Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

2003 Saab 9-3: The SS Box (I know, name under construction)

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 2003 Saab 9-3: The SS Box (I know, name under construction)

    I think I'm the first to do this, so I'm going to avail myself of this forum & just jot stuff down, and keep a log of what I'm doing.

    Here's my intro thread with some pics: Another noob takes a brave step into the light...

    I have some really grand plans for all of this. The good thing is I have a lot of time as I'm not in a rush. Funds are a bit more problematic, but time is on my side.
    Here's the current blueprint:
    Case: Vaultz Cash Box - procured
    PSU: Opus 120 - procured
    HDD: crusty old 40GB 3.5" circa 2001 - procured
    MB: Via Epia M10000 - procured
    Mem: 512MB DDR PC-2100 Corsair - procured
    ATX power source to power this out of the car - procured
    Monitor: Xenarc 700IDT In Dash 7" Touch Screen VGA, non motorized flipup - procured
    OS: XP Home - procured
    Navi: iGuidance 2.1.0- procured
    GPS antenna - now there's a story... see below for what I'm going to do.

    This is stuff I know I want. Much more in the "want-to-have" list, but this'll do to start.
    As for functions, this is what I want it to do (goals are good, right?)...
    -XM integration with my existing Commander
    -Navigation
    -Audio file playback
    -Video file playback
    -CAN or I-Bus integration
    -(Future) Bluetooth phone integration

    How is all this gonna tie together? Glad you asked. Prolly need some software...
    -Roadrunner front end
    -iGuidance for navi
    -Uh, that's as far as I got.

    What else? While there are some cool RR skins out there, the whole spirit of this is customization, so I'm going for my own skin. I want to make an MFD-style panel, to emulate a Saab Grippen fighter. What Saab would be complete without an MFD? Besides, I can use lots of blacks & greens to compliment the interior.
    The entire install will be stealth, so none of it will be seen. The monitor I will put in the CD player DIN slot, and use an existing panel to cover it.
    Placement of the puter itself is a challenge. This car is so tight on space, it's hard to put it in somewhere. A lot of the suggestions on the forum I can't use. I can't put it inside panels in the trunk, or under the read seat, or in the glovebox, or many other places. I CAN put it under the passenger seat, or inside the spare tire in the trunk. So far the passenger seat is looking the most promising.

    I have to say. I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.

    Here's the ride...


    Stay tuned...
    -Viscouse
    You know you want to...Worklog
    Enjoying v1.0 since it's operational. Aaaawww yeah.
    Specs: Opus120; Epia M10k; 700IDT; GlobalSat BR-355; iGuidance 2.1 & IGMod; XM; Custom case.
    Witty one-liners currently quoted by (0001) mp3car.com forum member sigs.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Viscouse
    I have to say. I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
    if only we had a "stamp of approval" for newbies, you'd get my vote
    But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
    Originally posted by Viscouse
    I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
    eegeek.net

    Comment


    • #3

      Wow. I'm honored!
      You know you want to...Worklog
      Enjoying v1.0 since it's operational. Aaaawww yeah.
      Specs: Opus120; Epia M10k; 700IDT; GlobalSat BR-355; iGuidance 2.1 & IGMod; XM; Custom case.
      Witty one-liners currently quoted by (0001) mp3car.com forum member sigs.

      Comment


      • #4
        One more aspect I forgot to add, but this is pretty far down the road.
        Since it is going to be an emulated aircraft MFD, it'd be cool to integrate a bunch of aviaonics style information in real-time. Speed, horizon indicator, altimeter, etc. Most of that stuff can be gotten from accelerometers. If I can program something to use that data, wouldn't that be just the freakin cat's meow.

        But, first things first. I need a motherboard.
        You know you want to...Worklog
        Enjoying v1.0 since it's operational. Aaaawww yeah.
        Specs: Opus120; Epia M10k; 700IDT; GlobalSat BR-355; iGuidance 2.1 & IGMod; XM; Custom case.
        Witty one-liners currently quoted by (0001) mp3car.com forum member sigs.

