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Coachmark2's wacky Raspberry Pi project

post #1 of 8
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Hello everyone! Welcome to my Raspberry Pi adventure! There are a few technical hurdles that I need to overcome to make this little project a success and if you have any input, I'd love to hear it!

So working where I do has its advantages. As an end of the year gift, my employer gave all the employees in the company a Raspberry Pi! biggrin.gif



Needless to say, it's quite a cool gift. But beyond that, they said that who ever makes the coolest idea wins a contest whose reward is not yet determined.... ninja.gif

So here's my plan: I want to make...
DRUMROLL!!!! (Click to show)
A WiFi capable boombox! smile.gif

Yes yes I know it's old school and that's EXACTLY the point. The total budget for this project is $100. I have, at this point, spent $0 of that. I also know that buying a Bose or iHome type unit and connecting a cheap MP3 player would be cheaper, but this is for fun! Here are my plans thus far:

  • Raspberry Pi (acquired)
  • USB Micro Keyboard/Touchpad Combo
  • A chassis of some sort that I'll either custom make or heavily mod an HTPC case thinking.gif
  • Rosewill USB WiFi antenna (acquired)
  • [Display of some sort
  • Power cable and distribution for the speakers, Pi, and display
  • Speakers

I have the green stuff, I can make or figure out the blue stuff, and I need YOUR help on the red stuff.



The Display
The Raspberry Pi has an HDMI and RCA out. My hurdle at this point is finding a 7" or so display with RCA or HDMI inputs that you could read file names and browse the internet with SOME degree of capability. [[SUGGESTION REQUESTED]] smile.gif

Audio
The Pi has a 3.5mm audio jack. I'll use this to drive the speakers that I eventually get. But which ones should I use for such an application? [[SUGGESTION REQUESTED]] They don't have to be anything special and in fact need to be somewhat compact but have at least acceptable sound quality. Cheap is important too. wink.gif

Power Delivery
The Pi runs off of a standard MicroUSB Cell phone charger. I've got a spare I'll be using. I'll also have cables run for the Display and speakers. I'm confident I can handle this part

Connectivity
With a Rosewill 802.11n antenna, I'll be able to tap into our corporate WiFi network for demo purposes. WiFi tethering a phone will also work if we're out of range somewhere.

The Software
I have Raspbian loaded on my flash storage with VLC installed. That'll probably do fine for demo purposes, but an OS that has support for Pandora and Spotify would be ideal. I'm considering putting Android onto it for ease of configuring all this.


So there you have it! I'd love your comments and suggestions to help me get this project underway. smile.gif Thank you all for your time.
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Heisenberg
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post #2 of 8
Definitely subbing to this.
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post #3 of 8
Subbed.

A version of Arch Linux would be great for you, very low resources, and you configure your way into it, only put what you need and no more rubbish after.

As for the speakers, maybe some phone speakers with 2 subs would be nice, case would be hard to make from scratch without proper tools, so a very small HTPC case, modded with some alu would look great.
     
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post #4 of 8
The PI's audio output is line-level, not really powerful enough to drive speakers without some additional amplification - the good news is that you can get basic, low power, switching audio power amplifiers for very little money. A few examples:

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=320-329
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=320-330
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-385

From an acoustic standpoint, you can avoid many of the problems you might encounter by putting a random speaker driver into a box without any real attention to design by using sealed-back speakers. The volume, quality of construction, etc of the enclosure itself does not matter when using sealed back speakers since they come with their own self-contained acoustic chambers on built on. Usually these are marketed as midrange drivers, but you can find some with frequency response that extends down into the 120hz-150hz range, which starts to be usable. Look for drivers with an efficiency rating > 90dB with 1w at 1m. Sensitivity essentially a measure of efficiency. You want efficient speakers since you're working with a low power, portable amplifier. You may also want a tweeter to go along with your midrange driver, especially if the midrange's response does not extend above 12khz or so. A really simple crossover (a single capacitor per tweeter, maybe a dollar of extra expense) will protect the tweeters and prevent them from playing in the range the midrange is operating in.

http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_2/chpt_8/3.html
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post #5 of 8
I have no experience with this product, but it looks like it might fit your bill for the display portion (the reviews seem to point to good success with the Pi)

http://www.amazon.com/Camera-Monitor-Support-Rotating-Screen/dp/B007SLDF7O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371279092&sr=8-1

I am going to be watching this project. I have a friend who has done something similar (minus the Pi brains) with a cheap amplifier from Parts Express and some home built speakers (he used the line level in to provide sound to the little amp).

Good luck smile.gif

CK
    
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post #6 of 8
This should be interesting.
post #7 of 8
If you want a boombox... why not buy an old school 80s boombox and put the pi and screen where the casette usually goes? pretty much rip out all the guts but the speakers, drop in the Pi and screen, little amp and a battery or two to power it all. then a nice Aluminum plate over the front to cover the gaping hole and BAM! you could even get ambitious and use the original face plate, hook up the volume knob so it actually works, and then convert the cassette slot into a hotswap laptop drive bay. Just an idea the occured to me, zero ideas on cost of any of that
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post #8 of 8
Was this abandoned? Or have you made progress?
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