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  #1  
Old 28th March 2009
kevinr1916 kevinr1916 is offline
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Default Successful Bluetooth\USB\iPod install in an '08 SportCombi

With a lot of searching on this board, a few hours time and some money, I now have Bluetooth, USB MP3 capability, and iPod control in my '08 Sportcombi. XM and Onstar are still present and accounted for, and it all works quite nicely.

I started with a Parrot MKi9200 Bluetooth kit. This also has a USB input and iPod control. To connect it up to the stereo, I used a Quick Connect Products interface module for GM radios. This handles getting the stereo sound in and muting the stereo. It is almost completely plug and play, replacing the harness that comes with the Parrot kit. It then plugs inline with the factory stereo wiring. The only seperate connection is switched +12V. I tapped into the power outlet.

It works quite well. The MKi9200 has a nice 2.5" display, and a wireless controller. I mounted the display over the Passenger airbag on/off light panel. I haven't settled on the final location for the remote, but am leaning towards between the ignition key and gearstick. Out of the way, but easily reached. When using the Parrot, the remote controls everything, the stereo is along for the ride, so it needs to be easily reachable. The cable with the ipod plug, USB input and 3.5MM jack was routed through the back of the storage tray under the climate control panel. Sound quality is really good!

A few words of wisdom:

1. Download a copy of the install instructions for the factory Bluetooth kit from here: http://www.saabdocs.com/English/index.html Part number is: 32026144 .This will show you exactly what you need to remove to run the microphone cable up to the overhead console. VERY helpful.

2. Be very careful with the center vent. I broke mine apart. It is NO fun to put back together. It is quite difficult to get out. A couple of plastic putty knives inserted into the bottom are your friend here. What look like the top catches are not! Those things hold the vent together!

3. You have to pull pretty hard to get the A-pillar trim off, to the point where it feels like it will break. Mine didn't. Takes some force to get it back in too.

Overall, this was a fairly easy project, and adds nice functionality to the car. Took me about four hours this evening, even with having to glue the vent back together. The Parrot kit was $236, found it on eBay, the Quick Connect harness was $139, ordered direct.

Product links:
www.quickconnectproducts.com
http://www.parrot.com/usa/products/b...parrot-mki9200

I'll post some pics of my install tomorrow. I intended to take some pics as I went along, but really the car comes apart very easily aside from that darned center vent!

Kevin Rhodes
Westbrook, Maine
'08 9-3SC
'92 900CVT
'69 Sonett
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  #2  
Old 28th March 2009
mitpianoman mitpianoman is offline
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Awesome. I've been looking all around for info like this. I particularly could've used your point about the vent catches about an hour ago...

Where did you tap into for the switched power? I'm staring at the hole where my stereo is and don't see anything easily accessible from there.
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  #3  
Old 28th March 2009
kevinr1916 kevinr1916 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitpianoman
Awesome. I've been looking all around for info like this. I particularly could've used your point about the vent catches about an hour ago...

Where did you tap into for the switched power? I'm staring at the hole where my stereo is and don't see anything easily accessible from there.
I used the power point/cig lighter for the switched power. It comes right out - there is a single catch on the left side of the little storage area next to it you can push in with a screwdriver. Once you pull out that out, you can easily push the climate control panel out. Acres of room behind everything.

-Kevin
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  #4  
Old 29th March 2009
mitpianoman mitpianoman is offline
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Thanks. I can't say enough how helpful that SAAB bluetooth install manual has been. Now I just have to wait for my harness and MK6100 to arrive and will be good to go. (I've been taking everything apart just as a 'dry run' so I knew what I was getting into before ordering).

