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View Full Version : Installing a Squeezebox system in a car



Otto-Wilhelm
2013-11-08, 13:24
Finally I have managed to fit my car with LMS (version 7.8.0) as music source in form of a very stable solution. LMS with Squeezelite of the Local Player Plugin and MusicIP run on a Fit-PC2i 2GB/2GHz with Windows Home Server V1 as operating system. The audio-out of the FitPC2i is connected with the AUX input of the carīs audio system.

MusicIP is used by means of the Spicefly SugarCube Plugin. Also the Smart Mix Plugin can be used for getting a music selection to be played, but of course only when there is internet connection (see below). A manual selection of music can be effected using the Multi Libray and Custom Browse Plugins, which provide easier access to music of different genres, such as pop, classic, jazz and so on.

LMS is controlled with IPeng on my IPhone, which connects to LMS via WLAN. To this end a wireless router is installed in the car as well, which also provides internet connection using an UMTS/GMS -USB-Stick using a second SIM card of my mobile phone provider. This appeared to be necessary since the IPhone likes to connect only to a WLAN providing internet connection and therewith the internet connection of the IPhone is preserved although being connected to WLAN. The Fit-PC2i is connected to the router by wire, but a WLAN connection would also work, since it has an integrated WLAN-NIC.

The Fit-PC2i is powered using a cigarette lighter socket which provides permanently power. However, the power is interupted when the engine of the car is started, which could make problems with the Fit-PC2i / LMS and would have the effect that the music would be interrupted too long, since LMS needs quite long to become operative when the PC is started. Accordingly, the PC is powered by a Powermonkey eXtreme storage batterie having a 12 V DC cigarette lighter socket. The Powermonkey eXtreme is charged via an USB charger connected to the cigarette lighter socket of the car. The Powermonkey eXtreme needs to be re-activated from time to time which I prefer over the danger that data get damaged because of a power cut caused be starting the engine. The wireless router is powered using a cigarette lighter socket of the car which provides power only when the engine is running. A particular Add-In to Windows Home Server V1, namely the Lights-Out - Add-In, automatically shuts-down the Fit-PC2i after 30 minutes without operative connection to the wireless router,

The data (LMS database, MusicIP database and the music collection (over 70000 tracks in AAC/m4a format, about 150 Kbps)) are stored on a 500 GB SSD of the Fit-PC2i. The MusicIP database is generated on a much faster PC and stored on the Fit-PC2i when the music collection is updated.

I think this music solution is much better than what you currently can get from the different car makers, even better than audio solutions of premium cars.

Perhaps this solution is interesting also for others. First I tried to use the Synology USB Station 2 NAS using its Audio Station functionality, but there is no means for an automatic shutting down of the NAS and there where other problems to provide suitable power to the NAS.

The Squeezebox lives on!

garym
2013-11-08, 15:56
Nice work!!

Otto-Wilhelm
2013-11-09, 04:21
1529715298

I think the Fit-PC2 is a nice solution also for other applications. It appears to be the smallest (101 x 115 x 27 mm) full functional PC available. It is fanless, uses Intel Atom Z5xx CPU 1.1 – 1.6 GHz (2 GHz version was terminated) and has an idle power consumption of 5W and under load a power consumption of 8W.

See http://www.fit-pc.com/

JJZolx
2013-11-09, 17:59
LMS is controlled with IPeng on my IPhone, which connects to LMS via WLAN. To this end a wireless router is installed in the car as well, which also provides internet connection using an UMTS/GMS -USB-Stick using a second SIM card of my mobile phone provider.

That seems rather clunky. Can't you attach a touch screen to the computer? I'd use SqueezePlay instead of Squeezelite and then develop a skin for the native resolution of the monitor.

Otto-Wilhelm
2013-11-10, 05:55
That seems rather clunky. Can't you attach a touch screen to the computer? I'd use SqueezePlay instead of Squeezelite and then develop a skin for the native resolution of the monitor.

I see no disadvantage of using IPeng, which I use at home as well for controlling my different Squeezebox devices. In the car the iPhone is placed in a cradle fixed to the dashboard to be conveniently accessible during driving. There is no need for accessing other functionalities of the Fit-PC during driving. When something has do be done, I do this via remote desktop using a laptop. Windows Homeserver is intended for headless application, not having a local monitor.

