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Thread: 2002 Saab 9-5 Aero Estate(Wagon) Mac-Mini

  1. #1
    Newbie colindunscombe's Avatar
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    2002 Saab 9-5 Aero Estate(Wagon) Mac-Mini

    NOoooooooooooooooooooB Alert !!!!!!!

    The plan is to integrate a Mac-mini into the glove box and replace the head unit with a 7" Lilliput Touch screeen. The project will be known as Aero Savant (Saab Audio Visual and Navigation Terminal).

    The plan:-

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7196396@N06/407921939

    Fortunately the glove box has a conveniently sized area in which to mount a dock for the Mac (self build - under construction) manufactured from perspex (similar to BugByte's - Thanks for the inspiration), also included beside the Mac mini will be a bus powered 4 way USB hub (unassigned use but offering flexibility for the future).
    The Mac Mini is a 1.66 Mhz with 512Mb of RAM and an 80 GB drive plus DVD drive. It has a built in 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth and of course an integrated modem and network adapter. Also included are a FireWire, DVI and 4 Hi Speed USB ports. I plan to upgrade the Ram as a priority.

    A Lilliput 629GL/70/NP 7" Touch screen mounted in one of Patrick Campbells excellent brushed aluminium (this should complement the look of the current brushed aluminium dash) 2 Din Radio Bezel Kits. This in turn will be located within an original Saab OEM Nav Bezel that I will be modifying for the purpose. This should keep a fairly original look to the project.
    All of the items will be powered by a Carnetix 2140 DC-DC power supply( plus 5V for the additional powered 7 way USB hub). I have an MP3Car supplied BU-353 USB GPS Receiver a reversing camera and a Griffin Powermate plus I've got a Silabs USB FM radio to give me the BBC, this completes the line-up of hardware.
    Software I've procured so far is the full OSX Tiger suite, Parallels, to allow integration of Directions Pocket Navigator 6 (waiting for a few more bugs to be ironed out before I commit), running in (a new and very expensive copy of)XP and an undecided Front end, either CentraFuse or Road Runner. I'd quite like to use Amp if it was ready, still not decided. I would have preferred to run exclusively in OSX but that doesn't seem possible yet. To integrate my cell phone I'm getting a copy of Phone Control to run in either CF or RR.
    I don't envisage too many problems with the install, I'm fairly handy, but I'm a total Noooooooooob when it comes to trying to write code or modifying software.


    Areas in which I anticipate problems are really confined to software integration on the two OSs but also trying to integrate and control inputs from the CD changer to the amp which I'm retaining. I think I have a fair understanding on the audio output from the Mac to the amp. Also as I currently have the benefit of steering wheel controls, I'd like to retain them if possible(any suggestions welcome).

    If what I've outlined above goes OK I'd also like to set up an OBD facility in the future, plus a small and unobtrusive security camera, plus some kind of GPS tracking(probably cell phone based).

    I've been lurking on this forum for a while now gathering ideas and I must say although it's sometimes hard work wading through all of the threads, the knowledge base on here is awesome, it's saved me time effort and most importantly CASH as I've refined the probable from the possible and down right undo-able. Thanks in advance for all your (unwitting) help.
    I'll be uploading some pics of the project as it moves forward.
    If any of you have done similar projects, particularly on Saab 9-5s do get in contact, I'd welcome any advice.

    Colin
    High Wycombe UK

  2. #2
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    Hi Colin!

    I have my own black 9-5 Aero MY02 with the aluminum finish dash. I started my project like 2 years ago and have gotten nowhere since we bought a house and "ordered" a kid. However I have all the hardware and I had it mounted once. The 629 lilliput fell out durinc accelleration etc.

    Since then I bought the HQCT and I have a half finished 4 channel balanced line driver which is going inbetween the PC (or the HQCT which has front and rear output) to the stock amp (AS3 stereo so the amp is quite capable).

    Basically I'm stuck at the "integrate in dash" problem. From Saab I bought a piece of plastic that you are supposed to put in the 2 DIN hole when you have NO head unit. I cut ot a hole for the lilliput front piece, but I havn't gotten around to mold them together. Do you have more info in the brushed alu case from your pics? Do you have a saab part number for the NAV bezel?

    I've also hought about the sterringwheel controls. We need some way to measure the resistance between the two steering wheel wires and have some USB device reacting on it... A USB resistance measuring device would be great! to bad they don't exist.. :'(

    Atleast we are TWO saab owners with similar plans!

    I now that Maximus (i think that was his name) also had a Saab 9-5 project but it was more elaborate with night panel function and more...

    /Anders

  3. #3
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    Browsed for USB resistance devices and found this:
    http://www.emant.com/index.php?tid=627004

    It's the by far cheapest and easiest solution I've found. A small .NET program can read the input and act on changes. Other buttons can be connected as well like volume, power, etc.

    nice..

  4. #4
    Newbie colindunscombe's Avatar
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    Sorry I didn't get back to you!

    Hi Aeroanderz,

    Only just found your reply on this thread.
    In answer to your questions:
    The Bezel for the screen was a modified (extensively) broken Saab OEM nav screen. I cut it back to accommodate the Lilli and then attached the bezel to the screen with superglue. The screen was mounted inside the bezel mounting frame supplied by mechatronics see link:

    http://www.mechatroniks.com/wrx/lili629.html

    Also in the mounting frame I installed the Carnetix 2140 and a 7 way powered usb dock.
    I'm currently trying to locate an old or broken 9-5 head unit, to get the 26pin connector to make the wiring in of the amp easier.
    If you could get hold of a similar unit you could modify the front face plate to use as a screen bezel.
    Let me know how you get on.

