Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: always on PC appliance

  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    28

    Question always on PC appliance

    I am building a whole house audio/video distribution system I want to build a $100 very cheap mini-itx(??) system that is "always on" when power is applied. I also want to control the device with a Crestron control system via wired ethernet. Basically this device will simply be used to stream internet radio from pandora, xm online, last.fm, etc.

    So the basic requirements are:

    a) cheap, $100
    b) ability to stay "always on", if it loses power, when power is restored it must boot up
    c) ethernet port so I can control it from an external system
    d) fanless and low power draw
    e) don't care about the video output cause it is just a streaming music server
    f) disk space is not a concern. 1 gig disk is sufficient.
    2003 Honda Civic Hybrid, Dell Mini 9 with OSX Leopard (64 GB SSD Runcore), Ram-Mount laptop mount, Cradlepoint MBR1000 3G hotspot, Jensen VM9312, Garmin C340 GPS

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    337
    Something like an Atom based system would probably fit the bill here.

    You will still need a fan in there, as a desktop ATX power supply will need a fan inside it, but it will be near on silent when running.

    The always on side of things is just an option in the BIOS screen, there will be an option that is marked (usually) as "Restore on A/C power loss", just make sure that is set to always on. That way, as soon as there is power, the system will restart.

    Ethernet port shouldn't be much of an issue, it is rare these days to find ANY motherboard that doesn't have onboard ethernet.

    The atom boards are good because they are cheap, and would pretty much fulfill everything that you require, they have a couple of SATA ports, so you could have one hard drive and one cd/dvd drive.

    You could also use a laptop (2.5") hard drive to keep the size and power use down, bearing in mind that the laptop drives are slower to read off than desktop (3.5") hard drives, however in this case it would only be a difference of 10-15 seconds tops off boot time, and wouldn't be noticed under any other circumstance.

    However, if you are looking to make this a reliable system, up your budget a little bit. Spend another 50 bucks on top of that 100, and the difference in quality of parts will make it much better value over the length of the use you get out of it.

  3. #3
    FLAC
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Dartmouth, MA
    Posts
    914
    Not $100, but worth looking at: http://www.fit-pc.com/web/
    My Nearly Complete Car:
    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

    Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
    http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

    Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
    http://paulfurtado.com/

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    337
    Woah, that looks pretty interesting there PaulF, thanks for the link, going to save that one

    Also, when you think about it, wouldn't this be the ideal kind of role for a SheevaPlug? Its a bit more on top of your budget thomasamiller, but its tiny, low power, you could load everything onto the onboard flash (Assuming you are happy to tinker with Linux), it has onboard LAN, and its completely silent.

  5. #5
    FLAC
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Dartmouth, MA
    Posts
    914
    Chester, the sheeva plug was the first thing that came to my mind as well since I'm a huge sheeva supporter. The issue there is that it doesn't have a graphics card. Re-reading the original post, he may not need one. It is possible to give it graphics with USB if needed, however. It just takes some work.
    My Nearly Complete Car:
    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

    Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
    http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

    Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
    http://paulfurtado.com/

  6. #6
    FLAC
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Dartmouth, MA
    Posts
    914
    Oh and also, Flash Player on arm linux will be fun to find.
    My Nearly Complete Car:
    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

    Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
    http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

    Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
    http://paulfurtado.com/

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •