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  1. #11
    Saab Fan
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    21 Oct 2012
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    3x900 SPG + 9-3SS Aero Hirsch
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    Quote Originally Posted by drwatson32 View Post

    So you've been wondering about the '86-'87 equalizer. The thing baffles me. What you would think are ground wires don't appear to work as grounds. I've had access to 2 units which exhibited the same behavior, but here's the gist of it, by din cable wire colors:
    Red: 12v
    Chassis: ground
    That's all you need to power the equalizer up. It'll start in eq mode, for about 5 seconds, then reverts to the spectrum analyzer.
    Blue: 12v for illumination
    Red/white: input (presumably left)
    Brown/white: input (presumably right)

    Here's where it gets weird- I could only get the units to power up if I used the chassis as a ground. What was presumably the signal ground didn't seem to work either, so had to ground signal to the chassis, also, on the test bench.

    Note: to anyone thinking of trying this, I highly recommend assuming that your grounds work and skip this next part and come back to it if you otherwise have no bar activity. Since I was only aiming to get a visual display, I only used one of the signal inputs. In order to get bar graph activity at reasonably volume levels, you must bypass the corresponding resistor. (Attached is a picture pointing them out. There are 2 pcbs inside the unit, look on the bottom pcb; they're near the white ribbon connector.)

    Assumed, but not tested (or simply didn't work for me) wires-

    Inside sheath green: left output
    Inside sheath gray: right output
    Inside sheath copper braiding: signal ground
    Blue/white: illumination ground, but illumination works without it
    White: mute possibly
    Brown: possibly original ground, it's a slightly heavier gauge copper wire
    Yellow: might be 12v for memory, but it didn't make a difference on my units.

    In my car, I ultimately ran an ungrounded, amplified audio signal to the eq, as grounding the signal to the eq sent my head unit into a protect mode. With this oddball grounding problem, the equalizer will only respond to an amplified signal, so the bar activity is linear to the volume level. This setup could certainly use some additional figuring out; I'm hoping that my 2 units both had an identical ground problem and someone can figure these completely out. Though, in my case, I'm really pretty happy with the end result.

    Here's a video of it on the workbench- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjvWVqZNlqQ I never did take video of it in the car, but you get the idea. I hope this helps somebody.
    Interesting reading! I will compare it with my findings I also almost have a working MY86-87 setup on my desk (radio works but now i have a stuck tape in it, grrrr). I was thinking of making a break-out cable for the DIN to measure the voltages..

    I measured that the red-cable inside the EQ didnt have any corresponding pin in the DIN-connector to the headunit (which pin do you use? The 13-pin connector is numbered). Also i saw that the shield of the DIN-cable was connected to the EQ-housing inside, very strange if that was the common ground to the EQ, should only be used for noise-shielding in my sense.

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  2. #12
    Ian Scott
    1 |0v3 |>@|\|(@|<35 drwatson32's Avatar
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    03 Jan 2011
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    Akron, Ohio
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    Saab(s)
    Current: 88 900t, 89 9000t autobox, 05 9-5 Arc wagon Past: 87 9000T, 91+85 900S, 84 900 8vt sedan,
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    Strange about the red wire. Strangely, I'm buying an 87 9k, tomorrow, with the audio system intact. I'll be able to further investigate! The c900s aren't going anywhere, I just wanted something to drive in the winter to preserve the 900s : )

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  3. #13
    Saab Fan
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    21 Oct 2012
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    3x900 SPG + 9-3SS Aero Hirsch
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    Quote Originally Posted by drwatson32 View Post
    Strange about the red wire. Strangely, I'm buying an 87 9k, tomorrow, with the audio system intact. I'll be able to further investigate! The c900s aren't going anywhere, I just wanted something to drive in the winter to preserve the 900s : )
    Wow! Im jealous for many reasons The old 9000's are really nice (turbo also?) and with the Saab Clarion system its even more 80ies!

