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Fixing the NCDC 2015 0khz failure April 10, 2013

Posted by Florian in World.
Tags: , , , ,

It took me a while to find out, but it is possible to fix a Siemens NCDC 2015 car radio (ok they call it “entertainment system”) suffering from the “0khz” problem quite easy.

The story: I usually drive old cars… my current one is an Opel Omega from 2001 and that one came with the NCDC 2015. Actually its the kind of retro technology I like: No iPod connector, no USB and similar interfaces but two CD drives for five CDs in total and in combination with the Bose speaker system the sound is quite good… the usability has some limits: Using it I tend to ask myself questions like these: Why do I have a way to display the balance settings but not for the volume setting?

Anyway, one common failure of this device is that they have a problem with power loss (e.g. flat battery or removal from the car without removing fuses before. The symptoms in most cases are that you see “0 khz” in all station entries and no sound at all (neither from tuner, navigation or CD). I found a hint how to fix it in a Polish electronics forum (elektroda.pl). Obviously the device ends up with data in an 24LC16 EEPROM it is not able to handle and the firmware does not know how to recover from. I have seen some hints that the successor of the 2015 has a maintenance mode with an option to reset the EEPROM.

The most simple solution seems to be to replace the EEPROM with a new and empty one. Its quite easy to do and a replacement EEPROM is cheap, less than EUR 1 if you are lucky. I made a little bit more detailed description in the hope it might be useful for someone else.

So what do we need?

  • Tools for removing the device from the car
  • T8 Torx crewdriver
  • Soldering equipment
  • 24LC16 EEPROM (SMD, SO8 case)

The hardest part is to remove the device from the car… there is no way to do it without cursing ;) Important: Disconnect power before removing it, it is reported that removing these with the battery connected caused

There are two screws that hold the upper cover which are easy to find. Just remove the cover and you will see something like this:


Now remove the four marked screws in order to remove the CD drive. Take care of the FCC cables below. Remove the cables after unlocking them by moving the black mount of the socket in the direction of the cables (not by lifting them!).

Now you can see the cause of the “brain damage”:Image

Unsoldering the EEPROM is a little bit tricky. If you have access to hot air soldering equimpment it is going to be easier. Take care about orientation and not to damage the pads replacing the IC.

Put the pieces together and the NCDC 2015 back to the car.

For me this procedure worked pretty well. I still see some strange effects like that the tuner did not fill the station list completely and maybe the sound has changed a little bit. Maybe some input sensitivity setting was hardcoded in the EEPROM. Is there any one out there who knows some details about what gets stored in there?