One note about the harness, I was talking to Ken at safewireless who informed me that with the non-bose '08, there's an option to get a cheaper ($50) harness that would work, but wouldn't provide Stereo passthrough from the parrot system, and would also limit the sound to 2-speakers. Since I plan to use it for music, I decided to go for the HBB-GM3 harness. There's also a potential muting issue with the HBB-GM3 and parrot MK6100, but he's pretty sure that's been fixed by the latest MK6100 software update. If not, there's a relay circuit you can build/buy to correct it. Overall the guy seems really knowlegable (much more-so than the local installers I had previously talked to), and I'd recommend him to others who might want to have some technical questions answered before purchasing.
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  #5  
Old 29th March 2009
Wildwillis Wildwillis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitpianoman
One note about the harness, I was talking to Ken at safewireless who informed me that with the non-bose '08, there's an option to get a cheaper ($50) harness that would work, but wouldn't provide Stereo passthrough from the parrot system, and would also limit the sound to 2-speakers. Since I plan to use it for music, I decided to go for the HBB-GM3 harness. There's also a potential muting issue with the HBB-GM3 and parrot MK6100, but he's pretty sure that's been fixed by the latest MK6100 software update. If not, there's a relay circuit you can build/buy to correct it. Overall the guy seems really knowlegable (much more-so than the local installers I had previously talked to), and I'd recommend him to others who might want to have some technical questions answered before purchasing.
Good write-up. Thansk for the info. Can you give a little more information on the harness and the input it gets from the Parrot system? I'm thinking this might be a great way to connect a Pioneer AVIC-F500BT system, which is an on-dash gps with bluetooth calling, ipod connection, etc.

This system has a 3.5mm output that we could hook to the aux input jack on the factory stereo. If this harness accepts that input however, it would be a great way to use a system like this to automatically mute the radio for calls, nav instructions, and music (not to mention that you wouldn't have to plug a cable into the aux input).

There is apparently an amp unit that you can get for the Pioneer system to accomplish this, but I'm not sure it'd work with the Bose systems since they have their own amp. Seems like more trouble than it's worth but this harness you found seems like it could be an easy plug-and-play solution.
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  #6  
Old 29th March 2009
mitpianoman mitpianoman is offline
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The parrot systems interface via an ISO connector. The HBB-GM3 (or QCHBB-GM3, depending where you look) harness just sits in-line with the GM3 interface from the back of the stock radio to ISO. There are quite a few pictures of it here: http://www.safewireless.com/hands-fr...bose-p-24.html

Since you only have a line-in, and not a mute line, like the parrot provides, I'm not sure that it'll be able to mute the audio unless you wire up some kind of relay to trigger the mute line.
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  #7  
Old 22nd April 2009
zfxr zfxr is offline
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Awesome, thanks for the post! I got the same kit and harness. I do have the Bose stereo, but same config in my SportCombi.

Saab of Downers Grove claims it can't be done... They claim it won't work with OnStar. Seemed to automatically know that, so no more $$$ going to that dealer!

Patrick Saab claims it can be done, will be a few hundered to install. Might pay it, to get pro's to do it!

I guess the question is, how hard is this to do myself? I am concerned particularly about damaging the vent or disturbing wiring. Looks pretty easy wiring the power lead and connecting up the harnesses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinr1916 View Post
With a lot of searching on this board, a few hours time and some money, I now have Bluetooth, USB MP3 capability, and iPod control in my '08 Sportcombi. XM and Onstar are still present and accounted for, and it all works quite nicely.
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  #8  
Old 23rd April 2009
kevinr1916 kevinr1916 is offline
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It was really pretty easy. Seriously, the hardest part is the @$@##@ center vent. Get a couple of 2" wide plastic paint spatula things from the hardware store. Insert them in between the vent and the radio and it will come out. My mistake is that if you look into the vent, there are two things that are obviously catches at the top. They are NOT, they hold the vent together. Don't mess with them. Otherwise, pretty easy. Download the instructions I linked to for the factory kit, that will help a lot with getting the mic wire up where it belongs. Also, make sure you update the firmware on the Parrot ASAP - mine barely worked until I did that, but has been great ever since. Very, very happy with the system.

Spend the $$$ saved by DIY'ing to get more toys for your car.

BTW - I have the Bose system too, and OnStar works perfectly. Got to love stupid dealers!

-Kevin
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  #9  
Old 3rd September 2009
paulr paulr is offline
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This looks like a very, very cool install, Kevin. Thanks for posting the pics and specs.

