enable on their own otherwise I'll just hold a grudge and fork out the dough so I can get the damn thing.
 

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I got to the bottom of the question "why did Honda disable the trip computer?". I can't reveal my source, but I assure you it's directly from the top at Honda. I hesitate to provide the info, but since I'm not revealing the actual source I'm going to take a chance that it won't be viewed as a breach of trust. Here's what I was told... quoted word for word (broken into segments since I had several questons):

"To your questions - First - we have to define the competitive vehicle set:
Toyota Tacoma
Nissan Frontier
Dodge Dakota
Ford Sport Trac
Chevrolet Colorado

These are all compact trucks which are direct competitors with this model.
None of these vehicles currently offer a navigation system."

"Next - the screen shot that was issued in the quick start guide was an error
taken from a prototype navigation system from the Odyssey. The quick start
guide was corrected to remove this oversight by the publications department
at American Honda. The trip computer function is not included in the Honda
Odyssey Touring Model navigation unit either. The Odyssey displays the fuel
information in the speedometer on the Touring Model only. The Touring Model
with Navigation retails at $38,000. The Ridgeline is $4,000 less expensive
than the Odyssey Touring Model. The base MDX costs $37,000 - a model with Navigation retails for $42,000. Comparing a $34,000 vehicle with the feature set of a $42,000 unit is hardly a fair comparison.

The MDX suffers from severe IQS complaints due to displaying the fuel
economy. After being brutalized by a significant number of complaints over
this issue, it is unlikely this feature will be adopted any time soon. The
JDP survey is currently under going a major revision for the third time
since its introduction. The new survey will weigh less on feature complaints
compared to severe mechanical issues that are currently treated equally.
Perhaps we will see a different environment after this next revision."
 

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CSIMO,
I don’t have Navi so have no dog in this hunt…

But, not sure you intended to expose or protect the anonymity of your source? If you want to protect them, I suggest removing the text and substituting your own paraphrasing. It contains enough distinctive language that someone at Honda who knows this person could easily finger them.

Dunno if you know this but big companies usually have zero tolerance for exposing company secrets – no matter how righteous the cause . Your call.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Featser said:
CSIMO,
But, not sure you intended to expose or protect the anonymity of your source? If you want to protect them, I suggest removing the text and substituting your own paraphrasing. It contains enough distinctive language that someone at Honda who knows this person could easily finger them.
Dunno if you know this but big companies usually have zero tolerance for exposing company secrets – no matter how righteous the cause . Your call.
I was told the exact same info from a different source so the cats out of the bag and more than one hand let it out. Not sure if it's a big deal or not to them. What ever the reason it still is bogus they disabled it on our trucks. Maybe if we all promise not to bash the RL's milage they'll enable it :rolleyes:
 

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vertrkr said:
I was told the exact same info from a different source so the cats out of the bag and more than one hand let it out. Not sure if it's a big deal or not to them.
Not to quible, but there's a difference between relaying information orally vs. having your e-mail published in a public forum. Of course, it's their fault for putting it in e-mail anyway.

What ever the reason it still is bogus they disabled it on our trucks. Maybe if we all promise not to bash the RL's milage they'll enable it :rolleyes:
Yes. Honda's solution to the peception of poor milage is to make it less obvious, knowing most people won't do the math to figure it out. You must admit it's easier than improving milage. :)
 

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Featser said:
Not to quible, but there's a difference between relaying information orally vs. having your e-mail published in a public forum. Of course, it's their fault for putting it in e-mail anyway.



Yes. Honda's solution to the peception of poor milage is to make it less obvious, knowing most people won't do the math to figure it out. You must admit it's easier than improving milage. :)
I think it's safe to say that everyone with a brain knows that the posted EPA MPG numbers on the sticker are almost impossible to replicate in normal daily use. Those numbers are obtained in controlled settings that fail to replicate the variables we all see in real life. If the sole reason behind Honda not enabling the Trip Computer is to save face, then shame on them. As a world leader, they need to accept responsiblility for the products they produce, good or bad. I owned a Ford Expedition, with the trip computer, and it was not uncommon to see numers like 6 or 8 mpg in the city sometimes. Granted, this was a larger, heavier vehicle with a 5.4L V8, but the posted MPG was 14 city. I even tracked the MPG myself, and the computer was within .5 mpg of my calculations. What I am saying is that I understood the numbers on the sticker were "best possible MPG", and not what I would see normally......
 

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Discussion Starter #7
UPDATE: turns out this won't work. All the Nav DVDs have the code for each model: Ridgeline, MDX, RL... on the same DVD. When you pop in the DVD it talks to the head unit and sends the appropriate code so even popping in a MDX DVD would still upload Ridgeline code. Oh well, back to square one of complaining to American Honda, squeeky wheels get the grease.
 

