NG4 Is there any battery inside?

This unit is the NG4 system, made by Harman Becker.
Main Features: DVD, Voice Commands, HighRes Display, 3D Mapping, Bluetooth Hands Free, Independent Phone with MDS Module, SD Card, USB, Jukebox.

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ZarkoM
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NG4 Is there any battery inside?

Post by ZarkoM » 15 Nov 2017, 15:43

Hi,
I have 7 years old NG4 in my P308. In last days I noticed that after swithing on the unit, clock on my NG4 is reset to 01:00 and display of clock is flashing. This happens usually when I do not use a car for a day or two. After receiving GPS signal, clock is correct again but still flashing until I confirm via SETUP.

I am quite sure that car battery is OK, so I am curious if there is any battery or capacitor inside NG4 (on motherboard perhaps) for maintaining real time clock when engine is not running, that needs replacement.

Kind regards,
Zarko

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Re: NG4 Is there any battery inside?

Post by GiveMeABreak » 15 Nov 2017, 16:21

Hi Zarko and welcome to the Forum.

There is no battery backup inside the NG4. If you have the Services Module, the battery backup function there is for the emergency call function, powering the microphone and for making the actual call in case the battery + is not available (after an accident for example).

The settings are retained in the unit and the BSI. A weak car battery can often trigger the situation described (the same as disconnecting the battery). I find mine does this on occasion and I just go in and confirm the date and time and that's the issue over. I know it can be inconvenient - but I just live with it. I should say that I have replaced my hard drive with a Compact Flash unit (to preserve the Hard Drive) and the flashing time issue has occurred more since doing this last year.

I also replaced my battery on my X7 with an AGM battery when I got her, and I believe that the car isn't completely happy with it (I don't have a Stop Start vehicle). I cannot configure the higher capacity battery in the BSI as it is limited to the 3 levels of battery allowed. That, and the battery charge staus module may also be the reason why I only ever get about 2 minutes of audio use on the NG4 before Economy mode kicks in - regardless of whether the battery is fully charged or has been on a long run.

I may try an experiment and replace it with a standard non AGM battery and see if that makes a difference at some point though.

ZarkoM
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Re: NG4 Is there any battery inside?

Post by ZarkoM » 15 Nov 2017, 17:49

Hi Marc,
Thanks for quick response. If it is so, I'll try to adapt to a new functionality :-) - confirming clock.

Zarko

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Re: NG4 Is there any battery inside?

Post by GiveMeABreak » 15 Nov 2017, 17:51

Yes, if you just hit the SETUP and go to the Date Time setting, go in and confirm it should stop it flashing.

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Re: NG4 Is there any battery inside?

Post by Bratzz » 16 Feb 2018, 16:36

Hi folks,

I just found this forum, because I'm searching a solution for the same problem.
I have a Peugeot 3008 with the NG4 system from 2010 and when i don't use the car for a day the clock runs 10 to 15 minutes behind.
When i do not use the car for 2 days or more the clock of the NG4 is reset and is flashing.
I also wondered if there was no backup battery inside the unit that keeps the memory up to date, that went empty.
According to the dealer this is not the case.
What causes this problem then ?
It started a few months ago.
I have also the problem of the reboots of the system, sometimes after 20 minutes,
then couple of days no reboot, other days a few reboots in one hour...
This is already my second device.
The first one is replaced in warranty because of the same problems within the first 2 years.
This second unit works well for 4 years and now the same problems begin.
I have already changed the 40 Gb HDD with an SSD card because i thought that the disk began to fail but the problem remains.
I'm running the latest FW and the most recent maps 2016-2.
All ideas are welcome.
Thanks.

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Re: NG4 Is there any battery inside?

Post by GiveMeABreak » 16 Feb 2018, 17:25

Hi and welcome Bratzz.

Ok, I can offer you the following advice:

The NG4 itself doesn't have a battery backup - however, IF you have the MDS (Services Module) fitted with the NG4, then this does have a battery backup - but is only used for the emergency services call in an accident where the main car battery may be damaged / power unavailable. It uses this power to work the single speaker, microphone and make the call. So this battery has nothing to do with the NG4 settings.

The NG4 stores all the settings and contact information to Hard Disk. The time is synchronised with the GPS system.

Now in your case you have replaced the HDD with an SSD card. What you should know is that SSD is not compatible with the IDE interface or command set. The operating system used by the NG4 (QNX RTOS) does not support the TRIM function used by SSDs to manage the data writes and blocks in the flash memory. So over time, the SSD will become sluggish and eventually stop working. I suspect you will now start to get increasing problems as a result of this.

See my write up here on replacing the Hard Drive in the NG4:
https://www.frenchcarforum.co.uk/forum/ ... 47&t=57430

I used a CF card because it uses the IDE command set - identical to IDE which used on the NG4.

Now I have occasionally had a reboot (about 3 since I installed it over a year ago) - and sometimes the date will flash - but going into setup for date / time it is actually fine and stops flashing.

So normally with the NG4, when you switch off the engine, the system still remains powered for a while to ensure that navigation data (for example when you are on a long journey and have a stop for a break) can be written to hard disk. Now if you are having a problem with economy mode or your car battery is weak it may not be writing the data / current settings back to the flash memory.

So you either have to live with it, go into the menu and do a factory reset to clear everything off (you will lose all your stored navigation locations and settings and any music you have on the jukebox). You may even decide to take the SSD out, reformat it and then replace it and insert the latest firmware USB key and allow it to recreate the partitions and install the software - but this will take up to 40 minutes or more and needs the engine to be on when you are installing it.

