Rockbox Technical Forums

Rockbox Development => New Ports => Topic started by: roach on September 28, 2006, 08:30:58 PM

Title: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: roach on September 28, 2006, 08:30:58 PM
I have some experience with designing and building MP3 players. My most recent design is an ARM7-based player with external MP3/AAC/WMA/WAV/midi support via a VS1033 from VLSI...

...and then I saw RockBox.

I want to design a player that will do all the marvelous things RockBox is capable of. Themes, plugins, games, Video, Software codecs, you name it.

So I need a push in the right direction with regards to hardware. What kind of CPU does the community recommend? How much RAM? Hard-drive or Flash-based?

Take as an example the new iPods. I mean, if RockBox ports to the 5G and 6Gs, then someone, somewhere must know something about the hardware, right?

Ideas, suggestions and, most of all, information are welcome!
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Mad Cow on September 28, 2006, 09:02:11 PM
So you can actually make a functional MP3 player? How do you print the PCB's and write firmware for it?
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: saratoga on September 28, 2006, 09:16:23 PM

So you can actually make a functional MP3 player? How do you print the PCB's and write firmware for it?


You can have PCBs made for relatively cheap, and write your own firmware.  The housing would be the hardest part I think.

Quote
I want to design a player that will do all the marvelous things RockBox is capable of. Themes, plugins, games, Video, Software codecs, you name it.


All of this is documented in the wiki.  I recommend looking at the 68k targets first since they are most mature and have the most optimizations commited.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Mad Cow on September 28, 2006, 09:32:17 PM
You can get PCB's printed? I thought that was just for huge orders from big companies. The housing wouldn't be too hard, check out the projects on http://www.benheck.com. I still think writing firmware would be the hardest, because you can't get much more than rockbox devs anyway.

For the future I would recommend a dual-core CPU, because I've read that will be the fastest way to decode video and audio without an external chip. The problem is, nobody knows how to use both cores yet.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Mad Cow on September 28, 2006, 09:56:48 PM
You can get PCB's printed? I thought that was just for huge orders from big companies. The housing wouldn't be too hard, check out the projects on http://benheck.com. I still think writing firmware would be the hardest, because you can't get much more than rockbox devs anyway.

For the future I would recommend a dual-core CPU, because I've read that will be the fastest way to decode video and audio without an external chip. The problem is, nobody knows how to use both cores yet.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: roach on September 28, 2006, 10:33:42 PM
All of this is documented in the wiki.  I recommend looking at the 68k targets first since they are most mature and have the most optimizations commited.


Do you have a link to the actual page? Or search terms I can use? The problem with wikis (IMHO, and not just the RockBox wiki...) is that they're such a pain in the a$$ to navigate. You can only get to a page by searching for it. God only know how many "hidden" pages are on the average wiki, just because there are no external links...
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: roach on September 28, 2006, 10:35:00 PM
For the future I would recommend a dual-core CPU, because I've read that will be the fastest way to decode video and audio without an external chip. The problem is, nobody knows how to use both cores yet.


For a music player, or even a full-fledged PDA, this is waaay overkill. I was thinking an ARM-9, prolly running at about 200MHz.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: saratoga on September 28, 2006, 11:37:39 PM

All of this is documented in the wiki.  I recommend looking at the 68k targets first since they are most mature and have the most optimizations commited.


Do you have a link to the actual page? Or search terms I can use? The problem with wikis (IMHO, and not just the RockBox wiki...) is that they're such a pain in the a$$ to navigate. You can only get to a page by searching for it. God only know how many "hidden" pages are on the average wiki, just because there are no external links...


The problem with users is that they can't be bother to look for themselves.  The iriver port is linked on the front page of Rockbox.com as well as the wiki.

http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IriverPort

Next time look before asking.


For a music player, or even a full-fledged PDA, this is waaay overkill. I was thinking an ARM-9, prolly running at about 200MHz.


FWIW the Ipod is a dual core ARM7 running at <=75MHz.  If thats overkill, your ARM9 core would be roughly 3x more overkill :)  Should make porting easier though.  It'll be so many times faster then any other Rockbox target you won't really have to worry much about optimization.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: markun on September 29, 2006, 02:16:27 AM
I was thinking an ARM-9, prolly running at about 200MHz.


I think 200MHz ARM9 CPU is fine if it's not much more expensive than a slower CPU. You can change the clock to save battery time (like we do on most targets). The Toshiba Gigabeat we are working on has a 300MHz ARM9.


I want to design a player that will do all the marvelous things RockBox is capable of. Themes, plugins, games, Video, Software codecs, you name it.


You just need a DAC and a (color) display for that.

Quote
So I need a push in the right direction with regards to hardware. What kind of CPU does the community recommend? How much RAM? Hard-drive or Flash-based?


Hard-drive or Flash-based really only depends on what you want. Flash is more robust but with a hdd you can put a lot more music on it.

For a flash-based player I don't think you need that much RAM, as reading from flash doesn't cost you much battery time compared to a hard-drive.

If you go with the hard-drive then you want a lot of memory (at least 32MB I would say) so many songs can be played from RAM before the disk needs to spin up again.

It might speed up the port if you use parts already supported by other players:

http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/DataSheets

It's not completely up-to-date. I'll add some more Gigabeat parts to the list later.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: roach on September 29, 2006, 09:02:00 AM
The problem with users is that they can't be bother to look for themselves.  The iriver port is linked on the front page of Rockbox.com as well as the wiki.

http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IriverPort

Next time look before asking.


Ouch. Well, first, rockbox.com is a GoDaddy parked domain. You must mean rockbox.org.
On the rockbox.org front page there are no links to any iRiver port (unless you mean the "Daily Builds" page?).
And I'm not looking for a port. I'm looking for hardware specs and suggestions (though Rockbox is maybe the wrong place to be looking, but I figured if you're writing iPod firmware, you must know the iPod hardware pretty well, right?). But thanks for the link, I'll take a look at the iRiver port.

Quote
FWIW the Ipod is a dual core ARM7 running at <=75MHz.  If thats overkill, your ARM9 core would be roughly 3x more overkill :)  Should make porting easier though.  It'll be so many times faster then any other Rockbox target you won't really have to worry much about optimization.

LOL  :D. Great! Guess I saw "dual core" and thought "Intel Pentium" :-). I don't suppose you might know where I could find a BOM? So if the iPod has a dual-core, and RockBox supports the iPod, then I guess dual-core is not as much of an obstacle as MadCow was talking about earlier? I've never worked with dual-core, so I'm curious...

Quote from: markun
It might speed up the port if you use parts already supported by other players:

http://www.rockbox.org/tw.../bin/view/Main/DataSheets


This is an excellent step in the right direction for me. Thanks Markun!
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Bagder on September 29, 2006, 09:55:39 AM
IMO, dual-core is far from necessary and Rockbox doesn't even yet run on both cores of the portalplayer chips.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: roach on September 29, 2006, 12:19:59 PM

IMO, dual-core is far from necessary and Rockbox doesn't even yet run on both cores of the portalplayer chips.


I was thinking ARM9 for the higher speed, if I'm going to be deconding on the controller, rather than using a third-party chip. If I can dedicate an entire core to just decoding, that would be sweet. The advantages to software decoding are pretty attractive, if only for the future-proofing...

BTW, Thanks to everyone for your input!

[edit]: Found a partial dissection of the 5G iPod, if anyone's interested, over at howstuffworks: http://www.howstuffworks.com/ipod.htm
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Bagder on September 29, 2006, 12:59:21 PM
Quote
if I'm going to be deconding on the controller, rather than using a third-party chip


All modern DAPs decode music with the microcontroller. The dedicated chip solutions are all gone since they are too limited.

But yeah, an ARM9 will be plenty powerful enough and a second core is just making things complicated if you can get away with a single one - IMHO.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: plywood99 on September 29, 2006, 05:42:09 PM
Saratoga, you sound like a jerk. Your elitist attitude does nothing. Why not help the guy? I think it is great that roach wants to make a player for Rockbox.

This is my first post but a long time reader of this forum. I have a 2g Nano and patiently await a Rockbox version for it. But some people on this forum are quite snobish to say the least. This is not just my opinion either. Others Iv'e talked to have negative opinions about this forum too. Shame really, Rockbox is great and I appreciate the hard work that goes into making such a project. Some folks just need to chill a little...


Ply
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: saratoga on September 29, 2006, 06:15:30 PM

Saratoga, you sound like a jerk. Your elitist attitude does nothing. Why not help the guy? I think it is great that roach wants to make a player for Rockbox.

This is my first post but a long time reader of this forum. I have a 2g Nano and patiently await a Rockbox version for it. But some people on this forum are quite snobish to say the least. This is not just my opinion either. Others Iv'e talked to have negative opinions about this forum too. Shame really, Rockbox is great and I appreciate the hard work that goes into making such a project. Some folks just need to chill a little...



You registered just to call me a jerk and talk about the Nano port in the wrong thread?  Maybe you're not really helping the content level here yourself.

Anyway I pointed out that we have all the info he asked in the wiki, and then linked it. I'm not really sure how else I"m supposed to help.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: aliask on September 29, 2006, 11:42:59 PM

You registered just to call me a jerk and talk about the Nano port in the wrong thread?


What, you wanted him to make a new thread "Saratoa is a jerk"? And the fact that he registered just to say that certainly says something.
But anyway, I digress.

Another option you'll have to explore is the method of input. Rockbox is suited to a DAP with a lot of buttons (especially for things like the Gameboy emulator). You'll also have to decide whether to have a touch sensitive input (like the iPod's) or real tactile buttons (like the iriver H100 or H300).
Personally I prefer having tactile buttons, as it allows you to operate the player without having to look at the screen. This has a few benefits: you can use it in your pocket, and also having tactile buttons would be much easier to use for visually impaired users (who are one of the main user bases of the Rockbox firmware).
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: portable on September 30, 2006, 01:14:00 AM
Just to let everyone know, we are looking at making our next mp4 generation running on Rockbox. (Regardless of the current X8 firmware reverse engineering progress.) For the new machines, we should have the complete source codes, etc for Rockbox developers to play with.  ;)

I will probably start a new thread on that when the time is right.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: roach on October 02, 2006, 09:55:40 AM

Personally I prefer having tactile buttons, as it allows you to operate the player without having to look at the screen. This has a few benefits: you can use it in your pocket, and also having tactile buttons would be much easier to use for visually impaired users (who are one of the main user bases of the Rockbox firmware).


This is a good point. The goal of this project that I'm thinking of, would be to come up with a hobbyist-type open-hardware project, that people could play with the schematic and board layout, have a complete BOM, and order the parts and construct it themselves if they wish. Open-source firmware (rockbox) would be essential, and RockBox is the best! :-)

This said, I don't have the kind of money it takes to create a custom enclosure, with professional-grade molded buttons, etc, and I want to come up with buttons and enclosure that anyone can buy or sample for free, to create the project. I'll probably go with buttons over a capacitive touch sensor, simply for simplicity, though the point you raised gives another excellent reason.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: scorche on October 02, 2006, 12:17:35 PM
Also, I would go with a 2.5" hard drive (unless you go with flash), as they are cheaper, more widely available, and come in larger capacities.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Davide-NYC on October 02, 2006, 06:13:54 PM

Just to let everyone know, we are looking at making our next mp4 generation running on Rockbox.


I, for one, am amazed at this. Can we get the company to contribute to development?
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: portable on October 02, 2006, 06:26:41 PM
We are listening.......and definitely interested.....

We are going to get help from Rockbox developers soon, to do the 1st stage of our project......keep a eye on a new thread  ;) (Right now, waiting for some product to appear before this can start.....)
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: roach on October 02, 2006, 06:32:18 PM
Hi Eric,

Is this going to be an open-hardware project? (ie: public schematics, board layouts, parts list, etc.)
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: portable on October 02, 2006, 06:46:20 PM

Hi Eric,

Is this going to be an open-hardware project? (ie: public schematics, board layouts, parts list, etc.)


We weren't thinking about making this an open-hardware project....we were more on the line of designing the hardware, release public schematics, board layouts, parts list, etc to Rockbox developer (not public). I mean Rockbox developer will get their hands on everything they need on the hardware and source code, etc. And we leave the OS as open-source....(if you read the other thread by me, then you would know we were trying something similar with the current X8 but telechips do not provide source code to make this much further. And the current firmware reverse engineering progress seems to have stalled or at least I didn't hear any updates on it.)

And the 1st stage I was talking about was to allow Developer to work on a simplified version of the project using a simpler hardware (which is going to be mass produced anyway).....with little features just to get the Rockbox working on a particlular chip first and see how well it goes. Then, we can design new models using the same chip and implement additional features on the hardware and Rockbox/other OS (eg linux).......

Open-hardware project does sounds good but I don't know how to make it work though....progress might be too slow to be practical? (and what if Apple, etc come along and steal everyone's hard work on the hardware and make it their own?)
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: roach on October 02, 2006, 07:04:55 PM
Open-hardware project does sounds good but I don't know how to make it work though....progress might be too slow to be practical? (and what if Apple, etc come along and steal everyone's hard work on the hardware and make it their own?)


Well, you still have ultimate control over licensing. If you release it under, say, the LGPL, then Apple (or whoever) has to keep the design open if they want to use any portion of your design.

As well, you're not necessarily limited to relying on external parties for development. The main point (in my mind, anyway) would be:

- Anyone can build one from scratch, if they want, simply by orering the parts, BUT
- it'll be cheaper to buy either a completed player, or a kit, from you guys, since you're making them by the hundreds (or thousands) anyways. You're material costs will be lower (economy of scale) than the average hobbyist. You can charge a slight markup, and resell the required parts. AND
- for people who don't want to make the damn thing themselves, but only want an mp3 player, you can sell the completed version at your regular retail markup.

So, not only are you hitting your regular retail customers, you're also getting all the electornics and rockbox hobbyists out there who'd rather make one themselves...
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: portable on October 02, 2006, 07:40:47 PM

Well, you still have ultimate control over licensing. If you release it under, say, the LGPL, then Apple (or whoever) has to keep the design open if they want to use any portion of your design.


Well, I don't think that's a very good idea though. If you know how fast Chinese manufacturer can copy designs.....And the fact that this device is manufacturered in China....It will be too much of a trouble to hunt down manufacturers that violate the licences. Simply not worth it....you could be driven out of business by others imitation your design with your own blueprints!!!


Anyone can build one from scratch, if they want, simply by orering the parts

Don't you think electronic parts these days are too delicate and too small to put together yourselves? Much easier and way cheaper to just  buy the completed product.

By the way, I found this http://www.simputer.org which is a open hardware project.
And this is these are the products -
http://amidasimputer.com/
http://www.simputerland.com/
(seems not bad, except amida's site says "We do not ship to international customers at this time.")

However, we don't mind if you want to contribute any ideas we should consider to make new devices..
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: roach on October 02, 2006, 07:53:35 PM
If you know how fast Chinese manufacturer can copy designs.....And the fact that this device is manufacturered in China....It will be too much of a trouble to hunt down manufacturers that violate the licences.


Of course the decision is entirely yours :). If you think the risks outweigh the benefits then you should follow your instinct.

Quote
Don't you think electronic parts these days are too delicate and too small to put together yourselves?


Speaking from experience, absolutely not. However, open hardware designs have to take certain human limitations into consideration. For example, a regular human being will have difficulty soldering, say, 0402 package passives. Better to stick with 0805. Or using LQFP packages instead of BGA. That sort of thing.

Quote
Much easier and way cheaper to just  buy the completed product.


And I'm sure the majority of users would agree. So you need something that's professional enough to appeal to the average consumer, but easy enough for the average electronics hobbiest. Not an easy dichotomy to address. This is why typical hardware projects are geared toward one audience or the other, but rarely both. Still, if you're willing to share your schematics and part lists with the RockBox community, I'm sure you'll find an interested audience. I know I'd be interested...
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: 608zz on October 03, 2006, 12:47:41 AM
I'm going to list what I'd like in a Rockbox-based device:

This is a flash-based, audio-centric device:
* Enclosed slot for a SD-card, or maybe CF-card (Samsung recently made 32GB CF-cards).  The card needs to be kept safe from physical harm, so must not be exposed on the exterior of the casing.
* Monochrome screen.
* Powered by a single AA battery.  Forty hours of battery life may be possible on a flash device with a monochrome LCD, with the backlight always-off.
* Tactile controls, preferably a 5-way joystick.
* Exterior casing that completely recesses all controls.
* However much built-in flash memory as necessary.  It doesn't have to be 4+GB, since there is an accommodation for expansion cards.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: portable on October 03, 2006, 01:34:22 AM

I'm going to list what I'd like in a Rockbox-based device:

This is a flash-based, audio-centric device:
* Enclosed slot for a SD-card, or maybe CF-card (Samsung recently made 32GB CF-cards).  The card needs to be kept safe from physical harm, so must not be exposed on the exterior of the casing.
* Monochrome screen.
* Powered by a single AA battery.  Forty hours of battery life may be possible on a flash device with a monochrome LCD, with the backlight always-off.
* Tactile controls, preferably a 5-way joystick.
* Exterior casing that completely recesses all controls.
* However much built-in flash memory as necessary.  It doesn't have to be 4+GB, since there is an accommodation for expansion cards.


Try the other project
http://www.s1mp3.org/

They might have something that suit whatever you are after.

We are not interested in flash mp3/mp4 because there are way too many out there and the competition is too intense.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: 608zz on October 03, 2006, 02:57:14 AM
Quote from: portable
Quote from: 608zz
I'm going to list what I'd like in a Rockbox-based device:

This is a flash-based, audio-centric device:
* Enclosed slot for a SD-card, or maybe CF-card (Samsung recently made 32GB CF-cards).  The card needs to be kept safe from physical harm, so must not be exposed on the exterior of the casing.
* Monochrome screen.
* Powered by a single AA battery.  Forty hours of battery life may be possible on a flash device with a monochrome LCD, with the backlight always-off.
* Tactile controls, preferably a 5-way joystick.
* Exterior casing that completely recesses all controls.
* However much built-in flash memory as necessary.  It doesn't have to be 4+GB, since there is an accommodation for expansion cards.

Try the other project
http://www.s1mp3.org/

They might have something that suit whatever you are after.

There isn't anything at that URL and besides, it isn't Rockbox, as far as I can tell.

Quote from: portable
We are not interested in flash mp3/mp4 because there are way too many out there and the competition is too intense.

I don't know who you're speaking for, but the thread starter already said that he would consider making a flash device.  There are no personal audio devices that meet the criteria that I mentioned.  And since the idea here was to design a device around Rockbox, there wouldn't be any competition anyway. 

I see that you are a distributer of HDDs.  Conflict of interest, perhaps?  I'm not a distributer of flash memory, I simply want a decent flash-based audio device for personal use.  It needs to be flash, because I'll use it during physical activities.  I currently use an iAudio G3, a flash-based device with more features than any other, but it has limits on the number files and folders it can have, due to an outdated processor.  Plus it doesn't have expansion capability.  Plus it doesn't have high quality recording.  Rockbox has the software functions I want, just not the availability on hardware that I can use.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: portable on October 03, 2006, 03:11:39 AM

There isn't anything at that URL and besides, it isn't Rockbox, as far as I can tell.


There used to be something there, yes, not Rockbox, but another open source project I found......it is supposed to be a opensource project for those chinese flash based mp3.....that's why I say it might be similar to what you are after...

I mean it is probably easy to find someone who already made a device you are after....using a chip that Rockbox probably already runs in....(there are so many flash based mp3/mp4 device out there..........)

Our manufacturer already make some flash based mp4 that have the SD card slot....except it does not run rockbox because it uses telechips.....same chip as the X8........ie same problem we are having for the X8....
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: 608zz on October 03, 2006, 02:04:30 PM
Moving my post away from the off-topic idea that it previously generated:
I am very interested in buying a flash device that uses high-capacity expansion cards, is efficiently powered by a single AA battery, has a jack for an external, unpowered, stereo mic and has all the capabilities of the Rockbox H120 port.  Essentially the H120 running Rockbox, but as a small, efficient, flash-based device.  The 32GB CF-cards should be available soon enough, so an appropriate replacement for the H120 could easily be accomplished by someone with the proper ability.  There is much unmet demand for devices like this - Ask the folks who prefer the iAudio G3 and/or Iriver H120, and/or people who want small devices that make good quality recordings.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: portable on October 14, 2006, 06:32:21 PM
Check this out
http://www.tinkdoing.com/eng/005.html
http://www.tinkdoing.com/eng/011.html

As I suspect, there are hardware with similar requirement to yours exists. You just need to find one and make Rockbox work on it  ;)
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: 608zz on October 15, 2006, 07:38:56 PM

Check this out
http://www.tinkdoing.com/eng/005.html
http://www.tinkdoing.com/eng/011.html

As I suspect, there are hardware with similar requirement to yours exists. You just need to find one and make Rockbox work on it  ;)

Hey, I'm not looking for ideas of devices to port Rockbox to and that's not what this thread is about.  Furthermore, the device that you're suggesting to me is nothing at all like the device that I envisioned. 
* First, that thing has no screen.  I specifically said that I want a monochrome LCD.  Rockbox needs a screen.
* Second, the SD-card sticks out.  I specifically said that the card must not be exposed on the exterior of the device. 
* Third, it's not powered by the AA battery-standard.  I specifically said that it should run on a single AA battery. 
* Forth, lack of screen means no feasible recording ability.  I specifically said that the device needs to have a jack for an external mic.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: jbond on October 23, 2006, 04:33:58 PM
My requirement is almost exactly the reverse. I want a Creative Zen Xtra with a phat 2.5" disk, USB Mass storage and RockBox. Since I can't have that based on the Zen, I'm investigating ways of getting it, starting with other hardware and ultimately perhaps as a kit.

One possibility has been a gutted iPod with a broken hard disk mashed with a 1.8" to 2.5" connector to a 120Gb disk and all stuffed in an old tobacco tin (An altoids tin is probably too small for the disk!).

I should add that I have absolutely no interest in DRM.

As we're all still waiting for an iPod killer, I'm also interested in supporting any manufacturer prepared to turn their back on DRM and build the device we actually want with open source firmware and the features Apple won't give us, like easily upgradeable hard disks, replacable  batteries and USB mass storage. Once the basics are sorted then we can start working on the extras like USB host support, onboard bluetooth and so on.

I want a brick in my pocket that holds my entire media collection so I can take over other people's stereos. Not a penny sized player that only holds an hour or two of music. Key to this is the 2.5" disk. Mainly because they're cheap and with high capacity. And 2.5" based hardware has all but disappeared.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: saratoga on October 23, 2006, 05:59:23 PM


As we're all still waiting for an iPod killer, I'm also interested in supporting any manufacturer prepared to turn their back on DRM and build the device we actually want with open source firmware and the features Apple won't give us, like easily upgradeable hard disks, replacable  batteries and USB mass storage.


FWIW the ipod battery and hard disk are pretty easy to upgrade (you just unplug the old one and plugin the new), and it supports USB mass storage.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Davide-NYC on October 23, 2006, 11:23:04 PM
My requirements would be:

Take the iRiver H1x0 player and substitute the mageto-mechanical Hard-Drive for either massive Flash 30GB+ or a reasonable amount of Flash with an expansion slot.

Upgrade the LCD (not to color but) to a fast, large and crisp 1 bit monochrome LCD. It's about legibility not eye candy. You can't listen to color.

Then add a Real Time Clock. This is sorely missing on the H1x0 in my opinion.

Oh and I repeat the "nothing must protrude" request. Nothing must protrude.

Dreamy inclusions would be to upgrade the mic-pres, add phantom power and balanced inputs.

All in a pocket friendly size.  ;D
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: jbond on October 24, 2006, 01:47:03 AM

FWIW the ipod battery and hard disk are pretty easy to upgrade (you just unplug the old one and plugin the new), and it supports USB mass storage.


The iPod disk is a 1.8". Good for physical size and power consumption. Bad for data size and cost. I'd prefer 2.5" Now maybe this will change as the new perpendicular encoding disks start to appear.

The thing about the battery is it would be nice to carry a charged battery and be able to swap it on the road. Although there are solutions to this with external boxes.

There's another angle on this which goes back to the start of the thread. A Rockbox reference hardware design could end up as three layers. An unpopulated circuit board, A populated circuit board and case (add your own battery and hard disk), a retail finished box. I think that having these available would drive down the cost of PMPs. At the moment the price of hard disk based PMPs is driven by marketing and competition and not raw materials. It irritates me intensely that we pay a $100 premium for an extra 30Gb when the actual premium should be more like $10. Given the price of 2.5" drives now, it should be possible to make a profit on a mass produced, chinese manufactured  box at around $100 to $150. Not $399.

What really puzzles me with the smaller manufacturers is why they want to get involved in writing their own firmware and why they want to pay the Microsoft tax. They'd be better off (and so would we) if they put the money they would have spent on that into the RockBox project.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: saratoga on October 24, 2006, 12:16:05 PM

What really puzzles me with the smaller manufacturers is why they want to get involved in writing their own firmware and why they want to pay the Microsoft tax. They'd be better off (and so would we) if they put the money they would have spent on that into the RockBox project.


I imagine a lot of them don't know about Rockbox, and those that do are not very interested in it because of the GPL, which likely conflicts with some of their code (particularly if they're going to support DRM, MTP, etc).
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Larsie on October 24, 2006, 01:10:02 PM


* Second, the SD-card sticks out.  I specifically said that the card must not be exposed on the exterior of the device. 
* Third, it's not powered by the AA battery-standard.  I specifically said that it should run on a single AA battery. 


If there's going to be a 'DIY' DAP with Rockbox support you'd be able to fix these issues yourself.

You could just hook up your own SD/CF/whatever-slot where you want.

I personally do not like AA battery's but same here, most parts will probably need 1-5 volts or something simmular (depending wether or not it's going to be harddrive- or flashbased). But you could just make a batterypack or solder a AA-socket on there.

And hell yes, I'm interested :P
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: jbond on October 24, 2006, 04:49:15 PM

I imagine a lot of them don't know about Rockbox, and those that do are not very interested in it because of the GPL, which likely conflicts with some of their code (particularly if they're going to support DRM, MTP, etc).


Call me obtuse, but that's the point. Nobody actually wants Windows DRM or MTP. All they do is get in the way. Especially now that PFS DRM is obsolete with the Zune. And MTP is harder to use than USB mass storage.

Fairplay code baked in so that Rockbox will play iTMS tracks, anyone?
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Michael7 on November 21, 2006, 08:18:25 AM



I want a brick in my pocket that holds my entire media collection so I can take over other people's stereos. Not a penny sized player that only holds an hour or two of music.



Great point, I regret selling my ajbr (with brick being a good description). It fell to the ground a couple of times and the rubber corners protected it from harm.
The only time I get to listen to music is in the car or in the house when Im looking after the children where my ipod is connected to a set of computer speakers so the size of the player is not important to me either.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: 608zz on November 21, 2006, 12:51:42 PM
The size of the device is somewhat important to me, but it doesn?t have to be thin or tiny.  Thick/wide enough to use the AA standard, plus tall enough to have a CF-card compartment, equals an H120 that fits in most pockets.  CF-cards in 16GB are available right now, and it?s only a matter of time before the 32GB cards are here.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: kwaanens on December 30, 2006, 07:28:20 AM

My requirement is almost exactly the reverse. I want a Creative Zen Xtra with a phat 2.5" disk, USB Mass storage and RockBox. Since I can't have that based on the Zen, I'm investigating ways of getting it, starting with other hardware and ultimately perhaps as a kit.

--snip--

I want a brick in my pocket that holds my entire media collection so I can take over other people's stereos. Not a penny sized player that only holds an hour or two of music. Key to this is the 2.5" disk. Mainly because they're cheap and with high capacity. And 2.5" based hardware has all but disappeared.


My wish is exactly the same as yours. And with a huge battery, so I won't have to plug my player into the wall (or similar) every 5 hours like mye iAudio x5. I'm not scared of size, lots of us have big pockets, bags or backpacks, right? :)
Nice to hear others who would *not* like another tiny player that holds 100 songs and disappears in your pocket :)
The biggest player (storage wise) I've heard of was an American one with 100 GB (similar to the iriver 40 gig, but with bigger HDD), and I can't believe that no one has come made a bigger one.

I'm now at the point where I need to remove music from my player in order to put new music on it. That's of course due to flac-use, and I will continue with this. (Live recordings are usually not hifi, and shouldn't be compressed)

- Ketil
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: alsaf on February 15, 2007, 10:49:12 AM
I hook my H120 into my stereo as a convenient way of listening to music when I'm too lazy to look through my CD collection. A dream come true what be to able to play music from my external hard drive that has my music collection stored in FLAC format (rather than 128k OGG of my H120).

I'm not sure if this is the right forum, not sure where to start, but is it possible to hook up a HDD DAP player to an external hard drive?
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: pabouk on February 15, 2007, 11:32:54 AM

but is it possible to hook up a HDD DAP player to an external hard drive?

Yes, it is possible. Most of the players like iriver Hxxx (if not all) have standard ATA (IDE) interface. You just need to open the player and use a suitable power source and an adapter because most of the players contain 1.8" HDD while you would probably like to use 2.5" or 3.5" external HDD.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: alsaf on February 15, 2007, 03:35:43 PM
Thanks. I thought it was possible but I didn't realise it would be possible with 3.5 inch drives although it would be external to DAP.

I noticed there are multimedia players like the MVIX MV5000 and IAMM NTD36HD would be ideal for my needs but AFAIK  they don't support lossless formats and from what I see of screenshots the UI doesn't impress me.  




Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Rincewind on March 20, 2007, 10:01:37 AM
An iRiver H1xx could be the basis for a high quality non-portable HDD-Player. I imagine using a huge standard 3.5" disc and building a custom case with buttons and the iriver LCD on the front and the audio and optical connectors at the back.
The result would be a perfect addition to a home stereo system (or even in a car). It would have lossless audio, all the disc space you want, digital input and output, line out and line in and of course Rockbox.

The only problem is, you have to sacrifce an iRiver for it. If I can get a broken one on eBay I might start this project.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Kramdra on April 14, 2007, 07:04:09 PM
It should be very possible to make a good player, which can support most if not all of the features in rockbox.

* Size - if the pcb was made by a prototyping company we could easly use very small components.
The big components would be the problem (harddisk and battery)

* Case/enclosure - plastic/aluminuim. wouldnt look as good as commercial products..

* Video - Not sure if commonly available ARM7 micros are powerfull enough for this, I dont know enough about them. video isnt THAT important, but whats the point in making a custom hardware if itcant do what the others can, yet still be more expansive? :)


I have done some very basic research into parts, and found:

LCD's: I thoguth this would be a problem since I have only seen large ones on electonrics shops however there are plenty of very cheap nokia 3310 ones on ebay which include a controller, it would be very easy to use on any micro and many people use them on pc serial ports.
There are also cheap colour ones. I found http://store.earthlcd.com/RNH942209R1A?sc=7&category=427 but there is probably a lot of cell phone replacements that would be better.

This one would be awesome, and its cheap too, http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=712# (although Id rather have a gigabeat x30 screen...)

Processors:
I think an ARM core would probably be best. They are used in almost all embedded devices and seem to be cheap, easy to develope/program (usb/parallel/serial port JTAG programmers also cheap)


Decoder/DAC - Havent found out much about these. The  Wolfson WM8751L used in most players doesnt exist on their site and minimum order of 100pcs..
There is the VS1002 chip but I dont know enough about them, is it used in any commercial players?

It would be cool to use an accerlerometer for menus (like a Wii controller) but  maybe not a good idea for a hdd based player :/
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: gnu on April 15, 2007, 09:33:22 AM
If you want DACs: look into your old DVD player, and you'll surely find one. If you're lucky, you'll find documentation for it!
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Kramdra on April 24, 2007, 07:37:43 PM
I cant see how a dvd player DAC would be much good for what we want...



I have ordered a STR710 FZ2T6 ARM to play with. If I can get far with it, then I have a spare wolfstone decoder from my karma which I could possibly reuse (its one of the few non-bga chips in there :D), the hdd and I would like to use a nokia colour lcd (6610, controller included). Im going to play with the lcd first and try to do other cool stuff with it - it would be very difficult to get it all on a small enough pcb anyway.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: markun on April 29, 2007, 10:49:43 AM
I was thinking we might save ourselves some trouble if we could use the screen, case, LCD and buttons of an existing DAP and just design our own mainboard for it.

The question is which DAP would be a good donor...

I guess, price and the quality of the components are important. And if the player by itself is very nice already it also doesn't make much sense.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: toffe on May 02, 2007, 04:33:06 PM
For the case, you can make prototype easily with companies like this one:
http://www.emachineshop.com/
You can even know the price just doing the drawing.

For the electronic part, you can go with the new 16gb memory from Toshiba (no yet on the market but announced), so no need for a hard drive.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: gigabeatbox on June 20, 2007, 07:21:48 AM
so i know this may sound like a dumb question im not sure if anyone asked it yet cuz i didn't have time to read pgs 2 and 3, but is this player going to be based around rockbox and all its features, like would the firmware still be rockbox, or what?
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Bagder on June 20, 2007, 07:34:33 AM
"This player" is mostly talk and afaik no actual plans are yet made.

On a related subject, Neuros plans on making an open source portable audio player:

http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=11084.0
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: gigabeatbox on June 20, 2007, 09:59:53 PM
Oh I see, I'm sorry I wasn't aware of that.
I read all four pages, but I am not very 'technically aware,' so I had trouble understanding all the things people wrote, so has there been any progress? Where exactly in the conceptual stages is this project? It seems like it has quite a few supporters.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: bmordue on August 16, 2007, 08:40:18 AM
Possibly of interest is this thread

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=246943

on head-fi, an audio site with emphasis on headphone listening and a very active DIY community.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: scharkalvin on October 12, 2007, 07:07:36 AM
We REALLY do need to see an open source hardware player become available.   Soon all the 'hackable' players will be out of production and hard to find used and all the new players are locked down to keep them from running third party firmware (new ipods, zune, etc).

One development platform that I've seen is the NGW100 from Atmel.  This uses their AVR32 cpu.  This processor is an arm-like risc (not an arm instruction set) with lots of on board I/O.  It has a 16bit 50khz sample rate stereo DAC that is suitable for AC97 style audio.  It also has a build in color LCD driver that will do up to 2048x2048 pixels, dual 10/100 ethernet, high speed USB, external flash memory interface, pixel co-processor for video acceleration, etc.  It's supported by GNU tools (Atmel even has a version of their AVR studio jtag debugger that runs on Linux).

I've seen a hw example for using a PSP lcd display on this board: http://dma.elektroda.net/projects/ngw100_ext_lcd/ngw100_ext_lcd.html

Needless to say I'd like to look into this.  The NGW100 already runs Linux and the best part is the price, $90 from Digikey, Mouser, Arrow, etc...

What do you think?  Is this cpu fast enough?
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Bagder on October 12, 2007, 07:13:17 AM
Fast enough for what?

And besides, getting a Rockbox-capable player is quite a lot more than just finding a dev board that can run Linux.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: scharkalvin on October 12, 2007, 07:34:53 AM
I meant is the cpu up to the task of running the required codecs (I suspect so, since Linux on this platform has been running mplayer).  
I agree there is much more required to build a media player than a platform that runs Linux.  (The fact that it DOES run Linux means it is open source friendly and that the required documentation for a rockbox port IS available).

One of the first design choices required if someone were to design a player would be a choice of cpu platform.  The small volume involved would leave out any of the PortalPlayer processors.  The disadvantage of the AVR32 is the BGA package (for home brew hobby construction anyway).  A pc board house would have to do the assembly.

Anyway, sounds like a project to get ones feet wet in learning schematic capture and board layout.  I did install the open sourced gEDA tools on my Linux box (good excuse to get a larger LCD monitor....)
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: linuxstb on October 13, 2007, 05:43:41 AM

I agree there is much more required to build a media player than a platform that runs Linux.  (The fact that it DOES run Linux means it is open source friendly and that the required documentation for a rockbox port IS available).


That doesn't follow at all.  There are many devices out there which run Linux in conjunction with closed-source drivers and applications - the latter being where all the interesting device-specific code is.  The source code released by such manufacturers is rarely more than a standard Linux kernel source tarball, along with busybox and other standard utils.

Google for "tivoization".
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: scharkalvin on October 14, 2007, 09:31:04 AM
Quote
There are many devices out there which run Linux in conjunction with closed-source drivers and applications

True (think Tivo).  However the development board I am talking about IS completely open source and ALL the hw info IS available from Atmel.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: zajacattack on November 26, 2007, 05:48:53 PM
OK, I have a few comments:

(1) I am surprised at the lack of support for this idea. If we do not start doing this soon, we will run out of modifiable players that are on the market. You can see from the new iPods and Sansas that they are getting less and less modifiable.

(2) I agree that a player that could run a form of Linux, such as the older iPods would definitely be a good idea.

(3) Why not start a line of Rockbox players by modifying current players and loading them all with Rockbox?
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Btwizt on November 28, 2007, 08:26:16 PM

(3) Why not start a line of Rockbox players by modifying current players and loading them all with Rockbox?


One very easy way to get in a very deep pile of legal trouble.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: cool_walking_ on December 03, 2007, 01:30:20 AM
(1) I am surprised at the lack of support for this idea. If we do not start doing this soon, we will run out of modifiable players that are on the market. You can see from the new iPods and Sansas that they are getting less and less modifiable.

Yeah, I think it's a great idea, but I know even less about hardware than I do about software.



(3) Why not start a line of Rockbox players by modifying current players and loading them all with Rockbox?


One very easy way to get in a very deep pile of legal trouble.
How so? Is it illegal to resell an mp3 player now?
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: scharkalvin on December 03, 2007, 07:42:32 AM
Quote
How so? Is it illegal to resell an mp3 player now?

Yeah, go police EBAY on THAT one!  (or woot.com, who right now has a
refurb Sansa E260 for $49)


If you bought an MP3 player you (in theory) also bought a license to use the MP3 codec on that player.  You can resell that license when you resell the player.  If you were to provide different software, the license to use the codec in that software should come along with the hardware that was licensed as well.

Now, if we were to MAKE our own hardware we would NOT have had the license to provide the MP3 codec.  No problem, DON'T provide the codec with our hardware (can always use a free codec such as ogg).
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Btwizt on December 03, 2007, 09:45:49 AM
Actaully it would be illegal to sell Rockbox, wouldnt it?
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: linuxstb on December 03, 2007, 09:51:42 AM

Actaully it would be illegal to sell Rockbox, wouldnt it?


Not at all - it's perfectly legal to sell Rockbox, as long as you comply with the other conditions in the GNU GPL (the license Rockbox is distributed under):

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Btwizt on December 03, 2007, 11:43:48 AM
well then all my points are null and void.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: alsaf on December 03, 2007, 01:53:50 PM
since everybody is replying to this I thought I'd join the fun!!

Quote
I am surprised at the lack of support for this idea.


You might want to check this

http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=13688.0

Quote

If we do not start doing this soon, we will run out of modifiable players that are on the market.


From this particular forum there are plenty of unfinished porting projects.

Quote

You can see from the new iPods and Sansas that they are getting less and less modifiable.


Whether you like it or not, manufacturers are not out to make products that are modifiable. They are out to protect their IP and to make their products cheaper to produce and ensure they are able to meet demand. This is the reason why the switch to using different parts.  

Maybe I'm not getting it but isn't the point of resverse-engineering to produce firmware for a particular platform to use in  devices that manufacturers are unwilling to supply?  
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 08, 2007, 08:33:23 AM

One development platform that I've seen is the NGW100 from Atmel.  This uses their AVR32 cpu.  This processor is an arm-like risc (not an arm instruction set) with lots of on board I/O.  It has a 16bit 50khz sample rate stereo DAC that is suitable for AC97 style audio.  It also has a build in color LCD driver that will do up to 2048x2048 pixels, dual 10/100 ethernet, high speed USB, external flash memory interface, pixel co-processor for video acceleration, etc.  It's supported by GNU tools (Atmel even has a version of their AVR studio jtag debugger that runs on Linux).


scharkalvin, I understand your idea. I think the best shot is find an development board with free docs of hardware! Atmel is nice because they have good community forums (IMO), GCC compilers, full datasheet microcontrollers, and theirs ICs are easy to get and will not disappear soon.

You said AVR32, but they also have an ARM right? - for what I understand, RockBox have good support for ARMs... what would be the good choice? ARM or AVR32? - Atmel have ARM and AVR32 dev board...

scharkalvin, what is your domain? in what could you help? Software porting of RB? - please read more about the RockBoxPlayer project:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockBoxPlayer

I bought recently a Sansa e200, and now Sandisk changed Sansa e200 and others to Version 2 of hardware and software - no RB on V2.. and the energies put on RB for Sansa e200 V1 was worth of it?
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: zajacattack on December 08, 2007, 10:54:39 AM
Quote
Whether you like it or not, manufacturers are not out to make products that are modifiable. They are out to protect their IP and to make their products cheaper to produce and ensure they are able to meet demand. This is the reason why the switch to using different parts.  

Maybe I'm not getting it but isn't the point of resverse-engineering to produce firmware for a particular platform to use in  devices that manufacturers are unwilling to supply?

No, my point is that it's getting harder and harder. The Sansa e200 and eariler iPods were reverse-engineered. The e200R took a while, but was also cracked. The new iPods seem really hard to crack as well as the e200v2. Also, the iPhones have not come close to being cracked. My point is, it gets harder and harder, eventually so it's not possible. RockBox needs its own player before all targets that can run RockBox are off the market.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 08, 2007, 12:21:49 PM

Maybe I'm not getting it but isn't the point of resverse-engineering to produce firmware for a particular platform to use in  devices that manufacturers are unwilling to supply?

No, my point is that it's getting harder and harder. The Sansa e200 and eariler iPods were reverse-engineered. The e200R took a while, but was also cracked. The new iPods seem really hard to crack as well as the e200v2. Also, the iPhones have not come close to being cracked. My point is, it gets harder and harder, eventually so it's not possible. RockBox needs its own player before all targets that can run RockBox are off the market.
[/quote]
Maybe there is no future for RockBox... because RockBox is very simple and todays demands are for multimedia!! - RockBox even can't play album art in JPG, for example.

On the other side, we now have systems with processors capable of running Linux :) - and with Linux we have ALL - sound, image and video!!! Would RockBox developers re-invent the wheel? - I don't think so.

About hardware, I think that company's are all time making new versions, for a lot of reasons, I can say one or two important: cut prices - new IC's, cheap and with more capabilities, less power. And with this changes, that will be faster every day with technology, RB developers will not have time, while company's have because that have all the information about hardware/software.

I think is important to have RB as an application for Linux or other OS, or RB will not exist. But, is there the need of RB when you can have MPlayer or VLC that does better what RB do?

I think that hardware for RB should have a processor that will not gone from shops on short time. Also should have all information public and with GCC port. Better If is an ARM, because there is a lot of work done for ARM in RB.

Also we should no pursue the multimedia tendency, but the audio quality, play, register and share audio only.


Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: alsaf on December 08, 2007, 03:15:08 PM
Quote

Quote by Casainho

Maybe there is no future for RockBox... because RockBox is very simple and todays demands are for multimedia!! - RockBox even can't play album art in JPG, for example


I'm in no position to judge whether there is a future for multimedia on portable devices but I can say for certainty is that there will always be demand for a portable music only player whether it is for exercise, out walking or sitting on public transport.

Where there is demand for these types of devices there will always be demand for RockBox.

Another thing not to be sneered at is second hand players. Most of the players that have RB releases can be picked up quite cheaply and RB furthers the lifespan of these by providing new features.

Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Llorean on December 08, 2007, 03:19:50 PM
First: Not all hardware is necessarily getting harder to port for. If this were the case, we wouldn't be running our own code on the Gigabeat S, M:Robe, Tatung Elio, and other players.

What's getting harder is to find developers willing to put in the time and the effort to do the work for a new player. We've gathered a great selection of developers, but in general, they're working on improving Rockbox on the players it already runs on. Which is great, since it means more features and less bugs. But with new hardware there's a tendency for people to show up and expect us to work on it for them, rather than to show up and say "I'm willing to learn whatever it takes."

Some hardware is getting harder to port for, yes, but some companies are beginning to release more information than they did in the past, too, so it's impossible to say unequivocally that it's getting harder or that it's getting easier. The situation just changes back and forth over time.

As to the second, referring to more powerful hardware and the fact that Rockbox can't do jpeg cover art: Rockbox gets good battery life. Not on the PortalPlayer PP502x gadgets because there's some issues still, but on the PP5002 series, and all non-PP players we surpass the original firmware's battery life. This is, in part, because of the efficiency you can get from a custom coded operating system, and partially because we don't waste CPU time and memory on things that can be done faster on the PC side in advance. JPEG album art might make it in one day, or might not, but a lot of features that don't make it in are for this reason. "Multimedia" features such as multiple video codecs are a similar situation.

Because of this though, Rockbox as a stand alone firmware will always have the potential to get better battery life and performance than MPlayer on Linux on the same hardware. So, if you're actually buying a portable player for portability and on-battery use, Rockbox will always be an alternative if you actually want efficiency.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: scharkalvin on December 08, 2007, 04:16:10 PM
Quote
You said AVR32, but they also have an ARM right? - for what I understand, RockBox have good support for ARMs... what would be the good choice? ARM or AVR32? - Atmel have ARM and AVR32 dev board...

Well it looked like the avr32 had everything but the kitchen sink in it, including the required AC97 D/A, LCD hardware interface, flash memory interface, USB interface, and even ethernet!  Their arm offerings would require external hw to do much of this.  The downside is having to work with BGA packages, but that's what the world is going to.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Bagder on December 08, 2007, 04:56:07 PM
Also, don't be fooled by the fact that they (can) run Linux. These guys don't release the source for their drivers and the manufacturers of the hardwares don't release their docs to us, so a Linux running on them is very little help to actually get Rockbox ported to them...
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 08, 2007, 05:30:15 PM

Also, don't be fooled by the fact that they (can) run Linux. These guys don't release the source for their drivers and the manufacturers of the hardwares don't release their docs to us, so a Linux running on them is very little help to actually get Rockbox ported to them...

Bagder, I think I understand you. In this case, of AVR32 or AT91SAM(ARM), Atmel gives all information about microcontroller internals, a full datasheet. And also made a GCC port for AVR32, and IDE for Linux :)


...Rockbox as a stand alone firmware will always have the potential to get better battery life and performance than MPlayer on Linux on the same hardware. So, if you're actually buying a portable player for portability and on-battery use, Rockbox will always be an alternative if you actually want efficiency.

I understand, however, I believe that actual and future hardware will be tailored for portability and on-battery use, AND for multimedia! a good example is the S1mp3 players from China, even these ones are getting to MP4, multimedia! Users will expect a RB system with MP4 for sure.


Quote
You said AVR32, but they also have an ARM right? - for what I understand, RockBox have good support for ARMs... what would be the good choice? ARM or AVR32? - Atmel have ARM and AVR32 dev board...

Well it looked like the avr32 had everything but the kitchen sink in it, including the required AC97 D/A, LCD hardware interface, flash memory interface, USB interface, and even ethernet!  Their arm offerings would require external hw to do much of this.  The downside is having to work with BGA packages, but that's what the world is going to.

scharkalvin, can you help to do some analysis between "AT91RM3400 Development Kit User Guide"(ARM) and "AT32NGW100"?

What is the price of each and what external hardware would be need for each board?

I can get one AT32NGW100 for 90 euros at Farnell or Digikey, I am wiling to pay for one If I can help trying make RB working on this hardware, thinking that this hardware will have  long life in market.

In the small company that I work, we don't assembly BGA, just TSOP. My chief told my that maybe in 2 years we will change for wire bounding, so, jumping the BGA tecnhology :) Future looks like for robots and not humans...
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: saratoga on December 08, 2007, 06:07:39 PM
I'm not really sure what the point of buying a dev kit is, unless you're going to put it into a set top box or some other large unit.  You certainly couldn't make a portable device from one.  But if you don't care about that, make sure it has at least 1-2 MB worth of RAM or you won't be doing much with Rockbox.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Bagder on December 08, 2007, 06:16:45 PM
Well dev boards are fine for development, but then (when you have something going) you of course have to make your own board and cram it into a tiny box to make an actual player out of all this.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: scharkalvin on December 08, 2007, 07:49:15 PM
Quote
can you help to do some analysis between "AT91RM3400 Development Kit User Guide"(ARM) and "AT32NGW100


The at32ngw100 is a lower cost (but full featured) development board compared to the "full" avr32 development board.  The cpu has a D/A converter, full LCD controller (for a graphic LCD, and someone has posted how to use the LCD from a Sony PS with this).  The board also has two 100mb ethernet ports, a usb 2.0 port (slave), as well as 2m of dynamic ram.

The arm development board does not have a full LCD interface (a simple serial interface for LCD's that already have a controler on them).  It also lacks USB or ethernet, and external ram.

Both have an interface for flash memory.

The avr32 chip is simply a highly intergrated device, similar to the portal-player chips but with Atmel's own cpu instead of an ARM processor core.  It seems to be close to the performance in mips of the arm, but it's only a single core.

The development board would require external boards to be laid out to handle the required glue logic for things like the LCD interface, audio output, keypad interface, and a flash card.  Once the overall design using the processor was fleshed out a new pc board holding just the required circuity could be laid out, and it could be sized to fit a portable audio player.  I would think that Atmel has the footprint for this package already in a format that can be imported into many pc cad packages, so laying out a pc board for a BGA package shouldn't be a problem (though one would have to deal with a board of at least 4 layers).  The board couldn't be 'stuffed' in one's garage, it would have to be outsourced to an outfit that does this things.

I don't think such a player would be cost competitive with anything from Sandisk or Apple, but it should still be in a price range that might make sense for someone that preferred an 'open' device.  Even if it had to be made a bit larger than what's available, there are advantages to that.  Such as room for a battery with a large capacity for long playing time.  Or an LCD display large enough to show video for those of us with more 'ancient' eyes.  And controls that are large enough for the fumble fingered crowd.  (I admit I'm entering 'old-fart-hood').

For an interface, put a touch screen over the LCD, write some creative software and emulate the iPod touch?


Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 09, 2007, 01:06:42 AM
Well, AVR32 or not? :) - I vote for It, because in future there will be versions with USB OTG, more rapid, low power, etc... and we will have full datasheet and GCC-AVR32 :)

My question is, can someone help to port RB for AVR32?, in this case, using a $100 dev board, with all hardware documented and a GCC port for AVR32? - I can buy the board to test but I am not able to port RB :( - I hope to learn in the process...

In the next days I will dig the at32ngw100 dev board, try to know what can be done and what hardware is needed do add for have a simple player. One thing is a display.

About PCBs and assembly ICs, I would let that for future thinking, in some way that must be done. Who knows If I can have some made in the company where I work - We have material and machines, but we don't have the project nor we have knowledge to do that.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Bagder on December 09, 2007, 05:00:18 AM
The person(s) who'd do the port would most likely need a board as well, and if you tailer the port to the specific board you will need to make your final design pretty much identical to the dev board.

Does the dev board even come with buttons, LCD and nand/disk ?
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 09, 2007, 07:23:49 AM

The person(s) who'd do the port would most likely need a board as well, and if you tailer the port to the specific board you will need to make your final design pretty much identical to the dev board.

Bagder, developers at RB can buy their own hardware or they rely on others offers?

If at32ngw100 dev board is low cost, made by professionals, I would copy/use the circuits of dev board.

Quote from: Bagder
Does the dev board even come with buttons, LCD and nand/disk ?

I will dig the board info to know what needs to be add for a for have a simple player. I would appreciate help here :)

Board comes with 32 MB SDRAM, 16 MB Flash (8 MB serial and 8 MB parallel), SD card and USB. It misses LCD, buttons (should be very ease to add), DAC?? I don't know about it.

Here is an image of the board:
(http://avr32linux.org/twiki/pub/Main/ModifyTheNGW100/ngw_overview.png)
http://avr32linux.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/ModifyTheNGW100
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: scharkalvin on December 09, 2007, 12:22:00 PM
LCD interface on NGW100.  Here's how:
http://dma.elektroda.net/projects/ngw100_ext_lcd/ngw100_ext_lcd.html

The LCD for this guy is about $50.  If someone can copy the pcb and get some made
(need to add header breakouts for some kind of keyboard and AF amp to the D/A on the main board) this would be a good way to start.  Probably talking about $200-$250 out of pocket for the dev board and the i/o board + LCD.  Maybe someone could get a deal on the LCDs if enough people signed up to buy one.

Atmel sells a jtag interface for $300 and avrstudio for the avr32 RUNS ON LINUX! (also windoze)
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 09, 2007, 12:46:50 PM

LCD interface on NGW100.  Here's how:
http://dma.elektroda.net/projects/ngw100_ext_lcd/ngw100_ext_lcd.html

The LCD for this guy is about $50.  If someone can copy the pcb and get some made
(need to add header breakouts for some kind of keyboard and AF amp to the D/A on the main board) this would be a good way to start.  Probably talking about $200-$250 out of pocket for the dev board and the i/o board + LCD.  Maybe someone could get a deal on the LCDs if enough people signed up to buy one.

Atmel sells a jtag interface for $300 and avrstudio for the avr32 RUNS ON LINUX! (also windoze)

I was not expecting the $300 jtag for developing :( - Is there a cheap way to develop and debug?
I am lucky because I use in my work a JTAGICE mkII for programming and debugging AVR8 which looks like works also for AVR32.

That LCD is very expensive! does we need a display like that? - I would be happy with one black and white, AND with serial interface, which we will win simplicity wiring, so less trouble, less difficult.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: scharkalvin on December 09, 2007, 01:22:30 PM
The jtag would probably only be needed to get the flash on the dev board to the point where we had a working tftp boot loader via ethernet or USB (do we really want a tcp/ip stack inside rockbox?  Well actually maybe that might be a good idea for file transfer)  Debug could be via a network gdb, but this would require a gdb interface to be written and linked with the software being developed.  (Hopefully somebody here has used gdb in a cross developement setup.)

Atmel DOES discount those jtags to development houses that buy enough of their cpu chips.  (I should inquire at work about this, I might be able to get one for myself at about 1/2 that price if lucky).  There is also a GNU project to develop an open source clone of that jtag, at least for the AVR 8 bit family. I don't know the current status of it and if they are working on something for the AVR32.  Also note that the Linux project on this board is to the point where the jtag isn't needed, they are doing all debug via networked gdb.

