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Nearing the home stretch... Advice? *LONG*

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  • Nearing the home stretch... Advice? *LONG*

    Well, after a couple of months of planning I seem to be nearing the home stretch of designing/building this MP3 Player. Currently this is my setup:

    AIWA CDC-Z106 with auxillary input
    P150-P200 CPU with motherboard (haven't decided whether to use home PC or to buy a cheap motherboard/cpu combo)
    32 MB Ram
    30 gig Quantum hard drive, 3.5 inch
    IRMan Infrared receiver
    Credit Card Size Remote
    SB16 Sound Card
    DLink 10/100 Network Card
    Arise 865V DC-DC Power Supply
    4x40 LCD screen that connects to parallel port

    I'm planning on running the Cobra 1 software. I have a couple of questions:

    1) Will the 865V Arise power supply be able to support this kind of system?

    2) Will a plexiglass case be ok to house this in? How cheap will plexiglass be?

    3) Is WinME/WinMELite the best OS to be running on this machine to make boot time the least?

    4) Does hibernation mode work ok on WinME? Can I have my player use this as "off" so it doesnt take long to boot up?

    5) Does anyone use any kind of shutdown controller like has? I'm looking for something that can actually stay on for X number of minutes after the car has been turned off.

    6) What kind of connections to the car does the power supply make? I've got a friend who knows how to install a CD/Stereo system in a car, is it the same type of connections -- basically will he be able to do it?

    7) Will having the network card initialize add a lot of time to my boot time? Any way to avoid this but still have network support at certain times (without having to open up the case and fiddle around)?

    8) What type of wire/cable do I need to run from my SB16 Line Out to my CD players Auxillary In? Will it give me crisp/clear sound quality?

    9) What has everyone done for stabilization of their case? Has there been any final word on horizontal/vertical mounting of the hard drive? Will wrapping it in the bubble plastic shipping stuff lower the shock effectively?

    11) If I end up buying a motherboard/cpu combo off of Ebay, what is the minimum that can run this setup effectively? Also, what features should I look for in the bios that might minimize boot time?

    12) Is this thing gonna blow up in my face?

    I know its long, but I'm oh-so-close... Just trying to make sure everything will be in working order.

  • #2
    Regarding the network card, I doubt it would add that much time to your boot-up. Now, your network settings might--since the NIC won't always be connected to a network, don't have it use any networked services, otherwise your system will get cranky. Specify an IP address, don't use DHCP. Don't map any networked drives. I haven't really played with ME, but I know in 95 you had to screw with things quite a bit to get the computer to log itself onto the network (well, onto the workgroup, anyway) automatically. The same might be true of ME, but I rather hope not (one assumes Microsoft does improve their products).


    • #3
      Oh, and regarding the connection between the sound card and your stereo, you should be able to find a cable at Radioshack to run between the two (I'm getting one of those AIWA units for Christmas for this very reason).


      • #4
        A majority of this stuff is covered in the search feature (at least half of your questions). Just give it a try.


        • #5
          Believe me, I've spent the better part of the last week reading all of the old posts on this board. Most of it has been talked about, but no real definitive answer had been given...

          The hard drive vertical/horizontal question was never definitive.

          The power supply question is just reassurance that I'm not wasting $80 on a power supply that won't power my system.

          No posts about a working shutdown controller.

          No real explanation on how exactly the power supply connects to the car, and if its similar to a car stereo system.


          Most of the questions I asked have NOT been definatively covered, and since I'd blowing $200+ on this thing, I'd like to be reassured a little


          • #6
            Questions I can help with:

            3). Ive had my player running each windows OS at one time or another and personally I got the fastest boots from ME, i think its kind of universal, so a nice stripped down version of ME running the 95 shell for stability should be nice. 98 lite rulez.

            4). All I know is that hibernation = pain in the butt = not worth it in most cases.

            7). Some people claim 15 extra seconds for a network card. I really dont see too much of a difference either way. I have all the protocals setup and have it auto obtain an IP so I can just plugin and be set.

            9). Dont think it matters too much with modern hard drives.

