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My Tips for Beginners

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  • My Tips for Beginners

    1) Buy a head unit with aux input. don't use tape adapters or fm modulators, however one of those cd changer bus adapters is a good idea, I can't find anything for M-BUS (so if you find one tell me before I spend $300 on a new deck with aux input)

    2) Don't use ethernet to transfer files, if its 10baseT it will take about a half hour to copy 10gigs over. My solution is to buy 2 removable hard drive bays they are like $10ea, so then your hard drive is in a handy caddy, therefore you can transfer files faster, take it to your friends house and load up all his mp3s, it takes the place of a cd carouselle like cd changers have. Then you don't have to buy 100' of cat5 UTP ethernet cable which is expensive around here, I recoverd 50' from an old project.

    3) Don't wire your mp3car into your amp thats just pure cheezecore. If you wire it into your deck with aux input then you get master volume control by your head unit, you get fading control over your outputs, eq stuff if your deck has it, and its a better integration, becasue then you don't need stupid buttons and switches to turn your mp3car input on and off. (you still need an irman or keypad to interface with the computer for song selection)

    So all and all an mp3car's whole essence is to replace a cd changer. The best way to approch the project is to make as seamless and cost efficient as possible. My approach takes this idea and embraces it. With my LCD+IRMAN that reproduces an older cd changer type interface. My Hd Caddy reproduces a cd changer cd caddy, and my power and inputs are exactly the same as if I had a cd changer.

  • #2
    1) If you have unlimited funds - great.
    I have a decent Blaupunkt fitted with an odd shaped anti-theft facia - no go!

    2) How often do you copy 10Gb of files over? Once maybe? to add an extra album takes 2mins with a cable. And I like the idea of logging into my car....

    3) I use a cassette adapter, it's fine. I will be adding an amp with extra input, it'll be fine too.


    • #3
      1) you save money in the end, with the cost of a $50us inverter=$80cdn+$20shipping+$20duty tax+3weeks wait= worth spending $100 more on a deck. See if I bought my deck for $300, I would spend another $100 for a higher model with aux input, its only logical.

      2) ya but why would you want to spend $150cdn on a 100' cat5 UTP ethernet cable when you can spend $40cdn and get 2 removable hdd bay caddys. Also that makes your car more like a cd changer and you can take it to your friends house

      3) tape adapters are *** quality, you must have ****ty ears. Tapes are only 22khz/8bit while cd is sampled at 44.1khz/16bit, you loose all that extra sampling, even tho mp3 isn't cd quality its still better than tape. You are limiting your audio quality/clairty by using a tape adapter. Its like driving around listening to tapes. its just wrong


      • #4
        im sorry but tapes arent any bit .. they are analog devices. if you have a good quality tape deck and a good quality tape deck adapter then you will barely be able to tell the difference. keep in mind that mp3s are not truely cd quality audio anyway. if you think they are then you either have the bad ears or are listening to ones encoded at a high bitrate


        • #5
          ya your right tapes don't have sampling rates, but you have to admit that using a tape adapter is very ghetto.


          • #6
            I thought the whole point was to create a system to replace a cd changer not mimic it...And those hard drive caddys your talking cant just 'take it to a friends house' youll have to install the receptor braket in your friends computer...i dont think my friends would like the idea of me running around installing little things that will look like a big hole in there computer...and as for 100' of UTP cable, why? If you make your system small(which is something everybody is trying to do) you can just pick it up and take in the house set it next to your pc and plug it into a 3 ft Crossover cable...and having the system be removable is also nice if you want to use it in your home. And NIC are cheap. You can get 10/Base-T cards for ten bucks sometimes less....