The color LCD is probably the way to go, it's what's expected in players of this type.  Similar displays show up surplus from time to time, but the $50 price is actually not unreasonable for something of that quality (1/4 VGA resolution 24 bit color).  Still a cheaper color display (cell phone surplus?) can probably be found.

Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 09, 2007, 02:02:59 PM
The jtag would...

About JTAG, It's no problem for me, but It would be nice to have a cheap way. I think that is important to make a cheap and possible DIY player, even using a dev board - with this will be easy to attract new developers.

Quote from: scharkalvin
The color LCD is probably the way to go, it's what's expected in players of this type.

I don't agree with you on this issue. I think that is important to make a first version as a prof of concept, and that should be simple, quick and cheap. I would prefer an old technology of LCD, cheap and with simple connection to board, for no need to design a PCB, just use about 5 wires.

I was seeing another dev boards, there is one for $130, atevk1100, that have one LCD, but it's 4x20 chars - could It be used? - this board also have joystick, buttons, and this AVR32 have USB Device Firmware Upgrade.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: scharkalvin on December 09, 2007, 02:17:04 PM
Quote
atevk1100
That's not the same cpu.  I'm not sure it has the flash disk interface nor the A/D hardware. Atmel makes two families of avr32 cpus. The one you quoted is the smaller, less powerful one. (won't run Linux).  We REALLY want to use the AP7000 family!

If you want to get the "more important" bits working first, sure use a common 4x40 character lcd first but you won't have much in a WPS screen.  Still the early players used this kind of interface.  Cell phone graphic LCD's are available surplus cheap as well.  Look here: http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/products.asp?dept=1039 , here: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php?cPath=76, and here:
http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/category/365/LCDs_(Liquid_Crystal_Displays).html for cheap lcd displays.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 09, 2007, 03:32:29 PM

Quote
atevk1100
That's not the same cpu.  I'm not sure it has the flash disk interface nor the A/D hardware. Atmel makes two families of avr32 cpus. The one you quoted is the smaller, less powerful one. (won't run Linux).  We REALLY want to use the AP7000 family!

Ok, lets stay with at32ngw100 dev board and AP7000.

I would go for Color LCD 128x128 Nokia, because It's cheapest graphic LCD, there is a lot of information, code examples, easy to buy and because have serial interface!! - there will not be need to do a board for LCD.
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=569

So, what's need more? We have microcontroler, SRAM, FLASH, USB, LCD, buttons. What about DAC?
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: saratoga on December 09, 2007, 04:31:22 PM


The person(s) who'd do the port would most likely need a board as well, and if you tailer the port to the specific board you will need to make your final design pretty much identical to the dev board.

Bagder, developers at RB can buy their own hardware or they rely on others offers?

If at32ngw100 dev board is low cost, made by professionals, I would copy/use the circuits of dev board.


The developers for a port are the people who own the hardware, meaning you!
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 10, 2007, 05:55:28 AM

The developers for a port are the people who own the hardware, meaning you!

I understand. So I need to work on this idea and make It interesting for others developers buy the hardware and starting work on that.

Why not define an Open  Hardware Player and announce that developers of RB would support It, with propose that some hardware company make and sell it online? Can this be realistic or not?
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Bagder on December 10, 2007, 06:03:11 AM

Why not define an Open  Hardware Player and announce that developers of RB would support It, with propose that some hardware company make and sell it online? Can this be realistic or not?


Feel free to do so. Rockbox is just a bunch of individuals with similar interests. We're all just separate persons that does what each one of us wants to do.

If this is realistic or not is up to the ones who think it is a good idea and the company they pitch the idea for. Perhaps the fact that there's no single such player today could be a hint that companies all over the world won't jump with joy when you approach them with this...

Personally, I would only be interested in this sub project if someone would build and sell me this player in a nice package, I won't buy anything that I need to put together myself since I am beyond worthless at such activities and I believe an mp3 player should be small and nice.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 10, 2007, 06:35:02 AM


If this is realistic or not is up to the ones who think it is a good idea and the company they pitch the idea for. Perhaps the fact that there's no single such player today could be a hint that companies all over the world won't jump with joy when you approach them with this...

Personally, I would only be interested in this sub project if someone would build and sell me this player in a nice package, I won't buy anything that I need to put together myself since I am beyond worthless at such activities and I believe an mp3 player should be small and nice.

Bagder, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

As you, I think a mp3 player should be small and nice. Also I think that It should not have multimedia functions, for various reasons.

But, for someone build and sell to you  and others a player in a nice package, as you desire, and which is open hardware, I assume, we need to develop that hardware, invest our time and some money. We can see that big enterprises not desire to build an open hardware player. I think that there is money to win at selling this hardware! If we develop, make the project, some other company would just need to invest money, assembly It and sell It to recover invested money and get some profit. Am I dreaming? :)

 
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: GodEater on December 10, 2007, 06:37:09 AM

Am I dreaming? :)


The only way to find out is to stop talking about it and do it!
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 10, 2007, 06:46:19 AM


Am I dreaming? :)

The only way to find out is to stop talking about it and do it!

Do you know that I am doing that? and that implies looking for support here at RB. I need to feeling that I am not alone, because I can't do It alone, I can't port RB, nor design PCBS, nor I have experience for chose the microcontroler, nor DAC, nor USB chip, etc... But I can do some wiring, look at datasheets, buy a dev board and make some hacks in RB code.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: scharkalvin on December 10, 2007, 08:01:22 AM
Quote
So, what's need more? We have microcontroler, SRAM, FLASH, USB, LCD, buttons. What about DAC?


Here's what's on the AVR32 cpu:
AVR32 based 32-bit MCU/DSP
Vectored multiplier co-processor, 32 KB on-chip SRAM, 16 KB instruction and 16 KB data caches, MMU, DMA controller. Peripherals include a 16-bit stereo audio DAC,2048x2048 pixel TFT/STN LCD controllers, 480 Mbps USB 2.0 with on chip transceivers (PHY) and, two 10/100 Ethernet MACs. Serial interfaces include RS232, USART, I2S, AC97, TWI/I2C, SPI, PS/2 and several synchronous serial modules (SSC) supporting most serial communication protocols.

So we have the DAC (only need a breakout connection and audio amp)
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 10, 2007, 08:10:22 AM

Quote
So, what's need more? We have microcontroler, SRAM, FLASH, USB, LCD, buttons. What about DAC?


Here's what's on the AVR32 cpu:
AVR32 based 32-bit MCU/DSP
Vectored multiplier co-processor, 32 KB on-chip SRAM, 16 KB instruction and 16 KB data caches, MMU, DMA controller. Peripherals include a 16-bit stereo audio DAC,2048x2048 pixel TFT/STN LCD controllers, 480 Mbps USB 2.0 with on chip transceivers (PHY) and, two 10/100 Ethernet MACs. Serial interfaces include RS232, USART, I2S, AC97, TWI/I2C, SPI, PS/2 and several synchronous serial modules (SSC) supporting most serial communication protocols.

So we have the DAC (only need a breakout connection and audio amp)

Good! :-) So in dev board we just need to solder wires for LCD, for headphones driver/amplifier and for buttons. $80 for dev board + $20 for nokia graphic LCD + $10 for the rest. It will not look good as an Ipod or a Sansa however It will be +-technically equal and total Free/Open hardware :)

I will put this information on Twiki page of RB. After I just need to find developers that can joint the project and buy their on dev boards e dev tools.

scharkalvin, do you want to participate? - I mean at buy also your tools.

Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: scharkalvin on December 10, 2007, 09:20:37 AM
Quote
scharkalvin, do you want to participate? - I mean at buy also your tools.

Sounds interesting.  I'll probably lurk around on the forum and irc and jump in with both feet a bit latter.  I'll have some more 'mad money' available early next year.

BTW the Nokia LCD is a bitch to connect to as the connector is small and fragile.
You will need this as well http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=600
which about doubles the cost.

Spark fun has a slightly cheaper LCD: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8498
that uses a parallel interface (complete data available for the control chip on the website) that is a bit larger and only needs a few more wires to connect.
I can't tell from the photo or data sheet how hard this one would be to solder wires to or if a connector is available.

more info:
I looked at the schematic for the development board.  The D/A converter is a Delta-Sigma type and the output is raw data, not true analog.  So some external circuity is going to be needed to capture the audio.  Probably a latch, and some op-amps as an active low pass filter and pre-amp.  More research is needed to figure this out, (google).  There is also an AC97 interface, not sure what that is about (probably an i2c interface to external mixer / level control hw).  We'd need part of that for sw control of volume (would lose s/n ratio by adjusting volume by scaling d/a data).

Add schematic for d/a codeic interface from avr freaks.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 10, 2007, 02:27:33 PM
Sounds interesting.  I'll probably lurk around on the forum and irc and jump in with both feet a bit latter.  I'll have some more 'mad money' available early next year.


Nice :) Could you add yourself to the list "People that are interested and can help"
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockBoxPlayer

In the next weeks or so, we can work in advance before buy hardware, since we can read datasheets and have all information :)

About LCD, this: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8498 , have 0,5mm pitch :( It's very difficult to solder, It's the same pitch as Nokia LCD and they wrote at Sparkfun:
Description: This is the itty-bitty connector for the Nokia color LCD. 10-Pins. Surface mount. Hard to find. 0.5mm pitch so be careful.

Can it be soldered by hand? Yes! Owen managed to solder wire wrap wire to the individual legs for testing - but then again, he's a magician. We can solder it well with a good PCB layout and easily with a stencil and hotplate.

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=570

So, no Nokia LCD and not this one, IMO.

About DAC, please don't laugh, but, what about 16 bit PWM + power drive? - yes, should be very low quality.

There are others projects Free/Open Source players that used DAC IC's, I will look at them. Did you look at that links in Twiki page?
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 11, 2007, 03:56:33 AM
About DAC:
The CODEC chip is a TLV320AIC23 from Texas Instruments. You could also use TLV320AIC23B since it's an exact equivalent. It is a 24-bit resolution Sigma-Dealta CODEC supporting up to 96 KHz sampling rate and comes with a built in headphone amplifier. The CODEC (coder-decoder) converts the digital samples produced by the DSP into an analog signal that can be fed to the headphones. It can also convert the analog signal connected to the line-in jack into digital signals and feed it to the DSP for processing.

The CODEC chip has a control port and a data port. The control port is linked to the DSP's SPI port whereas the data port is linked to the DSP's McBSP port. The DSP can control the CODEC configuration (e.g. volume, sampling rate, mute, etc). The data port is used to transfer digital audio samples to/from the CODEC.

We need the TSSOP-28 package for the DSPdap board. You can obtain it through TI sampling or Digikey.


I took that information from DSPdap: http://dspdap.sourceforge.net/hardware.html

Also I asked the responsible for that player, to join the idea of make a Free/Open hardware player for RB. Here the thread:
http://sourceforge.net/forum/forum.php?thread_id=1834813&forum_id=697896
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Llorean on December 11, 2007, 04:15:18 AM
The same rules apply in New Ports as everywhere else folks: If nobody has responded, use the edit button. It's there for a reason.
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on December 11, 2007, 04:49:13 AM

The same rules apply in New Ports as everywhere else folks: If nobody has responded, use the edit button. It's there for a reason.

Sorry - I did not yet read the forum rules, I will. I am thinking in create a new tread just for this project.
Title: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on December 11, 2007, 05:06:46 AM
Topic to discuss the Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player for use with Rockbox.

Page of project on TWiki:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockBoxPlayer

Some forum topics with good info:
http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=6751.0

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on December 11, 2007, 10:29:03 AM
Found another example of an open source player:

http://www.mikrocontroller.net/articles/ARM_MP3/AAC_Player
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on December 11, 2007, 10:50:24 AM

Found another example of an open source player:

http://www.mikrocontroller.net/articles/ARM_MP3/AAC_Player

I actualized the project page and I did add that link :) - nice, we have a lot to learn from others projects. That project is really near from this one, It just not have external SRAM, display and not designed with Rockbox in mind. I contacted the author and invited him to look/join this project.

I also put on list the DAC TLV320AIC23B and added the good points of her to list. This IC is used in ARM_MP3/AAC_Player and in the DSPdap projects. Are we ok with this DAC IC?

I had look for ARM9 development boards and I saw they are much more expensive that this one ATNGW100, which I found for $73 at mouser electronics or about $80 at Digikey! I am with a feeling that we should go for ARM9, however, looks like this AVR32 do more DMIPS than ARM9 and with less energy, also is cheap the dev board.

I had the idea of contact companies as Olimex (in future working version) asking for support at assembly and selling the player. Olimex build and sell MOD-MP3 MP3 PLAYER MODULE WITH VS1002 MP3 DECODER/ENCODER, they could do the same for this project - http://www.olimex.com/dev/mod-mp3.html
Also I will ask to the company where I work a possible price for 50 units.

At IRC some questions were asked, as If this player needs Real Time Clock or not, 32MB of SDRAM or not, etc... - I would like to redefine the minimum hardware for first version of the player. Can someone help? Thank you.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Falco98 on December 17, 2007, 09:43:05 PM
I love this idea.  I'm growing increasingly uneasy with the seeming absence of really strong, currently-available rockbox targets, with an increase in the restrictive and DRM-loving players by apple and microsoft.  When my iRiver h140 dies (hopefully a long way off), I'm afraid to death of not being able to find a suitable replacement.  I think the real answer may lie in someone coming up with an open player like this, especially if it can be designed to support RockBox specifically (and presumably have an open architecture to facilitate the development of other systems from scratch).

This is thinking way ahead, perhaps, but I'd say figure out a core system that can support both hard drives and flash, and then when it comes time to actually create a form factor, just make two -- one for hard-drive players, and one for flash players.  Perhaps a HDD based player could be sold as just the shell, which a person could buy their own 2.5" HDD for, and do the last step of assembly.  I don't exactly require so much space yet, but the 160GB option really tempts me.  For flash players, perhaps a user could load their own CF card (or, even, put both CF and SD slots, and maybe-or-maybe-not include built-in flash memory).  Even the HDD model could have a SD slot, for convenience reasons (why not?).

As far as physical interface goes, there are some tough choices to be made - more buttons or fewer?  ipod-like, or completely different?  big and tough, or tiny and slim?  I'd say go for the shape of the iRiver 140, but perhaps with a less awkward joystick.  Or maybe scratch that and put controls on both sides of the screen in a layout similar to the Gameboy Advance.  Then again, once you've gotten the electronics all set to go, you could just experiment and see what people like.

But yeah... sign me up for a 160GB model, i'm sure i'll need one eventually ;-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: g00ey on December 18, 2007, 06:25:04 PM
At least a scroll-wheel would be nice... There surely is a huge number of them out there, here's one I found (pdf-download):

http://rocky.digikey.com/scripts/ProductInfo.dll?Site=US&V=516&M=AMRX-1500-1BWA

A
nd the AKM AK4396 DAC look good...

http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/akm/en/product/ak4396/ak4396.html
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: zajacattack on December 18, 2007, 06:27:07 PM
Would there be anyway to get a touch wheel?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on December 19, 2007, 10:08:44 AM
Quote
http://rocky.digikey.com/...US&V=516&M=AMRX-1500-1BWA

Nice, but they don't have any in stock, and you can't buy just one from them.
(single unit price isn't too bad though).

The scroll portion is just a quadature output encoder, easy to program.  You can get direction, distance, and speed parameters from this.  Combined with the 5 push buttons this gives an iPod type interface.  I'd add one or two extra push buttons for power/menu (sansa E200 like interface), alternate function (gigabeat like interface) and a lock switch.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on December 19, 2007, 12:38:44 PM

At least a scroll-wheel would be nice...

First things first! I think that have Rockbox compiling and having sound one some Free/Open hardware is the first to do.

Simple to wire, simple to program, cheap and easy to buy buttons will be very good for start  ;)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: fatfishy on December 22, 2007, 12:40:51 AM
I don't know what kind of screen you would need, parallel or otherwise, but these seem nice

http://www.matrixorbital.com/index.php?sort=3a&page=1&cName=lcd-mop-graphic-lcds
~$23

and psp replacement screens (Sharp LQ043 K3146) are $30
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3217
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on December 22, 2007, 04:44:32 AM
fatfishy, thank you :-)

I would go for the, http://www.matrixorbital.com/product_info.php?pName=mopgl16064abyfy&cName=lcd-mop-graphic-lcds , because is cheap ~$24, simple to make software drivers for sure and looks like to have large pads for wiring.

I could not find datasheet, I would like to know If I can buy It on Farnell or Digikey and If it have backlight.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on December 26, 2007, 03:45:38 PM
Hello people,

i have some design experience with DSPdap http://dspdap.sourceforge.net
i could contribute something to the open hardware player.

let me first tell you guys what i think.



This is not to discourage us, but to make sure that our efforts won't go in vain.

-spark.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on December 26, 2007, 04:04:37 PM

if rockbox cannot be ported on commercial players. is such a thing possible and when? this question goes out to the rockbox porting guys.


There's still lots of Rockbox potential on a wide range of current targets. IMHO.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on December 26, 2007, 05:11:11 PM

Hello people,

i have some design experience with DSPdap http://dspdap.sourceforge.net


Welcome Spark and thanks for being here. Since you already made a dap, like the one that is pretended(except with the LCD), what things you could not implemented? what would you do in a better way? I would like to ear you about your experience.

Quote from: spark

  • Building a dedicated rockbox player is not gonna save the work of rockbox porting guys. there is always gonna be a demand for rockbox on commercial players
  • building a player is gonna be more expensive than buying one off the shelf
  • the player must have an attractive and robust casing. holding the electronics, LCD, disk and batteries together is not that easy. getting a look anywhere close to the commercial players is impossible.
  • once the h/w development is done, someone needs to provide DIY kits and also fully assembled players, else the only guys using this player will be the developers themselves.  :-\ we don't want the design to rot in our shelves after it's done right?
  • The only case i see a potential for the open player is that if rockbox cannot be ported on commercial players. is such a thing possible and when? this question goes out to the rockbox porting guys.



I believe that full assembled players can sell by some companies, I can give 3 examples:
* http://store.makezine.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MKMP3KIT -> a DIY MP3 player but with MP3 IC decoder - why not upgrade for a better player version?;
* http://www.olimex.com/dev/mod-mp3.html -> Olimex MP3 player module;
* http://www.embedded-projects.net/index.php?page_id=165 -> USBprog - An open source all purpose tool (AVR ISP, ARM7/ARM9, AT89,JTAG, RS232, IO).
All this companies could be interested in sell assembled DAP, I believe. After we can try to find some others that make plastic cases, maybe that others companies can help on that, they should have contacts, experiences. I am also counting on someone in the community that have experience on this and can guide that part of the project.

Today, a guy send this message to mailing list: "Hello all! I will probably buy a new iPod Nano tomorrow. Now, here's my question: are all iPod Nano generations compatible with Rockbox or is there a generation (like the newest generation) that isn't compatible? Of course I don't wanna get an iPod I can't use of course! :-) Thanks! Robin"

And one answer: "Hi: The latest iPod nanos are not compatible with rockbox at this time. I would look on ebay for older iPods that are. I my self was lucky and bought an Ipod 5.5 gen back in June when they were  still being sold."

I don't think that is good for people have to buy used, old players. Will that guy do that? - In future we could also advice a not so looking nice and cheap player as Ipod but a perfect supported player by RB. I am dreaming with this :-) :-) I think we have the technology, knowledge and human forces to do that.

IMPORTANTE:
I got attention from http://www.embedded-projects.net/, they sells USBprog assembled kits and others circuits. I think that they are connect with http://www.in-circuit.de/.

I leave a message in theirs forum and i got a "sounds interesting please send me mail" - http://forum.embedded-projects.net/viewtopic.php?id=140.

I would like to get advices in what could I say on that e-mail. I would like to attract them to build and If possible to help in hardware, they should have experiencie.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on December 27, 2007, 09:41:59 AM
Quote from: casainho

Welcome Spark and thanks for being here.

Thanks casainho. My pleasure.  :)

Quote from: casainho

I believe that full assembled players can sell by some companies, I can give 3 examples:
* http://store.makezine.com....asp?ProductCode=MKMP3KIT -> a DIY MP3 player but with MP3 IC decoder - why not upgrade for a better player version?;
* http://www.olimex.com/dev/mod-mp3.html -> Olimex MP3 player module;
* http://www.embedded-proje...net/index.php?page_id=165 -> USBprog - An open source all purpose tool (AVR ISP, ARM7/ARM9, AT89,JTAG, RS232, IO).
All this companies could be interested in sell assembled DAP, I believe. After we can try to find some others that make plastic cases, maybe that others companies can help on that, they should have contacts, experiences. I am also counting on someone in the community that have experience on this and can guide that part of the project.


PCB and kit support
i know some people in my locality who can support us with PCB and components for the kit and also fully assembled players. however i guess they will have a Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) requirement. what is the quantity we are looking at for the pilot lot. there has to be at least 2 pieces per developer. how much does this total to?

Enclosure
is there any CAD developer around here who can design the enclosure? we should be starting a thread for enclosure design. this is equally complex. i have no idea how this can be done.

PCB Tools
what PCB design tools are we supposed to use? anyone has experience with gEDA? i guess we should be using GPL tools. anyone has better options. we need to update this on the wiki.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on December 27, 2007, 12:35:32 PM
PCB Tools
GPL tools if possible. I asked recently that question at Rockbox mailing list and I received an suggestion:
"I'd suggest giving KiCad a try:
http://www.gipsa-lab.inpg.fr/realise_au_lis/kicad/index.html
I have used this sw on several smaller projects, and although it is still
lacking several features from commercial software, it is quite usable
already.
The sw is available for both Linux and Windows platforms."

In my company we use Eagle and looks like a lot of Open source projects uses Eagle. Could be possible that company that will assembly will need to do the design of PCB because of technology machines to assembly??

PCB and kit support
With this project, I think that company that will assembly, will can earn some money, If It will sell to others than us. Maybe we should ask for some kind of support, maybe as help for design the PCB and enclosure. Could we get help in companies that also sells online? - If company will sell, they will want a good design... maybe this could be good for this project, find someone that also wants to sell like Makezine.

At this time we may be just 3 developers.

Spark, are you the "HenriValta" of TWiki? - Now I did put my nick in front of my name in TWiki, could you put yours?

Another thing, could you write in TWiki the development phases and times? - Looks like you have more experience than me :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on December 27, 2007, 01:34:23 PM
PCB Tools
Kicad looks good. it even has a 3D board viewer.  ;)
http://www.lis.inpg.fr/realise_au_lis/kicad/Kicad_files/LogicielKicad_data/visu3d_sc.png

Eagle has a lot of limitations in the freeware version. see http://www.cadsoftusa.com/freeware.htm

PCB and kit support

Quote from: casainho
At this time we may be just 3 developers.

By developers i mean hardware as well as software developers. simply making the hardware won't do. the software guys will need the player too to port the software to it.

we should not worry if the company is gaining a few bucks assembling it for us. after all they are saving our time.

Enclosure
to keep things moving, we can ignore the enclosure for now. we first concentrate on getting the hardware up and running. There will be quite some time for the player to reach from developer to non-developer user. This time can be used to make the enclosure.

Quote from: casainho
Spark, are you the "HenriValta" of TWiki? - Now I did put my nick in front of my name in TWiki, could you put yours?

no i'm not. i haven't made any wiki entry yet. you had invited me to this forum a few days back, remember?

Quote from: casainho
Another thing, could you write in TWiki the development phases and times? - Looks like you have more experience than me :-)

thanks for the compliment. i'll put in something there soon.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Btwizt on December 27, 2007, 01:45:41 PM


Enclosure
is there any CAD developer around here who can design the enclosure? we should be starting a thread for enclosure design. this is equally complex. i have no idea how this can be done.


Well its not CAD but i do use LIghtwave 3d, can do the same thing.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on December 27, 2007, 05:50:29 PM
Spark, can you please say what is your background, experience? - hardware design including PCB? Software? or both? - and put that info on TWiki? - because until now, we have for hardware HenriValta; for software Scharkalvin; Btwizt for enclosure and I for little hardware and little software :-)

Maybe It would be good to have the planing work and assigned to people.

About PCB design, If HenriValta have experience, would you prefer to learn Kicad or let others do PCB in some other, even If not Open/Free tools?

About companies gaining some bucks, no problem for me, as I just want to have someone to sell me Free/Open hardware, however, If they will win, they could help, If we can get help from them, better, IMO.

Btwizt, would you help in design the enclosure? - If yes, please add yourself to the list in the page. Thank you.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: toffe on December 27, 2007, 05:58:36 PM
For designing the case , you can use this http://www.emachineshop.com/.
Download the software for free, design the case in 3d, and it tell you the price you will pay.
This is ideal for a prototype or small quantities.
For the schematics and routing, , Kicad is a good choice I think.
The only thing is that the library is not big and missing components.
I will like to help but don't have so much free time, but I keep looking what you do.
It would be good to discuss on the irc channel also, it is faster than the forum..
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on December 28, 2007, 04:17:18 AM

For designing the case , you can use this http://www.emachineshop.com/.


;) - do you have experience with that company? Could you estimate a price for one plastic case, 1 unit?

I will be in IRC during the day :-) - and thanks for helping - stay tunned :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on December 28, 2007, 08:15:46 AM
Quote from: casainho

Spark, can you please say what is your background, experience? - hardware design including PCB? Software? or both?


i have experience in hardware, firmware and software. personally i like to stay close to board level. i would like to contribute in hardware design.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on December 28, 2007, 08:21:54 AM

Quote from: casainho

Spark, can you please say what is your background, experience? - hardware design including PCB? Software? or both?


i have experience in hardware, firmware and software. personally i like to stay close to board level. i would like to contribute in hardware design.


Ok, about hardware, what can we do now? What do you think about the dev board?

Since you made the DSPdap, what would you change on that design? - for example, I would stay with the same DAC :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on December 29, 2007, 04:15:28 AM


Quote from: casainho

Spark, can you please say what is your background, experience? - hardware design including PCB? Software? or both?


i have experience in hardware, firmware and software. personally i like to stay close to board level. i would like to contribute in hardware design.


Ok, about hardware, what can we do now? What do you think about the dev board?

Since you made the DSPdap, what would you change on that design? - for example, I would stay with the same DAC :-)



why not use ARM instead of AVR32?
i am a bit skeptical about the use of an AVR32 processor. we should be using the more universally accepted and supported ARM processor. Almost all the ipods, zune, sansa, ... use an ARM processor. i seriously suggest that we should take an opinion from the rockbox software guys as to which processor is the easiest to port to. There should be minimum efforts for them to port rockbox into the rockbox hardware player.
also ARM has better support for linux and other apps.

what was the basis for selecting AVR32 instead of ARM?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Llorean on December 29, 2007, 04:49:49 AM
Just a note: Don't think "for them to port to", think "for us to port to."

If you make your own player, you're probably going to be doing your own work for the porting, too. Ports happen by those who have the player, as we say with any hardware port.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on December 29, 2007, 05:13:04 AM

why not use ARM instead of AVR32?
what was the basis for selecting AVR32 instead of ARM?

After talking in IRC a few times with developers of RB, almost everyone think that ARM is the best choice. Because of what you said, because there is already hand optimizations in assembly for ARM, etc...

AVR32 because of that dev board that is "dirty cheap", $73. An equivalent dev board with equivalent ARM should be more than $1000 :(. I think this price is very important to attract or not, developers!

The true is that this AVR32 have also Linux, GCC port, all full documentation, free/open dev tools and an old(transition from AVR 8bits) strong community! However this is new processor.

AVR32 also have DSP instructions, in spite of some old developers of RB said that is not important for RB, others said that is important because can lower cpu energy eat! And thats an important thing at RB! Some developers said that DSP is hard to program... and I would like to have your opinion, since you used a DSP for DSPdap :)
AVR32 ALSO is a DSP but ALSO is a MCU, DSP instructions can or not be used. DSP instructions are used "directly" from GCC, C code.

And as Llorean said, people that own the hardware will made their port!!! So, I think a cheap dev board and free tools are very important!! If cheap, more people can buy and than more developers.
Also scharkalvin, one that wants to develop, is favorable to AVR32, to this dev board.

To resume: IMO, AVR32 have advantages over ARM, because of very low price dev board, is a MCU/DSP and low power. Please read others old messages from this post!

Spark, If you think that an ARM will be better, please find a dev board and put here a comparison, specially the price and the highlights, the advantages over this AVR32 dev board.

Define the dev board, IMO, is very important! After that we can start developing :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: eumesmo on December 29, 2007, 07:47:16 AM
After development is complete, does a garden variety user need a DEV board in order to build player? As you noticed I'm a total newbie, have you considered scavenging something like the Motorola Motofone F3, for some 30 dollars you get ultra low power screen, keypad, joystick(?), battery, battery controller(?), sturdy frame(slick design), connectors(power, battery, display, keypad), mic, charger, perhaps even other useful items.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on December 29, 2007, 08:42:48 AM

AVR32 also have DSP instructions, in spite of some old developers of RB said that is not important for RB, others said that is important because can lower cpu energy eat! And thats an important thing at RB! Some developers said that DSP is hard to program...


First, "old developers" are against DSP in general for all the downsides a DSP provides. It is marginally better if the DSP is easily accessible using gcc, but only a little. If you really MUST use the DSP in order to get decent battery life that's even more arguments against the AVR I think since it'll then require your AVR port of rockbox to have DSP-adjustments literally all over the Rockbox internals and not just in the parts where you will optimize the codecs. All those modifications must be done by owners of such AVR-based targets and so far that's just this effort...

The current Rockbox code is fairly highly optimized for coldfire and ARM, and re-making all those for AVR will probably be a significant amount of work.

Also, as a side-note, I'm sure you can find cheaper ARM-devboards than 1000 USD, And you'll buy yourself a foundation that is a LOT less work to get Rockbox to run good on...

This said, I'll enjoy getting another architecture that Rockbox will run on!
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on December 29, 2007, 02:02:31 PM
Quote
Also scharkalvin, one that wants to develop, is favorable to AVR32, to this dev board.


I have NOTHING against the Arm processors.  The Avr32 development board that is made by Atmel seemed to have most of everything needed for a GP development platform and it is dirt cheap (as these things go).  If it wasn't being used to develop a DMP device the board would make a dandy Linux network server, router, etc.

We are now using lots of small Arm cpu's in new products where I work, so I expect to get some first hand experience using them.  Most of these parts (2132, etc) are a bit on the slow side for good use with decoders (probably want at least a 50mhz part and what we are using tops out at about 25 I think).  

I've seen some cheap (< $150) Arm development boards on Fleabay but they seemed lacking in what was needed, though they did come with nice i/o (small color lcd, etc).  

Please keep beating the bushes for better ideas folks!  Just keep in mind we want something with a good life cycle (just hate it when someone discontinues the part you are using!).  At least Atmel has a good history in this regard.  They have discontinued very few good parts, and have had close sub's for those that they did.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on December 30, 2007, 03:27:12 AM
Quote from: Llorean

Just a note: Don't think "for them to port to", think "for us to port to."

If you make your own player, you're probably going to be doing your own work for the porting, too. Ports happen by those who have the player, as we say with any hardware port.


Sorry people. it should be "for us to port to". Anyways the rule still applies. if we select an already supported architecture, it will save us a lot of porting work.   ;)

Quote from: casainho

AVR32 because of that dev board that is "dirty cheap", $73. An equivalent dev board with equivalent ARM should be more than $1000


good ARM boards including all the things and even more than the avr32 board are definately available for within $300. I would prefer paying $200 more rather than spending weeks breaking my head porting the RB to a new architecture. Not that i have heaps of money, but in fact time is money.
i will see if i can find a suitable board and post it soon.

Quote from: casainho

Some developers said that DSP is hard to program... and I would like to have your opinion, since you used a DSP for DSPdap


yes they are right. i would prefer if my codec code is written entirely in C and all optimizations are done by the gcc compiler itself. from my practical experience a 200MIPS ARM processor has better performance than a 400MIPS 16-bit DSP considering i am using fixed point C only code and no hand/assembly optimizations.  To effectively utilize the raw power of DSP you need to do a lot of hand optimizations unless the compiler is very powerful to do it on its own.

Quote from: Badger

The current Rockbox code is fairly highly optimized for coldfire and ARM, and re-making all those for AVR will probably be a significant amount of work.


i strongly suggest we stick to ARM since "WE" have to do the porting work.  ;)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on December 30, 2007, 12:42:38 PM
Just a thought here.  What about using an old iPac hand held as a building block.
IIRC they have a CF socket (in an adapter "jacket"), a very nice touch screen LCD, and since there IS a version of Linux that runs on this thing (with X support) there should be example code available to document some of the HW.  I don't know what (if any) D/A hw these things have, but I think they DID play mp3's.  And the cpu was an Intel Strong-Arm type.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: yapper on December 30, 2007, 02:52:23 PM
iPac?  Did you mean iPaq? ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPAQ

There is a bunch of info here http://www.handhelds.org/Compaq/iPAQH3600/iPAQ_H3600.html but note it is version 0.2f .... might be a bit "subject to change"  :P
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on December 30, 2007, 05:38:23 PM
i've made a survey of possible ARM processor candidates.

Samsung   S3C2410A
----------------
http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/productInfo.do?fmly_id=229&partnum=S3C2410

ARM920T core (266MHz)

Development board $299   http://www.armkits.com/Product/sbc2410II.asp

Cirrus EP9302
------------
http://www.cirrus.com/en/products/pro/detail/P1066.html

ARM920T core (200MHz) 208LQFP $22

Dev. board $312.5   http://www.cirrus.com/en/pubs/manual/EDB9302A_Tech_Ref_Manual.pdf

Dev. board $180      http://www.olimex.com/dev/cs-e930x.html   
(no USB device)

NXP LH79524/LH79525
-------------------
http://www.nxp.com/#/pip/pip=[pip=LH79524_LH79525_N_1]|pp=[v=d,t=pip,i=LH79524_LH79525_N_1,fi=45994,ps=0]|[5]

ARM720T core (76MHz) 176LQFP $13.66

Dev. board $389      http://www.logicpd.com/products/devkit/nxp/nxp_sdk

Atmel AT91RM9200
----------------
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/product_card.asp?part_id=2983

ARM920T core (180MHz) 208PQFP   $22

Dev. board $370      http://www.armkits.com/Product/ATEB9200.asp

please see the attached pdf file for detailed info.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on December 31, 2007, 11:05:19 AM
about ARM and AVR32
The AVR32 family will be lower power than an ARM solution and has multimedia-oriented instruction set which is nice. You'll get faster execution for the same clock rate on an avr32, and much faster execution for the same power consumption.

If you're people have experience with ARM, you can think of UC3 as ARM7++ and AP7 as ARM9++/ARM11. If you reckon RockBox can run on an ARM7 then it will run better and with lower power consumption on a UC3. Otherwise you'll need to jack up to the AP7 series (The AP7001 is in a TQFP for easy soldering).

Also, the AP7 has an LCD controller so you can save money on the LCD, not having to buy one with a controller in. I read somewhere upon the launch of the AP7000 processor, it could decode 192kbps mp3 with a clock rate of just 3MHz. Or maybe it was 20MHz. I think it was 3 for mp3, 20 for MP4 video. I think.

Indeed the EVK110{0,1} is more expensive than the NGW100. but is indeed far less power hungry. Also, a UC3 uC isn't any harder to design a board for than an 8-bit uC so you should be able to whack up your own design in no time at all.

If you use google to search this site (google for "foobar site:avrfreaks.net") for threads like "avr32 vs arm" and the suchlike, you'll find some good, long, in-depth discussions which might help

http://www.avrfreaks.net/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&p=393392

I will look carefully to ARM info dev boards that Spark did post.

About seel it assembled in kits
I am posting here an private email which I think there is no problem! I am contacting various people and I would like to have advices, I am not experienced :( ''' I think there are good opportunities for this FreeOpen hardware player and RB software :)

Hello Jorge,

that sounds nice. I think I can help you.

>player for use with RockBox". Do you know what is Rockbox?  --- Rockbox is an
>open source firmware replacement for a growing number of digital audio

Yes I know them. You developed also a USB Stack. I found it when I worked
on my diploma thesis
(http://www.embedded-projects.net/index.php?page_id=186).

>We are in the begining of developing our Free/Open hardware and we will need
>someone that make the pcb, assembly and sell It to us. I belive that companie
>that will do that will be able to make some profit, because Rockbox is very
>good and already famous, think at It as Linux for DAPs :-) and maybe It will
>grow more If this idea will suceed.

Actually I worked on a AVR32 based cheap starter board (about 50 EUR is
my target),
perhaps we can merge your idea and my idea.

>If you can help in make pcb, assembly and/or sell it online, It would be very
>nice to have your opinion and help.

No problem.

>If not, but If you are interested on this subject and can help in design
>hardware, software, etc... or just to know more, please visit us at:
>http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockBoxPlayer ;
>http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=6751.0
>
>About USBprog: maybe we will use AVR32 and then we wil need JTAGICE MK2, wich
>is very expensive the original... do you have any news about It clone on
>USBprog? :-)

We build an own AVR32 programmer firmware. Its not based on JTAGICE mk2
because there are already again private instructions from atmels. But we
have first results with the own solution which are used JTAG Boundary
Scan.

How can look our further work?

Whe we have got a working hardware, I can promote RockBox in Germany
(sometimes I write articles in Linux and Electronic Magazines)



I wish a nice good year for us :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 02, 2008, 08:36:09 AM
AVR32 may be less power hungry than an ARM7/9.
The logic for choosing the processor must be a good blend of the following in the given priority
-low cost & QFP package
-easy to port
-low power consumption
-good support (documentation, sample code, etc)
-integrated peripherals

i haven't gone through RB code yet. i have a small question.
Does it use assembly instructions anywhere in any of the codecs?

if yes then i guess we should stick to ARM.

if no, then we can use any processor cause gcc is gonna do the tedious work. But make sure that AVR32 can handle the most complex audio codec (purely in C) at the selected Clock frequency.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on January 02, 2008, 08:43:46 AM

Does it use assembly instructions anywhere in any of the codecs?

if yes then i guess we should stick to ARM.


Yes it uses asm on numerous places.

As I've mentioned repeatedly, the codecs and other parts have been hand optimized (with asm but also plain C code) for the existing architectures. It really doesn't matter if AVR is faster than its ARM version in regular C code tests, as the existing code has been worked on a lot to run this fast on the existing archs. Assuming that rebuilding it for AVR will run as fast or faster is missing a lot what I'm trying to express.

Again: using AVR will require a whole lot of optimizing of code to get the performance you want. That optimizing much likely involves asm writing and/or using the AVR DSP instructions. If using ARM, you can take advantage of already done optimizations.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 02, 2008, 08:55:16 AM
I did read the document that spark attach. I think there is a good opportunity that http://www.in-circuit.de/ , that have an online shop - http://ic-board.de/, and sells dev boards, will make one for this project, tailored for this project, more or less.

If they pretend to build a dev board for $50 and we can use that, good!! Don't know If that dev board must be with AVR32 or not, I will ask. I hope that dev board can have an ARM...

About LCD, that looks good and was already mentioned here. I asked by e-mail to http://ic-board.de/ If they have experience with some LCD and that they can assembly. Buying that LCD on Sparkfun will be for almost $50, LCD+ carrier board.

I have no problem at using ARM, it's clear for me now that should be the right choice, in spite of AVR32 eat less energy and have DSP instructions. I am worried now at finding a cheap dev board, $300 + LCD price is expensive for me and I think will not help to attract developers.

I did build a block diagram, It's on TWiki. It have minimum values, to make a cheap hardware, in case http://www.in-circuit.de/ or some other want to design a board for the project.

I think I found a cheaper dev boards - they just misses the LCD and DAC.

$104 - no datasheet: http://microcontrollershop.com/product_info.php?cPath=154_170_268&products_id=2098
$120 - full docs: http://microcontrollershop.com/product_info.php?cPath=154_170_268&products_id=1440
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 03, 2008, 12:57:11 PM
Quote from: casainho

I think I found a cheaper dev boards - they just misses the LCD and DAC.

$104 - no datasheet: http://microcontrollersho..._170_268&products_id=2098
$120 - full docs: http://microcontrollersho..._170_268&products_id=1440


These are not full evaluation boards. They are just modules. They cannot function on their own and require a baseboard to supply power and interface to I/O ports.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 03, 2008, 03:35:58 PM
Here are more complete eval boards based on the same cpu

http://microcontrollershop.com/product_info.php?products_id=1438
http://www.armkits.com/product/sbc2410II.asp

and the datasheet for the cpu
http://www.datasheetcatalog.com/datasheets_pdf/S/3/C/2/S3C2410A.shtml

Looks like a good cpu, the cheap module would require a "carrier" board to be laid out to connect additional circuity for flash module, lcd, D/A audio amp, interface kb etc....  But the small module does solve the problem of soldering a SMT cpu chip to a pc board.

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 03, 2008, 05:27:00 PM
A better one, I think, for $200:

(http://shop.olimex.eu/images/categories/desenvolvimento/sam9-l9260.jpg)

Highlights:
    * MCU: AT91SAM9260 16/32 bit ARM9â„¢ 180MHz operation
    * standard JTAG connector with ARM 2x10 pin layout for programming/debugging with ARM-JTAG
    * 64 MB SDRAM
    * 512MB NAND Flash
    * Ethernet 100Mbit connector
    * USB host and USB device connectors
    * SD/MMC card connector
    * RTC clock with 3V Li battery
    * on board voltage regulator 3.3V with up to 800mA current
    * single power supply: 5V DC required
    * 18.432 Mhz crystal on socket
    * extension header
    * Dimensions: 100 x 80 mm (3.94 x 3.15")

http://shop.olimex.eu/product_info.php?cPath=33_34_69&products_id=545

Hardware blocs of the RockboxPlayer
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2220/2162073346_d658dbd228_o.png)

That dev board have all that is needed unless the DAC (candidate to be TLV320AIC23) and the LCD module.


Neo1973 - Open hardware mobile phone

This is an almost Open hardware(just the GSM modules are not Open), mobile phone for $300! It have all we need plus much more :)

Highlights:
    * ARM920T core, Samsung S3C2410
    * 64MB NAND flash
    * 128MB SDRAM
    * LCD Module with Touch Screen - color 480x640
    * Audio out
    * microSD-Card
    * Bluetooth
    * USB Host + USB device
    * Battery compatible with a Nokia BL5C battery

http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Neo1973_hardware

To much information, I don't know what to say.

It's very interesting, because OpenMoko is open mobile phone software stack and they make the hardware, the Neo1973, to have a way to run the OpenMoko! Looks like to me what I pretend, to have Free/Open hardware for Rockbox software.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on January 04, 2008, 05:48:38 AM
Regarding the Neo1973, note that they're about to ship an updated version: http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Neo1973_GTA02_Hardware

... and their dev board is a lot more expensive than 200 USD AFAIK...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 04, 2008, 07:35:46 AM
Quote
A better one, I think, for $200:

No that's 200 Euro's.  Probably closer to $350 US. (I forget the exchange rate but the dollar has taken a beating lately)

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 04, 2008, 07:44:25 AM
I were at IRC chating with Bagder and others.

About Neo1973, I said: that hardware is much more than we need, expensive and not stable hardware, we can't control that :-( and agreed, saying: exactly - but with already existing sw, a company that sells it and an existing community.

I asked: do you have any advice for next steps? - I am lose... and he replied: yes, don't put your hopes to a company doing this
settle for a hw design and use that build-your-own style
prove that the design works and that there's working software
should put yourself in a better position when trying to convince companies
I think the very reason you don't already see companies selling products like this is because companies don't see much value in doing so
the idea isn't exactly new
.

I am still waiting for an answer from http://ic-board.de/, I will just for more 3 days, after that I hope to contact Olimex and ask If they can/want to help in defining, designing, build and sell It for us, thinking in that they can upgrade their MOD-MP3 MP3 PLAYER MODULE - http://www.olimex.com/dev/mod-mp3.html

I think that until that we can continue on looking at dev boards and LCDs.



Quote
A better one, I think, for $200:

No that's 200 Euro's.  Probably closer to $350 US. (I forget the exchange rate but the dollar has taken a beating lately)

Eheh, you are right :) I am always thinking in Dollar = Euro :) - So, what is the cheapest one until now?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: eumesmo on January 04, 2008, 08:06:01 AM
How much easier would it be to first design a home/car based rockbox player with IDE/CF/USB mass storage/Network support? Without power considerations, would that broaden and cheapen development? Wouldn't that attract the interest of a bigger share of the rockbox community, and afterwards create momentum for open-sourced hardware developement and replacement of all personal players? Do you still need dev boards when you can etch your own boards?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 04, 2008, 08:50:16 AM

How much easier would it be to first design a home/car based rockbox player with IDE/CF/USB mass storage/Network support? Without power considerations, would that broaden and cheapen development? Wouldn't that attract the interest of a bigger share of the rockbox community, and afterwards create momentum for open-sourced hardware developement and replacement of all personal players? Do you still need dev boards when you can etch your own boards?

Network support is not implemented on RB, since I know.

For IDE/CF/USB mass storage/Network support, there should be an expensive hardware board, more work to port, more complex system.

I would prefer a minimal system, for cheap hardware, quick to port - keep that simple. Big and complex after have something simple working... I am sure that RB software started simple ;)

And no, we need dev boards because we don't have technology to make our owns boards :-( - We can draw them but we can't make them nor assembly some parts as MCU and memory. Even If we can pay for make them and after we assembly, It will be more expensive than buy one.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 04, 2008, 09:54:50 AM
Quote
I am still waiting for an answer from http://ic-board.de/, I will just for more 3 days, after that I hope to contact Olimex and ask If they can/want to help in defining, designing, build and sell It for us, thinking in that they can upgrade their MOD-MP3 MP3 PLAYER MODULE - http://www.olimex.com/dev/mod-mp3.html


This olimex module in the link is a HW mp3 decoder and not a GP cpu that could run rockbox.

I found these on ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Samsung-S3C2410-ARM-Development-Evaluation-Board-Mini_W0QQitemZ250199268979QQihZ015QQcategoryZ50915QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem?_trksid=p1638.m118
http://cgi.ebay.com/Samsung-S3C2440-ARM-Development-Evaluation-Board-Mini_W0QQitemZ250199268651QQihZ015QQcategoryZ50915QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem?_trksid=p1638.m118
http://cgi.ebay.com/Samsung-S3C2440-ARM-Development-Evaluation-Board-Ultra_W0QQitemZ250199268498QQihZ015QQcategoryZ50915QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem?_trksid=p1638.m118

The first one is probably complete enough and not too expensive.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 04, 2008, 10:16:43 AM

Quote
I am still waiting for an answer from http://ic-board.de/, I will just for more 3 days, after that I hope to contact Olimex and ask If they can/want to help in defining, designing, build and sell It for us, thinking in that they can upgrade their MOD-MP3 MP3 PLAYER MODULE - http://www.olimex.com/dev/mod-mp3.html


This olimex module in the link is a HW mp3 decoder and not a GP cpu that could run rockbox.

My logic of thinking is that they could be interested in sell some other boards just for develop an audio player, as that one with combination of others that they sell. They also sell the OPEN EEG, under gadgets category - why not sell another one? :)


I found these on ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Samsung-S3C2410-ARM-Development-Evaluation-Board-Mini_W0QQitemZ250199268979QQihZ015QQcategoryZ50915QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem?_trksid=p1638.m118
The first one is probably complete enough and not too expensive.

Yes, the first one, It just misses the LCD that is selling in their homepage, I can't see the price :(

I would not trust on that seller! Just 7 sells... US $219.00 + the LCD money is to much from trust in someone selling on Ebay...

I would prefer to buy for the some price the board that you suggested at www.microcontrollershop.com - http://microcontrollershop.com/product_info.php?products_id=1438

The LCD that they recomend is the same price of the board, $220 :( - We must find a cheaper LCD!!

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 04, 2008, 12:46:51 PM
This LCD was mentioned before.  You have to buy the carrier board because
soldering to the connector by itself is very hard.  So the total price is just under $40.

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=600
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=569

Sparkfun also has this arm9 development board:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8413#

and this LCD /Multimedia expander:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8410

The webpages also show related products.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 04, 2008, 01:45:35 PM
Quote from: casainho
A better one, I think, for $200:
http://shop.olimex.eu/pro...=33_34_69&products_id=545
this uC (AT91SAM9260) does not have integrated LCD controller :(. We can use serial based LCD though.

Quote from: casainho
Neo1973 - Open hardware mobile phone

This is an almost Open hardware(just the GSM modules are not Open), mobile phone for $300! It have all we need plus much more
good find. this one uses the same samsung processor i have listed in the summary doc.
this processor (Samsung S3C2410) has heavy power consumption and there will be problems as far as availability and support is concerned.

the processor is suitable for a feature rich phone, but may be an over kill for a decent RB player.

Quote from: eumesmo
Do you still need dev boards when you can etch your own boards?
a dev board can be used as a reference. the software porting work can begin on this board while the hardware design is in progress.

Quote from: casainho
I am still waiting for an answer from http://ic-board.de/, I will just for more 3 days, after that I hope to contact Olimex and ask If they can/want to help in defining, designing, build and sell It for us, thinking in that they can upgrade their MOD-MP3 MP3 PLAYER MODULE - http://www.olimex.com/dev/mod-mp3.html
if some company is gonna do everything, then what are we going to do?

Quote from: casainho
Hardware blocs of the RockboxPlayer
-just 16kB flash will not be sufficient. need to have at least 8MB flash on the proto boards. this can reduce later, once we know the firmware size.
-4MB RAM may be very conservative to start with. protos can have 16/32MB RAM. we can chip off the excess later.
-battery, charger, power supply stage? this is a very important and challenging stage to design.
-memmory card -> memory card ;). we can finalize an SD card since it is compact and cheap.
-microphone? sound recording h/w can be added with no extra cost. the codec chip (tlv320aic23b) already supports it.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: toffe on January 04, 2008, 02:50:27 PM
You can have a look on this project http://www.aesop-embedded.org/download.html
It doesn't seem to be active but the drawings are complete.
It is almost the Toshiba gigabeat F.
Why don't use the gigabeat F as a base, you just have to find a lcd, everything else is documented and
rockbox is already running on it.
Taking the project above and modifying the sound part you have a gigabeat  ;)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 04, 2008, 04:09:45 PM

This LCD was mentioned before.  You have to buy the carrier board because
soldering to the connector by itself is very hard.  So the total price is just under $40.

The carrier board looks like to be out of stock :-( - but this looks like the best option until now, this LCD + the carrier board.
http://www.sparkfun.com/c..._info.php?products_id=600
http://www.sparkfun.com/c..._info.php?products_id=569


Quote from: casainho

I am still waiting for an answer from http://ic-board.de/, I will just for more 3 days, after that I hope to contact Olimex and ask If they can/want to help in defining, designing, build and sell It for us, thinking in that they can upgrade their MOD-MP3 MP3 PLAYER MODULE - http://www.olimex.com/dev/mod-mp3.html

if some company is gonna do everything, then what are we going to do?

Eheh, yes, we must work, is our hardware!! - I dream with some work together - imagine If while we port RB to dev board, the company would design the schematic and PCB, make the pcb and assembly :)


Quote from: casainho

Hardware blocs of the RockboxPlayer

-just 16kB flash will not be sufficient. need to have at least 8MB flash on the proto boards. this can reduce later, once we know the firmware size.
-4MB RAM may be very conservative to start with. protos can have 16/32MB RAM. we can chip off the excess later.
-battery, charger, power supply stage? this is a very important and challenging stage to design.
-memmory card -> memory card ;). we can finalize an SD card since it is compact and cheap.
-microphone? sound recording h/w can be added with no extra cost. the codec chip (tlv320aic23b) already supports it.

The idea would be to have a bootloader on that 16kB of Flash and 16kB of RAM, for boot RB from the memory card. What we win with this? less an expensive, large and with numerous connections IC. But It have disadvantages, as on chat on IRC people told me that if we swap memory card, RB must be there and we will not can swap cards unless we have RB on every card...
I had confirmed with Bagder and others that values of 16kB as ok for bootloader. If we want just flash memory IC for have RB there, at least 4MB, a 8MB would be safe for suture.

About RAM, some said on IRC, that 2MB would be ok, or 4MB, that we need more RAM if we will have a larger LCD, If we will have large album art. 8MB should be more than enough, although 4 MB will be also ok.

Batteries
Use NiMH AA batteries because they are cheap, removable, easy to find for buy on any street, also chargers for that batteries. To be a simple and cheap, there will no batteries charger in the player. Anyone can carry 4 ou 8 AA batteries in pocket and charge them in house, car or PC using USB. I assume that we all have some used and cheap AA batteries in our homes, so I will not add the cost of AA batteries to the player.

Processor should have one ADC to measure voltage of batteries and display that information for user.

I already talked with Bagder in past about this and he as also of the opinion of NiMH AA batteries. If no charger, simpler circuit, cheap and quick to make :-) A lot of digital photo machines uses this kind of batteries, no? Maybe not DAPs, but If we will can save energy, this DAP will last so much time as others with Li-Ion.

Microphone
Yes, tlv320aic23b. You must have some experience from DSPdap :-) Recorder yes, but, is not really important now, however, why not?

Processor

this processor (Samsung S3C2410) has heavy power consumption and there will be problems as far as availability and support is concerned.

the processor is suitable for a feature rich phone, but may be an over kill for a decent RB player.

I was happy with this board: http://microcontrollershop.com/product_info.php?products_id=1438 - but since It have that processor, no!! I was not able to find datasheet on the site!!

Why not try to find an ARM9 from Atmel? Looks like they have low power consumption and there is a lot of information from Atmel. Even two community site backed up by Atmel: http://www.at91.com and http://www.linux4sam.org



You can have a look on this project http://www.aesop-embedded.org/download.html
It doesn't seem to be active but the drawings are complete.
It is almost the Toshiba gigabeat F.
Why don't use the gigabeat F as a base, you just have to find a lcd, everything else is documented and
rockbox is already running on it.
Taking the project above and modifying the sound part you have a gigabeat  ;)

It looks to much complex for what we need now - however looks very nice to take ideas!! :-)
Thank you.

