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Thread: DAB DAB+ FM Digital Radio Development Board

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    DAB DAB+ FM Digital Radio Development Board

    .
    NOTE: This first and second post will be updated on a regular basis as changes are made or more information comes to light.

    RR Plugin testing and thread started -> -Dab-radio-rr-plugin

    New PRO board with KeyStone 8650 module is available. This module supports SlideShow. This board will be around AUD $86, CarTFT in Germany, and Cool Components UK will be the first two companies to carry them.





    www.monkeyboard.org-dab-fm-digital-radio-development-board


    Quote Originally Posted by mspw View Post
    Have any of you good chaps examined the MonkeyBoard? DAB, DAB+ and FM using a Keystone IC. Couldn't find any reference to it on a site search.

    Link is here
    http://www.monkeyboard.org/products/...elopment-board

    It has VB.NET frontend software and source code and looks pretty damn nice
    AND

    Quote Originally Posted by Dabbler View Post
    To me this looks much better than any of the Frontier Silicon solutions. For a start it is supported with documentation.
    The hardware is 'Open', the Eagle schematic and board files are available.
    The API is available with example source code, in VB.Net but hey at least its there.

    It uses serial control as previous solutions, but without the horrible restriction of emulating a 2 by 16 display and keypad.
    Data isn't just squirted out, you ask for it. None of that painfully scrolling text. You can tune FM frequencies directly.
    Query signal strength, status etc....etc

    Wish this was out a year ago!
    I mentioned that I have one of the Last CB – Ultimate DAB-FM modules released and this has been running fine with my own interface software and FE. There are problems with the implementation of the firmware in these and you can read all about that in the other thread. However as I have a CB-DAB-FM unit and will soon have this new device, the first thing I want to compare are the sensitivity and the audio quality.

    First impressions are:

    1. Really nice PCB.
    2. Audio quality is great on the initial listening tests.
    3. Around 1.5 seconds changing stored DAB channels.
    4. Instant changing of FM stations.
    5. Scan next/previous station on DAB is good at around 1.5 seconds.
    6. DAB to FM is quick.
    7. Sig strength bit rates and most info are displayed quickly on station selection.
    8. Station and song information are very quick with some stations.

    After bench and in vehicle testing IMHO this DAB-FM module is perfect for a quality Car PC system.

    Finally, when looking at the code I found a bug in the software where the DLL does not return if a call to openport is made to a port that has nothing connected. Essentially the program hangs. I emailed my findings to the site and got a reply back shortly after that. The problem was identified and a fix to the DLL has been implemented and the new SW is already available for download, so really great service and support right off the Bat.

    The current DLL interface has everything I need, so I may not even bother with interfacing straight to the radio module. Hopefully others who go that way will post their results within the limitations of the Non disclosure agreement for the device.

    Just to clarify for some readers, the Radio module that can be bought separately is the Green Keystone T1_L4A_8290C circuit board shown in the picture above.

    Advised as of 21/08/2012:

    DAB+ FM Digital Radio Development Board – AUD $79 each

    Keystone T1_L4A_8290C (module only, user need to make their own PCB) – AUD $25 each

    Shipping within Australia using flat rate 500g satchels – AUD $6.45 (with tracking)

    Shipping to rest of the world using Australia Post Registered & Insured flat rate 500g satchel – AUD $28 (non tracking)

    The Demo Application



    Getting Started, Schematic & PCB and Software.

    keystone-dab-fm-module-programming-api

    User manual can be downloaded from here.

    Eagle PCB & Schematic.

    VB.NEW demo software and source code as its updated from here

    PIC18F14K50 C firmware (USB interface)

    My Application:



    Features:

    1. Direct frequency input on FM via Keypad.

    2. DAB 1 to DAB 5 selection for up to 50 DAB presets.

    3. Buttons for full DAB scanned station list selection.

    4. Presets for FM1, FM2, FM3 and FM4 = up to 40 FM presets.

    5. FM Presets can show an FM stations Name if applicable

    6. Big DAB station rescan button – saves trying to double touch a tiny text heading on a car pc screen.

    7. When you RESCAN the Radio ALL 90 presets from DAB and FM are kept.

    8. Any Preset not in a new scan will show as a place marker - You know exactly which Presets are active after a new scan.

