Project Yellowbox: the pizzabox MP3 Player

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iamdigitalman's picture
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dont get me wrong, an iPod is a wonderful gadget, and it is extreamly portable. however, I want something permenant and stationary for my car.

ok, I just got a flash of inspiration after seeing this hack over on hackaday, where somebody stuffed a car stereo in a Macintosh LC.

granted, the thing is gutted, and he used only the case, but it is still a Mac.

this, combined with reading the stories over on Macvroom, I got to thinking, what if somebody were to meld these two hacks together, and turn an LC into a dedicated MP3 player, and stuff it in a car.

that person is going to be me!!

I scounged around, and found an old dual floppy deal, with a broken case latch, and an Uber yellowed case, hence the name of the project.

I already have an LC III, but that is part of my collection, and I REALLY want to have a dual floppy unit.

now, here are the list of materials I need:

1. Macintosh LC
2. Ethernet PDS card (to load music from my Powerbook)
3. crossover cable (to load music)
4. Quadra 605 power supply (more on this later)
5. internal SCSI hard drive (3-10gb, I dont have alot of music, but I want room for expansion).
6. ADB mouse w/extension cable (more on this later)
7. Internal SCSI cable
8. 2 FDHD disks (already set in that department).
9. System Software 6.0.7 - 7.5.5 (cant decide), as stripped down as possible.
10. A no frills MP3 player for 68k, capable of running on a 68020 and requires less than 2048 of ram, and less than 1440k of disk space, when unstuffed/unarchived/uncompressed.
11. Audio extension cable, so the tape adapter's plug can reach.

ok, I think that's it. if not, I will add them in a later post (as you cant really edit starting posts).

now, to explain myself:

I did some test fitting with my LC III, which is currently temporarally retired while I find a place for it. I removed the 250mb hard drive, and it was still in it's bracket. I removed the 32mb SIMM I have in the single ram slot (i know the LC has 2 ram slots). turns out the hard drive WILL fit if you cut off the plastic standoffs off the top of the case (which dont seem to do anything anyways, correct me if I'm wrong). note the hard drive was still in the bracket. I didnt remove it, but it seems to fit when it was in the bracket, so a regular hard drive will fit just fine, after I remove the standoffs.

the reason I want a quadra 605 power supply, is because I did some reasearch, and according to Mactracker, the Macintosh LC draws am max of 50 watts. but the Quadra 605 draws a max of 30 watts. the lower the power, the better off I think I will be. My inverter has only a 70 watt max, and I use it to charge my cell phone, which I dont know how much wattage it pulls. will a quadra 605 power supply fit in an LC? let me know.

next is the ADB mouse. I am going to dis assemble it, and just use the button. since, I will be running this thing headless, i need a fast and easy way to play/pause the music. so, I will position my pointer over the pause button in the MP3 player app, and use the mouse button to play/pause the music. clever.

as for why I want a 2 floppy unit, is because the Hard drive will be dedicated to the MP3 files. floppy 1 will contain the system software, and floppy 2 will contain the MP3 player software, and any additional drivers or system bits that wont fit on disk 1.

help me choose a system software version. it has to fit within these criteria:

1. as small as possible ram wise (I am only going to be using the motherboard's 2mb, so this is critical)
2. it must be compatible with the MP3 player
3. It must be compatible with a PDS ethernet card, and support TCP/IP so I can transfer files.

the same goes for the MP3 player software, including number 3, as as soon as I transfer files over crossover, they can go directly into the playlist.

so, I think I have a bit of work on hand, but it will be a fun project, and will be a wonderfull dedicated MP3 player when it's finished.

oh, the positioning of the LC will be perfect: under the driver's seat with it's ports facing the front of the vehicle. this allows cables to have plenty of lenght, and have the floppy disk access in the back, as they wont be needed as often.

feel free to leave comments, feedback, fine tuning, suggestions, and PLEASE let me know about the system software and MP3 player, as I cant find aything on this.

thanks. -digital Wink

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Joined: Apr 16 2004
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Cool Project

http://members.aol.com/xanathus/mpegdec/

Sound quality will be low, the lowest processor i have used it on is a PowerBook 520c (040 @25mhz)

When i get my own car i might try somthing similar Wink

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I hate to be the bearer of ba

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but from what I've read, Quicktime 4 doesn't support mp3 files on a 68K processor. My 7100/80AV with 32MB of RAM under OS 8 could barely play mp3's, so I doubt you're going to be able to pull this off very well. You should get an PowerPC powerbook and stick it in the LC's case, that's probably your best bet. Even the iPod shuffle has a 75MHz processor. A PB 5300 would work well, i know there are people here with parts machines.