I have my original Hard Disk safely tucked away, working perfectly, but use a CF card for general use.

Lastly, I never use the jukebox function - I play all my MP3s from the SD card (I have a 32Gb SD card that I use for that) - as that is less work for the CF card to do and less wear on the flash memory.

I hope this helps a little.

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Re: NG4 Is there any battery inside?

Post by Bratzz » 17 Feb 2018, 19:45

Hi Marc,

Thank you for the very complete explanation.
I had not heard about the Trim function of the SDD and that this can causes any problems.
Allow me to say that i have used a mSATA SSD which is placed into a mSATA SSD to IDE converter.
https://www.conrad.be/p/interface-conve ... ce-1391543
Don't know if this make any difference.

The problems that i had with the reboots and the clock that runs behind already existed when the HDD was still in the NG4.
That was the reason for me to replace the HDD because I thought the HDD started to fail.
I still have the HDD, safely stored away, so i can make a clone whenever I want.
For the moment i see no difference in use and speed with the SDD in comparison
to the HDD but I only have it in use it for one month now.
I also see no improvement but i was afraid that when the hard drive crashes i would not have a backup of the system.
After all, he was already 8 years old and always spinning when you use the car.

The fact is that several people experience the same problems.
Has anyone ever contacted the manufacturer Harman Becker about this defect ?

In any case, thank you very much for the explanation.

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Re: NG4 Is there any battery inside?

Post by GiveMeABreak » 17 Feb 2018, 20:08

No problem.

The SSD drive uses the SATA command set that are not all supported by IDE, so will only work at the IDE speeds.

You’ve got the right idea though, these drives are nearly impossible to find now, so preserving them is a good idea.

As long as you have the firmware safe you can always recreate the system and partitions as that will do it when booted off the DVD or USB IIRC.

I’m aware of the issues on the non modified systems, so getting a diagnostic code from Diagbox will point in the right direction but if it’s one of those I mentioned already, there’s little to do except check the fan is sctusll working.

The shutdown can last for 5 minutes minimum when it overheats.

I doubt HB will bother with anything now as they are no longer made. But heat will always be the killer without proper cooling and in the car with less air volume even worse. Thee are not the only units to fail, I think there are others including RT6 that have more problems generally.

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Re: NG4 Is there any battery inside?

Post by Bratzz » 18 Feb 2018, 10:39

Do you think it is possible, when the problems get worse, to replace the system with a universal double din system ?
Image

The second hand units they are selling on e-Bay are not cheap either and maybe they are also defective.
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Re: NG4 Is there any battery inside?

Post by GiveMeABreak » 18 Feb 2018, 13:23

Be prepared to loose some functions like parking assistance, use of internal telephone, emergency services (possibly - as NG4 may be linked to MDS module) remote steering controls - you have the 3008, so this will be slightly different to the C5 in terms of other display options - but luckily most of the other configuration options are (on the C5) operated via the dashboard multifuction display.

As you are likely to have your phone contact information synchronised over bluetooth with the NG4, you might want to consider a factory reset. Are you on the latest firmware version (42.03 N42c)?

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Re: NG4 Is there any battery inside?

Post by Bratzz » 18 Feb 2018, 13:29

Yes, running firmware N42.03 N42c and maps 2016-2
I will pay a visit to the garage this week to have my battery tested,
maybe that's the reason the clock runs behind as you already suggested.

Thanks a lot.

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Re: NG4 Is there any battery inside?

Post by GiveMeABreak » 18 Feb 2018, 13:41

Good idea on the battery - it can be the single most cause of many electrical problems on these model cars full of electronics. If you don't have Diagbox / PP2000 diagnostics yourself, they may be able to check out if there are any of the fault codes being returned from the NG4 ECU for you.

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Re: NG4 Is there any battery inside?

Post by Bratzz » 10 Mar 2018, 09:16

My further experiences after replacing the cars battery.
The dealer has measured the battery and says that is was time to replace it with a new one.
I thought that this would help also for the ng4 problem with the time that runs behind but its still the same problem.
When the car is parked the clock runs prox. 1 minuut per hour behind.
That means that when i park my car at 6:00 pm and next day leave on 10:00 am the clock runs 20 minutes behind.
When you park for 5 hours you have 5 minutes delay and so on...
A few minutes after started the car the clock adjust itself via the satellites.
When the car overnight for the weekend the whole system is flashing and clock is reset to 0:00.
The dealer has no idea what the problem is, he also believes there is no battery inside the Ng4.
Then I wonder what the problem is, you would almost think that there is a backup battery for the system somewhere
in the car that starts to decrease after 8 years.
It started with a few minutes in a day and now rises to 1 minute/hour, so it's get worse every month.
There must be a cause for this you should think, and then you have also the random reboot of the system while you are driving...
So far my update.

Greetz.

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Re: NG4 Is there any battery inside?

Post by GiveMeABreak » 10 Mar 2018, 10:27

Definitely no backup battery, as all the data is stored on the hard disk and in the flash memory. The only battery is in the services module as I mentioned before for emergency powering of the speaker, the microphone and for the actual emergency call.

I still suggest you try a reset of the unit, and if you still have problems a factory reset. You’ll need your latest firmware on a USB for the latter.

How many satellites are showing as visible where you normally leave the car overnight?

One thing I should mention, just in case, is that if you ever have reason to remove or disconnect the unit, you should wait for 3 minutes after switching the ignition off, then when the unit is partially slid out always disconnect the quad lock connector first before any of the others as this contains the power. Not doing this can cause operating problems or damage the unit (this is mentioned in the official info too).