One question: do the steering wheel buttons work to control answering / dropping phone calls and changing tracks on the iPod? I know with some units (like the Scosche AXIPGMLAN) the buttons work, but with others they don't.
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  #10  
Old 7th October 2009
SAABconscious SAABconscious is offline
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no answer yet? do stearing wheel phone buttons work?

on another note,
1. when you answer the call does the sound go through all the speakers or just the front ones?
2. when you connect iphone/itouch or usb and play mp3 does it go through all the speakers?
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  #11  
Old 7th October 2009
kevinr1916 kevinr1916 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAABconscious View Post
no answer yet? do stearing wheel phone buttons work?

on another note,
1. when you answer the call does the sound go through all the speakers or just the front ones?
2. when you connect iphone/itouch or usb and play mp3 does it go through all the speakers?
No, the steering wheel phone buttons do not work with the Parrot. Nor do any of the controls on the head unit for that matter.

1. Good question - I'm actually not sure. I think it may be just the front speakers for phone calls, but I will have to listen carefully next time I am on a call.

2. Absolutely, and if you have the Bose system the Centerpoint processing still works, as it is built into the amp, not the headunit. Note that the volume, tone, fader and balance controls on the headunit do nothing when using the Parrot, as the sound is fed into the amp after the headunit. The Parrot has it's own EQ for tone control, but fade and balance are fixed. Which seems like an oversight to me, but not a big deal, it sounds fine.

Anyway, as an update, it's been in constant use for more than six months and is still working great. Battery life for the remote seems to be ~4months, I keep a spare in the glovebox. There have been several firmware revisions, each has gotten a little better, currently my only complaint is that I can't seem to turn off the Bluetooth Audio streaming, which means I get the new e-mail chime from my iPhone over the stereo all the time! Aggravating.

-Kevin
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  #12  
Old 11th March 2010
skyline skyline is offline
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Lightbulb parrot bluetooth steering wheel controls

Since Kevinr1916 posted his excellent post on the parrot bluetooth attached to his 08 combi, Parrot has added another option. Kevin's 08, as is my 08 Turbo X, has no Tel1 cable and the Parrot system hooked up, plug and play without it. But his wheel controls did not work. Parrot now has another cable hook up that he can add to get wheel controls, so they say. Mine is ordered. Identical to what Kevin bought plus I added the new cable. I have the official Saab one in a box (Motorola) but it requires splicing etc. as we know since I have no Tel1. It is going back. Kevin convinced me with his beautiful install.
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  #13  
Old 11th March 2010
kevinr1916 kevinr1916 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyline View Post
Since Kevinr1916 posted his excellent post on the parrot bluetooth attached to his 08 combi, Parrot has added another option. Kevin's 08, as is my 08 Turbo X, has no Tel1 cable and the Parrot system hooked up, plug and play without it. But his wheel controls did not work. Parrot now has another cable hook up that he can add to get wheel controls, so they say. Mine is ordered. Identical to what Kevin bought plus I added the new cable. I have the official Saab one in a box (Motorola) but it requires splicing etc. as we know since I have no Tel1. It is going back. Kevin convinced me with his beautiful install.
Thanks for the kind words! This is the first I have heard about the new option - can you give details as to cost and where to get it? That would be pretty neat to have those steering wheel controls working.

As an aside - did you see the post from the fellow who has gotten a rear aux-in working with the stereo? I have asked for details on that too - that would let us control volume and tone with the main system, meaning controlling the Parrot volume with the steering wheel too! Or does this cable provide that as well?

I actually still have the Tel1 cable too - figured I would keep it just in case.

One last question - have you gone to the v1.4 firmware yet? Any issues? Not much on the Parrot forums yet.

