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A project log for Audiophile grade car stereo/computer

Not your average stereo... or even your high end stereo... but MORE!

MattMatt 02/26/2016 at 09:310 Comments

Okay, so if you haven't read the previous log, do so now and come back.

So now that we have had a great amount of initial success with the ODRIOD-XU4, we're going to be moving forward with that as the main "head unit" computer. Now there are some things that we ran into, which I'll go over here.

1. SATA connection for SSD drive for music storage is not built in.

- This is simply overcome due to the presents of USB3.0 on board, so we will be using an adapter that is available on the ameriDroid site.

2. No optical output or microphone input built in.

- The optical output can be solved by a USB adapter (also provided on the site), however a microphone input will be needed for phone and other voice controlled applications, for this we will probably be using a bluetooth microphone that is powered by the car. (work in progress)

3. 1 less USB port on board (we had 4 or more with other machines, we're now down to 3)

- A while back we bought a USB hub that is designed to be installed in a car, 12V powered, directly wired, and ignition switch controlled.

4. Built in EMMC is no longer present.

- No big deal here, there are EMMC snap-on modules that are nice and small available on their site (noticing a trend yet?)

5. Display is powered from the USB port.

- Nothing a little hacking can't fix, USB power will be removed from the board and added to the hub (mentioned above) while keeping the data pins present... or something of the like, also, work in progress, its possible that the hub may come in here again.

So far, those are the only "issues" we've run into and they are all stuff we can work through with minimal effort. Currently, I am working on the following:

1. Putting together a AC powered test rig for Joel so we can make sure that "Tasker" and other programs respond properly when we kill the power, and turn it back on. doing things such as putting the device into airplane mode after a certain period of time.

2. The enclosure for the DSP that is going to be sitting in the trunk in each of our cars. I've thrown together a concept in Fusion 360, and I have some ideas from off the shelf kind of stuff.

3. Obtaining the buttons we want for the physical push buttons (that will be somehow tied to the GPIOs/Arduino), and the rotary encoder. The buttons are a bit on the pricey side, but I am going to try to get some samples because I do need to figure out which size will work best for both of us.

All in all, things are now back on track, granted, a bit longer than we both wanted to take, but life happens, and honestly I'm sort of happy that we found a lot of bugs before we started installing all this stuff into our cars.

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