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My hardware/Software computer control system - Wish list/feedback - Easy power off

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  • My hardware/Software computer control system - Wish list/feedback - Easy power off

    Greetings,

    This is not a question post, but a feedback one. I'm in the middle of my project "R/T" in which I'm building a car audio system. I've decided to go ahead and install a computer as well with an LCD display. To get down to the point of things, from what I see there is nothing out there to control ATX shutdowns. I'm going to change that.

    First off, What I will be working on is a hardware/software based system that will control the computer from an input controller. The specs are as follows


    Controls: 8 control functions total to start

    c1: Power Off - Must have ATX MB/PS in order for the computer to power down

    WinAmp Controls - possible in time -

    c2: Play
    c3: Stop
    c4: Pause
    c5: Previous
    c6: Next

    Other possible controls - open for debate -

    c7: Quick launch - Per say to run AutoTap with a push of a button -
    c8: Unknown - Off the top of my head I can't think of any -

    Hardware - Game port interface
    As far as I know, all sound cards have a game port, and all motherboards with built in sound also have this port, allowing it to be used for any application. If I am wrong on this feel free to correct me, however I think that 99.9% of you will have an open game port.

    Software - The heart of operations, will run on Win95/98/ME/NT -
    The software I will be designing for this will begin as a hard coded system, however later I may expand to allow settings of what command function does what.


    As I said, to start I will be using an 8 command base system. For now I'd like you to think about what possible commands could be placed in it. Or possible commands that could be added to an extended version. At this moment I'm not going to think through how many commands I can build in, but from what I'm guessing I can get 20 - 30 commands that can be read from the hardware by the program, using a double action, single command system.

    Now as a reminder, this is a way to control the computer via the car (relays on events, door open, etc etc) or via push buttons. This is NOT a way for the computer to control car functions (rolling down windows, opening doors, etc). It is a ONE WAY system.

    For those of you wishing to just have a software control, I will be building a special one that just makes use of a normal 2 button, 4 axis game controller (IE game pad). This will save time on having to wire a more complex system to handle multi functions. Thus the game controller could do the following;

    Up Arrow: Play
    Down Arrow: Stop
    Right Arrow: Next
    Left Arrow: Previous

    Button One: Pause
    Button Two: Shutdown Computer


    Keep in mind I am only in the thinking stages of this software/hardware system. As I have yet to get the amp racks done in my car, the computer is not on my list at this moment. Also, I will have to research how to control WinAmp via an outside program in order to get the music functions to work.

    At any rate, Input is greatly welcome. I fully intend to release both the compiled program as well as schematics for the hardware control system/interface.

    Scott--

    P.S. My first time posting to the forums. Been alot of helpful people here, glad to see all this knowledge out in the open..
    -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-
    97 Firebird Formula Convertable - Project R/T
    Project R/T SoundDomain Page
    -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-

  • #2
    for controlling winamp try.... winamp.com/nsdn look at the API section. Otherwise try planetsourcecode.com and search for "API winamp" you will get lots of sample code from that. The winamp API is great, gave me more than enough control for my Visual Basic 6 mp3car application....

    with regards to the joystick control.... what about playlists?
    Project - GAME OVER :(

    Comment


    • #3
      yeah someone on this board made a control fro weinamp volume trhough serial port, and also in winamp plugins section someone made a button for "next" through serial port.

      migth be easier to geta controlable gamepad take it to bits change the buttons, build into a case with lcd or something.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the info on where to find WinAmp's API, magnetik..

        I know there are some controls through the serial port out there, but it seems more logical to use the game port. May just be me, though..

        Way I figure is I can build in basic commands into the game port in which all that is needed is to modify a game pad, so even people with no good electronics experiance can do it in a matter of minutes. Though if I go over 8 commands, multiple buttons/arrows would need to be pressed at the same time (Much like flight sticks to with their HATs), so that would take making your own controler.

        Playlist wise, since there are already 7 commands filled, it could either be done with a single button, or i could fix it up just for the version with over 8 commands.