Dev board - http://www.kwikbyte.com/KB9202.html
I found one that have all we need(less the DAC) for $225 - highlights:
# 180 MHz, 200 MIPS ARM9 highly-integrated core - Atmel AT91RM9200
# Independent 16KB instruction and 16KB data caches
# 64 MB SDRAM
# 8 MB SPI Flash
# 256 MB parallel NAND Flash
# SD/MMC card support
# 10/100 Ethernet
# USB 2.0 full speed host port
# USB 2.0 full speed device port
# Parallel LCD interface supporting Optrex PN F-51320 + LCD_128X64BW
# 16KB internal SRAM
# 128KB internal ROM
# User LEDs (3)
# External memory interface at headers
# Signals available at standard 0.100” x 0.100” headers (I2S, timers, counters, synchronous serial, asynchronous serial, programmable clocks, digital I/O, interrupt lines, SPI, TWI)
# On-chip Real-time clock (RTC) and DMA
# Switching power supply provides 2.5A and accepts wide AC/DC voltage range from standard 2.1mm jack
# JTAG compatible debug port
# 100mm x 160mm Eurocard format

This board have a black and white LCD, is not beautifully but it means that we will not need to solder wires. We can't buy It and save $25, and maybe buy after that $40 LCD + carrier board.

It also have a real time clock. We just need  to wire the DAC - TLV320AIC23 IC.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 05, 2008, 03:05:45 AM
Quote from: toffe
You can have a look on this project http://www.aesop-embedded.org/download.html
It doesn't seem to be active but the drawings are complete.
It is almost the Toshiba gigabeat F.
nice find toffe. i suppose it has all the documentation about the samsung 2440 processor that was almost impossible to find through google.
this solves one problem about the S3C2440.
what about availability and pricing of this processor? It is a BGA package. :(

Batteries

Quote from: casainho
Use NiMH AA batteries because they are cheap, removable, easy to find for buy on any street, also chargers for that batteries. To be a simple and cheap, there will no batteries charger in the player.
i agree with you casainho. but i'm a bit worried about battery life if we use 1 NiMH cell and ARM9 processor with 3.3V SDRAM and LCD backlight. the player may not run for long.

Li-Ion batteries are pretty light weight and cheap these days. and since we have the USB port, charging from a USB port is pretty handy. you can find a USB port everywhere these days, on TV's, in flights, etc.
who would want to carry a bulky NiMH charger along with a 2 sets of NiMH batteries?
There are 1 chip battery charger chips available and it is not very complex. i have some experience with batteries and power and can support in this area.

designing with LiIon is easier because it has a voltage range of 3.2V to 4.2V and we need is a buck regulator for 3.3V & 1.8V supply
If we go for 1 or 2 Cell NiMH, we will need a buck-boost regulator. (boost for 3.3V, buck-boost for 1.8V).
buck regulators are relatively simple and easy to design when compared with buck-boost.

Microphone
There is hardly any hardware complexity to add sound recording. only 3 components required (mic, bias resistor and decoupling cap). most of the work needs to be done in software. ;

AT91 atmel processor

Quote from: casainho
Why not try to find an ARM9 from Atmel? Looks like they have low power consumption and there is a lot of information from Atmel. Even two community site backed up by Atmel: http://www.at91.com and http://www.linux4sam.org
Dev board - http://www.kwikbyte.com/KB9202.html
i personally like the atmel processor due to good support and documentation. this processor will also have long term availability. the only drawback is that there is no integrated LCD controller. :(

i think for RB v1 we can go for the AT91 processor and use the serial based LCD module.

there is a AT91SAM9261 processor which has integrated LCD controller but it comes in a BGA package :(
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/product_card.asp?part_id=3638
it is available for $22
eval boards are expensive though.
i think this AT91SAM9261 is comparable to the samsung S3C2440.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 05, 2008, 04:38:53 AM

i suppose it has all the documentation about the samsung 2440 processor that was almost impossible to find through google.
this solves one problem about the S3C2440.
what about availability and pricing of this processor? It is a BGA package. :(

No Samsung!! We are trying to make a Free/Open player, If Samsung dos not give datasheet of main IC of the player, let's move to a friend of good documentation!!


Batteries
Quote from: casainho

Use NiMH AA batteries because they are cheap, removable, easy to find for buy on any street, also chargers for that batteries. To be a simple and cheap, there will no batteries charger in the player.

i agree with you casainho. but i'm a bit worried about battery life if we use 1 NiMH cell and ARM9 processor with 3.3V SDRAM and LCD backlight. the player may not run for long.

Li-Ion batteries are pretty light weight and cheap these days. and since we have the USB port, charging from a USB port is pretty handy. you can find a USB port everywhere these days, on TV's, in flights, etc.
who would want to carry a bulky NiMH charger along with a 2 sets of NiMH batteries?
There are 1 chip battery charger chips available and it is not very complex. i have some experience with batteries and power and can support in this area.

designing with LiIon is easier because it has a voltage range of 3.2V to 4.2V and we need is a buck regulator for 3.3V & 1.8V supply
If we go for 1 or 2 Cell NiMH, we will need a buck-boost regulator. (boost for 3.3V, buck-boost for 1.8V).
buck regulators are relatively simple and easy to design when compared with buck-boost.


Ok, I understand the technical challenges. Look, If Li-Ion, the hardware must have a charger, If NiMH no charger. Also I don't like of not be possible top swap batteries in my Sansa :-( When I go travel(to mountain), I can't charge and I can't swap batteries.
But ok, there must be good and bad points about the both technologies.


Microphone
There is hardly any hardware complexity to add sound recording. only 3 components required (mic, bias resistor and decoupling cap). most of the work needs to be done in software. ;

Okok :-)


AT91 atmel processor
Quote from: casainho

Why not try to find an ARM9 from Atmel? Looks like they have low power consumption and there is a lot of information from Atmel. Even two community site backed up by Atmel: http://www.at91.com and http://www.linux4sam.org
Dev board - http://www.kwikbyte.com/KB9202.html

i personally like the atmel processor due to good support and documentation. this processor will also have long term availability. the only drawback is that there is no integrated LCD controller. :(

i think for RB v1 we can go for the AT91 processor and use the serial based LCD module.

there is a AT91SAM9261 processor which has integrated LCD controller but it comes in a BGA package :(
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/product_card.asp?part_id=3638
it is available for $22
eval boards are expensive though.
i think this AT91SAM9261 is comparable to the samsung S3C2440.


Well, looks like that this V1 will more like a prof of a Free/Open hardware, next hardware version we will be able to change processor and LCD. LCD for sure that will changed, looks like a product with short life style.

MCU, I also like Atmel due to good support and documentation and also have long term availability, as you said, is what we are looking here for our hardware!! If we gain experience in Atmel processors, next time can be other new ARM from Atmel, better than this one and more energy friend :-) - but I don't know If future for Atmel will not be theirs AVR32 instead of ARMs...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 05, 2008, 03:56:45 PM
Microcontroller

check out the controllers offered by NXP
http://www.standardics.nxp.com/literature/other/microcontrollers/pdf/line.card.pdf

i like the ARM7 ones because they are relatively cheap, come in QFP package and consume lower power when compared to ARM9.

i found the following ones suitable

LPC247x  ($11, contains all that we need (LCD, USB OTG, ethernet, SD/MMC) but i could not find any online source)

LH79525 ($9.5 on digikey for romless. contains all that we need except SD/MMC controller. i guess we can manage SD/MMC through an SPI port and software).

LPC2378/88 ($10.5 on digikey. contains all that we need except LCD controller. i guess we can use serial based LCD.)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 05, 2008, 05:36:39 PM
ARM7 for Rockbox? - I asked on IRC and got this replies:
- I would go with something faster - to support CPU-heavy codecs such as the high complexity AAC profiles (and Monkey's);
- yes, ARM7 is a bit of yday's tech;
- ARM9 is a pretty good choice, yeah.


I also would like to have something simple, cheap, low energy - but I want ALL audio files to be played on there, so, ARM9!

So, is this board ok? - Dev board - http://www.kwikbyte.com/KB9202.html
I found one that have all we need(less the DAC) for $225 - highlights:
# 180 MHz, 200 MIPS ARM9 highly-integrated core - Atmel AT91RM9200
....
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 05, 2008, 06:35:20 PM
Quote
So, is this board ok? - Dev board - http://www.kwikbyte.com/KB9202.html

At first glance it looks ok, ($200) but will need LCD, A/D-analog, and kb added.
If the jtag port supports "wiggler" hw, then jtag will be cheap under linux/gdb.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 05, 2008, 07:28:20 PM

Quote
So, is this board ok? - Dev board - http://www.kwikbyte.com/KB9202.html

At first glance it looks ok, ($200) but will need LCD, A/D-analog, and kb added.
If the jtag port supports "wiggler" hw, then jtag will be cheap under linux/gdb.

If you click on buy now will appear an option to buy in conjunction a bw LCD for $25 :-) - or we use that LCD or other "from Nokia", selling at Sparkfun.

That MCU don't have a A/D :-( - It looks like we can't find an ideal SOC...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 06, 2008, 04:47:43 AM
Quote from: casainho
I also would like to have something simple, cheap, low energy - but I want ALL audio files to be played on there, so, ARM9!
going for ARM9 would make sense as far as supporting all codecs (and video codecs) is concerned. but if we want a music only player, i guess ARM7 should suffice. since we would want our hardware to have long support life, maybe ARM9 will be a better choice.

Quote from: casainho
So, is this board ok? - Dev board - http://www.kwikbyte.com/KB9202.html
I found one that have all we need(less the DAC) for $225 - highlights:
# 180 MHz, 200 MIPS ARM9 highly-integrated core - Atmel AT91RM9200
....
i think i will prefer the AT91SAM9260 processor over the AT91RM9200 processor because it includes A/D converter, I2C, and NAND flash controller on chip.

a decent dev board is available for AT91SAM9260 at 139 Euros.
http://www.olimex.com/dev/sam9-L9260.html

in the future (for RB-v2) we can easily upgrade to AT91SAM9261 which is the same chip as 9260 but with an integrated LCD controller. so we will not have to do any code changes.
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/product_card.asp?part_id=3638
(only issue is that it is a BGA package. but i hope by then we will have some experience/techniques to handle BGAs :)

dev board for this will be available soon
http://www.olimex.com/dev/sam9-L9261.html

Quote from: casainho
That MCU don't have a A/D :-( - It looks like we can't find an ideal SOC...

AT91SAM9261 is the perfect SoC for us if we can use BGA,
or else we can settle for AT91SAM9260
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 06, 2008, 05:52:28 AM
Ok, and now, what about a LCD for that dev board?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 06, 2008, 02:03:30 PM
for LCD we can use the serial (SPI based) LCD.
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=569
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 06, 2008, 02:52:20 PM

for LCD we can use the serial (SPI based) LCD.
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=569

Ok, this sounds very good. But we have the problem of the carrier board, which is out of stock :-(

Or we don't need the carrier board? I think me or my friend at work will be able to solder the 0.5mm pitch :-) - It is pins in PCB, right? is not a plastic?

scharkalvin, do you agree with the L9260 dev board?
http://www.olimex.com/dev/sam9-L9260.html

I created a new page for V1: http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerV1 - I let the first page for general information and put there a link for V1.
I don't know nothing about tools for developing, can anyone put some description there?

I never used JTAG - what do you think about USBprog for JTAG? - http://www.embedded-projects.net/index.php?page_id=165

I did order that LCD and the SMD connector:
Color LCD - SMD Connector - $1.95
Color LCD 128x128 Nokia Knock-Off - $19.95

I can test the LCD before have the main dev board, I have some dev boards with AVR8 bits, the example code for LCD should work straight :-) :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: cdtmbu on January 08, 2008, 01:02:59 AM
Hi guys,
I am following this discussion with great interest. But one question:
Are you aware that the ARM9 from atmel as well as the olimex board do have USB full speed (12Mbits) only?
Chris
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 08, 2008, 04:21:06 AM

Hi guys,
I am following this discussion with great interest. But one question:
Are you aware that the ARM9 from atmel as well as the olimex board do have USB full speed (12Mbits) only?
Chris

I am aware. Looks like that the AT91SAM9R64 have USB high speed, but don't have USB host, just device. Looks like difficult to find a cheap dev board with a SoC that have all that we need/want.
Maybe would be good to find after the V1, one IC just for USB high speed and with OTG. On the V1, at least we can swap memory card for quick copy files.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: aarongoltz on January 08, 2008, 08:46:00 PM
Hey-

I don't know if this is of any interest, but I just stumbled upon this product.

http://www.buglabs.net/products

The hardware and software are totally open source (from what I understand). The mini computer has modules that you can add-on, such as a screen or camera, but it can take any hardware that someone would make. Here are the stats of the computer:

Technical Specifications
   

    * ARM1136JF-S-based microprocessor
    * 1 USB 2.0 HS host interface/4 hub port connections
    * 1 USB OTG HS interface
    * 4 UART serial links
    * 4 channel SPI interface
    * I2C (400 kbits) interface/4 channels
    * I2S interface/2 channels
    * Smart LCD interface
    * Camera sensor interface
    * Micro memory card interface
    * MPEG4 hardware encoding/decoding
    * Hardware graphic acceleration
    * 10/100 Ethernet MAC
    * 802.11b/g


    * Base unit LCD module interface
    * Base unit onboard memory (FLASH/DDR SDRAM)
    * JTAG/ICE support
    * Serial debug port
    * Power system
    * AC operation
    * Battery operation/up to 4 external batteries
    * Fast battery charging/simultaneous of internal and external batteries
    * Smart power management support
    * Battery-backed real-time clock
    * Audio out via onboard piezo speaker


I hope someone finds this interesting.

Aaron
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 09, 2008, 06:49:23 AM
Very good news. I talked with Olimex and I got this answers:
me
> One last question, after a working prototype, would Olimex be interested
> in
> making PCBs, assembly and sell it as a gadget, like Olimex is doing with
> Open
> EEG project?

Olimex
yes, the project sounds interesting, so we can release such board


Olimex
> I think than it will be possible to release board with features like:
> AT91SAM9260 + LCDNOKIA6610 + 8MB flash + 8/16MB SDRAM + nRF24L01 wireless
> chip+audio CODEC+ Li-ion battery + charger
> + miniUSB + buttons
> in range EUR 100-120



Should we go with the L9260 dev board - 139.95 €?
http://www.olimex.com/dev/sam9-L9260.html

And with (SPI based) LCD - 13.52 €?
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=569
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 09, 2008, 08:38:47 AM
yes. i guess that's the best option for v1.
i only hope the LCD has long term support or else our player will become headless. ;)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 09, 2008, 09:36:35 AM

yes. i guess that's the best option for v1.
i only hope the LCD has long term support or else our player will become headless. ;)

Olimex is preparing a MOD-NOKIA6610 so I think that LCD will last on market. Olimex have some boards with it, so they have experience, good to help on make the final V1. Anyway, we will be working with dev board, they can help at deciding for any other LCD in the end.

So, what now? buy the boards and start coding?

I did buy the LCD because is not expensive. In the next 2 weeks I can buy the dev board.

I don't know nothing about hardware for programing nor debugging, can someone help? - put info here or on TWiki page?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 09, 2008, 01:38:41 PM
Is this the board?  US price seems to be $293

http://shop.gtronica.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=2&products_id=545
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 09, 2008, 03:01:02 PM
Quote from: casainho

So, what now? buy the boards and start coding?

you can buy the board if u inted to start porting right away. so far only 2 of us have approved for the processor. should we be getting more approvals especially from software experts here?

i still need to get TWiki permissions. will do so soon and update the hardware page.

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 09, 2008, 04:16:52 PM

I don't know if this is of any interest, but I just stumbled upon this product: http://www.buglabs.net/products

To pursue a cheap hardware, we should avoid that kind of things and get a custom, just as simple as we need. We should not generalize, we should focus e define what we want. I must say that a LCD+touchscreen looks very interesting, but that can be implemented later. If we work in mind to have hardware made by Olimex, there is no problem because they already have/are working on a dev board with that LCD+touchscreen.


Is this the board?  US price seems to be $293

http://shop.gtronica.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=2&products_id=545

See the prices directly and not on that site! Here:
http://www.olimex.com/dev/pricelist.html


Quote from: casainho

So, what now? buy the boards and start coding?

you can buy the board if u inted to start porting right away. so far only 2 of us have approved for the processor. should we be getting more approvals especially from software experts here?

i still need to get TWiki permissions. will do so soon and update the hardware page.

Spark, we are just 3 interested. Me, you and scharkalvin. I think that software experts will say nothing in this message. We can ask direct questions to them at IRC.

I already talked with them about hardware:

Microcontroller: could be ARM7, but ARM9 should me the smart choice!;
RAM: for a flash player, 4 MB could be ok, 8 MB should be a smart choice specially If we will have album art - show jpeg, bmp files;
Flash memory: Have a connection for a flash card :-) and store Rockbox code and config files on 8 MB flash IC. 4 MB is +- the max size of actual Rockbox build.
The rest of hardware should be what we need/want. As we can see, that dev board surpass this minimum needs :-)

You have now TWiki permission, Mr. RogerQuadros :-)


Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on January 10, 2008, 07:39:25 AM
Assuming the L9260 board, where does the audio go?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 10, 2008, 07:43:55 AM

Assuming the L9260 board, where does the audio go?

Audio goes trough I2C from MCU to TLV320AIC23 IC AUDIO STEREO CODEC and after to headphones :-) You can read more here:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerV1
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on January 10, 2008, 09:36:59 AM
Yes, I know that you've planned to use that TI chip, but how is that codec gonna be used on the dev board?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 10, 2008, 09:58:30 AM

Yes, I know that you've planned to use that TI chip, but how is that codec gonna be used on the dev board?

Well, we will just make a quick external board by hand. We can copy schematic, take ideas of sw and hw from others 2 projects that use that IC:
http://dspdap.sourceforge.net/hardware.html
http://www.mikrocontroller.net/articles/ARM_MP3/AAC_Player

Am I missing something? maybe I2C or SPI availability?

Nice to have Spark on team because he made DSPdap and worked with that IC ;-) :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 10, 2008, 10:28:10 AM
Have a look at some of the dev boards on this site.
Prices aren't bad....

http://www.embeddedarm.com/epc/prod_SBC.htm
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 10, 2008, 12:06:16 PM

Have a look at some of the dev boards on this site.
Prices aren't bad....

http://www.embeddedarm.com/epc/prod_SBC.htm

The cheap one is this, for 139$ (with RTC):
http://www.embeddedarm.com/epc/ts7400-spec-p.php

It's should be 70$ less than the: http://www.olimex.com/dev/sam9-L9260.html
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on January 10, 2008, 02:14:47 PM
Obviously based on the Cirrus EP9302:

http://www.cirrus.com/en/products/pro/detail/P1066.html
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 10, 2008, 03:17:41 PM

Obviously based on the Cirrus EP9302:

http://www.cirrus.com/en/products/pro/detail/P1066.html

I would prefer to go with Atmel because of the all good things that were talked previously here about Atmel. Also with that board from Olimex, since after we can contact then to make and sell the "Rockbox Player as a gadget".
I also don't have much money. I would prefer to not use now expensive LCD's, wireless modules, buttons, batteries, etc... and just make a quick prototype, to try save money and because If we can port Rockbox to that ARM9 dev board, add another LCD, touchscreen or something other, is just a question of write software drivers! Guys at Olimex can design much more complex hardware dev boards than we need!
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 14, 2008, 03:06:15 PM
Cirrus vs Atmel
Cirrus EP9302 is no better than AT91SAM9260. It does not have LCD i/f

see
http://www.cirrus.com/en/products/pro/areas/PA108.html#PA110_open

the ones with lcd i/f are in bga package. we might as well go with AT91SAM9261.

HP jack
Yes, I know that you've planned to use that TI chip, but how is that codec gonna be used on the dev board?
Well, we will just make a quick external board by hand. We can copy schematic, take ideas of sw and hw from others 2 projects that use that IC:
http://dspdap.sourceforge.net/hardware.html
http://www.mikrocontroller.net/articles/ARM_MP3/AAC_Player

Am I missing something? maybe I2C or SPI availability?

Nice to have Spark on team because he made DSPdap and worked with that IC ;-) :-)

oh no!! how could we miss the audio jack. we keep missing something or the other. audio is very crucial and should come bundled with the dev board. 
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 14, 2008, 07:10:35 PM
oh no!! how could we miss the audio jack. we keep missing something or the other. audio is very crucial and should come bundled with the dev board.

I don't think that audio should come bundled with the dev board. As I see here: http://www.mikrocontroller.net/articles/Bild:TLV320AIC23B_Connection.png, it's not difficult to wire. And as I see in DSPdap, there are just 10 wires, 8 from MCU + 2 for power. I believe that speed communication is not higher so we can attach audio DAC in an outside board. Also pin size of that IC is ok, for solder by hand, I think.

We will need another board for audio DAC, buttons and LCD module :-)

I made a diagram of the dev board. At red the main dev board and at green an other that we will need to made by hand. This is just a minimum system to have Rockbox ported and to show that It can be done.

(http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/viewfile/Main/RockboxPlayerV1?rev=1;filename=bloco_funcionamento_rbplayer-18012007.png)

EDIT on 18.01.2007_21h06:
I got today the Color LCD 128x128 Nokia from Sparkfun! also the connector, which should be very difficult to solder. When I bought the LCD, the Carrier Board was out of stock... today they already have it again!! So I will buy a carrier board instead of trying to solder the thin wires.

SparkFun also sells a ARM JTAG Programmer/Debugger which looks ok, at least is the same 2x10 pins connector as in dev board. Should I also buy this ARM JTAG Programmer/Debugger from SparkFun?? $30: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=275

I am studding the dev board and the possible connections to LCD and DAC. I let the USB out because there is no code in Rockbox to work with USB, files should be put on SD flash card - there is code for SD flash card in Rockbox, at least It is working on Sansa E200 V1.

EDIT on 19.01.2007_9h26:
I were talking on IRC and I found that the IriverH10Port uses also a 128x128 color LCD, should be nice to look at that code as example :-) Some words that were written on IRC:

The size of the LCD isn't important, it's the format it stores the pixel data in. So far, all our colour LCD targets are using the same high-level framebuffer drawing code because the format is the same (or very similar).
LCD_WIDTH and LCD_HEIGHT are simply #defines.
Each pixel is stored in two adjacent bytes, in RGB565 format, moving horizontally from the top-left to bottom right.
Some devices require that in little-endian format, others in big-endian, but that's handled with macros.
But I think that's more or less standard for colour LCDs, or at least all the ones in Rockbox devices so far.
You may want to consider mono or greyscale LCDs though - they have the advantage of being much easier to read without backlight.
Some colour LCDs can't be read at all without backlight.
The point is that any backlight uses power, and it's nice if an LCD can be read without it.
one of the points is that in many cases, backlight is a waste of energy, when you would normally be able to see just fine without backlight on a manachome/greyscale device

EDIT on 20.01.2007_19h43:
I defined today all the connections between LCD module and the maind dev board. I put some pictures on TWiki.

Bootloader or not bootloader? reading the some TWiki pages about develop a new port, write a bootloader is the first task. I tried to figure out if there will be the need of a bootloader and talked on IRC, It looks like will not be necessary because the AT91SAM9260 already have one in his ROM :D - It can bootload by USB, serial port, JTAG and others options.  About that bootloader: The SAM Boot Assistant (SAM-BATM) software provides a means of easily programming different Atmel ® AT91SAM ARM ® Thumb ® -based devices. It runs under Windows®2000 and XP.
Communicating with the target device may be done through an RS232, USB or JTAG link.


Ready more here: http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resources/prod_documents/doc6132.pdf

I found on RB source a driver for the audio DAC IC, the TLV320 :-) - http://svn.rockbox.org/viewvc.cgi/trunk/firmware/drivers/audio/tlv320.c?revision=&view=markup
It's used one the IaudioX5 at least: http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IaudioX5HardwareComponents#TI_TLV320AIC23B_Audio_Codec_with

However it uses I2C and we must use SPI, so, at least no all the code will need to do from scratch for the audio DAC :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: KammutierSpule on January 22, 2008, 05:24:04 AM
Viva people!

My first post here!  ::)

I'm a robotic entusiastic and I've found "rockbox" because I was looking for something hackable and small with great CPU power, that is something missing in hobbyst robotics, firstly because in small robotics projects you dont need suck great power. But, I'm trying move next, and what I was looking for is for something small that can host a webcamera or a CCD or something like a phonecamera.

Actualy, in robotics, the only options you have to use cameras, are use some kind of costly SPI or embeded board camera ( a fast search in google found this one http://www.active-robots.com/products/accessories/cmucam.shtml by  £117.49 (about 227 dolar) )
or you can use small and cheap USB webcams to your robotics, at cost, that you need a PC host and processing computer and the small you can get is something like a miniITX,nanoITX, that you can't get a system work for less than about 300 dolars.

I try find someking of similiar work as rockbox for webcams or digitalphotomachines but seams to be none, sadly because I found that some cheap and old have good and fast chip processing that maybe can be used for the propouses i'm talking.


Then, at rockbox main page, I found in the last wiki activity and fond JorgePinto, thats actualy a Portuguese name. As I'm a Portuguese too, its not usually find some on this kind of scene... I search a little more and get in conclusion that he is from same stat of me, actually live about 22Km near my home town. ehhe

I've talked with him a little about project and I will post here some ideas to you discuss.

I've read almost all posts in this thread, firstly, I'm not so optimist as some of you are, and somethings about it has already said.

So, I think you dificult will get some small, easy done, all embedded circuit/PCB that you can put in a small plastic and people use very happy in his poket and show to his friends and they want one too. So, as some one could think, its impossible for our common normal people make a usable portable nice player, then as said before, using our best practices to manufactur some kind of player, it will be allways more expensive and tecnical less powefull than any "last year" player.

I found this project usefull if people can learn from it, also developers, and users that can get more inside electronics and maybe can try use a endly project board to make your own tests and firmwars. Actualy, the sadly thing is that a board for one player like it, you couldn't solder it at home :/

My hope thing is, if you can make a board player like we are talking about, is that have some powerfull computation as cheap, small board also with expansible capacities, so that can be used in other projects or expansions!

The expecification (CPU,ROM,RAM) seams ok to my needs, you will add a DAC and something else. Then, my next ideas are:


.Leave some room space to solder any new connector to not used pins and bus or
.Leave some expantion socket that you can latter add something else.
.USB host capabilities will be a step ahead, for my webcam Ideas : )
.Seams AVR have CCD sensor interface capabilties :) make it open too : )
.LCD seams nice for this aplication, but 128x128 wont be for other, make planed somehow to expand this.
.Think that will be nice to plug power in board, to dont need use the battery charger.

Other ideas will come.

I think if you make it a little more interface acessible, you and board manufact. will have a wide range of users.

Will be nice have a board that can be a robotic processor unit, speach processor :>, music player, and so on!

I sugest casainho to put in wiki page some table with this ideias and other as possible specifications and wants for this. Put a rate in each one like: "Essencial, Important, Desirable"

and...

Have fun!  ;)

KammutierSpule
Mário Luzeiro



EDIT: 23 Jan 2008
The nordic RF chip sugested by Olimex seams to be really a nice chip, I've alreade study datasheet because I'll use it in my work. But, actually it gives you only 2Mbit/s that shoulndt be too much if share large musics, but will be nice to ear remote music, share playlists, games?, wallpapers, and for me, also robotics hehe

This chip consume about 12mA at max power and 13mA in reciving. In deep sleep mode is consume less than 1uA.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 24, 2008, 08:26:47 AM

.Leave some room space to solder any new connector to not used pins and bus or
.Leave some expantion socket that you can latter add something else.
.USB host capabilities will be a step ahead, for my webcam Ideas : )
.Seams AVR have CCD sensor interface capabilties :) make it open too : )
.LCD seams nice for this aplication, but 128x128 wont be for other, make planed somehow to expand this.
.Think that will be nice to plug power in board, to dont need use the battery charger.

I sugest casainho to put in wiki page some table with this ideias and other as possible specifications and wants for this. Put a rate in each one like: "Essencial, Important, Desirable"

EDIT: 23 Jan 2008
The nordic RF chip sugested by Olimex seams to be really a nice chip, I've alreade study datasheet because I'll use it in my work. But, actually it gives you only 2Mbit/s that shoulndt be too much if share large musics


I am busy right now, I am having pleasure in read, define, working in the schematics. On the right time I will put on TWiki that information, which I thing are good ideas :-) - maybe someone can write them :-)

About wireless connectivity, I will work on the idea after the 1st version of the player. I would desire something to connect with portable devices for sharing files, the player will not browse the internet to download files but It should connect to others devices that can do that, IMO.

I draw today the schematic - in KICAD :-) - of the secondary board, which will need to be made by hand! - I will complete that schematic for buttons, domonoky suggested some kind of resistors and one ADC for buttons. I will also complete the schematic with information about pins. I attach the schematic here :-)
- http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/viewfile/Main/RockboxPlayerV1?rev=1;filename=secondary_board.jpg
- http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/viewfile/Main/RockboxPlayerV1?rev=1;filename=rockbox_player-24012008.sch

Sorry, but I want to use that SAM9-L9260 dev board and not spending more time to find one cheaper that that! - we have a lot examples from Atmel to use the audio stereo Codec with I2S and I2C, to use the SPI link for the LCD and we have already drivers on RB for that ARM core :-)

domonoky started editing the TWiki page and giving information about hardware :-) and I am being talking on IRC... also studding the RB code... talkind on IRC with Bagder about how to boot the system...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: KammutierSpule on January 24, 2008, 11:30:18 AM

About wireless connectivity, I will work on the idea after the 1st version of the player. I would desire something to connect with portable devices for sharing files, the player will not browse the internet to download files but It should connect to others devices that can do that, IMO.


the wireless will add about 25mm x 25mm more space for transciver plus the antenna that can be in circuit or maybe a wire ?
Olimex have a demoboard based in the chip.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 24, 2008, 11:48:37 AM
About wireless connectivity, I will work on the idea after the 1st version of the player. I would desire something to connect with portable devices for sharing files, the player will not browse the internet to download files but It should connect to others devices that can do that, IMO.

the wireless will add about 25mm x 25mm more space for transciver plus the antenna that can be in circuit or maybe a wire ?
Olimex have a demoboard based in the chip.
+ plus price + time + software, which I think there is not software for RB! - leet's see if a 1st version of this hardware will get attention of developers, to work more on this idea of Free/Open hardware. Anyway, to develop, we can use the dev boards, I think we should not put in production hardware not tested, without RB working on that.

NOTE: I did update the schematic on TWiki page.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 24, 2008, 12:58:41 PM
Will somebody put together a complete BOM with cost of parts and links to where to purchase?
If enough people are interested maybe a group buy package might be available and a better
price could be had from the suppliers (well I can hope)?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 24, 2008, 06:19:06 PM

Will somebody put together a complete BOM with cost of parts and links to where to purchase?
If enough people are interested maybe a group buy package might be available and a better
price could be had from the suppliers (well I can hope)?

I am working in external board, after finish, I will do that. Expressive parts in terms of price, are main board, which will be bought on Olimex. After the LCD + carrier board on SparkFun. I don't know If there will be the need to buy a JTAG cable in SparkFun... I bought one, It's my first time... Others parts are just resistors and capacitos, plus the audio codec which can be a sample from TI. I plan to make the external board on the company were I work, for me and maybe 10 more units, which I will try to assembly, with all components, and send by mail to developers.

I just would like to have a discount from Olimex, however, I will not do that! Because is a company from Bulgaria, which I think is a poor country then Portugal. I know a person from Bulgaria that told me that works about 10-12 hours a day... I think the price of the board from Olimex is a fair price. IMO, ipods and things like that are really cheap because of the low prices of hard labor work on China.

TIME: I think that we will stick with same hardware for at least 2 years. We can use the same dev board for develop thins like hard drive support, USB stack, or wireless, etc... - so, buying that dev board will be good to work on RB, I hope.

I were on IRC talking, here are some things about USB on Rockbox and wireless:
- I would like to know if RB work with USB? and If it works with some kind of wireless? - I am asking this because of planing hte hardware for RB player...
- Rockbox has no USB stack or no wireless.
- Rockbox works with USB under certain circumstances.
- The players it works on have some form of hardware USB-ATA bridge. Ones where we need a software USB stack, it doesn't work with yet
- So, It's a good idea to make an hardware with USB, or not? and the same question about wireless like bluetooth...
- adding any sort of wireless connection would require adding a ton of support to Rockbox
- okok, so, about connectivity, what a hardware player for Rockbox should have?
- usb
- what can you tell-me about the USB on the Atmel AT91SAM9260? - I would like to know If it have some kind of USB-ATA inside or not...
- it needs a usb stack
- at least, will the SD card work, on that board?
- sure, with a suitable driver it should
- so, the driver in RB for Sansa SD card will not work? - what are the difference? - hardware?... I am lost... :-)
- the (micro)sd thing in rockbox is for sansa, I don't know how suitable that is for your setup. should be mostly the same of course
- Unless you have the exact same hardware, attached in the exact same way, you'll always have to do some, possibly a lot, of new code.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: cool_walking_ on January 24, 2008, 06:59:10 PM
When you guys decide to buy something, I'll chip in for one or two. I know next to nothing about hardware, so it could be a good learning opportunity if you guys let me bug you every time I break something.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on January 25, 2008, 02:49:09 AM

- Rockbox has no USB stack


Yes it does. although still not properly functional on the Sansa/PP hardwares for which it only so far has been targeted at.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 25, 2008, 04:25:32 AM

When you guys decide to buy something, I'll chip in for one or two. I know next to nothing about hardware, so it could be a good learning opportunity if you guys let me bug you every time I break something.

Nice to know that you would like also to jump on the wagon :-)

All hardware will be documented, we are just selecting ICs with full datasheets and most of them have application notes, examples :-)



- Rockbox has no USB stack

Yes it does. although still not properly functional on the Sansa/PP hardwares for which it only so far has been targeted at.

So, after the chat, I will add USB to the list to develop software for. Would be nice to have developers with experiences to work on that.

About bootloader, Bagder told me that would be possible to use the 512MB NAND Flash to have a bootloader and also other part of the flash with a FAT32 file system. Bootloader will initialize hardware, mount FAT32 file system and init RB application thats reside on FAT32 file system - thats the idea I have :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on January 25, 2008, 06:41:55 AM
I said it can boot from NAND since the data sheet for the MCU says it can. Separating the flash in several partitions, like one for the boot-loader and another for a FAT filesystem should be trivial.

However, which I've tried to get through on IRC, since the planned player hw has no NAND flash of its own (other than replaceable memory cards) I think it is a bit of a waste to write a special boot procedure for the dev board only. I would then probably instead focusing on booting the devboard from USB to make it easier to develop with faster round-trips.

I am however not at all sure about which of these hardwares you refer to when you speak about lots of stuff in this project, and I'm certainly not sure which or if both of these that have the serial NOR flash.

Also, I'd suggest you go for building and using u-boot (http://www.denx.de/wiki/UBoot) as bootloader as I'm quite sure that's already ported and working fine on the AT91 SAM9 targets. That will also allow you to load Rockbox over ethernet (TFTP) while developing and that'll be very convenient.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 25, 2008, 08:40:59 AM
I said it can boot from NAND since the data sheet for the MCU says it can. Separating the flash in several partitions, like one for the boot-loader and another for a FAT filesystem should be trivial.

However, which I've tried to get through on IRC, since the planned player hw has no NAND flash of its own (other than replaceable memory cards) I think it is a bit of a waste to write a special boot procedure for the dev board only. I would then probably instead focusing on booting the devboard from USB to make it easier to develop with faster round-trips.

I am however not at all sure about which of these hardwares you refer to when you speak about lots of stuff in this project, and I'm certainly not sure which or if both of these that have the serial NOR flash.

Also, I'd suggest you go for building and using u-boot (http://www.denx.de/wiki/UBoot) as bootloader as I'm quite sure that's already ported and working fine on the AT91 SAM9 targets. That will also allow you to load Rockbox over ethernet (TFTP) while developing and that'll be very convenient.
I will read about this things later. I am a bit loose here :-)

I did define now the connections between external board and MCU, and main dev board - I2C bus, I2S bus and SPI bus. I hope that are all ok, if someone can verify, great!

Next I will define the hardware for buttons and I will use the suggestion of Domonoky, with one ADC and resistors: http://www.scienceprog.com/interface-multiple-keys-with-one-wire-and-save-pins-of-mcu/
I must define the number of buttons, can anyone suggest a good number and function of each one? - I did sketch but I don't know If are right: 1º Options; 2º Menu; 3º Play/Pause; 4º Up; 5º Down; 6º Left; 7º Right.

After having all hardware defined, I will try to draw and assembly the external board and at the same time starting working on code - bootloader :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 25, 2008, 10:10:30 AM
yet another development board.
They have some interesting but expensive add on's

http://www.littlechips.com/sbc_main.htm
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 25, 2008, 11:38:00 AM
Chating on IRC, I got this information: 8 total buttons, 4 direction buttons (up/down/left/right), select, menu, play/pause and stop. Up and down buttons typical acts as volume up and down.

I will now start the calculus for the schematic for this 8 buttons and later put final information on TWiki page  :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 25, 2008, 01:24:38 PM
Quote
8 total buttons, 4 direction buttons (up/down/left/right), select, menu, play/pause and stop. Up and down buttons typical acts as volume up and down.

This pretty much is the same as the Gigabeat (my favorite ui) except that the gb also has separate controls for volume, but the up/down buttons also control volume on that so the only advantage is that the volume control is available on the side of the unit when it is closed up in a case.

The stop button could also be used as a power down / power up / reset button.
Press and hold while powered off turns it on, press and hold while powered on turns it off, very long press and hold resets.  

Missing is a slide switch for lock.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 25, 2008, 07:31:49 PM

Missing is a slide switch for lock.

Okok, I will not assume lock needs in this version in the dev. board. Next version, lets discuss this with guys from Olimex, we can suggest interesting hardware as sliding circle for volume/navigation, as in Sansa or Ipods.

So, 8 buttons, there is no need to calculate another values from this example: http://www.scienceprog.com/interface-multiple-keys-with-one-wire-and-save-pins-of-mcu/ , is just use it! :-) however, It looks like to me that with that technique we can't know what buttons are pressed simultaneous :-( , I don't know if this is a problem... I will try to listen other opinions about this and I identified 8 free I/O pins on MCU and expansion connectors, that can be used for the buttons.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: toffe on January 25, 2008, 10:07:54 PM
For the remote, take example on the one of the gigabeat, the schematic is here :
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/viewfile/Main/GigabeatInfo?rev=1;filename=remote_control_gigabeat_F.pdf
I can send you the Kicad file if you want..
I f I didn't make any error on the tracing   :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 26, 2008, 05:07:35 AM

For the remote, take example on the one of the gigabeat, the schematic is here :
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/viewfile/Main/GigabeatInfo?rev=1;filename=remote_control_gigabeat_F.pdf
I can send you the Kicad file if you want..
I f I didn't make any error on the tracing   :)

Thank you for sharing :-)

On IRC:
- I am studding a way to link 8 buttons to a MCU... and I have the possibility of use just 1 wire to connect the 8 buttons signals to MCU, however this technique doesn't allow to detect simultaneous buttons press... is important for RB software to detect simultaneous buttons? - 4 direction buttons (up/down/left/right), select, menu, play/pause and stop. Up and down buttons typical acts as volume up and down.
- It's not very important, but often useful.
- I don't think it's necessary to be able to detect each button individually. A few independent groups already help a lot
- As mentioned, it's not only the extremes which are possible. Among the rockbox targets we have a lot of variants ranging from each button connected individually (e.g. archos player), to all buttons connected via one wire except power (e.g. iaudio X5, M5)

I will use 8 wires, for simplicity at understand the hardware and have the possibility to know each individual button press :-) - I will start right now draw the schematic :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: linuxstb on January 26, 2008, 05:28:30 AM
Regarding buttons, you may want to look at the keymap definitions for the various targets in apps/keymaps/ - lines such as BUTTON_ON|BUTTON_UP indicate a button combination that the hardware allows.

The keymap_h1x0_h3x0.c and keymap_gigabeat.c are probably most useful to you, as they have a similar number of buttons as your proposed device.

(note that BUTTON_REL and BUTTON_REPEAT aren't real buttons, they're used to indicate release and repeat events respectively).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 26, 2008, 11:39:08 AM
Regarding buttons, you may want to look at the keymap definitions for the various targets in apps/keymaps/ - lines such as BUTTON_ON|BUTTON_UP indicate a button combination that the hardware allows.

The keymap_h1x0_h3x0.c and keymap_gigabeat.c are probably most useful to you, as they have a similar number of buttons as your proposed device.

(note that BUTTON_REL and BUTTON_REPEAT aren't real buttons, they're used to indicate release and repeat events respectively).
I wrote this information on TWiki page ;-) Thanks.

Hardware is now defined!! Now I will wait some days for any suggestions or bugs. After I will put a list o material , international sites to buy it online and prices. And after I will ask at company were I work to make some units of the secondary board which I will be able to send by mail to developers that ask for it - assembled board.

I got today another positive answer from one second company, from http://www.in-circuit.de/ , to produce the Rockbox Player :-) I answered that now we are developing a prototype using a developing board and in the end we will contact them.

Very nice because the person told me: "That would be great, full open source mp3 player. From schematic till the firmware and perhaps the songs :-)" and which I replied: "Software/firmware are GPL2, hardware will have somekind of GPL license and there are a lot of music with Creative Commons licenses, as in www.Jamendo.com, with + than 6600 albums, with an actual medium grow rate of 14 albums by day :-)"
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 26, 2008, 12:29:46 PM
hi people,

lots of development happened since i last wrote. i have a few suggestions

keyboard interface
8 lines for 8 keys is too much of wiring. since we already have I2C running to the expansion board it would make sense to use a an I2C I/O expander with interrupt support for keys.
e.g. PCA8574 for 8 I/O lines or PCA8575 for 16 I/O lines
PCA8574 -> http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/viewfile/Main/RockboxPlayerV1?rev=1;filename=PCF8574_4.pdf
PCA8575 -> http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/viewfile/Main/RockboxPlayerV1?rev=1;filename=PCF8575_3.pdf

power on/off logic
We need to add a separate power on button that controls power ON logic of power supply.

LCD interface
there should be an I/O line to control LCD backlight. If we use carrier board we have only one 3.3V supply line for both backlight and logic. This means that we will have to switch this supply line on/off to save power. LCD will have to be re-initialized on each power off/on cycle.
we can use a P-channel MOSFET to control LCD power.
again the above I2C i/o expander can be used for LCD power line (i.e. gate of P-channel switch).

anybody knows how much current the LCD module needs? i guess we can safely use a 500mA power switch.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 26, 2008, 12:42:50 PM
Spark, I wrote on TWiki the objectives for this V1 and the planing future versions. I hope they make sense, more or less.

keyboard interface
8 lines for 8 keys is too much of wiring.
Adding another IC seems unnecessary to me, since we have free I/O lines on MCU (with pull-ups).

LCD interface
This means that we will have to switch this supply line on/off to save power.
There in no need to save power, we are using a dev board. Future circuit on V2 can be totally different in question of this LCD and power circuit.

Your concerns looks like more for the V2 and not for this V1. If we go with Olimex for V2, looks like they will not need our help to design the circuit, however we will have to control that! On that time, I think that this ideas you wrote, can be worked, but not in this V1.

Look, I asked you in past to make a planing, you didn't and I had free time and I am being working on the project, I made the planing, contacts, and defined some simple hardware, I hope all this make sense and are ok.....
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 26, 2008, 02:52:45 PM
Casainho, i was tied up with something and could not write anything this week.

my concerns were for a basic player.

there should be a way to turn off LCD backlight if there is no user activity for certain time. (irrespective if we power from mains or battery). This functionality can be added by using a transistor (less than $0.5).

while development you should have free i/o lines. you never know when you would need them. the I2C i/o expander is a standard chip for less than $1.5

since we are already making an expansion board, i don't think adding these 2 chips is gonna cost a lot.

dev board
Casainho, did you get a user guide with the dev board? can you please upload it for us?
how does it bootload? u-boot in flash?
what if u-boot is erased? how do we recover a virgin board?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 26, 2008, 03:12:49 PM
there should be a way to turn off LCD backlight if there is no user activity for certain time. (irrespective if we power from mains or battery). This functionality can be added by using a transistor (less than $0.5).
But If we will use this prototype just to show Rockbox working, we don't need all the little things. If we add that functions in hardware, they will also must be done in software, and for V1 there is no need, V1 will be just a straightforward version in terms of hardware + software.
I don't pretend to perfect all software for this V1, since just the developers will use this V1. And we have a lot of working ahead to do, in software!! 

while development you should have free i/o lines. you never know when you would need them. the I2C i/o expander is a standard chip for less than $1.5
Thats right, we can use this dev board for future development of another hardware, but, I am not seeing that possibility in a short time, because we already have all that we need in the board! There is no software in Rockbox for any other fancy hardware...
Even If we change the hardware a bit, we can draw a total new version of this secondary board.

since we are already making an expansion board, i don't think adding these 2 chips is gonna cost a lot.
It's not a question of price for me, It's just I think we don't need or will need them, thinking in make a simple demo of this player, I think in simplifying the hardware + software + documentation + BOM, we will win time and this 2 things will change for sure quickly in the next version V2, they are just temporary.

dev board
Casainho, did you get a user guide with the dev board? can you please upload it for us?
No, but looking at others manuals from Olimex, that manual should just be important for install Linux on the board, IMO. So I am not worried with that, since we have all information, all datasheets :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on January 26, 2008, 04:20:57 PM

there should be a way to turn off LCD backlight if there is no user activity for certain time. (irrespective if we power from mains or battery). This functionality can be added by using a transistor (less than $0.5).


This sort of stuff is already done by Rockbox. No need to do anything about it hw-wise really.

Quote

what if u-boot is erased? how do we recover a virgin board?


The at91 chips are easily bootstrapped over serial (or usb I believe) even when nothing at all is in flash.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 26, 2008, 04:34:27 PM


there should be a way to turn off LCD backlight if there is no user activity for certain time. (irrespective if we power from mains or battery). This functionality can be added by using a transistor (less than $0.5).

This sort of stuff is already done by Rockbox. No need to do anything about it hw-wise really.

Software can't control the energy in this hardware: http://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/LCD/ColorLCD-Carrier-Schematic.pdf

And since we are talking about this, for V2 I would like to have PWM control for this back light of the LCD, so we can make a fade in/out. Also the same for every LED :-)

I know that actual MCU don't have PWM channels, but on V2 we can change to the AT91SAM9RL64, which have PWM and USB full speed.



Quote
what if u-boot is erased? how do we recover a virgin board?

The at91 chips are easily bootstrapped over serial (or usb I believe) even when nothing at all is in flash.

Well, I bought the JTAG cable, I think that we can program all with JTAG. I bought mine in SparkFun at the same time I bought the LCD carrier board. http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=275
There is other alternative, the USBprog :-) - http://www.embedded-projects.net/index.php?page_id=165
I believe that It can be also bootstraped by JTAG :-) - I don't have any experience with JTAG or 32 bits, ARM, MCUs. I just read a lot about them :-)

Text taken from datasheet:
AT91SAM9260 Boot Program

The Boot Program integrates different programs permitting download and/or upload into the dif-
ferent memories of the product.

First, it initializes the Debug Unit serial port (DBGU) and the USB Device Port.

Then the DataFlash Boot program is executed. It looks for a sequence of eight valid ARM excep-
tion vectors in a DataFlash connected to the SPI. All these vectors must be B-branch or LDR
load register instructions except for the sixth vector. This vector is used to store the size of the
image to download.

If a valid sequence is found, code is downloaded into the internal SRAM. This is followed by a
remap and a jump to the first address of the SRAM.
If no valid ARM vector sequence is found, the DataFlash Boot program is executed on the sec-
ond chip select.

If no valid ARM vector sequence is found, NAND Flash Boot program is then executed.
The NAND Flash Boot program looks for a sequence of eight valid ARM exception vectors. If
such a sequence is found, code is downloaded into the internal SRAM. This is followed by a
remap and a jump to the first address of the SRAM.

If no valid ARM vector sequence is found, SAM-BA Boot is then executed. It waits for transac-
tions either on the USB device, or on the DBGU serial port.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on January 26, 2008, 05:07:49 PM
Quote
Software can't control the energy in this hardware


Are you saying that the software can't switch the backlight on/off ?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 26, 2008, 05:09:09 PM

Quote
Software can't control the energy in this hardware

Are you saying that the software can't switch the backlight on/off ?

Yes, I was. Sorry, I should be objective. Software can't switch backlight on/off because this hardware don't do that on/off: http://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/LCD/ColorLCD-Carrier-Schematic.pdf
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 27, 2008, 12:54:08 AM
Thats why i said we should send 3.3V power to the LCD through a MOSFET switch with its gate connected to the I/O line of the uC. With this way we can swith on/off the LCD through software.
since both backlight and LCD logic are powered off, we will have to re-initialize the LCD on each power cycle.

V1 and V2
we cannot call a dev board + expansion board as a V1. that is just an eval platform.
A V1 needs to have its own board and we should be developing it, here in the wiki and forum.
if Olimex (or other vendor) is interested in developing the board, we should invite their engineers to join the forum and give their inputs. we do not want them to develop the board in their closed rooms. that looses the essence of open source development.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 27, 2008, 05:46:00 AM
V1 and V2
we cannot call a dev board + expansion board as a V1. that is just an eval platform.
Okok, someone already told that :-) - I feel the need to document all hardware + software of the dev board + expansion board and for that I will need to have a TWiki page, and for that I need to give a version to that, It can be V0.1, maybe, no? - remember that MCU will be the same to others future versions. - what can be the version name for this first prototype - including hardware + software?

A V1 needs to have its own board and we should be developing it, here in the wiki and forum.
Right, but there is a good option in the table now, we don't need to go for all the work, time and money consuming, we have a company that can do that for us, a company that have people with experience in that, from design, to choose good, available in market, components, and assembly.

The company here I work, design hardware is strong connected with shop section of the company and assembly section, because It can't be totally separated processes.

if Olimex (or other vendor) is interested in developing the board, we should invite their engineers to join the forum and give their inputs. we do not want them to develop the board in their closed rooms. that looses the essence of open source development.
I already invited for that, but they have no time for this, they are busy with theirs "normal" work! Also I remember Bagder told: don't put your hopes to a company doing this settle for a hw design and use that build-your-own style prove that the design works and that there's working software should put yourself in a better position when trying to convince companies...
So I feel very luck in have this 2 positive answers from the only 2 companies that I contacted!! I am sure they believe in the project, not only, because Rockbox already works in many hardwares, have a lot of good features and there are a lot of happy people!! Thanks to developers :)

About Olimex or other company develop board in close, that is no problem to me, If they give full schematics and use ICs approved by us. If we look at their dev boards, we know all, we have schematics and the place of components in the board. If company draw the board for them assembly it, let It stay with them if they do not want release it public. We having the schematics, we can then draw the board using our Free Software programs. If Another company wants to make also the board, they can design for them selfs or use our design in KiCad.

About Olimex, even If we don't have their engineers here, we have schematics of their boards, we can reuse their schematics knowing that they have knowledge about that and it works...
When they suggested "AT91SAM9260 + LCD NOKIA 6610 + 8MB flash + 8/16MB SDRAM + nRF24L01 wireless chip + audio CODEC + Li-ion battery + charger + miniUSB + buttons", I didn't mention wireless nor battery, they just suggested that, so I assume that after we show prototype working on that Olimex dev board, we can say what we need and they can tailor a schematic for us and after we can approve it or say the necessary changes.
They have a board with an TFT LCD 3.5" 320x240 pixels with TOUCH SCREEN, they have boards with Ethernet and wireless... what can we need more? :-)

Spark, thinking like this, I don't need to have in the dev and external boards, hardware to switch on/off the back light of the LCD or others things, that can be defined for the next board. And we can just say that in text and engineers from Olimex will draw that, just If we will not be satisfied with result, we can than design as we want/need.

And we should control the quality of the hardware, to have a good sound quality as possible. Thats an advantage that this player can have, I remember to read on wikipedia page about the Ipod, that are models that have bad sound quality, because of cheap hardware. My daily work is also, at the end of the prototype, find smaller values of capacitors, inductors, etc, to reduce the price of the system!

This are my ideas.

EDIT: We can start defining, writing, what hardware we want in V1 (can be a audio player and recorder)! For example, I tough in one version for a flash player and another for a HD player, but now I think It can be possible have pcb with an SD card connector for having a flash player and a connector for an HD. People that want use an HD, just connect it on the board. Looks like there are a lot of people here at RB that likes to have a portable player with 250GB.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 28, 2008, 03:32:30 AM
i believe the fun lies in the experience of designing the hardware ourselves (at least at schematic level). Since we already have the dev board schematics and lots of info on the net, what more do we need?
Once the schematics is finalized we can hunt for vendors to make the PCB.

We can start with the dev board schematics being replicated in kiCad and then modify other stages.
The dev board schematic is very hard to read since all things are put on a single page. The different stages (e.g. CPU, audio, lan, flash, RAM, etc) must be on separate pages with off page connectors and off page busses. This way it is very easy to read.

FYI: to use HDD in portable player you need to use the slim style (1.8") drives that are used in UMPCs. These are even smaller than laptop drives. I guess these don't come greater than 80GB to date.
http://www.hitachigst.com/portal/site/en/menuitem.791419b49758db5deb4703e3aac4f0a0/

They are relatively expensive that 2.5" drives but still they are cheaper than flash. you could buy a 20GB slim drive for under $80

if we can support IDE interface then we can support both CF cards and HD Drive on the same electrical interface.

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 28, 2008, 04:01:57 AM

Once the schematics is finalized we can hunt for vendors to make the PCB.

Thats another phase that I think we can avoid! Avoiding that means save a lot of money, resources! Olimex can do that PCBs, buy components, assembly and sell it on their online shop, worldwide - and even they have already a net of shops, representatives!!

As I am thinking, we just need to risky, invest our money at 1st phase, in this dev board, and on the next phase, all money investment and risky will be for Olimex or any other!! And have it available on online shop to every body is very important for the success of this idea!!

As you suggest, after finding a vendor for PCBs, who will buy components, assembly it in quantities and sell it online?



FYI: to use HDD in portable player you need to use the slim style (1.8") drives that are used in UMPCs. These are even smaller than laptop drives. I guess these don't come greater than 80GB to date.
http://www.hitachigst.com/portal/site/en/menuitem.791419b49758db5deb4703e3aac4f0a0/

They are relatively expensive that 2.5" drives but still they are cheaper than flash. you could buy a 20GB slim drive for under $80

if we can support IDE interface then we can support both CF cards and HD Drive on the same electrical interface.

