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 Post subject: The AMP-P3 Jukebox (Updated with PICOPSU)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:40 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
Hello all.
I am a new user of albumplayer, tried the demo and decided to buy it. It works amazing. In fact it is the first piece of software I bought in a long time. I thought I should show my current setup as an opening post, so here goes:

All my audio equipment is inside a 19" rack housing. I made a wooden top panel to fix the mixer (a Dateq LPM 7.3). The two holes on the top left will be fit with USB connectors, so I can easily connect a keyboard/mouse. The 15" touchscreen will be mounted on the wall, also on a wooden panel I think.

Image

Inside the rack there is a racklight/power distro, DCX2496 Speaker processor, double CD-player, MD-player, studio amplifier, and the PC.
Image
Image

The PC is a Pentium 3 disguised as an old Carver amplifier (Hence the name, AMP-P3). Inside is a P3 1Ghz, 384MB of memory, a 20GB hard-drive and a network card. The original VU meters on the front are still working, connected to the onboard soundcard.
The OS is Windows XP for legacy PC's, so the whole system is up in about 45 seconds. All the music is on a central server.


Last edited by greenacid on Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:29 pm 

Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:06 pm
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Location: Denmark
Amazing... It's more than 25 years ago I had a mixer....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:50 am 
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Very nice, thanks for sharing the photos. If I might suggest an improvement... use white cables (power sockets) only. And please share your update once the touch screen is wall-mounted. Again, nice setup!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:40 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
Just a small update from my work in progress.
At the moment i am building the panel to attach the touchscreen to the wall.

The touch-screen monitor with the VESA bracket attached. Of course this monitor didn't have VESA support so I had to drill the holes myself
Image

The wooden panel drying after the first layer of 'beits'. (I don't know the proper english word for it, it is a bit like varnish I think)
After drying I will sand the panel again and add a second layer. By then it should have the same color as the panel I already have. The rectangular hole is to run the monitor cables through.
Image

Also, to lighten up the Jukebox corner I will install a Par-16 above the setup.
Image

There are still some things to do, so I will report when all is finished.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:55 pm
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Location: Germany
Thanks for the pictures. Let us know how it goes on :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:17 pm 
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Well, it's finished. After 3 layers of stain/beits the panel is smooth and in the right color. After that I just had to attach the screenmount and the light, drill some holes and put everything on the wall. Behind the panel are two beams about 2 cm thick, so the cables run between panel and wall.
The screen is tilting slightly forward. Not much, but I will look into it. The USB connectors are in place, and with the screen on the wall, I finally have space for my Cortex unit again. I will make a wooden bracket for that in the future.
For the moment I am very pleased with the result.
Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:24 pm 
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Mmmmm... yummy! Very nice. Maybe it would be an idea to bring the monitor more up front, so that you don't have to reach out so far with your arm, but again: very nice setup you have there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:47 pm 
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Just a small update for a handy add-on I found:
My standard setup doesn't have a keyboard attached.
I recently bought a Keysonic KSK-3201, which is a small size wireless keyboard with integrated trackball. Very handy when you are working on your collection to enter text, or just to skip/pause songs.
It comes with a tiny USB receiver. The range is pretty decent, the receiver is plugged in at the back of the PC but no problem with operating it from the couch or even the kitchen.
The keyboard has a nice touch response, comparable with a laptop keyboard. The trackball is very small and you need to get used to it. There is also a small on/off switch on the bottom, so it will not waste batteries while lying around.

See for more info the link:

http://www.maxpoint.de/de/products/keyb ... ectID=1232


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:40 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
After a long time finally an update, or more of a sneak peak.
I had this big VFD display lying around, and was busy with building a clock with it. Then I came with the idea to attach it to AP and let it show the track information.
User ukzappa created a little application (AAI) a while back which allows Alpha led signs to show artist/title information. (Thanks for the support ukzappa!) AAI uses the serial port to transmit data. All I had to is emulate the Alpha protocol and we're set. (Sounds easy right? Well, It wasn't.)

Image
This is an image of the display when it is reading in the time signal.