            11). I'd say if you're efficient you could get it done with a 150 but id buy a 200 just incase. Not really too many features that will *significantly* reduce boot time, just keep the OS small and sweet.

            Final Suggestions:

            learn that the number after 9 isn't 11 (j/k)
            I'd go with a 4x20 LCD, 4x40s dont float my boat personally, too damn long. Get a better soundcard, SB Live = good sound, 30 gig HD overkill unless youve got 30 gig of mp3s.

            lower LCD and HD, upgrade SC and another 32mb of RAM to keep ME happy

            dont have to listen to me though i'm,



            • #7

              I appreciate the reply... I'm going with the 4x40 LCD because I will be using the Cobra1 software, which seems to have a much better look/layout with the more space.

              As for the soundcard, I heard any SoundBlaster card that is 16bit will basically output the same quality sound for mp3s as any other... This not true? I've got a SB16 here is the only reason I ask, I'd rather not go out and buy a SBLive if its not going to have any difference in sound quality.

              As for the 30 gig hard drive... One of the main reasons I am doing this player is to get my HUGE cd collection case out of the car. I've got about 150 albums that have in my case, and thats not counting albums I've put in another case that I dont listen to often/at all. My figuring is:

              150 Albums, around 50 megs an album = 7.5 gigs
              Multiply by 3 to have enough space for ANY future albums I could possibly want = 22.5 gigs

              Right now on my hard drive I have around 3 gigs of MP3s... Multiply by 3 to have space for any others I might want = 9 gigs...

              So 30 gigs is right around what I need to not have to upgrade my hard drive in a few months... Anyways... I have a 15 gig in my hard drive now, if I find I really dont need the 30 gig, I throw the 15 in the CarPC and throw the 30 gig in my home PC.


              • #8
                as far as the network card goes, if that MOBO has USB, you could get a USB ethernet adapter--that way you could plug it in when you need to do file transfer and not worry about it affecting your boot time. thats what I plan on doing.
                Debt as of 1/1/05: $34,354.48
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                I'M DEBT FREE!!
                I'm now a reasonably successful gunblogger.


                • #9
                  i have a usb ethnet adaptor that i use for just that reason and see NO difference in boot time than before in installed it.
                  "if everything is under control, you're not going fast enough!"


                  • #10

                    1) Mount the hard drive vertically. Whether or not it *really* makes that much of a difference in the real world is a matter of debate, but logistically it makes sense to mount it vertically (on it's side). So there's really no reason not to.

                    2) I'd go with the Sound Blaster Live OEM. They're so darn cheap (about $35... shop online) there's no reason not to.

                    3) The DC-DC power supply should be no problem...

                    4) Yeah, the large hard drive is nice... They're so damn cheap, this way you can brag about the capacity you have, even though your don't use it all

                    5) What the other guys said...

                    Good luck man!


                    • #11
                      just my $0.20 worth:

                      6) The connection from the power supply to the car is what ever you want it to be. Cars don't have wiring in the boot with a plug on it, with a lable reading "In-Car MP3 Power" on it. U have to manually wire it in to the electrical system of the car.

                      7) Set a static ip, dont map any network drives and you will see minimal addition to boot times (minimal, not none), what is a few seconds really, when u have HOURS of music to listen too?

                      8) Mount the HDD verticaly, and preferably cushioned some how, just to further protect against further shocks.

                      12) Maybe, if it does, make sure u film it, i want to see!

                      Good Luck!
             Plans and progress on my install - (Updated 28 June 02)
                      Australian mp3car Portal
                      mp3car related links Check them out / Add some
                      mp3car FAQ - RTFF

                      [########==]80% Assembling
                      -=Current Progress: Working Sproggy supply, building box.=-


                      • #12
                        I got tired of looking for shutdown units-

                        I read a lot, searched a lot, and could only find crappy immitations of what I wanted
                        ( a relay wired to a striped down keyboard leaves a lot the desired)

                        So I went out and bought a Basic stamp and a VB 6 book, and it looks pretty easy, hopefull I will have something soon and will post it for all those interested.
                        Techonlogy on Wheels