        Comment


        • #5
          Working on a skin for Roadrunner. Check it out here: MFD Skin I'm modelling after a multifunctional screen, as seen in fighter jets. I thought it would look pretty cool in a car inspired by fighter jets.

          Progress so far: Menu page! Thaaaat's about it.
          Next I get my power supply, RAM & mobo. SHould get it the beginning of August. Then I can get it actually running & install some software! Like an OS!
          You know you want to...Worklog
          Enjoying v1.0 since it's operational. Aaaawww yeah.
          Specs: Opus120; Epia M10k; 700IDT; GlobalSat BR-355; iGuidance 2.1 & IGMod; XM; Custom case.
          Witty one-liners currently quoted by (0001) mp3car.com forum member sigs.

          Comment


          • #6
            Got my fans yesterday & finished installing them today. I went with 2 identical 80mm fans. One pulling air in, one throwing it out. Straight across.
            I had to do some major hacking into the box, and the entire area of the fan is not exposed, but oh well. Even though the 60mm would have fit better (read: perfectly) I went with the 80mm even if some of it would be covered. Why? The 80mm moves more air, is quieter, slower, and cheaper. I had the room to spare, so why not. They are the thick kind too (25mm).
            It's a first shot, so we'll see how it goes. No pics cause I'm embarrased by my surgery on the box.

            Today I get my mobo & mem so I should be able to power it up & get going!

            Where'd the fans come from?
            http://www.nexfan.com/evcafan80bab.html for $2.49. I got some filter guards too just in case.
            You know you want to...Worklog
            Enjoying v1.0 since it's operational. Aaaawww yeah.
            Specs: Opus120; Epia M10k; 700IDT; GlobalSat BR-355; iGuidance 2.1 & IGMod; XM; Custom case.
            Witty one-liners currently quoted by (0001) mp3car.com forum member sigs.

            Comment


            • #7
              GPS integration

              How am I going to get navigation into the system? Good question. I considered a nifty little USB antenna/receiver for sale int he mp3car store, and then I remembeted an article from like a couple years ago. It involved using the car's internal Onstar hardware to accomlish the same thing. It's already built in, and responsive, robust and validated system.

              Yes, it would be easier to just get a puck, but what fun is that? This way I can save $80, some weight (2 whole oz!) and violate my car in yet another way. It's not easy though. Here is some info from Saabcentral.com, and here is the thread in the GPS Forum.

              I'll either edit this space or the latter thread with progress on this particular project.
              You know you want to...Worklog
              Enjoying v1.0 since it's operational. Aaaawww yeah.
              Specs: Opus120; Epia M10k; 700IDT; GlobalSat BR-355; iGuidance 2.1 & IGMod; XM; Custom case.
              Witty one-liners currently quoted by (0001) mp3car.com forum member sigs.

              Comment


              • #8
                It's my Worklog & I'll ramble it I wanna.

                I have to say, I'm having tons & tons of fun. Sometimes I'm a "it's the process that's enjoyable" guy, and sometimes I'm the "Results rock!" guy. For this project, I'm on the Process side of the fence. I'm learning a lot in my pursuit to get exactly what I want. This is a great project because you can customize exactly how much or how little you want in the project. From buying a pre-built carputer you pretty much just plug in, to programming EEPROMS & developing your own hardware & software. When I first started looking, I was almost ready for the pre-built version. But as I looked into the process I decided there were things I wanted different (not that any system here in the store didn't match up with my quality or price expectations).
                Thus, I started designing with some precepts in mind:
                1: It should look stock. When stowed, only nosy service techs should be able to find it.
                2: Cheap. Just like a lot of you, I ain't made of money.
                3: Interface should be seamless, or barring that, novel.
                4: No bondoing or custom dash work (cause I can't, and that's just too much for me).

                All this required customization of almost every aspect. I have realized it will take a little longer, but that is one commodity I have.

                So I'm trucking along, and glad to be. This forum is a wealth of info (even if sometimes it is hard to find). Another cool aspect is just seeing what is possible, and what others are doing. That is one of the main reasons I wanted to put add some mobile computing power to my life: to dream up new things. Like playing Tron with real cars!

