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{ (C)AR (A)UDIO (J)ukebox using (UN)ix }

WELCOME TO ONEIRONAUT'S CAJUN WEBSITE

(thats oh - near - oh - naught. no funny jokes please)

BE PATIENT. THIS SITE CONTAINS A GREAT DEAL OF GRAPHICS. I TRIED TO KEEP THE FRONT END < 180Kb.


Whats a Cajun ? In a nutshell it's a home-built PC based Linux driven device used to play mp3's either in your car or ontop of your hifi. The original concept is courtesy Paul Bournival and further developed by Chris Pinkham which can be seen and the software downloaded from http://Cajun.current.nu

Here you will find some pictures of my incarnation of the hardware side. Don't expect the world on my page, since I didn't put terribly much effort into it. Being my first page it probably shows hmmmm ?

This is intended as a semi-comprihensive record of ideas... so that no one else will make the same mistakes. The copious pictures are via a Kodak DC-50 digital camera (adequate). Realize that there are various configurations I was trying out here. I thought it logical to do things chronologically... but those without an inkling for formalities, see finished product for the final result. So brace yourselves and subject yourselves to some brutal amateur simplicity.


INDEX (since I cant figure out how to do frames)

QUICK INTRO + SPECS

ORIGINAL VISION

FIRST BEGINNINGS

UNDER THE BONNET

FINISHED PRODUCT

POWER SUPPLY FOR CAR

CAJUN IN CAR

BLUNDERS

COSTS

SOME PROJECTS I HAVE BEEN WORKING ON

ABOUT ME

COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS

CONTACT INFORMATION


QUICK INTRO TO GET PEOPLE UP TO SPEED

FINAL SPECS:

RUNNING/CONFIGURED AS FOLLOWS


ORIGINAL VISION

(Click pics for bigger image and description)

_____ _____

Original "architectural" vision - all 3d design based with little concept of how it would all be held together. If anyone REALLY wants the model, I (meccano22@hotmail.com) still have it somewhere (500 Kb) + viewer (1.9 Mb). Note the idea of an anodised single piece heat sink. I actually worked out an equation for the flat sheet metal curve, and worked out a method to form it into that shape.

The concept/brief was to build a system that would allow me to run the unit next to my HI-fi or in my car interchangeably, without compromising looks.

Admittedly I did'nt go as far as Harald Milz on http://www.muc.de/~hm/MPorty/ but I did manage a staggering 50 x 260 x 240mm (main chassis) size package using STANDARD COMPONENTS ONLY. There is space for upgrading the memory OR adding a laptop HD. There is potential space for a laptop CD-rom drive as long as I can find a smaller network card.

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FIRST BEGINNINGS - FIRST FAILURES - & A FEW IDEAS

(Click pics for bigger image. Some have descriptions)

As everyone may or may not realize..... All things CAD never turn out like you expect... especially on a shoestring budget. Here in a few pictures is an exceptionally short history of some of the failed (fried?) layouts I tried. The first motherboard got nuked. @!$#@$. The other pix are of viable pci and isa extenders that work PERFECTLY but were subsequently modified/thrown out. ISA and PCI slots came from here and here. One thing I learned as a rule of thumb: You cant extend an ISA slot more than 300mm, and a PCI slot more than 650mm without getting errors. Note the cables come from old IDE cables. 80 soldering points on that PCI cable :p. The extenders got ditched eventually. & Just for the doubters... I included a pic of my neanderthal 20 year old soldering iron.

_____ _____

Lacking a scanner, these are schematics I drew up at work for correspondance purposes. They also serve as a bit of initial direction. The middle pic shows what I had in mind for the final unit. (final motherboard). Analyzing my previous downfall I discovered to my horror that it was the humungous heatsink that killed my pentium motherboard. It seems the heatsinks next to the main chip are NOT GROUND. Since the main heatsink had touched these..... they exploded. So I ditched the huge heatsink thing, eventually opting for a normal (50mm x 50mm) heatsink with lots of fins, which I was able to bend where possible. I ditched the mirror cap keyboard on board, opting purely for IR on-board (less rattle in car).

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UNDER THE BONNET

(Click pics for bigger image and descriptions)

By now the dx4 100 and first pentium 1 motherboards were HISTORY - up in puffs of smoke. (unless I can find replacement parts). The power supply running the test rig in the last picture was soon toasted after 5v went to ground by accident after I disconnected a peltier junction and didn't insulate correctly.

Those battons on the sides of the unit are Maranti wood (as yet un-varnished). I got them from original offcuts from alterations on the house 10 years ago. They were handcut using nothing more than a bare hacksaw blade without a frame. Nothing like your fingertips feeling like putty and squooshing around for days afterwards.

