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technobear
2009-09-08, 00:57
I would like to pick the brains of the developers a little more please...

I'm still thinking about uses for the Touch in a car or as a portable solution where permanent power cannot be guaranteed.

1. How quickly does the Touch start up?

2. Does it need to be shut down before powering off?

3. What will it do after a power cut?

4. Being Linux, will it 'fsck' the external drive?

5. Is it best to leave it on permanently?

I've read several people talk about powering the Touch from batteries.

Standard NiMH cells give 1.2V so four of them would give 4.8V.

6. Is 4.8V enough for a Touch to function normally or do we have to go to a bit more effort to produce a regulated 5V?

Thanks guys.

At this rate I can see me needing half a dozen of these!

technobear
2009-09-08, 10:59
http://www.technobear.btinternet.co.uk/emoticons/tumbleweed.gif

radish
2009-09-08, 11:27
1. How quickly does the Touch start up?

About 30 seconds.



2. Does it need to be shut down before powering off?

No. Although how it will handle syncing USB mounted filesystems wasn't clear last time I saw a conversation on the topic, as there's also the situation of someone pulling the USB cable.



3. What will it do after a power cut?

It comes back up to whatever state it was in (on/off/playing/etc). This is with an external SC, haven't tested with TinySC.



4. Being Linux, will it 'fsck' the external drive?

Not sure - see above.



5. Is it best to leave it on permanently?

In what sense? Restarting it doesn't have any obvious negative impact that I've seen, save any external FS issues that I'm sure will get worked out one way or another.

Mark Lanctot
2009-09-08, 11:38
4. Being Linux, will it 'fsck' the external drive?

I haven't played with TinySC for a while, but it didn't do this when I did try it with an ext3 formatted drive.

As useful as fsck is for detecting damaged drives, using it with Touch would be a colossal pain in the butt, I'm sure the developers will avoid it. I haven't seen any reports of this in the beta testers forum. It would be baffling to the user, there's no GUI so their drive would be working away without being accessible.

bbfoto
2009-09-09, 18:18
I am potentially interested in using the Touch in the car as well.

I was hoping that the Touchscreen would be a bit larger, even for in-home use. I realize the cost would go up a bit, but IMO it would look much better with less "negative space" around the bezel, and of course be easier to view from across the room.

For in-car use, here are some other important questions:

1. Is the touchscreen visible and/or usable in direct sunlight?

2. Is the touchscreen a transflective design?

3. How will the unit itself handle long-term or even short-term exposure to temperature extremes in the car environment?

4. Would using a SSD in a USB enclosure be any advantage besides power savings?

5. It does have a built-in microphone and small speaker, correct? Could these be used to control the Touch via Voice Commands such as the Microsoft Synch systems in some Ford vehicles???!!! Does it have the processing power to implement this?

6. Will the Touch support multiple devices connected to a powered USB Hub?

POWER SUPPLY:

Opus Solutions has a 15w 12v-to-5v DC-DC power supply that should be enough to power the SBT, a USB Hub, and a 500gb USB, SSD, or notebook Hard Drive.

http://www.opussolutions.com/index.php?p=product&id=24

There are several high-end Car Audio DSP/Processors that have Toslink Optical and/or Coaxial Digital inputs, such as the Audison Bit One.1 and Alpine PXA-H700/H900.

If a Voice Command feature is not feasible or possible, it would be great to have a Remote with Tactile buttons such as the Sony RM-X90 Wired Rotary Remote Commander that controls the Sony CDX-C90 car stereo.

http://www.crutchfield.com/pics/sony/h158RMX90MT.jpeg
http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa134/StevenKephart/P1130033.jpg

I currently have this stereo and remote in one of my cars and I can control all of the functions that I normally want by Tactile Feel with this remote (10-functions)...there's no need to take my eyes from the road whatsoever.

For me, this is the Perfect In-Car Interface, at least for my music selection while driving. Of course, this just controls basic functions and track selection when playing ONE CD or from a 10-CD changer. You aren't having to navigate through Hundreds of Artists, 1000's of Songs, Playlists, Genres, etc!

You would definitely have to look at the Screen to see what you were selecting, but at least you would not have to take your eyes away from the road for an extended period of time just to "find" and then press the Tiny "Button" on the small touchscreen. Keep in mind that many OEM Navigation/Stereo units have Touchscreens as well, though they are larger and easier to operate because of this.

For In-Car control, other options could possibly be the USB Griffin Powermate or Space Navigator:
http://www.conceptualinertia.net/aoakenfo/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/powermate.jpg
http://www.gearcrave.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/space_navigator.jpg

Anyway, just some thoughts, and looking forward this unit looks promising in many ways, home or car.

lrossouw
2009-09-09, 19:58
Though I don't have anwers for you I do see this as a potential use of a touch for me in the future. ...when I move back to a country where you can have a serious drive!

iPhone
2009-09-09, 21:30
I am using my Beta Touch running TinySC in my Expedition at this time. I am powering it off of a hardwired DC/DC 5VDC supply with a fuse on the power lead to the Touch and using a USB powered USB Drive (Toshiba 320GB with no need for external power). This setup replaced the SB3 with a Panasonic Toughbook as server. I used the WebUI to do all the controlling except for volume. The Toughbook was mounted on an "L" shaped bracket that attached to the two bolts that hold the two seat rails in place and has a three section arm head piece that allowed the laptop to be positioned just about anywhere between the two front seats.

The Touch fits much better and doesn't bug the better half like the Toughbook did sometimes. And for safety, Volume is controlled on the In-Dash head unit. It is easy to tap forward to advance tracks while driving. And again for safety, I play albums/artists or build a current playlist that I start right after starting the SUV or make changes at traffic lights. When saved playlists are available, I will use them.

I am really looking forward to when TinySC is complete and I can see just how far I can take using the Touch in the SUV.

bbfoto
2009-09-09, 22:24
iPhone, That's great to know! :) I should've noticed your sig, but it's a bit overwhelming, haha.

Now brace yourself for the Million-&-1 questions, lol!!!

How good or bad is the Visibility of the Touchscreen in Direct Sunlight???

How many GB's of music, how many Files & Folders do you have on the External USB Hard Drive?

Does the Touch have to Re-Index the External USB drive each time you start the car or turn off the Touch?

Is there any delay when navigating or browsing through all of your music files using the External USB HDD?

Have you tried plugging in multiple devices into the Touch's USB port using a USB Hub? Does it work?

Do you think an external SSD with a USB interface would be any faster, or will the access speed be limited by the Touch itself?

Are you using the Expedition's factory/OEM Head Unit with an analog AUX input, or an Aftermarket Head Unit with an AUX input?

Again, I'm searching for a Tactile Remote solution in order to keep my eyes on the road AMAP.

I wonder if we could create a programmable WiFi interface for a vehicle's OEM steering wheel controls or buttons? Or possibly use the existing SB Controller and hardwire the buttons from it to the factory steering wheel wiring harness, or perhaps to a wired remote such as my Sony RM-X90?

And yes, I agree, it will be very interesting to see what the capabilities are when TinySC is complete. IIRC, there will not be a WebUI in TinySC, correct?

I would still LOVE to see Voice Command/Control implemented since the mic and speaker are already built-in, though, lol! ;) However, I can see where this wouldn't make too much sense in a typical home environment, unless you're going to have a Touch wall-mounted in your bathroom and want to change the music while taking a shower, lol. This type of system typically needs some form of physical button press to initiate the Voice Command functions however, so...?

There are just too many possibilities, haha. But that's definitely a good thing!