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  • 1 Post By bubble777
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Old 03-16-2013
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Nerd needs some nerd help with DIY ipad media/automation system.

I'm refitting my boat from the ground up, I'm a bit of a nerd, and I'm flat broke.

So, what I want is a totally trick high-end system and spend little if no money.
I'd like to tie everything together and be able to control lights, TV, audio (everything!) from an ipad. I'd also like *most* of the system to be very low power.

The problem I've encountered so-far is that all of the ready to go ipad hometheater control systems I've found such as Features | iPhone and iPad Universal Remote Control for Home Theaters – Roomie Remote charge upwards of $100 for each device to interface with the boat's lighting or TV IR, network etc. Which is way out of my budget.

So far my plan is to have a Western Digital media player connected via HDMI to a 32" tv, and optical TOSLINK to a dolby digital decoder like Cheap 5.1-Channel DTS/AC-3 Home Theater Audio Decoder THen a few simple amps to a 5.1 speaker system in the Salon and probably 4 in the cockpit. I want something like the little PYLE 2 or 4 ch units (but I'm concerned they may not actually sound too good) (oppinions? Better choices?)

The TV is a power pig but I think I can do a relatively simple system for music streaming audio via Bluetooth. But I get stuck on a decent remote controllable hdmy source selector switch, and the aforementioned ipad/network interfaces.

So I'm looking for any cool(cheap!) gadgets you nerds might know of to help me with the ultimate goal of controlling everything from an ipad. I'm not above doing some tinkering making a power supply or whatnot, but hey if it already exists for cheap... did I mention I'm kinda lazy too? so far the leader is: http://www.onofftech.com/index.htm?M...automation.htm or a real DIY with arduino. Anyone already done such a thing?

Last edited by xymotic; 03-16-2013 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 03-17-2013
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Re: Nerd needs some nerd help with DIY ipad media/automation system.

raspberry pi with XMBC for your media player, open cpn for the chart plotter on the PI. Cheap $30 GPS from DX.com that out puts NMEA.

raspberry PI with the GPIO port could be used with relays to control almost any light, fan fridge, security cameras etc remotely.

run a remote desktop over wifi from the pI to the your ipad for remote control of your devices. Also use the TV as the main screen for the PI. the Pi runs on less than 1/2 amp.

if the pi doesnt have enough power for you there are plenty of other ARM based boards for about $80 including some quad cores with 6 USB controllers, which could later be used for other NMEA interments without needing special box to split the NMEA singles between devices.


good luck with your nerd adventures .
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Last edited by bubble777; 03-17-2013 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 03-17-2013
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Re: Nerd needs some nerd help with DIY ipad media/automation system.

I'm using one of these hobby-boards Relay as a lawn sprinkler controller. It is connected to an atom processor. Hook up a USB adaptor to a raspberry pi, or any linux box, and you can control each relay separately.

shows how easy it is to control. You'd have to add some sort of ipda control app to complete the system.
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Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Nerd needs some nerd help with DIY ipad media/automation system.

Thanks for the tips so far. I just ordered a buttload of arduino stuff from DX. I am actually thinking rasberri PI for the brain but arduino seemed simpler to begin with. I'm still torn between having one do everything boxs a bunch of simpler controllers just talking to the 'brain'

Anybody got any suggestions on simplifying the interface of something like the XBMC into a 'remote' style interface?

Project creep has already set in. I've never done anything like this and now I see these $30 RC UAV flight control boards with GPS and accelerometers and I start thinking 'how hard could it be to build an autopilot form scratch?"

Doh!

Last edited by xymotic; 03-21-2013 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Nerd needs some nerd help with DIY ipad media/automation system.

Will the Raspberry Pi run Myth? Perhaps with an external TV tuner if you need TV (like the Home Run). I would hook it up to a real computer monitor though (IPS screen like the new Korean ones that are cheap) not a TV, but I am photographer and need better pixel density and color than a TV can provide. I would just use an USB audio card to get the surround sound. You could easily set up a bunch of t amps like this:
4x100W @ 4 Ohm TK2050 Class-T Digital Audio Amplifier Board 320-302
and power them on and off when you need them, they are very efficient. Speakers could be car audio ones. For me I would set up a KVM so I could connect a laptop when doing more processor intense stuff like Photoshop.
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Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Nerd needs some nerd help with DIY ipad media/automation system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miatapaul View Post
Will the Raspberry Pi run Myth? Perhaps with an external TV tuner if you need TV (like the Home Run). I would hook it up to a real computer monitor though (IPS screen like the new Korean ones that are cheap) not a TV, but I am photographer and need better pixel density and color than a TV can provide. I would just use an USB audio card to get the surround sound. You could easily set up a bunch of t amps like this:
4x100W @ 4 Ohm TK2050 Class-T Digital Audio Amplifier Board 320-302
and power them on and off when you need them, they are very efficient. Speakers could be car audio ones. For me I would set up a KVM so I could connect a laptop when doing more processor intense stuff like Photoshop.
Whoa! FIFTY TWO dollars!? What am I made of $$?

just kidding, I really like that, thank you.

That actually looks like a perfect amp, much better than what I've been finding in my own search. I did just order a couple of these just to get the ball rolling: Y148 Audio Amplifier Module - Free Shipping - DealExtreme
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Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Nerd needs some nerd help with DIY ipad media/automation system.

OK, I'm still in the thinking about it phase, any reason to choose Relays over N-Channel mosfet's to control things like lighting? I can't really think of too many things I want to control with this dohicky that will be more than 4Amps or so.
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