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mpegdec

http://members.aol.com/xanathus/mpegdec/about.htm
but the program is 3mb plus you need quicktime

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iamdigitalman's picture
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yeah, I downloaded Mpegdec. i

yeah, I downloaded Mpegdec. it fits on one of the floppies. I trashed the AIFF player, readme, and source as all my files are MP3 format. plus, on the disk, I still have 838k to work with.

I got system 7.0.0 on the other floppy, and it JUST barely fits. less than 100k to work with.

honestly, do I really need QT? 2.1 it's way too big. or can I just use a single componant? or is there a smaller equivilant?

thanks. -digital Wink

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 211
PSU rating

Power supply ratings define maximum draw. A well designed switching PSU will take as much power from "the mains" that it requires until it reaches its maximum output. ie a 30W PSU and and a 50W PSU will consume roughly the same mains power to service the same circuit boards and drives. Thus, unless there are inefficiencies in the original LC PSU, you may wish to review your analysis. The facts that the 605 is more modern and has a lower power rating does not necessarily mean that it is more efficient. Given your scenario, I suggest that you perform real world tesst rather than making assumptions.

iamdigitalman's picture
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I apologize for making assupt

I apologize for making assuptions. I am no professional. mearly an amateur. I am just having fun with this. isnt that what performing these hacks is all about?

as for the MP3 player, it doesnt have to play MP3s. any format. so long as I can convert them on this machine then transfer them to the LC. just something that has a low memory and disk space footprint, and can fit within the parameters I defined.

-digital Wink

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Why not use a powerbook of so

Why not use a powerbook of some sort?

iamdigitalman's picture
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because

because I can. and because people are putting minis in ther cars. why not put the original mini, the LC?

plus, it will be more of a challange. I like a challange.

-digital Wink

DrBunsen's picture
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I say go for it.

I say go for it. But pick up an LC475/Quadra 605 motherboard for it if you can - you should be able to play full quality MP3s in stereo then from what I remember of MpegDec.

And if you're looking for a 605 PS, it's probably just as cheap to pick up a whole 605/475 (same machine, slightly different case shape - see LowEndMac's LC Index)

/edit/ Sorry I was wrong above - Just looked at MpegDec's site. Low or medium quality mono only on a 25mHz 040 like the one in a 475.

/edit/ also:

MpegDec wrote:

Fast 68030:
Low Quality, Frequency Division 4 (Fastest) in mono singlemix mode will probably play 44100Hz 128kbps MP3 files on a 68030 50MHz.

The 50mHz '030 is only available on rare and expensive upgrade cards for machines like the SE/30. The '030 in an LCIII is only 25mHz, LCII is only 16mHz.

Oh, but I see you want to use an original LC - that's only a 68020 at 16 mHz.

And then there's the sound output hardware. LCs are only capable of 8 bit mono at 22kHz. (CDs are 16 bit stereo at 44kHz). I couldn't find the audio specs for the LCII and III but I'm pretty sure they are the same. I think the 475/605 goes up to 16bit/44kHz /edit/ nah, I don't think that's right, pretty sure it was only the AV Quadras and PowerMacs that went there. Someone here'll know (/me pings dana?)

So, it'll run, but it'll sound really, really crappy.

If you're determined to use the LC, you could play WAV or AIFF files - they don't need decompressing at all, they'll just play straight from the file with minimum processor demand. Just resample them on another machine down from 16/44 stereo to 8/22/mono before you load them onto the LC - they'll take up 1/8th of the space and you won't lose any playback "quality" Wink And I'd drop by the 68kmla.net forums for further advice. They're all over the 68k action down there.

