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Topics - actkk2000

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1
General Discussion / MOVED: Dropbox on Raspberry Pi
« on: May 29, 2017, 02:15:48 pm »

3
Operating System / MOVED: pcDuino4 Nano
« on: September 21, 2016, 08:06:16 am »

5
Cubieboard v3 OS (Cubietruck) / MOVED: Where to buy?
« on: August 29, 2016, 10:40:33 pm »

9
Projects / The Cubietruck chronicles - Chapter IV: Android TV sequel
« on: July 21, 2015, 05:10:35 pm »
This is an update to http://www.cubieforums.com/index.php/topic,3164.0.html (and all other related posts before that, you must follow the trail!)

Acronyms:
CT = Cubietruck
DPF = Digital PhotoFrame
RPI = Raspberry Pi
TFT = 7" TFT display

Hi Everyone! I'm back!!  8)

Now for (maybe?) the final chapter of Cubietruck chronicles, because some things changed and seems this time for good...

After a few months of working well, the DPF started to (once again) fail...  :-\
The image on the screen started to shake and move like some kind of interference, but it wasn't.
Something like this:


 
I tried different cables, input sources, but in the end it was the VGA to RCA video converter.
After wasting a lot of time trying to fix it, I realized this actually presented an opportunity, because...

1- To buy a new or even better video converter like HDMI to RCA for instance, would cost me the same as a new RPI 2 (sadly, at least that's it in my country).
2- Buying a new RPI would give me the chance to try the new model which I was hopping to.
3- By replacing my old RPI would left a spare board with native RCA video output to hook on the TFT monitor and that way build a new DPF.
4- CT would suit perfectly as an Android TV set on a 24" non Smart TV, and that way make it "Smart".
And that way make a much better use of CT, not just a picture album...

Now let say a little bit more about #4 since it's more of this board's concern. Items 1-2-3 will be for another day's (and board) topic...

As for hardware, I just get rid of everything but top and below acrylics and On/Off button. Just back to basics.
But I have to add a little piece of plastic between CT and top acrylic to make pressure over the board and that way avoid any unwanted disconnection or memory error as in the past.

In short, no more fancy stuff... almost like in the beginning.
But with an extra: a mini wireless keyboard that will fit just great with CT and that way have remote control of Android.

Here some pictures of the rig:






As for software, I downloaded and installed this image:
http://dl.cubieboard.org/model/cubietruck/Image/Android/android-ultimate/
It already has Kodi, but I was more interested on Netflix and Spotify, along with Chrome and Youtube.
And for wallpaper a cool one called Device Info Live WallPaper:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.main.kurousa.android.livewallpaper.DeviceInfo

Here a screenshot:



So that's it! Easy as pie!
Hope you liked it, and see you around!!  ;D

12
Other / MOVED: Problem with GPIO and Wi-Fi/BT Cubietruck
« on: January 13, 2015, 07:34:25 am »

13
This topic has been moved to CB2 Board.

It is for CB2 and Android  ::)

14
Hi people!! :)

This is the next part of chapter III http://www.cubieforums.com/index.php/topic,3163.0.html
Acronyms:
CT = Cubietruck
DPF = Digital PhotoFrame
TFT = 7" TFT display

To continue on this, another step would be to add a power button bigger than the onboard power button which is too small to handle (even with Ewell case).

So I soldered two pins on the two holes located next to the onboard power button and from there I attached a push interruptor. It has two states, push once to close, push once more to open.

This was preferable to a push button because despite it will be needed to push twice to turn on or off CT, still will be easier than holding the button for a copule seconds, specially for an older person.

Here the pictures on how the button and VGA to RCA conversor were mounted on the acrilyc case:







These are pictures with the 12V fan attached to a side of the case, to push hot air away from CT and the bottom of the VGA to RCA conversor:





Here doing the final tests before to move it to its final destination:






CT is currently located over a computer desk, hidden behind an All in one computer. While the TFT is located nearby CT, on a shelf where former DPF was placed before. After booting on Android desktop and start XMBC, it has 1 minute of delay until slideshow screensaver finally starts, and 15 secs between random pictures.

CT can be turned off by pushing the interruptor, this action triggers a shutdown of the Android system.
And here a video showing how it's finally working (click to enlarge):



As a conclusion, I have to say that no matter how expensive this may look, in the end it has been a cool experience that took a year to be completed (considering from the moment I bought CT on november 2013 until now).

I also hope people have not been offended by this article, I now most of you are Linux fans and you hold high expectations on cubieboard products, specially CT since it is a product designed for much more interesting things than just a dumb DPF running Android...

But this situation is much better than keeping a u$s 100 paperweight, as it was until I came up with this "crazy" idea. In any case I can go and rescue CT anytime if needed, the only thing is to bring a better DPF to replace it...

But I have to thanks CT for all the good and bad moments. During this time a learned a lot from CT, from compiling driver modules on Linux to debug through serial port.
I hope you also have the fun of your lives with this product, or at least to have more luck than me!!

Thanks for everything and see you around! ;D

THE END... ?

15
Hello!! :)

This is the next chapter for http://www.cubieforums.com/index.php/topic,3150.0.html
Acronyms:
CT = Cubietruck
DIY = Do it yourself
PS = Power source
RPI = Raspberry Pi
TFT = 7" TFT display
WTF = What the f...