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vertrkr said:
UPDATE: turns out this won't work. All the Nav DVDs have the code for each model: Ridgeline, MDX, RL... on the same DVD. When you pop in the DVD it talks to the head unit and sends the appropriate code so even popping in a MDX DVD would still upload Ridgeline code. Oh well, back to square one of complaining to American Honda, squeeky wheels get the grease.
I don't understand what you're saying. There are three different NAV families supplied to Honda/Acura. The DVD's are interchangable between families. You can tell which family you have by the color of the actual DVD. There are white, orange, and black DVD's. If you have an orange DVD from a 2003 MDX for example it will work just fine on a 2005 Acura TL, and vice versa (I've actually done this so I know it works). The DVD's are not coded for the vehicle (MDX, RL, TL, Accord, Odyssey, etc.)... just the NAV family.

Now the Ridgeline may be different, but I've swapped DVD's between many different Acura and Honda NAV systems.
 

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OK, let's work toward solving this problem. I don't yet have a Ridgeline to examin the navigation system, but from everything I've been told it's the EXACT same Alpine unit that is used in the 2005 Acura MDX and Acura RL.

The Alpine system uses a SH-4 processor running Microsoft Windows CE as the OS. Anyone that's hacked a Sega Dreamcast will be very familiar with this setup as they are nearly the same.

The navigation program is written in Visual C++.

Things we've been able to do to the nav system to date? Change the display picture (couple of examples below) and some have been able to remove the "nag" screen upon startup.

If the code for the trip computer is in there we'll find a way to activate it with or without Honda's help!

A couple of examples of what others have replaced the standard opening screen with:








and my favorite (edited):

 

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csimo said:
some have been able to remove the "nag" screen upon startup.
I'm very interested in this hack. Why do we have to see that screen everytime we start the truck for as long as we own it. It's silly.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
csimo said:
I don't understand what you're saying. There are three different NAV families supplied to Honda/Acura. The DVD's are interchangable between families. You can tell which family you have by the color of the actual DVD. There are white, orange, and black DVD's. If you have an orange DVD from a 2003 MDX for example it will work just fine on a 2005 Acura TL, and vice versa (I've actually done this so I know it works). The DVD's are not coded for the vehicle (MDX, RL, TL, Accord, Odyssey, etc.)... just the NAV family.
Now the Ridgeline may be different, but I've swapped DVD's between many different Acura and Honda NAV systems.
I have not tried anything myself but the following is what I was told when I asked to someone high up at Honda about putting in the MDX DVD to activate the trip computer.

There are families of the head unit but as I understand each one is slightly different and will ping back a different model code to the DVD. The DVDs may have different labels but still contain multiple code sets of firmware for a particular model. So then a MDX DVD may have firmware code on it for the MDX, Ridgeline, RL... but it pings the head unit to see what it's talking to and uploads the appropriate code for the head unit. I was also told the MDX has an inferior head unit compared to the Ridgeline. That's all I know I at the moment. The truth is out there somewhere...

I'm all for trying a hack, right now my 1 year is having a break down like I've never seen before and the wife is gone, gotta run.
 

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Now this sounds like an interesting project. Hacking the source code to enable our right to a trip computer.
 

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More info continues to come in. The DVD is not model specific and contains no information that is specific to each model. The DVD is by family.

The DVD method will not activate the trip computer on the Ridgeline. It is possible to enable the trip computer, but not via the DVD. It would have to be a firmware upgrade uploaded via the PC Card slot on the navigation unit.

What we're looking at doing is attempting to download the firmware from a navigation unit of the same family and comparing it to the Ridgeline (if I ever get one that is). We should be able to disassemble the firmware, make the change and then upload it via the PC Card slot.

The Ridgeline navigation unit has full access to the F-can bus and has all the fuel information available to it.

The following is my OPINION of the situation. Honda will not be taking any action to activate the trip computer, but some of the fine guys at Alpine are willing to give a few tips off the record.

Now that I know a certain person is following this forum I'll just make a public comment in response to his position. No, the trip computer may not be EXACTLY accurate in computing the distance to empty, but how you could believe that setting the trip odometer and using 400 miles as the benchmark is better, or more accurate than having a trip computer is beyond my comprehension (and just plain wrong too). Do you think that people interested in their MPG will not calculate it anyway? Many people such as myself don't care what their MPG is, don't care to set the trip odometer, and just want to know if I've got enough gas to make it where I'm going or not. It really is that simple. Why go to such lengths to HIDE this information? It just doesn't make sense.

How could Honda convince themselves that to remove the trip computer information would make more customers HAPPY? Using that logic you should eliminate those electric seats, delay wipers, tilt steering wheel and a bunch of other things and your customers would be ecstatic. Hmmmm, those features actually cost Honda money to include, but the trip computer costs NOTHING and Honda actually paid to have it removed!
 

