I bought my Wrangler Rubicon in the spring of 2013, and have loved it ever since. It’s a wonderful, capable vehicle — much more so than me! It’s a transformer… doors on or off, roof up or down. Every day, it can be a different vehicle.
Like other parts of the Jeep, the 430N radio system also needs periodic maintenance, and mine’s been barking about the age of the maps for a while. Unfortunately, those updates haven’t been available.
A week or so ago, I got a mailer that indicated that finally, map updates were available for my Jeep! I ordered them, and they arrived late last week.
I wasn’t sure what to expect in the package, but what I got was a SD card reader, two SD cards, and a load of instructions. The RHB software update was for version 50.01.01, and the Garmin firmware update was to version 5.11. And along with that was Garmin’s City Navigator North America NT 2015 maps.
Thursday night, I got started.
Doing the radio firmware upgrade wasn’t too big a deal, and seemed to follow the instructions that Here (the distributor of the files) sent along. However…
I started trying to do the map upgrades, and quickly ran into problems. The mapping system is supplied by Garmin, and Garmin seems to always be goofy about licensing their material, making it funky to work with. This time was no exception.
Following the instructions, I inserted the map SD card into the supplied USB card reader, and stuck it in the front of the radio. Basically, the radio has to write something to the card, which, I believe, writes a file indicating the current device (the radio) and its map status. This is apparently used as part of the map activation process.
As described, I removed the card, took it to my Mac, and tried to use the Here website to activate the map. Unfortunately, it never seemed to work.
Undaunted, I backed the Jeep out into the driveway, and tried doing the map update, not knowing for sure if I had a valid activation or not. The booklet said it would take up to two hours, so I started the Jeep, and I sat. There was nothing on the radio screen as I let things percolate, although I couldn’t really tell if anything was happening. The supplied card reader has a tiny blue light on it, but I couldn’t really see it well enough to see any activity. After two hours, I pulled the Jeep back in the garage, turned it off, and then checked the maps on the radio. No bueno.
I called Here Friday morning, and talked at length with them. I described what I’d done, and the agent was convinced I’d done everything right. He had me mount the SD card on the Mac, and he asked me to look for two files, gmapprom.gma and gmapprom.unl. Neither were there, which implied that the map activation process didn’t work correctly.
He also hinted that there had been a ton of issues with owners of 2013 RHB radios (used across the Chrysler brands) trying to do these updates. Here is just the middleman — Chrysler builds the firmware and Garmin builds the maps. Here really doesn’t have anything to do with either end of things, but is the group getting the angry calls. 🙂
The agent indicated that they were working daily with both Chrysler and Garmin to resolve this. He said he didn’t know when they would make progress, but that I could return the update within 30 days (September 15th), so I figured I’d give them until September 10th, and see where things sat.
Not giving up, though, I kept trying to activate the maps, figuring I needed to solve that before I would make progress. One thing I’d noticed was that I was being prompted by the browser if I was sure I wanted to re-submit a form while on the activation page. I kept clicking “no”, as it didn’t seem to make sense that the form with my information needed to be re-submitted. Then I thought, “Well, why not?” And, once I let it re-submit, activation seemed to take place, and I had a code on my screen and the expected activation files on my SD card!
So, today, I blocked off some time to install the maps. This time, I decided to do it in the garage, leaving the engine off, yet having the Jeep key in the “on” position. Also this time, I took my desktop SD card reader. It has a big blue light on it, and it would be easy to tell if the card was being read or not. The first time I tried, it appeared that the update was gonna work, but within a few minutes, it went back to the blank screen I’d seen before. Guessing this wouldn’t be successful, I stopped the update, and started thinking about what else I could try.
And then I thought to try turning off the radio before trying the update… and it began working! The blue light on my card reader was blinking, and I was seeing status displayed on the screen as the update was applied.
Twenty-five minutes later — not two hours! — I had 2015 maps on the Jeep, and all was good.
So, with all the yelling and screaming out there about this update, here’s the two things I did that I think were key. The first was letting the form re-submit in the browser while on the activation page. The second was turning off the radio before attempting the update.
And with that, I’m now current with my maps!