                Eventually I'll redo my whole rig in Linux, so I even have v2 of the carputer started. But for now, I have to get v1 running.
                You know you want to...Worklog
                Enjoying v1.0 since it's operational. Aaaawww yeah.
                Specs: Opus120; Epia M10k; 700IDT; GlobalSat BR-355; iGuidance 2.1 & IGMod; XM; Custom case.
                Witty one-liners currently quoted by (0001) mp3car.com forum member sigs.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Whoohoo! I got my mobo & mem yesterday. Hooked it all up & it freakin worked! I was simply too geeked for words. I was running around the house, wife giving me the evil eye & all that jazz.

                  Now the major challenge will be not to break anything during the rest of construction.

                  Like anyone cares...I plugged the mem into the mobo, spare ATX PSU to the mobo & HDD, IDE to HDD, mouse, keyboard & monitor.
                  My bonus cheap 1GB HDD already had an OS on it so it pretty much fired right up. Too cool. Now I know all my components work.
                  It's never been that easy (for me).

                  I even added a CDROM temporarily so I could boot from CD. For some reason I couldn't boot from USB. Maybe I didn't have the USB drive configured properly. Oh well.

                  Now the next challenge. Installing XP on the drive at up like 85% of my 1G HDD. I can either do some serious pruning, or get a new HDD. A new one might be better since it's really slow, and I won't have any room for MP3s, even if I do prune it.

                  Things that have to go on the HDD:
                  XP install (800MB)
                  XP disk (400MB)
                  IGuidance maps (1.5GB compressed?)
                  Front end, skins, XM, etc.

                  Something else I realized as I used a paperclip to turn on the mobo: since i have a custom case, I have to do several things:
                  1: make room for the various LEDs & power switches, even if they are mounted inside (will make future troublesooting much easier)
                  2: cutout for the mobo panel.

                  Something I always wanted to do was make a quick disconnect. 1 plug for the entire bundle of wires. Sounds ambitios, and some wires I probably can't do like GPS or XM antennas. But the fewer the better.
                  You know you want to...Worklog
                  Enjoying v1.0 since it's operational. Aaaawww yeah.
                  Specs: Opus120; Epia M10k; 700IDT; GlobalSat BR-355; iGuidance 2.1 & IGMod; XM; Custom case.
                  Witty one-liners currently quoted by (0001) mp3car.com forum member sigs.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So I got 80% of all the hard work done in terms of mounting stuff in the box.

                    I made the cutout for the IO panel in the back using a tiny saw & a Dremel to cut the metal. I have to stop cutting the box, it's starting to lose a little of the rigidity!
                    I can't beleive it fits perfectly! I'm very happy with it.



                    Having that done, I had to balance how high/low that would be with how high I could put the panel before I had to cut through the hinges. I would have liked to put it up just a bit more, but it's good.
                    To mount it, I used machine screws from the outside in, and spaces that I cut from a pen (thanks to a local computer parts guy for that tidbit!). The grommets I cut are only about 1mm thick, but there is fabric & hardboard underneath, so I'm not terribly worried that it may touch. It was a bit of a tight fit, bu after I got it all adjusted properly it slid in perfectly. I put the nuts on & called it a day!

                    Now I mounted the HDD to the lid. I actually am going to splurge on some mounting rails instead of screwing it right to the lid. Will give a little leeway cause I can't drill precision placed holes, and flexibility in removal & placement. You can see in the picture below the fans are in there as well.



                    The only thing missing is the Opus, which will go on the lid, next to the HDD.

                    The pictures below show a couple other aspects, like how the fan is partially blocked (I may cut out the hardboard inbetween the metal rails, I may not. I need the metal though for rigidity).
                    You can also see a detail of the standoff I used. ( know the screw is long, but it doesn't interfere, and they were available).