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FINAL PRODUCT (The thing people REALLY want to see)

(Click pics for bigger image. No description)

__________________ ________

Seemingly radically different from the intended design, 6 months have passed since initial conception to final design. Many in-between photos are missing. Notably the design was completed without any unit of measurement. I was too lazy to go out and buy a ruler, so most of the design progressed from templates, prototype designs and using any available straight edge. Most of the design also lacks use of power tools.

While software setup is far from complete, the unit runs (just) I still need to get the booting optimised. Currently it runs modules and the kernel is'nt customised yet.

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CAJUN IN CAR

(Pix Coming soon)


POWER SUPPY FOR CAR

(Pix coming soon)


BLUNDERS

to create this project I tried, used, and rendered totally useless a total of:

1 x dx4 100 MB + chip. 16 megs ram when I plugged chip in backwards

1 x power supply on a 5V short to ground

1 x screen when I spiked the thing checking the max brown-out time of Power supply.

1 x pentium 1 motherboard + 16 mb ram when I touched the regulators to ground.

1 x Network card when I plugged in the isa extendor built for sound card pinouts (oops)

Sacrificed 1 x S3 pci video card, 1 x isa vga card (for the male slots)

Call me mr Static.......but for this level of compact you might expect a bit of smoke.

TEETHING PROBLEMS

I had mission problems with the MB + HD combination. System specific? Who knows. After leaving the system to play for 10+ minutes and coming back to it, and pressing a button on the kbd or /remote to change track, goto menu or anything else, the HD sat there reading 1 sector, pausing 5 seconds, reading the same sector, for about 10 seconds, etc... Pissed me off. After trying xaudio, changing boot options, etc I tried switching off the swap file. No more problem. See Battery-Powered Mini-HOWTO. I am running with 16Mb ram and it still works fine, no skipping. Currently I am using Chris Pinkhams in-car version.

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COST & SUPPLY DETAILS

Well lets see........

CHEAP was the order of the day... Excluding all the stuff I blew up....

Item Qty Price for me Price if bought off shelf Where from in South Africa Where to get info/some
Motherboard 1 R350? R350 Midi Electronics. dealer, pref on display
Parts for power supply 1 R200 R200 RS electronics, GT electronics RS: (011)4661565
Hard drive 1 R0 R300 (4 gig) Proline  
LCD Screen 2 R290 R290 (+- 200 really) Avnett Kopp (011) 444 2333.
Cabling - Serial + other   R20 R35? Security firm.  
galvanised sheeting 1.5 x 1m 1 R50 R50 Home warehouse  
Wood 1 R0 R50 Home warehouse?  
Infrared remote (IRman) 1 R40 (really) R40 + R30 for posi - print RS electronics for the IR sensor. Homemade PCB 082-902-8174
solder 1 roll R30 R30 Any hardware store  
Remote control 1 R0 R20 (secondhand)    
Silicone glue 1 R10 R10 Any hardware place  
Nuts, bolts, mirror caps, springs misc R40 R40 Neat place up the road with all kinds of this stuff  
Keyboard 1 R0 R60 Nice new keyboard from anywhere. Secondhand from anywhere too.  
Total   +-R1330 = $200 +-R1800 = $280    

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SOME PROJECTS I HAVE BEEN WORKING ON


COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS

Please tell me what you think about this page.

Comments:


From:



ABOUT ME

I am 24, live in South Africa and work as an engineer (BSc).

Interests: DIY toys like this. Hands-on stuff. Things I can look at/play with/get results from.

Robotics, mountain biking, outdoor hiking, computers, etc.. are appealing & I try get involved where possible.

Other..... stranger(?) interests: Er. Well: I always said I was a hardcore dreamer: http://www.lucidity.com and http://www. for another hobby that keeps me busy.

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CONTACT INFORMATION

Electronic mail address
meccano22@hotmail.com

find me on IRC on is.zanet.org as Oneironaut.

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DISCLAIMER

I am not responsible for what you may do with YOUR equipment. This is merely a record of what I did with MY hardware. If you damage yourself, your components or your neighbours cat (they cant prove it) in any way it's your problem. If your data dissapears or you nuke the HD, dont come crying to me.

The Cajun unit shown here is for my personal use for playing mp3's I made from my own audio cd's. The Cajun unit here is not capable of capturing mp3's from audio disks, nor is it intended as a method for distributing illegal copies of audio.

No company or organisation endorses this product, or has any affiliation with this project whatsoever. The hardware configuration/layout is entirely of my own concept.

Copyright Oneironaut.
Last revised: April 11, 2000.