We can start writing this ideas on TWiki. I will ask to moderators to change the name of the page of the V1 and I will start another V1 page, to store this ideas.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 28, 2008, 07:39:47 AM
Quote
FYI: to use HDD in portable player you need to use the slim style (1.8") drives that are used in UMPCs. These are even smaller than laptop drives. I guess these don't come greater than 80GB to date.
http://www.hitachigst.com...9758db5deb4703e3aac4f0a0/
They are relatively expensive that 2.5" drives but still they are cheaper than flash. you could buy a 20GB slim drive for under $80



1.8" hard disks are more expensive that 2.5" laptop drives, but other than size they do not hold a big advantage for a use in a media player.  You can get 2.5" HDD's up to 160gb cheaply.  Using a 2.5" drive will require a larger case to put the player in, but savings in weight won't be that great over the 1.8" types.  Anyway, using a 2.5" HDD wouldn't be out of the question.  Also note that laptop drives are now going to SATA and this trend will spill over to the 1.8" size soon.

http://www.geeks.com/products_sc.asp?cat=414
http://www.geeks.com/products_sc.asp?cat=906
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 28, 2008, 08:08:18 AM
Organization on TWiki:

RockboxPlayer - general page about the project:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayer

RockboxPlayerPrototype - page about the prototype, made using a dev. board:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototype

RockboxPlayerV1 - page to register ideas for the first commercial version of the player:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerV1
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: markun on January 28, 2008, 08:09:51 AM
Also note that laptop drives are now going to SATA and this trend will spill over to the 1.8" size soon.


Why do you think that? I would expect CE-ATA to be the new standard for 1.8" drives. It's used in the 160GB version of the ipod classic.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 28, 2008, 08:20:27 AM

Also note that laptop drives are now going to SATA and this trend will spill over to the 1.8" size soon.


Why do you think that? I would expect CE-ATA to be the new standard for 1.8" drives. It's used in the 160GB version of the ipod classic.

I did create a new message just for discuss ideas, suggestions, for the RockboxPlayerV1 - http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=15173.0 , please use that message and not flood this message thats pretend to be just for the RockboxPlayerPrototype or general project:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototype
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 28, 2008, 09:58:00 AM
casainho, you did a good job by separating proto and v1

HDD/CF interface
whether we go for 2.5" HDD due to lower cost or 1.8" HDD due to smaller size, we need an IDE interface.
the 9260 cpu has a CF controller which can be easily adapted for a HDD.
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resources/prod_documents/doc6023.pdf

using SATA drives will only complicate the matter without any significant gains.

CF or SD flash
now since an IDE interface is allowing us to use CF and HDD, should we still stick to SD card for v1?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 28, 2008, 11:25:59 AM
Spark, can you please answer to my question "As you suggest, after finding a vendor for PCBs, who will buy components, assembly it in quantities and sell it online?" - Do you have a better option?

And lets that discussion of a kind of HDD for the message for RockboxPlayerV1 - http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=15173.0 . For this RockboxPlayerPrototype, we just have SD card on hardware.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 29, 2008, 03:19:49 AM
Quote from: casainho
Spark, can you please answer to my question "As you suggest, after finding a vendor for PCBs, who will buy components, assembly it in quantities and sell it online?" - Do you have a better option?

sorry casainho, i missed to reply to your question. i don't have any option yet, but definately there will be many guys interested once we have Rockbox runnin on RockboxPlayerProto. And there is quite some time for that.

If we have the schematics done for V1, don't you think vendor's like olimex will be interested?

more than the PCB and assembly i'm worried about the enclosure. u know anyone who can make and sell an enclosure at a cheap rate?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 29, 2008, 03:42:03 AM
sorry casainho, i missed to reply to your question. i don't have any option yet, but definately there will be many guys interested once we have Rockbox runnin on RockboxPlayerProto. And there is quite some time for that.
Yes, and we must take advantage on that interest ;) :)

If we have the schematics done for V1, don't you think vendor's like olimex will be interested?
For sure, however, I believe that we can accelerate the process and help them If we use hardware that they already use on their dev boards, because they have experience on that hardware, since from design(have libraries for schematic and PCB), to find/buy the components till assembly it.

If we design the schematic for V1, Olimex will probably need to redesign it again internally, for a few reasons. However, I changed a bit my ideas now :-) - we don't loose nothing in have it designed by ourselfs, specially If we have resources to do that, If you like and want to do that, go ahead :-)
But, remember that we must find help at assembly and sell online the project!!! - I don't have resources to do that nor I want to do that! I assume that you to... so I guess the best option is have Olimex or others to do that, so, we must work with them, using the hardware that they use on theirs dev. boards(Olimex example).

more than the PCB and assembly i'm worried about the enclosure. u know anyone who can make and sell an enclosure at a cheap rate?
Now, I don't. We have the option of the - http://www.emachineshop.com/ - Online Machine Shop - Download the software for free, design the case in 3d, and it tell you the price you will pay. This is ideal for a prototype or small quantities.

Maybe we can define a design, sizes of the V1, make an expensive prototype of the enclosure and then try to contact any company as we are doing for hardware. Good was having it selling on online shop with plastic case already! It can be possible, I think.

I am reading now the:: Application note from Atmel: Getting Started with the AT91SAM9260 Microcontroller.

external PCB
Can someone(with more experience than me, which is almost none) draw the external PCB in KiCad? - I want to start drill that. Sharkalvin suggested to seperate analog vdd and gnd from the digital vdd and ground. (the AEXT connector has analog vdd and analog gnd). This will reduce noise in the nanalog signals..


New developer :-)
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/MattAndrew
MattAndrew added himself to the project page. He haves wrote this on his page:

As a student project this semester (spring 2008), I'm designing and building a portable mp3/ogg/flac/etc player that will run rockbox (yes, I'll port rockbox to it). The designs for the circuit board will be licensed under the creative-commons (by-nc-sa).

The music player will be based on an atmel arm9 and have a organic led display (124x128, 18 bit color). For storage, there will be 2 sd/sdhc card slots. It will have the usual lithium ion variant battery and charge via usb. The software will be stored in serial flash and be copied to ram upon bootup.

I'm not trying to compete with any brand's commercial player, I'm just not satisfied with what's out there (basically I want a quality sd-card based player with a color screen that plays oggs and mp3s). The end result of this project should be a circuit board that can be printed by a board house and then soldered by the advanced amateur, although only a few might ever get made.

My student project last semester was a clock based on an arm7 with the same organic led display I'm using for this music player. The software is all written in assembly language and is open-source. The designs for the hardware are licensed under the creative commons.


I searched and I find his blog, with pictures of his works :-) - http://ohmslog.wordpress.com/

EDIT on 30.01.2008:
We have another Prototype page - RockboxPlayerPrototypeB :-) :-) - let's discuss ideas and see what is the best... I am really loose but happy :-)
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototypeB
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 30, 2008, 04:02:46 AM
Welcome Matt. Good to have you with us.

Could you post more info about your oled clock project? You seem to have PCB design experience. which tools do you use?

Quote from: casainho
However, I changed a bit my ideas now :-) - we don't loose nothing in have it designed by ourselfs, specially If we have resources to do that, If you like and want to do that, go ahead :-)


sure, i'll start something on it. I'm new to KiCad, so i will have to do some learning on that first. We also have Matt now with us. ;)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 30, 2008, 05:35:37 AM

Quote from: casainho
However, I changed a bit my ideas now :-) - we don't loose nothing in have it designed by ourselfs, specially If we have resources to do that, If you like and want to do that, go ahead :-)


sure, i'll start something on it. I'm new to KiCad, so i will have to do some learning on that first. We also have Matt now with us. ;)

About Matt, I had chat with him yesterday. Matt told me that he must have the board designed and produced in 1.5 months!! He will be able to assembly a few for developers, we need to send him money for the components and board. He estimates a price of no more than 100 €.

So he will just make the board for his project in school and after we can continue  with the software porting.

Since we will need to spend about 200 € for the dev boad from Olimex  + LCD, etc... I think we can try the board from Matt. Spark, I apologize for changed my ideas, since you suggested the same as Matt! I think it shows my inexperience :-)

What do guys think about this? about shifting from Olimex dev board to Matt board?

We can help Matt, It will not be Matt board, instead, our board :-)


Written by Matt on http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototypeB
components and operation
    * atmel arm9 (at91sam9260, 208 pin qfp, ~$20) microcontroller
    * organic led display (124x128, 18 bit color, 30 pin connector, $37)
    * 2 sd/sdhc card slots
    * lithium ion variant battery (charges via usb)
    * spi flash (dataflash, 8 pin soic)
    * sdram (32 bit wide)
    * stereo DAC (twi or spi or ssc/i2s)


Very nice the at91sam9260, we have already a lot of information about it.

The organic led display, Matt wrote: The choice of an oled display was because it was fairly low-cost ($37 in single quantities), easy to interface to and is lower power than an lcd in the case that only a few of the pixels are on (because there’s no backlight on an oled display). --> very nice the low power and the price for that technology will drop, IMO.

Stereo DAC? can it be the same TLV320AIC23?

Rockbox will be stored in spi flash and be copied to ram upon bootup. This means that it will be necessary a larger SDRAM value?

to get truely low power when the device is in pause mode, it needs mobile sdram which is only available in BGA packages (tell me if I'm wrong about this!) --> I went to IRC for asking this question, no one could tell me about mobile sdram.

I found the AT45DB321D-SU - 32M bit / 4 MByte, 2.7-Volt Only Serial Interface Flash, SOIC.
Atmel product page with datahseet and application notes: http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/product_card.asp?part_id=3818
cost 4,54 € in Farnell: http://uk.farnell.com/jsp/Semiconductors/Memory/ATMEL/AT45DB321D-SU/displayProduct.jsp?sku=1455042&_requestid=63444

And on IRC chat:
- 32mbit/4mb should be enough
- rockbox core is muuuuch smaller than that
- would even have room for some plugins
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 30, 2008, 09:23:54 AM
Quote from: casainho

About Matt, I had chat with him yesterday. Matt told me that he must have the board designed and produced in 1.5 months!! He will be able to assembly a few for developers, we need to send him money for the components and board. He estimates a price of no more than 100 €.

So he will just make the board for his project in school and after we can continue  with the software porting.


not a bad idea. Matt, please start work on the wiki as soon as possible so that we can work together to build the schematics.

Quote from: casainho

Spark, I apologize for changed my ideas, since you suggested the same as Matt! I think it shows my inexperience :-)

you don't need to. it is not inexperience. it is difference in needs ;).

oled display
can we have datasheets of the oled display? how many colours does it support?

spi flash or NAND flash

Quote from: casainho

Rockbox will be stored in spi flash and be copied to ram upon bootup. This means that it will be necessary a larger SDRAM value?

Why not NAND flash? We can have a 8Gbit (1GByte) NAND flash for $16. This can serve as firmware space as well as media storage.
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail?name=557-1373-1-ND
Linux can also be used. you can literally swim inside here. :)
It can also save you from buying an SD card.

Mobile SDRAM
Yes, unfortunately these low voltage (1.8V) SDRAMs are only available in BGA package. So we have to stick to 3.3V SDRAMs. :(
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 30, 2008, 09:47:57 AM

oled display
can we have datasheets of the oled display? how many colours does it support?

I am almost sure that is this this display, from SparkFun - there is also listed on that page the example project of Matt: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=712


spi flash or NAND flash
Quote from: casainho

Rockbox will be stored in spi flash and be copied to ram upon bootup. This means that it will be necessary a larger SDRAM value?

Why not NAND flash? We can have a 8Gbit (1GByte) NAND flash for $16. This can serve as firmware space as well as media storage.
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail?name=557-1373-1-ND
Linux can also be used. you can literally swim inside here. :)
It can also save you from buying an SD card.

I think Matt did choose that because of SOIC package, to be easier to solder.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 30, 2008, 01:26:57 PM
I like the look of that oled display.  Matts clock looks real good on it.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Sonic on January 30, 2008, 04:18:08 PM
Sure, the OLED display looks sweet, but... 128x128? In my opinion, 128x128 would only be good for music. And as RockBox can be used for video and photo viewing, and for playing games, shouldn't the screen at least meet the industry standard of 320x240?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 30, 2008, 04:20:39 PM
Quote
shouldnt' the screen at least meet the industry standard of 320x240?

Well 128x128 would be good enough for proof of concept.  But you are right, a 320x240
(or 240x320) would be better.  The latter gives more room for text info and can be rotated
90 degrees for video.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 30, 2008, 04:31:06 PM

Sure, the OLED display looks sweet, but... 128x128? In my opinion, 128x128 would only be good for music. And as RockBox can be used for video and photo viewing, and for playing games, shouldn't the screen at least meet the industry standard of 320x240?

Please read the page of the project: http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayer

One objective of the project: Good quality hardware audio player and recorder - no video player or game console;
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: mzandrew on January 30, 2008, 09:38:22 PM

oled display
can we have datasheets of the oled display? how many colours does it support?


It's 18 bit color, so 262,144 or so.

cashainho's correct, it's sparkfun's oled display.

Datasheet for the controller:  http://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/LCD/SSD1339_1.7.pdf


spi flash or NAND flash
Quote from: casainho

Rockbox will be stored in spi flash and be copied to ram upon bootup. This means that it will be necessary a larger SDRAM value?

Why not NAND flash? We can have a 8Gbit (1GByte) NAND flash for $16. This can serve as firmware space as well as media storage.
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail?name=557-1373-1-ND
Linux can also be used. you can literally swim inside here. :)
It can also save you from buying an SD card.


I want to save as much space as possible on the main board, so I opted for spi flash because it comes in an 8 pin package.  And you can only get spi flash (dataflash) that's a few mebibytes in capacity.

I'm not opposed to using soldered-down flash for another rockbox player, it's just this first one I want to be just sd cards.


Mobile SDRAM
Yes, unfortunately these low voltage (1.8V) SDRAMs are only available in BGA package. So we have to stick to 3.3V SDRAMs. :(


The atmel at91sam9260 can use 3.3V or 1.8V ram on the external bus interface.  It really is just a question of being able to solder a BGA without the great expense of having a company assemble it for us.

As I told casainho via instant messaging, I have access to an infrared lamp BGA rework machine, so it might be possible to do it, but I still would like this project to result in a board that an advanced amateur electronics hobbyist can assemble himself without any expensive tools.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: mzandrew on January 30, 2008, 09:49:56 PM

Could you post more info about your oled clock project?


Here's the write-up for the project I submitted as part of my class last semester.  It has gobs of details:
http://arm7-oled-clock.googlecode.com/files/arm7-oled-clock-project-write-up.pdf


You seem to have PCB design experience. which tools do you use?


I used the unregistered version of Eagle.  I found it to be very good.  It has a few bugs / imperfections, but it doesn't crash.  I suppose I'll have to give them the $50 registration fee if we actually make a commercial product out of this.  :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: mzandrew on January 30, 2008, 10:07:29 PM

Sure, the OLED display looks sweet, but... 128x128? In my opinion, 128x128 would only be good for music. And as RockBox can be used for video and photo viewing, and for playing games, shouldn't the screen at least meet the industry standard of 320x240?



Quote
shouldnt' the screen at least meet the industry standard of 320x240?

Well 128x128 would be good enough for proof of concept.  But you are right, a 320x240
(or 240x320) would be better.  The latter gives more room for text info and can be rotated
90 degrees for video.


I would love to use a higher resolution display, but not a physically larger one (I want this player to remain small).  Anyone know of a source of OLED display modules that are about 1"x1" and 256x256 or 320x240 or so?

All I've found is the ones from sparkfun (univision and 4dsystems).  Anyone want to expand on this list of OLED module (display+controller, but without serial backpack) suppliers?

There's a 160x128 module (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8543), but it's $108 and has a serial interface that won't be used.

I'm also not opposed to eventually making another circuit board for a different rockbox player that would have a much larger/higher resolution screen and use a 2.5" hard drive so you could store ALL your music on it.  But that's not the goal of this circuit board right now.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on January 30, 2008, 10:09:15 PM
I'd say the minimum screen size *I* would recommend is 220x176 (H300, iPod Photo, Sansa e200). Mounted portrait is my personal preference. This offers (to me) enough space to fit a lot of information with a small font, or a few very important lines with a very large font, and is about the right point of flexibility (in my view).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 31, 2008, 03:27:45 AM
Quote from: mzandrew

Here's the write-up for the project I submitted as part of my class last semester.  It has gobs of details:
http://arm7-oled-clock.go...lock-project-write-up.pdf

I like your work. The accelerometer idea is cool. i had a clock which used a similar idea and we had to scratch our heads for some time to find out how to change modes on it. :)

the oled display is great. it uses a SSD1399 controller which has both parallel and serial interfaces.  

Quote from: mzandrew

I want to save as much space as possible on the main board, so I opted for spi flash because it comes in an 8 pin package.  And you can only get spi flash (dataflash) that's a few mebibytes in capacity.

I'm not opposed to using soldered-down flash for another rockbox player, it's just this first one I want to be just sd cards.


Components can be mounted on both sides of PCB. It is always handy to have larger firmware space. You can have on board NAND flash and SD card too. SPI flash will limit the usage of the board in the long run. if you can solder the uC then soldering the NAND chip should not be an issue.

PCB tools
The unregistered feature limited version of Eagle will not be sufficient for our project.

I tried using Kicad. The schematics tool is good but you can't have more than one sheet. The pcb editor is ok but there are many limitations. you cannot undo any operation and not all operations have keyboard shortcuts. :(

I also tried gEDA tools on Linux. This is very unfriendly for new users because the schematics, netlist generator, pcb editor, etc are not closely coupled. you need to do a lot of manual intervention and scripting in between. the pcb editor is better than that of Kicad though.

i will try the svn version of kicad to see if it is any better.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 31, 2008, 03:54:45 AM
I'm also not opposed to eventually making another circuit board for a different rockbox player that would have a much larger/higher resolution screen and use a 2.5" hard drive so you could store ALL your music on it.  But that's not the goal of this circuit board right now.
I think you should define very well what you want for this version, on TWiki page, specially what will player do and do not. I saw your update, great!!

Also looks like to me that you want to make a perfect system in just one shoot! Remember that you and all others interested developers will be able to continue this work!! There is no need to make it perfect at the very first time.

I will try to help finding components, prices, datasheets. When you have all defined I can focus on start reading about software, finding drivers in Rockbox, etc.

A suggestion, as I think this player will also serve as a learn platform for all hackers in Rockbox, leave pads for free pins of the MCU and all that you think interesting. And JTAG pins for sure.

Ambient light sensor? - whats for? can you explain? - I saw it is with a red line line battery, what thats mean? :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 31, 2008, 04:18:07 AM
We should merge RockboxPlayerB and RockboxPlayerV1 both are the same with different names. I think we can stick to V1, V2 naming convention.

Matt i appreciate your efforts on the TWiki, but i think the tone in the writing should not contain anything which indicates that one person is building it single handedly.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 31, 2008, 04:22:17 AM
We should merge RockboxPlayerB and RockboxPlayerV1 both are the same with different names. I think we can stick to V1, V2 naming convention.

Matt i appreciate your efforts on the TWiki, but i think the tone in the writing should not contain anything which indicates that one person is building it single handedly.
I would wait for answer from Matt, before merge. Because Matt must do that prototype for his school project, and maybe we wants to go "alone" to get it done in time.

Anyway, we can win a lot with Matt work. Spark, you can also start drawing "your" schematic. I will help everyone but we will feel the need to merge, to join our energies. Spark, you can also wait for Matt finish and after we can start to work on another version.... eheh, a lot of ideas :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on January 31, 2008, 04:30:44 AM
Quote from: casainho
Anyway, we can win a lot with Matt work. Spark, you can also start drawing "your" schematic. I will help everyone but we will feel the need to merge, to join our energies.

Casainho, There is nothing such as "my" schematic or "your" schematic. The beauty of working together is to have "our" schematic. it doesn't matter who does the drawing. A good schematic is a result of many inputs from different people.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 31, 2008, 07:43:30 AM
Quote
As I told casainho via instant messaging, I have access to an infrared lamp BGA rework machine, so it might be possible to do it, but I still would like this project to result in a board that an advanced amateur electronics hobbyist can assemble himself without any expensive tools.

Schmartboards has a prototyping system for BGA chips.  Anybody every seen these?
http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=products_bga
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on January 31, 2008, 08:08:21 AM

Quote
As I told casainho via instant messaging, I have access to an infrared lamp BGA rework machine, so it might be possible to do it, but I still would like this project to result in a board that an advanced amateur electronics hobbyist can assemble himself without any expensive tools.

Schmartboards has a prototyping system for BGA chips.  Anybody every seen these?
http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=products_bga

Looks good for prototypes, however Matt(aka mzandrew), said "I want to save as much space as possible on the main board" so I think it will not help.

We need help from a company that have resources to assembly BGA! We can't go to talk with them without a working prototype!

I asked "Ambient light sensor? - whats for? can you explain?" - I already know after reading http://arm7-oled-clock.googlecode.com/files/arm7-oled-clock-project-write-up.pdf
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on January 31, 2008, 09:07:53 AM
Quote
We need help from a company that have resources to assembly BGA! We can't go to talk with them without a working prototype!

That's a typical catch22.  If you design a circuit using prototype boards (which will be larger than
the desired end product) you can prove your circuit schematic and software concept, then layout the final board and have it assembled in larger numbers (and finish the software design).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: mzandrew on February 03, 2008, 01:48:59 PM

Matt i appreciate your efforts on the TWiki, but i think the tone in the writing should not contain anything which indicates that one person is building it single handedly.



Casainho, There is nothing such as "my" schematic or "your" schematic. The beauty of working together is to have "our" schematic. it doesn't matter who does the drawing. A good schematic is a result of many inputs from different people.


I've changed the instances of "I" to "we" on the wiki to be more diplomatic.  And I changed "main designer profile" to "developer profiles."

However, _I_ will be drawing the schematic and drawing the parts and producing the layout and fabricating the board out of my own pocket and assembling the board out of samples I requested and parts that I bought.  Just to be fair.

Of course, what spark means is that the basic design itself wasn't mine alone, and that's true.  I've already gotten a lot of help from others.  For starters, I read this post http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=6751.msg52891#msg52891 about 6 months ago and that's shaped what I want to do almost entirely.  Also, I checked out the datasheet for the audio codec that cashainho and others decided on for the regular RockBoxPrototype and it seems like an excellent choice, so I borrowed it.

Everyone who's contributed or plans to contribute should add their names to the "developer profiles" section at the end of the twiki page in question:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototypeB
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on February 04, 2008, 02:45:35 AM
mzandrew, keep uploading parts of the schematic as you prepare them so that we can learn and suggest.
keep up the good work!!!
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: mzandrew on February 05, 2008, 10:20:51 PM
I have a couple of questions for everyone that I've asked on IRC and either gotten an answer but wanted to discuss here or didn't get any answer.

First, to solve the problem of not using mobile sdram but still keeping the not-in-use power extremely low, I think that powering down the dc-dc converters that power most everything on the board (except the arm9 wakeup functionality) is a good solution.  The problem is that this is the same as turning it off.  Rockbox would have to boot up again as soon as someone presses a button.  That's fine, but if you pause your player and wait a while and the device puts itself in this low-power mode and then you hit unpause/play, you naturally expect the music to start right back up again.

From IRC, scorche implied that if you pause rockbox and then shut it down, rockbox would save where it was in the song that's playing so that when you booted back up, it would be ready to start from where it left off.  Also that Rockbox would boot up quickly enough (on a 180MHz arm9, which is approximately 2x as fast as the single used core on a sansa e200 target) so that the user wouldn't mind or even notice this happening.  Alas, my hand-me-down broken ipod first gen broke before I ever learned of Rockbox, so I've never gotten to play with it except in the ui simulator, otherwise I could probably answer some of these questions myself.

My question to this forum is first, whether I got the right message from what scorche told me, and second, when Rockbox boots up, can it be set to a mode where it won't be obvious that's it's booting back up before starting to play the music again? (I know we COULD program it to do that, but how much of a code change would this require?)  To say it another way, do any of the other targets do what I'm intending (to power off the ram so that a reboot would be required)?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on February 06, 2008, 03:22:33 AM
I can visualize the following scenarios.

[Player is in Play mode and user presses PLAY/PAUSE button to pause]

This mode is used when user wants to pause the player for a very short time, maybe to attend a phone call or something. After a while, when he presses PLAY, he needs to have instant playback.
To implement this we should not power down the player. All we need to do is put the CPU & peripherals in low power mode and keep the SDRAM in self-refresh. (so that it's contents are preserved)
(in case the user forgets to press play for a long time, then we will have to power down the player completely as mzandrew suggested above. now the user will not mind a few seconds for startup)

[Player is in Play mode and user presses STOP/OFF button]

We need to either shut off DC/DC completely. The next boot will be a clean boot. Alternately we can save only the player state (song and position) and resume after a clean boot. (not a priority). I don't know how it is done in Rockbox?

[Player is switched OFF and USB is plugged]

Device must power up, enumerate on USB, ask for 500mA current, and start charging. It can then enter idle mode and wake up on host requests.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 06, 2008, 05:11:57 AM
About saving power, I don't know. I can't help.

I would suggest to have a message on TWiki page for people discuss here and not on TWiki page, to have it clean. Matt, can you add the link for this message and remove comments on page?

touch/click wheel
controller for proximity/touch sensing -> not good choice for a recorder/audio player. People must be able to feel the keys, to have it on pocket and put play/pause, volume, without the need to look for the display!! Also I think that it's very important for visual impaired users of RB!
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: AlexP on February 06, 2008, 06:08:13 AM
Rockbox will resume the currently playing song after booting if so desired, and also supports bookmarks.  You can set it to resume automatically on startup, or go to the menu, or filebrowser, or database (plus more) and then resume manually if you like by pressing play. All of our current players shut down after a user specified time out (with the exception of the 1st and 2nd gen iPods that cannot shutdown).  Rockbox does not currently support a sleep mode like you are talking about.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 06, 2008, 08:26:52 AM
Rockbox will resume the currently playing song after booting if so desired, and also supports bookmarks.
I think RB write some file on FAT32 file system, for recording this information, for be able to resume.

Rockbox does not currently support a sleep mode like you are talking about.
Information I gathered on TWiki pages and source code:

Information about RB API for power modes, read here:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/DynamicCPUFrequency

Looks like the RB have 3 power modes of operation: Idle, Normal and Boost - example frequencies on PortalPlayer(ARM based), for each mode: 24MHz, 30MHz and 80MHz. Also PortalPlayer are dual ARM core but since I know, RB just uses one core(??).

More information about the driver for PortalPlayer, where we can see the function, static void pp_set_cpu_frequency(long frequency), to set this 3 different frequencies, here - file system-pp502x.c:
http://svn.rockbox.org/viewvc.cgi/trunk/firmware/target/arm/system-pp502x.c?revision=&view=markup

In the same file, we can find the function void system_reboot(void) - for reboot, as BigBambi mention, I think.


Interesting working on hardware level, we can now see that we can boost power save with a good hardware, planned design - the good points of doing our own hardware and have full information about it!! :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on February 08, 2008, 04:15:42 AM
mzandrew, why do we need 2 SD card slots in the protoB?
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototypeB

isn't 1 SD card slot sufficient? we can instead focus on making it as compact as possible.
Instead, 1 SD slot and 1 on-board NAND flash chip would be better option than 2 SD slots.
you can store the songs in as many cards as you want and keep them in your pocket.

Are you thinking of a card to card copy application for the player?

NAND is optional. but if we use NAND, we can do away with the SPI flash.
using NAND will also make Linux workable, thus increasing the usability of the hardware platform.

Alternatively we can have both SPI & NAND flash and 1 SD card. with this way you can ignore soldering of the NAND chip and use SPI. Those interested in NAND can solder it if they want.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 09, 2008, 05:17:49 AM
Since Matt is working in RockboxPlayerPrototypeB, and is choosing components that he wants, I would like to start discussion for functionalities of the RockboxPlayerV1.

After Matt end the RockboxPlayerPrototypeB on mid-March 2008, we can then start working on software for RockboxPlayerPrototypeB and working on hardware for RockboxPlayerV1. When finished the software on PrototypeB, we can them go to Olimex(or others) asking help for making the V1, showing PrototypeB working.

On TWiki page of the V1 - Features:

    * Outputs: Stereo Headphone
Since the objective is to make a good recorder/audio player, I would put 2 outputs for stereo headphones! There was an Iriver player that had this functionality. I could go on train with girlfriend or any friend and being listen, showing music to them :-) - The main objective of this player, IMO, is for music fans!! and that implies easy listen and share!! - what do guys think?

    * Inputs:
          * Stereo Line-In for High Quality recording.
          * Mono integrated Mic for voice recording.
Ok, High Quality recording is a must!! There are expensive players just for professionals recording!!!

    * Internal Storage: 512MB or 1GB
512MB or 1GB is not much memory, I would prefer just to have SD card for memory. 512MB or 1GB would be like a "dead memory" in the player If will not use it because of low amount of space. SD cards have 8GB now :) - and If I want even more than 8GB, I would go for the harddrive option :-)

    * Memory Expansion Slots: 1 SD card
:-)

    * Hard Disk Drive Connector: 1 ZIF connector for connecting an optional 1.8"/2.5" Hard Disk Drive.
Very good option!

    * Display: TFT/OLED display. Size: ? Resolution: ?
As an audio player / recorder centric, It does not need a big display! - I imagine just a large display for who wants to monitor what is recording, like showing sound waves or something like that.

    * Connectivity: USB (Mass storage device with multiple mediums)
I also would like to have some wireless to connect to another devices, mainly to share music! - PCs, PDAs, mobile phones, etc, have internet where we can get music like on www.Jamendo.com, after we could copy that music to the player by wireless. The player should not have internet connection, but could connect to some other device that do that.
Bluetooth looks interesting for me because a lot of devices have it!! although is slow but can be ok for sharing musics, also for wireless headphones!!

    * Power: Li-Ion Battery
The actual main technology :-) - I just don't like to not be able to swap batteries when in travel, as I do with NiMh. 

    * Charger: 5V DC adapter input or USB
Ok.

    * Navigation Controls: ???
Not any touch sensing! I know that actual tendency of this gadgets go to them, but we must do what we really need. As an audio player / recorder, I want to have it on my pocket and put play/pause, forward/backward, volume up/down, without looking at the screen or without looking at any touch pad! We must feels in fingers the keys. This will also be important for visual impaired people that uses RB :-)

I am think in putting on TWiki a list of desirable things, ideas and a list with choosed ones with justifications.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: mzandrew on February 09, 2008, 08:58:31 PM
From the wiki page,
Quote
Rockbox will be stored in SPI flash and be copied to ram upon bootup.
   * Anyone with knowledge of the inner workings of Rockbox know if this is feasable?  We can always slightly modify rockbox so that it saves configuration changes (or possibly a database, but that should probably be stored on the SD card in question instead) to the serial flash after a config change.  The point is that there's no file system on the spi flash, so will Rockbox work?  We could have the Rockbox bootloader at the start of the serial flash and another binary chunk that's an image of a FAT filesystem that contains the rest of Rockbox (besides RoLo) and then just pretend that the block of RAM that's a copy of this image is equivalent to the mass storage device that the Rockbox files would normally be served from.  Easy / difficult to implement this way?


comments, anyone?  I need to have this one resolved before I can continue with the design as it is now.

Okay, so one potential problem with this is that my .rockbox dir for the uisimulator is about 35 megabytes, which is greater than the available ram on the player...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: linuxstb on February 10, 2008, 08:39:00 AM
Matt,

I'm confused about the license you've chosen for the RockboxPlayerPrototypeB hardware design -  the creative commons by-nc-sa 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/)

I commented as follows on the wiki page:

"As I'm sure you know, Rockbox is GPL'd, a license which allows commercial use, and for good reasons. I don't think the fact that a commercial company may not donate cash back to the project is a good reason to prevent them from using (and potentially contributing) to your design. I would have thought that the fact that users would be able to buy a player at a cheaper price, and the possibility of the contribution of professional engineers would be of greater benefit."

And then you added a comment saying that you're seeking to make money out of this project.

If the license is non-commercial, but you then want to make money from it yourself, then you are of course free to do so if the design is 100% your own (the CC license you've chosen just dictates how other people can use your work).

IANAL, but it seems to me that once other people start contributing to the design, then you are no longer the sole copyright owner, and (because the license is non-commercial), you will be unable to use those contributions in your own money-making endeavours.

This thread is for discussion of a Free/Open hardware audio player, and IMO a non-commercial license doesn't meet those goals.

casainho - have you chosen a license for your hardware design?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 10, 2008, 03:32:55 PM

From the wiki page,
Quote
Rockbox will be stored in SPI flash and be copied to ram upon bootup.
   * Anyone with knowledge of the inner workings of Rockbox know if this is feasable?  We can always slightly modify rockbox so that it saves configuration changes (or possibly a database, but that should probably be stored on the SD card in question instead) to the serial flash after a config change.  The point is that there's no file system on the spi flash, so will Rockbox work?  We could have the Rockbox bootloader at the start of the serial flash and another binary chunk that's an image of a FAT filesystem that contains the rest of Rockbox (besides RoLo) and then just pretend that the block of RAM that's a copy of this image is equivalent to the mass storage device that the Rockbox files would normally be served from.  Easy / difficult to implement this way?


comments, anyone?  I need to have this one resolved before I can continue with the design as it is now.

Okay, so one potential problem with this is that my .rockbox dir for the uisimulator is about 35 megabytes, which is greater than the available ram on the player...


Why not use a 16MB flash instead of that SPI flash? - like Sansa E200, just one flash IC with one partition for RB bootloader and other with FAT32 for RB and audio files, etc ?? - Would be good for coding and looks like a traditional approach in this kind of hardware.


casainho - have you chosen a license for your hardware design?

Matt have a schedule to make RockboxPlayerPrototypeB and he is not discussing desired functionalities. He also will use Eagle, not Free Software. I don't mind with the license of this PrototypeB, we will need to work on others versions and on that time, we will have time to discuss desired features and licenses. Now, I prefer to focus on helping Matt doing this PrototypeB and later think on that kind of things.

But It's nice having this discussion, it's important! - I know now more opinions about his subject :-)

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: cool_walking_ on February 10, 2008, 08:52:36 PM
I would put 2 outputs for stereo headphones!
I think this could possibly be a waste of space on the player, and people who want this could just get a splitter.  However if it doesn't take up too much space it would be fine.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 11, 2008, 06:56:25 AM
I tried using Kicad. The schematics tool is good but you can't have more than one sheet. The pcb editor is ok but there are many limitations. you cannot undo any operation and not all operations have keyboard shortcuts. :(
I think Kicad can have a few sheets, we can read in manual: Total number of sheets and sheet number are automatically updated.

Spark, yesterday Matt said on IRC: I *am* planning to be the sole designer of the circuit board, at least for this first version. After all, Matt wanted to design and build a portable mp3/ogg/flac/etc player that would run rockbox, for is school project.

We must work in a future version with Kicad or GEDA, and not the Eagle. 
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on February 11, 2008, 10:10:43 AM

Why not use a 16MB flash instead of that SPI flash? - like Sansa E200, just one flash IC with one partition for RB bootloader and other with FAT32 for RB and audio files, etc ?? - Would be good for coding and looks like a traditional approach in this kind of hardware.


SPI would be the interface while 16MB is a size. There's nothing preventing an SPI flash to be 16MB. 16 MB probably implies NOR I'd say.

The Sansa e200 you use as comparison has both internal NOR and NAND, so I'm not sure this clarifies anything...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on February 11, 2008, 02:07:50 PM
[[V1 requirements]]

[1 or 2 outputs?]
1 stere o/p should suffice. you can anyways plug a Y splitter externally to have 2 headphones.

[wireless connectivity?]
Bluetooth is a good option. For hardware all we may need is a SPI bluettoth chip. i dunno how r we gonna implement the bluetooth software stack on the player. It will be challenging.

[Built-in storage]
The main purpose of built in storage is to hold the firmware. But it doesn't hurt if we have some more space here to accomodate some media files.

(available options NOR, NAND, SPI)

SPI is not an option as it is restricted to a few MB's with very high price/MB.

NOR is expensive whhen compared to NAND.  Again restricted to less than 64MB

NAND has lowest price/MB.
the AT91 supports NAND bootloader. NAND is cheap and available in higher capacities with lowest price/MB. in fact the 8GB SD card we r talking about also uses NAND chip/s iniside.
1GB internal NAND is the best value for money for now. by the time we're in production, 2/4GB should be appropriate. Nothing changes in the hardware. just need to solder the cheaper/bigger chip.

[CAD tools]
gimme an option to use Orcad Layout and i'll get the PCB done in a week's time. we can later re-design using kiCad. atleast we'll get the concept proven. ;)
jokes apart. maybe we'll have to learn kiCad(PCB).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 11, 2008, 04:48:27 PM
The Sansa e200 you use as comparison has both internal NOR and NAND, so I'm not sure this clarifies anything...
I didn't know that - I were at IRC asking about that and also did read the TWiki page about Sansa E200 hardware. Bagder, so, Sansa boots from NOR? where is the RB bootloader? on NOR flash or in NAND flash?

[[V1 requirements]]

[1 or 2 outputs?]
1 stere o/p should suffice. you can anyways plug a Y splitter externally to have 2 headphones.
Ok with 1 input.

[wireless connectivity?]
Bluetooth is a good option. For hardware all we may need is a SPI bluettoth chip. i dunno how r we gonna implement the bluetooth software stack on the player. It will be challenging.
If Bluetooth is interesting but we don't have RB code for that, we can put that on V2...

[Built-in storage]
The main purpose of built in storage is to hold the firmware. But it doesn't hurt if we have some more space here to accomodate some media files.

(available options NOR, NAND, SPI)

SPI is not an option as it is restricted to a few MB's with very high price/MB.

NOR is expensive whhen compared to NAND.  Again restricted to less than 64MB

NAND has lowest price/MB.
the AT91 supports NAND bootloader. NAND is cheap and available in higher capacities with lowest price/MB. in fact the 8GB SD card we r talking about also uses NAND chip/s iniside.
1GB internal NAND is the best value for money for now. by the time we're in production, 2/4GB should be appropriate. Nothing changes in the hardware. just need to solder the cheaper/bigger chip.
So, let's go with the cheaper NAND flash knowing that as minimum we need 8MB.

[CAD tools]
gimme an option to use Orcad Layout and i'll get the PCB done in a week's time. we can later re-design using kiCad. atleast we'll get the concept proven. ;)
jokes apart. maybe we'll have to learn kiCad(PCB).
If we can do that first in Orcad and later in Kicad, why not? :-) - but we have time for working, first there will be the PrototypeB, I will learn a lot with that proto :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on February 11, 2008, 05:53:19 PM
Quote
Sansa boots from NOR? where is the RB bootloader? on NOR flash or in NAND flash?


But it's no point in discussing how the Sansa boots. When we write bootloaders for Rockbox for whatever target we work on, we adapt that method to how the original system is designed and how it works.

When you create your own player you can decide yourself how to boot and you don't have to inherit any weird systems you can see Rockbox use on existing players.

The Sansas boot first from NOR, then it loads a bootloader from NAND and then that bootloader loads the firmware from NAND. In Rockbox's case, we replace the firmware with our bootloader which then loads Rockbox...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 12, 2008, 03:38:54 AM

When you create your own player you can decide yourself how to boot and you don't have to inherit any weird systems you can see Rockbox use on existing players.

The Sansas boot first from NOR, then it loads a bootloader from NAND and then that bootloader loads the firmware from NAND. In Rockbox's case, we replace the firmware with our bootloader which then loads Rockbox...

I am new to this systems, I am trying to learn looking at other's work.

From what you said, I assume that in Sansa E200, RB bootloader is in the NAND and the firmware is in FAT32 on other part in NAND. RB have 2 parts, a bootloader and a firmware? both in the same NAND ic but in different parts,  partitions?

With the choosed MCU for RB Player, it bootloades from a NAND flash, so we just need to write RB bootloader + firmware for FAT32, as in Sansa E200 NAND flash ic, we don't need to use one more flash IC, the NOR, as Sansa use, thanks to bootloader that already resided on choosed MCU for RB Player. This is my thoughts :-) - I am learning a lot in this process :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on February 12, 2008, 03:53:40 PM
If I were to design a NAND based played with this MCU, I'd certainly have an internal NAND of 1 or 2 GB and then there would be a partition of that saved for the bootloader. I would then also try to make that bootloader to be u-boot, as that would make a lot of development easier.

And yes, that excludes the need for a NOR flash since the at91sam thing can boot off NAND.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Davide-NYC on February 17, 2008, 06:40:47 PM
Hello all,
I posted my enthusiasm for the stereo line-in *plus* toslink input jack (like the h1x0) here (http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=15173.msg115483#msg115483).

If this player does get made an optical in (for recording) would be amazing.
Title: new route
Post by: casainho on February 21, 2008, 05:57:22 PM
I talked today with Matt about RockboxPlayerPrototypeB. He delayed it to the summer time. Also he talked something about his school project(RockboxPlayerPrototypeB) being a combination project, an oscilloscope and an mp3 player.

Since he changed the schedule of the RockboxPlayerPrototypeB, for a few months later, I will not wait for he end his project. I want to have hardware before that, to start coding - maybe in the next 4 weeks.

I would like to ask If anyone have some idea for a good route to the project. If no better idea than the last one, the RockboxPlayerPrototype, I will continue with that RockboxPlayerPrototype.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on February 24, 2008, 02:26:48 AM
[bootloader]
I agree with Badger. We just use a resonably sized NAND chip. use a u-boot bootloader. (advangate of u boot-->we just have to do some configuration stuff and need not write one from scratch).
the u-boot bootloader will then load RB from again NAND itself.
This way things are simple.

[project route]
We should first get the stuff working on RockboxPlayerPrototype (i.e. eval board + expansion board). I can design and fabricate the expansion PCB. I'll send the PCBs across to anyone interested for assembly.

casainho, since you already have the dev board, you can start doing some coding on it. 1st step is to finalize the booting plan. i guess the above mentioned booting method is fine.

we have to start somewhere otherwise things will just keep delaying.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 24, 2008, 04:53:56 AM
[bootloader]
I agree with Badger. We just use a resonably sized NAND chip. use a u-boot bootloader. (advangate of u boot-->we just have to do some configuration stuff and need not write one from scratch).
the u-boot bootloader will then load RB from again NAND itself.
This way things are simple.

[project route]
We should first get the stuff working on RockboxPlayerPrototype (i.e. eval board + expansion board). I can design and fabricate the expansion PCB. I'll send the PCBs across to anyone interested for assembly.

casainho, since you already have the dev board, you can start doing some coding on it. 1st step is to finalize the booting plan. i guess the above mentioned booting method is fine.

we have to start somewhere otherwise things will just keep delaying.
Okok, lets continue then with RockboxPlayerPrototype!

I didn't buy yet the dev board :-) - I just bought and have with me, the JTAG cable to program the ARM and the LCD+carrier board.

Don't worry Spark, I will make the expansion PCB, I hope to have It in the next 3 weeks. I will fabricate It and send them to developers. In the right time I will announce that and wait for request from interested developers.

I will update the wiki pages in this times and I will buy the dev board also.

I will need help to make the bootloader, I don't know nothing about u-boot :-) - Will be important to have other people doing the same work.

Project License
What should It be? - I wrote GPL2 on wiki page, however I don't know If is the better... I chose that because RB firmware uses that.

For me, a BSD would also be ok. I remember that a CC No Commercial didn't had a good reception, when Matt chose that for the RockboxPlayerPrototypeB.

I don't believe in Copyright this hardware, for example, copyright the way to wire a memory to the MCU, and since this is an hardware project, I really don't believe that If we copyright It will have any effect, other then show to others ours interests in sharing It and that anyone are free to reuse It.

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on February 25, 2008, 04:49:43 AM
[bootloader]

There will be only 1 stage of bootloading.
On power ON, the bootloader starts from NAND. The job of this bootloader is to initialize hardware and load the RB firmware into memory from somewhere (again NAND partition) and execute it.

one option is to use u-boot, the second one is to write a simple bootloader from scratch.

Getting u-boot to work will take some efforts but it does make life a lot easier in the long run. If we get u-boot to work, we can do things like updating application firmware over serial or network, creating partitions, checks, etc without using JTAGs. u-boot comes with ready NAND driver, ethernet driver, tftp boot support and filesystem support (fat,ext,jffs, etc)

u-boot is already ported for the AT91RM9200 board. we will have to use this as reference. don't worry casainho, i can give u-boot support. i have some experience with it.


[license]

I think we shouldn't worry a lot if people use it commercially or no. The more the people use it, the better it is for us.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on February 25, 2008, 06:12:21 AM

I don't believe in Copyright this hardware


Now don't confuse copyright with using a free software/hardware license. Everything done can and probably should still be copyrighted fine by the authors of it, but the license should probably be free and open to allow both commercial and non-commercial use of everything. Both because that's what Rockbox does but mostly (IMHO) because that's the spirit we all work on this under.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 25, 2008, 07:07:45 AM

the license should probably be free and open to allow both commercial and non-commercial use of everything. Both because that's what Rockbox does but mostly (IMHO) because that's the spirit we all work on this under.

Nice to have your opinion about this subject. So, GPL2 is appropriate?

Draw a schematic to wire an flash memory to an MCU and after copyright it with an GPL2 license, does it have any practical effect? Can someone copy It and use without apply GPL2 license?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on February 25, 2008, 07:36:56 AM
Quote
GPL2 is appropriate?


Sure, the entire Rockbox source code chunk is GPL2 (the debate is weather that is "v2 or later" or just "v2")

Quote
Draw a schematic to wire an flash memory to an MCU and after copyright it with an GPL2 license, does it have any practical effect?


You don't "copyright it" with a license. You copyright it, and then you release it under a license and that license can indeed be GPLv2.

Quote
Can someone copy It and use without apply GPL2 license?


I'm not a lawyer, but the whole purpose of GPL is to make sure nobody denies anyone else the source code and ability to build and distribute their own copies and derivates of the original. So no, you can't get the schematic and just "shave off" the license, that's not permitted by the license.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 25, 2008, 08:32:52 AM
Quote
GPL2 is appropriate?

Sure, the entire Rockbox source code chunk is GPL2 (the debate is weather that is "v2 or later" or just "v2")
And why not V3?

Quote
Draw a schematic to wire an flash memory to an MCU and after copyright it with an GPL2 license, does it have any practical effect?

You don't "copyright it" with a license. You copyright it, and then you release it under a license and that license can indeed be GPLv2.

Quote
Can someone copy It and use without apply GPL2 license?

I'm not a lawyer, but the whole purpose of GPL is to make sure nobody denies anyone else the source code and ability to build and distribute their own copies and derivates of the original. So no, you can't get the schematic and just "shave off" the license, that's not permitted by the license.
Okok, my ideas are more clearly now, thanks. So for me, using this kind of license is important!
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: GodEater on February 25, 2008, 08:50:26 AM

And why not V3?


Because it's debatable whether or not it would then be license compatible with everything else that Rockbox has licensed.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 25, 2008, 08:56:03 AM


And why not V3?

Because it's debatable whether or not it would then be license compatible with everything else that Rockbox has licensed.

But, just in the case of this hardware? would be V3 ok or not?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: GodEater on February 25, 2008, 08:58:54 AM
I'm not sure, in the case of hardware specs, what V3 gives you, that V2 doesn't.

What do you think V2 is missing ?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 25, 2008, 12:55:28 PM
I'm not sure, in the case of hardware specs, what V3 gives you, that V2 doesn't.

What do you think V2 is missing ?
I don't really know what V3 give more then the V2. IMO I should trust in people that made the last version of the same license. But I would like to know opinions from people more experienced.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: zajacattack on February 25, 2008, 10:06:59 PM
OK, totally forget what I said. Apparently, I can't read.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: cool_walking_ on February 25, 2008, 10:42:33 PM
zajacattack:

hehe. Read back a little further. They're talking about GPL2 vs. GPL3.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on February 27, 2008, 02:38:39 AM
i guess GPL was never written with hardware in mind. it really shouldn't matter that much to us.
The firmware (i.e. bootloader, etc) can be released using the same license as Rockbox. (i.e. GPLv2).

The schematic and layout is more of engineering, design and art. You have to copyright them. It is not necessary that we release them under GPL license.  I guess we are free to use any other type of licensing without violating Rockbox software license.

For hardware, we can choose one of the Creative Commons license based on whether we want commercial use or no and whether we want to allow modifications or no, and if modifications are share alike or no.
Selecting one of the various available licenses is easy. check out this link. just select what you want and it will choose the appropriate license.
http://creativecommons.org/license/

i guess this one is appropriate for us

http://creativecommons.org/license/results-one?q_1=2&q_1=1&field_commercial=yes&field_derivatives=sa&field_jurisdiction=us&field_format=&field_worktitle=&field_attribute_to_name=&field_attribute_to_url=&field_sourceurl=&field_morepermissionsurl=&lang=en_US&language=en_US&n_questions=3
explanation
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 27, 2008, 03:48:43 AM

i guess this one is appropriate for us
  • Commercial use allowed
  • Modifications allowed as long as shared alike
  • Authors must be attributed


So, whats the difference between that and GPL2? - we get the same with GPL2, no?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: GodEater on February 27, 2008, 05:56:23 AM
The GPL is a license written specifically to describe software. You're not designing software here - the CC license is much more appropriate for hardware design.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 27, 2008, 06:22:57 AM
The GPL is a license written specifically to describe software. You're not designing software here - the CC license is much more appropriate for hardware design.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ --> when I click in US, It says "Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported"?? - what that means? I was trying to find some general to all countries and just no to US...

The 2.5 version says Generic instead of the Unported...

I will then edit wiki page to that license.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: toffe on February 27, 2008, 10:53:33 AM
A good page on open hardware and licence

http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles/making_open_hardware_possible?page=0%2C0
http://www.tapr.org/OHL
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 27, 2008, 05:39:51 PM

A good page on open hardware and licence

http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles/making_open_hardware_possible?page=0%2C0
http://www.tapr.org/OHL

After reading this suggestions - thanks toffe :-) - I would use The TAPR Open Hardware License instead of any other. I will wait 2 days for suggestions or other ideas before chose and write this license on wiki page.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on February 28, 2008, 02:20:38 AM
I'm not sure how well TAPR-OHL is supported. I don't think it is popular still.

I will prefer Creative Commons to TAPR due to its popularity and support in various countries.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: techforumz on February 29, 2008, 03:37:20 PM

[[V1 requirements]]

[1 or 2 outputs?]
1 stere o/p should suffice. you can anyways plug a Y splitter externally to have 2 headphones.

I like having two. Maybe one can double as a line-in, like on the zen v.
Quote


[wireless connectivity?]
Bluetooth is a good option. For hardware all we may need is a SPI bluettoth chip. i dunno how r we gonna implement the bluetooth software stack on the player. It will be challenging.

WiFi is way faster, and easier to program. Plus we can implement internet radio.
Quote


[Built-in storage]
The main purpose of built in storage is to hold the firmware. But it doesn't hurt if we have some more space here to accomodate some media files.

(available options NOR, NAND, SPI)

SPI is not an option as it is restricted to a few MB's with very high price/MB.

NOR is expensive whhen compared to NAND.  Again restricted to less than 64MB

NAND has lowest price/MB.
the AT91 supports NAND bootloader. NAND is cheap and available in higher capacities with lowest price/MB. in fact the 8GB SD card we r talking about also uses NAND chip/s iniside.
1GB internal NAND is the best value for money for now. by the time we're in production, 2/4GB should be appropriate. Nothing changes in the hardware. just need to solder the cheaper/bigger chip.

An external IDE port would be useful. I've got a ton of HDDs collecting dust.
Quote

[CAD tools]
gimme an option to use Orcad Layout and i'll get the PCB done in a week's time. we can later re-design using kiCad. atleast we'll get the concept proven. ;)
jokes apart. maybe we'll have to learn kiCad(PCB).

Ok, now what about the CPU? I believe an ARM9 @ 200MHz would be more than sufficient.

What screen? Something about 2.5" true color sounds good.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 01, 2008, 05:30:31 AM

Ok, now what about the CPU? I believe an ARM9 @ 200MHz would be more than sufficient.

What screen? Something about 2.5" true color sounds good.

Thank you for yours suggestions. I would like to point you to the page about the project and as you will read, we already selected the processor:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayer
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scorche on March 01, 2008, 04:10:35 PM
Quote

[wireless connectivity?]
Bluetooth is a good option. For hardware all we may need is a SPI bluettoth chip. i dunno how r we gonna implement the bluetooth software stack on the player. It will be challenging.

WiFi is way faster, and easier to program. Plus we can implement internet radio.


It also uses up much more power.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: gevaerts on March 01, 2008, 04:25:00 PM

Quote

[wireless connectivity?]
Bluetooth is a good option. For hardware all we may need is a SPI bluettoth chip. i dunno how r we gonna implement the bluetooth software stack on the player. It will be challenging.

WiFi is way faster, and easier to program. Plus we can implement internet radio.

I think WiFi and bluetooth have different uses. Where can you buy WiFi headphones for instance ?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: techforumz on March 01, 2008, 09:57:27 PM
Good point. So WiFi and Bluetooth?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on March 01, 2008, 09:59:31 PM
Or neither. The goal is low cost. Bluetooth is engineered to be low cost and low power consumption, and with it included, Wifi is *almost* redundant anyway, so the best idea is probably "neither" followed by just one, with Bluetooth offering more overall flexibility.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 03, 2008, 06:17:22 PM
I did update the page with the schematic of the Custom secondary board:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototype

I will start now working on design that PCB.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: techforumz on March 09, 2008, 04:47:59 PM
Or maybe we should just offer 'kits' like a PC. Plug in a Flash chip or HDD, a 2.5" color TFT, or 4-line monochrome, etc...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 09, 2008, 06:21:40 PM
Hello :-)

Next week I will buy material to make the Custom_secondary_board, I would like to know how many developers want that board, I can buy material, make PCB and assembly it, then I can send it by mail to worldwide. Please answer to this message.
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototype#Custom_secondary_board

I don't have the board designed yet but I hope to finish it, right after I have the material on my hand.

Now is also time to buy the development board. Also buy the LCD+carrier board and the JTAG cable, from Sparkfun, as I did.

Very soon we can start coding :-) :-)

---
Here is a notice with title DIY Robotics: The Rise of Open Source Hardware:
http://www.wired.com/gadgets/miscellaneous/news/2008/03/etech_hardware

Recently I am being reading about Arduino and others Open Hardware projects :-)

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: techforumz on March 09, 2008, 08:12:12 PM
I know a thing or two about electronics, but when things get to having more than a couple ICs, things get WAY out of hand for me.

