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davep
2007-01-03, 21:30
The following story caught my eye http://www.macworld.com/news/2007/01/03/autonet/index.php as it describes a forthcoming system for enabling wireless broadband access in your car via a 3G link to the internet. I can imagine a set-up involving the internals of a squeezebox mounted in the dash and streaming music from my home server via SSH. No more making mp3 copies of flacs to transfer to the iPod, just full access to my entire library, playlists, etc at all times.

A new product idea for Sean & co?

davep

mherger
2007-01-04, 00:53
> The following story caught my eye
> http://www.macworld.com/news/2007/01/03/autonet/index.php as it
> describes a forthcoming system for enabling wireless broadband access
> in your car via a 3G link to the internet.

I can imagine this a great idea when your stuck in city's traffic jams.
But 3G radio just isn't up with the speed we are allowed to drive on
highways ;-).

I've been working with a PC card adapter in my laptop which does seemless
roaming between WLAN/UTMS/GPRS. But even reading my mail in the train
wouldn't work reliably. And that's in Switzerland, where there presumably
is no one square km without some kind of network access... I remember when
I had better mobile phone access on a 4000m summit than in my flat in the
city center.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.herger.net/SlimCD - your SlimServer on a CD
http://www.herger.net/slim - AlbumReview, Biography, MusicInfoSCR

peter
2007-01-04, 07:13
davep wrote:
> The following story caught my eye
> http://www.macworld.com/news/2007/01/03/autonet/index.php as it
> describes a forthcoming system for enabling wireless broadband access
> in your car via a 3G link to the internet. I can imagine a set-up
> involving the internals of a squeezebox mounted in the dash and
> streaming music from my home server via SSH. No more making mp3 copies
> of flacs to transfer to the iPod, just full access to my entire library,
> playlists, etc at all times.
>

For me the ultimate in-car system is just a radio head unit with the
(free) Rockbox software built in and a USB connector that I can connect
arbitrary portable disks to. It's not a huge problem to hook up an
external disk to my PC once in a while and sync it with my library.

Oh, and for the SD guys, a simple thin LCD display with some control
buttons (play/pause, next, prev, shuffle, up, down, left, right) with a
USB connector, line out to an existing radio would be just perfect too.
As I said the software is free, so it shouldn't be that hard to make it
work.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockbox

Regards,
Peter

adamslim
2007-01-04, 07:50
This is cool, but 3 years ago now:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,108575-page,1/article.html

It's an HD in the car that syncs via wifi to your server when you're parked within range. 20 Gig though, and I doubt it plays FLACs. Still, MP3 are probably fine for the car with all the noise.

Beann50
2007-01-04, 14:21
I use a SB2 with the display detached and mounted above the radio in my dash. Music is stored on a linkstation in the glove box and it will synch automatically using the wireless card in the SB2 when the car is in my garage. It's been installed for about 10 months now and still works great. My only problem is that the 250gb linkstation is almost full.

depeche
2007-01-04, 14:29
-----Original Message-----
Subject: [slim] Re: The Ultimate In-Car System

I use a SB2 with the display detached and mounted above the radio in my
dash. Music is stored on a linkstation in the glove box and it will synch
automatically using the wireless card in the SB2 when the car is in my
garage.

--------------------------


Sounds great...
Any pictures?

Andrew

bklaas
2007-01-04, 14:31
Sounds great...
Any pictures?

Andrew

Seconded...you can't post something like that without pictures...we wanna see...
#!/ben

Beann50
2007-01-04, 15:28
I used the smoked plastic that came with the SB2 with the display mounted back behind the plastic of the dash kit. Normally, when someone gets in the car and looks at the dash they just think there is empty space above the radio. The flash from the camera makes the electronics of the display more visible than it normally is.

The linkstation is sitting on foam that is glued to the inside of the glove box. It will slide out and I have a spare power cord for it in case I want to take it inside to update Slimserver or something. So far I have just done all the updates over the wireless.

Both the SB2 and the linkstation are powered by an inverter mounted out of site under the dash. There are some relays and timers wired in so the setup will come on with the ignition and the linkstation stays on long enough to do a shutdown afer I turn off the ignition. There is also a button and switch mounted in the dash. Pressing the button will start a timer to keep the whole setup on for an hour so it can update the music over the wireless when I have new songs on the server inside the house. The switch is a three-way so I can set it to either come on with the ignition, stay on, or remove all the power.