    Regards
    Colin

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    Quote Originally Posted by colindunscombe View Post
    Hi Aeroanderz,

    Only just found your reply on this thread.
    In answer to your questions:
    The Bezel for the screen was a modified (extensively) broken Saab OEM nav screen. I cut it back to accommodate the Lilli and then attached the bezel to the screen with superglue. The screen was mounted inside the bezel mounting frame supplied by mechatronics see link:

    http://www.mechatroniks.com/wrx/lili629.html

    Also in the mounting frame I installed the Carnetix 2140 and a 7 way powered usb dock.
    I'm currently trying to locate an old or broken 9-5 head unit, to get the 26pin connector to make the wiring in of the amp easier.
    If you could get hold of a similar unit you could modify the front face plate to use as a screen bezel.
    Let me know how you get on.

    Regards
    Colin
    Can you help me understand what Nav bezel you have? I looked at a 2005 9-5 nav bezel and it looks starkly different from the pictures you have posted on your Flickr account. Can you provide the model number of the part or at least what year?

    Also, how exactly did you modify it? I placed an order for the '05 nav bezel at SAAB, but now that I'm looking at the photos, I see buttons, a knob and a CD/DVD slot on this thing.

    Image of 05 9-5 Nav unit

    I'd love an opportunity to chat with you about what you've done so far. I'm about to place an order for all the parts and would like a chance to talk with someone who's gone through a majority of the process.

    Thanks in advance...

  6. #6
    Newbie colindunscombe's Avatar
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    Hi, I'll PM you.

    Colin

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    colin, pictures would be highly appreciated..

    I can host them if that's a problem.

    In my initial plans, I found a an original saab part used when there is no head unit at all. Its sort of a "lid" for the 2 din hole. I've cut a hole in it so that my lilliput screen with its original bezel (with buttons removed) fits inside of it. It WILL need some fabrication actions and I think it's unavoidable. I'm waiting for a broken headunit so that I can mount my stuff in that frame so that it will be easily inserted and removed.


    Lilliput 629 without buttons fitted in saab 2-din base frame


    Saab 2-din "lid" with cutout for lilliput with bezel. (not much left..)


    The computer.. in a Travla c158 case.. to be mounted in the trunk.


    HQCT... Been running for over a year.. SUPERB!


    Screen front view.


    Also, the 4-channel balanced line driver which will go between my HQCT and the stock amp (featuring an ISO connector for easy connect/disconnect of the screen unit):


    ISO Connector (power/gnd/ign/amp-mute/spk-out)


    Top of unit


    Bottom of unit.

  8. #8
    Newbie colindunscombe's Avatar
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    Hi Anders

    Glad to see you're still moving forward with the project. Mine had stalled a bit (I also moved house).
    Having just spent some time and money on upgrading the Aero mechanically I'm now back on track to finish this job.
    I've just installed 2 Gb of Ram as the original standard 512 Mb was woefully inadequate (Parallels would only let me allocate 192 Mbs of ram to run the Windows partition on my Mac Mini).
    Like you I Dremelled out the required opening on the old screen bezel that I had, if you look at the link you'll see the pictures, they look remarkably similar to yours!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/aero-sa...n/photostream/

    I plan to use the Silabs USB FM radio, I have no need for AM/SW/Sat.This is a straightforward plug and play so should integrate well with Road Runner. (I hope!)

    Still not sorted out how I'll do the steering wheel controls. I understand that maybe phidgets are the way to go, not researched that sufficiently to really be sure how to go about it.
    Keep in touch.

    Colin

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    Holy Cow! Saab Drivers! And they drive 9-5s too!! i got a 2000 9-5 wagon (not aero).

    No computer in it yet...i'm still trying to figure out the hows. IE: How to mount the LCD (looking @ lilliput 7" touch) in the Double Din Slot for the radio. How to get audio out of my macbook into the factory speakers.

    Your pictures helped me understand just how large of an undertaking this is going to be. Trying hard not to get scared off but with a limited budget and being very tech saavy but definately NOT mechanically inclined (IE: I'm terrified of cutting into ANYTHING that will be seen in my car) it's hard not to say "holy hell i'm thinking of doing all this work for a 7 year old car?"...at the same time i think "holy hell i'll be the only one in the state of alaska with such a sweet setup"

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    this thread open to 2002 93 se owners?

    Hey Saabers,


    Ive been following this thread and many others on site, and must say you guys are a great inspiration. I have a few questions but i'll outline my system to make things clearer. I recently threw a new xenarc with the spring loading under a pioneer deck. Wired the system as usual with a deck and set the mac mini (2g duo, 2g ram, 120g 7200 HD, 4 port usb with an additional 320g in the glove box - sloppily) to a mtx sub and amp with a nice box pushing a 10". Nice clean sound after upgrading the stock 6 speakers with JBL's. Im running various front ends but they are all sloppy and not saab specific - in fact I usually settle on front row due to convenience with the little remote.

    I wanted to know your impressions after you have been running with your units now. Which front end was best, graphics specific to saab's would be great! etc.

    Has any one been able to utilize the existing gps antenna? What kind of range are you getting with the mac mini wifi in the glove box? Im considering some sort of external antenna or a 1/2 watt booster, any one tackled this problem here yet?

    What software have you been able to wrangle up for the mac gps? Im just using parallels and am considering a dual boot because most everything is windows based and somewhat inconvenient or lacking.

    Anyway I wont be surprised if no one answers but had to try

    Rich

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