Example attached.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 12, 2008, 06:06:57 PM

I know a thing or two about electronics, but when things get to having more than a couple ICs, things get WAY out of hand for me.

Example attached.

Why did you post that message? :-) :-)

As you can read on wiki page of the project, for this prototype, we don't need to care about power circuits, as we will buy that already made on the development board.

Do you have any question about hardware of Prototype?
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototype

--
version control system
I would like to start coding and have the program online for public access, like RockBox have. Anyone can advice a good service for that? - Sourceforge? Google code?

I am new to this technologies, I need to read some tutorials :-)

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on March 12, 2008, 06:12:08 PM

I would like to start coding and have the program online for public access, like RockBox have. Anyone can advice a good service for that? - Sourceforge? Google code?


Since you're talking in a rockbox forum I can only assume you're talking about rockbox code here, and then I suggest you post your patches in a patch tracker entry to get people to test it, review it and commit it as soon as it fits.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 12, 2008, 06:15:50 PM


I would like to start coding and have the program online for public access, like RockBox have. Anyone can advice a good service for that? - Sourceforge? Google code?


Since you're talking in a rockbox forum I can only assume you're talking about rockbox code here, and then I suggest you post your patches in a patch tracker entry to get people to test it, review it and commit it as soon as it fits.

Bagder, the first think I will do is the bootloader, working with u-boot. What do you suggest me to do? Until now we are just 2 developers(who will buy development hardware and code on it), me and Spark. How will other people test It If they don't have hardware to test it?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on March 13, 2008, 02:51:04 AM

Bagder, the first think I will do is the bootloader, working with u-boot. What do you suggest me to do? Until now we are just 2 developers(who will buy development hardware and code on it), me and Spark. How will other people test It If they don't have hardware to test it?


My suggestion still stands for the reasons I gave. If there's only one person who can test them, so be it.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 13, 2008, 08:14:11 AM
Bagder, the first think I will do is the bootloader, working with u-boot. What do you suggest me to do? Until now we are just 2 developers(who will buy development hardware and code on it), me and Spark. How will other people test It If they don't have hardware to test it?

My suggestion still stands for the reasons I gave. If there's only one person who can test them, so be it.

I got answers to my questions about SVN of RB on IRC:
- can anyone please explain to me how can I code and have my code online, on the SNV of RB?
- You write code, create patches, put them on the patch tracker, and if they are OK, then developers with SVN access will commit them. After a while you may be invited to get SVN access yourself so you can commit changes directly.
- I will be working on a port that just me and other developer have the hardware, none of us have SVN access, so, how will someone with SVN access test the code?
- They can't. But they can read the code, and make sure it complies with the coding guidelines, and that it looks OK. But people working on new ports are normally given SVN access quite quickly, once they show their code is OK.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: drowe67 on March 16, 2008, 12:30:40 AM
Hi,

My name is David Rowe, and for 2.5 years I have been working with a team of hackers on open hardware IP-PBX designs, for example:

http://www.rowetel.com/ucasterisk/ip04.html

We have moved thorugh many of the stages you are now working through so I wanted to encourage you and let you know that community based open hardware projects really can work.  We have reached the stage where about 500 IP04's have been made, both via home construction and commercial production.

While checking out your wiki I noticed that your RockBoxPlayer and the IP04 are very similar, e.g. NAND flash, u-boot, gEDA even similar SDRAM choices.  Main difference is choice of CPU and of course your main I/O is stereo audio, wheras we are interested in telephony.

FYI have I blogged on the fun behind open hardware assembly

http://www.rowetel.com/blog/?p=20

Best of luck with your project :-)

Cheers,

David
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 16, 2008, 08:39:41 AM

Hi,

My name is David Rowe, and for 2.5 years I have been working with a team of hackers on open hardware IP-PBX designs, for example:

http://www.rowetel.com/ucasterisk/ip04.html

We have moved thorugh many of the stages you are now working through so I wanted to encourage you and let you know that community based open hardware projects really can work.  We have reached the stage where about 500 IP04's have been made, both via home construction and commercial production.

While checking out your wiki I noticed that your RockBoxPlayer and the IP04 are very similar, e.g. NAND flash, u-boot, gEDA even similar SDRAM choices.  Main difference is choice of CPU and of course your main I/O is stereo audio, wheras we are interested in telephony.

FYI have I blogged on the fun behind open hardware assembly

http://www.rowetel.com/blog/?p=20

Best of luck with your project :-)

Cheers,

David



Hello David :-)

I appreciate your words and time. You registered and this were your 1st message - thank you.

I did read quickly your blog post and I saved the link on RB Player project page. I loved the familiar touch on the post, with image of your son and wife. I really like to see others works, I can learn with them - thank you for sharing.

I didn't read the all things about your project, I have one quick question: how did you guys get the plastic case? you did buy it, draw it, etc?

At RB Player project, we can easily buy electronics material online, we have free software online, we have tools to draw the schematics, to build software, we already have positive feedback from potentials online shops to sell the player, we just don't have yet good options for the plastic case...

I also read that about "VOIP for the Deaf" :-) - at RB we have good options at software level, for the Visual impaired people and I would like to make this Free/Open hardware thinking on them also.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: drowe67 on March 16, 2008, 03:28:22 PM
Hi,

Yes the case can be an issue.  For our project, we teamed with a Chinese company (Atcom) who had the case designed and fabricated.  You see Atcom were familiar with manufacturing issues, as they already sell many electronic products.  So the case was fairly easy (and relatively) inexpensive to get designed/built.  Atcom were interested in helping us as they want to sell the IP04 commercially (which is fine with us).  So it has been a win-win partnership so far.  

Open Hardware is a new area, especially when it reaches the commercial stage so we are sort of feeling our way a bit.

BTW I have a video presentation from a recent conference that talks about the project:

http://www.rowetel.com/ucasterisk/index.html#newnews

If you have some friends (or project members) in China, it is a great place to buy your parts or organise volume manufacture.  For example through a friend in China I could buy prototype PCBs at $3 each, locally (I live in Australia), to get prototype PCBs made was several hundred $.  The PCB quality was excellent, better for example that the low cost on line PCB vendors in the US.

The idea of using your player hardware for the blind is a great idea.  I have blogged on a similar concept (low cost PC for the blind):

http://www.rowetel.com/blog/?p=29

Cheers,

David
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 18, 2008, 03:49:49 PM
About bootloader

I paid yesterday the development board, I hope to have it soon. I am now starting reading about the bootloader stage.

I am looking for help at knowing, If a bootstrap that Atmel gives is needed with the u-boot??
Atmel bootstrap: http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/tools_card.asp?tool_id=4093

What can u-boot "give" to this project? what functionalities of u-boot makes sense to use?



Yes the case can be an issue.  For our project, we teamed with a Chinese company (Atcom) who had the case designed and fabricated.  You see Atcom were familiar with manufacturing issues, as they already sell many electronic products.  So the case was fairly easy (and relatively) inexpensive to get designed/built.  Atcom were interested in helping us as they want to sell the IP04 commercially (which is fine with us).  So it has been a win-win partnership so far.

I will try do the same, with possible interested companies. Luckily, there are a lot of online shops that needs projects like this one to continue selling, like SparkFun, which seems great to me :-)

I did read all your words in in blog post - very nice to know all that technical tips, I will use some of them in future, for sure. And I remember about the "When you are in the middle of a bug hunt two things happen"!! :-)

I wish we will have same success with RockboxPlayer as you guys have with IP04 :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on March 18, 2008, 05:32:45 PM

What can u-boot "give" to this project?


A bootloader perhaps?

Quote
what functionalities of u-boot makes sense to use?


TFTP the rockbox image, run it. Makes an excellent development environment to get your Rockbox port flying.

But for production you need to make sure it can read the rockbox image from a FAT32 file system on the NAND of course.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 22, 2008, 09:05:53 AM


What can u-boot "give" to this project?


A bootloader perhaps?

Quote
what functionalities of u-boot makes sense to use?


TFTP the rockbox image, run it. Makes an excellent development environment to get your Rockbox port flying.

But for production you need to make sure it can read the rockbox image from a FAT32 file system on the NAND of course.

I am readind about Rockbox bootloader and normal used bootloaders for AT91SAM ARM. I wrote some ideas in wiki.
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototype#Bootloader

I want to read more about the AT91 Bootstrap bootloader and U-boot, I have some questions.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on March 22, 2008, 12:40:00 PM
IMHO, you should make u-boot do the necessary things to boot and run Rockbox, no need for the "rockbox bootloader" for what you're doing. U-boot with some minor adaptations can be that for you.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on March 30, 2008, 06:49:16 AM
Hi Guys,
my name is Christian and I came here while looking for some skilled engineer to work on google android.
I work for a small company,PASEN,distributing mp3 players and i must say we are really interested in producing your players.It's long time we wanted to build an open source player,but being relatively small we can't invest much on it,and thus we are glad to hear of your project.May I know what is the current status?I read many pages and it seem the april deadline for the working prototype won't be met,am i wrong?
We can deal on more than some simple bucks off each sale,i was thinking of actually sharing profits.
I think I can arrange also the production at much lower cost,but i must first ask my friends running factories in china if they are interested in joining the project.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 30, 2008, 07:58:28 PM
Hi Guys,
my name is Christian and I came here while looking for some skilled engineer to work on google android.
I work for a small company,PASEN,distributing mp3 players and i must say we are really interested in producing your players.It's long time we wanted to build an open source player,but being relatively small we can't invest much on it,and thus we are glad to hear of your project.May I know what is the current status?I read many pages and it seem the april deadline for the working prototype won't be met,am i wrong?
Hello Christian :-)

Right now, I think I am the only one working on the project, actively, on the RockboxPlayerPrototype: http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototype

Unfortunately, I am not experienced programmer so I think I will take about 6 months to have an working prototype. A working prototype can happen in 3 or less weeks If a experienced programmer work on It, because there is full documentation and some pieces of Free Software to use directly.

We can deal on more than some simple bucks off each sale,i was thinking of actually sharing profits.
I think I can arrange also the production at much lower cost,but i must first ask my friends running factories in china if they are interested in joining the project.
This project is an Free/Open hardware without exclusivity with any company - see the CC license for the documentation of the hardware.
Speaking for myself, I just need/want, to have some company that sells to me that Free/Open hardware audio player and recorder. I do not seek money, however, I think is important to have some money to buy hardware for development - would be nice if the company selling the hardware could give some hardware for development.

Thank you.

---
Here is the webpage of Pasen (for who would like to know): http://www.pasen.it/




Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on March 31, 2008, 12:28:04 PM
Hi Casainho,
thanks for your answer.I didn't post our company website,to not look like a spammer.
Mmmh,6 month,quite a change from the first timeline  ;D
It's strange such a project is getting so little interest.

Quote
This project is an Free/Open hardware without exclusivity with any company - see the CC license for the documentation of the hardware.
Speaking for myself, I just need/want, to have some company that sells to me that Free/Open hardware audio player and recorder. I do not seek money, however, I think is important to have some money to buy hardware for development - would be nice if the company selling the hardware could give some hardware for development.

Well if the price of the board is what i read (100/300 usd) i think it wouldn't be a problem to invest on some development board if there are skilled developer willing to join.
But if we were to invest on it,at least the spec should be good even from a business point of view(for example that screen is ugly as hell  ;) )and it's ok that the hardware must be open/free to any company but there should be at least some blank period to let us be the first producing it,after that you can disclose everything.

Best,
Christian
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on March 31, 2008, 01:21:43 PM
I would be a lot more interested in this project if there's a real chance of someone actually producing the player in the end, and of course that the specs are fine. So far this project has been about Build Your Own and that simply doesn't do it for me.

I too think a player needs a color display of at least 220 x 176 to have a chance to attract users these days.

Possibly I'm not the only one feeling this way (regarding both these points).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: AlexP on March 31, 2008, 02:16:38 PM

Possibly I'm not the only one feeling this way (regarding both these points).


You certainly aren't the only one.  Furthermore, I feel that some of the hardware choices are illogical, and that attempts to try to give input on that point have been summarily rebuffed.  I would love to have an open hardware player, but it has to approach what can be bought commercially, and personally I feel that at this point, what is proposed here doesn't.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 31, 2008, 03:17:50 PM

It's strange such a project is getting so little interest.

Well, other people from outside Rockbox firmware had more interest on the idea of Free/Open hardware audio player and recorder for use with a Free/Open firmware(in this case, the Rockbox). The others 2 companies that I contacted and other people from others Free/Open hardwares: http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=6751.msg119227#msg119227


Quote
This project is an Free/Open hardware without exclusivity with any company - see the CC license for the documentation of the hardware.
Speaking for myself, I just need/want, to have some company that sells to me that Free/Open hardware audio player and recorder. I do not seek money, however, I think is important to have some money to buy hardware for development - would be nice if the company selling the hardware could give some hardware for development.

Well if the price of the board is what i read (100/300 usd) i think it wouldn't be a problem to invest on some development board if there are skilled developer willing to join.
But if we were to invest on it,at least the spec should be good even from a business point of view(for example that screen is ugly as hell  ;) )and it's ok that the hardware must be open/free to any company but there should be at least some blank period to let us be the first producing it,after that you can disclose everything.

1º screen from prototype was not chosen to be the final version, just to be the cheapest and world available by mail to be easy for possible developers buy them.
2º I think is ok, fair, that blank period. I would like to create a good and long relationship, between the community and the company that will assembly and sell the hardware.
3º can you say what would be good from a business point of view of Pasen? I saw the products page of Pasen and Pasen have a lot of players announcing video and touch screen. As you can read in the objectives of this project, the first one is: "Make a good quality hardware audio player and recorder;", so, hardware focus on an audio system and not follow the tendency of portable video player. The same to the touchscreen, this hardware for audio does not need to have touchscreen and If have one, must have tactile buttons for visual impaired people, users of Rockbox.
I think that an hardware tailored also for video will compromise the performance of the systems, in terms of price, size, bad quality audio hardware, battery life :-( - I am really happy to see companies like http://www.tonium.com/ making a portable device just dedicated to audio: "Pacemaker is a revolutionizing portable music player equipped with an extensive range of professional audio manipulation features enabling limitless mixing between two independent channels."

Well, but If RockboxPlayer is a project to make a good quality hardware audio player and recorder, without emphasis on video, and If Pasen desire to make/sell one Free/Open hardware media player like, lets say, the PA20, I would love to help also!! - even If I will continue to pursue the Free/Open hardware audio player and recorder.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on March 31, 2008, 03:23:17 PM
Glad to hear if there is some changes in the spec someone else will join.
Between a 220x176 and 320x240 lcd the price difference is inexistent,maybe now 320x240 screen are even cheaper because they are more used.A 16:9 screen can be a little more pricey but this is gonna change soon,since it's becoming common now.

@BigBambi
I understand your point,but you can't have both side of the medal.
If you chose material easily bought by anyone for "do it yourself" you are greatly limiting the project from a commercial point of view.Both way are not possible to achieve,what is possible i think is make a base in common,and create 2 projects like there are now,but how many do you think would spend double the money to build his own player while he can get the player already made with much more features for half price?
It's ok to keep the project open so that anyone can improve it,but to think that there will be more than a few bunch to really build it i think it's crazy.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 31, 2008, 03:35:04 PM
Glad to hear if there is some changes in the spec someone else will join.
Between a 220x176 and 320x240 lcd the price difference is inexistent,maybe now 320x240 screen are even cheaper because they are more used.A 16:9 screen can be a little more pricey but this is gonna change soon,since it's becoming common now.
You are just talking about prices, and what about energy used by that displays? - It's important to think also on the "long runtime", as It is desired by everyone. Did you read RockboxPlayerWishlist?
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerWishlist
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on March 31, 2008, 03:42:24 PM
Oh no,no need for touchscreen.We are selling many touchscreen,because many people want it,but this is something that can be added in any moment,even in a second version.
The unit must not been video centric,but a good gui is worth thousand words,and none could stand to watch anything on that nokia screen,it would ruin even the most awesome screen.
A good screen can be used for cover album,some nice font,visualization and even games.
My commercial point of view is like this for an audio centric player(but not only):
-2.4'' screen or even better 2.6'' 16:9(just because it's slimmer not because it's 16:9)
-stereo speaker.There is really few player with stereo speaker and would rise the price of almost nothing
-swappable battery,cellphone type easily buyable.Please no AAA battery.
-game controls.You want tactile button,so why leave out this potential features.
something with this form factor for example :
http://www.gearlog.com/images/23353.jpg
-sdhc slot

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on March 31, 2008, 03:45:10 PM
While listening to music most of the time the screen will be off so it won't change much.
Plus you can set the brightness to the minimum and have the same ugly effect of that nokia one,but at least you have a choice.
For example our touchmusic last around 30 hours with a 2.4'' touchscreen while listening music.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 31, 2008, 04:00:16 PM

Oh no,no need for touchscreen.We are selling many touchscreen,because many people want it,but this is something that can be added in any moment,even in a second version.

Well, as you can read in wishlist, there are a lot of people that do not want touchscreen. It's actually BAD for visual impaired people and none company thinks about them, about this issue :-( - but that is not just the visual impaired people, people that likes to being listening audio with closed eyes, do not want touchscreen!! also when we have the player in pocket, there is no need to look at the screen just for jump to the next song - I would say that touchscreen is bad for an audio player, IMO.

The money, the resources taken by touchscreen, I would prefer to use them for a better hardware audio quality.


The unit must not been video centric,but a good gui is worth thousand words,and none could stand to watch anything on that nokia screen,it would ruin even the most awesome screen.

Please forget that nokia LCD, I already said why I did choose to use it on the very first prototype.


A good screen can be used for cover album,some nice font,visualization and even games.
My commercial point of view is like this for an audio centric player(but not only):
-2.4'' screen or even better 2.6'' 16:9(just because it's slimmer not because it's 16:9)
-stereo speaker.There is really few player with stereo speaker and would rise the price of almost nothing
-swappable battery,cellphone type easily buyable.Please no AAA battery.
-game controls.You want tactile button,so why leave out this potential features.
something with this form factor for example :
http://www.gearlog.com/images/23353.jpg

-sdhc slot

It's ok for me!! However the design looks just a bit ugly(chinese culture?)... but I think would be very good for the first ones!! :-)

And what about recorder? yes or no?


Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on March 31, 2008, 04:16:28 PM
Well that was just an example,it can be made in any way.Like this :
(http://img.product.pchome.net/00/06/83/76/68376.jpg)

Also i noticed many would want tos-link input.Why?
Another thing i did expect to find here,strange it's not posted being this audiocentric:
Swappable Opamp

It's something I saw on a pc sound card,don't remember the brand.
An opamp greatly decide the sound output over the headphones and i think it would be cool if they
were easily swappable,using some kind of slot in mechanism,so that someone could have the sound he prefer.

Also i would like to know,is rockbox built from scratch or it's based on some os like linux?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 31, 2008, 04:22:31 PM

Also i noticed many would want tos-link input.Why?

I don't know, maybe some others can tell...


Another thing i did expect to find here,strange it's not posted being this audiocentric:
Swappable Opamp

??? that exists?? :-) :-)


Also i would like to know,is rockbox built from scratch or it's based on some os like linux?

From scratch, no Linux.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on March 31, 2008, 04:26:40 PM
Yes,exist ,check this card :
http://www.auzentech.com/site/products/x-fi_prelude.php

Among the features :
"Swappable OPAMP Socket"

Here more details :
http://www.auzentech.com/site/products/opamp_intro.php

This is what i call audiophile :D
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on March 31, 2008, 04:31:00 PM
Yes,exist ,check this card :
http://www.auzentech.com/site/products/x-fi_prelude.php

Among the features :
"Swappable OPAMP Socket"

Here more details :
http://www.auzentech.com/site/products/opamp_intro.php

This is what i call audiophile :D
Well, I would just use a good one and use that for marketing :-). Anyway, the important is to define what kind of player will be, for who. It's up with you now.

And please do not forget the technical questions, as the main ARM IC, and all others that should have Open full documentation!! also long life in market!! -- I think this are anothers questions that will not help in the price...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: LinusN on April 01, 2008, 01:46:06 AM
I'm all for changing the specs to make it more commercially viable, but it is very important that the components have public data sheets, or at least that we are able to release source code for the components without restrictions.

I also agree that it is less important to be able to build it yourself as long as the commercial player is reasonably cheap and is built on components that have a reasonable lifetime. I'd hate the player to die an early death because the components disappear from the market.

Regarding the toslink, many users use Rockbox to connect to the home stereo equipment. They want to use the toslink output for better playback sound quality, and the input for recording for example DAB radio IIRC.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 01, 2008, 03:13:42 AM
Christian, so what do you think that Pasen can do? - did you already see the references of the IC's, the ARM, the stereo codec, etc?


What compiler and software are you using for the microcontoller programmer? What programmer are you going to use and under what operating system? Have you checked out this http://www.avrtv.com/  if not, please do.

 Thanks for your help

ARM-GCC and JTAG cable - USBprog programmer under Linux, it's a possibility.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on April 01, 2008, 03:56:17 AM
First I need to have the approval of my friend factory,i spoke with him today but he wasn't in office.
Regarding hardware,what do you mean about documentation?
Doesn't anyone provide you with that,how are you supposed to use the hardware otherwise?
If they just provide the hardware with their driver,It couldn't even be used (i doubt they have rockbox driver  ;D ) so we won't even evaluate it.

I understand the tos link output,but the input seem a little overkill,maybe a a cheap hardware won't even be able to handle an encoding of the fly of it.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 01, 2008, 05:08:49 AM

Regarding hardware,what do you mean about documentation?
Doesn't anyone provide you with that,how are you supposed to use the hardware otherwise?
If they just provide the hardware with their driver,It couldn't even be used (i doubt they have rockbox driver  ;D ) so we won't even evaluate it.

About documentation in hardware, I mean the same that were written by Bagder: Manufacturers Hate Customers - http://daniel.haxx.se/blog/2007/09/09/manufacturers-hate-customers/


http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resources/prod_documents/doc6277.pdf

4.4

Please stop with that!! As you can read, that information is already put on wiki page, If you want to help, put there the information:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototype

You have questions answered there about the tools to build - the GCC-ARM, etc... :-) :-) - anyway, please help in what you can :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: AlexP on April 01, 2008, 05:33:09 AM

@BigBambi
I understand your point,but you can't have both side of the medal.
If you chose material easily bought by anyone for "do it yourself" you are greatly limiting the project from a commercial point of view.Both way are not possible to achieve,what is possible i think is make a base in common,and create 2 projects like there are now,but how many do you think would spend double the money to build his own player while he can get the player already made with much more features for half price?
It's ok to keep the project open so that anyone can improve it,but to think that there will be more than a few bunch to really build it i think it's crazy.


I don't understand what you are saying.  I don't recall ever saying I wanted to build it myself.  Personally I don't really want to build it myself, but I would like an open player that would work nicely with Rockbox.  I am willing to sacrifice a few features to have that, or to pay a little more, but not to stupid levels.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 01, 2008, 05:37:14 AM

First I need to have the approval of my friend factory,i spoke with him today but he wasn't in office.

About that blanked time for produce, I just would like to have public availably schematic and position of components in the board. No files to produce PCB nor files of the case, etc...

The important is to have information for individuals repair, hack their players.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on April 01, 2008, 05:59:14 AM
@BigBambi
Sorry when i read "it has to approach what can be bought commercially" i thought you meant that the component where to be easily bought by anyone(for DIY).Sorry for my misunderstanding.

@Casainho
I didn't know the situation was that bad,I did know about the really big guys(NVIDIA,Broadcom) but I hoped there were more open minded company.
I think it's ok for the schematic,but we'll discuss this once I get the ok from the factory.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 01, 2008, 06:05:32 AM

@Casainho
I didn't know the situation was that bad,I did know about the really big guys(NVIDIA,Broadcom) but I hoped there were more open minded company.
I think it's ok for the schematic,but we'll discuss this once I get the ok from the factory.

Christian, can you please say what is the motivation of Pasen to want make a Free/Open hardware media player? - and maybe your personal motivation - I am curious.
You can read my motivations on wiki page of the project.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on April 01, 2008, 06:27:25 AM
Hehe,
there is more than one.My motivation are :
-Because i am a tech geek like you.I like to see cool and new things,a small gadgets that can
expand his feature over the time is really cool.
I was a developer myself some year ago,you can find some emulator porting(atari st,turbografx,wonderswan)  for symbian uiq if you check my nick on google :)
-Business reason 1.Right now we do only OEM,that mean the hardware is provided by some factory and we only make some small changes to the software and brand it.
We don't like much this because it's very limiting,you are forced to change models almost every 2-3 months because there is no development at all(they sell the new features with new models),so we would like to start producing our own hardware and this could be a chance to get used to this new business.
-Business reason 2.If we can make this well feature packed it can fill a market that altough being small have no competitor,so it can sell very well=money.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 01, 2008, 07:51:03 AM

Hehe,
there is more than one.My motivation are :
-Because i am a tech geek like you.I like to see cool and new things,a small gadgets that can
expand his feature over the time is really cool.
I was a developer myself some year ago,you can find some emulator porting(atari st,turbografx,wonderswan)  for symbian uiq if you check my nick on google :)

Nice to know :-) - we are all geeks :-)


-Business reason 1.Right now we do only OEM,that mean the hardware is provided by some factory and we only make some small changes to the software and brand it.
We don't like much this because it's very limiting,you are forced to change models almost every 2-3 months because there is no development at all(they sell the new features with new models),so we would like to start producing our own hardware and this could be a chance to get used to this new business.

Like the S1MP3 players, where there is no Rockbox port because there are a lot of them, all different, so, there is no continuity :-( - that is not good for us consumers :-(

A good opportunity for both, I think - If Pasen want to start producing their own hardware.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 01, 2008, 03:53:36 PM

Do you have a working model? This sounds more about money than a DIY. Sorry I offend you, I thought I might help. 4.4 was about placing other drivers when needed as for building up the hardware.

No working model yet, I hope to get at least, in the next 6 months, have that Prototype working.

The file you mention, were already selected for 1st stage bootloader:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototype#1st_stage_bootloader

Do you have experience with AT91 Bootstrap bootloader? What do you think about the bootloader? - the first code I would like to have, is an flash LED, but, with that bootloader scheme.

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Llorean on April 01, 2008, 10:33:20 PM
Rockbox is not based on Linux nor is it designed to be a PDA. It might be handy to take a step back and learn more about Rockbox if you're interested in designing hardware for it.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on April 02, 2008, 02:53:37 AM
Rockbox already supports recording to MP3, WAV, and Lossless Wavpack (as long as the hardware would support PCM recording, and has a fast enough processor to run the encoders). Because Wavpack is lossless, it can then be converted on the host computer to any other format the user wants.

Rockbox also already has MPEG-2 video playback, that runs effectively (24fps fullscreen) on a dual-core 80mhz ARM target at 220x176 resolution (one core is used for video, the other for audio decoding at the moment).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 02, 2008, 03:17:14 AM
Is this going to be a pda right now or you want to just get mp3 to play?I'm familiar with Atmel and loading linux on a pda (bootstrap).
friendlyzookeeper, did you read the page of the project? At the beginning of the page, as the first objective, you can read: "Make a good quality hardware audio player and recorder;" - So, It will not be a PDA!!

However, the project can change to get It commercial possible.

If you are familiar with bootstrap and Atmel MCUs, can you give an help to make the bootloader for the AT91SAM9260?? -- my first objective is to make a LED flashing in the RockboxPlayerPrototype hardware.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on April 02, 2008, 06:54:13 AM
Casainho,add some smilie once a while otherwise it seem you are scolding him  ;D
I doubt you were doing it,since you are asking for help,but it's really easy to be misunderstood while writing.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 02, 2008, 07:19:22 AM
Casainho,add some smilie once a while otherwise it seem you are scolding him  ;D
I doubt you were doing it,since you are asking for help,but it's really easy to be misunderstood while writing.
I am very limited in english :-( - for example, I add to look in dictionary what means "scolding":
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/scold

I just want to make happen this idea of Free/Open hardware audio recorder/player for use with Rockbox. I do not want to cause any problems and I am not looking to get any.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on April 02, 2008, 09:36:53 AM
I pointed it out because i noticed many misunderstand you,so if you put some smiley it's more clear.
That website doesn't explain what "to scold" mean.
To scold mean telling someone that is action is wrong,like what a teacher would do with some children when they don't do homework for example.Sorry it's hard to explain in english.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 02, 2008, 10:04:11 AM
I pointed it out because i noticed many misunderstand you,so if you put some smiley it's more clear.
That website doesn't explain what "to scold" mean.
To scold mean telling someone that is action is wrong,like what a teacher would do with some children when they don't do homework for example.Sorry it's hard to explain in english.
Thank you Christian ;)

While I wait an answer from you, can you please tell us what are important things to convince your "friends running factories in china", to make this kind of Free/Open hardware? - sorry If I am asking information that should be secret.
I am asking this because of my curiosity, I did read a few messages about "Made in China", in the bunnie's blog - http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?cat=7 , one person working on the Chumby, assembled at China, another Open Source hardware:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chumby
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Der Papst on April 02, 2008, 11:33:10 AM
Just to throw in my 0.02$...

00christian00: I like both designs you linked to ;-)

casainho: Imo you souldn't focus too hard on a _pure_ audioplayer. If you look at current devices that do more than just audio (e.g. simple games and 2-3 different video formats) you'll notice that they have far far better battery runtimes than daps purely designed for audio.

Take the Cowon D2 as example (rockbox port being worked on). It supports various video codecs, has a nice and large LCD (320x240) and "Rated battery life: 52 hours for music, 10 hours for video" (linky (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archives/2007/04/cowon-iaudio-d2-review.php)). :-D

If this player should compete to other commercial player I wouldn't go below a resolutions of 220x176 (larger LCD means more space for a larger battery ;-)) and a SoC being able to handle MPEG4 with 30fps easily.

But i agree that a touchscreen isn't needed (though i wouldn't complain if there is one).  ;-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on April 02, 2008, 11:37:23 AM
The first thing would be to let him see Rockbox.He was always busy these days and didn't had the chance to show him.I would leave the other guys out for now,because except this one they are all completely the opposite of tech geek,and explain the rockbox features will be a almost impossible task :D
Chumby is open source?!But it does use flash lite 3 which is all except open source.It's partially open i think

@Der Papst
Good,i am not the only one hehe.
Mpeg4 support is not present in rockbox.I don't know if someone could port ffmpeg or some other similar fast decoder.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 02, 2008, 01:40:22 PM
If you look at current devices that do more than just audio (e.g. simple games and 2-3 different video formats) you'll notice that they have far far better battery runtimes than daps purely designed for audio.

Take the Cowon D2 as example (rockbox port being worked on). It supports various video codecs, has a nice and large LCD (320x240) and "Rated battery life: 52 hours for music, 10 hours for video" (linky (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archives/2007/04/cowon-iaudio-d2-review.php)). :-D
Simple because they were design for video and not audio! So they have a large and expensive battery. We want also a player that is small and cheap, and we get It reducing audio for 24 hours, for example - so we can have a battery less than half of that one, and cheaper. The money saved on that, can be put on good quality hardware for recording and playing.
 
If this player should compete to other commercial player I wouldn't go below a resolutions of 220x176 (larger LCD means more space for a larger battery ;-)) and a SoC being able to handle MPEG4 with 30fps easily.
I think is a mistake to try compete with that kind of players, because market is flood with them and I think will be easy, quick(already done), to have Linux + some media player like VLC instead of making that on Rockbox. As soon as this devices get SoCs for video, they will also have large memories and batteries that can handle Linux.

But as we can see, portable players are quick getting media players, who will invest in good, only, portable audio players?

However, I think is best to have Free/Open hardware portable media player than nothing :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Der Papst on April 02, 2008, 02:04:55 PM

Mpeg4 support is not present in rockbox.I don't know if someone could port ffmpeg or some other similar fast decoder.

No, not yet. ;-) But some are thinking about if the Gigabeat S and the D2 are supported.


Simple because they were design for video and not audio! So they have a large and expensive battery. We want also a player that is small and cheap, and we get It reducing audio for 24 hours, for example - so we can have a battery less than half of that one, and cheaper. The money saved on that, can be put on good quality hardware for recording and playing.

I don't think that the price difference is making SUCH a big difference and i'd be more than happy to spend 15EUR more for a couple of hours more playback.


As soon as this devices get SoCs for video, they will also have large memories and batteries that can handle Linux.

Iirc the SoC you've selected is capable of stuff like MPEG4 so you can bet that any video codecs will used on this device too wasting battery ;-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 02, 2008, 02:42:55 PM
As soon as this devices get SoCs for video, they will also have large memories and batteries that can handle Linux.
Iirc the SoC you've selected is capable of stuff like MPEG4 so you can bet that any video codecs will used on this device too wasting battery ;-)
Wasting battery depends on utilization, as we can see in your example:

Take the Cowon D2 as example (rockbox port being worked on). It supports various video codecs, has a nice and large LCD (320x240) and "Rated battery life: 52 hours for music, 10 hours for video"
With the values you wrote, we can see that video takes 520% more battery than that audio.

Please put your ideas on the RockboxPlayerWishlist:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerWishlist

Thank you :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on April 02, 2008, 03:22:39 PM

Simple because they were design for video and not audio! So they have a large and expensive battery. We want also a player that is small and cheap, and we get It reducing audio for 24 hours, for example - so we can have a battery less than half of that one, and cheaper. The money saved on that, can be put on good quality hardware for recording and playing.


This reasoning doesn't hold for much scrutiny at all. You can build your player "designed for audio" as much as you like and get NN hours of audio playback and everything is great.

But: if you also instead of using a crappy 128x128 greyscale LCD used a 320x240 16bit color LCD, you would get some more fancy colors for your audio player, it would be somewhat more expensive, it would attract a lot more potential users and it will get roughly the same run-time (given that you don't run it with backlight a lot).

And here's the twist: everyone who enjoys video or browsing album art on their players can do that! On your audio player.

Quote


If this player should compete to other commercial player I wouldn't go below a resolutions of 220x176 (larger LCD means more space for a larger battery ;-)) and a SoC being able to handle MPEG4 with 30fps easily.

I think is a mistake to try compete with that kind of players, because market is flood with them and I think will be easy, quick(already done), to have Linux + some media player like VLC instead of making that on Rockbox.


This logic is flawed on several accounts. First, there are already a large number of such players and Rockbox runs on several. They typically don't run Linux and no, "just installing Linux and VLC" is not enough to do anything good and you saying so just shows your ignorance and lack of knowledge in this area.

Quote

 As soon as this devices get SoCs for video, they will also have large memories and batteries that can handle Linux.


Now, didn't you pick a SoC that even already has a Linux port working on it? Exactly what's the difference?

You do the same mistake as lots of others when you think Rockbox is simply a better option as long as everything is small and tiny. Rockbox is not only an OS but also an application suite and everything in Rockbox has been crafted for portable media players, for usability with few buttons and for long run-times on batteries. I'd like to see you config your "Linux with VLC" to be even near what Rockbox is.

Quote

But as we can see, portable players are quick getting media players, who will invest in good, only, portable audio players?


Can you name any audio player manufactured and sold the last 2-3 years that cannot also display video?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 02, 2008, 04:17:25 PM
You do the same mistake as lots of others when you think Rockbox is simply a better option as long as everything is small and tiny. Rockbox is not only an OS but also an application suite and everything in Rockbox has been crafted for portable media players, for usability with few buttons and for long run-times on batteries. I'd like to see you config your "Linux with VLC" to be even near what Rockbox is.
Yes, I think as Rockbox good for small and tiny hardware. And yes, I don't now very much, I ignore a lot of things, I can't even boot the ARM9 MCU( I hope to learn) :)

Can you name any audio player manufactured and sold the last 2-3 years that cannot also display video?
The pacemaker, from June 2007. "The Pacemaker is a Pocket Size DJ System. The device features include a 120 Gb hard drive, an SNR of 103, and a slew of basic DJ audio tools. The DJ tools include a Line out Crossfader, a Headphones Crossfader, Bend, Pitch, DJ Pause, Cue, Loop, EQ, Filter, Sound FX, Headphone Jack, Line out jack and a USB 2.0 connector.", without video.
http://www.pacemaker.net/device/

As we can see, thats a device dedicated to portable audio listen and mixing. Not audio recording for example.

Why should we tailor the hardware for video? just because everyone is doing that? why should we go to touchscreen? just because everyone is doing that?

I would prefer to pay for an hardware dedicated to audio than a media player, but thats me :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on April 02, 2008, 04:20:16 PM

Why should we tailor the hardware for video? just because everyone is doing that? why should we go to touchscreen? just because everyone is dong that?


You would not "tailor the hardware for video". You would tailor it to be an attractive audio player. That happens to be able to play video too.

Actually. This'll be my last message in this thread.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: AlexP on April 02, 2008, 04:21:29 PM

Why should we tailor the hardware for video? just because everyone is doing that? why should we go to touchscreen? just because everyone is dong that?

I would prefer to pay for an hardware dedicated to audio than a media player, but thats me :)


You DO NOT need to dedicate it to video.  Add a decent screen, and the CPU you have chosen is perfectly capable of decoding video, that, and here is the crucial bit, will only affect battery life if you play video.  It does not need to affect the audio playback at all.  I do not understand why you seem to think that video playback (for instance) needs to affect audio playback at all.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 02, 2008, 04:51:43 PM
Add a decent screen, and the CPU you have chosen is perfectly capable of decoding video, that, and here is the crucial bit, will only affect battery life if you play video.
Ok, I agree.

I would like to compare this situation with digital photographic machines and digital video machines. I have and prefer, a specialized photographic machine and a specialized video recording machine. I could buy just one machine to have the both functions, photos and video, however, It will not had nor a good photographic characteristics and a video recording characteristics. What is more attractive? Whats sells better? - probably just one machine with both functions, however, professional prefers specialized machines for each function.

I am afraid of a descharacterized device, that is nor a good hardware audio player nor a good hardware video player.

Okok, this is just chat-chat while there are no news. Right now I can't progress because I am waiting the development board. Also waiting for an answer from 00christian00.


Hi Guys,
   Right now I'm getting parts lined up. I have several devices to take apart, and by the way this is a project with my 13 year old son. Modules are the projects I'm working on now for this. Donated is 900mhz wireless phone with ID caller, dvd player with divx and mp3, and a calculator. This prototype is going to be huge, since there isn't any specified breadboards. Then, any deviations will be in a engineering change.

  Which mp4 format do you all want?

  I want to use modules because of trouble shooting. It will be easier to test them seperate, after they are built. ;)

 I was talking to my son and thinks it would be great to have a solar charger for the batteries.
I don't understand what  are you talking about. Is about some hardware, related to audio/video player? Can you put organized information on a page? - thank you.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Der Papst on April 02, 2008, 05:00:22 PM
The DJ tools include a Line out Crossfader, a Headphones Crossfader, Bend, Pitch, DJ Pause, Cue, Loop, EQ, Filter, Sound FX, Headphone Jack, Line out jack and a USB 2.0 connector."
To support these features you need a very powerful SoC (i guess even a bit more than the one you've chosen) and a large enough LCD to keep the UI intuitive (for use in rockbox since i doubt anyone wants those buttons and pads (they're even protected by a patent);-)). And i think "Music playback time: 18 hrs • DJ operating time: 5 hrs" is too low.

So i kinda think it's unavoidable that a videoplayer gets thrown on the device with more codecs than "just" mpeg1/2. :-P
So your point
I would like to compare this situation with digital photographic machines and digital video machines. I have and prefer, a specialized photographic machine and a specialized video recording machine. I could buy just one machine to have the both functions, photos and video, however, It will not had nor a good photographic characteristics and a video recording characteristics. What is more attractive? Whats sells better? - probably just one machine with both functions, however, professional prefers specialized machines for each function.
somewhat doesn't count.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 02, 2008, 05:12:50 PM

So your point

I would like to compare this situation with digital photographic machines and digital video machines. I have and prefer, a specialized photographic machine and a specialized video recording machine. I could buy just one machine to have the both functions, photos and video, however, It will not had nor a good photographic characteristics and a video recording characteristics. What is more attractive? Whats sells better? - probably just one machine with both functions, however, professional prefers specialized machines for each function.

somewhat doesn't count.

Why doesn't count? - can you say why do you think that Pacemaker, don't have video capabilities?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: kugel. on April 02, 2008, 05:15:58 PM

I am afraid of a descharacterized device, that is nor a good hardware audio player nor a good hardware video player.
Have you heard of the Sansa Fuze? No advertisement, but it's said to have a great sound quality. And it features video playback as well as a low price.

Just because really good audio players with video playback are rare (depends on how you define good audio playback of course) and sometimes rather expensive, it doesn't mean it's impossible.

My point is, that's very much doable to combine video playback (including a decent color screen) with good auto quality.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Der Papst on April 02, 2008, 05:24:51 PM
Why doesn't count? - can you say why do you think that Pacemaker, don't have video capabilities?
Sure.
To support these features you need a very powerful SoC (i guess even a bit more than the one you've chosen) and a large enough LCD to keep the UI intuitive (for use in rockbox since i doubt anyone wants those buttons and pads (they're even protected by a patent);-)). [...]
So i kinda think it's unavoidable that a videoplayer gets thrown on the device with more codecs than "just" mpeg1/2. :-P
So you have a large LCD, a powerful SoC and lots of coders wanting to use all the power of the DAP. It is just unavoidable unless you limit the DAP that strong that it would become incapable to do 1/3 of the features the Pacemaker has.

I'm not saying that i want a large display, longer battery runtimes and video support in favour of a high quality audio player. The SoC is cheap, the display to and the battery either. So i really don't understand why that is an issue for you.

My point is, that's very much doable to combine video playback (including a decent color screen) with good auto quality.
Imo it's unavoidable ;-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scorche on April 02, 2008, 05:39:15 PM
Here is the point as simple as I can make it:

Video is not going to hurt audio.

Your example of still images versus video is an incorrect analogy as they typically only have one CCD in the device and the whole device is designed to be a good video, or a good still image recorder - which in this case, yes there is a benefit to one side at the expense of the other side.  This is not the case, however in terms of digital media players if they are designed correctly.

In this case, there is no change required in the DAC, the SoC, or any of the major parts as they already are just fine for both video *and* audio.  There is nothing in the device that will either make it better for video at the expense of audio capabilities or better for audio at the expense of video capabilities.  Putting in a larger, better screen is not going to degrade the audio somehow and neither is using a larger battery.  In fact, using a larger screen could potentially make the audio better as you will have more room on the boards to do what you wish.

To reiterate: none of our suggestions are going to degrade audio in any way and to throw out ideas because they might not be explicitely "for audio" is just silly.

Using price as a reason is also potentially faulty, as if you listen to our suggestions earnestly, you will have more people who will want to purchase the device.  The more people who want to purchase the device, the less the manufacturing/parts cost will be.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 02, 2008, 06:00:30 PM
The SoC is cheap, the display to and the battery either. So i really don't understand why that is an issue for you.
Well, If that don't compromise the high audio quality hardware, price, size and battery runtimes, why not? :) :)

Quote from: kugel.
[/quote
Have you heard of the Sansa Fuze? No advertisement, but it's said to have a great sound quality. And it features video playback as well as a low price.

Just because really good audio players with video playback are rare (depends on how you define good audio playback of course) and sometimes rather expensive, it doesn't mean it's impossible.

My point is, that's very much doable to combine video playback (including a decent color screen) with good auto quality.
Hmmm... It doesn't look like to have digital audio inputs/outputs. And I remember to read a lot about some model of Sansa(maybe E200) with noise, because of a pour hardware. For me, that model looks like more an upgrade, to have larger screen for video.

Putting in a larger, better screen is not going to degrade the audio somehow and neither is using a larger battery.  In fact, using a larger screen could potentially make the audio better as you will have more room on the boards to do what you wish.
So, as you say, using a larger screen means to have a larger player, and thats not what is pretended - It's pretended a small physical size - pocketability.

Also, using price as a reason is also not concrete, as if you do these things, you will have more people who will want to purchase the device.  The more people who want to purchase the device, the less the manufacturing/parts cost will be.
Follow big numbers looks bad to me(not always) :-( as we can see now, one example is that everyone likes to have touchscreen, If you want to sell big numbers you will put a touchscreen, and looks no one desire a touchscreen for audio player, touchscreen just makes sense for video player.

So, I am not so optimistic about video not interfering with audio.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 02, 2008, 06:05:40 PM
I see that you want a blinking led from a ATMEGA32. I don't have linux running right now, video card problems. I do have dos with a parallel programmer, if i could use linus sysem I would use a usb isp. I could use a attiny 2313, if that would help?
blinking led from a ATMEGA32?? - are you joking? :) :) - thats what I do in my day-to-day work, blinking LEDS with AVR 8 bits.

I repeat, did you read the page of the project? http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototype - where do you see there a mention to ATmega32?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scorche on April 02, 2008, 06:17:03 PM
Thanks for ignoring all my other points.

A 220x176 screen with decent color is not going to ruin "pocketability" in any way.  Neither is a 240x320 screen honestly, but it can for some.  I am not saying you have to do anything.  I am just saying that the reasons you have been using do *not* make sense.

Also, I do not see "everyone" wanting a touch screen.  I see someone mentioning that this other company happens to have them too.  Read what people are saying, as to say something like that is proving that you are not even listening to them when this is *not* what they are asking for.

If you don't want to look at manufacturing and parts costs, then stop whining that X component is more expensive.  To say that it will increase the cost of the device without factoring in these variables is false information.

Quote
So, I am not so optimistic about video not interfering with audio.


Why not?

And please do not "cherrypick" (this means that you only respond to the parts of my post that may fit your story instead of responding to everything that I say) my posts.  I say things for a reason and to ignore that is not very demonstrative of your willingness to discuss issues.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Der Papst on April 02, 2008, 06:25:34 PM
Also, using price as a reason is also not concrete, as if you do these things, you will have more people who will want to purchase the device.  The more people who want to purchase the device, the less the manufacturing/parts cost will be.
Follow big numbers looks bad to me(not always) :-( as we can see now, one example is that everyone likes to have touchscreen, If you want to sell big numbers you will put a touchscreen, and looks no one desire a touchscreen for audio player, touchscreen just makes sense for video player.

Wait, where does it say that?! I don't think that you need a touchscreen at all even for larger resolutions and even IF there is a touchscreen i can't see how it could harm audio quality. If the touchscreen is cheaper than another one in the same resolution i'd vote for the touchscreen.

So, as you say, using a larger screen means to have a larger player, and thats not what is pretended - It's pretended a small physical size - pocketability.

I think the audio quality gets affected a lot more if you try to put too many chips on a too small pcb leading to background noises than a large touchscreen. Also i think the production costs will dramatically increase if you try to keep it as small as possible because you would have to use a multilayer pcb with LOTS of more layers than a slightly larger player with fewer layers.

Yet another thought about your price concerns:
Iirc the irivers are still the daps with the best audio quality supported by rockbox and they're also pretty old by now. However in Berlin at the Alexander Platz in Kaufhof you can still get some (H10 and H300 or H100 iirc) and the "cheapest" one is still above 150EUR (refurbished!).
So if you are really making such a high quality audio player it is going to be pretty expensive anyway. A larger LCD and a better battery won't increase the price by that much then anymore.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 02, 2008, 06:58:15 PM
A 220x176 screen with decent color is not going to ruin "pocketability" in any way.  Neither is a 240x320 screen honestly, but it can for some.  I am not saying you have to do anything.  I am just saying that the reasons you have been using do *not* make sense.

Also, I do not see "everyone" wanting a touch screen.  I see someone mentioning that this other company happens to have them too.  Read what people are saying, as to say something like that is proving that you are not even listening to them when this is *not* what they are asking for.
A said everyone because I see that tendency on new players and because Christian wrote: "We are selling many touchscreen,because many people want it".

About the screen size, ok, 240x320 can be "pocketability". But if we think in have a display size to permit video, quickly that size will increment, I guess people will demand bigger screens sizes, for a better video visualization.

Quote
So, I am not so optimistic about video not interfering with audio.

Why not?

And please do not "cherrypick" (this means that you only respond to the parts of my post that may fit your story instead of responding to everything that I say) my posts.  I say things for a reason and to ignore that is not very demonstrative of your willingness to discuss issues.
Sorry about that "cherrypick", I didn't know that concept. I just didn't answer/comment because I had nothing to say, I generally agree with what you wrote.

And I did not wrote well my idea. I would like to say that I am not so optimistic about seeking hardware for ALSO video not interfering with seeking hardware just for hight quality audio player. And I mean also the disposition of the buttons, size, price.

Another thing, I did ask to developers the minimum size of SDRAM and Flash memory the player should have to run Rockbox, and I get 4MB of each memory - again, for audio player. If we want larger screen and video, I think that this memories should be 4 or 8 times more. Are this change is sizes expressive in price? maybe not...

the irivers are still the daps with the best audio quality supported by rockbox and they're also pretty old by now. However in Berlin at the Alexander Platz in Kaufhof you can still get some (H10 and H300 or H100 iirc) and the "cheapest" one is still above 150EUR (refurbished!).
So if you are really making such a high quality audio player it is going to be pretty expensive anyway. A larger LCD and a better battery won't increase the price by that much then anymore.
Thats what I am afraid, new players not focused in good audio quality, instead going to focus more on video or very low price.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scorche on April 02, 2008, 07:16:17 PM
A said everyone because I see that tendency on new players and because Christian wrote: "We are selling many touchscreen,because many people want it".
Yes, but "everyone" is a massive generalization and is far from what people have expressed on these forums.  The main new players that I know of with a touch screen is the D2 and iPod touch (which really shouldn't even count) and that is just one device.  I do not see a large trend of manufacturers rushing towards touch screens.  Making generalizations of "everyone" and entire industries based on a couple of instances is not a good way to go about things.
Quote
About the screen size, ok, 240x320 can be "pocketability" but quickly the size will increment, If you are seeking portable video.
I agree.  240x320 is just fine and I don't see any good reason why it should go higher than this for an audio player.  The reason why I mentioned that is because you said you didn't want a larger or better screen because then we would be making the device for video at the expense of our audio functionality.

Quote
Sorry about that "cherrypick", I didn't know that concept. I just didn't answer/comment because I had nothing to say, I generally agree with what you wrote.

Then by all means, say so!  If you have an opinion in the past and new evidence or arguments pop up that discredit the past opinion, it is good to say that you understand now so that we can see you have changed your mind.

Quote
I would like to say that I am not so optimistic about seeking hardware for ALSO video not interfering with seeking hardware just for hight quality audio player. And I mean also the disposition of the buttons, size, price.

You don't have to.  This is what we have been saying up to this point.  We want a device whose main focus is audio, but to add a better screen is not going to deviate form that purpose and we are still not seeking hardware for video, as if we did, we would of course want an even larger screen!

Quote
Another thing, I did ask to developers the minimum size of SDRAM and Flash memory the player should have to run Rockbox, and I get 4MB of each memory - again, for audio player. If we want larger screen and video, I think that this memories should be 4 or 8 times more. Are this change is sizes expressive in price? maybe not...

Like I have said before, this is not just for video.  4MB very well is around the "minimum".  However, memory is cheap these days and if we put a bit more, I think that the cost difference will be very small, and that the increase in battery life from a larger buffer (as well as making things a bit easier on you when porting Rockbox as you have more RAM to work with and won't have to worry about squeezing everything in as much) would certainly be well worth it.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Der Papst on April 02, 2008, 07:27:45 PM

About the screen size, ok, 240x320 can be "pocketability" but quickly the size will increment, If you are seeking portable video.

Where does it say that? Look at all the daps that can play video already. Look at the 3G nano. It's tiny but fully capable at playing video at a decent resolution. It has a 320x240 display. Being able to play video doesn't necessarily mean that you have to carry a huge and bulky player with you.


And I did not wrote well my idea. I would like to say that I am not so optimistic about seeking hardware for ALSO video not interfering with seeking hardware just for hight quality audio player. And I mean also the disposition of the buttons, size, price.

Read my other posts. IT IS UNAVOIDABLE! If you want a DAP with lots of cool audio features and high quality you need:
 * a fast enough SoC
 * a display large enough for an intuitive UI to use all these features
You simply CANNOT AVOID IT that this hardware will be used for video playback even if it wasn't intended for it. If you want to avoid video playback you have to make the hardware that crappy that no one on earth except you is going to buy AND produce it. Hell even the 1G iPod with its 2bit "colour depth" display and slow and problematic SoC can playback MPEG full speed and i bet the guys developing it never ever dreamt about being able to do that.
 


Another thing, I did ask to developers the minimum size of SDRAM and Flash memory the player should have to run Rockbox, and I get 4MB of each memory - again, for audio player. If we want larger screen and video, I think that this memories should be 4 or 8 times more. Are this change is sizes expressive in price? maybe not...

YOU have proposed 64MB sdram. That is more than plenty for video audio and games. 32MB would even be enough for all that (see 5G iPods)


Thats what I am afraid, new players not focused in good audio quality, instead going to focus more on video.

THAT was NOT the point i made. The point i made is that the player like you are proposing it IS already expensive! If you add a larger screen and better battery it's not going to make a real difference. What is 300EUR compared to 320EUR? Almost nothing and i would be more then willing to pay these 20EUR for a larger screen and better battery life.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 03, 2008, 07:02:19 AM
Quote
I would like to say that I am not so optimistic about seeking hardware for ALSO video not interfering with seeking hardware just for hight quality audio player. And I mean also the disposition of the buttons, size, price.

You don't have to.  This is what we have been saying up to this point.  We want a device whose main focus is audio, but to add a better screen is not going to deviate form that purpose and we are still not seeking hardware for video, as if we did, we would of course want an even larger screen!
Okok, I agree with you in all what you said in the message.

Ok, I understand now that 240x320 display can be "pocketability" and will not compromise audio in player :) - and that size display is not good for video.

Like I have said before, this is not just for video.  4MB very well is around the "minimum".  However, memory is cheap these days and if we put a bit more, I think that the cost difference will be very small, and that the increase in battery life from a larger buffer (as well as making things a bit easier on you when porting Rockbox as you have more RAM to work with and won't have to worry about squeezing everything in as much) would certainly be well worth it.
So I choose double the value, 8MB for each memory.

