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Discussion Starter #1
NG900: instrument panel has incandescent bulbs, pleasing colour, can be dimmed WAY down. There's a short delay and then gradually-raised illumination when Black Panel is switched off. Gauges have time to move to their active positions so when light fades in, they're in position already. In Black Panel mode, almost nothing is lit up beyond the speedometer.

(2003) 9-5: Instrument panel has LEDs, which don't dim very far and they flicker when they are dimmed (the dimming uses PWM, so they're turned on and off). Flickering is obvious any time you move your head or hit a bump, which is pretty often. When Night Panel is switched off, the illumination comes up before the gauges are in position, so you see the needles frantically move. Much less elegant. At least there's almost nothing lit up beyond the speedometer. The business about only the lower half of the speedometer being lit is an interesting idea, but not wholly successful in my opinion. Certainly gives the temptation to light up the other half. :devilish:

2004 9-3: so many lit buttons and gew gaws, Night Panel is hardly worth it. And the button is hard to find too. (The instrument panel is an ergonomic mess in my opinion.)

I'm sure Gibbon would have a much more elegant way to phrase the above, probably in a six-line paragraph that contains only one sentence, with that one sentence containing at least four or five distinct clauses.
 

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I'm sure Gibbon would have a much more elegant way to phrase the above,
I don't think it's always correct to assume an ape would do a better job of writing your editorial - although it is true that they would do better than 80% of the population in most countries.
 

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if your 2003 has led in the dash that's totally not standard So if you have flickering then its most likely the resistance which is totally off, as LED are way below the capability of the SAAB electrics to dim etc. or work correctly without resistors in the circuit, and even then they wont dim properly as the potentiometer cant handle LED....I have night vision, don't use it but once in a blue moon, but if you have ever driven in Sweden ( I have) its a valuable aid for improved night driving on Swedish roads. That's where Swedes "listen with their lights" picking up reflections in the trees of oncoming cars on narrow undulating and twisting forest roads...
 

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I use Night Panel regularly (ie always when dark and no streetlight). We have dark 1/2 year (and light 1/2 year).
Most of Sweden is further south than Finland.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
if your 2003 has led in the dash that's totally not standard So if you have flickering then its most likely the resistance which is totally off, as LED are way below the capability of the SAAB electrics to dim etc. or work correctly without resistors in the circuit, and even then they wont dim properly as the potentiometer cant handle LED....I have night vision, don't use it but once in a blue moon, but if you have ever driven in Sweden ( I have) its a valuable aid for improved night driving on Swedish roads. That's where Swedes "listen with their lights" picking up reflections in the trees of oncoming cars on narrow undulating and twisting forest roads...
When I got the car, Christian at Aktive Motors told me that the dashboards switched to LED illumination some time in the 2003 model run. I would tend to believe him.

The LEDs are only in the instrument panel--SID, ECC, seat heat/vent switches still use bulbs. If someone (not me) put in LEDs, they put them in the hardest possible place (instrument panel).

The flickering is because the brightness is controlled by pulse width modulation. I always drive with the lighting at its lowest setting anyway. Drop the illumination to minimum on your car and move your head, you might see flickering too.

I've always used minimum illumination when driving in the country, and appreciate the Black/Night Panel feature. Too bad it's almost irrelevant in the NG9-3, what with all the lit buttons and switches right in the line of sight.
 

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When I got the car, Christian at Aktive Motors told me that the dashboards switched to LED illumination some time in the 2003 model run. I would tend to believe him.

The LEDs are only in the instrument panel--SID, ECC, seat heat/vent switches still use bulbs. If someone (not me) put in LEDs, they put them in the hardest possible place (instrument panel).

The flickering is because the brightness is controlled by pulse width modulation. I always drive with the lighting at its lowest setting anyway. Drop the illumination to minimum on your car and move your head, you might see flickering too.

I've always used minimum illumination when driving in the country, and appreciate the Black/Night Panel feature. Too bad it's almost irrelevant in the NG9-3, what with all the lit buttons and switches right in the line of sight.
 

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Copy that. I read your link. Saab ahead of their time. I hope mine don’t go out; removing dash stuff is horrible. I don’t know how Positiv gets the patience for all His interior mods. Just the cabin air filter replacement is such a pita
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Tell me about the cabin air filter. I decided yesterday was a nice day to swap it. I ruined one filter and "sealer foam" by installing the double-sided tape which DOES NOT COME OFF EVER. Fortunately I had another filter set.

Until someone shows me how they can use the double-sided tape, my advice is to never, ever, ever use it. Slip in the sealing foam and try to reach to the far side of the box to check if it's in place. Then slide in the filter, hope that it makes it all the way, and call it a day.
 

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I use the night panel All The Time, and when not Night Panel my dash is at minimum brightness. I have never noticed flickering from the instrument cluster on my LED-equipped 9-3s... either OG (3x) or SS (1x). I'm very sensitive to light noise - it's not something I would miss. I would suspect a flickering dash is a defect and not an engineering failure. The only reason why PWM-controlled LEDs flicker is because the driver is cheap (low frequency). I guess I've never looked, but I can't imagine Saab of all people cheaping out here. I'm sure they use a quality high frequency LED driver. If it's flickering, I would suspect a problem with the driver or its supply.

For reference:

 
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