Adding Red Light Cameras to Garmin Map Pilot - Mercedes GLA Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-27-2016, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Adding Red Light Cameras to Garmin Map Pilot

Hey all, thought I share how to add Red Light Cameras alerts and other POI's to the Garmin Map Pilot SD card. I have done this to other Garmin GPS's, but I didn't know if it would work on the MB Garmin Map Pilot or not. Well it does! Here's the process:

You can obtain the POI Files from poi-factory.com. They also have a free program that will convert the poi databases to the Garmin .gpi file format. To add it to the MB Garmin Map Pilot SD card, choose save to computer when you convert the data files, then simply copy the .gpi file to the POI folder on the Garmin Map Pilot SD Card.

There are tons of other POI databases on the poi-factory website also. I added the rest stop POI database also, which comes in handy when traveling the highways and you're wondering how far to the next rest stop.

The file is automatically recognized by the Garmin software, and when approaching a red light camera, it will lower the volume of the radio, give and audible ding, and display a red banner across the top of the screen as well as a red light icon on the screen. There is only one quirk to this, the message in the red banner is written in Chinese! I'm not sure how to fix this, but the fact that it dings and displays a red warning banner 0.2 miles prior to the intersection is enough warning so you don't push it and subject yourself to a $200 ticket! Yes, that has happened to me, so, this is a great addition to our Garmin Map Pilot SD card navigation!

Paul...
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-28-2016, 01:57 PM
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Hi Red Rock from the lil' old UK - The reason you get Chinese characters is because there is a bug in v6.1 of the garmin Map pilot software as found on the latest GLAs. You can use a workaround I have tested which is to delete the Chinese and other Asian special font files found in Garmin/fonts folder on the SD card, named 006-0952-001, 006-0952-002 and 006-0952-003. It gets rid of the Chinese characters but does not replace them with anything else and I can see no other down sides to this modification. Just back up the files first for when Mercedes or Garmin come up with a patch (when ever that might be!!!).


Even with this workaround the speed camera database does not work perfectly as you may find out. On my system, speed camera icons are left on screen long after I have passed the camera itself and do not always sound. Mercedes have deliberately tried to stop us from using speed camera databases with this system due to them being illegal in a few European countries.This means for example that I can only display Restaurants and Petrol stations on the map and have to use a search routine to find any other POIs. Is that the same in the USA system? - or have they only targeted the European market with those restrictions? I would be really interested to know as I'm trying to get them to do away with those restrictions in the European versions.
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-28-2016, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Hey pbridgeman: Thank you for the work around. I will give that a try and see what happens. I'm assuming there is no text displayed once you delete the Chinese font? Do you know the numbers for the English Font files? I curious what would happen if you were to take the English Font File and rename them to 006-0952-001, 006-0952-002 and 006-0952-003 and then copied them to the font file after deleting the Chinese files with the same names.

I am not sure how the speed camera POIs react here in the U.S., we don't have any near where I live. It looks like the closest ones are in Tennessee. I installed them along with the Red Light Camera POIs, just in case we are traveling and run across any. I'm running Version 6.0 of the Map Pilot software, so the bug must have predated Version 6.1. I have sent a support ticket to Garmin explaining the problem, but have not heard back from them. If I hear of a patch or fix, I'll post the info here.

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post #4 of 10 Old 11-28-2016, 05:27 PM
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No, there is no other text displayed.


Yes, I thought the same about renaming the font files but there are no english font files - English is built in to the software. I have UK map version 6.0 with v6.1 of the software - are you sure your software is v6.0 'cos over here that version does not produce Chinese text. Do you get a choice of POIs that you can display on the map - I can only display Petrol and restaurants.


Best of luck with Garmin - again over here they deny all knowledge and blame Mercedes for any problems. I've written a long email to Dr Dieter Zetsche - Head of Mercedes Benz and Chairman of the board of Daimler because the POI part of the map pilot is a mess and worse than in satnavs I was buying 15 years ago - I think it struck a nerve! and they have promised to 'thoroughly' investigate and report back to me. I'll let you know what happens.
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-28-2016, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbridgeman View Post
No, there is no other text displayed.


Yes, I thought the same about renaming the font files but there are no english font files - English is built in to the software. I have UK map version 6.0 with v6.1 of the software - are you sure your software is v6.0 'cos over here that version does not produce Chinese text. Do you get a choice of POIs that you can display on the map - I can only display Petrol and restaurants.


Best of luck with Garmin - again over here they deny all knowledge and blame Mercedes for any problems. I've written a long email to Dr Dieter Zetsche - Head of Mercedes Benz and Chairman of the board of Daimler because the POI part of the map pilot is a mess and worse than in satnavs I was buying 15 years ago - I think it struck a nerve! and they have promised to 'thoroughly' investigate and report back to me. I'll let you know what happens.
The Mercedes Benz Download Manager shows the Map as 2016 (V6.0) North America, and the software as V6.0, SW 36.12, Build16/02.00.

It also says there is an update needed, but when I put the SD card in the computer, it says to put it in the vehicle first. Since I just removed it from the vehicle prior to putting in the computer, I'm not sure what's going on. It would be nice to get an update if one is available. Especially if it will fix the Chinese warning issue!

I'm wondering if the garmindevice.xml was modified because I added the POI files and a couple different Vehicle icon files and that is causing the problem. Not sure if I remove those files and the garmindevice.xml file and then put it in the vehicle so it will generate a new garmindevice.xml file, if that would help.

