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Thread: DAB DAB+ FM Digital Radio Development Board

  1. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shonky* View Post
    In the days of .NET and object oriented programming, calling a DLL function and having it drop an image file somewhere in the file system to later load by the application is a bit clunky (that's what I meant by primitive specifically) if you ask me. Sure it works and it is still better than say the RTL2832 dongles and the rubbish "SDK" that comes with them since they don't expose a lot of this.

    Also I still don't quite get line out that this and other modules use. Seems a bit roundabout but I understand it cuts out the need to decode. Again I feel is clunky. Makes recording (legal issues aside) for rewinding/pausing etc more difficult since you then have to sample/record/encode over and above just allowing the line in to pass through to line out. Again, nothing better but doesn't mean this is the right way.

    Finally with respect to "Development", is that the long term goal here for these companies? We buy development boards and then mount them in our solution somehow? Or the modules themselves without the dev board. Again every car PC is different so there's no universal form factor but a product rather than a demo/dev board would be nice.

    I don't want to sound so critical but just my thoughts and I acknowledge this is probably the best current car PC solution available.

    Edit: And for $100 odd I'll almost definitely buy one still

    Christian
    I think JP of MonkeyBoard has probably done the best he can with the kind of market this appeals to.
    Your right the DLL is a bit 'clunky' (I rewrote it in C# pretty early on, didn't like having to poll for stuff) but it does just enough to get people started and demonstrates the board is working.

    As Mickz said this board provides provides a pretty good 'product' for the majority, although I take your point about line out. People have differing requirements for audio.

    Probably being a bit over-protective of this board but I went through 'Venice Hell'. It's just so nice to have something 'open' to work with, and a helpful supplier as well!

  2. #212
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Hi Dabbler, got a question for you. I coded my HVAC and FE vehicle system interface microprocessors to send update data instantly - no polling - I was going to do as you have and redo the DAB DLL for this, however JP's DLL did everything I could have asked for with no delays except for signal strength.

    Signal strength is slightly delayed (a bit over a second) for an sig change indication. Did the change from polling allow you to update this any faster or was it a limitation of the DAB hardware device?

    Any other differences or features noted?
    GA-Z77N-WIFI, i5-2400S, 8GB, Intel 520 128GB SSD, M4-ATX Modified, 2 Rev Cams, 2 Web Cams
    8" 16:9 TRANSFLECTIVE, Win8-64, Dual GPS RX and Garmin PC + Odyssey Nav, FM-DAB+, BB-Rec
    T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, code and FE. CarPC Project

  3. #213
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    Hi Mickz,

    As far as I'm aware the notification events that can be received are these

    • Scan finished
    • new program text
    • reconfiguration
    • DAB channel list order change
    • RDS group notification


    No signal strength change. The one of interest for me was the program text. In my dll, this notifies me when there is new text to be fetched.
    I did try the RDS group one, but that was with the 'old' module, and nothing happened, so I'll try with the new board.

    Not looked at yours or JP's code for a while, but is the second delay because there's a timer just set to poll once a second? Could you not reduce that, still not the best solution....

    Off the top of my head, there are few other little features. Setting the built in clock from the DAB signal and DRC.

  4. #214
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Thanks, early on I had increased polling for Signal but the reduction was pretty small and not worth the extra overhead. I found a similar delay when coding the Vehicle mobile phone module, the returned signal strength values do not change for a couple of seconds so it's just the way the RX works in the thing.

    My code is very different now so any change in DAB list order has no effect as I don't use inbuilt preset's nor rely on list order.

    Like I said, signal update time was the only remaining interest I had in redoing the DLL, looks like I'll just continue to enjoy it as everything is just about perfect for my use at this stage. Thanks again for the info. BTW the extra code changes for Slideshow are minimal.
    GA-Z77N-WIFI, i5-2400S, 8GB, Intel 520 128GB SSD, M4-ATX Modified, 2 Rev Cams, 2 Web Cams
    8" 16:9 TRANSFLECTIVE, Win8-64, Dual GPS RX and Garmin PC + Odyssey Nav, FM-DAB+, BB-Rec
    T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, code and FE. CarPC Project

  5. #215
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    Ordered my T2-L4A-8650C based board today. I'm in Brisbane so I'll probably get it fairly quickly. I'm intending to integrate it into Carmedia.

    Is there any data sheet available on (talking direct to) the Keystone module itself? I understand the PIC basically is just running as a USB-UART converter but then the DLL is doing all the work and exposing functions.

  6. #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shonky* View Post
    Ordered my T2-L4A-8650C based board today. I'm in Brisbane so I'll probably get it fairly quickly. I'm intending to integrate it into Carmedia.

    Is there any data sheet available on (talking direct to) the Keystone module itself? I understand the PIC basically is just running as a USB-UART converter but then the DLL is doing all the work and exposing functions.
    If you contact MonkeyBoard, and sign the NDA, you can get that information.

  7. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dabbler View Post
    If you contact MonkeyBoard, and sign the NDA, you can get that information.
    Thanks. Have you or anyone else done that? Is that worth doing or is just using the DLL really good enough and it exposes everything anyway (even if some things are a little clunky)?

    The KeyStone website is very light on details - I presume because they only want to do large deals with OEMs

  8. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shonky* View Post
    Thanks. Have you or anyone else done that? Is that worth doing or is just using the DLL really good enough and it exposes everything anyway (even if some things are a little clunky)?

    The KeyStone website is very light on details - I presume because they only want to do large deals with OEMs
    I did it yes, quite painless. :-) The provided DLL does most things, especially since JP has added the BBE / EQ stuff. There's not much left it does do.
    I wrote my own code, so I could utilise the program text notification, rather than polling mechanism.

    With the new board I am interested in the slideshow and EPG functions. I think to maintain all that in the 'private' DLL will become difficult.
    It may be better to let the DLL expose the raw MOT data, then let 'open' library code process it.

  9. #219
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shonky* View Post
    Ordered my T2-L4A-8650C based board today. I'm in Brisbane so I'll probably get it fairly quickly. I'm intending to integrate it into Carmedia.

    Is there any data sheet available on (talking direct to) the Keystone module itself? I understand the PIC basically is just running as a USB-UART converter but then the DLL is doing all the work and exposing functions.

    Currently testing the revised DLL and Slideshow is running perfectly with Image updates from some stations as little as 3 seconds apart with an average of 12 pictures every minute.

    I personally don't agree with the term Clunky and again that is a matter of opinion and I'm not going to get into a debate about this in any way. As I said, I was describing the test DLL and at this stage having a small image file placed in the application directory has made fine tuning / testing Slideshow timing for variations in the way station utilise and time their slideshow a lot easier for me.

    JP is still working on the final DLL release and it looks like this will change once he's happy with it.

    I also was going to access functions directly and code the DAB interface straight into my FE as I have done with everything else in my FE. However the DLL worked faultlessly and I have as yet not found a reason to not use the supplied DLL. JP confirmed the slight delay in Signal Strength change is hardware related and it's the same with my Mobile Phone module.

    I also have my FE running DAB on the test PC for 8 to 10 hours a day every day without a glitch.
    Last edited by Mickz; 12-11-2012 at 09:30 PM.
    GA-Z77N-WIFI, i5-2400S, 8GB, Intel 520 128GB SSD, M4-ATX Modified, 2 Rev Cams, 2 Web Cams
    8" 16:9 TRANSFLECTIVE, Win8-64, Dual GPS RX and Garmin PC + Odyssey Nav, FM-DAB+, BB-Rec
    T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, code and FE. CarPC Project

  10. #220
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    JP from Monkeyboard was touching base on the current status of the Beta DLL and also solved my desire for a faster Signal update.

    "Also one more thing specially for you, about the signal rate. Andre from Germany read your post on MP3Car and he was playing with the raw command and found a deprecated (old command) that is still on the module that return the signal quality"

    Declare Function GetDABSignalQuality Lib "keystonecomm.dll" () As SByte. (Download the latest DLL)

    The rate is about 1.5 - 2 seconds faster. This value is signal quality not strength, but when you put them side by side, this value can show a relative value of the strength.

    Why do I want a faster update: It's really handy when playing around with aerial, cabling and positioning of CAR-PC components to get the best receiver signal to noise ratio out of the Radio installation on DAB. For this you really need a real time update of signal change.

    I added a Signal meter and converted the Stereo-Mono indicator to a small Graphic LED. By default the Meter shows Signal quality on DAB, and of course only signal strength on FM. In DAB mode, touching the Meter toggles the Meter display from Quality to Strength and the Stereo LED turns RED instead of green to indicate that mode.

    This is as close to real time as I could want. - Thanks JP and Andre

    New APP with Signal/Quality Meter.



    Last edited by Mickz; 12-15-2012 at 11:39 PM.
    GA-Z77N-WIFI, i5-2400S, 8GB, Intel 520 128GB SSD, M4-ATX Modified, 2 Rev Cams, 2 Web Cams
    8" 16:9 TRANSFLECTIVE, Win8-64, Dual GPS RX and Garmin PC + Odyssey Nav, FM-DAB+, BB-Rec
    T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, code and FE. CarPC Project

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