    Could you by any chance make a video of the system when turning on/off the ignition and changing volume/fader and radio/cassette?.. Would be really nice for the webpage. The 87 should have a working anti-theft i think, My 86 stereo nevers asks for key when started after no battery. But i have a problem with stuck tape in my 86 i have ordered a micro-fishe schematics from Russia for that PU-number.. Hope something will show up The mechanism pushes up the tape but never out from the radio unit..

    http://files.doda.se/henrikg/SaabClarionStuckTape.mp4

    BR,
    Henrik

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  4. #14
    Ian Scott
    1 |0v3 |>@|\|(@|<35 drwatson32's Avatar
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    Akron, Ohio
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    Saab(s)
    Current: 88 900t, 89 9000t autobox, 05 9-5 Arc wagon Past: 87 9000T, 91+85 900S, 84 900 8vt sedan,
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    Hey, sorry that I haven't been around much, 'have house projects going on at the same time. Right now I'm trying to get the lcd backlighting working before taking video. ( successfully soldered known good bulbs in place but they still don't light. The burnt out bulbs are known bad. Weird. ) At the same time, I'm trying to figure out how to disable autoreverse so that I can use an mp3 tape adapter, but it's tough because the drive motor is also the same motor that ejects the tape! Can't just disable the drive motor : ( This sound system is neat enough that I want to keep it... the power is decent. What I ultimately want to do is solder in an aux input and have the jack in the middle of a switch blank, possibly also with a button to enable it (wired to the switch that tells the player if a tape is being inserted!)

    PS It is indeed a turbo, but an automatic. I don't mind the gearbox since I'm keeping the c900s, which are manual, so it's nice to have some variety I guess.

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  5. #15

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    31 Oct 2012
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    Michigan's Upper Peninsula
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    1986 Saab 900 non-turbo, 1992 Saab 900 turbo
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    Very nice, Henrik! I love all of the great information and video's of the Clarion units in operation.

    On a different note, I'm looking for some input on some issues that have arisen with my '92 900 Turbo. I've been battling with the Clarion audio system for the past 6 months (ever since I bought the car), and I just can't quite seem to figure it out.

    One of the main problems is that I can't hear anything coming from the radio while I'm driving at highway speeds. I can only hear it when I'm either going really slow, parked, or the engine is off completely. To date, I have replaced the wiring that goes between the head unit and the amp, the head unit and the cd player/equalizer, and I've also replaced the amp and the radio basket. None of those things helped at all. The noise level is only a little louder when the amp is plugged in.

    Does anybody have any ideas? I've asked a few people about this problem, and they've mentioned that it could be a grounding issue, and that I should just replace the Clarion system with a new one. I don't want to do that since I like the way the Clarion system is integrated so nicely into the dash and center console area.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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  6. #16
    Saab Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by BJT View Post
    Very nice, Henrik! I love all of the great information and video's of the Clarion units in operation.

    On a different note, I'm looking for some input on some issues that have arisen with my '92 900 Turbo. I've been battling with the Clarion audio system for the past 6 months (ever since I bought the car), and I just can't quite seem to figure it out.

    One of the main problems is that I can't hear anything coming from the radio while I'm driving at highway speeds. I can only hear it when I'm either going really slow, parked, or the engine is off completely. To date, I have replaced the wiring that goes between the head unit and the amp, the head unit and the cd player/equalizer, and I've also replaced the amp and the radio basket. None of those things helped at all. The noise level is only a little louder when the amp is plugged in.

    Does anybody have any ideas? I've asked a few people about this problem, and they've mentioned that it could be a grounding issue, and that I should just replace the Clarion system with a new one. I don't want to do that since I like the way the Clarion system is integrated so nicely into the dash and center console area.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Hello! I did answer some of your questions on mail. So you actually replaced both the headunit, basked, amp and equalizer? In that case it has to be the wiring harness in the vehicle for sure.

    Im curious, the radio is still working when driving you just dont hear anything? One good thing would of course be to measure the voltages to the radio while driving (disconnected radio) and also measure all speaker cables (resistance to ground, to see its not shorted).

    //Henrik

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  7. #17
    Saab Fan
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    Webpage updated on a few points, added a tab-icon, fancy

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  8. #18
    Ian Scott
    1 |0v3 |>@|\|(@|<35 drwatson32's Avatar
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    Current: 88 900t, 89 9000t autobox, 05 9-5 Arc wagon Past: 87 9000T, 91+85 900S, 84 900 8vt sedan,
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    Henrik- I have a 1987 Audio Equipment manual now, that I can scan and send you tonight. Progress is good on restoring my sound system... only thing I need now is to get the lcd to illuminate, then can take a video of the operation

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  9. #19
    Paul K.
    Saab Enthusiast Badwolf's Avatar
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    31 May 2012
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    1990 Saab 900 Turbo Convertible
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    I have an after-market Alpine installed and will probably try messing around with this in the future. Thanks for the excellent information!

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  10. #20
    Saab Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by drwatson32 View Post
    Henrik- I have a 1987 Audio Equipment manual now, that I can scan and send you tonight. Progress is good on restoring my sound system... only thing I need now is to get the lcd to illuminate, then can take a video of the operation
    Sounds great!!

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