            • #7
              the whole point is to design a system that integrates exactly the same way, same inputs and outputs, its like module programming (like a black box), except this is with hardware, we are replacing a cd changer with a module which has the same function, it haa the same inputs and outputs, and that is precicely what I am doing. Secondly everyone I know has a removable hard drive bay, they are necissary for school, so if thats not your choice that not my problem. I'm not here to discuss all available options, just my own. For myself lifting a computer in and out of the car every time I want to load up mp3s isn't feasable, look at a cd changer, you don't have to lug it in whenever you want to change a cd =) and you don't have to run a cable to it either.
              Also having an ethernet card in your computer will slow the boot process (adds a whole 30s onto my boot)


              • #8
                Well i didnt take those messages as being only to describe your system but sure...And I dont want to mimic a cd changer at all...why should it act liek a cd-changer. Why not inovate and come up with an audio source that is a step above a cd-changer. by building it yourself you open up the door to let yourself decide how it should opperate. add your own features make it what you want... thats whtat i think its all about anyway. If i wanted a device that acted exactly like a cd-changer id go buy a cd-changer. And if your Ethernet card is adding 30secs to boot time you must have an old card or something...besides the NIC could be disabled when its in the car...


                • #9
                  Heh someone doesn't get it obviously.
                  If we wanted CD Changers we would use them, however they are limited ONLY by capacity, cds are big(in physical size, not capacity), and even getting a 100 cd carouselle is expensive. Cds have excellent audio Quality, if you want to surpass that then creating an MP3 SYSTEM in its place is ideal, however car audio hardware doens't live up to current high end standards with digial audio 24bit sampling with SPDIFF connectors. So we are limited to using analogue RCA connectors from our 16bit sound cards (Which can only compete with current standards). MP3's are used as a solution to bypass the Space limiting capacity of CDS, that is the MAIN reason for building an MP3 System. By trying to integrate a computer in the place of a cd changer as seamlessly as possbile within a reasonable budget is the most efficient way of doing things. Obviously Audio equipment manufacturers put alot of study into the way the equipment works and made it as simplistic to connect as possible. That is exactly what we are taking advantage of. Providing you already have a car audio system, implementing an MP3 SYSTEM is as simple as getting 3 or four itmes, such as: A computer, Input (IRMAN or KEYPAD) and Output (CharLCD or TFT) after you setup your software then all you have to do is provide power, and the audio source to your sound system.
                  Obviously since I have been working on this project for over a year now, I have put alot of thought and design into it. You will realize that your own home grown methods are ghetto style and have no sense of professionalism. I'm not one to cut corners or settle for less. I want my MP3 Audio system to be integrated as seamlessly and flawlessly as a CD Changer, there are no other commercial systems that compete. If you are talking about changing things such as input devices such as an IRman or using a palm pilot sure thats great, and even if someone could interface thier cd changer bus controls with a com or lpt port to control thier mp3 player that would be even better.
                  I've looked into almost every available option that people have thought to date, and through all my experiences I know whats best for my system.
                  Also comparing Hardware boot times and such are variables which depend on far to many things to even be worth while. I've seen one system claiming to run NT and boot in 3s, what a crock of ****. Boot time is a big problem with computers, and there is no way to reduce them when everything is tweaked out to the max.
                  and thats all I can think of


                  • #10
                    I can see where you want to come from and that's fine.
                    If I had a UK£100,000 car,I'd probably spend UK£10,000 on a setup for it.
                    But I don't, so I won't.

                    Your analysis of tape quality is laughable.
                    My ears are fine, so much so,that I can tell the difference between a 16bit card and a 32bit card, hence my SB128PCI.

                    Do your friends all have removable HD bays?

                    My win95 system boots in 44secs, even with a lan card, I reckon I can trim that even further...

                    My 15m lan cable cost be £12 from a shop new, my nic cost £2 second hand.

                    It's hardly a chore to press a button, then open the glovebox and stick the tape adaptor into the headunit.

                    Any more comments welcome...


                    • #11
                      Well for starters your 32bit pci card is still 16bit output just an FYI.

                      Also the setup I am doing is very inexpensive
                      lcd $20us
                      power cable (10 guage 20')-$20
                      rca cable-$7
                      rca y-adapter for the output jack on snd card-$7
                      serial cable 10'-$20
                      removable hdd bay-$20ea
                      those are the only parts that I need.

                      Yep all my friends have removable HDD bays, so if I got to thier house, I can load the caddy up and put their mp3s on it, say if were goin on a trip or something, or if they have stuff I like.

