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Thread: FM/DAB digital radio - THAT WORKS!!

  1. #191
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    Just for clarification, there are 4 board designs.

    Ver. 1 was a prototype, this had problems picking up some frequencies
    Ver. 2 had the same board design as Ver 1 but some components changed.

    The schematic and layout were released for Version 1 and 2 on digital car.

    Ver. 3 was a complete redesign, all of the boards I sold since mid January were of this type. They did not have an LM317 3.3V regulator and the board design was completely different. This used a similar component set to the Sony Power supply. This design was never released.

    Ver.4 is a modified version of 3 with some amendments for the Venice 7.
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  2. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by veletron View Post
    This thread is getting as catty as the one on digital-car!
    Quote Originally Posted by craigbrass View Post
    certain users appear to be posting here with the intent of derailing the post because they are not happy that this has become commercial.
    I totally agree.
    Very early in this thread the discussion turned towards testing the module for DAB+ reception here in Australia as up until now the module had only been tested with DAB and FM being a Venice 5. With the differences identified between that and the 5.1 and 7 modules and quite a few people here in Australia eager to get a DAB+ module for their car computers, we all started to work together to achieve this outcome.
    Whether you choose to DIY with your own module or a Venice 7 from Craig, or get a complete unit from Craig, I would like to see the thread continue with its original aim and produce a DAB+ capable receiver for us Australians.
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  3. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by nrgizerbunny View Post
    Ver.4 is a modified version of 3 with some amendments for the Venice 7.
    Just to clarify (for me as well as those DIY-ing):

    1) Will a Ver4 board take the Venice5|Venice5.1|Venice7 or is it specific to the Venice7?

    2) Are any details about the schematic required to support a Venice7 available - those DIYing and buying a Venice7 module from Craigbrass will need this I guess.

    3) From your text, A Ver3 board (which is, I assume what I have from yourself) will not take a Venice7. What mods are required on a Ver3 board to make it compatible with the Venice7? I seem to remember reading somewhere that the PSU requirements were different for the Venice7? (I am thinking 'future' here in case the UK ever goes DAB+).

    My radio is currently installed, but awaiting some front-end software. I'd DIY this - even as an interim solution (--> impatient! <--), but I can't locate any info about either the exports from the existing DLL, or Chris31's backwards-engineering of the serial protocol.

    Regards

    Nigel

  4. #194
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    1. Yes. The boards I am currently selling are actually V4 boards that nrgizerbunny initially designed. It is optimized to work with Venice 7 but also works fine with the Venice 5 and 5.1. Previously produced boards from nrgizerbunny are designed for the Venice 5 / 5.1 and will work with the Venice 7 but not as well as the newer boards. I doubt anyone will be able to notice the difference, though, which is why I have begun selling Venice 7 chips alone so people can put these on their existing boards.
    2. I have not decided what I am doing about this currently. At the moment I sell full units with control / power board and Venice 7 or Venice 7 chips alone. I may start selling just the PCBs including schematics and PCBs with components soldered on but it won't be for at least another month.
    3. See point 1.

    As far as I am aware, the UK will be upgrading to DAB+ around 2012-2013 but it will continue with DAB standard as well at least for 4-5 years after this. FM / AM switch off is planned for 2015.

  5. #195
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    Hi

    Magic, cheers for the reply.

    The whole UK DAB thing is a complete fiaso - lots of arse-covering going on by the people who made some pretty poor decisions over DAB/DAB+. That, together with the advertising to promote DAB (and most sets not supporting DAB+) should ensure DAB stays switched on for a good while. Those that made the poor decisions can then claim 'success' for the format, and give themselves a pat on the back!

    The main advantage of DAB+ over DAB, is, I believe, the use of more efficient codecs such as AAC/AAC+. DAB uses mpeg2 audio - the same as a DVD's stereo soundtrack & DVD-A. This sounds fine at high bit-rates such as 192K, but gets noticable artifacts at 128K. Unfortunately due to channel-squeeze most DAB services are running at 128K or worse. Maybe when BBC6 Music gets turned off, the saved bandwidth can be spread around a bit!

    While an MP3 might sound fine encoded at 128K, an mpeg2 audio stream at 128K will be much worse. Mpeg2 is simply a less efficient codec than MP3 just like MP3 is less efficient than AAC/AAC+. Most MP3's are created from music sampled at 44.1KHz, while DAB is usually sampled at 48KHz - this means that the DAB MpegII audio codec has more information to compress - further compounding the situation.

