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  • SharkyForums.Com - Print: MP3 Player

    MP3 Player
    By chrisangelini October 23, 2000, 02:40 AM

    I was browsing AIWA's site yesterday and had an interesting idea. I know a couple of guys back at school who purchased some parts and wired together an MP3 player for the car that was small, and operated via remote and a small LCD display that was installed into the sun visor of their car. I don't remember who the guys were, but their idea seemed even cooler than the decks that play MP3-CD's because you can use a 20GB HDD.

    Now, I took two years of engineering, but I am far from an engineer. Would anyone like to participate in making a schematic and parts list for such a device? It would make an excellent how-to article and I think would look absolutely breathtaking on a nice car. Let me know what you engineering types think.

    Ciao!

    By zombor October 23, 2000, 10:37 AM

    well lots of ppl have done this...mabee search on www.sounddomain.com for it. There might be a full install procedure somewhere on that site.

    By frankmccann October 31, 2000, 02:42 PM

    Chris,
    Well I guess one could start by asking which elements of a motherbrd would be essential for running the unit. Flash memory is cheap now and could be used.
    Essentailly you could have a buss and just enough other circuit elements to run the HD.
    Interesting idea!
    quote:Originally posted by chrisangelini:
    I was browsing AIWA's site yesterday and had an interesting idea. I know a couple of guys back at school who purchased some parts and wired together an MP3 player for the car that was small, and operated via remote and a small LCD display that was installed into the sun visor of their car. I don't remember who the guys were, but their idea seemed even cooler than the decks that play MP3-CD's because you can use a 20GB HDD.

    Now, I took two years of engineering, but I am far from an engineer. Would anyone like to participate in making a schematic and parts list for such a device? It would make an excellent how-to article and I think would look absolutely breathtaking on a nice car. Let me know what you engineering types think.

    Ciao!

    By jtshaw October 31, 2000, 03:53 PM

    There are small processors that are more then capable of decoding MP3's and speaking to an IDE bus. For a single unit you could probably build an MP3 player for around 100 (minus the hard disk) using something from Altera or another small microprocessor. I was at a little data book give away thing a week or so ago and Altera actually used MP3 playing as an example of what one of there chips could do. I also know there chips can communicate over an IDE bus (which is pretty simple to create). Only thing I can think of that could be annoying is the power constrants because of the harddrive.

    By chrisangelini November 02, 2000, 05:06 PM

    I was actually thinking of using something like this: http://www.pjrc.com/tech/mp3/

    The only problem is incorporating LCD support (which would replace the vanity mirror in the passenger side visor). Also, incorporating IR support - after this, the unit would remain completely invisible and very sharp looking and sounding

    Ciao!

    By Bash November 03, 2000, 01:22 AM

    I'm sure there are cheaper ways to do this, but you could relatively easily build this out of a PC104 form-factor computer. You can get little PC104 boards that run low power Pentium chips that have all the normal computer interfaces built in. One of my friends is doing research involving these size computers. He's got a set of them that boot off a specialized linux kernel off a flash ram disk on the module.
    This, I suppose, is overkill for an MP3 player.

    This car MP3 player projects seems cool, though.

    The player here does provide a good start to a reasonably low budget model. http://www.pjrc.com/tech/mp3/

    It would probably be quite easy to hook up a remote (since they have plans for one on the site). An LCD with simple functionality would be pretty easy, but if you actually wanted to read the track names off the mp3 file...hrm...i'm sure it's possible somehow.

    So many cool things to do...so little time to do them in.

    -Bash

    By jtshaw November 03, 2000, 02:54 PM

    quote:Originally posted by chrisangelini:
    I was actually thinking of using something like this: http://www.pjrc.com/tech/mp3/

    The only problem is incorporating LCD support (which would replace the vanity mirror in the passenger side visor). Also, incorporating IR support - after this, the unit would remain completely invisible and very sharp looking and sounding

    Ciao!

    By jtshaw November 03, 2000, 02:57 PM

    If that thing has a RS-232 (serial port) interface anywhere on it then adding IR shouldn't be that difficult. Only problem is you would have to reprogram the chips to deal with data comming in. As far as the LCD is conserned if it has any kind of built in display controller (preferably 1/4 VGA or full VGA) that would be easy to implement. If it would require adding a display controller then it could still be done via an LCD that has it's own display driving abilities but it would need some way to send data to be displayed (ie another serial port or something).


    quote:Originally posted by chrisangelini:
    I was actually thinking of using something like this: http://www.pjrc.com/tech/mp3/

    The only problem is incorporating LCD support (which would replace the vanity mirror in the passenger side visor). Also, incorporating IR support - after this, the unit would remain completely invisible and very sharp looking and sounding

    Ciao!

