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  1. #1
    rich dj's Avatar
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    Apple Tv in car Project started

    I have purchased (from a certain bid site) an Apple Tv gen1 for my car (I have one at home and use it all the time with about 12,000 songs on it synced from iTunes and a great deal of them are wav files so large storage needed) (before anyone asks no I down want to compress them to make them smaller).
    I have got a unit with a 640GB hard drive inside(sata) for the extra storage.
    I have tonight removed the Apple internal power supply and connected it to an external 10 amp 5 volt regulator and has now been running for 4 hours no problem the heat sink on the external power regulator isn't even warm, current in amps tested at 1.05 amps to max of 1.5 amps at 12volts (suggested 7.5 amps elsewhere on the net).
    I am going to leave it running all the time so i can sync it when its parked via wifi and also for quick start up time, the voltage regulator has a shut of so if the battery gets too low it will shut of leaving enough to start (hopefully, also a main kill switch for long parking).
    I plan to run a wireless router in the car (12 volt regulated and ignition acc switched) with a connection to Ethernet port on the Apple Tv so I can wifi my iphone using remote Hd (also remote HD installed on Apple Tv) then when the engine is switched off and key out the Apple tv switch's to Wifi mode (tested) which then links to my home Wifi signal for syncing to itunes.
    I will try and post pics up as i go
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  3. #2
    rich dj's Avatar
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    OK Sorted out Composite video output (normal yellow video lead output) as this unit does not have one, only HDMI and component (red blue Green plugs) so it will need standard video to run in standard car screens.

    To get apple tv to work with Composite video plug in your video lead to the green phono output on the back,
    2 ways to do this

    1- flash tv and then install nito tv and composite video plugin.

    Assuming you have nitoTV installed properly and 480i selected.
    - go to nitoTV - Settings - Utilities - Kernel Extension Manager - TVComposite.kext - press the Play button -> you should see color immediately

    To add it to startup, press the Fast Fwd button and then Create Startup Item
    (Thanks atvnoob from hackint0sh org for that tip)

    2-The other way if you don't have flash installed is an HDMI converter and another converter for this way I would google it as i did not use that route
    Trying in the car later today (hopefully if kids and my wife don't side track me)
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  4. #3
    rich dj's Avatar
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    Tested in the car and works well.
    I had to run the wireless router on a mains inverter to test it but a 12 volt, 1 amp regulator should sort that problem out.
    All controlled by the iphone (as connected to same network router) with the Remote App (the Apple one, grey outer and blue with a black play button)
    Also the Remote HD App works well for seeing the whole screen output if you need to tweak it.
    The car monitor also works although in NTSC but still in colour and plays movies ok for the car.
    All in all well happy, now to wire it in properly.
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    s8craig's Avatar
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    Can't see why you would want to leave it running drawing over an amp, that will kill the battery very quickly. There are some shutdown controllers on the market that will leave a 10 min interval before killig power, these are very useful for automotive PC type projects, checkout mp3car.com for details.

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    rich dj's Avatar
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    yes i had thought about that, but at 1 amp when nothing is playing and a 85ah battery should last couple of days I hope to see where the cut off point is on the regulator so i could judge it and then perhaps set a timer if need be as the apple tv runs all the time, not like a pc with a power up button and wasn't keen on shutting off the apple tv too often, luckily the hard drive wont be writing at any time in the car until I sync it to itunes which will have to be done say up to 24 hours of switching of the car.
    I will have a look at controllers on mp3car.com thanks for your help.
    Richard
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  7. #6
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    nice little project, i imagine a PC ignition controlled power supply will suffice, as it soft starts iirc. I always fancied an in car PC but TBH HU these days do all i would need it to do bar surf the web

  8. #7
    Arrkon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rich dj View Post
    1 amp when nothing is playing and a 85ah battery should last couple of days I hope to see where the cut off point is on the regulator so i could judge it and then perhaps set a timer if need be
    Richard,
    That is correct, Assuming the battery is at 100% health. Which if the battery has discharged (or had to be jump started) at any point, this will put a serious dent in said health. (see Below)

    Terminal Voltage
    (V)
    State of Charge
    (%)
    12.88
    100
    12.77
    90
    12.66
    80
    12.55
    70
    12.44
    60
    12.33
    50
    Currently rolling in a SKODA!!!