Julf
2013-11-10, 08:10
I see no disadvantage of using IPeng, which I use at home as well for controlling my different Squeezebox devices. In the car the iPhone is placed in a cradle fixed to the dashboard to be conveniently accessible during driving. There is no need for accessing other functionalities of the Fit-PC during driving. When something has do be done, I do this via remote desktop using a laptop. Windows Homeserver is intended for headless application, not having a local monitor.

I still use the good old empeg in my car - the most important reason is the user interface where everything can be done completely by feel, without taking your eyes off the road.

JJZolx
2013-11-10, 13:31
It just seems like a LOT of equipment required to do something relatively simple.

garym
2013-11-10, 13:45
True. But people say the same about my home setup. For the car I simply plug in my iPhone which has some tunes that I change now and then. I don't need my 75k tracks with me. Then again, my commute is 5 to 8 minutes depending on the traffic light (or a 25 minute stroll). For our few long trips we use audio books, podcasts (all iPhone) or Siriusxm.

I used to carry a small USB drive with a lossy version of my library with my laptop. But now when travelling, I just use spotify.

Still, I'm impressed with his car setup.

Mnyb
2013-11-10, 13:56
Still nothing of this exclude each other .

Squeezelite is better and more configurable as a player these days and can easilly be installed with the local player plugin , done .
That would not exclude SqueezePlay as a possible UI among many .

But then again iPeng is the better UI imo and easy to instal as there are charching cradles everywhere .

Impressive effort to intall all this in a car.

I often ride a bike to my work when I'm not away on a project somewhere .

The lazy days when I use the car it's 5 minute with spotify or ( 3,5 km on bike ) however I tend to be lazy in the middle of the winters here in Sweden :)

My hotell companion these days are spotify and a couple of books I don't bother conecting to my own LMS remotely or bring files anymore ( I used to ) besides the work away from the office tend to be busy not much time for anything else than work .

Otto-Wilhelm
2013-11-13, 14:19
>> Impressive effort to install all this in a car. <<

It was indeed quite a big effort to arrive at this solution. However, the technical effort as such, when it is clear what is to be done, is not very big. The Fit-PC2 is just placed below the driver seat, where there is a place where it fits without any fixation.

I do not like to decide in advance which music I might like to hear, so that playlists and a selection of music in my IPhone is not preferable for me. Formerly I used a IPod classic with 160 GB, but now my music collection is too large and the random mode works not very well in combination with the audio system of my car (Volvo XC90). I very much enjoy MusicIP/SugarCube also in the car.

jhonsberger@msn.com
2013-11-13, 14:47
ah why not just use an app that can stream your entire music library from your home computer
at near cd quality?

Kudos to ya but im doing this for the cost of about 5 dollars.

another point: the listening environment in a car is suspect at best for even flac or other lossless files

Even a lexus with its tightly sealed cabin will introduce outside noise into the listening area.

I really admire your effort though.

jimbobvfr400
2013-11-13, 14:51
ah why not just use an app that can stream your entire music library from your home computer
at near cd quality?

Kudos to ya but im doing this for the cost of about 5 dollars.

Plus the cost of a decent data allowance per month.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4

Otto-Wilhelm
2013-11-14, 14:22
Plus the cost of a decent data allowance per month.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4

Will not work in Germany during longer trips on the "Autobahn" due to incomplete UMTS coverage and will be very expensive on holiday trips abroad using a German mobile phone SIM.

Mnyb
2013-11-14, 14:57
Will not work in Germany during longer trips on the "Autobahn" due to incomplete UMTS coverage and will be very expensive on holiday trips abroad using a German mobile phone SIM.

Thats true everywhere in Europe go by car to another country and you have "interesting roaming cost" for the telephone , so not even spotify is a perfect fit , spotify works really well inside the country .

But as you say the freways or the smaller country roads does not alwayas have 3G/4g umts .

We must be lucky in Swedish cities coverage is really good .

I was working in UK last year in Watchet we where staying in Dunster , but cell coverage was not really good in that area , we basically resorted to McDonalds in Minehead to use internet ?

So i can see that driving around trying to use spotify is not always sucessfull....

Otto-Wilhelm
2014-09-27, 12:40
Update:

For powering the car LMS server I now use instead of the Powermonkey eXtreme storage batterie a Lithium batterie power pack for car starting sold under plural brands, such as APA, see
http://www.amazon.de/APA-16528-Lithium-Powerpack-Starthilfe/dp/B00G6H5RQS/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1411846413&sr=1-1&keywords=B00G6H5RQS

This works much better.