I did the install one night after work, but didn't really keep track of how long it took. I had most of what I needed already other than the SB2 and the linkstation, but I would estimate the cost at:

SB2 $200 (these are getting harder to find now, but you still see them on ebay sometimes)
linkstation $250 when I bought mine
inverter $40
timers, relays, switches 50-$100 (depending on if you have anything already)

Michaelwagner
2007-01-04, 21:15
I get why you ran the linkstation off an inverter, but why the SB2? Wouldn't a simple 5V (or is it 6V) regulator be simpler?

Beann50
2007-01-04, 22:33
I thought about doing it that way since I originally planned to mount the linkstation in the trunk and I didn't want to run 110 or 5 volts the length of the car. Since it all ended up mounted close together it was easier to power both from the inverter. It takes so little power that a small fanless inverter had plenty of juice for both. There's also a pretty good chance that a DC-DC setup would have allowed engine noise to come through.

Michaelwagner
2007-01-04, 22:37
How did you arrange for the electronics to weather the starter surge? That's usually a bigger electrical noise challenge for power supplies than the running engine noise.

Beann50
2007-01-04, 22:59
The inverter shuts off the 110 when its input voltage drops too much. The end result in this setup is that nothing turns on while the car is starting. I expect the inverter might fail eventually, but it's cheap and easy to replace. I was more concerned with temperature extremes for the whole setup, but so far it hasn't been a problem.

SuperQ
2007-01-04, 23:50
For me the ultimate in-car system is just a radio head unit with the
(free) Rockbox software built in and a USB connector that I can connect
arbitrary portable disks to. It's not a huge problem to hook up an
external disk to my PC once in a while and sync it with my library.

Oh, and for the SD guys, a simple thin LCD display with some control
buttons (play/pause, next, prev, shuffle, up, down, left, right) with a
USB connector, line out to an existing radio would be just perfect too.
As I said the software is free, so it shouldn't be that hard to make it
work.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockbox

Regards,
Peter


I'm just glad my Empeg still works great after 6 years. :)

NOTHING comes close to being as good as the empeg for in-car music.

peter
2007-01-05, 00:00
SuperQ wrote:
> Peter;166970 Wrote:
>
>> For me the ultimate in-car system is just a radio head unit with the
>> (free) Rockbox software built in and a USB connector that I can connect
>>
>> arbitrary portable disks to. It's not a huge problem to hook up an
>> external disk to my PC once in a while and sync it with my library.
>>
>> Oh, and for the SD guys, a simple thin LCD display with some control
>> buttons (play/pause, next, prev, shuffle, up, down, left, right) with a
>>
>> USB connector, line out to an existing radio would be just perfect too.
>>
>> As I said the software is free, so it shouldn't be that hard to make it
>>
>> work.
>>
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockbox
>>
>> Regards,
>> Peter
>>
>
>
> I'm just glad my Empeg still works great after 6 years. :)
>
> NOTHING comes close to being as good as the empeg for in-car music.
>

I doubt it, but I understand that if you paid $2800 for 28GB you must be
suffering from a bad case of cognitive dissonance ;)

Regards,
Peter

peter
2007-01-05, 00:07
Beann50 wrote:
> SB2 $200 (these are getting harder to find now, but you still see them
> on ebay sometimes)
> linkstation $250 when I bought mine
> inverter $40
> timers, relays, switches 50-$100 (depending on if you have anything
> already)
>

That's a pretty cool solution. I still have a SB1 lying around so I
could go that way too. Detaching and housing the display sounds a bit
intimidating to me, though. I assume you control it via the remote,
which is not entirely ideal IMHO. A simple dedicated device with the
(Rockbox) software built in seems preferable to me.

Unfortunately, it usually takes the industry a fairly long time to build
the things I invent :(

Regards,
Peter

SuperQ
2007-01-05, 01:17
I doubt it, but I understand that if you paid $2800 for 28GB you must be
suffering from a bad case of cognitive dissonance ;)

Regards,
Peter

I paid $1300 for the base 12GB model. At the time it held all of the 192kbps mp3 files I had. This was of course pre-ipod days, and the only other mp3 players out there were some crappy 64MB rio units, and Arcos.

After the 12GB died a year ago, I droped a 40GB drive into it for under $100. Still has room for everything in mp3 format.

The UI is as good as the squeezebox, maybe a bit better due to the free-form playlist tree UI design.

Michaelwagner
2007-01-05, 07:26
I was more concerned with temperature extremes for the whole setup
In NC? You don't have temperature extremes! lol

peter
2007-01-05, 10:48
Beann50 wrote:
> The inverter shuts off the 110 when its input voltage drops too much.
> The end result in this setup is that nothing turns on while the car is
> starting. I expect the inverter might fail eventually, but it's cheap
> and easy to replace. I was more concerned with temperature extremes
> for the whole setup, but so far it hasn't been a problem.
>

I've been using an iRiver H140 in my car for about 3 years. It's been in
the glove compartment all that time. I worried about the effects of
temperature extremes, but it's still working as well as when I bought it
(well, better, actually, thanks to the Rockbox firmware).

Regards,
Peter

Beann50
2007-01-05, 22:21
One of my reasons for stuffing the SB2 in the dash of my car was to be consistent with all the other places I listen to music. Now if I go in my living room, bedroom, office, or car I can listen to anything in my music collection in the same way. I don't have to stop and think what button to press to do a certain task, or is a certain song available. The only thing I ever have to think about is what song to play.

I also only use flac files. You can argue that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between flac and mp3 in a moving car, but at least this way if I listen to older music that wasn't recorded that well I know the limitation is the actual music and not a poorly encoded mp3. Actually, I shouldn't say older music since lots of recent music is not recorded very well either. I don't expect to ever see a system designed to work in a car that will support lossless files, have a large amount of storage, and sell for a reasonable amount of money. Too many people have embraced the whole "buy a crippled song with DRM and no physical media for just as much money as a CD" idea.

peter
2007-01-06, 02:28
Beann50 wrote:
> One of my reasons for stuffing the SB2 in the dash of my car was to be
> consistent with all the other places I listen to music. Now if I go in
> my living room, bedroom, office, or car I can listen to anything in my
> music collection in the same way. I don't have to stop and think what
> button to press to do a certain task, or is a certain song available.
> The only thing I ever have to think about is what song to play.
>
> I also only use flac files. You can argue that you wouldn't be able to
> tell the difference between flac and mp3 in a moving car, but at least
> this way if I listen to older music that wasn't recorded that well I
> know the limitation is the actual music and not a poorly encoded mp3.
> Actually, I shouldn't say older music since lots of recent music is not
> recorded very well either. I don't expect to ever see a system designed
> to work in a car that will support lossless files, have a large amount
> of storage, and sell for a reasonable amount of money. Too many people
> have embraced the whole "buy a crippled song with DRM and no physical
> media for just as much money as a CD" idea.
>

I agree. I have an iRiver H140 40GB mp3 player running Rockbox in my
car. Rockbox is a free replacement firmware for iRiver and iPod players
that supports Ogg and Flac and most of the other stuff:

http://a213-84-196-8.adsl.xs4all.nl/auto/full.jpg
http://a213-84-196-8.adsl.xs4all.nl/auto/console.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H140
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockbox

I've been trying to sell my idea for an economic ( < $100? ) and
practical car player for a while, but no-one seems to be buying it. The
idea is to create something like an H140 without the (expensive) tiny
hard disk. Just a (cigarette box sized but flatter) display with some
buttons. It has 12v power in, line audio out and a USB connection to add
a commodity external USB drive (the type that costs next to nothing, can
be synced with you main library easily and fits in your glove box). The
hardware must be easy and cheap to put together, since the components
are shared with lots of other players. The software is taken from the
Rockbox project, where people are enthousiastically developing it.
Adapting it to the Squeezebox navigation can't be that hard (if that's
really needed).

Add a $100 USB 100GB harddisk and you'll have your FLAC/WAV/MP3/OGG
player for a lot less than the price of a new SB3. The free and open
software will give it the same kind of appeal to third party developers
and the community as the other SD devices.

I would buy one in a second!

Regards,
Peter