                    Next steps:
                    -reload OS on another, bigger HDD.
                    -make a power pigtail. Instead of plugging & unplugging the ATX PSU directly on the mobo, I want to make a pigtail that will plug permanently into the mobo, and can be conencted externally. The goal is to ot stress the mobo so much. I figure it'll be awhile till I get my Opus.
                    -I got some LEDs & switches, not I have to decide if I want to mount them externally, or inside somewhere.
                    -Load vital software: winamp, iGuidance.

                    Then we're on hold till I can get another project finished: tapping my Onstar box for GPS info.
                    Attached Files
                    You know you want to...Worklog
                    Enjoying v1.0 since it's operational. Aaaawww yeah.
                    Specs: Opus120; Epia M10k; 700IDT; GlobalSat BR-355; iGuidance 2.1 & IGMod; XM; Custom case.
                    Witty one-liners currently quoted by (0001) mp3car.com forum member sigs.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, did a little cleanup & Boot Reduction Therapy today.
                      Turned off a bunch of stuff in the BIOS that I don't need, and set it to manual (instead of auto-detect), and that went pretty well. POST is pretty quick.
                      Windows. Oh man...
                      Bootvis report 25 seconds. The only reason I post it here is see if I can better my score.

                      I know that the network drivers are taking awhile, but I am loath to remove those right now.
                      I know the video driver takes awhile, so I may get rid of it & use the windows driver.
                      You know you want to...Worklog
                      Enjoying v1.0 since it's operational. Aaaawww yeah.
                      Specs: Opus120; Epia M10k; 700IDT; GlobalSat BR-355; iGuidance 2.1 & IGMod; XM; Custom case.
                      Witty one-liners currently quoted by (0001) mp3car.com forum member sigs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I really appreciate how you keep jotting down notes in this thread. It helps me so much because I can easily follow the process of adding a carputer since I'm a complete noob.

                        By the way, have you heard of a free program called AutoRuns?

                        http://www.sysinternals.com/

                        It compiles a huge list of things started up when Windows boots. It will list your startup folder, msconfig.exe entries and scans your entire registry. It's a wonderful program and I think it may help you a lot. Also, maybe you wanna change your shell to something else besides explorer.exe.

                        Keep up the great work, this thread is extremely helpful.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks! I was hoping someone would benefit from all this rambling other than my own ego.
                          I'm very thankful for mp3car.com for making this space availble, and that someday it will help. Looks like it's starting.

                          I'll give your link a whirl, as I'm a little fuzzy on all what's going on when windows starts. Thanks!

                          Well, update for today...
                          I'm slowly getting things together, and a couple of things are starting, and a couple merging. Pretty exciting actually.
                          I loaded Roadrunner (FE of choice) and will start to use one of the stock skins to see how it integrates & acts. This was why I stopped development of my own skin...I couldn't understand how it all worked because it wasn't running on anything other than virtually. I can load MP3s, and then I can start making screens for the Music portion.

                          As for new...This weekend I plan on seeing if I can get XM integrated. I'll make my cable, jack it into the Commander, and see if there's any love. If so I can start skinning XM, and finalizing that portion of the hardware. I'm plugging directly into the serial header of the mobo, and using a telephone jack as an external plug (instead of a bulky-*** DB9) since I only need 3 wires to control the Commander. We'll see if I screw myself with lack of sheilding. If so, I'll just find another sheilded 3 conductor wire (which I think I have). Come to think of it, why don't I just use that? Duh. See, it's good to talk things out.

                          Something else I've been procrastinating is where & how to put the control switches/LEDs. I have 2 LEDs (power & HDD) & 2 switches (power & reset). Technically, I won't need these switches except when I'm working on it. This suggests I can put them inside. Then I have to make a fancy bracket, which I'm dreading. Oh well.
                          You know you want to...Worklog
                          Enjoying v1.0 since it's operational. Aaaawww yeah.
                          Specs: Opus120; Epia M10k; 700IDT; GlobalSat BR-355; iGuidance 2.1 & IGMod; XM; Custom case.
                          Witty one-liners currently quoted by (0001) mp3car.com forum member sigs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Report for today. It was a good weekend.

