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

  1. #1
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    Exclamation 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. #2
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    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 :(

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
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    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
    -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-

  5. #5
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    Wink

    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

  6. #6
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    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
    -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-

  7. #7
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    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
    -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-

  8. #8
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    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 :(

  9. #9
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    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
    -=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-=~=-

  10. #10
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    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..

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