Quote from: Der Papst
Another thing, I did ask to developers the minimum size of SDRAM and Flash memory the player should have to run Rockbox, and I get 4MB of each memory - again, for audio player. If we want larger screen and video, I think that this memories should be 4 or 8 times more. Are this change is sizes expressive in price? maybe not...
YOU have proposed 64MB sdram. That is more than plenty for video audio and games. 32MB would even be enough for all that (see 5G iPods)
That values you said, are the values in the development board, the final values should be 8MB for each memories as a minimum - for an audio player.

Quote from: Der Papst
Thats what I am afraid, new players not focused in good audio quality, instead going to focus more on video.
THAT was NOT the point i made. The point i made is that the player like you are proposing it IS already expensive! If you add a larger screen and better battery it's not going to make a real difference. What is 300EUR compared to 320EUR? Almost nothing and i would be more then willing to pay these 20EUR for a larger screen and better battery life.
I think you are mistaken because one objective(which is written on page of the project), is "Total cost less than $125.". Also there was a suggestion from Olimex of "AT91SAM9260 + LCD NOKIA 6610 + 8MB flash + 8/16MB SDRAM + nRF24L01 wireless chip + audio CODEC + Li-ion battery + charger + miniUSB + buttons, price in range of 100 €.".

I was going though the getting started and found that the requirements may need to be used, exspecially the isp and software and didn't find linux operating system. The example in there is to light up 2 leds.
All tools are for Linux and also for M$ Windows. GCC-ARM, text editor and USBprog, they are multi OS - you can see a good example here:
http://sunge.awardspace.com/arm-getting-started/arm-getting-started.html

I want to blink a LED using the same bootloader that will launch Rockbox, blinking a LED will be like a test to know that MCU is running and also the bootloader.

After the blinking LED, write drivers for the LCD, buttons and ATA -- well, thats what I written on  "2st stage bootloader" section on page:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerPrototype

---
I actualized the main project page about the contact of Pasen and delaying the schedule time for the Prototype. Also the minimum size of SDRAM and Flash memories.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 05, 2008, 06:55:11 AM
Working status:
I received yesterday the development board from Olimex :-) - It's looks like to have a shortcircuit on 2 pins on the USB IC, I will take care of that next week.

With the dev. board came a CD with AT91 Bootstrap and with U-Boot - I did updated the RockboxPlayerPrototype page with that files and the bootloader section.

I had some e-mails with Roger aka spark, he are with short time to came to forum, however he gave me some ideas for the bootloader. He think is Ok this scheme for the bootloader.
He will soon buy the dev. board.

The next thing that we should focus is in have a Flash LED application that will be launched by u-boot. After that, the Flash LED application will be exchanged by the Rockbox Firmware application ;)



http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/view_detail.asp?ref=&FileName=ARM9_Hantro_10_3.html&Family_id=605

"AT76C113P" is the only chip I could find so the chip mentioned is up and coming, I think?

This is it    http://www.hantro.com/index.php?349

friendlyzookeeper, why don't you want to focus and use what had already been done? - we already choosed the MCU, the stereo audio codec, the sizes of SDRAM and Flash, and even the dev. board.


Quote:
All tools are for Linux and also for M$ Windows. GCC-ARM, text editor and USBprog, they are multi OS - you can see a good example here:
http://sunge.awardspace.com/arm-getting-started/arm-getting-started.html

Thats for a at91sam7

Ok, but should work for the at91sam9. I bought that USBprog for make the JTAG using USB on PC, however I didn't test yet - maybe next week I will do that.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on April 05, 2008, 09:27:11 AM
Ok,finally some update.Some good and some bad news.
My friend agreed basically because it won't cost anything for them.
That was the good one.The bad one is that in China factories don't work with small numbers,
the minimum quanity to build will be around 3000 units,since it involves creating a new case mold and new
pcb design.In total 3 factory will be required,one for the case,one for the pcb(by pcb i mean the pcb itself plus the component that require smt machine,excluding soldered components,like battery,jack,etc) and one for assembly.
I can see if we can lower the quantity,but will still be a big investment from our side.
So to decide if agree,we should have more concrete data.
How many people are willing to join the development?
If we have developer known to have experience in this field,we could send the development board to them to speed up the process.
Speaking of the development time,6 months seem a bit much for this project,not because it's long per se but because it's open source,and if it catches enough interest any company could just take the design and make it before us.So the shorter the better.
Last thing,as i said before,since it require a big investment it should be more commercial possible.
So I would like to evaluate any proposal you guys will make that won't collide with the original purpose.
Example,we ditched,touchscreen,and touch button and it's fine but if anyone have suggestions for the control is highly welcome.For example a click wheel,similar to the new iriver models could be an example and it won't hurt the design.Any cool feature is accepted,because on our side won't change much 5-10 usd more but could greatly improve sales.The key is to make it unique by merging features not present in current players.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: ZincAlloy on April 05, 2008, 09:39:28 AM


Example,we ditched,touchscreen,and touch button and it's fine but if anyone have suggestions for the control is highly welcome.For example a click wheel,similar to the new iriver models could be an example and it won't hurt the design.Any cool feature is accepted,because on our side won't change much 5-10 usd more but could greatly improve sales.The key is to make it unique by merging features not present in current players.



what's wrong with ordinary buttons? Last week I tried a friends ipod - it was horrible. In my opinion a clickwheel is a very ineffective tool for browsing long lists and an ergonomical nightmare.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on April 05, 2008, 10:54:56 AM
That's not the wheel i meant,the ipod one is a touch wheel.
I meant like this :
(http://www.pmptoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/iriver-p20.jpg)
Or like the Sony Ericsson P900 Jog wheel.It's really handy,and not meant to replace buttons.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: ZincAlloy on April 05, 2008, 10:58:14 AM
I see.. what are they needed for?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 05, 2008, 03:42:01 PM
Ok,finally some update.Some good and some bad news.
My friend agreed basically because it won't cost anything for them.
UAU!! Very good news :)

That was the good one.The bad one is that in China factories don't work with small numbers,
the minimum quanity to build will be around 3000 units,since it involves creating a new case mold and new
pcb design.In total 3 factory will be required,one for the case,one for the pcb(by pcb i mean the pcb itself plus the component that require smt machine,excluding soldered components,like battery,jack,etc) and one for assembly.
I can see if we can lower the quantity,but will still be a big investment from our side.
And this is a bad news for who? Pasen? - will Pasen invest their money to buy that 3000 units?

So to decide if agree,we should have more concrete data.
How many people are willing to join the development?
If we have developer known to have experience in this field,we could send the development board to them to speed up the process.
Speaking of the development time,6 months seem a bit much for this project,not because it's long per se but because it's open source,and if it catches enough interest any company could just take the design and make it before us.So the shorter the better.
Christian, what would be that "blank time", from which hardware were not be Open, for Pasen can recover the investment and win?

About number of people joining the development, I would suggest you put a message on mailing list, saying what you pretend and what you offer, in this case, I assume that you want a Rockbox port for RockboxPlayer hardware and you give the development board - maybe you can make a bounty too.

About development time, I did wrote on project page 6 months assuming myself working alone. Now, we have 1sr and 2nd bootloader code, we also have code for some piece of hardware, like audio codec IC. For LCD, we must write the driver after we chose it or with luck it will be some LCD with drivers already in Rockbox, . Also make driver for USB(??) and buttons(if some special click wheel).
I would say, that right know, 2 or 3 experienced developers, with the right tools as debuggers, oscilloscope and the development board, can have all full port in 3 weeks or less.

Last thing,as i said before,since it require a big investment it should be more commercial possible.
So I would like to evaluate any proposal you guys will make that won't collide with the original purpose.
Example,we ditched,touchscreen,and touch button and it's fine but if anyone have suggestions for the control is highly welcome.For example a click wheel,similar to the new iriver models could be an example and it won't hurt the design.Any cool feature is accepted,because on our side won't change much 5-10 usd more but could greatly improve sales.
Eheh - here comes the wishlist :-) - http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerWishlist

You know the page RockboxPlayerV1? we did put their ideas for what would be the first comercial version after the Prototype. I suggest that you put a message in the mailing list about this subject. I also suggest for you send an already complete list of what you think should be the player and also ask for suggestions. You will have much feedback on mailing list.

You said "we ditched,touchscreen", we didn't do that, I think. We want tactile buttons! but if tactile buttons is present, is needed the touch screen? I think everyone like touch screen :) however you should evaluate the price. And, what will be the final price, your idea?

The key is to make it unique by merging features not present in current players.
I would ask for recording capabilities, some good inputs and outputs, and marketing that after. I assume that any recent player with Rockbox will fulfill my expectations less in a good quality hardware play/record.

Another questions: FM/AM Radio?(there is drivers in Rockbox for radio tuners)  DAB radio(no Rockbox driver)? - Wireless connection(no Rockbox driver)?

And another: What about patents? like MP3, WMA, ACC, etc? - how it work when Pasen buy from China?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on April 05, 2008, 10:17:00 PM
Is the mailing list more followed than forum?I am not familiar with them,i don't like much the mailing list format.
So yes the bad news is for us,and thus for you too :D
As for your second answer,i don't know i will have first to investigate on costs.There is a fair soon in hong kong,i'll send my agent to talk with parts supplier.
I see many list the internal capacity like some hard disk type,if that's the type of player we'll have to call out as will be much more expensive than flash type(and not too small).Also for your information most of the player we build now does use mlc type flash that have slower writing speed than slc,but does have a huge difference in price(for example 4gb mlc is 12 usd the slc is 26 usd).
I read the wishlist,but other than tos-link it seem all regular feature to me.
With cool features i mean uncommon one.As of now the selling point is all in the software,but little on the hardware.I will definitely forget about touchscreen,would rise the price,and would need a complete new interface to be attractive.Too much hassle and there are way too many touchscreen devices out there now.
Quote
Another questions: FM/AM Radio?(there is drivers in Rockbox for radio tuners)  DAB radio(no Rockbox driver)? - Wireless connection(no Rockbox driver)?

Yes,from what i read around,most of the users want fm radio even if they won't use it most of the time :D
It would be good if it could support RDS too.
Dab radio would rise much the price,and it's not a worldwide standard.
Wireless would be awesome,but writing a bluetooth or wi-fi stack from scratch would take ages.
Since your os is not a derivate of any other os,there is no stack for it.
There is the kleer audio wireless technology,but could be pricey and you are stuck with their earphones or you must also design them.
Quote
And another: What about patents? like MP3, WMA, ACC, etc? - how it work when Pasen buy from China?

I don't know much of patents on the manufacturer side.I do know most of the licenses are covered on the distribution side,because most patents aren't valid in china or not even considered,but once they enter europe or usa the importer/distributor is responsible for any patents.
So if the sale would be directly from China most of them won't apply,if there will be someone who does want to distribute them locally in europe or usa then they must deal with them.
Now i'm going to bed,it's really late  ::)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 06, 2008, 02:50:58 AM

Is the mailing list more followed than forum?I am not familiar with them,i don't like much the mailing list format.

I think that because forum have sections, maybe not everyone comes to this one, maybe just developers. Last time I put a message on mailing list I got a lot of feadback - that what I wrote on WishList.
Well, I did put a message on ML yesterday, after wrote this message. If you want, you can write the message, send to me and I can post on ML.


So yes the bad news is for us,and thus for you too :D
As for your second answer,i don't know i will have first to investigate on costs.There is a fair soon in hong kong,i'll send my agent to talk with parts supplier.

I didn't understand... "fair soon"? - other thing, using the components, the MCU that we choose, maybe will higher the cost, but is a "stable", I think that Atmel MCU will be available for long time in market or at least Atmel will provide a continuity MCU and with full datasheet.


I see many list the internal capacity like some hard disk type,if that's the type of player we'll have to call out as will be much more expensive than flash type(and not too small).Also for your information most of the player we build now does use mlc type flash that have slower writing speed than slc,but does have a huge difference in price(for example 4gb mlc is 12 usd the slc is 26 usd).

Huge difference in price? so why do you chose use that? - is really important? is noticeable the different in performance?


Quote
Another questions: FM/AM Radio?(there is drivers in Rockbox for radio tuners)  DAB radio(no Rockbox driver)? - Wireless connection(no Rockbox driver)?

Yes,from what i read around,most of the users want fm radio even if they won't use it most of the time :D
It would be good if it could support RDS too.
Dab radio would rise much the price,and it's not a worldwide standard.
Wireless would be awesome,but writing a bluetooth or wi-fi stack from scratch would take ages.
Since your os is not a derivate of any other os,there is no stack for it.
There is the kleer audio wireless technology,but could be pricey and you are stuck with their earphones or you must also design them.

About wireless, I hope that this 1st version of the player will be a success, then we can use the player or any dev. board that put wireless module and work on software for it, the 2nd version of the player could have then wireless and other things that we decide and that we previously do on software side.
There is a lot of people in Rockbox that desire a hardisk(with BIG capacity) version! Maybe after V1, Pasen can make one future version(V2) with HD(V2-HD) and other version with flash(V2-FL).

Christian can you write a new TWiki page about this player that will be possible made by Pasen? I think would be good to start having clear information(in text) about it - maybe you have all in your head, but not us.

So, I would say:
* MCU AT91SAM9260
* 8MB SDRAM
* 1GB(?) NAND Flash (at least 8MB)
* SD card Expansion Slot
* USB IC for USB 2.0??
* Stereo audio codec TLV320AIC23
* Li-Ion Battery - Swappable/replaceable batteries - use batteries that we can swap easily, maybe like mobile phones.
* 320x240(?) LCD
* FM radio
INPUTS: *  Stereo Line-In for High Quality recording; * Digital-In - preferably via mini-TOSLINK; * Mono integrated Mic for voice recording.
* Navigation/volume controls, buttons and a click wheel(?).

This is a modest DAP, I would expect to pay no more than $150 knowing that is a Free/Open hardware with Rockbox pre-installed - about the same price of Pasen 4GB LAZYBUM - however I would like to see a cheaper price as $100, to boost the adoption. What do you think?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 00christian00 on April 06, 2008, 05:13:07 AM
Regarding the hdd question,what do you think of a design like that?
It's similar to a design I saw before,except that was carrying a larger battery,not an hdd.
(http://www.pasen.it/mp4_design.jpg)
The connector could be an 30pin one,like ipod so the player could support ipod accessory,from what i read rockbox does have drivers for ipod interface,right?Of course the player won't have to ship with such driver as that would require a license which i doubt apple will release for another mp3 player :D

Quote
Huge difference in price? so why do you chose use that? - is really important? is noticeable the different in performance?

Actually now we does use the cheaper MLC,which is the standard for all small and medium brands.I don't know about big brands(i think they still use SLC).And yes the performance is much different(1.8mb/s against 3.2 if i remember well,but the situation may have changed with newer flash modules).

Quote
I didn't understand... "fair soon"? - other thing, using the components, the MCU that we choose, maybe will higher the cost, but is a "stable", I think that Atmel MCU will be available for long time in market or at least Atmel will provide a continuity MCU and with full datasheet.

Actually i think the mcu is among the cheapest one for a decent player.There are more affordable and powerful mcu in china now,but one is rockchip and is not documented at all,the other is ingenic and maybe well documented but it's a mips one(that would have been great since it have lots of power with good battery time).
There is an electronic fair(like ces,cebit etc) in hong kong soon.There will be electronic parts supplier there.That's what i meant.

Quote
INPUTS: *  Stereo Line-In for High Quality recording; * Digital-In - preferably via mini-TOSLINK; * Mono integrated Mic for voice recording.

Can the line in be shared with earphones output or it will compromise quality?All these input output can be difficult to place in a small player otherwise.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 06, 2008, 05:55:10 AM

Regarding the hdd question,what do you think of a design like that?
It's similar to a design I saw before,except that was carrying a larger battery,not an hdd.
(http://www.pasen.it/mp4_design.jpg)
The connector could be an 30pin one,like ipod so the player could support ipod accessory,from what i read rockbox does have drivers for ipod interface,right?Of course the player won't have to ship with such driver as that would require a license which i doubt apple will release for another mp3 player :D

I think is nice :)

About 30pin Apple, I think is a way to avoid, because of NOT Open documentation and not license as you said. What advantages can we have in put some hardware/software in our Free/Open hardware, that we can't control and even license?


Quote
Huge difference in price? so why do you chose use that? - is really important? is noticeable the different in performance?

Actually now we does use the cheaper MLC,which is the standard for all small and medium brands.I don't know about big brands(i think they still use SLC).And yes the performance is much different(1.8mb/s against 3.2 if i remember well,but the situation may have changed with newer flash modules).

We did chose this AT91SAM9260 because: is an ARM9(in generally, most RB developers said would be a smart choice to use an ARM9, because there is hand assembly optimized code for ARM, and C inline optimized code), is from Atmel, which provides full datasheet, example codes, application notes, etc, and should have a long life in market and availability worldwide and at small quantities.


Quote
INPUTS: *  Stereo Line-In for High Quality recording; * Digital-In - preferably via mini-TOSLINK; * Mono integrated Mic for voice recording.

Can the line in be shared with earphones output or it will compromise quality?All these input output can be difficult to place in a small player otherwise.

Unfortunately, I can't answer to that technical question. I would prefer a bit larger player, with standardized jacks, and IMO, that can be used to pass the idea of a "professional" audio player/recorder. We can read on wikipedia about Ipods:
"*Bass response*
The third generation iPod had a weak bass response, as shown in audio tests.[41][42] The combination of the undersized DC-blocking capacitors and the typical low-impedance of most consumer headphones form a high-pass filter, which attenuates the low-frequency bass output. Similar capacitors were used in the fourth generation iPods.[43] The problem is reduced when using high-impedance headphones and is completely masked when driving high-impedance (line level) loads, such as an external headphone amplifier. The first generation iPod shuffle uses a dual-transistor output stage,[44] rather than a single capacitor-coupled output, and does not exhibit reduced bass response for any load."

I would have care in have good quality audio hardware. I remember to see a message in some audio specialized forum, people to get better sound quality, just put big capacity capacitors and better quality like tantalun capacitors, in the power supply circuits and in the output audio drivers. Being Free/Open hardware, will be easy to modify the hardware, make tests to prove and suggest for new version of the hardware.

As soon Pasen decide to really make the hardware player, please just say and I will assume the compromise, actualizing the project page, removing pieces of text as "Find a company to assembly and sell It online, to worldwide (already received some offers);" and put here the name of Pasen as the company that will make the player.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: desowin on April 06, 2008, 01:27:09 PM
I have just one suggestion/wish:
I'd love if RockboxPlayer don't hiss nor induce some other annoying noise.

as for now, I still haven't got in my hands any DAP that wouldn't hiss.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 06, 2008, 02:41:11 PM

I have just one suggestion/wish:
I'd love if RockboxPlayer don't hiss nor induce some other annoying noise.

as for now, I still haven't got in my hands any DAP that wouldn't hiss.

Thank you. I did register on:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerWishlist
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 09, 2008, 09:48:02 AM
This is a great site for many resources.

http://www.busybox.net/products.html

Give it a look see, may give you some drivers from one of the embedded resource.

This is not fun, memory stacks and pointers. Going back to C, after spoiled with C++. I'm going to need more scratch paper. I rather use java based, my html stinks. This is like going back to cobol or fortran from the 70's era, from basics in the 80's. Asm is so long past, the only time I remember using it was when I made my own operating system in school.

I did teste my Olimex SAM9-L9260 development board and is working, with Linux. I did use a null cable modem to see Linux shell, also did put one usb pen flash and did browse is files - very nice, It was my first time!! :-)
Now I want to see what are the options that u-boot gives at boot time.

I would like to find a simple code that flash a LED for be launched by u-boot. I didn't find nothing on internet... can some one point me to that? :)

EDIT: I got it, I will go to read now the page: U-Boot Standalone Applications: "Hello World" Demo from u-boot manual:
http://www.denx.de/wiki/view/DULG/UBootStandalone
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scorche on April 12, 2008, 03:57:26 AM

Still having problems getting usb to work. I would like to get my hard drive to work. I might have to try this: Windows Embedded CE BSP and CPU Certification Program. The 2 watt stereo amp worked very well, for us that are a little hearing impaired. My module supports earphones, also. The music is very clear and some base to its tone. The 4 gig sd card has plenty music, but I would like to play some divx. For now, its up to someone else to come up with a driver for usb, I'll try to get my free imbedded Windows ce version.


Ok.  This is getting *really* off-topic now.  Keep in mind that we are still on the Rockbox forums and the building of this device is for Rockbox...*not* Windows CE.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Llorean on April 12, 2008, 04:25:42 PM
Have you actually looked at what Rockbox is? We *have* the firmware, it's mostly just a driver layer that will need creation. Rockbox isn't Linux, either, and nobody has to "adjust" to linux to use Rockbox.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 13, 2008, 03:07:44 AM
friendlyzookeeper, you are writing things that are not important for this project! Can you please create another post to discuss that things and write here just about the hardware and software for the RockboxPlayer??
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayer

arm-linux-gcc or arm-elf?
I did build u-boot and the example code "hello world" in u-boots source and I had to install the arm-linux-gcc, the arm-elf didn't build the example, It must be the arm-linux-gcc. I would like to know If to build rockbox firmware I must use arm-elf or If arm-linux-gcc is ok? Any suggestions, guidance? - I did read the CrossCompiler TWiki page of rockbox. Thank you.



Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 13, 2008, 04:02:55 AM
Casainho, I really don't know what your asking? Did you create  "hello world" and still hooked up to your computer? The example hello world is just an application. The CD that you received with your board has a pre- built Linux version to port to memory of your board. The instructions on how to port it will be on the cd. You do have a choice on which version os. There will be 3 versions of linux and a windows ce. The windows ce is just an evaluation os. There are a few firmware ports also, Busybox is a very good one.
 I hope that I helped, somewhat?
The "hello world" example is in the sources of the u-boot bootloader, not in the sources of the Linux that comes with the board. Also I see in the documentation of u-boot that "hello world" example.

I don't care about Linux that comes with the dev. board because we will not use Linux nor any other OS. But It's important to have Linux sources and bins for the board because when writing drivers for Rockbox firmware we can reuse the code :-)

I tried to build the u-boot with arm-elf installed on my system by the rockboxdev.sh install script but the build fails right on the "hello world" source and I had to build using arm-linux-gcc...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 13, 2008, 05:43:28 AM
Are you going to use the linux kernel for the drivers?
I don't know yet. I will use what I will need to use and It's good to have u-boot and linux sources for the hardware that I am working, because they use the same license as Rockbox firmware :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 13, 2008, 09:12:38 AM
So, your going to load scripts and commands?
Since what I know, I will load bin files on u-boot.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on April 13, 2008, 11:15:13 AM
friendlyzookeeper: I must repeat in the strongest terms that you should stop and look at what Rockbox is. It really sounds like you're trying to offer advice here without having much knowledge as to the actual goal, or the software he wants to get running on the device.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Llorean on April 13, 2008, 02:05:20 PM
Rockbox is not a GUI. Rockbox is an entire OS (firmware), from the ground up, including its own low level code and drivers. It is not based on Linux, and is not merely an application.

As I've said several times throughout this thread, you really need to familiarize yourself with the project first.

It's possible I'm misunderstanding you, but your posts frequently read like you think he will be loading embedded linux or some other OS on this, then "running" Rockbox on top of it, but Rockbox is the OS itself that the device will be running.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Llorean on April 13, 2008, 03:20:04 PM
Rockbox is in two layers. The application (GUI) and the firmware (OS). On most of the players, the bootloader is a minimized build of Rockbox itself, to handle hardware initialization and loading of the main Rockbox binary into RAM. When you are using Rockbox on a player, Rockbox is the full OS. It contains low level drivers for hardware. But it is one piece of software. It is not just a GUI.

It's written from scratch. It is not "similar" to anything. Rockbox IS the operating system kernel.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 13, 2008, 03:28:21 PM
friendlyzookeeper: I must repeat in the strongest terms that you should stop and look at what Rockbox is. It really sounds like you're trying to offer advice here without having much knowledge as to the actual goal, or the software he wants to get running on the device.
I can't look over casainho shoulders to see what his ideas are, at this time. Its hard to interact without imaging what has been done and the objective.
You can't complain about that, the objectives of the project and even of the Prototype version are written in the TWiki pages!! Also what is already defined are what is written.

As I said to you a few times in the past messages, read more here: http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayer
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on April 13, 2008, 04:34:07 PM
Rockbox is ported to new hardware. You write drivers for it. You can use much of the information from the Linux drivers to do this, but you ARE trying to create a new version of Rockbox to it. We've done this many times, with VERY different hardware. Believe me, it works, and just fine if you have hardware information.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 13, 2008, 04:44:21 PM
You are misunderstanding me. Rockbox is a combination of many things, not only a gui. I can't create Rockbox from scratch.
Sorry If I misunderstand you. It's nice that now you say something directly which we can discuss.

The references I looked at was the source code, the board isn't like any of the players that Rockbox  is ported to. Each of the devices on the board may be similar to others, but they're not the same. Trying to hack a version of Rockbox onto the board is out of the question, and that is what it looks like you are trying to do (or want to do)?
1st: the MCU is an ARM9, was said by old developers to be a good, the smart choice of MCU. About code, It's written on wiki:  "AT91SAM9260 --> ARM926EJ-S -- Texas DM320[ http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/TexasInstrumentsTMS320#DM320 ] uses an ARM926EJ core and there is OlympusMR500Info [ http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/OlympusMR500Info ] port that have drivers already made for this ARM core -> code can be re-used :-)"

2nd:  the Stereo Audio CODEC TLV320AIC23 have drivers already in RockBox - tlv320.c [ http://svn.rockbox.org/viewvc.cgi/trunk/firmware/drivers/audio/tlv320.c?revision=&view=markup ] - and is used in various Free/Open source hardware digital audio players; --- as written on wiki page.

Others developers that read the project didn't had that same opinion as you - I may be novice but I believe in possibilty and I am working on that since December.




Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: saratoga on April 13, 2008, 05:17:31 PM
Trying to hack a version of Rockbox onto the board is out of the question,

No.

and that is what it looks like you are trying to do (or want to do)? I could be wrong and I hope that I am. I'm not offering advice, just questioning the procedures. Questions is a form of knowledge intake.

Its really, really annoying when people try to learn by thoughtlessly guessing every possible permutation and expecting other to correct them.  I'm going to ask you now to stop doing this now.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 13, 2008, 05:33:52 PM
OK!! Now, the core is ARM926EJ-S, atmel and texas instruments licensed it from arm. Do they both have the exact same mcu or did they conform to their needs? They are both different companies in to sell software for their products and have debuggers to sell as well. It may cause a problem.
No problem because there is Free Software tools to build the software, as debuggers -- the ARM-GCC :-) -- as the tools being used for Rockbox Firmware, since late 2001 :-)

OK, I'm going to stop,since I'm not a developer and have no business in this forum. Thanks to all that helped, its been gratifying. Hope you all the success that well worthing.   
Would be nice If you just post just few messages with direct questions to what is already defined on wiki pages and new suggestions. Stay tunned :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on April 26, 2008, 02:31:27 PM
I would like to put up these questions to senior Rockbox Developers.




Thanks.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Llorean on April 26, 2008, 05:18:48 PM
Hmm... I'm not sure I quite understand the first question. Shouldn't it be something more like the developers asking "What about this player you're designing is so interesting as to make some of us help you with adding Rockbox support for it?" I'm not trying to sound offensive, mind you. But the Rockbox developers have dozens if not hundreds of potential targets, and did not go out asking people to make custom hardware. While there's a benefit to a truly "open" player, asking the developers "Why should we build hardware for you?" is silly. If you don't want to, don't, they didn't ask you to.

Second question: What does the phrase "as per our requirements" mean? There's really no way to predict how many developers will buy a prototype, but I would hazard it depends on exactly what the prototype does (and how much it will differ from the final). Like ANY port, you shouldn't depend on existing developers becoming interested. Count it as a nice bonus if they do but expect, in advance, to be doing the majority, if not all, of the work.

Third question: Again, I'm not sure why the developers are expected to know this. It sounds, to me at least, like you expect them to be involved somehow in the selling of your player?

Again, I'm not trying to sound argumentative. Just seeking some clarification on what, exactly, you mean with your questions and why you're asking each one.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on April 27, 2008, 02:39:00 AM
First of all let me clarify
we = our = interested people

1) i did not say "why should we develop for you". I said "why should we develop for us". you are treating me as if i want to develop it for you. sorry, i don't want to do that.

2) "as per our requirements" means whatever is long discussed in this forum and mentioned in the wiki. It is a mutually agreed list of requirements and nothing specific to a single person.

3) selling of my player? if it was my player i would not be posting here or asking you to sell it for me. i  already have my own player at http://dspdap.sourceforge.net.

Let me put it this way. "Why make an open hardware player to run Rockbox, when there are players available for less than $100 that can run Rockbox?"
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: AlexP on April 27, 2008, 03:25:23 AM
2) "as per our requirements" means whatever is long discussed in this forum and mentioned in the wiki. It is a mutually agreed list of requirements and nothing specific to a single person.

Mutually agreed my ....  There has been one person pretty much saying this is what *we* want.  I have said many times that I personally would be interested if sensible hardware choices were made, which in my opinion, has not so far happened.  I mention the screen as one example.

However, I'm not a "senior developer", so take this as you will.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on April 27, 2008, 03:46:09 AM
For me, the opinion of a rockbox expert is valuable.
I agree that some of the discussions might have gone bitter between some people. But i don't want that to be a reason to scrap the idea.

we need to work co-operatively to get something productive.

Please assume we have the decent screen size and color requirements on board. And video is playback definitely acceptable.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on April 27, 2008, 04:47:14 AM
Well, you addressed the question to "Rockbox senior devs" then used "we", and since I assumed you didn't qualify yourself as a Rockbox Senior Dev, I thought you were separating it into two groups, rather than including yourself into the "we." I'm sorry for the misunderstanding, but I'm sure you can see how it could very easily be read that way.

(note: $ refers to USD)
Basically, *most* needs of Rockbox users can be met by existing players on the marked. The Toshiba Gigabeat F40 / F60 is a beast of a player for $100 to $120 (refurbished or used) that has good video playback speed and a very fast processor. You can get a c200 or e200 for <$50 - $60, sometimes less than $20 and they feature radio, recording, internal mic, and MicroSDHC.

For most of the Rockbox devs, based on my observations of their opinions the desire is for a player that offers a few of the more obscure features. These are not in any particular order.
1) Digital recording
2) Large storage (possibly even 2.5" HD depending on how big this necessitates the final unit be)
3) Input has tactile feedback (buttons, mostly, rather than touch sensitive things or wheels that waste a lot of space for essentially being 2 buttons)
4) Enough power that none of the formats stutter at any compression rate, even with all CPU intensive DSP effects enabled (with the exception of the Monkeys Audio codec, which frankly has requirements not suited for a DAP anyway at its higher rates).
5) Good audio output (carefully chosen components, and very little or no introduced noise from other problems)

Of course price very much depends on the feature set, but I personally would be quite willing to pay $200-$250 for a player that met all my personal needs, knowing Rockbox would run well on it.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: AlexP on April 27, 2008, 05:52:44 AM
I agree with Llorean's assessment.  Something along the lines of the iriver H100 with a bit more speed for video and a nice screen.

I would say though of the things Llorean listed, for me the most important is storage size and audio quality.

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on April 27, 2008, 09:13:19 AM
it's ok Llorean. we can forget the misunderstandings. thanks for your views on price and features.

Apart from electronics, we also need to create a decent casing. one thing is for sure, the open hardware player will not beat the commercial players in terms of price, unless we can produce it in volumes of maybe 100+, which i'm afraid may not be the case.

If we want to make the player popular, it needs to have a unique feature that is not available in commercial players. Can anyone share some light here?

My query still remains. Is it really worth spending time, effort and money on this idea?

Quote from: BigBambi
Something along the lines of the iriver H100 with a bit more speed for video and a nice screen.
noted. thanks.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: ZincAlloy on April 27, 2008, 09:57:01 AM
just being designed for Rockbox IS a unique feature in my humble opinion. just take a look at the unsurpassed set features that Rockbox has to offer.

add to that a digital input, great audio quality, a decent screen, a large capacity hard drive and put it into a sturdy casing and you've got an Ipod killer. The audiophile crowd will love it for sure - and not only them. A player that focuses on great music playback is what many music enthusiasts are looking for.

I DO think that it is worth spending time, effort and money on this idea. And I'm sure you will be able to sell far more than 100 players.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on April 27, 2008, 12:01:06 PM
That's a nice input. Audio Professionals seem to be the right users.
I think, having a line-in jack with analog + SPDIF input is definitely a good and unique feature.

Professional audio means large files. so we definitely need a HDD as large as possible.

A decent sized LCD is important for easy use. Bright backlight for outdoor use.

We need some more good inputs. Any professional audio people here? Please tell us what feature you feel is important and is not there on the likes of ipods.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: ZincAlloy on April 27, 2008, 01:34:12 PM
I think this kind of device would appeal more to bootleggers and audiophiles, but audio pros sure would find some uses for a digital input, like plugging into a digital output for a quick bounce of a mix to check it on different speakers, headphones or a car stereo. personally I don't see too much use in a digital input, but it seems to be the reason why the iriver h100 series is still very popular.
An analogue line input will be important for people who like to digitalize their analogue media. You might want to provide them a cable and some adaptors as well, so they will be ready to go. Nice bonus would be if a little microphone was included (like iriver did it with the h300 series) for voice recording without hard drive noises - though an internal microphone will be more handy in every day situations (I've seen several journalists recording interviews on h300 series players with the internal mic).
Musicians sure would love some kind of primitive multi track recording, or at least being able to record while playing back music. I think hardware limitations made it impossible to implement such a feature in existing targets, but you'd better ask somebody who knows this kind of stuff better than me. 

audiophiles do need big harddrives for they want lossless compression (flac!!!) or none at all. they sure don't like the audio quality of ipods and don't use stock headphones. You'll want to give them good audio hardware that is able to drive bigger than average headphones (but they'll power really big-ass headphones with external amplifiers, so a line out is important).
You can expect audiophiles to disklike the quality of itunes downloads, so they are not bound to itunes or ipods with their music collections.

in a nutshell: rockbox is a bit geeky, focused about music playback and many like it for it's vast amount of features. consequently, the player needs to be all about music playback and features, too. less flash, more features :) .... hey, that's a great slogan...

can't hurt to add an fm reciever, btw...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: AlexP on April 27, 2008, 01:36:41 PM
I actually use the digital output much more than the input on my h100, as I don't do much recording.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: ZincAlloy on April 27, 2008, 01:44:24 PM
interesting. what are you using it for?

edit: just a little thought: a player made to run open source firmware could be a big thing in the news. there's quite some marketing potential there
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 27, 2008, 02:40:37 PM
(note: $ refers to USD)
Basically, *most* needs of Rockbox users can be met by existing players on the marked. ... You can get a c200 or e200 for <$50 - $60, sometimes less than $20 and they feature radio, recording, internal mic, and MicroSDHC.
Thats not a precise information, actual selling Sansas are V2 models and Rockbox do not work with them.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: ZincAlloy on April 27, 2008, 03:32:04 PM
but there's old ones available on ebay.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 27, 2008, 03:43:41 PM
but there's old ones available on ebay.
I would not count with that option, to buy an used player. I saw a few times that suggestion on the mailing list, for people looking at a player in which Rockbox works.

As you said before: "in a nutshell: rockbox is a bit geeky..." thats true and if people needs to buy used players to have access to use Rockbox, so It will be even more geeky, not generally available :(
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: ZincAlloy on April 27, 2008, 04:09:05 PM
there's still new players on ebay, though harder to find.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on April 28, 2008, 01:42:59 AM
FM & mic are almost common features.

I'm sure there must be some more uncommon and useful features that we can implement.

How about multichannel (e.g. 5ch) audio output? Rockbox does support AC3 (Dolby Digital). Is analog or digital out preferred for multichannel audio?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: AlexP on April 28, 2008, 02:22:52 AM
How about multichannel (e.g. 5ch) audio output? Rockbox does support AC3 (Dolby Digital). Is analog or digital out preferred for multichannel audio?

For analog, would you not have to have three jacks and decode on-board?  If such a feature were available, digital would seem the obvious choice.  However, were a digital output available, would this be a software thing, patching rockbox to just output the stream over digital?

interesting. what are you using it for?

To have a high quality connection to my amp (and speakers) which is of better quality than the one in the H100

(note: $ refers to USD)
Basically, *most* needs of Rockbox users can be met by existing players on the marked. ... You can get a c200 or e200 for <$50 - $60, sometimes less than $20 and they feature radio, recording, internal mic, and MicroSDHC.
Thats not a precise information, actual selling Sansas are V2 models and Rockbox do not work with them.

They are still available, be it new from a few stores, refurbs, on ebay etc.  What Llorean said was perfectly true, although yes, you must watch out for v2.  However, it is perfectly possible (and I would have thought in the long term probable) that Rockbox will run on them.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Llorean on April 28, 2008, 02:36:33 AM
Digital(optical) for multichannel, almost absolutely I would think.

Honestly, if I were to list every feature I want in a player for it to qualify as an "upgrade" from things I've got already:
PERSONAL WISHLIST TIME
-Software USB w/ USB host potential
-Full size SD slot
-FM Radio
-320x240 16-bit screen (or better, portrait acceptable instead it's the number of pixels that counts)
-Tactile input as buttons. No sticks, knobs, or touch sensitive bits. Just real, physical buttons: Play, Power, Vol+, Vol-, Left, Right, Up, Down, Menu, Select as a minimum selection of buttons.
-Potential for a remote (I can't begin to speak about how much I like the iRiver LCD remotes)
-Disk based storage (you can replace it with flash more easily than you can replace soldered flash with a disk, and this also means if the storage fails this part of the player is easy to replace)
-Digital line In and Out
-Analog line out (not just the headphone out)
-Analog line in
-A processor equal or greater in speed than the Gigabeat F (300mhz ARM of some sort). This may seem like overkill, but I guarantee Rockbox is going to offer more and more CPU intensive DSP ops over time, as well as expanding the video codecs supported so a fast, general purpose CPU gives the player room to become more as Rockbox becomes more. I'd rather pay more for something that gives Rockbox room to grow, since I can already have players that do everything Rockbox can currently do.
-USB charging
-LiPoly/LiIon battery that's easy to replace

Really nice extras:
-Remote actually made to go with it.
-Bluetooth 2.0 (wireless headphones and limited file transfer, it's a portable device so WiFi seems a little wrong to me)
-Video out potential (again that whole room for improvement thing)
-Hardware hold switch
-Some form of integrated screen protector or an easy to replace "screen" over the LCD itself
-Real time clock
-integrated mic

While I believe I can get each of the first list of feature from at least one of my players, the ideal would basically be to have a player that has hardware for all the existing Rockbox functionality, while offering enough processing power to allow the software to expand. Hardware mostly abstracts into "input" and "output" and there's just not TOO many variants on that theme, it's what you accept in, and what you put out, that allows the uniqueness I think.

You may also notice I've not mentioned "small size" or "light weight." I'm probably in the minority on this one, but I find anything that comes out around the size of a Archos Jukebox Recorder V1 or smaller acceptable. And weight is irrelevant as long as it doesn't win against my belt.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on April 28, 2008, 06:43:10 AM
Thanks Llorean, that was a very comprehensive list of features. I've copied it to a file for easy reference  :)

Having all these features makes larger size and weight inevitable. But we don't want to build just another player that does just the same thing what others do.

One suggestion. instead of having so much packed into a single unit. does it make sense to split some of them into accessories? e.g. assuming we have a USB host port on board, things like bluetooth, Digital in/out, SD/flash card could be accessories over USB. This solves dual purpose, ur belt is lighter, and at the same time you have all features when you need them.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on April 28, 2008, 06:49:30 AM
Personally, I would accept digital in/out, video out (and in?), analog in, line out (separate from headphone out) all as part of a single connector like the iPod dock connector, with an adapter or adapters for accessing those features. It's not ideal but it does mean that you don't have a dozen ports on the side. The actual USB jack needs to be standard though (you should never need to depend on a single specialty cable, it's frustrating to have a player disabled if you damage the cable and most people have a half dozen spare USB cables). I think SD would be preferable internally more or less because it's nice to be able to carry a card around in your player and be able to easily exchange a few files or songs with a friend, without having to pocket dongles. Bluetooth is pretty much "internal or none" anyway, since wireless headphones aren't much good if you've got this odd wired bluetooth dongle flopping around out there. Maybe make sure it's SDIO capable? That covers, possibly, WiFi or bluetooth from a second angle anyway, and makes them more or less internal.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on April 28, 2008, 07:18:21 AM
Yes. Dock connector is neat.

Connector list
* 1 Headphones/line out
* SD slot
* Dock connector (line in, line out, digital in/out, remote control, USB, maybe video out also)
* mini USB connector

We can keep the connector somewhat compatible with Ipod so that accessories like amp-speakers can be used.

http://ipodlinux.org/Dock_Connector

Does rockbox firmware support any bluetooth peripheral yet?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on April 28, 2008, 07:24:37 AM
Just a note, "Headphones" and "Line out" are two separate things. So it really should just be "1 headphone"

There's no player with any way of handling bluetooth yet. It'd fall into one of those "future ideas" kinds of things, which does make it well suited for an SDIO card rather than something internal (less work to just get the built-in hardware of the player up and running with Rockbox).

I'm not wholly sure duplicating the iPod dock connector is the best idea. For one, it'll be partially useless for things that expect a certain form factor. For another, it's possible that any pins where we differ (and there will be some if we decide to offer features they don't) might cause problems with some accessories.

If it were at all possible, what I'd do is try to have pins to coincide with all of those, but in a unique dock connector. Then follow up to see if it can be made to contain the pins of other dock connectors we support. There probably won't be too many more pins than just that of the iPod. Then you're left with a connector than can be adapted into an iPod or a Sansa or a whatever dock connector by the users, because it contains a superset, but allows for access to features beyond just what the iPod has. Just, y'know, a "given a perfect world" case for what I'd like to see regarding this sort of thing. As it is we really don't go out of our way to support iPod accessories at the moment, so basically anything that's expecting more than a line out and a bit of power really won't work anyway.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: ZincAlloy on April 28, 2008, 07:27:36 AM
bluetooth is not really important when designing a product for audiophiles, though. I expect audiophiles to use cable bound headphones. you might want to do some research at an audiophile kind of forum, for example the audio hardware section of http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/ .
while a larger than average size sure will be accepted you will still need to be careful to make it not too bulky. we're talking about a portable device here.
I think bootleggers would prefer to have digital and line inputs directly on the player and not in a dock..
An SD slot might not be important anymore if the device has usb on the go..
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on April 28, 2008, 07:35:43 AM
This product isn't only for audiophiles. If it were we'd probably leave out a screen entirely since updates can generate very small increases in noise, etc.

I'm not sure there's a particularly relevant reason to design for bootleggers when we're copyright respecting folk around here.

And you completely missed my reasoning for having an internal SD slot. USB on the go requires cables or dongles, and a card reader or external flash drive, neither of which can be stored inside the player so you don't have to carry other things around.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: petur on April 28, 2008, 07:42:38 AM
talking about bootleggers when discussing recording is something that will offend almost everybody  in the taping scene.

bootleggers record shows and sell them, 100% illegally
tapers make recordings for their own or for sharing (for free), most of the time this is known and allowed by the bands.

And apart from that, there are many other legal uses for line-in. So if you're scrapping line-in from the design because of bootleggers, I'd remove the headphone/line-out of it too because many people have illegally ripped CD's on there anyway...

edit: so to clarify, normal standard connectors on the main body please :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Llorean on April 28, 2008, 07:46:45 AM
The suggestion wasn't "remove the line in" but whether or not it should be directly on the unit, or accessed by way of a dongle / special connector to keep the size of the main unit down somewhat. Perhaps the headphone out could double as a line-in like some iPods?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on April 28, 2008, 08:26:29 AM
i think we'll rather start work on the hardware. Some features may have to be added/removed as the design progresses.

The most critical component is the CPU. There has already been a vast amount of discussion about this, and we had finalized the AT91SAM9620/9621. This CPU has 200MIPS of power. 
The selection of this CPU was done considering a number of points such as long term availability, features, open community support, documentation.

We have already started research & development using this CPU, so it may be a difficult to go for a change now.

FYI: Gigabeat F/X uses Samsung S3C2440 CPU which is hard to get in small quantities, and no much documentation available.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: markun on April 28, 2008, 10:55:16 AM
FYI: Gigabeat F/X uses Samsung S3C2440 CPU which is hard to get in small quantities, and no much documentation available.

I'm not saying you should use the S3C2440, but I think the documentation is quite good:

http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/pub/Main/DataSheets/um_s3c2440a_rev10.pdf
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 28, 2008, 11:52:32 AM
FYI: Gigabeat F/X uses Samsung S3C2440 CPU which is hard to get in small quantities, and no much documentation available.

I'm not saying you should use the S3C2440, but I think the documentation is quite good:

http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/pub/Main/DataSheets/um_s3c2440a_rev10.pdf
We can read on Samsung web page of that product:
To download the product information, go through the registration process and log in and then ask for the file you want.
You can ask for information on products we provide all at once through "request", and it will take a maximum of 24 hours for your request to be confirmed. We will let you know whether your request is confirmed through your registered email and you will be able to download the approved file through "download".


I don't see any application notes, codes, for that MCU on Samsung product page.

In Atmel product page for the AT91SAM9620, we can immediately and directly download the datasheet, application notes examples, codes and even Atmel stimulates a Linux port. Thats why I think Atmel gives good information for the AT91SAM9620 and others Atmel MCUs.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on April 28, 2008, 01:45:50 PM
Samsung is not that friendly to people with small volume requirements. They don't even provide appnotes and sample code freely. On the other hand Atmel is very good in terms of support. See the list of appnots that are available
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/app_notes.asp?family_id=605

Again, i cannot find the Samsung part on digikey/mouser. If i contact Samsung to send me a sample, they will just ignore me cause i'm not from a big company. So i guess we should avoid using such parts.

I hope there is no problem with at91sam9260/61. Casainho has already purchased a dev board.
* 12Mbps USB is a problem here, but there is always scope to add an external Hi-Speed OTG controller (NXP's ISP1761)
* 200MIPS is sufficient i guess. (we are talking about a decent rockbox player and not some high end video processing engine or game console)

I'm skeptical about providing video out option. It shouldn't be a priority.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 28, 2008, 02:54:28 PM
I agree with ZincAlloy, when he says:
Quote
just being designed for Rockbox IS a unique feature in my humble opinion. just take a look at the unsurpassed set features that Rockbox has to offer.

add to that a digital input, great audio quality, a decent screen, a large capacity hard drive and put it into a sturdy casing and you've got an Ipod killer. The audiophile crowd will love it for sure - and not only them. A player that focuses on great music playback is what many music enthusiasts are looking for.

I DO think that it is worth spending time, effort and money on this idea. And I'm sure you will be able to sell far more than 100 players.
Another advantage of this player would be an open and standard hardware, long life. In my guess, Sandisk did change the hardware to Sansas v2 just to cut prices and that is bad for us consumers, because we don't have Rockbox for V2 and we don't know how many times Sandisk will change hardware. Sandisk is like the others that change hardware to continue to have "good" prices and add new neat features - as example, what Pasen said about their new products every 2 or 3 months.
If we see Arduino, we know that the base hardware should not see new versions just to cut prices or all the code and hardware available on internet made by communities and companies will not work with new versions.
Arduino is made with Atmel 8 bits MCU because(my guess) Atmel have a lots of information, example codes, application notes and stimulates de GCC-AVR and AVR-Libc.

About my work
I am being very busy, putting a lot of my free time, life, in the project and I am learning a lot, as I pretended in the beginning.

I made a simple ¨flash LED¨ program for the development board, however I could not test it because I do not have, right now, the necessary tools. I quickly created a project page in code google, as I pretend to use that svn for share the first codes to having the hardware working until be able to launch Rockbox firmware. http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/

A short list of technologies that I had to learn, read some tutorials, etc:
- jtag cable -- I bought the USBprog and I am setting up it in hope to use it to program the u-boot on the dev. board.
- dev. board -- I had to search and read information about u-boot, put the dev. board to work. I bought some USB <-> RS232 serial cable + null cable modem.
- u-boot -- I did some reads about u-boot and using stand alone programs with it, also find a way to upload programs, TFTP, USB, serial kermit...
- make -- I did read some tutorials about making files, compiling and ELF files... I did a simple make file for the flash LED code.
- SVN -- I am reading bout SVN and I want starting using it for sharing all the code.
- I bought a cheap, ultra portable pc, with Linux, the eee pc -- I can and I am now reading and coding while on the train (going and backing to/from work) or on the lunch times, as I am doing right now ;-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: mocad_tom on April 29, 2008, 05:14:03 AM
Hi,

this is my first post here, but I read this discussion for quite some time.
I have a proposal for this project.
I think Rockbox is very interesting as a platform for mobile sensors.
I am in an ehealth-project where you monitor vitalparameters like heartbeat, body-core-temperature, blood-glucose and so on.
All this vitalparameters are no problem if you don't want to be mobile.
Form-factor, cpu-power, battery-runtime and the OS(rockbox) is really good if you compare it with other embedded "homegrown" systems.

The only thing which Rockbox-Player has to offer is an easy accessible SPI-port(in Hardware and in Software) where engineers can connect their A/D-Samplers or acceleration sensors with. I think that there is a big crowd of research and development people out there who are fighting against battery-runtime-,  file-system-, form-factor-troubles, to low CPU-clocks and not enough RAM. The portable mp3-players are very good optimised in this area.

I don't exactly know the licensing stuff Rockbox has - GPL AFAIK.

Here is my second not so popular proposal:
If the Rockbox-Hardware + -Software is in a LGPL it is possible to  develop closed-source-schematics-modules which connect directly to SPI-port.
It is possible to develop closed source software-modules and algorithms to analyse the captured parameters from the SPI-port.

And here comes the goody for the project:
The main-platform (the MP3-player-stuff - hardware and software ) is open source and it is mandatory to publicize the advances which a company has made in this area.
So if a company says the platform is very promising, it develops a SPI-Hardware-Module and a library to talk to the hardware - this is closed source. The next step is they want to sell this product so they have to make the Rockbox-Player smaller, they tweak for e.g. the USB driver-support and so on -> this tweaks have to be publicized (not the schematics for the SPI module).

And so both sides - the community and the company profits from this very cool platform.

What do you think of it?

Regards,
Tom
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Domonoky on April 29, 2008, 12:27:54 PM
Hi,

About your second proposal:
I think it would surely possible to build a proprietary extension Modul for such a rockbox player as proposed here.
But a closed Source Software module is not possible without violating Rockboxs Licence (GPL).
The GPL forbids linking with non-opensource code. Remember that Rockboxs plugins link directly to rockbox code, unlike a normal PC program.

It could perhaps be possible with a LGPL middleman, but this a grey-area.

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 29, 2008, 03:49:47 PM
Christian from Pasen did answered yesterday to one my e-mail:
I'm sorry but our company has decided to invest on the mobile phone device,and at the moment we can't afford to develop two devices,we are out of budget.
If the phone goes well maybe we'll have a look at it again.


And the first message of Christian here, in this forum message:
Hi Guys,
my name is Christian and I came here while looking for some skilled engineer to work on google android. ...


I understand, phone mobile devices are attractive, they can also play MP3 - I see a lot of people using them to listen music with phones or even without phones. Who wants to buy an MP3/MP4 player if one can have it on their mobile phone?
---

I did updated the information about flash LED code: http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/wiki/Flash_LED

I would like to know If I am doing good or If I am doing something wrong like not initialize the structures - I am really a newbie in C:
http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/source/browse/trunk/%20rockboxplayer/flash_led.c

Thank you.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: mocad_tom on April 29, 2008, 04:53:17 PM
Thank you for your comments.

I found a statement about this in the mail archive:
http://www.rockbox.org/mail/archive/rockbox-archive-2005-01/0285.shtml
I think that this is a quite clear statement pro GPL.

All compatible licenses are allowed as well.

This hint you mentioned -> a plugin in the middle which is LGPLed is a point to start with.

PluginPacbox plays in a quite similar area:
There is a hardware emulator which is GPLed but the ROM-files are not(AFAIK).

A thing which is mentioned the whole thread long is:
Who will buy the rockbox-player-boards?
I'm quite sure that there are a lot of mobile-embedded-developers who need a development basis where they can connect a developed SPI-Piggy-Pack. There should be room for a board which is stacked on top of the basic board.
The stacked approach could be realised similar to this:
http://particle.teco.edu/devices/upcoming_main.html

If this proposal is a no-go than it is okay for me.
But I think this will open up new possibilities for rockbox.
At the moment we are thinking about an abstract and a presentation for mocomed 2008 (mobile computing in medicine) and one possible area is to show the benefits an open-source-OS offers for mobile vital-parameter-sensors.

Applications like the frwd-sports-computer could be very easy to implement on top of a rock-box-device which has an expansion slot for a gps-piggy-pack:
http://www.frwd.fi/index.php?71

Regards,
Tom

Edit:
What is wrong with the bulletin board? Where is the post of casainho I intended to answer?


Just to answer the question of casainho:

Hi casainho,

I'm a smartphone software engineer(Windows-Mobile-native, .net compact Framework, Symbian-native, J2ME), so I'm not so deep into this stuff.
In our research and development project we are discussing at the moment about how much intelligence a mobile sensor has to offer.
The electrical-engineer-project-colleagues (who are working in another company) use TI MSP430 chips as a hardware basis.
They have a not so optimal software development cycle.
If I say this to them they throw stones at me   ;D   
In this area rockbox offers a very good approach (think of the VMware with a ready-to-use toolchain).
So much of the high level stuff can be implemented in VMware - this is a lot faster then developing the hole bunch of code on the MSP430.
So they don't use the possibilities a open-source-project could offer.

Back to the expansion-slots for mobile devices.
This project is quite different but I think it could help:
http://www.sunspot.co.uk/Projects/sweexproject.htm

I think there are similarities. You can buy a really low-cost-edimax-router and modify it. First of all you have to replace the firmware with a AFAIK openwrt linux (it is a branch which is called midge). On the board layout you can see the pins for the COM-Port.
Then there are drivers for the RS232-port and for I2C and GPIO and with this there is a lot of home automation stuff possible (sensors and actuators). The LEDs are connected to GPIO-cannels.

I hope that it is a little clearer now.

Regards,
Tom




Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 04, 2008, 06:42:19 AM
DSPdap V2 was released on 1 May
I just saw today that V2 of DSPdap was resealed on 1 May :-) - thats a project made by Roger Quadros aka Spark.