It's a nice idea and worth pursuing in some form or other. Why not keep an eye out for a 6100? They tend to go for nothing to $10, which is around what you'd pay for the 605 power supply, and will give you a PowerPC chip capable of full-rate MP3 playback, even VBR files, CD quality audio outs, and a CD player, all in a nice flat (though wider than an LC) pizza box case.

And I think the power rating should still be low enough for your inverter. Your phone charger probably only draws a handful of watts - 2 or 3. The power rating on a PS isn't how much they draw all the time - it's how much they -can- draw if they have to - ie on a machine loaded up with every accessory you can stuff in the box, caning the processor constantly - like your MP3 playing networked LC Smile

Good luck and keep us all posted Smile

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DrBunsen's picture
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More hints, advice, downloads.

Jag's House
Gamba OS advice and downloads.
The 68k Mac Liberation Army forum

Instead of the mouse, I'd suggest an ADB numeric keypad, with QuicKeys to assign the buttons to commands in the player, like pause, play, next, previous etc. I picked up one with a trackball in it for about $5.

Or there's this: Alps Glidepoint Touchpad and numeric keypad ADB on ebay.

Oh my lord they look nice. Have to check my bank balance. He's got 24 of them at $13 inc US shipping.

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iamdigitalman's picture
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update

yeah, the idea is to do it on the lowest hardware possible, plus I really want those dual floppies. I dont care about sound quality. you should hear what I have in my car. not the best in the world.

I also wanted a machine I can stuff under my seat, and the LC is it. trust me, I measured.

oh, and thanks for the numeric keypad idea. sounds wonderful, but a tad expensive. maybe.

all I care is that it will work.

and I did a test last night on my B&W to my wallstreet, and it's pretty damn simple to network these things. I didnt even need a crossover cable. just plug them into a hub, and share files.

oh, and I DID get the LC here thanks to paypal, it's on it's way already. should be here within 2-9 days. then I can continue this charade.

EDIT: just had a look at those keypads. didnt realise they hade a trackpad built in. geez, that's nice. I really dont need a full keyboard. that would be PERFECT. hey, Dr. if you have the money, purchace a lot (5 in a lot), and donate one to me. Smile too bad they arnt being sold individually.

-digital Wink

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5??

Oh that price is for a lot of five? Hmmm...

I emailed the seller and he won't ship USPS to me (Australia), only UPS or Fedex. Shipping would be $60.

Any US residents interested?

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iamdigitalman's picture
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It's Here!!

it arrived today, one Macintosh LC dual floppy, or so I thought. As soon as I had the double boxed+bagged really well packaged machine, I popped the cover, and to my surprise, it only has 1 floppy drive, but the dual slot cover. in it's place is a 170mb quantium hard drive. no OS, because when it was booted, got the flashing question mark. had the short SCSI and power cables and everything.

that wasnt the only surprise. it has both ram slots filled AND the VRAM slot filled. if that's a 256k vRam stick, it is SO going in my LC III to max it to 768k.

it also it missing the speaker, so no boot chime (just my luck, because my audio on my LC III is blown.). luckily I have external speakers, and it works. the speaker and fan fit in a cage together in the original LC, and instead of plugging into jacks, there is a row of 4 contacts that the contacts from the wires connect to. there is also a row of these contacts in front of the internal SCSI connector.

the case on the outside is quite yellowed. infact, there is a strip on the back edge that is actually brown!! the right latch is broken off, but I looked in the service manual, and you can hold the case closed with a screw on the hole in the middle on the back. I always wondered what that hole was on my LC III.

now to make a boot disk, leave feedback, and decide what my next move will be. any suggestions?

-digital Wink

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Suggestions

If you have no CD player in your car, why not pick up an old SCSI CD-ROM with audio outs or a headphone socket (lots of them had them but you'd want to confirm with the seller)

Then later down the track you might want one of these. It'll give you 16 bit sound out of an LC as well as a little mixer to pipe the CD-ROM through so you don't have to kluge something up or muck around with cable swapping.

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Jon's picture
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A long time ago I traded away

A long time ago I traded away an NEC drive just like that to eeun for that purpose. I doubt it's still in service though.

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DrBunsen's picture
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and

You should definitely post this on Hackaday when you're done Smile

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