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Thread: 1 Year experience

  1. #1
    Newbie slimsimon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Wink 1 Year experience

    Just like to share my experience.

    Installed a celeron333 based industrial MB with std 60W DC-DC in my diesel peugot glove box a year ago for MP3s.

    Runs std Win2K, std 3.5" HDU, completely headless (no screen/kbd/mouse).
    This MB had 4 RS232 ports, so I used the 232 control lines to wire 7 switches (from the front of an old TV) for remote. Use a tape adaptor for output.
    No special power on/off routine - just boots with the key, and is killed by the key. I guessed that with the Diesel, I would not get the killer zaps of spark ignition on the 12v, & that the '12v' DC-Dc converter would be happy with 11.5-14v. My guess seems correct....

    Surprisingly, I've not had a serious disk crash other permenant failure in a year of running it. Only issue I get is it does not boot on colder mornings (when the HDU is dripping with condensation ... I need to box it better sometime).

    Because it is headless, it's completely unobtrusive, invisible to the casual passer-by. I intend to 802.11b it, and have the USB stick, but have not got round to it yet (have to leave the engine running for downloads!.... Might as well just bring it in..)

    I've achieved headless by using MS TTS to provide voice feedback of the basic menu system & song titles - all homebrew s/w (written for my in-home MP3). It has 3 modes - Random, Album and Artist. Did add Genre, but found the files were too often incorrect for it to be of any use.

    Anyway - hope this gives someone confidence to just go for it. You don't need to be a linux guru to do your own homebrew thing. If you've got the cash to buy an ITX board - that would be cleaner - but any combo MB with inbuild sound & VGA will do, and 333 is fine for playing MP3s and running the TTS (but maybe not quite enough for WINLIRC if you want the remote to be more polished!).


  2. #2
    FLAC IntellaWorks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004


    Sweet man good for you. Although my homebrew system has many more bells and whistles its taken longer than a year and the system is rarely in the car because of constant modifications.... Your system sounds simple and easy.

    It would almost be pretty cool to see someone make a hybrid front end like yours. For those who are unable to afford a touch screen. It would be an intelligant device w/o a visual representation of whats going on.

    Maybe even throw in driving directions, weather updates and email....
    Progress [I will seriously never be done!]
    Via EPIA MII
    512MB RAM
    OEM GPS (embedded)
    nLite WinXP pro on
    1GB Extreme III CF card
    Carnetix 1260 startup/ DC-DC regulator
    Software: Still, re-Writing my existing front end in .Net

  3. #3
    Newbie slimsimon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Talking TTS Development

    If you are working in .NET, the actual TTS development is 2 lines of code (in Borland it was 4 and a hack of the MS libraries). If you've got the ID3 tags, then you can speak them. The inteligence comes from how you organise your MP3s and navigate through them with very few buttons..... (can't help you with this because my stuffs all built on the Borland VCL GUI libraries, & I use them to store all the data).

    Trouble is, it can't say Aguilara!! (mind, I probably can't spell it)


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