    9. Preset clearing: Drag the Power on button to a preset to clear it.

    10. Drag and Drop from the Station name or DAB station List buttons to a preset without waiting for a station to tune.

    11. Resizes to anything from 453 X 340 @ 4:3, 540 X 340 @ 16:1 and 502 x 340 @ 16:9 formats.

    12. Adjustable slider to fine tune application Font Size.

    13. Separate Setup menu.

    14. Removable Window heading (name) for Standalone application.

    15. Auto-ON Enable/Disable.

    16. Station list dimming for previously allocated Presets.

    17. Selectable Start and Finish Scan Channels for Station Rescan to reduce scan times by up to 60%.

    18. Close / open port with Hibernate/Sleep added.

    19. Setup screen for setting individual font, font size, style and colour.

    20. DAB module Auto communication port detection added.

    21. PID now shown and editing of full PID added. (Just in case it’s ever needed).

    22. SLIDE SHOW with the new PRO module.

    23. BBE - EQ
    ______________________________________________

    Application Download **** Last update: 05-11-2013 @ 10:00 AM

    1. Constantly updated as I find any annoyances, bugs or a better way of doing something.

    Complete application directory - DABFMSa1App.zip

    Latest EXE File only - DabFmSa1.zip

    As per the original application and due to the DLL requirement of .NET Framework 3.5, my application for the DAB+ FM Development Board also requires this to be installed.
    Last edited by Mickz; 01-21-2014 at 03:37 AM.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Note: Make sure to press the SCAN button when connecting a NEW module, this will update the modules stations list for your location



    To set a preset in DAB: Click or press (touch) a scroll list button and drag it to a Preset button then release.

    To clear a preset: Drag the “Power” button to a Preset button.

    Names in the Station scroll listing are shown dimmed if that station is in any Preset list. (DAB 1 to 5)

    The radio will not switch to DAB if the Radio module has an empty DAB station list. The radio must be rescanned to allow the Radio module to build an internal station list. The number of stations in the Radio module list is always displayed on the radio app. “DAB Channels 49” in the picture.

    With this application, the radio can be rescanned at any time without losing any presets. Station presets buttons that are not in a new scan list will be shown with a * as a place marker. This makes it easy to select only stations that are in the Radio Modules current internal list.

    FM Mode



    Any incorrect frequency manually entered will be ignored.

    To set an FM preset: Drag the Station name or frequency to a preset button.

    To clear a preset: Drag the “Power” button to a Preset button.

    Some FM stations change from a frequency (107.5 Mhz) to a Station name after a second or so. If a station doesn’t have a name that can be dragged to a preset and you would like a name instead of the frequency on the peset, the preset files can be edited. These are simple line delimited text files called FM1.txt etc. These files are created automatically when you select a Preset list button (FM1 to FM4) and filled in as each preset is set.

    Sample file FM1.txt:

    106.9
    NOVA1069
    104.5
    TRIPLE M
    107.7
    tripleJ
    106.5

    105.3
    B105
    104.9

    103.7
    <------------------ Name for 103.7 can go here
    102.1

    101.5

    99.7

    ______________________SETUP_______________________



    There is a button marked Free Size. It allows you to move the Vertical and Horizontal slide bars independently. If free size is not selected then the movement of the Scroll bars is locked to one of the selected screen Formats of 4:3, 16:1 or 16:9. In other words as you move the width scroll bar, the Height scroll bar tracks it based on the chosen screen format. This is only applicable when NOT in full screen display.

    No matter what the setting of “Free Size,” the width and height scaling of the application layout is always calculated on the selected Screen Format. This allows you find a layout that looks good and should allow long Station text to be fully displayed on Preset and Station List buttons.

    Turn "Window Name" ON in settings if you are trying to embed the app.


    I managed to get a full Station scan down to 15 sec for 49 stations from the normal 48 seconds. DAB+ station frequencies are allocated in channels and each is 1.712 MHz wide and can carry about 1.5 M-bits a second. Nine stations are multiplexed together and sent as one digital signal using a DAB+ radio channel. If you look up the channel allocation in your country and select them in SETTINGS above, the scan function is over a much narrower band of frequencies.

