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Codename: LlamaBox

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  • Codename: LlamaBox

    Hey everyone, here is my custom player assembly. Be warned, there are lots of large photos!

    BAH! I just typed it up and realized the forum software doesn't let you upload pictures without them all being tacked at the bottom. Gonna have to find some webspace... Come back in 2 days, there will be alot more to see.

    My project started off in 2000. I had an mp3 player in my car running on Winblows 98. The system sported a 128x64px VFD display (I say sported because most people were using character LCDs at that time). The player was just a custom WinAMP plugin, but featured browsing, searching, and categories. That system has slowly grown obsolete and I decided to make Version 2 in 2004.

    Version 2 was a big step up from Version 1. It features a faster processor, smaller formfactor, larger harddrive, and a more capable screen. Version 2 served me well for several months, but my ad-hoc interface and using win2k caused the software to vaporize quickly. Needing a better GUI solution, I developed my own toolkit thanks to a grant from my university.




    Construction of the Version 2 case.


    Everything together.

    http://www.cs.etsu.edu/home/showArticle/12

    Version 3 still doesn't have an mp3 player written for it, but all the groundwork has been completed. VFD and Radio drivers are complete. The GUI toolkit is capable enough to complete the frontend. The majority of the hardware is complete.

    First step: Tear apart the Version 2 box:


    Here you see the box with the top and rear panel removed.


    Here is the front of the box. The joystick was originally on the top.


    This is the keyboard matrix. These switches suck and I am replacing them with soft-press tactile buttons in Version 3.








    Fortunately, not all the work on Version 2 was wasted. I get to reuse my input module I soldered up. It is a hacked keyboard controller with a custom circuit to drive the rotary encoders/joystick and feed it to the keyboard controller.

    Second step: A new case?
    I could have used my old case, but I can only make it so nice by hand. Around this time I ran into Gordon Crum (VeritasForge) and his microwave case. Many people ridiculed the case for being large, but I saw the good work he put into it. I figured out AutoCAD and around 2 weeks later I had a design for my new case. VeritasForge turned the new case around in about a week.








  • #2
    I'll be back- this sounds killer.
    current system: car2pc adapter playing aux in for a sansa fuze media player. simple. cheap. effective.

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    • #3
      Does anyone else have webspace? Intuition hasn't been responding to me.

      Thanks. I will change the title once I get pics posted.

      Comment


      • #4
        Taken care off. llama check your PM's
        MII12000 | 512MB PC3200 | 60GB 2.5" Samsung
        M2-ATX 160W PS | SlotLoad DVD/CDRW | BU353 GPS
        7" Lilliput 619 | WinTV | WIFI | Bluetooth
        Audigy2 ZS | HQCT | Kyocera KR1 Mobile Router(3G)
        Roadrunner | LSXvoid | IGuidance 3


        My Worklog

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        • #5
          Continued...

          Third step: Reassembly.

          Must put things back together...


          The rotary Joystick (Grayhill 60A18-4-040S) and rotary encoder (Grayhill 62A11-02-050S) are installed first. Then the custom controller board. You can see the white-wire header. This will connect to my new pushbuttons once they have been received.


          The screen (Noritake GU-256x128c-3900) is now in place.


          Just a preview of the front.


          The Advantech PCM-9373F-M0A1 is a very nice motherboard. Here is a shot of the bottom. You can see the CF slot and SODIMM memory. I'm hoping I can use a WIFI CF card at some point in time.


          The Advantech board installed in the case. Just in time for my discovery of the flash button. You will notice another PCB installed next to my input board. This board will eventually drive two external video game controllers (NES, SNES, or Genesis controllers will be supported). This way I can use the system as an Emulator box when it is at my home theater.


          The Diamond Systems 50watt PC/104 PSU Part# JMM-512 is in place. I also connected several of the headers while I could still get to them.