Technical explanation:
The VFD is from Noritake Itron, attached to a Atmel ATMega32. An DCF-77 module is used to receive a time signal. The ATMega has a second oscillator for the clock, so it keeps running even if the time signal is disturbed.
It has a serial port which is connected to the AP pc. I am thinking of adding temperature sensors or maybe even ethernet. The firmware is written in C.
It is not finished yet, but the movie will give an idea:

When a new track starts playing, the current clock display is interrupted and title/artist/album will be displayed. After some time the normal display will resume.
http://green-magic.nl/Download/vfdclock/VfdTrackDisplay.mp4


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 Post subject: Upgrading the 'amplifier'
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:40 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
The current computer I use for albumplayer is getting quite old. It still works OK for albumplayer, though starting up gets slower with the increase of database size. Watching youtube will bring it to its knees and the power consumption of that old P3 is quite high. (And I forgot to mention the noise the CPU cooler makes)
So, enough excuses to give the old amp a nice upgrade. So I ordered some stuff, and after a while I could open some boxes:
Image
-Intel D525MW desktop board with Atom dualcore processor
-OZC 60GB solid state disc
-4GB of ram
-Some wires

So I made a testsetup and started installing Windows.
Image

On my current jukebox I use Windows XP Fundamentals. Unfortunately, this version lacks some features like PAE, which is very handy when you have 4gigs of ram. (I found this out after a whole day btw.) I also couldn't install it with AHCI support, and slipstreaming the drivers with nLite doesn't work with fundamentals.

So I took winxp SP3, and with nLite slipstreamed ALL the drivers for the mainboard and stripped all the unneccesary luggage.
After installation the tweaking began. Because SSD's don't like writing you should try to avoid this if possible. So I configured to have:
-No swap file (enough ram, so why swap?)
-Ramdisk in the 750MB of RAM that windows could not access. (Thats why you need PAE) This ramdisk holds all windows temp files and internet cache. I use the free edition of VSuite Ramdisk.
-prefetching disabled
-ntfs tweaks: no journal, no access times, no 8.3 filenames.

The result:
Image
On the old jukebox it took about 1 minute to boot windows, and 1.5 to start AP. The new setup with the same database takes 45 seconds before the music plays. The whole system feels really snappy. Loading applications is very quick. Scrolling in AP works like a charm.
The power consumption is lowered from 45-50 watts to 25-30 watts. It also runs cooler and more quiet. The soundcard in this mainboard is better than the old one. I will try to add SPDIF out.

All I have to do now is install everything in the Amplifier.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:59 am 
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Good to hear everything works fine. Succes with building it together now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:30 pm 
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Location: The Netherlands
It's all done. Placed the new mainboard and SSD in the amplifier, made a cutout in the backpanel for the IO-shield, and made a cable for the second serial port which is in the place where the audio inputs used to be. For those who want to know why I need two ports; one is for the touchscreen, the second for connecting the VFD display. I soldered some components together to get a digital output as well. It works, but I did not build it in yet, the sound is OK in my opinion. (Besides, I have no digital inputs on my mixer)
In my opinion this was a good upgrade, the response of AP (well, the whole system) is much better with the Atom. It surely beats my P4 1,6Ghz.
This must be the first Atom powered Carver ever.

Image
Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:38 pm 
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Looks very nice. Good work! I am happy that the AP will run on this computer/audio system.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:40 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
The system has been running fine for the last period, however the noise of the power supply bothered me.
So I invested in a 90W PicoPSU with adapter and build it in to the enclosure.
Result:
Less noise, the remaining fan runs at 30%
Less heat: 10 degrees C cooler CPU. The old PSU blew IN to the casing.
It should also consume less power than the old ATX supply, though I still have to measure that.

For people who want to see the actual boot time of this Atom system, I made a video of it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntb3f160u-o


Image

See the little black wire running in front of the PCB? I already voided the warranty because I soldered a wire on the -12V pad. This is needed for the VU meters on the front.

Image

Image

Also, I finally upgraded my server from a P3 500Mhz to a more modern core system. This upgrade includes bigger harddisks to contain my music and video files. The old ones ran out of space.

Image

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:40 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
After buying a powermeter and connecting the AMP-P3 to it, I found out that the computer now uses between 18 and 24 Watts.


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