    In AU the current allocated Multiplex channels are.

    9A 202.928 MHz
    9B 204.640 MHz
    9C 206.352 MHz
    9D 208.064 MHz
    10A 209.936 MHz
    10B 211.648 MHz

    ______________________KeyBoard____________________

    Keyboard M - Mute
    Keyboard U - Un-Mute
    Keyboard UP - Previous Preset
    Keyboard Down - Next Preset


    ______________________VIDEO_______________________

    I finally made a small (file size) video with sound in sync. This shows DAB station scanning, preset drag drop and delete in DAB and FM along with FM frequency input.




    ___________________Miscellaneous__________________ ___

    Quick post of the New Font settings.



    Font settings window.



    Press the Speaker Level display icon in Setup to Bring up this screen.

    NOTE: The APP size was set to 550 x 340 for this screen capture so some text is slightly cramped.
    Last edited by Mickz; 12-18-2012 at 04:49 AM.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  3. #3
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    Wow! This is a dream compared to the other thread. Kudos to mspw for bringing this to the party

    You mention an NDA, where does that apply?

    As I understand it buying just the module means you have to provide you own serial to usb, power circuitry and PCB to host it.
    The serial interface of the module would still work against the keystonecomm.dll api.

    I suppose someone might want to reverse engineer the protocol on the wire, maybe to create a linux driver etc
    But as the MonkeyBoard guys supply the dll for free and are so helpful, why do it.

    I'm looking forward to not having the 'hush-hush' firmware issues!

    Are you able to add more information to the first post as we get it?
    Last edited by Dabbler; 08-12-2012 at 08:09 PM.

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Hi, I think the NDA would apply to the data interface for direct IO of the module, IE If you want to say write you own DLL interface. It was mentioned to me in and email exchange so I’m not sure here, but nevertheless that information is at least available if needed.

    Yes, from what I have read you are correct on the interface requirements when buying just the module

    To you last question, yes I will update as new info becomes available.
    Last edited by Mickz; 09-11-2012 at 08:08 PM.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

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    It's good to see this is now in the hands of Experts. I'll be watching this thread closely, and sadly pretending to understand...
    Last edited by mspw; 08-12-2012 at 10:08 PM.

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate Dexamenus's Avatar
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    Sounds good guys, finally a radio that looks the goods!
    I'm in Australia so might get one asap! Sick of streaming radio from my phone.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickz View Post
    I think the NDA would apply to the data interface for direct IO of the module, IE If you want to say write you own DLL interface.
    Thinking about it, you're right. At the moment this only works with the windows platform. The module datasheet certainly doesn't describe the protocol.

    My use would likely be Linux/Android.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    The module arrived about an hour ago. I need to try this in the vehicle tomorrow when I will remove the old module, then out of interest I want to do side by side comparisons for audio quality, signal strength and immunity to system noise via USB and serial ground path.

    First impressions are:

    1. Really nice PCB.
    2. Audio quality is great on the initial listening tests.
    3. Around 1.5 seconds changing stored DAB channels.
    4. Instant changing of FM stations.
    5. Scan next/previous station on DAB is good at around 1.5 seconds.
    6. DAB to FM is quick.
    7. Sig strength bit rates and most info are displayed quickly on station selection.
    8. Station and song information are very quick with some stations.

    This module is really fast and responsive compared to the ULT-DAB-FM with its slow firmware and so far just one or two bits of code to add, the last station playing and the last mode on power up is all I can see so far. I’m really happy with this module.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

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    Sounds great. Can you confirm that RDS works on FM? I seem to remember that didn't work on the serial MMI.

    I've decided to get a full board to start with. Does it come with the mag mount antenna in the picture? Nothing else is needed to get going, in other words?

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dabbler View Post
    Sounds great. Can you confirm that RDS works on FM? I seem to remember that didn't work on the serial MMI.

    I've decided to get a full board to start with. Does it come with the mag mount antenna in the picture? Nothing else is needed to get going, in other words?
    Comes with Mag antenna as per picture. USB cable is all that’s needed and yes RDS on FM is working. I'm really happy with this board (full board) - Except for the USB changing virtual com-port assignment when moving to another USB SKT.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

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