Topic: Chumby-based car music player
I got a Chumby One a couple of months ago and have been tinkering with it and reading this forum since then. I got a lot of helpful tips here and thought I would post the results of my efforts.
Basically my plan was to use the Chumby board to replace my reliable (but aging and relatively bulky) Car PC that was based on a VIA mini-ITX board that I use to play music. Here's what I ended up with:
The board fits neatly in a cassette case, which I think is apt since these things used to hold about 1 hour of music. Now this one holds several days of music and also holds the equipment to play the music! I use the Chumby's top switch as a "power" button (seen on the left side) that can switch the LCD and USB hub off, put the system in a low power "standby" mode or power it off completely.
It runs a Linux/Xfce image built with Open Embedded. The playback app is of course XMMS. Since the XMMS window is too small for the LCD screen I also added a simple gtkdialog-based app to control XMMS, display status and browse files. You can see it below the XMMS window, or more clearly in this picture:
The playback can also be controlled with an X10 remote using a serial RF receiver plugged in to the USB port. Thanks to pre-generated festival speech files, it can also announce titles of songs.
The whole thing is powered by an automotive mini ATX power supply (from http://www.mini-box.com) that can survive engine cranking. Total 12V power consumption is 175 mA when playing with the LCD on, and 55mA when in "standby" mode. At that level I can leave it plugged in to the car battery and instantly "resume" it even a day or two later.
Attaching the LCD screen in a safe manner was a little tricky. The flexible cable is secured with a couple of layers of transparent packing tape.
All in all I think it's a great upgrade from my old mini-ITX box. Many thanks to all the posters on this forum who provided all the answers to my questions (which I didn't even have to ask!). And of course thanks to Bunnie and the Chumby team for producing a great hackable platform and opening it up!