                      My system boot was 40s with 16mb ram, I just upgraded it to 32, so maybe that will help, but the memory cound time could slow it


                      • #12
                        Just a note on Ethernet cards and cables... You could easily get a 25 foot or 50 foot ethernet cable for $30 here in the US or mail order. In addition, 100BT cards are cheap as hell now. If you get a high quality cable, you can get 4,500Kb/s (that's what I get on my LAN). That's more than adequate speed.

                        On the other hand, if your computer is not near your garage and you don't want to take it out of the car that's a different story...

                        Just wanted to defend Ethernet


                        • #13
                          first of all the thread was started with "my tips for beginners" but then you said "...I know whats best for my system". whats best for your system isnt best for everyone elses system. their car is different. the availiblity of equipment is different. what each individual likes is different.

                          as far as a tape deck adapter i fail to see a problem .. what if im using my laptop sitting in the seat beside me? why would i want to wire in a head unit or run into aux inputs from a laptop that doesnt stay in the car for extended periods?

                          whats wrong with ethernet? if you go with 100base then the transfer rate might be faster than if you had each harddrive in the same box. i fail to see a problem with the transfer rate of 10base .. with 10 base i can connect my laptop to it and play with settings without needing to connect a monitor. the system im constructing will have both a network card as well as a removable hard drive (if i can find the stuff to do so cheap).

                          cheesecore to wire the mp3box into the amp? give me a break .. its no more cheese core as wiring a cd player into an amp (provided you have a way of control volume on the mp3box).

                          only to "replace a cd changer"? thats not what mine is for. the one im working on now is the first prototype for a more advanced setup later. i dont want the functionallity of a cd changer i want more than that (such as being able to call up a specific genre or artist or album etc...) so meer cd changer functionallity would do me no good. also sometime later i might add the option for dvd playback in the car or for attaching a psx to the system (no not while i drive down the road). my view is its a ocmputer .. take advantage of what it can do and dont limit it to what something else does.

                          as far as audio quality from a 16 bit sound card ... mp3s are NOT cd quality audio .. if they were then maybe that would be an issue but they are NOT.

                          professional? give me a break. im building a a box for ME not for anyone else. the bulk of the equipment will be out of site anyway. another issue is cost. perhaps the person doesnt have the funds to do custom everything and make it look top notch professional. does that mean that their design is less functional than anyone elses? no. does that mean it plays mp3s any worse than the next one? not likely or not significantly. its personal choice 100%

                          what the hell does a claim of nt booting in 3 seconds have to do with anything? it doesnt apply. if someone claims that nt boots in 3 seconds then its obviously a false claim. i fail to see how bringing that up adds anything to this thread.


                          • #14
                            Well If your so interested in having a 'professional' system and not a 'ghetto' or 'home grown' setup why are you using in inverter. No 'profesional' setup would come with a power system that starts a t 12 volts goes to 110 and then back to 12...hardly prefesional, even sounds sorta 'home grown' to me. And why is it that your so intent on saying that anyones system that doesnt mimic a cd-changer (only with higher capacity) is so inferior to yours? I'm building my system right now but I decided a long time ago that i didnt want something that operated like a cd-changer. And its been said in this thread before but, your putting a computer in your car, why not use that to the fullest?

                            And on another note. All your friends my have Hard Drive caddys but what in the hell ever gave you the idea that everybody else and all there friends all over the world do???


                            • #15
                              Incase everyone has forgotten I started this thread as a place for tips for beginners.

                              My tips still hold true.
                              Buy a deck with Aux Inputs.
                              Don't Use a tape adapter.
                              Use a removable hard drive bay.
                              Try to examine how a cd changer would integrate.
                              The use of an inverter is fine, and a dc-dc is good if you have the money or know how to design one.
                              And use your computer for anything else you wish, such as integrating DVD and an LCD.
                              Use it to play VCDS, or add a GPS unit.

                              Things that are ghetto and *** are hooking your snd card output to your amp.

                              And if people want to do it differently thats thier choice, and necissairly the wrong choice.

                              Yep and there you have it.