    By Bash November 03, 2000, 04:08 PM

    quote:Originally posted by jtshaw:
    As far as the LCD is conserned if it has any kind of built in display controller (preferably 1/4 VGA or full VGA) that would be easy to implement. If it would require adding a display controller then it could still be done via an LCD that has it's own display driving abilities but it would need some way to send data to be displayed (ie another serial port or something).

    About the LCD...I'm sure it would be pretty easy to hook one up. The problem is actually getting the information to print on it. I haven't looked really closely at the MP3 player that's linked to a few times on this thread, but I'd suspect that it doesnt do a lot with the MP3 file except grab it and dump it through a decoder. I'd bet that stripping off the track name / performer to display when you're playing the file along with a little song timer / clock would be quite a bit of added work. It would be fun to play with...too bad I dont still have access to an FPGA development board.

    -Bash

    By jtshaw November 05, 2000, 05:28 PM

    I am pretty sure I have an FPGA development board around here somewhere. My company does a lot of custom designs using LCD's and VFD's. LCD's are easy to drive as long as we could get data to it to display.

    quote:Originally posted by Bash:
    About the LCD...I'm sure it would be pretty easy to hook one up. The problem is actually getting the information to print on it. I haven't looked really closely at the MP3 player that's linked to a few times on this thread, but I'd suspect that it doesnt do a lot with the MP3 file except grab it and dump it through a decoder. I'd bet that stripping off the track name / performer to display when you're playing the file along with a little song timer / clock would be quite a bit of added work. It would be fun to play with...too bad I dont still have access to an FPGA development board.

    -Bash

    By chrisangelini November 06, 2000, 04:00 AM

    The LCD seemed like the hardest part to me. I think there is a 4-pin connector to get data to the LCD.

    I talked to a local car-audio and alarm shop today that might want to give this project a shot. Of course there is still the issue of getting all these parts to work together

    By IL96 November 06, 2000, 02:02 PM

    seems sophisticated to me. I'm thinking about a simpler solution, a 748MOBO with everything built in (sound, video, modem, lan, etc) a celeron, HDD and in a BOOK PC case. The mobo and the case which is very small is about $150 + $50 CPU + $70 HDD +$50 RAM (well i have plenty of RAM) +$20 LCD.
    BTW guy, by LCD i mean the character (alpha numeric) 40x4 display with an LED backlight.
    OS either Windows or Linux. RF or IR remote. Of yeah one more thing the power suply. Wel that can be done using MAXIM IC's to convert 12V to 5V.

    By chrisangelini November 06, 2000, 03:37 PM

    IL96,

    The idea behind my idea is to have a functioning system that will fit in the glovebox of a Miata. Unfortunately, I am not too sure how I could fit an entire mini-system in there. The price for a graphical LCD is close to $1,000, so I think I'd stick to an alpha-numeric as well.

    Ciao!

    By IL96 November 06, 2000, 03:44 PM

    Well if you want, you can get a 5-6" 640x480 VGA/NTSC LCD screen for about $100 here -> www.eio.com. I'have 40x4 lcd hooked up to my home pc and i'm using one of the plugins for winamp, it really kicks ass, even displays the jumping bars.

    By Bash November 06, 2000, 04:28 PM

    quote:Originally posted by chrisangelini:
    The LCD seemed like the hardest part to me. I think there is a 4-pin connector to get data to the LCD.

    I talked to a local car-audio and alarm shop today that might want to give this project a shot. Of course there is still the issue of getting all these parts to work together

    What price range are you hoping for on this project? You can get a PC104+ (3.6 x 3.8 inch) form factor low power pentium for around $500 I think. That way you could use a linux kernel and not have to worry about trying to do disk access with an ASIC. You can get a PC104 with graphics, disk, sound, USB, network, ...everything you'd need already assembled in a little package.


    -Bash

    By chrisangelini November 06, 2000, 09:17 PM

    $500 wouldn't be too bad if that pretty much covered it all. Any idea where I can find one of those, Bash? This is sounding really cool!

    Ciao!

    By IL96 November 07, 2000, 08:19 AM

    www.pc104.com
    They have a list of vendors.

    By zombor November 07, 2000, 09:19 AM

    hell, if i want to play mp3s in my car, all i gotta do is hook my laptop into my amp...heh

    By Bash November 07, 2000, 02:16 PM

    quote:Originally posted by chrisangelini:
    $500 wouldn't be too bad if that pretty much covered it all. Any idea where I can find one of those, Bash? This is sounding really cool!

    Ciao!

    One of my friends who bought a bunch of these should be in later today. I'll ask him which vendor he recommends & post it down here:

    .........


    -Bash

    By bhirsch November 10, 2000, 02:53 AM

    http://ssiamerica.com/products/neo35/

    Enough said

    hehe


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