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I would love a solution to get around that nag screen. That is the MOST annoying thing about this vehicle. Of course, I want the trip computer too...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
csimo said:
No, the trip computer may not be EXACTLY accurate in computing the distance to empty, but how you could believe that setting the trip odometer and using 400 miles as the benchmark is better, or more accurate than having a trip computer is beyond my comprehension (and just plain wrong too). Do you think that people interested in their MPG will not calculate it anyway? Many people such as myself don't care what their MPG is, don't care to set the trip odometer, and just want to know if I've got enough gas to make it where I'm going or not. It really is that simple. Why go to such lengths to HIDE this information? It just doesn't make sense.
How could Honda convince themselves that to remove the trip computer information would make more customers HAPPY? Using that logic you should eliminate those electric seats, delay wipers, tilt steering wheel and a bunch of other things and your customers would be ecstatic. Hmmmm, those features actually cost Honda money to include, but the trip computer costs NOTHING and Honda actually paid to have it removed!
csimo, you da man. Couldn't have said it better, I don't care what my mpg is, it is what it is, I didn't buy the truck for it's mpg. I mostly want the distance to empty feature. I'm more than willing to help out anyway I can. I can buy a PC Card and download what ever is needed and send it to you. I just need to know what to do. PM me if I can help.
 

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vertrkr said:
...So then a MDX DVD may have firmware code on it for the MDX, Ridgeline, RL... but it pings the head unit to see what it's talking to and uploads the appropriate code for the head unit...
I would think instead that it's the navi unit that is looking for a specific identity/code on the DVD ("if you're a Ridgeline DVD then I will accept you") i.e. if it is the correct DVD it will load the information. IOW it's the head unit that's in control, not the DVD. If I'm right, then it should be possible, if one has access to both types of DVD, to compare the two DVDs and determine where they are different, make a copy and tweak the "ID" on the DVD, then write the DVD back-out again for loading into the Ridgeline.

I don't have a navi unit but do enuf noodling re: Video dvds to believe that anything is copy-able, changeable, and re-writable back again.

Edit: Ok I admit I haven't read this thread that closely, not having a navi unit myself, and if it's the case instead that there is One DVD that has every different vehicle's firmware on it, well my "compare" idea doesn't work. The head unit may simply look for the Ridge firmware on the DVD. Maybe this makes it even easier--just change the filename(s) of the MDX fw to the Ridge?
 

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I would be interested in paying a fair price for a DVD wuth the trip computer enabled if anyone is inclined to have a little side business.

Here is a question though...what happens if you by an updated DVD in the future for the GPS??

thanks
 

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You can remove the DVD from the navigation unit and read it on your computers standard DVD ROM drive. Nothing encrypted, nothing special.

The DVD is a multi-layer DVD. You CAN copy it, but to my knowledge nobody has been successful in getting the navigation unit to read the copy.

Feel free to pull the DVD and look at it. I'm messing around with an orange version 3.30f right now. Here's what's on it:

Volume in drive D is H0411A0411VOL16
Volume Serial Number is BB6A-7691
Directory of D:\
02/17/2003 04:41 AM 112,426 80000000.BMP
08/29/2003 11:35 AM 2,832 A0000_00.MNG
05/26/2002 02:11 PM 294,108,888 ADD.BIN
09/02/2003 02:48 AM 13,593,591 BN2HH110.BIN
09/02/2003 02:45 AM 13,671,927 BN2HH120.BIN
09/02/2003 01:41 AM 13,642,015 BN2HH12C.BIN
02/20/2003 05:56 AM 79,235 BN2HHMLD.BIN
09/02/2003 02:34 AM 13,584,083 BN2HN12B.BIN
09/17/2003 10:25 PM 13,624,431 BN2HN18B.BIN
05/07/2003 02:50 PM 2,823,794 FRNCH2F.VC_
06/16/2003 09:50 AM 22,644,904 FR_ETB2F.VC_
08/26/2003 01:52 AM 1,441,052,908 OAR_5001.STR
08/25/2003 02:48 PM 1,304,414,240 OAR_5002.POI
08/30/2003 03:22 AM 317,076 OAR_5003.MLT
09/18/2003 01:44 AM 132 PRG_INFO.MNG
08/29/2003 12:23 PM 3,035,046,649 U0001_02.BAS
08/29/2003 12:10 PM 124,950,937 U0130_02.ROA
08/29/2003 12:10 PM 1,268,408 U2001_02.CIT
08/29/2003 12:10 PM 5,123,876 U2002_02.SIG
01/21/2003 01:11 PM 2,446,208 US_ENG2F.VC_
02/05/2003 06:57 AM 2,430,336 US_ENG2M.VC_
06/01/2003 03:38 PM 31,568,050 US_ETB2F.VC_
06/01/2003 03:40 PM 30,349,826 US_ETB2M.VC_
09/01/1998 08:50 PM 10,240 zzz10.bin
09/01/1998 08:50 PM 102,400 zzz100.bin
25 File(s) 6,366,969,412 bytes
0 Dir(s) 0 bytes free
 

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maybearidge said:
I would be interested in paying a fair price for a DVD wuth the trip computer enabled if anyone is inclined to have a little side business.

Here is a question though...what happens if you by an updated DVD in the future for the GPS??

thanks
That's exactly what we're working toward. There will be some development costs that we will try and recover, but if we're successful it won't cost very much.

Once the firmware is updated via the PC Card the newer DVD shouldn't have anything to do with it. There is no firmware update via the DVD... only program updates.

If I get a Ridgeline (looking more likely every day since this is the issue holding me back) I WILL find a way to enable the trip computer if it can be done.
 
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