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    Sounds like an intriguing project- have been looking to do something similar with either aTV1 or mac mini for a while. Are you using a Kufatec style AV adapter for it? Would you be able to take a pic of the image as displayed on the RNS so we can see how well the text etc reads? Would be great to see pics of how you've got it set up generally.

    The bit that would be the gravy for me is the CAN bus interface. I believe there are Serial/Bluetooth/Wifi CANBUS interfaces around for not too much that would allow you to grab the button pushes from the RNS / MFSW, and possibly throw data back up to the track display screen in DIS. I have done a bit of programming on the mac / iPhone but never made it as far as the aTV - doesn't look like it should be that hard though barstardising other open source code! Its one for my ever growing list of summer projects.

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    Well, after a night of research last night, I think I've got the canBus semi-sorted out. The device from this highly suspect looking website claims to be FTDA based, which has drivers that should theoretically work with very little effort on the aTV. I've worked out how to mimic the remote commands via the console, so coding something that sniffs the can bus for the button pushes (MFSW and RNS-E) should be a doddle.

    The bit that might be harder is throwing the track info back the other way - the protocol is much harder to sniff for the text being thrown back to the DIS as it will be encoded in some way - button pushes are button pushes (will be a specific n digit string for each button to sniff), however throwing the text info back onto the bus will be a little bit more complicated - I think you might have to wait for the RNS-E to output its string (Presumably something like "TV"?) then immediately overwrite it with the info you want.

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    Righty - Some progress!

    Got a little bit bored at work and somewhat carried away on the internet. Hopefully my CAN-USB interface, AV interface and 5v 10A regulator for the aTV should be coming soon

    In the meanwhile, I've got to work on learning something about the CAN protocol - and have pieced together what should hopefully allow me (and indeed rich or whoever else wants the code) to control just about anything on the AppleTV (or mac or PC for that matter) through the CAN interface. For anyone interested, YT of a quick demo - emulating the messages coming in over a serial console - where I type VU/VD etc would be the real can messages for up and down on the MFSW wheels etc. Will of course update with a real one once the proper interface gets here :D

    Youtube Link

  12. #11
    rich dj's Avatar
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    Well done, sounds like your onto something, would be ideal for track info showing up on the dash keep us informed.
    I was going to start to look into the buttons on the steering wheel but I assume from your conversation its linked into the car ecu.
    Good work I would be very interested.

    I tried the car on a long journey today and all went well. I could not believe i now have access to 12500 tunes in my car and mostly uncompressed.

    I took the screen lock to 4 mins as i had to swipe the iphone if i needed to change track.

    So all i need to do now is a 12v regulator for Wireless router and a timer for shutting off the apple tv, possibly set to say 12 to 24 hours for fast access and also sync to itunes when parked at home.
    More pics soon.
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  13. #12
    rich dj's Avatar
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    12 volt to 5 volt Regulator at 10 amp


    Old Apple Tv 110 to 240v Power Supply removed


    Apple tv Old PSU Cables for 5v to desolder


    Apple tv on test with 12v power supply showing current in amps
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  14. #13
    rich dj's Avatar
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    Ready for installation in to the car


    And very temporary install in the glove box for testing with wireless router connected by cat 5.
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  15. #14
    rich dj's Avatar
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    There you go some pics.

    Looking forward to you receiving your purchases and fitting them to your car bdavbdav.
    Take some pics.