                            One thing plauging me was getting my XM connected. I went to try it last week hoping for the whole magical instant success thing. Right. Didn't happen. I tried some odd concoction of cables involving telephone connectors. I didn't realize how hard it was to use non-telephone wire with telephone equipment. Like jacks. It sucked. So I went with different connectors (molex from the Shack). They suck too, but are more reliable. I consider it a temporary marriage at best. Eventually I will make a nicer, multi-connection docking-type concoction.
                            Anyway, I learned how to test a serial port. Through the marvel that is I learned that you can short pins 2 & 3 (send & receive), and fire up hyperterminal. Make a new connection for COM2 (I'm using the header on the Epia board) and use all default settings except for Flow control = None (default is "Hardware"). More here.
                            I have yet to test it, but I am pretty confident it'll work.

                            On other fronts, I got iGuidance installed. It's the bom-diggity-omb!
                            Ooooo, I can't wait to get a GPS receiver going. As it is now, I could use it, just follow the directions & route it gives.
                            But that's no fun, besides, it's not itegrated into RR. So the next steps are to optimize it by going through the 28 page iGuidance thread.

                            I've been putting off doing the skin, but I think it sounds like I need to start. I have MP3s up & running, IG going, and possibly XM.

                            Also, I mounted the switches & LEDs inside the box & made a notch for the power harness. The switches I mounted ghetto-style by double-taping them to the wall of the case. Temporary at best, but it works. Eventually I'll make something a little nicer, maybe molded foam to seat them all in.

                            It's weird the way I work. It may not be the most effiecient, but it's how I do best. I jury-rig it so it works. Then, once it starts to annoy me how crappy it looks, I improve it. So the whole theory is that I want to get a working install, and then improve upon it. So nothing is really the way I want it (except how I mounted the mobo & HDD).

                            All in all, a good day.
                            You know you want to...Worklog
                            Enjoying v1.0 since it's operational. Aaaawww yeah.
                            Specs: Opus120; Epia M10k; 700IDT; GlobalSat BR-355; iGuidance 2.1 & IGMod; XM; Custom case.
                            Witty one-liners currently quoted by (0001) mp3car.com forum member sigs.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              First post from the car!!!!

                              Well, I'm happy to report another most excellent week on the progress front.
                              I dragged the CRT out to the car & hooked everything up.

                              It all worked...again.
                              That's incredible. The main purpose was to see if the XM cable I repaired would work. It did. It took awhile to get it there, but just some setting changes. I could play MP3s & heard them through the car speakers. That was one bit of progress, I know I can generate sound properly.
                              XM was okay too. I got it hooked up & nothing. Ok, don't panic. I remembered I was on Com2 (internal mobo header), so I changed the setting in the config program to reflect that. Then I got all the data & channels, so I knew that my cable repair was shiny. But no sound. After poking around I determined my "Line-in" was muted.

                              Sweet!

                              So, like the subject says, I'm sitting here in the car while I'm doing this. I have a USB wireless device I'm using. Small note of interest, Wireless frequencies make the radar detector go bonkers detecting "L" band. I've never seen "L" band go off before. I guess that's okay, cause when I'm parked in the driveway of my house, I'm not on the lookout for smokeys.

                              Now, while it is all working, it is far from complete. As you can see from the pics, I have a little optimization to do. BUT, this rig is good to go. It's powered from my inverter I installed 3 yrs ago (I knew it would come in handy!). But Mrs. Viscouse might take issue with having a 20lb CRT on her lap.

                              The 2 missing peices I need to get will clear all this up: Opus & Zenarc.

                              Well, now that I know all the hardware works, time to get cranking on the skin.

                              I'm so happy. Today was my "it actually works" point. I think it'll all be downhill from here.
                              Attached Files
                              You know you want to...Worklog
                              Enjoying v1.0 since it's operational. Aaaawww yeah.
                              Specs: Opus120; Epia M10k; 700IDT; GlobalSat BR-355; iGuidance 2.1 & IGMod; XM; Custom case.
                              Witty one-liners currently quoted by (0001) mp3car.com forum member sigs.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X