Why do I share this info?
I had my R172 for a year now. Since then, I have added so many options, and learned so many things!
Unfortunately, information on this topic is really scarce, and I only wish I had access to so much information, from one place!
Well, now you do!
As a reward for my work of sharing this information, I only ask that you do the same, when you feel you will have gathered useful information!
Also, should you find anything that can be improved, upon reading this article, please do let me know!
We have a few Vediamo overviews, and I initially wanted to share the location and requirement of the CBF files (read more below), but as I kept writing, the text got bigger and bigger, and made more sense rename it to "General overview of Vediamo Ecoute".
Let's get into it, then, shall we!?
What is Vediamo?
Vediamo is a software used by Mercedes Power Plant engineers, to set specific control module settings, flash new software, and do diagnostics.
It is not a tool used in dealerships, due to the plethora of settings it has, and the complexity it has to offer, as you will read below.
Dealerships use the well known Xentry Diagnostics software, for which, if you own an online account, you could do SCN online coding.
SCN online coding is basically taking into consideration the option codes you have in VeDoc, and based on them, will make the adjustments to your control units.
VeDoc is the place where parameters about your car are stored. When you ask for a DataCard, you are basically getting these parameters from the VeDoc.
So to sum it up, you can do Offline coding with Vediamo, and set up certain parameters to your control units, without the need of an online account. Quite powerful!
This means that if you fit certain control units into your car, you could activate them, so your car knows about them, and can communicate with them.
This also means you no longer need to add the codes to VeDoc.
However, since adding most codes to VeDoc is free, it is quite recommended to do, the reason being, that if you ever go to the dealership, or you do the SCN online coding yourself, your settings will be overwritten (and you will have to redo them).
There are, however, certain things which can not be achieved online, such as adding the Distronic option 233 to VeDoc (Daimler refuses to add it, since December 2018), or brings monetary costs with it, such as adding option code 608 High Beam Assist, which leaves you 150 EUR poorer (yes, just to add the code to VeDoc).
Vediamo can also be used to flash certain software onto your control modules, which would not be possible, through conventional methods (Xentry, at the dealership).
A good example of this is the possibility to flash Gen2 software on the Head unit, which then gives you the ability to activate the Silver Menu.
Vediamo can be used with the Mercedes-Benz STAR hardware, or with cheaper alternatives, such as the pass-thru device VAS5054A, about which, more has been shared here:
What are the downsides of Vediamo?
Most parameters are in German, or have very specific abbreviations, so it takes some time to find all the parameters in the control unit, where you need to change certain settings.
Still, I have personally successfully managed to enable the following, using VAS5054A, and so far, I haven't broken anything:
- AMG daytime running lights: https://www.slkworld.com/star-diagno...it-coding.html
- Enable Traffic sign recognition in my country: https://www.slkworld.com/slk-r172-ge...ilability.html
- High beam assist: https://www.slkworld.com/star-diagno...ctivation.html
- Lane keeping assist
- Increase the electronically limited max speed
- Blind spot assist (in progress)
What are CBF files?
CBF files are descriptors, which Vediamo Ecoute uses to interface with a specific control module from the car. These files describe the parts of the memory the control unit has, and translates each pointed memory, and each valid memory values, to be human readable.
By having these translations, the user knows in which part of memory, what value is valid, in order to operate specific settings.
In Vediamo, you can see the current value assigned to a specific memory location, and the possible other values you can assign.
You can read about using these CBF files here:
What happens if I use an incompatible CBF file?
Short answer: nothing.
Vediamo Ecoute will just not be able to translate the setting values and memory positions and interface them to you.
You see, apart from some control units being available to specific cars, these control units also have software versions on them.
You may attempt to use a CBF file descriptor, with an older version, on a control unit, which has a more up-to-date software, but it will not work.
The CBF file is backwards compatible, meaning that it will be able to interface with all the previous software versions, up to that point, but will not be able to interface on a control module with newer software.
So how do I get up-to-date CBF files?
If having the up-to-date Xentry software installed on your device, then the CBF files should be found in the following location:
[Xentry install path]/MB_PKW/Caesar/cbf (Install path is usually C:/Program Files (x68)/Mercedes-Benz/xentry)
How do I know which of all these files are useful on my R172?
Well, as you probably know, Mercedes likes to use parts which were designed for a specific model, on other models as well.
This is the case for the R172 as well, which uses a lot of parts from W166, W204, W212, etc.
Usually, with a few exceptions, the CBF file names contain the abbreviation of the control module, followed by the model which the module belongs to.
So generally, if the CBF file name ends with 172, it should be useful on modules on your car.
In any case, here's a list of all the CBF files which you can extract from the above mentioned location, and use in Vediamo Ecoute: