• Saab 9-3 Front Fusebox Layout

    Below is the ordering and rating of fuses for the Passenger side fusebox (located in the end of the Dashboard) for the Saab 9-3

  • Saab 9-3 Rear Fusebox layout

    The rear fusebox is located in the boot, behind the right hand side panel. The panel should just pull outwards and then you'll see the fusebox and rear electrical centre (also the stock amp if it was fitted at the factory).

    This documentation details what each of those fuses are. The image is clicky so you can view a larger version if required.

  • Saab 9-3: Front Brake Pads and Disc Replacement

    Replacing the front brake rotors and pads on a Saab 9-3 is pretty straight forward (in fact, it's almost identical - down to the caliper springs, to the process of doing the same on a Volvo S60).

    Before you begin, you'll need to have made sure you've ordered the correct size of replacement disc for your car. If you're not sure what size discs you require, see my guide on how to ascertain brake disc sizes.

    This documentation will walk you through the process of replacing pads and discs on your Saab 9-3. The car I've used in this documentation is a UK 2010 model, but the process should be more or less the same across the years (the caliper spring does differ in shape on earlier models though).

    The process is simple, however, these are your brakes - if you don't feel entirely confident then either get a garage to do it, or get someone who is confident to help/supervise.

  • Saab 9-3: Installing a Dashcam Hardwire Kit

    I drive a lot of miles, so statistically it's likely that at some point I'll be involved in a collision. In all my earlier cars, I've fitted a dashcam so that I can show whether or not (hopefully the latter) I was at fault when that day arrives.

    Having recently changed car, I once again need to install the dashcam. The cam itself is a Nextbase 412G and simply clips to it's mount (stuck to the windscreen, with one of these adhesive mounts).

    This documentation details how to install the Nextbase Dashcam Hardwire kit into a 2010 Saab 9-3 Saloon. It should also apply to most other years and variants of the 9-3 (and, to some extent, things like the Vauxhall Vectra).

  • Saab 9-3: Installing a rear facing dashcam

    I've had a front facing dashcam (in various cars) for quite some time. For a good proportion of that time I've thought about also having a rear facing cam, but in previous cars finding a switched live at the back of the car wasn't particularly straight forward.

    The 9-3, though, has an rear electrical centre which includes a rear fusebox, conveniently located in one of the boot side panels.

    This documentation details the simple procedure involved in installing a rear facing dashcam into the Saab 9-3 Saloon.

  • sar Cheatsheet

    sar can be an incredibly helpful utility when examining system performance, but if not used regularly it's easy to forget which flags to use.

    This short post details a number of useful arguments to pass

  • Testing Raspberry Pi Images with Qemu

    Although changing the OS on a Raspberry Pi is quick and easy (especially if you have a spare SD card), there are times when you might want to test a system first, or simply tinker without needing a spare Pi.

    This documentation details how to use Qemu to run a RaspberryPi image.

  • The Storm Ate my Broadband

    Like many in the country, the storm has left me feeling somewhat isolated - that is to say my broadband is down. Don't get me wrong, I'm just glad the power is (mostly) back, and I'm far better off than some who've had their lives affected.

    The simple fact, though, is that I have things I need to do, and not having a broadband connection really gets in the way of that.

    Living where I do, there's precisely one place in the house that gets a 3G signal, unfortunately that place isn't particularly conducive to sitting comfortably. Whilst the Wifi hotspot functionality on my phone helps, the range isn't great enough to let me sit somewhere that I might be able to concentrate.

    So, somewhat convoluted workaround needed;

  • Transcoding files ready for HTTP Live Streaming on Linux

    HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) is an IETF draft standard created by Apple Inc. It's use is pretty widespread, although it was primarily designed to allow video to be easily delivered to iOS devices it works well with a wide range of clients. Later versions of Android support it, as do players like VLC.

    Unfortunately, a lot of the tools for creating (and testing) HLS streams are created and released by Apple. Unless you develop for iOS devices, you probably lack a developer login!

    It's actually pretty easy to set up at a basic level. In this documentation we'll be looking at what HLS is, and how to prepare video for transmission using HLS.

  • Understanding the Difficulty of Assessing True Randomness

    I've had to explain, more than a few times, quite why it's so hard to assess whether a Random Number Generator (RNG) is compromised unless you have access to how the specific implementation works. Just because the data appears to be random, does not necessarily mean that it is actually unpredictable.

    In this short piece of documentation, I'll be attempting to demonstrate exactly how a compromised RNG can appear to be generating random data, based on the tests that are available to us.

  • Usurping the BTHomeHub with a Raspberry Pi: Part 2 - DNS, DHCP and NTP

    In Part One, we configured our RaspberryPi to act as a Wireless access point and bridged the wireless and wired interfaces so that WLAN client's were easily accessible from the LAN.

    As part of that setup, we configured a DHCP server, however we haven't yet made it the DHCP server for the LAN - our tired old BTHomeHub is still the authoritative server for the network.

    In this part, we'll be reconfiguring our DHCP server so that it takes responsibility for the entire LAN, configuring DNS services, and making our Pi the LANs central NTP (Network Time Protocol) Server

    Step by step, we'll be configuring our Raspberry Pi to take over nearly all of the duties performed by the BTHomeHub.

  • Usurping the BTHomeHub with a Raspberry Pi: Part 3 - Routing, Remote Administration and Utilities

    In Part One we configured a RaspberryPi to act as a Wireless Access point, providing DHCP services to wireless clients. In Part Two we then configured our Pi to provide DHCP, DNS and NTP services to the entire LAN.

    In this part, we'll be taking some more responsibility away from the BTHomeHub, as well as configuring a few conveniences, such as Remote administration and useful utilities, including

    • Wake On Lan
    • Network Troubleshooting Tools
    • Dynamic DNS Update Client (No-Ip.com)

     

  • Usurping the BTHomeHub with a Raspberry Pi: Part 5 - Inbound OpenVPN

    In Part 4 we configured our Raspberry Pi router to maintain a number of OpenVPN tunnels and to route through them selectively. Now we'll look at the steps needed to allow connection to our LAN via OpenVPN. Although helpful, as the HomeHub doesn't provide VPN connectivity, this stage doesn't really count as Usurping the BTHomeHub.

    The steps are almost completely identical to those performed when Installing Open VPN on Debian. We're going to have to NAT connections though, as the HomeHub is a little stupid and we can't add static routes to it (so if we're connected to the VPN and accessing the Internet, it won't know where to route the response packets).

    What we'll do, though, is only NAT if the connection isn't to something on the LAN.

  • Vauxhall Corsa D Headlight Bulb Replacement

    The Vauxhall/Opel Corsa D was designed and manufactured whilst GM was firmly in control of production. As a result, the simple task of replacing a headlight bulb has been made needlessly complicated (and frankly, shouldn't be legal).

    If you're stuck on the side of the road reading this, then the bad news is this isn't something you're going to want to try.

    In order to replace headlight bulbs (particularly the dipped beam) on a Vauxhall Corsa D it's necessary to remove the front bumper. It is, at least, relatively straightforward to do, just a little involved.

    This documentation details the procedure to follow.

  • Volvo S60: Alternator Replacement

    A few days ago, I started bearing noise (like air being released) from the general area of the auxillary belt. As it's freezing outside, I booked it into the garage and hoped it could make it the few days until the garage could see it.

    Inevitably, it didn't. After starting the battery warning light came on, and as the belt was still on I checked the battery voltage - 11v and dropping, goodbye alternator bearing...

    This documentation details the steps necessary to swap out the alternator on a 2003 Volvo S60 with a Diesel engine. The steps differ slightly for later years (you need to remove the radiator cooling fan to make space to get the alternator out, but can simply move the P/S pump out of the way rather than disconnecting it), but should be applicable for vehicles <= 2003. From what I've seen, it should also apply to V70's of the same age.

    Some of the images are a little blurry because the weather was getting ready to snow on me, so there was quite a bit of shivering involved.

    The whole process shouldn't take you more than a couple of hours, unless you have to wait for replacement parts to arrive. 

  • Volvo S60: Headlight Unit Replacement

    My 2003 S60 had a chip in the headlight lens, which over time, expectedly, developed into a crack.

    This documentation details how to replace a headlight unit on Volvo S60's up to 2003 (there are some slightly different mountings on models from 2004 onwards). The procedure is more or less the same for both sides

    The entire process doesn't take long, at most it should take a couple of hours

  • Volvo S60: Intercooler Replacement

    My intercooler got damaged by some road debris, though they apparently have a habit of blowing anyway due to the high boost pressure used (particularly on diesel models).

    This documentation details the process of removing and replacing the intercooler. No part of it is particularly difficult, but it's an involved process and takes some time (especially the first time). As a guide, it took me just short of 4 hours to do (fag breaks included).

    I performed this process without lifting the car, however at times it was a little tight, so if I even repeat the process I'll probably put the car on ramps or stands.

     

  • Volvo S60: Lower Control arm and Balljoint Replacement

    After nearly 240,000 miles the rubbers on my lower control arm (or wishbone) were perished, and the lower balljoint (LBJ) was starting to feel questionable too.

    This procedure is to replace both on the left hand side (i.e. Gearbox end of the engine). The procedure for the right hand side (i.e. Cambelt end) is almost exactly the same, but with one (fairly large caveat) - to access the front-mount bolts on the right hand side, you will need to raise that end of the engine by about 25mm. You can get away without this if you're very lucky (or have extremely shallow sockets) but for that side of the car, plan as if you're going to have to raise the engine slightly so that your ratchet doesn't foul on the sump.

    Also, if you're doing the right hand side (offside), be very careful of the driveshaft - it's incredibly easy to accidentally pull the shaft out of the inner CV joint - if you do this you'll need to replace the driveshaft. It's a common occurrence when changing the offside control arm on the S60 and V70 apparently

    I was in a bit of a hurry doing this job, and unfortunately forgot to take pictures. The pictures below were all taken after the fact.

  • Volvo S60: Offside Driveshaft Replacement

    This documentation details how to replace the offside (drivers side/Right hand side) driveshaft on a 2003 right hand drive Volvo S60.

    As far as I know, the process for Volvo V70's is exactly the same.

    The offside driveshaft on the S60 is commonly damaged when replacing the Lower Control Arm - the shaft can easily be pulled out of the inner CV joint by accident. In order to resolve that, you need to remove the driveshaft and either rebuild the CV joint or put a new driveshaft.

    I'm neither delicate nor patient enough to rebuild a CV joint, so I decided just to put a new driveshaft in.

    This documentation details the process I followed.

  • Volvo S60: Overrun Alternator Pulley

    I had an issue recently on my S60 - when the car was first started from cold, there'd be a rhythmic thumping noise from under the bonnet.

    Lifting the bonnet, the auxilary belt tensioner was jumping backwards and forwards as slack came into the belt and then was taken up.

    Further investigation showed that the Alternator Pulley had started to fail - modern alternator's no longer use a solid flywheel, instead using a clutch-based pulley called an Overrun Alternator Pulley (or OAP). The pulley manufacturer (INA) recommend that it be changed whenever the aux belt is changed.

    My aux belt had been changed at the result of an emergency cambelt change (following a water pump collapse). Unfortunately, in VIDA, Volvo list the pulley as a separate service item, rather than listing it as being part of an aux belt change, so the garage missed it.

    Because of the time it took to track down and obtain a suitable pulley, the belt was pretty badly chewed by the time I was able to swap the pulley, so I opted to change that as well.

    This documentation details the steps required to change the alternator belt and pulley on a Volvo S60 (D5 engine). All images should be clickable.