News on V2: Li-ion battery support with built-in charger (USB); SD/MMC card support; Line-in recording and digitizing to SD card; SDRAM - more memory for more codecs and LCD; Small form factor (9cm x 5cm) --> http://dspdap.sourceforge.net/

DSPdap have all that Rockbox Player pretends to have, less the display and the MCU. The MCU is TMS320C55x 16-bit fixed-point DSP, which since I know, don't have a free software compiler as ARM MCUs have and maybe because of that DSPdap can't run Rockbox firmware :-(

I am very happy to see that now DSPdap sells in his site PCBs for $25, cheap price, IMO. Congratulations Roger!!

I am even more confident now that Rockbox Player will be available worldwide and in a modest price. If Roger can design and sell PCBs worldwide for that prices, great for the project!!
Roger being working on Rockbox Player means (my guess) that we will reuse the hardware, we just need to change the MCU for that ARM9 and add a display :-) - in fact, I am being changing some e-mails with Roger and we will use AT91SAM9261 MCU because of the TFT LCD support.

We must now find a LCD suitable for AT91SAM9261.

---
Tom, all that work supported on that strong based hardware router - but that base must be very good, cheap and available and after that hacks can happen.

I would like to have a stable, strong base hardware, good in audio quality and world available, after that, new versions, hacks/improvements will happen.

If I understand you correctly, some one already suggest a near idea:
http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=6751.msg112395#msg112395
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on May 05, 2008, 11:54:57 AM
Thanks Casainho,
Yes definitely we can reuse some sections of dspdap-v2 http://dspdap.sourceforge.net for Rockboxplayer. I see that the power supply & charger section can be re-used almost as it is.
SDRAM, SD/MMC can be used as reference.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 07, 2008, 03:19:31 AM
My development board is not working now... I tried to restore the default bootloader and kernel using SAM-BA Linux version, all went ok but it does not boot. I did put online the log file and the steps that I went:
http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/wiki/RestoringTheDefaultBootloaderAndKernelOnSAM9L9260

I am thinking in try now the OpenOCD. I never used OpenOCD and I don't have a cable ready yet - but I will work on it ;) :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 10, 2008, 01:05:21 PM
I'm sorry I can't help you, you did use windows 2000 or xp? I have a different decoder IC and display with controller. I put sound and video on a module.
I did use Linux. But I did restore the u-boot now using a computer with Windows and seeing the log file looks like the tentative to recover Linux should work - I do not use Windows on my computers so I must be able to know how to recover in Linux when needed.

Now my problem is to put a "Hello world" and the Flash_LED code to working, launched by u-boot. Yesterday I managed to have TFTP server on my pc and I did load with success bin files to the development board, on u-boot shell - finally I use the "go address" command to try run the "Hello world" and the Flash_LED but I got nothing :-( -- I will try to build a new "Hello world" from the u-boot source code and also I will ask for help on u-boot mailing list.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2374/2480364568_ac0ac8f98d_o.png)
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2374/2480364568_ac0ac8f98d_o.png

The code for flash_LED I wrote is here: http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/source/browse

EDIT: I did turn ON and OFF the green LED on the development board using U-Boot shell, using the memory write and memory display commands ;-) -- I did write configure values to the PIO controller, enabling the PA6 pin as output and set and clear that pin to turn OFF and ON the green LED.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on May 10, 2008, 04:10:22 PM
Try to generate a Mapfile by adding "-Map flash_led.map" to LDFLAGS.
this should give you some hints in the generated mapfile.

basically, all segments of data and code must be at the correct location in memory as it is expected by the program (i.e. as per the map file). If you load your program at the wrong address then it will not work.

Make sure you look into the linker options in more detail.

This article should help
http://www.embedded.com/columns/technicalinsights/201000339?_requestid=450633
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Domonoky on May 11, 2008, 05:27:58 AM

to friendlyzookeeper:
While it is nice that you want to help this project, it seem you often dont really read what others have written.  casainho wants to blink a LED on the Development Board. So he surely has the right resistors for the led, as the LED is already on the Dev-Board.

to casainho:
I would try a simpler test-program first, to see if your uploaded code really works. At the moment your blink-led code has many places where it could fail..  Maybe first try to only switch a LED on, then you dont need timers and such, which means less potential errors.
 
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 11, 2008, 06:14:48 AM
Try to generate a Mapfile by adding "-Map flash_led.map" to LDFLAGS.
this should give you some hints in the generated mapfile.
Hmmm... I did and I have now information on generated file that I do not understand ;-) :-) -- I will read more about that subject. I already read in recent past but I don't really understand... Atmel have an application note with title "at91sam9260_getting_started_1.0" where they explain the flash_LED code (where I copy that code) and they also explain the linker stage...

MAP file here: http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/source/browse/trunk/flash_LED/flash_led.map?r=10

basically, all segments of data and code must be at the correct location in memory as it is expected by the program (i.e. as per the map file). If you load your program at the wrong address then it will not work.
I have a big problem here, I don't know the right address to load the code on U-Boot and I don't know the right value to pass on linker script!! Since I understand, to load stand alone applications on U-Boot I do "tftp address file" being the address a RAM place where the file code will be loaded and U-Boot executes that code directly on RAM - I am linking with arguments "LDFLAGS=-Bstatic -Ttext 0x20000000" - In the manual of the dev. board I have a memory map that says the 64MB RAM starts at 0x20000000 and ends on 0x23FFFFFF - and using value 0x20000000 on "tftp 0x20000000 flash_LED.bin" system hangs, I do not have the code loaded in the memory... I tried doing "tftp 0x2000 flash_LED.bin" and It loads ok to the memory but do not flash the led and even returns to the U-Boot shell which shouldn't happen because of the  while(1) cycle.

People at U-Boot mailing lists gave me one example of how to compile, link and load a stand alone application... I did follow that examples but I got system hang, maybe because of wrong adress... - here the example of a stand alone application:
http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/wiki/Flash_LED

I would try a simpler test-program first, to see if your uploaded code really works. At the moment your blink-led code has many places where it could fail..  Maybe first try to only switch a LED on, then you dont need timers and such, which means less potential errors.
Good idea!! :-) -- yes, and I understand now that I can visually understand if code is working by looking at brightness of the LED, If I insert "dummy" code between ON and OFF instructions, I will can vary the duty-cycle and I will see that varying the brightness of the LED -- very easy since I did already configure the PIO controller and turn OFF and ON the LED :-)

New code here: http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/source/browse/trunk/flash_LED/flash_led.c?r=10
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on May 11, 2008, 07:10:52 AM
mapfile says
.text @ 0xc100000
and
.stack @ 0x8000

since application is standalone, you have to make sure stack is initialized  by your program. 0x8000 seems doubtful here.
You said that RAM is 0x20000000, so probably even .text is wrongly located.

start with the simplest possible program. no function calls, just switch the LED on at the entry point of the C program. Then you can go to more complex stuff like initializing stack, using functions, timers, etc.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 11, 2008, 12:42:34 PM
mapfile says
.text @ 0xc100000
and
.stack @ 0x8000

since application is standalone, you have to make sure stack is initialized  by your program. 0x8000 seems doubtful here.
You said that RAM is 0x20000000, so probably even .text is wrongly located.

start with the simplest possible program. no function calls, just switch the LED on at the entry point of the C program. Then you can go to more complex stuff like initializing stack, using functions, timers, etc.
I will wait for help from U-Boot mailing list - also I must understand that linker information, .text and .data and stack, etc.

A few days ago I saw that Sparkfun started to sell his "MP3 Development Board" for $199.95 . I quickly saw the schematic and I was unhappy to see that board misses SDRAM :-( -- It's a ARM7, VS1002 - MP3 audio codec, 128x128 colour LCD, microSD, FM Transmitter, Lithium Polymer battery and accelerometer. If It have 4 or 8MB of SDRAM I think Rockbox would work very nice on that hardware and that could be a start for a good hardware for Rockbox Player, even If it uses just an ARM7 at 60 MHz.
They use instead a MP3 audio codec in spite of doing decoding in software...
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8603

Also interesting is what Bagder wrote on his blog: My phone does not replace my Rockbox -- http://daniel.haxx.se/blog/2008/05/08/my-phone-does-not-replace-my-rockbox/
I also think that mass use of standalone MP3 players will be quickly reduced to zero because of mobile phones/computers, specially after Android initiative. So I keep thinking why this efforts to Rockbox Player should going on... and I think we are in the right direction with Rockbox Player V1, trying not compete with that mobile multimedia players and instead make a good quality dedicated hardware for playing and recording audio.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 12, 2008, 07:29:36 AM
In the old days we would use a hex editor to find memory location of an executed application, if that helps.
I did plan to do disassembly of the code to see where is jumps etc... but is now working ;-) :-)

I have the flash_LED code working, but not with timers, just a loop turning ON and OFF the green LED. The code using timers returns to U-Boot shell which shouldn't!!

Code that is working: http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/source/browse/flash_led-0.c
And what is not working: http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/source/browse/flash_led-1.c

I got a few answers from guys at U-Boot mailing list which help me, like "Try using some offset - say 256 kB or so; that should be sufficient in any case - i. e. try 0x20040000 as download address." When I was using 0x20000000 I was probably overwriting the exception vectors(??).

EDIT: Doing a disassembly I saw that the code with timers have a different entry point to the _start(), I did a "go new_address" and worked nice, except the if() inside the while(1)... and I think the problem is with variable used in the if()... so I really must read more about link stage and understand it :-)

There is no need to use U-Boot (??)
I am being using U-Boot as suggested to download code by TFTP to SDRAM and run it. Until now, the advantages I see in using U-Boot is the quick way to download code and run it, using ethernet connection from the board to my PC.

The RockboxPlayerV1 will not have an Ethernet connection, instead USB will be the base connection between PC and the hardware. Even If for some chance there will Ethernet connection, RockboxPlayerV1 is much different from the dev. board so there will be the need to port U-Boot for It, which does look likes to me a wast of energies If U-Boot is just justified to download code by TFTP.

Since the USB is the main connection, we can use Sam-ba from Atmel to download code for SDRAM and Flash memory, using the USB connection. The Sam-ba program fro PC is available for Linux and MS Windows, although is not Free Software :( - but there is an Free Software version for Sam7 MCUs, maybe a version for Sam9 will happen -- http://oss.tekno.us/sam7utils/

So in resume, by USB we will be able to flash new versions of firmware, with a GUI program on PCs like RockboxUtility. Also we can use USB connection to quick load code to internal SDRAM and run it, for development purposes. As for low level development we must use OpenOCD in conjunction with GNU Debugger.

One drawback of USB in actual AT91SAM9261 is only the Full Speed. Maybe later versions of this MCUs will have High Speed.

Roger, what do you think about this?

In the next days I will concentrate on put Sam-ba working on my computer and dev. board. I have the application note from Atmel for the Flash LED code, with C code and instructions for using Sam-ba -- will be easy :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on May 12, 2008, 09:31:02 AM
yes full-speed is bottleneck in 9261, that's why i've added High-Speed OTG controller in the block diagram
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerV1#Block_Diagram
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 12, 2008, 09:40:04 AM
yes full-speed is bottleneck in 9261, that's why i've added High-Speed OTG controller in the block diagram
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerV1#Block_Diagram
Hmm... I did put the leds flashing using the "Getting Started with the AT91SAM9260 Microcontroller" application note from Atmel - It just took me 1 minute ;-) :-)
I took some notes for future reference: http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/wiki/At91sam9260GettingStarted

So If using an external High-Speed OTG controller we will not be able to use Sam-ba :-( - how will users be able to flash, hack the hardware?

So, U-Boot or not?

RockboxPlayerV1 hardware
How are things going in selecting the TFT display? and about SDRAM, nand flash and HDD ATA-PIO?

I would like to ask for empty pins on board to connect to serial port, for hack/debug purposes. Also access to SPI, I2C and others buses.

Can I help in something? - I did read the datasheet of the power IC, the LTC3559 and I did upload it to RockboxPlayerV1HardwareComponents page.

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on May 12, 2008, 03:10:47 PM
yes that's a valid point. sam-ba over USB won't work through OTG controller. For developers, serial & network could be used. We can also provide an internal PCB connector to access on chip USB for SAM-ba boot.

u-boot can technically go when we have rockbox bootloader in place for our target.

Rockboxplayerv1
hdd-> hitachi/toshiba 1.8" PATA
nand-> TBD
SDRAM -> TBD

yes you can upload whatever datasheets you have.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 12, 2008, 03:37:25 PM
yes that's a valid point. sam-ba over USB won't work through OTG controller. For developers, serial & network could be used. We can also provide an internal PCB connector to access on chip USB for SAM-ba boot.
I think this a BIG problem, If we think in normal users that don't have much electronic knowledge or do not have the right tools - how should they do If they brick their firmware?? (please, no need to send for service repair, would be very bad for users and for the project) - with sam-ba there is always a possible recover (unless is an physical hardware problem)!

We don't need U-Boot for nothing, or am I missing something? - For developers, Sam-ba is simpler and cheap than Ethernet connection - Sam-ba just needs USB or serial connection, and for USB there is just a few capacitors and resistors while for Ethernet there is also an phy IC involved :-(

So I think we don't need U-Boot for nothing.

We don't even talk about AT91Bootstrap bootloader - eheh, I don't understand yet for what can It be important, however here is a list of functionalities:
AT91Bootstrap integrates several sets of algorithms:
 • Device initialization such as clock speed configuration, PIO settings, etc.
 • Peripheral drivers such as PIO, PMC, SDRAMC, etc.
 • Physical media algorithms such as DataFlash®, NANDFlash, Parallel Flash, etc.
 • File System drivers such as JFFS2, FAT, etc.
 • Compression and Cipher algorithms
 • Application Launcher for ELF, Linux®, etc.

About HDD, I think is very nice because I see that I have the option of use the player without HDD, I can use the SD card to store music and even the internal NAND flash. At the beginning I will prefer like that to save some money and after I can always buy the HDD - I think is great to have more than one option ;) :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 13, 2008, 03:07:52 AM
Why don't you go with the at91sam9263? The new mouser cat has listed.
Hmmm... what are the advantages? - we pass from 9260 to 9261 because of TFT controller for the display... - now, why should we change for the 9263?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 13, 2008, 06:20:20 AM
I like the lcd controller with graphics accelerator resolution up to 2048x2048, 6-channel audio ac97, ethernet, wifi, can, usb still at full speed, but what's strange to me is Image Sensor Interface. I like the audio most of all and wifi. The only thing with wifi is it will need a browser. I like watching my tech shows, I know geek or nerd. Would we settle on which browser and add-ons. It's not much different from the 9261, except the audio and ISI.
As you said, is not much difference between both, I think. 9261 don't have Ethernet, I thought It had but Ethernet is not need.

Well maybe 6-channel audio ac97 could be important, I don't know as I am not an audiophile. Anyway, this first version don't need to have all wish things, It must be a good and strong base for support future releases.

I am very happy with actual V1 block diagram.

Now I think we should investigate flash memories to be used. There are parallel NAND flash serial Atmel flash. MCU will boot from any of that memories, we can have as reference the memories used on Atmel dev. boards.

There should be some advantages on the serial flash. We need no more than 8MB for having bootloader + rockbox firmware. We should remember that memory for music files will be on SD card and/or HDD.

Friendlyzookeeper, can you help looking at advantages of each memory? availability and prices comparison?



Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on May 13, 2008, 07:40:52 AM
            9261 v/s 9263
SRAM    160K /  96K
Ethernet     N / Y
I/Os          96 / 160   (notice the similar numbers in SRAM  ;) )
PKG   BGA217 / BGA324
Mem intf.    1 / 2

The 2 memory interfaces probably will give a significant boost for graphics intensive applications, since Graphics data is not sharing regular data bus bandwidth. This is somewhat similar to shared graphics memory v/s dedicated graphics in the PC environment.

I have recently begun to like the IMX processors offered by freescale.
http://www.freescale.com/files/32bit/doc/brochure/FLYRIMXPRDCMPR.pdf

low cost gadgets (arm+linux)
chumby    http://www.chumby.com/
GP2X        http://www.gp2x.co.uk/

Chumby is open hardware. uses IMX21 processor.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 13, 2008, 09:29:07 AM
low cost gadgets (arm+linux)
chumby    http://www.chumby.com/
GP2X        http://www.gp2x.co.uk/

Chumby is open hardware. uses IMX21 processor.
I am being reading the blog of one person responsible for Chumby: http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/ -- I did learn a lot about Chinese production :-)

Are you thinking in changing for IMX MCUs? - what are the advantages and disadvantages over actual chosen MCU?

What do you think about that hardware in terms of performance for a possible hardware player as Rockbox? - because we can use them as development platforms, take ideas for hardware...

about flash memory
The serial flash on the Olimex SAM9-L9260 dev. board, of 16MB costs 3€ on farnell and 128MB of NAND flash costs 5,5 €.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 13, 2008, 05:20:29 PM
Do you want reviews on memory or storage?
On memory options, sizes, availability, prices and advantages. But I can also do that after.

Now I will invest my energies on putting the AT91Bootstrap to work and launch the Flash LED code.
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/app_notes.asp?family_id=605#Memory%20Access%20/%20Boot%20Loader

AT91Bootstrap will be the first code on NAND or Serial Flash, the MCU will read it at boot. The AT91Bootstrap will configure the MCU, the external SDRAM and external NAND or serial flash - after will load the code from one of that memories to the SDRAM and finally jump to it, to execute it, our application. This first application will be the Flash LED code that I put working last time... in the end will be the Rockbox Firmware.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Zardoz on May 13, 2008, 07:35:22 PM
where is the originator of this thread/idea? is it roach reborn as casainho? I've been lookin at this for a while and I'm confused....
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 14, 2008, 05:59:44 AM
where is the originator of this thread/idea? is it roach reborn as casainho? I've been lookin at this for a while and I'm confused....
No, I am not "roach" - looks like last message of "roach" were on October 03, 2006.

I just come to Rockbox a few months ago, less than 1 year, when I bought my Sansa e200 specially to have Rockbox on it :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 14, 2008, 05:51:16 PM
low cost gadgets (arm+linux)
chumby    http://www.chumby.com/
GP2X        http://www.gp2x.co.uk/
I would prefer to have the GP2X... however I already have a kind of that gadgets, small with Linux, the eee pc 701 :) - I am reading and developing with eee pc, I can also watch video, listen music, surf on internet, play games, etc... --- all these gadgets are portable multimedia capable and they have very good price... they even use ARM processors, so, why don't port Rockbox and use them? - because they are not audio focused hardware.

About Rockbox Player V1, I think that to have a TFT display as that gadgets will kill the project because that displays are very expensive, I didn't find any for less then $100 :(

A good option, I think is this one: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=712

Also I think we should stick near to the AT91SAM9260-EK board, using the same memories, etc, because Atmel gives a lot of source codes to initialize the memories, initialize the peripherals, gives bootloader, instructions, etc... - will be quicker to develop and good for beginners as me :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 15, 2008, 03:40:12 AM
If you do want to upgrade to a touch screen display the Wolfson Microelectronic stereo codec...
As you may understand, there are much more important things to work on before that!! For example, the memories for the system and the display:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerV1#Block_Diagram
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on May 15, 2008, 02:39:33 PM
i.MX
my conclusions about i.mx

i.mx31 is the best performer (532MHz/ARM11), but we'll suffer poor battery life. It is too complex to start with. Good thing is that rockbox porting is already nearing completion for this platform (see Gigabeat S port http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/GigabeatSPort)

i.mx27 is the next best performer. best value for money. Price is same as at91sam9261 but it gives 266-400MHz operation, and hardware MPEG4(H263/264) codec (30fps @ D1 resolution), high speed USB OTG and high speed ATA-6 support. So this is my dream processor. (A scaled down version i.mx27L is available at same package but lower cost since some goodies are removed. so we have 2 cost/feature options for same board design)
However 400+ ball BGA, is too complex to start with, so this'll have to wait.

i.mx21 is more powerful than at91sam9261 and yet cheaper ($4 to $8 cheaper depending on qty). highlights are: 266MHz operation, 133MHz bus, USB OTG and Host (full speed though). Also, 0.8mm pitch BGA is manageable, same as 9261. So i.mx21 is a practical choice.
Best part is, you only need to spend $180 and buy a Chumby... This can be a good platform to start Rocbox port till V1 comes out. Since Chumby hardware is open source, we can re-use a lot from there.
Too bad, they don't ship it outside US.

I'm sorry Casainho this is coming in late. But it's better late than never to review our CPU selection. This is for V1.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 15, 2008, 05:27:16 PM
i.mx21 is more powerful than at91sam9261 and yet cheaper ($4 to $8 cheaper depending on qty). highlights are: 266MHz operation, 133MHz bus, USB OTG and Host (full speed though). Also, 0.8mm pitch BGA is manageable, same as 9261. So i.mx21 is a practical choice.
Best part is, you only need to spend $180 and buy a Chumby... This can be a good platform to start Rocbox port till V1 comes out. Since Chumby hardware is open source, we can re-use a lot from there.
Too bad, they don't ship it outside US.

I'm sorry Casainho this is coming in late. But it's better late than never to review our CPU selection. This is for V1.
Looks like chumby is a good hardware platform to develop, because of It's price/hardware: http://wiki.chumby.com/mediawiki/index.php/Hacking_hardware_for_chumby#What.27s_in_a_chumby.3F

If freescale gives good application notes as Atmel this should be the best choice.

Now the problem is how to get one for that price?? - I saw in ebay just a few that are sent for international however that price should be at least +150$ because of taxes and carriage :-(

I will not buy a new hardware, the chumby, so soon, first I will wait to see if you really start developing with chumby, after buying it. While that I will continue to learning with the development board I already bought.

friendlyzookeeper, about memory, we have here a change in hardware so that work will be for later :-)

EDIT 1:
Why not GP2X?

The advantages that I see in GP2X over Chumby:
- it's almost half the price of the chumby -  119.99 € (without VAT) - http://www.adictron.es/epages/61488288.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/61488288/Products/gp2x_f200;
- it's worldwide available while Chumby not;
- it's much more portable, Chumby don't run on batteries, GP2X is much more a portable media player while Chumby not;
- have USB 2.0 High Speed while Chumby just USB 2.0 full speed;
- have SD card while Chumby not;
- have tactile buttons while Chumby not :(
- would be great for people that uses GP2X having a Rockbox working on It, being a portable device in nature, while will not happen the same on Chumby - also would be great for Rockbox project having it working on GP2X - there are people looking for Rockbox on GP2x, we might get help from them: http://www.gp32x.com/board/index.php?showtopic=28343.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on May 16, 2008, 07:32:25 AM
why not gp2x?
Because it uses some MagicEyes processor which could have a support problem.
Chumby uses freescale which definately has better support. Appnotes and Linux BSP is available. Shematics & Layout available.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 16, 2008, 08:48:08 AM
why not gp2x?
Because it uses some MagicEyes processor which could have a support problem.
Chumby uses freescale which definately has better support. Appnotes and Linux BSP is available. Shematics & Layout available.
Nice to know that we don't loose open documentation, Appnotes, schematics and availability, when changing from Atmel to Freescale :)

So, chumby don't have some things we were looking for Rockbox Player, as USB 2.0 High Speed, SD card and tactile buttons, but have the basic hardware for a functional audio player: USB connection, flash memory for music files, audio out, display and buttons(in form of touchscreen??).

Roger, I wait now for the TWiki page update. Maybe you can create a new prototype version, based on Chumby hardware?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on May 16, 2008, 09:01:13 AM
good it does not have everything, else we would have nothing to do  ;)

i suppose instead of creating a new version we just modify V1 page.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on May 18, 2008, 02:50:06 AM
good it does not have everything, else we would have nothing to do  ;)

i suppose instead of creating a new version we just modify V1 page.
We will need to change the hardware on Chumby or not? If not, It will be a port for Chumby - a port with objectives of build the Rockbox Player - and ok, V1 release can be for the Chumby :)


Sorry I haven't been around lately, been ill and taking a lot of doctors testing. So casainho, did you understand what you did to turn on and off the led lights? What switches was involve and how much current that went though? Have you tried any other led lights or switches? Most of the time you have to follow the schematics. Hope you get your board ready soon for the proto finish.

Talk to you all later, when I'm feeling better.
All ok with LEDs, they did flash as pretended.
Good luck :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: spark on May 19, 2008, 12:42:29 PM
of course, we have to do hardware design. Enough of talking from my side. I will only post when i have done some work on V1.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: 1ny0urfac3 on June 22, 2008, 06:44:04 PM
I'd be very interested to see support for compact flash internally.  that would really sway me to one of these things
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on June 23, 2008, 03:57:40 AM
I'd be very interested to see support for compact flash internally.  that would really sway me to one of these things
I am being busy with another simple project than Rockbox Player -- I am waiting for my summer holidays to continue working on this project, I want to make my prototype working. I am getting now a lot of knowledge in my actual project, in which I am applying knowledge I learned when working on Rockbox Player :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on July 20, 2008, 03:40:30 AM
Hey guys, I was wondering if the game boy advance would be a good platform for the dyi project. Low cost arm7 with buttons and screen, the sp has backlit. The media could use a R4 or EZ flash with conjuction of the micro or mini SD cards.
I am being thinking about this project. The main problem for this project is the lack of interest from "base" developers of Rockbox on a DIY hardware.

Today is very simple to have a hardware with a MCU that have firmware which is downloaded by USB - very easy to hack firmware.

I say DIY hardware because it must be like that, the first ones should be a higher energy investment from developers, developers can't expect a hardware with perfect LCD, with perfect size, with perfect MCU, etc... - instead developers that likes hardware should be proud of having a own made raw hardware.

Looks to me that at Rockbox there is not developers of hardware, just firmware.

Recently I am working on a project with an MCU of 8 bits with USB (http://code.google.com/p/bicycleledpov/), my first experience on USB. All is going well because I found another person that believes on the project and is working a lot in hardware, he did draw the actual schematic and is drawing now the PCB. I bought a development board, made some tests on hardware and made firmware, mainly drivers. I found another person to work on PC software. Alone I couldn't do this my actual project, is very important to have a group of people working.

For this project RockboxPlayer, I alone can't program, make working, reuse, things like USB, FAT drivers, ATA drivers, etc... because I have none experience on that. But I can make drivers for audio IC, LCD, buttons, etc, and helping testing. So, It's impossible to put a prototype working - firmware is much important on this project, but there is none Rockbox firmware developers wanting to work on this project - Free/Open hardware audio player and recorder, for use with RockBox firmware.

I didn't forgot this project, I will not. I am having experiences with others projects on things like DataFlash memory, I am reading about FAT32 firmware libraries for MCUs, USB firmware libraries, etc -- when I found people that wants to work on this project I will happy work together, however now I don't believe on people that says want to build a hardware with LCD of big size, big colors, the perfect LCD, the perfect size, the perfect MCU, etc.



 
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on July 30, 2008, 04:59:34 AM
Hello :)

I am back to development, after some interruption to clean my head of this project. While then I started the Bicycle LED POV (http://code.google.com/p/bicycleledpov) project and ended up by learning a few things that will help me on Rockbox Player, mainly on the DataFlash memory, USB, FAT32 and SD card.

Shift on development approach:

I will continue to use the Olimex development board. I will not use NAND flash. I will use instead the DataFlash to hold the Rockbox firmware and the SD card to hold audio data files. Programing of Rockbox firmware will be done using SAM-BA with USB connection, on GNU/Linux, and debug using the serial port and LEDs.

I will avoid using NAND flash and USB, I tough in using it initially. Since I can format and write on PC the SD card, I don't need USB for having this hardware working with Rockbox - I must simplify the development.

My very first task will be building the AT91 bootstrap that will initialize SDRAM, DataFlash and some others peripherals, load the Rockbox bootloader from DataFlash to SDRAM and jump to it.

Rockbox bootloader will initialize the system, the kernel, the LCD, the buttons, the SD card ATA driver, mount the FAT file system on SD card, read the Rockbox firmware from the files on FAT file system and finally jump to it.

The very first thing will be having a flash LED code, after doing drivers to have LCD working, after the buttons and finally the ATA for SD card.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on July 31, 2008, 06:17:29 AM
Sparkfun has some really good info on most of the hardware. Look under breakout board example breakout >Micro SD/MMC card and go to the end of the page and there will be schematics and kronos and other sites that will be very helpful with example codes and info on fat16. I would prefer fat32.
FAT32 drivers are already in Rockbox source code. FAT32 drivers are agnostic to hardware, to SD card, NAND Flash, etc... typically, FAT32 just need to receive blocks of 512 bytes - each block is called a sector.

ATA driver, should read bytes from SD card and send them on that 512 bytes blocks (sectors) to FAT32 driver. This ATA driver must written but we can look for examples, as you suggest on that files on Sparkfun. Also Atmel give example codes.

I think a list of hardware that will be invoked into the project and a start on driver info will be helpful. Examples: voltage regulator, crystals, headphone jacks, resistors, and capacitors wouldn't need code, but joystick, buttons, decoder chip, video, microcontrollers, and SD/MMC sockets would need code.
Starting hardware could use a uniform beginning like voltage regular would be first, then second ..... third....

Looks like you continue to not reading the messages and pages :-) -- all of that information is on TWiki page, also for the firmware, bootloader, etc. However I will update the actual page when I have even more clear ideas.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on August 02, 2008, 03:15:03 AM
Yes, I've read the Twiki and its using an evaluation board to start. That's all fine, but to be a DIY there were talks about making or producing a breadboard to have a completed handheld media player. The practical product will only need parts that would be needed, where as the eval kit would have parts that won't be used. Unless this is all based upon everyone using a eval kit?
I think the way to go, is with development board, in this phase of development. I will not spend energies on hardware (thats one advantage of buying the dev. board) but just on learning how firmware should work, how can I put it working.

Later I would like to try to do a simple as possible hardware, for DIY, which will be more like a prototyping.

About "breadboard to have a completed handheld media player" I don't believe on that simple because there are very high speed signals that will fail on breadboard hardware. Plus SDRAM, MCU, etc have very fine pitch measures of pins, almost impossible to make on bread board.

Since now I believe in making a minimalist hardware, I think will be good option to design and after shop online a PCB. On that time of design, we should copy the tested, working hardware of development board.

I'm not sure what your thoughts on ata drivers are respectful on sd cards.
Don't worry - I just need to have a working way for FAT firmware on Rockbox can read sectors (512bytes each time) from SD card.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on September 14, 2008, 02:12:01 PM
EDIT on 2008.09.14:
There is a new developer working actively on the project, is the Thomas Lloyd (http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/ThomasLloyd).
Thomas were ill during almost 3 years when he lost about 80% of his sight. He have 25 year old, is an embedded developer, did completed his Computing for Real Time Systems degree in late 2005.

Thomas wrote about his motivation: "Having lost my sight I want to see a reasonably priced unit that takes into account the visually impaired. The experience gain would be valuable in working in the embedded industry again."

Thomas bought the Development board - Olimex SAM9-L9260 -- we are now two developers with the same development hardware.

We both did commit the initial port (in very, very early stage) to SVN on code.google project page (http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/).

I am stuck now on C startup code (boot.ld and crt0.S)... reading a lot of examples to try to understand :-)

---
EDIT:
I got a script to quick use Sam-ba, now it loads the code using the USB connection and put it on SDRAM and finally jumps to ti - it's very quick for development, no need to flash it :-)

I also tested the flash LED code from Atmel, which uses a timer to flash the LED :-) -- so now I have code that initialize the ARM and the SDRAM, uses one timer.

My next step is putting Rockbox kernel working and flashing the LED using kernel tick functions.

---
EDIT:
I created a new page explaining and giving the status of a more simpler version: Rockbox Player Little - Prototype (http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerLittlePrototype).

The idea is to simplify to get Rockbox working on a simple base hardware - no need to have the "special" LCD with x and y colors and size, no need to have the USB High-Speed, etc.

---
Finally I got some advances :)

Yesterday I managed to build the bootstrap (http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/wiki/BootStrap). Before I had to also build the toolchain - I am working on GNU/Linux Ubuntu and with one ultra portable and cheap pc, the Acer Aspire one.

After I use the Sam-Ba Atmel utility (http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/source/browse/trunk/tools/sam-ba_cdc_2.8.linux_01) to flash the bootstrap on DataFlash memory. Even after I flashed the flash_LED code (http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/source/browse/trunk/flash_LED?r=23) to test and It did run ok :-)

Next efforts will be to optimize the process of flashing the application to DataFlash memory in a quick way - I must do a script on Sam-Ba and also I must add one switch on hardware to DataFlash chip select line and board reset line.

After I will start working on Rockbox bootloader - which will be the substitute of actual flash_LED code :) -- nice to being use this MCU from Atmel because there is of drivers to all peripherals and other examples application codes from Atmel :) - I think will be quick to develop the Rockbox bootloader.

Image at the end of flashing the flash_LED application:
(http://rockboxplayer.googlecode.com/svn-history/r23/trunk/images/20080822-flashing_test_LED_flash_code.png) (http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: rtruninger on September 14, 2008, 09:51:18 PM
Hi

I'm new to this forum and I've only been reading part of this forum, so please excuse me if I cover something that's already been talked about... I am an embedded engineer with 15+ years experience in high speed embedded design including audio encoding/decoding for commercial applications. I would like to build a network media player, I know this is not exactly what you guys are doing, but the hardware could be very similar anyway (I think the only difference is that I need an Ethernet interface). I could help with hardware and low level firmware design and I might even be able to get a few 4 layer bare boards made for free.

Here are a few toughts:

Integrated IDE HD: IDE is on it's way out, I just discovered this when I tried to get a high capacity IDE drive for my old server (ended up getting a new server with SATA, was cheaper). I think in a few years it would be very hard to get IDE drives. Has anyone thought of implementing an SATA interface? I know this might not be a trivial task, but a quick search revealed at least one MCU that has intergrated SATA: OXE810SE (has 367Mhz ARM core and a lot of other gimmicks). An easier option may be to use an USB2.0 hi-speed host IF and stick an USB-HD in it (or memory stick).

CPU selection: I agree that a dual core will be complete overkill. I also think that an ARM9 core is the way to go. I think the main design goal should be to make the hardware as cheap as possible (it's a consumer product). I know the imx27 gives a lot of bangs for bucks, but routing a 400+BGA would at least require a 6 Layer board (most probably 8 layers), which increases price significantly. Also it would be good to know how much grunt we really need. I integrated MP3 decoding on a C6413 DSP from TI, running at 300Mhz, and from memory it took only about 10% CPU (mind you the C6413 can execute up to 8 instructions per cycle). It would be great if we could figure out how many MIPS the most CPU intense decoder (which might be AAC?) would use on an ARM9. Anyone has some data on this?

This would be my requirements on the hardware (please feel free to discuss):

ARM9 CPU fast enough to handle all decoders with ease (probably less than 30% CPU utilization, to make it future proof)
A couple of MB ram and flash
USB hi-speed host or SATA for storage
SD card interface (may be optional)
USB hi-speed device interface
Bluetooth (can be used for headphones and/or remote control (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP)))
LCD Display if
Button if
Audio codec's
I would also need 100Mbit LAN and one extra USB host for an optional WIFI dongle
Battery mangement (which I wouldn't use)


Tricky stuff:

There are not many CPU's with integrated HI-speed USB host, the ones I found that have are all high density BGA.
SATA might be too complicated (hardware and software)
Finding any CPU that can be routed on a 4 layer board (must be LQFP or similar, BGA would most certainly need more layers)
Getting a cheap evaluation board for it, that is supplied with Linux and all drivers (we don't want to reinvent the wheel)

If the CPU does not implement a required peripheral, we can put an external Chip on, drawback additional cost and probably have to write device driver for it from scratch.


Hope my input helps.

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on September 15, 2008, 02:01:20 AM
I would like to build a network media player, I know this is not exactly what you guys are doing, but the hardware could be very similar anyway (I think the only difference is that I need an Ethernet interface). I could help with hardware and low level firmware design and I might even be able to get a few 4 layer bare boards made for free.
Hello :-)

Why not joining forces? The actual development board we are using have Ethernet :-)

I am not sure, but Rockbox firmware don't have any Ethernet code, so you would have to start coding it.

About the suggestions you gave, I think most of them are important If we were doing a player optimized for production, but we are not on that phase ;-) -- now we just want to make a very simple, minimal hardware, and later we can work on all of that.

For now, our simple hardware setup is:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerLittlePrototype

You can add me to GTalk ou MSN: casainho _gmail.com.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on October 03, 2008, 03:24:29 AM
Me and Thomas, we are trying to make a flash_led code working on Rockbox bootloader.

We had working on tools to flash the code and to run it to SDRAM... and we are now investigating about hardware debugger, as JTAG.

Our main problem should be on errors on C startup assembly file and linker script of GCC... it's all new to me, ARM, etc :-)

All our work is being done here: http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/

:-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: notlistening on October 03, 2008, 05:06:54 AM
Hi,

Thomas here thought that i would jump in here and get involved in the forum. My partner in crime is ahead of me in the learning process but I need to understand as three eyes are better than two. To get there I am working through an embedded systems with GNU toolchain book to help me get an overall understanding of what has happened already, and in part verify the existing work.

Just of recent I have done the same and taken a mini break from coding. Back after the weekend and should submerge myself yet again till i need to take another breath.

JTAG & LCD will be on order next week.

Tom
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on October 10, 2008, 07:25:56 PM
There is a new developer :-)

> From: "Aditya Gandhi" <>removed
> To: removed
> Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 02:19:32 +0530
> Subject: Rockbox Player
> Hello there, I'm Aditya from India. I've ordered a Olimex 9260 board for developing the rockbox player, I'm a novice with arm. Can u help me get a kick start with this. I'm really sorry for this abrupt mail, but I've taken this player as my project in college and really want to help the community develop this hardware. I even plan to make the jtag myself for this, can u suggest a few books or links where I can start on this board/platform. Anything relative, I've read about this processor, its architecture but I'm just a guy who works on robots with 8-bit processors and assembly.....
> Any kind of help will be of great help. Hoping for a reply.

> Thanks in advance.

I've removed all traces of e-mail addresses from this message - BigBambi
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: notlistening on October 20, 2008, 01:56:42 PM
Whats happened:

1. Well we have gained another developer from india making us a threesome
2. We are a little bit stuck at the moment getting the rockbox bootloader to work on the dev board if there are any AT91 developers out there that might be able to help we would appreciate some guidance.
3. Just been updating the http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/ pages to help any new comers to understand what been going on and how to join in.

Tom
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on October 22, 2008, 03:54:52 AM
EDIT on 2008.10.22:

A new developer joined the team:

AlexCantos - also AJCantos. Joined as a developer in October 2008. EXPERIENCE: I work in a small audio electronics company. My skills include hardware, embedded software and some mechanical design. I CAN HELP IN: I can develop/test/improve hardware, implement software and do some visual/conceptual design. MOTIVATION: I love audio electronics, gadgets, open source and Rockbox, need any more reasons?

I might explore some of the advantages of AVR32 over the atmel arm9 board. The ngw100 board makes a sound choice for now. I can mark up an AVR32 64-TQFP (at32uc3b chip) with an adapter into a project. It just has full speed usb and 60 MHz max. frequency. For now, it looks to be my better choice, sorry guys. The ngw100 board is $73 usd from mouser and many specs that I'm looking for in a learning project and still uses the same tool chain. Very useful, hope you agree.

I do not agree :-) eheh - At first I wanted to use that MCU and that board, until RB developers explained that RB source is prepared for ARM, because of assembly optimizations and so on.

I really like the idea of AVR32, I am being working with AVR USB (http://code.google.com/p/bicycleledpov/) and also I am looking with other persons to do a kind of dirty cheap DIY AVR32 board :-)

And yes, Arduino is great, GCC is great, all this Free Software tools and Atmel MCUs are great ;-) -- go to have a look at AVRopendous (http://code.google.com/p/avropendous/) and MyUSB Lib (http://www.fourwalledcubicle.com/MyUSB.php).

Quote from: notlistening
2. We are a little bit stuck at the moment getting the rockbox bootloader to work on the dev board if there are any AT91 developers out there that might be able to help we would appreciate some guidance.
I think that any developer with knowledge on ARM assembly and C start up code would easily be able to help as at this moment (not need to be on AT91 MCUs)...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on October 22, 2008, 04:24:20 AM
I'd like to repeat here what I've repeated in the IRC channel for the last times this target has been discussed:

If you guys would simply produce good patches against current Rockbox SVN and post them, like in the patch tracker, you'd get much more people who'd read your work and who'd easily could try out building the stuff for your target. And possibly help out fixing flaws in your build setup, lds scripts, makefiles, crt0.S files or whatever.

You need to bring your code to the Rockbox way of life, rather than sit in your own corner of the internet trying to lure over Rockbox hackers.

You'd also be sure to work faster and more in a straight line towards integration in the main Rockbox source code, which I assume is something you want.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on October 22, 2008, 04:37:17 AM
I'd like to repeat here what I've repeated in the IRC channel for the last times this target has been discussed:

If you guys would simply produce good patches against current Rockbox SVN and post them, like in the patch tracker, you'd get much more people who'd read your work and who'd easily could try out building the stuff for your target. And possibly help out fixing flaws in your build setup, lds scripts, makefiles, crt0.S files or whatever.
Unfortunately I don't know how to do patches nor how to post them - but I think Tom may know that so I would ask him to do it.

Now we are stuck on a problem that first occurrence of interrupts hangs the system - I believe the problem is within linker script, C startup code or even the version of GCC used to build Rockbox that is different of that used to build our Flash_LED code.

Was we are looking for guidance, I appreciate your help on saying this again Bagder, we will do it for sure. Thank you :) 
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: bluebrother on October 22, 2008, 01:57:16 PM
Unfortunately I don't know how to do patches nor how to post them - but I think Tom may know that so I would ask him to do it.
I'm pretty sure you have been directed to the WorkingWithPatches (http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/WorkingWithPatches) wiki page before, so this is no excuse (and not finding the man page for "patch" neither) ...

You should really learn how to use those tool as they are essential if you intend collaboration with the core rockbox development.

Oh, and developing for a microcontroller is quite different than developing on a host system, so reading up on SVGAlib would be simply a waste of time (it could be an interesting read though, but it won't help for embedded programming itself -- for that a strong knowledge of the language C is much more helpful).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: notlistening on October 22, 2008, 02:07:41 PM
That's right, ask Tom,

Well the situations is that we are all new to rockbox and in varying degrees, the whole development process. We are trying to get up to speed, I am reading and digesting as much information as possible, please bear with us.

Tom
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: bluebrother on October 22, 2008, 04:34:20 PM
example: http://www.mingw.org/
What kind of pointers do you expect? That page is about a compiler and tools collection for windows. You can use that for building windows programs (for example, Rockbox Utility is build using MinGW), but it is not an introduction to programming. If you want to learn programming directly on Rockbox, get the documentation and do actually something on Rockbox. For starting modifying / extending / writing a plugin is usually a good idea. And for learning C ... the "bible" is "The C programming language" by Kernighan and Ritchie (often referred as K&R) though this is not an introduction but rather a reference, so for a start take any reasonable C tutorial.

To learn C (as with any programming language) you should bring time, start hacking and share what you did with others -- as in go extending an existing Rockbox plugin and discuss your changes with Rockbox devs. The best way to do this is to come around to IRC. And it's vital that you learn how to share your changes. Only this way you can take advantage from others knowledge and most likely have a much easier start than when doing everything in your own corner. That's basically what Bagder already said ...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on November 27, 2008, 08:27:59 AM
Today we got the first bootloader code working :) Now it flashes a LED, using interrupts, and sends data to serial port. Next task is to put RB kernel working (using the interrupts) and use the "sleep(int ticks)" from kernel, to flash the LED.

Alex is designing the expansion board that will have the LCD, buttons and the audio DAC. Soon we will start working on drivers for the LCD :)

We have being 3 active developers on last weeks, me, Tom and Alex. We were stuck on a problem at linker script and interrupts but today we resolved it.

I am being reading about Eclipse, GNU Debugger, OpenOCD and JTAG debugger hardware integration. So, preparing my debug tools to work a lot on the Player ;)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Dark Horse on November 30, 2008, 11:19:50 PM
Hello everyone
I have no programming experience but have been folllowing this thread with a great deal of interest for a while. I have a friend who works in the engineering dept at freescale if you are still considering the freescale processors I will see what might be available thru him. (information programming hard ware etc.) ;)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on December 13, 2008, 12:15:08 PM
JTAG debugging and Eclipse IDE

I was able to do Debug using JTAG and Eclipse for the first time :-) Eclipse is great because we can save the project and setup all external tools as for loading code to SDRAM and run it or the external tools to do debug as the OpenOCD. Every developer can then use the project without the need to reconfigure that external tools on Eclipse. Here is one screenshot:

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3163/3104368953_2744f24f18_o.png) (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3163/3104368953_2744f24f18_o.png)


Hello everyone
I have no programming experience but have been folllowing this thread with a great deal of interest for a while. I have a friend who works in the engineering dept at freescale if you are still considering the freescale processors I will see what might be available thru him. (information programming hard ware etc.) ;)


Hello :-)

Thank you. We are working with an ARM MCU from Atmel, as selected since the beginning because good application notes with free code, it's being proving valuable in our task because we are beginners in ARM and we also need to use Free Software tools (and have documentation about using them) since we are not professionals.

I am being learning a lot and I am happy :D
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Tirithen on December 23, 2008, 08:36:27 PM
This is so great, I was wondering if anyone was trying to do something as crazy as trying to build i'ts own hardware for rockbox and I found out that you are. I myself only have some small experience of programming 8-bit pics to control servos and leds so I don't know if I could be of much help but i would love to see rockbox running on open hardware and I would definently buy one! Keep up the good work and merry christmas!
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on December 24, 2008, 05:10:22 AM
This is so great, I was wondering if anyone was trying to do something as crazy as trying to build i'ts own hardware for rockbox and I found out that you are. I myself only have some small experience of programming 8-bit pics to control servos and leds so I don't know if I could be of much help but i would love to see rockbox running on open hardware and I would definently buy one! Keep up the good work and merry christmas!
Hello :-)

We really need more developers!! If you really "would love to see rockbox running on open hardware", please consider in joining our efforts, you can start by reading the GettingStarted (http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/wiki/GettingStarted) page.

I also work professionally with 8 bits microcontrollers... I am learning a lot :-) -- you can see more about me here (http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/wiki/JpCasainho).

Merry Christmas to every one :D
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on December 24, 2008, 06:01:07 AM
Why do you have so many pages at your Google code site that either duplicate, for example, how to set up the development environment, or simply contain information that should be hosted on the Rockbox wiki? Why not chart your progress on the wiki here, where it can more easily be in the site of other interested Rockbox developers?

Is your intent to create a new project, or actually work on Rockbox?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on January 10, 2009, 07:30:05 AM
EDIT on 2009.01.10:

I got the first messages written on LCD :-) and I must say that the fact it's a wide known LCD used on almost every cheap Open Source hardware project did help me a lot to make it working!!

There is some issues that I will resolve on next days. Here is one image showing the LCD and the message "Rockbox Player Bootloader":

(http://rockboxplayer.googlecode.com/svn-history/r190/trunk/images/20090110-first_lcd_message-rockboxplayerlittle-500x.jpg) (http://rockboxplayer.googlecode.com/svn-history/r190/trunk/images/20090110-first_lcd_message-rockboxplayerlittle.jpg)

EDIT on 2009.01.03:

Finally Rockbox kernel is working :-) Yesterday I did put it working and flashing the green LED using the sleep(HZ).

On last days I were stuck with a problem, I was getting a data abort interrupt (the same I was having before and taught it were SDRAM bad initialization), because some data structures were with wrong memory address values. I did use JTAG a lot to understand this. I asked and showed some screenshoots of debuging on Rockbox IRC channel, some one gave me some clues... the problem was that data structures weren't getting zeroed... and I did understand that not all bss section (initialized variables) were zeroed on C startup file... was missing on linker script to add the section COMMON, a section that I didn't know that existed, since is from Rockbox source.

Here is one image showing the code of initializing Rockbox kernel and flashing the green LED using sleep(HZ):

(http://rockboxplayer.googlecode.com/svn-history/r180/trunk/images/20090103-rockbox_kernel_init-flashing_green_led.png) (http://rockboxplayer.googlecode.com/svn-history/r180/trunk/images/20090103-rockbox_kernel_init-flashing_green_led.png)

EDIT on 2008.12.31:

I started again the work of porting the code and now I created a patch for it against Rockbox source. That patch is now on our code.google SVN and is the way for now build the project port. I updated the GettingStarted wiki page (http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/wiki/GettingStarted) with this information and deleted from SVN the other out updated code.

Today I got the bootloader code building but it was hanging on panicf() and after on system_reboot()(empty function for now). Doing debug and reading the code comments, I did understand that I need to "Set up some stack and munge it with 0xdeadbeef" on C startup file crt0.S, as on other ports :-) Here is one image of debug window:

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3294/3152691435_f28016d47d_o.png) (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3294/3152691435_f28016d47d_o.png)

Why do you have so many pages at your Google code site that either duplicate, for example, how to set up the development environment, or simply contain information that should be hosted on the Rockbox wiki?
It's a wiki page, it started to have information that weren't on RB wiki, as setup another Lib that is not used by RB but is used by bootloader.

But yes, now it's duplicated however it can have something other that can be needed in future...

Why not chart your progress on the wiki here, where it can more easily be in the site of other interested Rockbox developers?
I am doing it, here (http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerLittlePrototype).

Is your intent to create a new project, or actually work on Rockbox?
NO!! We need to have our playground for development, our SVN. RB SVN can't be used by us, we can't commit to it. For example, I am a beginner on ARM and C... Soon as we have something working, like LCD drivers, maybe on that time we can post some patches to RB tracker.

I really like all tools and information at Rockbox, the forum, the IRC channel and logs, the SVN, the Wiki, etc. We really have advantages on stay together, however for now we will use our SVN, it's a kind of temporary.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: bluebrother on January 10, 2009, 07:59:55 AM
Is your intent to create a new project, or actually work on Rockbox?
NO!! We need to have our playground for development, our SVN. RB SVN can't be used by us, we can't commit to it. For example, I am a beginner on ARM and C... Soon as we have something working, like LCD drivers, maybe on that time we can post some patches to RB tracker.

I really like all tools and information at Rockbox, the forum, the IRC channel and logs, the SVN, the Wiki, etc. We really have advantages on stay together, however for now we will use our SVN, it's a kind of temporary.
I strongly suggest against creating a new repository based on Rockbox svn. If you want your work to get merged back into Rockbox eventually you need to re-sync your repository with Rockbox svn every now and then, and this will become quite a pain as Rockbox itself moves.
You could, however, use git-svn to create your own working repository based on Rockbox svn (in fact quite some developers are working this way). Due to the way git can help you merging you can do that quite often without much work.

Syncing two source trees that have ran out of sync for several weeks is a tendious task. I'm pretty sure you don't want to get into this ...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on January 10, 2009, 08:14:26 AM
I strongly suggest against creating a new repository based on Rockbox svn. If you want your work to get merged back into Rockbox eventually you need to re-sync your repository with Rockbox svn every now and then, and this will become quite a pain as Rockbox itself moves.
You could, however, use git-svn to create your own working repository based on Rockbox svn (in fact quite some developers are working this way). Due to the way git can help you merging you can do that quite often without much work.

Syncing two source trees that have ran out of sync for several weeks is a tendious task. I'm pretty sure you don't want to get into this ...
For now we are working with patches against Rockbox SVN source. We are getting on our SVN the patch: http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/source/browse/#svn/trunk/rockbox_patch

Thomas said that would work on a script to do that sync... I don't have knowledge to do it.

I hope to take no more than 1 month to finish the port.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on January 22, 2009, 05:37:46 AM
Hey Casainho, what jtag proggrammer are you using? I think you may have said a wiggler, but you didn't have a parrellel port. I have seen usb to parrellel port adapters. What do you think about the jtag usb ocd tiny?
Hello :)

We are using that Olimex ARM-USB-TINY JTAG with OpenOCD, as you can read here: http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/wiki/GettingStarted

Right now we have SD Card initializing and we are working on drivers for it...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: scharkalvin on February 03, 2009, 07:44:57 PM
Anybody still working on a design using the Atmel AVR-32?
My next door neighbor runs a small electronic design and manufacturing firm and he accidently got stuck with an NGW100 board he didn't order due to a mixup with his supplier.  So, now it's mine.  I have only two ideas of what to do with it,
1: router/firewall/webserver or 2:hack a rockbox player.
The later sounds like more fun.  So if anybody has done any work on an AVR-32 based port let me know!
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on February 04, 2009, 04:00:01 AM
Anybody still working on a design using the Atmel AVR-32?
My next door neighbor runs a small electronic design and manufacturing firm and he accidently got stuck with an NGW100 board he didn't order due to a mixup with his supplier.  So, now it's mine.  I have only two ideas of what to do with it,
1: router/firewall/webserver or 2:hack a rockbox player.
The later sounds like more fun.  So if anybody has done any work on an AVR-32 based port let me know!
I must say that Atmel don't have good Open Source programmer and debug tools as ARM. I moved on and now I prefer to work with ARM7 (also from Atmel) than with AVR.

But I prefer Atmel over Microchip or others, Atmel gives good datasheets and example source codes.

Anyway, it's easier to port Rockbox to an ARM because some code was done in ARM assembly, etc.

Don't forget to see the actual work page:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayer

(http://rockboxplayer.googlecode.com/svn-history/r200/trunk/images/20080125-rockbox_player-LCD_image_loading_firmware.jpg)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: scharkalvin on February 04, 2009, 07:54:57 AM
Quote
I must say that Atmel don't have good Open Source programmer and debug tools as ARM. I moved on and now I prefer to work with ARM7 (also from Atmel) than with AVR.

But I prefer Atmel over Microchip or others, Atmel gives good datasheets and example source codes.

Anyway, it's easier to port Rockbox to an ARM because some code was done in ARM assembly, etc.
Well in the 8 bit arena, Atmel does have the best support for open source tools IMHO.  Their ARM32 isn't as well supported, but then it hasn't been available for as long as the ARM family(s).  If only the ARM9 development boards weren't so expensive! 

So is anybody working on a rockbox specific circuit board layout for the player?  There will be a groundswell of interest in this as soon as it's possible to purchase some hardware ready to go.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 07, 2009, 01:05:10 PM
Edit on 2008.02.07:

I got the bootloader working ;-) -- domonoky (http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?action=profile;u=240) were helping me on this days, on the SD Card read problems and now is all ok. Next tasks is to build a working firmware file. Even we must drill and assembly our own expansion board (http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/source/browse/#svn/trunk/hardware/rockboxplayerlittle-expansion_board) and put buttons and audio stereo codec IC working...