          The Advantech PCM-232 board is in place. This board converts the LVDS signal to a Composite video and S-Video output. Despite its location, this board only drives the TV-out, not the VFD.




          The HQCT radio module and 100gb Seagate Momentus are fastened to the top panel.




          Everything in its place. Well, everything but some cables.






          The completed box. I am missing one of my db-15 connectors for the video game controllers. I am also waiting to receive: a power connector for below the db-15, and a centronics connector for docking the unit into my car. The faceplate has two knobs for the encoders, but they are at my apartment at school. And, as I mentioned earlier, there will be 10 pushbuttons on the front. Also - The screen will be covered by a blue color filter in the future.

          Now, all that is left is finshing the software and creating the video game controller board.

          Comment


          • #6
            well worth the wait for pics! excellent work, HIGHLY impressed. be sure to post up some in-car action pics- I'm interested in seeing the VFD at work.
            current system: car2pc adapter playing aux in for a sansa fuze media player. simple. cheap. effective.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thats a beautyful case, im thinking bout getting one made by VeritasForge

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              • #8
                very nice what kind of buttons will you be using? do you have a link?

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                • #9
                  that is totally WICKED!

                  I love it.
                  TruckinMP3
                  D201GLY2, DC-DC power, 3.5 inch SATA

                  Yes, you should search... and Yes, It has been covered before!

                  Read the FAQ!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by e39dream
                    well worth the wait for pics! excellent work, HIGHLY impressed. be sure to post up some in-car action pics- I'm interested in seeing the VFD at work.
                    Thanks for the compliment. I have some videos of Version 2 somewhere... I'll try to dig them up in the next day or so. As I mentioned before. I have the GUI toolkit done (at an acceptable point) for Version 3, but no 'real' player yet. It is one of those "it takes 90% of the time to do 10% of the (apparent) work" scenerios.
                    Originally posted by kalt
                    Thats a beautyful case, im thinking bout getting one made by VeritasForge
                    Thanks. Good idea -- Gordon (VeritasForge) is good to work with. The only thing I didn't anticipate is the weight of the case. Look at how thick the side plates are, i.e: It is alot of heavy steel. I had one person comment on how it was so much heavier than the iPod (tm); I just rolled my eyes. It is much better feeling solid than frail.
                    Originally posted by romul
                    very nice what kind of buttons will you be using? do you have a link?
                    http://www.mouser.com/catalog/626/1191.pdf I will be getting ten of the 12x12mm tactile switches with a 12mm square cap (probably black, but maybe ivory or a combo.)
                    Originally posted by TruckinMP3
                    that is totally WICKED!

                    I love it.
                    Thanks, I can't wait until I have the software perfected.

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                    • #11
                      I wanna see the VFD GUI!
                      Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

                      AutoPC v1 (Retired) - AutoPC v2 (in progress) - www.shocknet.us

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by blk02si
                        I wanna see the VFD GUI!
                        Me too, lol. I had a video of version two, but it was on my old webserver.

                        Anyways, I accidently wiped out the file system on the LlamaBox over a week ago and I am just now getting to reinstalling gentoo, I'm may take a look at DSL first. So, it may be a little while before I can film another video.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just a question. Are you a jeff Minter fan ?
                          Enicar the RR Clone main thread : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/soft...-rr-clone.html

                          V0.09 is out : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/soft...r-v0-09-a.html

                          http://www.enitalp.net

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by enitalp
                            Just a question. Are you a jeff Minter fan ?
                            Jeff Minter?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TheLlama
                              Jeff Minter?
                              An old (atari) video game programmer. He love lama. He make games with lama :
                              Lamatron, Lamazapp. Revenge of the mutant camel, and of course, tempest, tempest 2000 etc..

                              So when i saw lamabox .... and your avatar with a lama.
                              Enicar the RR Clone main thread : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/soft...-rr-clone.html

                              V0.09 is out : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/soft...r-v0-09-a.html

                              http://www.enitalp.net

                              Comment

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