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  • Older Computers

    Has anyone ever heard about or tried to make an MP3 car player with a 486 computer?

    peace
    THEME

    <a href="http://listen.to/wcor">Epitome of Hip Hop</a>

  • #2
    I managed to get ahold of a Cubix 486SX/66 SBC for $45 (keep an eye out at eBay). Hell of a deal. What I plan to do is buy a cheap ($99) <a href="http://www.interlog.com/%7Emiclee/mp3.html">MP3 decoder card</a>, mount 'em both in a 3-slot backplane, and I've got a world-class mp3 player that's smaller than any homegrown since the mp3mobile. The decoder card is one hell of a product. It eliminates the need for a sound card, and will play MP3s on any system 386 and higher. It comes complete with jukebox software and its complete source. Yay.
    digitalswirlee.com

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    • #3
      Or you could spend around $140 and get a cyrix 300 with on board sound and video and 32 meg of ram.. hmm.. which would I choose?

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      • #4
        Hmm. My solution was $4 more expensive and 50% smaller. Anyhow, the thread was about using 486's. Why the cynicism?
        digitalswirlee.com

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        • #5
          Interesting solution Jupiter,
          When I get to test my laptop (dx4-100), I have the feeling I will run into many probs.
          It's a Thinkpad and the onboard sound (MWave)
          is good quality with DSP, however, IIRC, the drivers (esp. in dos mode) are far from universally compatible. I will try Windows, but I prefer DOS and win will probably be too much for a 486 solution.
          If I am forced to add cards, that means an isa box which adds to the cost and begins to defeat the purpose of a laptop solution...

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          • #6
            Where can I buy 386/486-SBC for $45? even the used one, but must works OK.

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            • #7
              One word: <a href="http://www.ebay.com">eBay</a>. I was amazingly lucky that I got such a great deal. eBay usually has a couple (1-5) of single-board computers on auction at any given time, though the price I got was outlandishly low. Just keep searching around and you might find one.
              digitalswirlee.com

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              • #8
                Thank you....

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                • #9
                  Don't even attempt to run Windoze on a 486. I know M$ HCL says 386sx25 blah blah, but in practice it's not functional. Bott up time will be too slow and so as to the shut down time.
                  My suggestion: if your budget is very limited and you MUST buy a 486 use a DOS player that supports LCDs. try httpp://amp.arcbox.com. There's also a dos plug-in for IRman also posted there.

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                  • #10
                    I used to run Win95 on a 486DX2/25 (MS says nothing below 66Mhz will work), and yes, it ran unbearably slow. As far as software goes, since I plan to use a cheap <a href="http://www.interlog.com/%7Emiclee/mp3.html">MP3 decoder card</a>, I'm just going to write my own software based on the source code included with the card. If you're going to use an IR remote, there's a good <a href="http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Sector/3863/uir/download.html">DOS TSR</a> that simulates keystrokes when you hit a button on your IR remote. It works with the standard IRman hardware. Also, the <a href="http://www.interlog.com/%7Emiclee/mp3.html">MP3 decoder card</a>'s web site claims that the software is configured such that you can make it output to an alphanumeric LCD pretty easily.
                    digitalswirlee.com

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                    • #11
                      Did you try it out? What is the verdict? Can I try out one of my old 486 computers?

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                      • #12
                        Unfortunately, the only actual part of my MP3 project that I have held in my hands so far is the Cubix SBC. I am planning to order a backplane, MP3 decoder card, and IR unit sometime in the next week or two. Since I haven't had a real way to test the SBC yet, I can't tell you much about how well it works. I plugged it into an ISA slot on the above-mentioned 486DX2/25, and all 8 POST LEDs light up like a Christmas tree, but since I can't plug a monitor into it until I get an adaptor (the keyboard, mouse, and monitor are all on the same port, and require an adaptor to use) it'll be awile until I have a good way to test it. I'm hoping I can get some schematics for the adaptor, since Cubix stopped manufacturing them 3 or 4 years ago. Otherwise, maybe they've got some hiding in a warehouse somewhere. I'll let you know when I make some progress.
                        digitalswirlee.com

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                        • #13
                          How big is the backplane? What are the power requirements on it? You might end up with a system bigger than standard.

                          Let us know how it turns out though

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