While I was wondering what to do with CT after I managed to bring it back to life and sucessfully connected it to a Lapdock, some unfortunate event happened on my mother's house (nothing to really worry about...)
A couple years ago she got a Phillips Digital PhotoFrame (DPF) similar to this:
http://www.p4c.philips.com/cgi-bin/dcbint/cpindex.pl?slg=en&scy=in&ctn=SPF1237/12

It worked well for a long time, until a few months ago it didn't start anymore. After a quick review I found the 5V wall charger was the problem. Since I had the original CT PS without being used at that time, I could spare it and I replaced the broken DPF wall charger. So far so good, a happy mother again...

Then while I was recently tinkering with CT and the Lapdock, she told me the DPF failed again. My first thought was a PS failure, but in that case it will be a big issue since the original DPF PS was 5v and only 650mA and CT PS is 5V 2A, meaning much more amps than needed. If this PS also got burned then the DPF had to be a real electricity blood sucking crap...

But when I tested the DPF I found this time a change of PS was not the answer. I opened it to see if there was something to do, but the circuit is quite compact indeed, very interesting for such small device. Just two little boards with everything, one for processor, memory and lcd interface all integrated and a little one with a 5 keys keyboard for setup and stuff. Nothing else. So if there were something fried it will be much difficult to me to find it...

In the meantime I took the chance to test the original CT PS and add CT to Lapdock and the other project all together. The CT PS was OK. Well, here I was thinking on one side how to fix the DPF and on the other what to with CT, since there was no enough room for 3 boards on my project...
And suddenly it all made sense. Why couln't I use CT to build a DPF and replace the brown one?

I googled it and found some interesting projects for RPI:
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Raspberry-Pi-Media-Panel-fka-Digita/all/
http://www.hackourlife.com/diy-multimedia-photo-video-frame-using-raspberry-pi/
http://www.binaryemotions.com/raspberry-slideshow/
http://techclicker.com/technology/build-functional-raspberry-pi-digital-photo-frame/

The first link caught my attention over the others because it was designed to work with XBMC. And I could use Android and XBMC to make it work easily on CT...
It will be needed an auto loader program to start XBMC after boot (http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=175693) and also to use the XBMC slideshow screensaver (http://kodi.wiki/view/Add-on:Slideshow)

But I didn't want to spend much money on that, I wanted to help my mother but if this would be an inconvenience it would be better to tell her to buy a new DPF. Nevertheless, DIY calling is much stronger and I wanted to do something about it by my self.

So the next step will be to find a cheap display for this project. And it turned out I already had one...
From the other project I had a TFT composite monitor that I replaced by a Motorola Lapdock for Atrix.
And a quick comparaison revealed they looked very much alike, at least in size:



The only inconvenience will be that CT does not have a video composite output. No RCA connector like in RPI.
I already had a VGA to RCA cable adapter like this:
http://www.dx.com/p/vga-to-svideo-and-rca-f-cable-9812#.VFUotnl0yHs

But it didn't work because it is for video cards that support TV-out via VGA port, and seems CT doesn't have that feature.
Then the only way to connect the TFT to CT would be through a VGA to RCA converter: http://www.dx.com/p/pc-to-tv-video-converter-adapter-silver-167014#.VFUo5Xl0yHs
And I finally decided to have one (click to enlarge):




OK, at this point you have to be thinking "WTF? Are you crazy? Why would you pay for something that it is already included in RPI?"
"Why don't you use the RPI as it was intended in all the listed projects for a DPF with a RPI, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel?"
And yes, that would make sense but it turns I'm not crazy... Or am I? ???

Some people worked on the same thing for cubieboard, but with Linux:
http://www.cubieforums.com/index.php/topic,1676.0.html
http://www.cubieforums.com/index.php/topic,173.msg16505.html#msg16505

Anyway, I was closer to convert CT into a DPF than a RPI which was already working, assembled on a case with a system in place.
And from my point of view, CT time had been passed. It was out too much time, and I already moved onto a new project to replace it, so there was nothing left for CT, just maybe a spare part. In this way it would fulfill a purpose, and would make my mother happy again, she loves her pictures collection.

Another reasons would be Wifi connection, faster boot and faster reading of the flash memory, also more trustable than a SD card, this will work many hours per day every day, more storage space for pictures...
And Android will let me to use a nice live wallpaper which I am fond of: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.main.kurousa.android.livewallpaper.DeviceInfo

With that in mind I proceeded to do some tests. First it would be needed to flash CT again with VGA Android image: http://dl.cubieboard.org/software/test/ct-android-factory-VGA.img.gz
It worked like a charm, with one little problem. Due to there was hot wheater here, I noticed CT started to heat as well and eventually to turn off or restart.

When I touched the acrylic I noticed it more than warm... something I didn't realize before. This caused I consider to add something to the build that I never wanted before: a fan.
Then again needed to buy something extra, this time a 3" 12V fan to cool off CT, similar to this:
http://www.dx.com/p/6015s-dc-12v-0-3a-brushless-cooling-fan-6-x-6cm-138608#.VFVEVnl0yHs

Fortunately I already had a 12V PS for the TFT and the CT addon http://cubieboard.org/2013/09/24/how-to-support-3-5-inch-hdd-on-cubieboard/ which I bought just in case, but I never used it before.
This way I would be able to control both display and fan power feed from the addon and to power off everything from CT.

Here some pictures of the new case built with only the two remaining acrylics and the addon in the middle, over CT. No Sata disk needed. (click to enlarge):




Here testing if CT and the addon could handle power for TFT display and the cooler fan:




Will continue on the next part...
http://www.cubieforums.com/index.php/topic,3164.0.html

See you soon!!  :D

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