        What I'm thinking though is this;

        - c8 is pressed which is the Playlist browser.
        - On press volume turns down and any visualizations are turned off.
        - c4 and c5 are used to move back and forth through playlists.
        - c8 is pressed on the selected playlist to return to play mode.
        - Volume turns back up and visualization starts again.


        Might take a bit of tinkering but I'm sure it's possible.

        So what else on the computer do you all think would be useful to control? Besides WinAmp and shutdowns, there must be something. Let's hear it!

        Scott--
        -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-
        97 Firebird Formula Convertable - Project R/T
        Project R/T SoundDomain Page
        -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-

        Comment


        • #5
          Before i start chatting with you, i need to know ur programming/hacking skills???????. I really hope u know how to HACK cuz u would need that. 8 button??? and u can achive this through the joy stick or is this a special joystick????? Also one word of advice DO NOT hardcode...... u will double ur work in the long run.
          abcd-1
          Author of CobraI,II,III and now CobraIV.
          You can contact me on AOL instant messenger....nick is cenwesi or cenwesi3

          Comment


          • #6
            Been in programing for a few years. My strong point and job is Perl, though I do know VB and some C++, and I have alot of friends who work in both of these as well.

            Hacking isn't an issue, it's to be built from the ground up. Thus my program will work directly with WinAmp. It's really not that hard, nor is taking commands from the game port, so I figure an 8 command system (4 buttons and left/right/up/down) from a game pad is a peice of cake. And yes, that's a normal, every day, 4 button game pad.

            This would be for the 8 command one. If I do expand into handling persay 20 inputs from the car/user, it would need to be a custom built controler.

            As to hard coding, you're right in some ways. To begin with I will be hard coding everything, but once it's tested I will adjust the program to allow users to select which buttons do what, so they can assign the movements/buttons on the game pad what ever features they like.

            BTW, I'd recommend a game pad and not a joystick for this, unless that is you want to confuse the joystick for your shifter and miss 2nd gear..

            Scott--
            -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-
            97 Firebird Formula Convertable - Project R/T
            Project R/T SoundDomain Page
            -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-

            Comment


            • #7
              Anyone else have any input at all? Come on folks, I'm looking for ideas here.. Else I'll just start on the Alpha with what I got..

              Scott--
              -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-
              97 Firebird Formula Convertable - Project R/T
              Project R/T SoundDomain Page
              -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DarkWolf:
                <STRONG>What I'm thinking though is this;

                - c8 is pressed which is the Playlist browser.
                - On press volume turns down and any visualizations are turned off.
                - c4 and c5 are used to move back and forth through playlists.
                - c8 is pressed on the selected playlist to return to play mode.
                - Volume turns back up and visualization starts again.</STRONG>
                Im doing something very similar for my system. You need to stop playback to change playlists..... im cool with that.... I usually jump in the car, start-up pick a playlist and stick with it for the rest of my time in the car.....

                only if I have ppl who like pushing buttons do the playlists get changed alot whilst drivin!
                Project - GAME OVER :(

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the heads up about needing to stop the play. Since there's no other input yet on functions to add to it, I'm going to go ahead and code up what I have thought out now.

                  Kick through any more function ideas if you like. I was also thinking of a volume mode for c7 instead of a quick launch, but as I'm running RCA to my DEQ, I have no need for it..

                  I'll update once I have the Alpha done and see if anyone wants to help test it on their car or home systems.

                  Scott--
                  -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-
                  97 Firebird Formula Convertable - Project R/T
                  Project R/T SoundDomain Page
                  -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As far as controlling the power up/power down sequences..

                    A thought just occurred to me. Many systems, these days, have network cards with Wake On Lan capabilities, which means that the network card is always drawing limited juice, and powers the machine on when it receives certain commands to do so.

                    I think it would be entirely possible to build a small "box" that, when power is applied (via starting the car), the box sends the wake up signal to the lan card, automatically powering the computer. Then, the reverse happens when the box loses power.

                    The power down sequence would have to have an application monitor the network port, though, for that to happen correctly, I think.