I have also tried to restore the backup I made of the SD Card when I first connected it to the MB Download Manager, and it recognizes the SD Card and starts the restore, but stops after about 51 MB and just sits with the wheel spinning till I pause and abort the process. It's frustrating when they release half-baked software and then don't provide any support!

Paul...
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-28-2016, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Update: After I deleted the POI files I added and the vehicle files I added, I renamed the garmindevice.xml file and put the card back in the vehicle and restarted the nav software. This apparently created a new garmindevice.xml file and when reinserted into the computer it was recognized. It is now saying the software and maps are up to date, and the software version is V6.1, SW 38.18, Build 16/13.01. I am doing another backup because it does not appear the first one worked.

I'll put it back in the car after the backup and confirm all is working correctly, and then I may add back the POI files and Vehicle icon files, and see if it will create a new garmindevice.xml file that may include these files and will be recognized by the MB Download Manager program. It will be interesting to see if this fixes the issue with the Red Light Camera POI file.


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post #7 of 10 Old 11-29-2016, 11:12 AM
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Glad you sorted that issue out. V6.1, SW 38.18, Build 16/13.01 is the same software version as I have. I think if it already has a garmindevice.xml file it wont create new one. I'm still intrigued to know if you can display any combination of POIs you want - I cant, only garages and restaurants.


If you delete the font files I mentioned you just get a red camera and another icon with the default distance to the camera. after a few seconds the banner disappears and the red camera moves to the left hand side. It is then supposed to disappear when you pass the camera - that is a bit hit and miss on my system.


You can test the POIs by switching off the GPS receiver in the system part of the menu. That allows you to pick the start and end of a route anywhere you like so if you know the location of a speed camera just position the start and end either side of it . When you press GO! you can watch to see if the camera is recognised - saves driving a long way !!
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-29-2016, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, I forgot to mention about the POIs that are displayed. I believe there are more than just restaurants and gas stations that display on mine. I have also seen an icon that looks like a hand removing money from an ATM, however, the location had no Bank, so I'm not exactly sure what it's supposed to represent. I'll have to pay closer attention as we are out and about and see what else is displayed.

To test the red light camera I just added a GPS coordinate to an intersection on a side street near my house, that way I just need to drive around the block to test it, and it's not along any regularly traveled route. After I removed the 3 font files you identified I have the same results, just the red banner with a camera icon and the distance to the camera. The icon does more to the side, and so far appears to disappear after I have moved beyond the camera location. This is much cleaner looking and still gets the point across! Thank you again for your suggestions!

I also loaded the RLC POI file to a standalone Garmin nuvi 2557 unit I have in my truck. I'm going to test that as well and see how it reacts. I'm curious to know what the Chinese actually said, that is if it works properly in the stand alone GPS!

Another observation: MB Download manager would not recognize my Map Pilot SD Card after I had added the POI files. I deleted all but the original POI file from the SD Card, and then deleted the garmindevice.xml file (after saving a copy to my computer). I put the SD Card in the GLA and started the nav and it came up fine. I took it back to the computer and MN Download Manager recognized and allowed me to successfully create a back-up of the SD Card. So, the system creates a new garmindevice.xml file, if one does not exist. This file must take an inventory of installed files and match it to a saved file somewhere, and if they don't match, MB Download manager will not recognize it. I'm still trying to successfully restore the Map Pilot back-up to a new SD Card to see if the back-up will actually work in the GLA. So far I have not been able to successfully restore the files to a different SD Card, which does not instill a lot of confidence in being able to actually recover this expensive GSP program if the original SD Card were to ever fail!

Paul...
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Last edited by Red Rock; 11-29-2016 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Update information...
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-29-2016, 04:12 PM
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From other posts I've read, the Chinese displayed the text in column 3 of the POI file (ie after Latitude, Longitude columns) - usually the speed cam description.


You wont be able to make a backup that can be restored to a different SD card. The system has protection which only recognises the original SD card (probably from a checksum or something.). When you backup , you cant backup the protection - it just wont work. For that reason I don't believe you actually need download manager to back up your card - you can just copy everything with File Manager.


From memory I don't think there are any hidden files on the card so you can backup everything else and restore to the same card with file manager. The only protection you have is that Mercedes guarantee everything on your car for 3 years (presume that's the same in the USA) so any problems and they should replace the SD card FOC. My wife had a Becker Map Pilot on her last GLA that went wrong and no problem getting it replaced.


Some people have managed to clone the card - have a look at the gpspower.net website and search on Garmin Map Pilot - but it's a huge thread and not easy to achieve.
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-29-2016, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, I've come to the conclusion that it won't restore to a different card. Sadly, if the original becomes corrupt, you probably won't be able to restore to a corrupt SD Card, which makes the whole back-up/restore function of the MB Download manager a farce.

I have read that the SD Card itself has a serial number that can't be changed or duplicated, and that's what's used as the the copy protection. The problem with this is the inability to actually duplicate the SD card to have a working back-up incase the original does become corrupt. What I was hoping to accomplish was to just make a duplicate I could actually use in the car, and then tuck away the original someplace same just in case. Since the SD Card is married to the vehicle the first time it's installed, its not like I could use the duplicate in another vehicle anyway. Just wanting a redundant working back-up just in case the worse happens!

Paul...
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2016 GLA250, Night Black/Ash
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