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Thread: 1998 Saab 900 SE 'Vert

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    1998 Saab 900 SE 'Vert

    Goals: Integrate music, GPS, handsfree cellular and engine diagnostics/tuning.

    Hardware so far:
    Nasty old PC running XP on a P4 @3.2Ghz-Free
    Pyle PLHR9TSB- $189
    BU-353 GPS antenna- $39

    Waiting on:
    Elmscan 327-$59
    Bluetooth headset
    XM Radio

    Riderunner frontend-Free
    Microsoft Streets and Trips (not liking it and thinking about switching to Garmin City Navigator)-$39
    MyMobiler for cell integration-Free

    This is really an integration of some things that I understand quite well (cars and computers) and things that I don't (frontends and touchscreens). I work on a military installation with ridiculous rules about cell phone use while driving so I'm looking forward to having the cell integration. I also commute an hour each way with some spotty radio service towards the end so it will be nice to have consistent music.

    Initially, I was going to hack a 2.5 jack into my existing HU in the Saab. It's a popular hack with these Saabs. Then, I remembered that a guy on Saabcentral had done a Car PC install and it looked pretty nice. Since I'm the kind of guy that would much rather do something himself, I decided to have it. My family is also pretty eco-conscious so we do a lot of repurposing. That should explain my actual PC choice... it was sitting in my son's room and he wasn't using it anymore. I paid $60 for it several years ago so I can't think of a better way to repurpose it.

    I am sure that most people want to do this project on the cheap but, between the repurposing spirit in our home and my love of spending my money on things like beer I am probably a little more budget conscious than the average car pc enthusiast.

    Right now, everything I have is hooked up on my desk. I've got RR downloaded and installed and am working through how to embed programs into it. I'm not cutting or installing anything into the car until I have it all working exactly the way I want it to (RR skin included). If I don't like it sitting in my office, why would I like it sitting in my car?

    I have the day off so I will take pictures later. The plan is to mount the PC in a slot between my rear seats and the trunk. Depending on the temperatures, I am considering mounting a port between the passenger headrests that will basically ram cooler air onto the PC.

    On the actual dash, in addition to the touchscreen, I am going to mount the control panel for the touchscreen, a few USB inputs and a remote 2.5 jack. I am going to remove the HU and relocate the SID further down the console to where the ashtray and cigarette lighter are.

    As far as skinning, I want to maintain the appearance that the SID has.
    I want the actual text to look just like it does in the pic and I am planning on making the buttons look similar as well. The SID uses a cycling menu for the display and I think that would be kind of cool, instead of having a bunch of buttons for the various functions. Not sure if RR can do that, but I'll find out.

    I do appreciate the help that I've gotten so far. I can already tell that this is a pretty good community and I look forward to sharing the experience with fellow Saabers.

  2. #2
    Low Bitrate skeet2331's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    The only problem really with that PC is that they consume a lot more power and run hotter then the mini itx boards with atom processors. Good luck with the install.
    Lilliput EBY701, M2-ATX, Intel 1.8 GHz, 1GB Ram, 160 GB 2.5 hard drive, Centrafuse, Garmin Mobile PC, GlobalSat BU-353.
    My 2000 Saturn SL2 Worklog

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Yeah, I realize that I am not really going with the best computer at this point. I think, once I get it all installed and having been using it for a while, I will reevaluate the PC portion and maybe go with something else.

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