-Kevin (Combi will be 1 year old next week, still loving it)
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  #14  
Old 12th March 2010
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Titansaab27 Titansaab27 is offline
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will the parrot kit work with the nav radio (07+)? anyone know?
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  #15  
Old 12th March 2010
skyline skyline is offline
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Lightbulb Parott steering wheel cable answers

ANswer to Kevinr1916. I found the cable on one of Parrot's own web cites after I ordered the parrot system from a different cite along with the saab specific cable you used. I spoke with a parrot rep on the cite and he said this additonal cable was specifically used, as advertised on the cite, to allow the wheel controls to work. He claimed I would need both cables which is what the ad seems to say also. So I orderded it. You can see the ad on their cite on left side. I guess I will know more when it all arrives. I am hoping the new cable is plug and play like yours was. Other posts tell us it is possible with some tricking splicing so maybe parrot just created a cable along those lines. I only know what I have read, so far. I think it was about $149. just for that cable. By the way, the Saab sold version I bought only has the same instructions you can get onlline that apply to versions up to 2007 and you have to figure out the splicing and use the added mic they provide. It is just the moto, as we have all learned. Next they will probably have one that incorporates the saab mics and charge me for another cable. Ha!
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Old 20th March 2011
nezzer nezzer is offline
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I ended up fitting a Parrot MKi9100 in to my 2008 9-3 with Bose stereo and on-star. The 9100 is pretty much identical to the 9200 except the screen is smaller and mono colored. I prefer the simpler looking screen. I used the QuickConnectProducts wiring harness, QCHBC-GM3.

There are a couple things I want to note in case anyone else goes this route. Since the 9100 and 9200 are pretty much identical, this will apply to either Parrot unit.

1. When on a call, the sound comes out all front and back speakers but not the sub. The volume while on a call is controlled by the parrot, not by the stereo. With the Parrot volume maxed, I can easily hear my call. I do wish it had a little more head room though. I would probably not be able to hear the call if my windows were down and it does not get any louder. Small gripe though.

2. The QuickConnectProducts wiring harness does allow you to use the line in on the
Parrot without using the "aux in" on the stereo. The BIG disadvantage of this setup though is that while music does play over all speakers, it does not play out of the subwoofer. As Kevin mentioned, in this setup you also have to control the volume and EQ through the Parrot. This is not intuitive, though not too inconvenient.

3. If #2 bothers you, as it did me, the QuickConnectProducts wire loom also comes with a set of RCA outputs. They are not visible in the picture of the product on their website but they are there. You can connect these RCA outputs to the "aux in" on the front of your stereo. Once that is done, set your Parrot to no longer mute the stereo on music streaming via the settings menu. Now any music played by the parrot is fed to your stereo aux in. This means you have to press the "aux" button on the stereo to listen to your parrot but the volume, fader, eq, etc. are all still controlled via the regular stereo controls. The sub also still works.

4. No matter which way you go, 2 or 3, receiving a call works the same. When a call comes in, the parrot mutes the stereo and takes over the speakers. The ringer is heard over all the speakers.

5. I found the best place for the mic seems to be above the rear view mirror. Not surprisingly, this is pretty much where the factory mic is. My wife has indicated she cannot tell a difference between my holding the phone up to my ear or me using the Parrot. That is pretty impressive in my book.

6. The 9100 screen is much smaller than the 9200. This allowed me to remove the on-star buttons and mount the 9100 screen in the opening. Here are a couple pictures of the finished product. Note the wire run to the aux input on the stereo.





There are a bunch more pictures of my entire install and more observations on the usage of the Parrot at my website:

http://www.knez.org/photos/photoinde...rrot%20MKi9100
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  #17  
Old 20th March 2011
kevinr1916 kevinr1916 is offline
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Very nice install! Your mounting of the display and the tidy line-in arrangement are very impressive.

I am pretty sure I have the same Quickconnects box that you do, but my subwoofer definitely works with the Parrot using it. I can't imagine why yours would be different. Does the Bose Centerpoint processing still work with the line-in?

As an aside, I recently had the control box (blue box) die on my system. I sent Parrot support an e-mail about it and they overnighted me a new one! No questions asked other than my address. I just have to ship the bad one back. Not sure what the official warranty is, but mine is nearly two years old.

-Kevin
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  #18  
Old 15th December 2011
rossmilitz rossmilitz is offline
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I hate to be one of the people that revives a long-dead thread, but I have a couple questions.

I'm looking at the MKi9000, because of the iPod and BT audio capabilities, but I was wondering if the SID displays "Telephone" while streaming music or w/e from the aux, usb, iPod, etc.

Not to be petty, but that would annoy the crap out of me.
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