    I'm sure others here know much more than I do!

    Roll on DAB+/AAC/AAC+ :-)

    Nigel

  6. #196
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    Totally agree. The biggest problem is cars (I am talking about cars without Car PCs here...). About 3-4 years ago, we should of had a law in saying all new cars must support DAB AND DAB+ and optionally FM / AM. If that had of happened, by 2015, a large chunk of cars on the road would support DAB. With us still not having a law in place to mandate this, 2015 is going to be interesting.

    Many people assumed (and still do) that digital switchover included FM going offline and are confused it all still works. I am in Cumbria so the first big area to get switched over and have had a few people question me about it!

    Those Pure Highways are not very good in my opinion but not because of the quality as they are very good quality providing great reception. The flaws are that it has to re-transmit AND it has to sit on your window so like sat navs, has the possibility of getting nicked...

    The other option is a single DIN unit which many cars don't have these days because of the dash design.

    It is all going to be very fun and has come about because of the idiots we had in power at the time. Hopefully that will change with the new gov but I want to see when the house of lords is reformed, it is made into a place where people get ELECTED by the public BASED ON skills. The house of commons is there for people to represent their constituents. The house of lords should be filled with technology experts and experts in other fields so they can actually apply some industry common sense to new laws, etc going through. The digital economy bill is a key example here.

  7. #197
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    Hi Craig and Nigel,
    If I might be so bold to remind you, the MP3car forum here is US based and has a worldwide following, most of which are not as passionate about UK politics as you are.
    While I and others value your input regarding the DAB+ unit, maybe the political part of your discussion could be left for the digitalcar UK forum please ?
    Thanks,
    Kev.
    VIA Pico ITX, M2-ATX clone, 7" Seform 800x480 LCD Touchscreen, Dual 2x75WRMS Mini Amps, IDE-CF & SATA-CF adapters, 8GB (Sys) & 32GB (MP3s) CF, ELMscan5USB, Slot-load DVD, Craig Brass DAB+/FM USB module, Odyssey Navigator
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  8. #198
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    Oh yes, sure, sorry!

  9. #199
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    The Venice 5/5.1 and 7 are all pin compatible so they will work in any board.

    It is very easy to get the chip to work. The problem comes when you put it in a car, its at that point it becomes difficult (well it was in my case). The power supply is a bit of a thorny issue, on systems with low current rails the radio can forever reset itself. Trying to over come this was the biggest hurdle I faced.

    Nigel, your radio board is a ver. 3
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  10. #200
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    Centrafuse 3.1 Plugin v31.1

    Hello friends,

    I posted this on the Digital-Car forum but that's been down for most of the day.

    I think it's time to release the first Centrafuse 3.1 plugin for the Venice 5 module with the sony firmware to the public :grin:

    It's not perfect but at least it will get your car filled with DAB loveliness.

    Please download the attached zip and place the DAB folder within your plugin folder in Centrafuse. On English versions of windows this is:

    c:\Program Files\Centrafuse\Centrafuse Auto\Plugins

    on x64 versions of windows you are aiming for:

    c:\Program Files (x86)\Centrafuse\Centrafuse Auto\Plugins

    Restart Centrafuse and make your way to the system menu and then settings. You need to enable Advanced Setting like this:



    You'll then see a Dab Radio choice on the menu:



    Highlight this and then click on setup at the bottom.

    This will take you into the settings screen so you can tell Centrafuse where to find the various bits of your radio's plumbing you lashed together:



    Make sure you get all this correct and then press save and go back to the main menu.

    You should see a blue radio icon labelled Sony Firmware. Click on this and this screen will come up:



    Smokin.... :big_boss:

    Download the plugin here: DAB_CFv31.1.zip

    Centrafuse 2.x and 3.0 Support
    1. None.

    User Manual
    1. None - someone needs to do this or a small explanation how the buttons work.

    BUGS
    1. Various
    2. The text parser duplicates some of the station characters.
    3. The code used in this plugin is slightly different to that used in RoadRunner - I think it will pick up channels more accurately.

    Thanks
    1. Chris31 for his conception of the firmware.
    2. MitchJS for being an absolute star with his coding.
    3. MikeB & nrgizerbunny for their good egg attitude.
    4. Mr Monkey for the splended modifications to my crap graphics. Craig, I'll use your icon when I convert it to a png and make the background transparent, somehow.

    I'm getting quite emotional now....

    Be nice to me...

    Andy

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