    My regulator took no time to come from overseas.
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    Thanks for the pics! Glad to see you've got the same regulator I ordered - does it run quite cool? Also glad to see the aTV draws way less than the 7.2A rating of the original PSU. Powering the device off is worrying me. The CANBUS interface I have has programmable firmware, and has LEDs on it which are addressable, so I figure I could have the interface listen for key in / out of slot, and trigger a relay after a delay (to give the aTV time to shut down). Only issue is the company making the interface want some extortionate amount for the SDK / reference code for the interface. Needs some more thought.

    Powering the wireless router - I'm not sure about this one for my purposes - I was going to use one of those 3G Wifi battery powered access points, also powered off the 5v reg (they usually charge by USB which is about 5.5v) - I figured this would give me internet radio etc, and possibly sync over 3G for small library changes, as well as something to connect iPhone to for remote control. Only issue is it powers itself down occasionally, and doesn't power back up when it receives power to it.

    Are you outputting video to an RNS-e? Hows the video quality for menus etc? Still working on the Track info - not quite sure how to pull the track names out just yet. I'd really like (if the Apple Universal Access toolkit is on there) to be able to display the current section of the menu in the DIS too. The RNS-E nav outputs images etc to the cluster, so in theory I should be able to output a menu to the DIS in the same way.

    Am i right in thinking you are using an IDE-Sata adapter for your new laptop hdd? Did that work fairly easily?

    Sorry for the barrage of questions!

    Still to find somewhere sensible to put the aTV - glovebox isn't quite deep enough, but it seems wasteful to run cables all the way down to the boot / under seat.

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    Got me a track name out (Its from itunes, but the interface works exactly the same for ATV.) Just have to work out the encoding to shunt it out over CAN bus now!


  18. #17
    rich dj's Avatar
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    Blimey that was quick well done. Is the data readily available or is it a case of sampling the existing radio and working out the letter data etc.
    Keep up the good work bdavbdav.

    Another road journey done today all worked well even over a really bumpy track.
    Just set up the network to my garage with a temp mains network adapter and another wireless router, so i could sync more tracks as loaded a couple more cd's to iTunes.
    Just for the hell of it I named the car wireless network "Vorsprung Durch Technik" ;-)
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  19. #18
    rich dj's Avatar
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    Sorry mist this thread i read it too quick earlier.

    Yes the regulator barely gets warm. Yes i must admit powering down the unit constantly does worry me too but i does not need to shut down and should not write any data on shut down (i assume as the only way to turn it off orig was by pulling the mains plug (big spark)) and in standby its still running it still syncs and plays back ipod iphone with airtunes and will playback from remote it also still drawers just over an amp so hardly standby?
    Can the reference be found any other way?
    I was also looking on the the auction site for the 3g wifi router with a 5v powered usb type connector also good for mobile internet.
    Im only using the iphone at the moment with the remote app and also the remote hd app but i have tested on an in car monitor and it looks ok for 480i which is only in NTSC but the monitor accepted it ok and video playback off pal worked fine.
    I only have single din stereo on the Audi at the moment but poss looking for a video pop up screen version was looking at Pioneer and Kenwood to to expense.
    I purchased the unit with the pata to sata adapter and 640gb hard drive already fitted it also has OSX 10.4 on it as well but not got too much use out of that yet its loaded from the apple tv menu if required. I will post pictures of the adapter for numbers.
    No worries about the questions I like a good challenge too.
    I was thinking of putting it somewhere in one of the rear quarters or possibly under the flap in the boot with added ventilation as that will hold the two amps as well.
    Poss under the seat but i just had a blocked air con water hose and had a very wet carpet in the passenger side so perhaps attached to the seat?
    Also looking at Sub places and the rear quarters looked up for the job too so brain storming required.
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  20. #19
    rich dj's Avatar
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    Some pics of the Hard drive adaptor



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  21. #20
    rich dj's Avatar
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    Some pics of the Hard drive adaptor



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