                    Couple of issues to be determined first, though.

                    1. How much power does the network card use while idle.

                    2. Power switch between power and "box" so computer can be turned off automatically.

                    3. What is needed for a miniature box to do this?

                    4. What "commands" are sent to the lan card to turn it on?

                    Anyway.. just some minor thoughts..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A MUTE function would be kind of nice as well.. to cut out sound when a cell phone is being used, or something... just a thought. That could be done through the Windows API instead of WinAmp, and would probably be easier to implement.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hurm, interesting idea on the LAN, however it doesn't quite seem right. I'm not sure exactly why, I'll have to sleep on it.

                        The way I was thinking of powering on, since my box has a soft "power" switch, I was just going to run a relay system that 1) sets the relay to on, then 2) when power is current in the IDE power lines switches off. This would mock your finger "pressing" the power button. Others with a hard on/off could just relay it to a remote on line from the radio.

                        One thing that has slipped my mind in respects to power is, does a DC/AC inverter use any power if what's plugged up to it is off? If it does, I'll have to relay that as well and run it off my lights. They stay on for a few minutes after the doors are closed.

                        As for the mute, I think I'm going to use the buttons on the controler for "function" selectors. This will allow me to build in more commands that the up/down/left/right keys can use.

                        IE;
                        * Press button 1 (Windows Control Functions)
                        * Press left/right - volume up/down
                        * Press down - mute
                        * Press up - shutdown?

                        * Press button 2 (Winamp Comtrol Functions)
                        * Press left/right - prior/next song
                        * Press up/down - prior/next playlist

                        This leaves buttons 3 and 4 open, so I can build in 8 commands into these as well, giving 16 commands in total that can be controled via a standard game pad.

                        Thoughts?
                        Scott--
                        -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-
                        97 Firebird Formula Convertable - Project R/T
                        Project R/T SoundDomain Page
                        -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Go to winamp site and search on the plugins section for "joystick" and "gamepad". You will find at least 4 joystick plugins that work rather well.
                          I was planing a similiar control with at least the basic buttons like:
                          - Play/pause
                          - Next Track
                          - Prev Track
                          - 5sec. foward
                          - 5sec. back
                          - adv. 5 songs on playlist
                          - back 5 songs on playlist
                          - volume control up/down/mute

                          I have tried once with a plugin 4 winamp(i donīt remember the name) and i had almost all this controls available.

                          With the joystick interface you can have 12 diferent buttons for control and itīs easy to build.
                          I donīt think any of this programs do shutdown.

                          [ 08-06-2001: Message edited by: mpt ]
                          mpt

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            DarkWolf you are in for it now Notice how the scope is changing.

                            A thought just occurred to me. Many systems, these days, have network cards with Wake On Lan capabilities, which means that the network card is always
                            drawing limited juice, and powers the machine on when it receives certain commands to do so.
                            Why not just hook up a relay to the ACC line that will cut ur box on/off and call it a day. No need trying to make the setup too complicated. You do realize.

                            Word of advice DarkWolf. Try not to create this app just for mp3, try expanding it to other stuff like DVD,DVIX, file system....
                            abcd-1
                            Author of CobraI,II,III and now CobraIV.
                            You can contact me on AOL instant messenger....nick is cenwesi or cenwesi3

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Boy did I open a can of worms with the shutoff thing.. Really I have to think about it, mean, does the AC inverter use power even though the comp is off? Or is it also wise to cut power to it?

                              Otherwise, program is coming alog pretty good. So far I have 3 functions planned out, being MP3, Playlist, CD Player... I DO want to build in more for other formats as well, such as DVD is a big one. But how can I control the DVD player software via M.Car (program name)..

                              Divx will not be much of a problem as I can control avi playback direct from the app, and possibly even have multi parts play through without stopping.

                              So at this second I'm left with this. Are there API's out there for popular DVD programs?

                              Scott--
                              -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-
                              97 Firebird Formula Convertable - Project R/T
                              Project R/T SoundDomain Page
                              -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-

                              Comment

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