This image shows the bootloader right after loading the firmware file from SD Card and ready to run it :-) -- go to read more on wiki project page (http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayer).
(http://rockboxplayer.googlecode.com/svn-history/r210/trunk/images/20090207-loading_firmware.jpg)

Quote
I must say that Atmel don't have good Open Source programmer and debug tools as ARM. I moved on and now I prefer to work with ARM7 (also from Atmel) than with AVR.

But I prefer Atmel over Microchip or others, Atmel gives good datasheets and example source codes.

Anyway, it's easier to port Rockbox to an ARM because some code was done in ARM assembly, etc.
Well in the 8 bit arena, Atmel does have the best support for open source tools IMHO.  Their ARM32 isn't as well supported, but then it hasn't been available for as long as the ARM family(s).  If only the ARM9 development boards weren't so expensive! 

So is anybody working on a rockbox specific circuit board layout for the player?  There will be a groundswell of interest in this as soon as it's possible to purchase some hardware ready to go.
I also work all days with AVR, and I like them and the availability of Open Source programmers, the AVR-GCC, the AVR-Lib, etc. Unfortunately there is not yet any Open Source debugger for the DebugWire devices.

No, no one is... we are using the dev. board and we just need to add buttons + DAC audio IC to it. LCD is a module from Olimex, it just plugs on dev. board. Alex already designed that expansion using KiCAD, the files are on a message of our discussion group. I didn't have time yet to look at them...

I hope that Olimex or other company wants to build and sell the hardware on their online shops and distributers. I were talking with Olimex about this and there is good perspectives... and like that, maybe we will not need to design our circuit, test it, etc.   
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: froggyman on February 07, 2009, 09:43:35 PM
sorry if this was already posted a while ago(i didnt look through all of the 36 threads lol) , but is there a build( i mean the actual player) of this that works fully or is it still in prototype/alpha build?

If it is availible where might i be able to by it and for how much???

again sorry if this has been posted, i would just think it would be kool to have a player that very few people would have

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 08, 2009, 01:48:40 PM
sorry if this was already posted a while ago(i didnt look through all of the 36 threads lol) , but is there a build( i mean the actual player) of this that works fully or is it still in prototype/alpha build?

If it is availible where might i be able to by it and for how much???

again sorry if this has been posted, i would just think it would be kool to have a player that very few people would have
Hello :-)

No, for now we are just working hard on a prototype... you can get all the information here (we are updating it regularly:
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayer

Thank you for your interest. We are aiming to make it available to buy online trough various other companies.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: froggyman on February 08, 2009, 02:32:21 PM
kool, i deffinately think that after my iPod Video(5.5G) dies on me (hopefully not within the near future) that this might be made my replacement for it.

my only worry is that it isnt going to be hard drive based or support video( 2 important things i will consider before i buy a player, my next one needs to have over 30GB). So that might make me choose a Cowon player(like the O2, plus this one has SD support, upto 32GB), I guess i will just have to wait and see what the final product becomes!

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 11, 2009, 04:12:15 AM
Hello,

I'm going to work on a ARM7 (at91sam7s256) diy board. Waiting on parts right now. Using a smd adapter board for the microcontroller. Haven't figured out on an extra ram chip yet. Going with the usb tiny arm jtag.
I still need to figure out the extra 5v power source for the video. Maybe an extra voltage regulator off the input power or an inductor with an boost converter (max756). I'm going to use a mcp130t for the reset or another kind of supervisor. Still alot to think about, but going to start soon.
Fun, because I received today at home my first at91sam7s256 on Olimex dev board :-) -- I will also start working with ARM7 for my projects and I will use the usb tiny arm jtag as I bought it and I am using on Rockbox Player project.

At Rockbox Player project, bootloader is working, loads firmware correctly to SDRAM from the SD Card, and jumps to it.

Firmware is working if I run it as a stand alone application, but, if loaded by bootloader, it hangs on some interrupt vector... - so, I am now working to understand what initialization code should not run in firmware if loaded by bootloader...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 12, 2009, 06:37:39 PM
Ok, here is the main menu image:

(http://rockboxplayer.googlecode.com/svn-history/r213/trunk/images/20090212-main_menu.jpg)

There is yet a lot of work to be done for a full working port (http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayer).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: scharkalvin on February 13, 2009, 04:03:36 PM
Just found this:
http://www.circuit-ed.com/128x64-TouchScreen-GLCD-with-RGB-Backlight-P168C8.aspx
Looks like a nice, cheap graphic lcd with a touch screen and RGB backlight.

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 13, 2009, 05:24:58 PM
Just found this:
http://www.circuit-ed.com/128x64-TouchScreen-GLCD-with-RGB-Backlight-P168C8.aspx
Looks like a nice, cheap graphic lcd with a touch screen and RGB backlight.

There is a lot of options, but now LCD is working and we can move ahead. We need to get a working "prototype" and try to get the help of any online shop that can produce and sell online to worldwide, the Rockbox Player hardware. For sure that actual prototype will change a lot!! but after we will see, it will depend more of the technology that company will want to use, etc.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: dkamin on February 14, 2009, 02:37:42 PM
I have been working for some time on a portable MP3 player and came by Rockbox and your player port.  I have since switched my efforts to supporting your project instead of working on my own for now.  I am a couple of days away from sending off for a prototype based off your existing specs plus a few more for future incorporation. 

Looking at your daughterboard for the Olimex board, I cannot determine your switch needs and would like to discuss your design plans for user input so I can layout the board appropriately.

Also, since you are using the Olimex board which is based on the Atmel evaluation board, there are a few questions that I need answered based on your current port. 

Does your bootloader use external dataflash, nandflash or just the internal dataflash? 
Are you using or planning on using the EEPROM to persist settings?
Do you see a need for a serial interface or is the USB interface sufficient?
Do you see a need for an external RTC or use the processor to keep date/time?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 15, 2009, 02:21:15 PM
I have been working for some time on a portable MP3 player and came by Rockbox and your player port.  I have since switched my efforts to supporting your project instead of working on my own for now.
Good idea, I think. There are a lot of Open Hardware and firmware DAP projects on Internet, but people works alone and can't do all alone... You are welcome ;-) and we really need people that can do work, special on hardware since looks to me that Rockbox hackers are most firmware guys.
 
I am a couple of days away from sending off for a prototype based off your existing specs plus a few more for future incorporation.
I am bad on English language, can you explain better?

Looking at your daughterboard for the Olimex board, I cannot determine your switch needs and would like to discuss your design plans for user input so I can layout the board appropriately.
Well, I didn't understand all, but for user input on Rockbox Player Little, we have an expansion board designed (which I hope to get it drilled and assembled this week) (http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerLittlePrototypeExpansionBoard).

As you can see there is 8 buttons, we can buy them easily, cheap and easy to do firmware - it's what I am looking for this Rockbox Player Little "first and quick prototype".

Also, since you are using the Olimex board which is based on the Atmel evaluation board, there are a few questions that I need answered based on your current port. 

Does your bootloader use external dataflash, nandflash or just the internal dataflash?
I am thinking on putting the Atmel BootStrap + Rockbox bootloader on DataFlash - current code is working like that. But they can also be placed on the Nandflash.

Are you using or planning on using the EEPROM to persist settings?
No. Settings from Rockbox are saved on files, on FAT32 partition, where Rockbox firmware is + the audio files.

Do you see a need for a serial interface or is the USB interface sufficient?
I think serial would be good to do debug, it's cheap and simple hardware. USB is important, can be used for charge a battery, program the Atmel Bootstrap + Rockbox bootloader and transfer files to SD Card (including the Rockbox firmware). There is no working code for USB on actual port, I don't understand nothing about USB, that's why I want to use SD Card ;-) - and luckily, SD Card is very used nowadays.

So, I would just put USB + JTAG port (instead of Serial). Not everyone would use JTAG, it can be used to program the DataFlash or Nandflash, and for Debug, which is very important for hackers :-) -- Debug hardware for ARM is cheap and there is a few Open Hardware dongles (and Free Software visual Debuggers) ;-)

Do you see a need for an external RTC or use the processor to keep date/time?
Well, I don't know. I don't have any knowledge about it. I think Rockbox uses a clock and that hardware must have it...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: rasher on February 20, 2009, 07:12:54 PM
It has a open source Atmel SAM7X processor, ARM7, 32-bit, 256K Flash, 64K SRAM, up to 55MHz and 48 MIPS. Ethernet, 256K EEPROM, MAKE Controller Kit.
Dear god that's slow. Why would you use such a thing?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on February 20, 2009, 08:14:33 PM
I'm sorry, could you please try to use proper English? The sentence "Your selling "open source" : a community." makes no sense (even after correcting Your to You're). We're not selling anything, and "community" has very little to do with technical requirements. That is a very slow processor. With the exception of the Archos players (which use a hardware chip to decode MP3 audio) no other Rockbox target is that slow, and a large portion of Rockbox's featureset would have to be disabled. It would more or less be pointless.

You can't make technical requirements go away by calling someone self-centered for knowing about them.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on February 21, 2009, 05:04:11 AM
We have a forum guideline asking that you make the best attempt you can to use proper English. While grammar may be difficult, spelling is something that can be checked.

Which CPU do you think is equal speed to the one you're proposing? Saying "that is considered much faster than Arm7" makes me think you're not actually looking at the rated speed, but just the architecture. The iPods are dual core Arm7 80mhz processors. That means yours is significantly slower than a single core of these dual core devices.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 21, 2009, 08:24:36 AM
I were doing a presentation about Rockbox and Rockbox Player, at an hack lab. Everyone enjoyed it and I was invited to repeat on another place. Also there as an invitation to make a more technical presentation of internals of Rockbox Player.

I got a contact of a Portuguese company that is selling Arduino and another electronics boards like that, I hope to talk with them and who knows If I get any help......

The pictures and the presentation files are here (http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/source/detail?r=222).

You know, I got buttons working, on next days I will focus on audio - the last thing to have a full working hardware :-)

(http://rockboxplayer.googlecode.com/svn-history/r222/trunk/images/20090220-presentation_hack_la_viva-02-600x.jpg)

(http://rockboxplayer.googlecode.com/svn-history/r222/trunk/images/20090220-presentation_hack_la_viva-03-600x.jpg)

(http://rockboxplayer.googlecode.com/svn-history/r222/trunk/images/20090220-presentation_hack_la_viva-04-600x.jpg)

(http://rockboxplayer.googlecode.com/svn-history/r222/trunk/images/20090220-presentation_hack_la_viva-05-600x.jpg)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 03, 2009, 08:15:51 AM
Hello :-)

Recently I gave a presentation of Rockbox and Rockbox Player* on
OPorto, here in Portugal. A guy there gave me the contact of a
Portuguese company (In Motion - http://inmotion.pt/store/) that sells
online Arduino boards, break boards, etc.

I contacted that company by phone and we talked a bit about the
project. I will present it next Saturday, on personal, to the project
manager of that company. From what we talked by phone, at least he
will try to help me to submit the Rockbox Player project to SparkFun -
they should have a commercial relationship.

I was told that In Motion would like to sell a project like this one,
however, they may not have money for start the project nor know how...

Wish me luck ;-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: dkamin on March 03, 2009, 03:22:58 PM
I had written a couple of weeks ago regarding an implementation of the Rockbox Player (Little) and am very close to having a final design.  I intend to offer it for sale to those looking for one to play with.  I should have the full prototype completed in the next couple of weeks and if all goes well, I will go into production shortly after.

Casainho, I would like to send you one of the prototypes when I get to that point so you can continue your development around my design.  We can talk about this in the near future.

Do you have any idea how many people are interested in getting one of the players?  They will be cheaper if I can make many rather than just a few.  I also don't want to spend money when nobody is buying.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 03, 2009, 04:29:50 PM
I had written a couple of weeks ago regarding an implementation of the Rockbox Player (Little) and am very close to having a final design.  I intend to offer it for sale to those looking for one to play with.  I should have the full prototype completed in the next couple of weeks and if all goes well, I will go into production shortly after.

Casainho, I would like to send you one of the prototypes when I get to that point so you can continue your development around my design.  We can talk about this in the near future.

Do you have any idea how many people are interested in getting one of the players?  They will be cheaper if I can make many rather than just a few.  I also don't want to spend money when nobody is buying.

Oh, wait there!! I sent you a private message and you didn't answer or give any more explanations. Would be great if you want to work together.

First, you are not sharing any information about the hardware nor decide it with us. 2nd, if you want to work like that, you may end up alone and them you need to port the Rockbox firmware by yourself.

If you want cooperation, please start by sharing information and your ideas.

I am open to talk and work if you want to cooperate and help us and if we have the same objectives.

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: dkamin on March 05, 2009, 10:11:12 AM
Ouch!!!!!  I guess I deserve some of that, but not all of it.

I have not contributed before and don't know all the protocols, so be gentle.

In looking back at my original post, I see that I did not use much detail, as I assumed the basic design features were set:  MCU, memory, display, codec, etc. I am doing nothing fancy at this point.  At this time, the design is the same hardware you are working with today on the Olimex(Atmel eval kit) board with the addition of your expansion board and LED display.  I am simply repackaging it for a handheld player. 

I did not intend to deceive or withhold any information, but I can see how you came to that conclusion. 

I hope all the bad stuff is behind us now.  Let's move on to the fun stuff.


I question the need for the DATAFLASH.  It seems you can use the 4K of internal ROM on the AT91 for the bootloader rather than external ROM.  I will look further into this.  I am not designing for any nandflash unless someone sees a need.

There will be no ethernet port or serial ports.  One mini USB port and micro-SD are in in the current design.

The current design has a wheel like the sansa e200.  What are your thoughts on that?  I am not sure at this point. 

I am looking at adding either the Si4720 or Si4721 for FM support both receive and transmit.  Thoughts?
https://www.silabs.com/products/audiovideo/fmtransceivers/Pages/default.aspx

The one question remaining from earlier is related to user interface.  What are the switches purpose on your expansion board? Up/Down, Play/Stop?  Their placement depends on their purpose.

Future additions I am thinking about are GPS, Bluetooth(A2DP) and a larger display.


If there is something you would like added, let me know.


I will try to put together some docs for posting this weekend.

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: kugel. on March 05, 2009, 11:59:35 AM
Ouch!!!!!  I guess I deserve some of that, but not all of it.

I have not contributed before and don't know all the protocols, so be gentle.

In looking back at my original post, I see that I did not use much detail, as I assumed the basic design features were set: [...], display, [...]
I hope not! This display is crap.

Quote

The current design has a wheel like the sansa e200.  What are your thoughts on that?  I am not sure at this point. 

I am looking at adding either the Si4720 or Si4721 for FM support both receive and transmit.  Thoughts?
https://www.silabs.com/products/audiovideo/fmtransceivers/Pages/default.aspx

The one question remaining from earlier is related to user interface.  What are the switches purpose on your expansion board? Up/Down, Play/Stop?  Their placement depends on their purpose.

Future additions I am thinking about are GPS, Bluetooth(A2DP) and a larger display.

I think a wheel is controversial. Because many people dislike wheels, and it probably raises the costs too.

We, the software project Rockbox, have some drivers for Si470x, this one could be reused well. The Si4702 even features RDS afaik. But those are receive only.

And I don't think GPS or Bluetooth is needed (Rockbox doesn't have any driver for that too), but maybe a larger and better display.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 05, 2009, 12:45:58 PM
In looking back at my original post, I see that I did not use much detail, as I assumed the basic design features were set:  MCU, memory, display, codec, etc. I am doing nothing fancy at this point.  At this time, the design is the same hardware you are working with today on the Olimex(Atmel eval kit) board with the addition of your expansion board and LED display.  I am simply repackaging it for a handheld player.

I think you should talk with us at our discussion group, all other developers are there:
http://groups.google.com/group/rockboxplayer

I question the need for the DATAFLASH.  It seems you can use the 4K of internal ROM on the AT91 for the bootloader rather than external ROM.  I will look further into this.  I am not designing for any nandflash unless someone sees a need.

On ROM there is a bootloader from Atmel, which can boots from Nand, DataFlash, USB, etc. We can NOT change that code.

For boot memories we just have 2 options, or DataFlash or Nand Flash. I prefer DataFlash, since I tested the code with it, so, there is working code for DataFlash.

There will be no ethernet port or serial ports.  One mini USB port and micro-SD are in in the current design.

Yes, it's ok. But don't forget JTAG port!!! Please, no micro-SD, just normal SD Card!! We have question to discuss here -- micro-SD don't have SPI bus, just SD Bus which mean we will need to pay royalties to use it :-( -- actual code is working for SD Card using SPI bus.

The current design has a wheel like the sansa e200.  What are your thoughts on that?  I am not sure at this point.

I don't have opinion about this. I have a Sansa E200 and I like the wheel. Let's wait for the opinions of other developers.

I am looking at adding either the Si4720 or Si4721 for FM support both receive and transmit.  Thoughts?
https://www.silabs.com/products/audiovideo/fmtransceivers/Pages/default.aspx

I will not use it, at least for this very first version, for keep it simple. I would prefer to put our energies on a better display, for example.

The one question remaining from earlier is related to user interface.  What are the switches purpose on your expansion board? Up/Down, Play/Stop?  Their placement depends on their purpose.
#define BUTTON_SELECT       0x00000001
#define BUTTON_MENU         0x00000002
#define BUTTON_PLAY         0x00000004
#define BUTTON_STOP         0x00000008

#define BUTTON_LEFT         0x00000010
#define BUTTON_RIGHT        0x00000020
#define BUTTON_UP           0x00000040
#define BUTTON_DOWN         0x00000080

That buttons, with directionals being as a cross. NOTE: that text it's a copy-paste of "button-target.h" Rockbox Player Little actual button drivers.

Future additions I am thinking about are GPS, Bluetooth(A2DP) and a larger display.
I also have some ideas, like wireless or a few inputs for recording. But first we need to get a simple working hardware and get critical mass about it, then we can try implement all our ideas.

If there is something you would like added, let me know.

Well, a better LCD ;-) Actual LCD is wired by SPI bus, I think we can change the LCD only if it's a SPI bus. This MCU have a peripheral for connect a TFT LCD, but I didn't have experience with it, so, maybe for a next version. 

Anyway, I am happy with actual LCD. And let's remind that are developers which since begin spend money and time on this project and others none, or simple don't believe on it. The ones that bought the dev. board plus all others things have merit to choose even because are the ones that will want to buy this first version.

I want to ask some questions:
- what is your motivation?
- in what can you help on the project?
- what you do professionally? do you have some projects yours that we can see?
- will you share the schematic and board layout with a Open Source license?

And more, we are talking (in discussion group) in making the expansion board, so every developer can have it - now I am the only one with it, were drilled at my work but I can't drill any more.

Others may prefer to wait for your work (I would), and in that case, how we will assembly? do you have tools? - you told about selling it, do you want to do that? I really want that someone sell to me the hardware, because I can't produce it by myself.

And what about plastic case, do you have any idea?

I received today my video digital machine - I will record the actual working prototype and post here the link to the video ;-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on March 05, 2009, 12:54:41 PM
I'd just like to clarify that this project is really independent of Rockbox, and that any opinions in this post are those of the individuals posting. While he may think the screen is quite good, many of us developers on Rockbox disagree, and I personally am quite certain having such a small screen will limit severely who will be willing to buy such a player.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 05, 2009, 01:01:28 PM
I'd just like to clarify that this project is really independent of Rockbox, and that any opinions in this post are those of the individuals posting. While he may think the screen is quite good, many of us developers on Rockbox disagree, and I personally am quite certain having such a small screen will limit severely who will be willing to buy such a player.
I agree with Llorean but the choice of this small screen LCD were because of this advantages on our initial situation:
    *  this LCD is used in many Open Source projects, we can get a lot of working example drivers, code and schematics;
    * this LCD connects directly to the development board being used;
    * this LCD is the cheapest colour LCD and is available in many online shops that ships to worldwide.

I must say that I did the drivers and I were alone doing it, this were the first time I worked with LCD. I took very few days to have it working, mainly thanks to quick wire to dev. board, + the tutorial from Mr. Lynch (http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/Nokia%206100%20LCD%20Display%20Driver.pdf) and the help of other Rockbox hackers I got on IRC ;-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Domonoky on March 05, 2009, 04:31:45 PM

about the buttons:

It maybe good to place the select button into the middle of the directional buttons in a future hardware version. Thats the common position on all players i know.

And also more buttons cant hurt, especially if you plan to include fm and recording.  :-) 
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: notlistening on March 05, 2009, 05:49:25 PM
With any project ther are always those who disagree, want something different and i hear myself repeating what i have said before again and again. There are those that just complain and do nothing and those that get on with it. The most constructive comment came about the middle select button for the user interface. That has to be the best type of input as we are at the stage until we get to production where we can totally redesign this again and again so thanks for any constructive feedback. This version of the player is never going to fit in your pocket or even run off a battery. So anything you see now will not even resemble the next version etc etc.

The LCD is a sore point but the beauty of the project is that we don't like it we throw it away and bolt a new one on. But as with anything we have to learn some how and that LCD has made an almost impossible job for people who are some what novices (I speak for myself) able to get a base that they can then improve on. This is a development project and it is developing. There is a big thank you required to all those rockbox members that are helping this project along I am not going to name names you know who you are.

I want to ban any more grumbles about the LCD unless you have a suggested alternative for the next version and some feedback into the implementation of that hardware. Not just i don't like it and fold your arms.

Tom
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on March 05, 2009, 06:13:50 PM
No offense, but saying "I just want to ban any more grumbles about the LCD" doesn't magically make the LCD a good one. We suggested from the beginning that he consider a larger one.

The problem is that he's chosen an LCD that not only looks bad in comparison to more modern LCDs, but is quite low resolution and makes several of the features (the option to choose large fonts to help poor eyesight, the option to theme the UI, games and video playback) of Rockbox difficult or pointless on this player.

There are thousands of LCD screens out there. But he was uninterested in the suggested minimum requirements. The reasoning he gave originally wasn't "this one is easiest to learn." It was "I think this player should only be for music."

If you're making something that you intend to sell, you need to consider not just what you want it to do, but what things you can add that greatly increase the potential user base for the smallest costs. His prototype, for example, has a significant amount more RAM than a flash based player needs. If it's still 64MB as the page I last read said, it's actually more than an HD based player needs too. Money could be saved there.

No amount of "just getting on with it" changes the fact that you intend to market the player, and so should consider feedback on what seems "bad" about it from potential customers who could be giving you money in the future, rather than telling them "forget it guys, if you aren't going to tell me what part to use instead, I don't want your money."

It's not a case of simple grumbling about the screen and not offering alternatives. It's a case of a product being designed "to run Rockbox" that is intentionally attempting to cripple the functionality and benefits of having Rockbox on a player.

Not to mention, it costs money and time to swap out parts and redesign. Whether or not the LCD is to be replaced should be decided at the earliest possible moment, so that integration of it can happen sooner rather than possibly delaying the project at the later stages. Especially if people are already considering production of the player, and may not be aware the impact the LCD may have on what Rockbox can really offer.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 05, 2009, 07:46:04 PM
Here is one video, showing the firmware running. Also is show the debug session and bootloader.

http://blip.tv/file/get/Jpcasainho-RockboxPlayerLittlePrototype032008556.ogg
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: notlistening on March 05, 2009, 08:15:05 PM
I take all your points and agree with what your saying. I have come in half way through and started helping out, so i hold my hands up and say sorry.

The most important point that has been raised here is that we are making a prototype of something that people will not want. That is clear from the lack of support given at the moment form the rockbox core.

Can we redefine what is wanted and how. This should come from rockbox without any other considerations and comes from the guys who know their stuff. A crucial point to the sucess of this project is your support and backing. So a discussion on the hardware requirements of a player that incorportates all of the rockbox strengths is essential. As you have said it is important to start off the right way and it is very clear that  we have not done that. So I think that we should listen very carefully to what you have to say. Please all who have something to say please say it.

I think for the current project there is no harm in moving forward as proof of concept, as a demo unit and so i can learn and be semi competent when it comes to taking on the next stage.

I take your point on and think that listening to the hardware and software guys to come up with something special that your going to be proud to own will make the difference.

If we can get something on paper that sounds good and that the majority of people agree on then we can begin to move forward.

Is what we have so far unrecoverable? Are the guts of the current prototype not suitable? If we are aiming to create our own unit can the memory sizes etc not be customised to out needs in the future?

I think that it is also important to realise my reasons for doing this project. I am registered blind, i hate the face that any specialist unit for the blind is stupidly expensive. I do not like apple, I love what rockbox has to offer. I want the disabled to be able to buy a rockbox player, rather than have to buy another players and all the problems that come along with adding rockbox to it. 

Tom   
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Rockbox on March 07, 2009, 02:22:15 PM
Once you get around to selling or distributing the player, we think it would make sense if the player had a name that distinguished it from the Rockbox project as something supplied and created by others. An idea could be to choose a name like "The Little Player, running Rockbox." This would help the consumer know that it's not something provided by the Rockbox project itself, and that problems they have relating to the manufacturing and hardware should be taken to the provider and not us.

As a project we don't want to seem to endorse any one player as "the" home brew player. The name "The Rockbox Player" could create confusion around whether the player belongs to Rockbox or is simply a player that runs Rockbox. We'd ask that you name it something that doesn't have the word "Rockbox" as part of the actual player's name, so that it's clear to people that it's a separate project that runs Rockbox as a primary operating system rather than as a product created by the Rockbox project. We'd like to keep Rockbox itself as a software project that avoids endorsing any specific player or players as "the" Rockbox player. Doing this could allow you to make it clear this is a separate project (possibly of wider interest to others since other firmwares could be run on it or developed for it) that is capable of running Rockbox well, rather than being an extension of Rockbox itself.


-The Rockbox Steering Board
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 08, 2009, 11:23:30 AM
Once you get around to selling or distributing the player, we think it would make sense if the player had a name that distinguished it from the Rockbox project as something supplied and created by others. An idea could be to choose a name like "The Little Player, running Rockbox." This would help the consumer know that it's not something provided by the Rockbox project itself, and that problems they have relating to the manufacturing and hardware should be taken to the provider and not us.

As a project we don't want to seem to endorse any one player as "the" home brew player. The name "The Rockbox Player" could create confusion around whether the player belongs to Rockbox or is simply a player that runs Rockbox. We'd ask that you name it something that doesn't have the word "Rockbox" as part of the actual player's name, so that it's clear to people that it's a separate project that runs Rockbox as a primary operating system rather than as a product created by the Rockbox project. We'd like to keep Rockbox itself as a software project that avoids endorsing any specific player or players as "the" Rockbox player. Doing this could allow you to make it clear this is a separate project (possibly of wider interest to others since other firmwares could be run on it or developed for it) that is capable of running Rockbox well, rather than being an extension of Rockbox itself.


-The Rockbox Steering Board

Ok :-) -- we are far from selling and distribute it. Right now I just want to finish the audio to have it working and them I will rename all the files on the patch, before commit it to Rockbox tracker.

I remember that some old developer told about the "Orpheus" name, as it were one possibility for actual Rockbox. I will tell to another developers and we will choose a new name.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: gevaerts on March 08, 2009, 01:25:42 PM
I remember that some old developer told about the "Orpheus" name, as it were one possibility for actual Rockbox. I will tell to another developers and we will choose a new name.
The Orpheus name may be a bad idea : there is already open source media player software with that name: http://thekonst.net/orpheus/
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: AlexJCantos on March 11, 2009, 08:58:46 AM
Hi,

I don't want to sound rude, but dkamin, I can't agree more with Casainho:

I think you should talk with us at our discussion group, all other developers are there:
http://groups.google.com/group/rockboxplayer

Yes, you should definitely talk to the rest of us in the group, because this is a shared effort not an every-man-for-himself development. So it'd be nice if you could follow the rules we have, which obviously include asking the rest of the people what do we think if you did this or that.

Yes, it's ok. But don't forget JTAG port!!! Please, no micro-SD, just normal SD Card!! We have question to discuss here -- micro-SD don't have SPI bus, just SD Bus which mean we will need to pay royalties to use it :-( -- actual code is working for SD Card using SPI bus.

Again please ask, not just do whatever you think.

I want to ask some questions:
- what is your motivation?
- in what can you help on the project?
- what you do professionally? do you have some projects yours that we can see?
- will you share the schematic and board layout with a Open Source license?

Yes, you should have started introducing yourself and saying how you can help and asking for what might need doing.

Don't take me wrong, dkamin, I'm happy there's another hardware guy around but I don't want you to take completely over the hardware development because there's more people who want to take part and who have been here for longer, like me, for example.

Thanks,
Alex
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: agdurrette on March 11, 2009, 01:08:52 PM
hay would mined explain how you would make an mp3 player cus i would like to build one myself.


Thanks.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: gevaerts on March 11, 2009, 01:36:52 PM
Hi,

I don't want to sound rude, but dkamin, I can't agree more with Casainho:

I think you should talk with us at our discussion group, all other developers are there:
http://groups.google.com/group/rockboxplayer

Yes, you should definitely talk to the rest of us in the group, because this is a shared effort not an every-man-for-himself development. So it'd be nice if you could follow the rules we have, which obviously include asking the rest of the people what do we think if you did this or that.

Yes, it's ok. But don't forget JTAG port!!! Please, no micro-SD, just normal SD Card!! We have question to discuss here -- micro-SD don't have SPI bus, just SD Bus which mean we will need to pay royalties to use it :-( -- actual code is working for SD Card using SPI bus.

Again please ask, not just do whatever you think.

I want to ask some questions:
- what is your motivation?
- in what can you help on the project?
- what you do professionally? do you have some projects yours that we can see?
- will you share the schematic and board layout with a Open Source license?

Yes, you should have started introducing yourself and saying how you can help and asking for what might need doing.

Don't take me wrong, dkamin, I'm happy there's another hardware guy around but I don't want you to take completely over the hardware development because there's more people who want to take part and who have been here for longer, like me, for example.

Thanks,
Alex


This thread has been about various attempts at building a player. You weren't first here. Please don't think you're the one who should tell the world what to do or not to do, and try to make use of contructive criticism instead of dismissing it out of hand.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on March 11, 2009, 01:48:44 PM
Within the scope of your personal project you can do whatever you want. This thread is on the Rockbox forums, and although it's mostly about a specific player, it's

A) About the software porting, since this is the Rockbox forum, and not your hardware forum.
B) About any hardware designs, not just yours, because this is the Rockbox forum, and not your hardware forum.

As it is, we could be asking YOU to communicate more here about your software development work (patches on the tracker, and such). At the moment you've basically forked Rockbox and are working on it in your own space, rather than attempting to bring your software work back to the core project (we could probably have much of your in-progress code in SVN as long as you've been trying to follow the Rockbox coding styles, etc).

Instead, we aren't coming into your space and saying "Look guys, this belongs to us, you need to do it our way." So please, don't come into our space and tell interested contributors that this project belongs to you. You've released your designs under a free license. He's not obligated to make his version of the hardware your way, and he's not posting in your space anyway.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 11, 2009, 05:16:31 PM
(...) As it is, we could be asking YOU to communicate more here about your software development work (patches on the tracker, and such). At the moment you've basically forked Rockbox and are working on it in your own space, rather than attempting to bring your software work back to the core project (we could probably have much of your in-progress code in SVN as long as you've been trying to follow the Rockbox coding styles, etc). (...)

Llorean, I think you were talking with Alex Cantos, however I can explain this part. I am the only one working on porting the firmware and as that, I don't have time nor knowledge to make patches. Well, I just learned recently to make patches and all this technologies were new to me at begin of the project.

I am trying to make patches and am I sharing them here (http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/source/browse/#svn/trunk/rockbox_patch), like the last one: 0001-20090310-rockbox_player-r19939.patch (http://code.google.com/p/rockboxplayer/source/browse/trunk/rockbox_patch/0001-20090310-rockbox_player-r19939.patch). Before, other Rockbox developers suggest me the same and even help doing the first patches.

And I put a patch one Rockbox tracker (http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/task/9823?opened=3863), however, I prefer now to focus on development and in the end (that is very near) I want to work on the patch for apply it again to the tracker.

We are few developers and we have very limited time and knowledge(as me). We have being getting a lot of help on Rockbox IRC channel and others Open Source projects (for schematics, code drivers, tutorials, etc) :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: bluebrother on March 11, 2009, 05:37:50 PM
And I put a patch one Rockbox tracker (http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/task/9823?opened=3863), however, I prefer now to focus on development and in the end (that is very near) I want to work on the patch for apply it again to the tracker.
A single big patch that adds a complete new target is something that is almost impossible to review. Prepare to get asked breaking that monster-patch down into smaller pieces.

The (somewhat) original is to have multiple smaller changes that even might be possible to get applied now. Which would mean less work for you (no need to maintain that piece against svn) and easier review of your patches, thus better chances to get it into svn soon. Of course, that would require to follow the Rockbox coding guidelines ...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 12, 2009, 08:14:16 AM
And I put a patch one Rockbox tracker (http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/task/9823?opened=3863), however, I prefer now to focus on development and in the end (that is very near) I want to work on the patch for apply it again to the tracker.
A single big patch that adds a complete new target is something that is almost impossible to review. Prepare to get asked breaking that monster-patch down into smaller pieces.

The (somewhat) original is to have multiple smaller changes that even might be possible to get applied now. Which would mean less work for you (no need to maintain that piece against svn) and easier review of your patches, thus better chances to get it into svn soon. Of course, that would require to follow the Rockbox coding guidelines ...
So I will start working on it. Thanks ;-)

I have question, bluebrother wrote on tracker, respective to the patch:

I still find this structure for registers weird and broken. IMO registers shouldn't get accessed through a structure pointer but directly as done in the rest of Rockbox (unless I was missing something here). (http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/task/9823?opened=3863)

Can registers get accessed through a structure pointer on our patch? Because we have a header file that have all registers like that, and it works. Can we use that file or will we really need to re-write it?

For a first simple patch I was thinking in starting on the bootloader and initialize Rockbox kernel, and with that kernel flash a LED on the dev. board. What do you guys think? Would this be a good and simple patch for start?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: bluebrother on March 12, 2009, 12:47:18 PM
Can registers get accessed through a structure pointer on our patch? Because we have a header file that have all registers like that, and it works. Can we use that file or will we really need to re-write it?
Simply put: it's not the way it's done in the rest of Rockbox. Having two completely different ways sounds like a bad idea to me. Also, I haven't seen this way of doing it much -- the usual way is by using register defines.

As an example, do you access registers like register->PORTA on AVRs? No. So why should you do on the SAM? 'Besides, how do you suppose will this work if register addresses aren't consecutive?

"We already have a header file" is not a reason, it's an excuse at best. IMO.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 12, 2009, 12:53:10 PM
Can registers get accessed through a structure pointer on our patch? Because we have a header file that have all registers like that, and it works. Can we use that file or will we really need to re-write it?
Simply put: it's not the way it's done in the rest of Rockbox. Having two completely different ways sounds like a bad idea to me. Also, I haven't seen this way of doing it much -- the usual way is by using register defines.

As an example, do you access registers like register->PORTA on AVRs? No. So why should you do on the SAM? 'Besides, how do you suppose will this work if register addresses aren't consecutive?

"We already have a header file" is not a reason, it's an excuse at best. IMO.
Bluebrother, I asked on IRC, you weren't there but Bagder help me and told that we should not use that way of structs.

We will make that patch with just kernel_init(), with that "good" scheme for defines of registers and with new name of the project.

"We already have a header file" is not a reason, it's an excuse at best. IMO.
Not, it is the reason, and I bet that is the same reason many people use it, because that header files cames on Atmel AT91 Lib.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: bluebrother on March 12, 2009, 01:07:10 PM
"We already have a header file" is not a reason, it's an excuse at best. IMO.
Not, it is the reason, and I bet that is the same reason many people use it, because that header files cames on Atmel AT91 Lib.
Seems you didn't got what I meant.
Telling "we do it this (bad) way because we already have a header" is an excuse at best IMO if told that your way is bad. Other people using the bad way isn't a reason either. A company providing a header in a (IMO) broken way isn't a valid reason for not changing either. So I still stand by my opinion that "we have a header file" as a reason is an excuse at best.

If you want to catch me on IRC I'm usually around in the evening hours CET.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: AlexJCantos on March 13, 2009, 06:22:09 AM
Hi,

This thread has been about various attempts at building a player. You weren't first here. Please don't think you're the one who should tell the world what to do or not to do, and try to make use of contructive criticism instead of dismissing it out of hand.

You're right, I wasn't first here, and I don't pretend to tell anyone what they should do... however, I'm an active developer of the "Rockbox Player" (whose name we'll change shortly) and I strongly thing that anyone wishing to collaborate in this project should ask the rest of the developers about their thoughts. I think it's a good gesture and it's one of the main ideas behind open source community: sharing things and helping one another.

Besides, I don't know what criticism you're talking about, I haven't seen any criticism from dkamin and that's not what I'm commenting about. I do like criticism, mostly if it comes from the kind of people that write here, who do have real interest and knowledge about the matter in hand.

(...) As it is, we could be asking YOU to communicate more here about your software development work (patches on the tracker, and such). At the moment you've basically forked Rockbox and are working on it in your own space, rather than attempting to bring your software work back to the core project (we could probably have much of your in-progress code in SVN as long as you've been trying to follow the Rockbox coding styles, etc). (...)

Llorean, I think you were talking with Alex Cantos, however I can explain this part. I am the only one working on porting the firmware and as that, I don't have time nor knowledge to make patches. Well, I just learned recently to make patches and all this technologies were new to me at begin of the project.

I don't think this is addressed to me, and if it is I don't really understand what's the context.

Sorry if I've winded someone up, but I just pretend to be fair.

Cheers,
Alex
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 13, 2009, 07:09:14 AM
Hi Casainho,
So, is this new add on board suppose to represent the Calypso board? Maybe, you can use some of the code from "AT91SAM Internet Radio"?
I was wondering which audio chip did you go with? The wiki page states one chip, but you direct the digi-key site to a different chip.

Does anyone know where to find the page for the do's and don't on programming Rockbox?

    Thanks

I read that "AT91SAM Internet Radio" application note. I am mainly using the AT91 Lib to understand how to setup SSC to work as I2S. Also the PDC (Peripheral DMA channel).

The guy from the ARM MP3/AAC Player (http://www.mikrocontroller.net/articles/ARM_MP3/AAC_Player) is using the AT91SAM7S256 and the same DAC IC. The SSC and PDC peripherals of AT91SAM7S256 should be almost equal to the ones on AT91SAM920. But that guy is not using DMA interrupt...

Right now I have DMA interrupt working. I also added on the Rockbox TLV320 drivers the SPI communication. I am being trying to understand Rockbox audio drivers...

You can see here (http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxPlayerLittlePrototypeExpansionBoard) the DAC IC we are using and the schematic and board.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: gevaerts on March 13, 2009, 07:20:30 AM
OK, let's go through things in detail...
You're right, I wasn't first here, and I don't pretend to tell anyone what they should do...
Some examples :
Quote
Again please ask, not just do whatever you think.
How is that not telling anyone what to do?
Quote
Yes, you should have started introducing yourself
You mean like you did? Telling people to introduce themselves properly in your first post is an example of perfect forum behaviour I guess?

however, I'm an active developer of the "Rockbox Player" (whose name we'll change shortly) and I strongly thing that anyone wishing to collaborate in this project should ask the rest of the developers about their thoughts. I think it's a good gesture and it's one of the main ideas behind open source community: sharing things and helping one another.
Who says that everyone wants to collaborate on your specific project? People are free to do their own thing.
Besides, I don't know what criticism you're talking about, I haven't seen any criticism from dkamin and that's not what I'm commenting about.
He proposed some hardware modifications, after which you basically told him to shut up.

Frank
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 13, 2009, 07:33:26 AM
Yes, you should have started introducing yourself
You mean like you did? Telling people to introduce themselves properly in your first post is an example of perfect forum behaviour I guess?
Well, Alex Cantos did introduced himself on project wiki page, much before of this first post. And dkamin read that page before his first post, since is the page of the project, he couldn't know about the project details before reading that page.

Besides, I don't know what criticism you're talking about, I haven't seen any criticism from dkamin and that's not what I'm commenting about.
He proposed some hardware modifications, after which you basically told him to shut up.

Well, dkamin already assumed some guilty: (...) In looking back at my original post, I see that I did not use much detail (...). The only important is that everyone who wants to help, needs to get together, share the information and we all should manage our energies. Let's continue.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: AlexP on March 13, 2009, 07:48:42 AM
Yes, you should have started introducing yourself
You mean like you did? Telling people to introduce themselves properly in your first post is an example of perfect forum behaviour I guess?
Well, Alex Cantos did introduced himself on project wiki page, much before of this first post. And dkamin read that page before his first post, since is the page of the project, he couldn't know about the project details before reading that page.

Irrelevant.  It was his first post here, and he went off on one with a rant about people introducing themselves.  Hypocrisy.  Do you really mean to be this internal and enforce exactly what people are and are not allowed to do?

Besides, I don't know what criticism you're talking about, I haven't seen any criticism from dkamin and that's not what I'm commenting about.
He proposed some hardware modifications, after which you basically told him to shut up.

Well, dkamin already assumed some guilty: (...) In looking back at my original post, I see that I did not use much detail (...). The only important is that everyone who wants to help, needs to get together, share the information and we all should manage our energies. Let's continue.

It is also important that you and your fellow "developers" don't immediately reject out of hand other people's views and attack them.  People are hardly likely to want to share information and collaborate when if they do some work they get shouted at and basically told to shut up when they propose any changes.

And as for guilt - come on, for heaven's sake.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 13, 2009, 08:04:38 AM
And as for guilt - come on, for heaven's sake.

I am bad at English language, maybe I couldn't express myself, find the right word sorry.

For me, is important that people first approach to others and saying in what can help, to manage in a good way the energies, like Alex and Tom did:

Example from Alex: I CAN HELP IN: I can develop/test/improve hardware, implement software and do some visual/conceptual design. MOTIVATION: I love audio electronics, gadgets, open source and Rockbox, need any more reasons?

There is no point for being working on 2 different hardwares, dkamin should before talk with us and discuss what to do. We were working already in hardware. He is free to do whatever he wants, but if he goes alone, he can end alone doing his Rockbox port.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: AlexP on March 13, 2009, 08:09:21 AM
And as for guilt - come on, for heaven's sake.

I am bad at English language, maybe I couldn't express myself, find the right word sorry.

For me, is important that people first approach to others and saying in what can help, to manage in a good way the energies, like Alex and Tom did:

Example from Alex: I CAN HELP IN: I can develop/test/improve hardware, implement software and do some visual/conceptual design. MOTIVATION: I love audio electronics, gadgets, open source and Rockbox, need any more reasons?

There is no point for being working on 2 different hardwares, dkamin should before talk with us and discuss what to do. We were working already in hardware. He is free to do whatever he wants, but if he goes alone, he can end alone doing his Rockbox port.

This is my last word on the subject, we are going round in circles and it is pretty pointless.

AlexJCantos may well have said that elsewhere, but he turned up here and lambasted someone for the exact same thing as he was doing himself.

There is very much a point in working on 2 different hardware configurations if the first one being worked on has bad and illogical hardware choices.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on March 13, 2009, 08:14:53 AM
There is very much a point in working on 2 different hardware configurations if the first one being worked on is has bad and illogical hardware choices.

Agreed, the way the first project has basically rejected outright almost any suggestion from people who might be viewed as either potential buyer, or just interested non-developers, for reasons such as "you haven't invested any money in the project so you have no say" or "It was my idea and it should be a music player" or "I've been here longer" is bound to make people want to start up projects that are more open and maybe attempt to listen to more input before they rush to spending money on a board whose design will either be thrown out anyway (a waste of money) or fall into the category of "one of the poorer Rockbox targets, feature-wise" neither of which is particularly great.

I respect what you guys want to do over all, but generally speaking you've been about as non-open as possible while claiming to be open.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 13, 2009, 08:17:46 AM
There is very much a point in working on 2 different hardware configurations if the first one being worked on is has bad and illogical hardware choices.
No, there isn't. We are very developers so we must manage very well our energies. dkamin didn't talk about any reason for doing a 2nd hardware, and if "bad and illogical hardware choices" were the reasons, it should be discussed for the help of the project.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: AlexP on March 13, 2009, 08:18:29 AM
There is very much a point in working on 2 different hardware configurations if the first one being worked on is has bad and illogical hardware choices.
No, there isn't. We are very developers so we must manage very well our energies. dkamin didn't talk about any reason for doing a 2nd hardware, and if "bad and illogical hardware choices" were the reasons, it should be discussed for the help of the project.

Everytime someone tries to discuss your hardware choices you tell them to shut up.  See Llorean's post above for examples.  This entire thread is full of examples of people saying things like, "I think this is the wrong choice for this reason" and you ignoring them.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: gevaerts on March 13, 2009, 08:24:32 AM
No, there isn't. We are very developers so we must manage very well our energies. dkamin didn't talk about any reason for doing a 2nd hardware, and if "bad and illogical hardware choices" were the reasons, it should be discussed for the help of the project.
Everytime someone tries to discuss your hardware choices you tell them to shut up.  See Llorean's post above for examples.  This entire thread is full of examples of people saying things like, "I think this is the wrong choice for this reason" and you ignoring them.
Not only that, but people are free to do whatever they like, and if it is related to rockbox they are free to talk about it here.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 13, 2009, 08:30:15 AM
Everytime someone tries to discuss your hardware choices you tell them to shut up.  See Llorean's post above for examples.  This entire thread is full of examples of people saying things like, "I think this is the wrong choice for ..." and you ignoring them.

I believe in the idea "design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player (DAP) and recorder, for use with RockBox." I remember that others developers as Bagder told since begin that didn't believe on it because we can't do an attractive looking player as Ipods or Sansas.

Rockbox exists since 2002 and I didn't saw any developer trying to do what we are trying, maybe because they can have the same opinion as Bagder.

So, I am trying to make that idea real, as the best as I can, with the money, free time and knowledge I have. I don't fell responsible for implement the others expectations about a kind of this hardware. For now I am thinking like this, even If am I doing it in a wrong way: "We are doers. We do what others only talk about." -- taken from http://www.haxx.se/

And I am sure that Rockbox code started for being a simple line of codes and did evolution, so in hardware I think we should do the same.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: gevaerts on March 13, 2009, 08:33:51 AM
So, I am trying to make that idea real, as the best as I can, with the money, free time and knowledge I have. I don't fell responsible for implement the others expectations about a kind of this hardware. For now I am thinking like this, even If am I doing it in a wrong way: "We are doers. We do what others only talk about." -- taken from http://www.haxx.se/

So why are you so against other people also doing things?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 13, 2009, 08:48:30 AM
So, I am trying to make that idea real, as the best as I can, with the money, free time and knowledge I have. I don't fell responsible for implement the others expectations about a kind of this hardware. For now I am thinking like this, even If am I doing it in a wrong way: "We are doers. We do what others only talk about." -- taken from http://www.haxx.se/

So why are you so against other people also doing things?

I am not sure that I am against it. Look, dkamin wrote:
Casainho, I would like to send you one of the prototypes when I get to that point so you can continue your development around my design.  We can talk about this in the near future.

I am against the idea of someone send me a prototype in expectation that I work on it, without discussing with me and others the hardware and so on. I think that is the only thing I am against.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on March 13, 2009, 08:49:09 AM
I believe in the idea "design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player (DAP) and recorder, for use with RockBox." I remember that others developers as Bagder told since begin that didn't believe on it because we can't do an attractive looking player as Ipods or Sansas.
Many of us also don't believe in it because your hardware will cost two or three times as much as players we already support  (if not much more, many refurbished players can be had in the USD15-95 range), and do less than them.

So, I am trying to make that idea real, as the best as I can, with the money, free time and knowledge I have. I don't fell responsible for implement the others expectations about a kind of this hardware.
Rockbox is not designed to sell. By necessity you must sell hardware unless you expect people to buy the parts and build their own. So Rockbox does not need to be designed with others' expectations. Something you intend to ask people to give you money for, does. If you can't realize this (and it seems like you haven't still) you're giong to be in a lot of trouble.

For now I am thinking like this, even If am I doing it in a wrong way: "We are doers. We do what others only talk about." -- taken from http://www.haxx.se/

And I am sure that Rockbox code started for being a simple line of codes and did evolution, so in hardware I think we should do the same.
Code is different from hardware. You CANNOT treat it exactly the same. Code is cheap. All it costs anyone is time, which can be spare. It can evolve, pieces of it can be replaced, at little or no monetary cost.

Hardware requires cost. You've built a dev-board that you cannot sell effectively without redesigning. That means that anyone working on code for it will, at some point, have to buy hardware again (for the new design). Then they'll have to write new code (for the new drivers). This could've been avoided by trying to figure out what your target audience was, and picking hardware appropriate for it, initially.

Anyone who's bought your dev-board will be out any money they've invested in this project, with it effectively wasted since the devboard was never needed in the first place.

Yes, sometimes you need new hardware designs. But you should NEVER spend money and time working on a hardware design you know in advance you don't intend to keep. It simply isn't good time (or money) management.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 13, 2009, 10:21:47 AM
Hello :-)

Because of this reason:
http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=6751.msg146274#msg146274 ,

we had change the name from "Rockbox Player" to "Lyre".

We wanted a name from an animal (nature connection) and we think of a
hardware running Rockbox as colorful (Rockbox themes are great!) and
with great sound. We had a few names but we ended up with "Lyre":

"A Lyrebird is either of two species of ground-dwelling Australian
birds, most notable for their superb ability to mimic natural and
artificial sounds from their environment."

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyrebird ; Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjE0Kdfos4Y

But wait, Lyre is also the name of an instrument:

"The lyre (from Greek λύρα - lyra) is a stringed musical instrument
well known for its use in classical antiquity and later. The
recitations of the Ancient Greeks were accompanied by lyre playing."

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyre ; Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN8LcLIgH3Q

So we have both, the name of a bird and of an instrument.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: AlexP on March 13, 2009, 10:27:34 AM
Hello :-)

Because of this reason:
http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=6751.msg146274#msg146274 ,

we had change the name from "Rockbox Player" to "Lyre".

I think that is an excellent name! :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on March 13, 2009, 10:29:35 AM
I would agree, it's an excellent name choice.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: LambdaCalculus379 on March 13, 2009, 10:40:59 AM
Agreed as well. It's a nice name.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Bagder on March 13, 2009, 04:22:24 PM
I remember that others developers as Bagder told since begin that didn't believe on it because we can't do an attractive looking player as Ipods or Sansas.

That's not exactly what I said nor what I believe in, but I doubt it matters much...

I just love the new name.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: BdN3504 on March 14, 2009, 12:56:14 PM
"A Lyrebird is either of two species of ground-dwelling Australian
birds, most notable for their superb ability to mimic natural and
artificial sounds from their environment."

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyrebird ; Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjE0Kdfos4Y
Yes, that's quite an amazing bird (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOFy8QkNWWs), good choice.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: scharkalvin on March 16, 2009, 10:46:16 AM
Does this development board look like it could also be a target?
http://cgi.ebay.com/Samsung-S3C2440-ARM9-Board-3-5-TFT-LCD-Touch-Screen_W0QQitemZ220354907595QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item220354907595&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A0|293%3A1|294%3A50

Lots of them listed for under $100 US.
Looks like it has the required d/a, usb, and lcd already there.  Touch screen could be used instead of buttons for UI.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 16, 2009, 10:56:55 AM
Does this development board look like it could also be a target?
http://cgi.ebay.com/Samsung-S3C2440-ARM9-Board-3-5-TFT-LCD-Touch-Screen_W0QQitemZ220354907595QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item220354907595&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A0|293%3A1|294%3A50

Lots of them listed for under $100 US.
Looks like it has the required d/a, usb, and lcd already there.  Touch screen could be used instead of buttons for UI.

We already discussed that Samsung S3C2440. Read more on other messages of this post.

Right now we are with Atmel AT91SAM9260 and it's almost done, like 95% is done ;-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 16, 2009, 12:36:37 PM
scharkalvin,
That's a great board, but you will need to look into the price on the tools. Atmel, the board in which casainho has, does have a free tool chain. Most boards have fair priced tools and some are very high price. Your project will reflect the price of the tools, but it does come with Linux installed or a limited windows package to install. The installed package isn't any use for programming a chip, unless you found a way. I found boards that some come with free tools, but they're limited tools. Good luck with your project and please inform us with your progress, it's a pleasure to here from you.
I believe the compiler is the same, the GCC ARM. I did prefer Atmel because of great documentation and example codes, and that's being proving valuable!! :-) -- this was my first time with ARM, with 32 bits, with DMA, C startup file, linker script, JTAG debug, colour LCD, SD Card, audio DAC, etc.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: scharkalvin on March 17, 2009, 06:41:34 AM
I also like Atmel, though I've only used their AVR uC's.   They
make a nice jtag too (though I don't think their AVR jtag works
with their Arm chip.)

The board I saw on ebay looked interesting mostly because it looked like it could be packaged as is into a player.  I'm also on the outside looking in at what you guys have done, I hope it ends up as a custom board design that will be available for purchase.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 17, 2009, 07:16:22 AM
(...)  hope it ends up as a custom board design that will be available for purchase. (...)
We need first to finish actual "prototype", to have something to show and to promote the idea near the companies as SparkFun, Olimex, etc.

We can also promote the idea on Youtube... there may be the chance for some particular(s) with money to make the idea true, investing money and time to produce it and sell, there are people doing this, production on home and selling on Ebay, for example.

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Tirithen on March 18, 2009, 06:24:53 AM
Would adding a microphone/line-in connector be as easy as connecting to the LLINEIN/RLINEIN pins of
the TLV320AIC23 on the hardware side?
Would there be a lot of code needed to make it (kind of driver?) work together with the recording functionality allready in Rockbox firmware? This would be a big gain to be able to record stuff.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 18, 2009, 06:38:14 AM
Would adding a microphone/line-in connector be as easy as connecting to the LLINEIN/RLINEIN pins of
the TLV320AIC23 on the hardware side?
Would there be a lot of code needed to make it (kind of driver?) work together with the recording functionality allready in Rockbox firmware? This would be a big gain to be able to record stuff.
Should be easy, because the TLV320 already have drivers for recording on Rockbox firmware. In hardware, we can have as reference the DSPdap (http://dspdap.sourceforge.net/) and ARM MP3/AAC (http://embdev.net/articles/ARM_MP3/AAC_Player) Player schematics as both do recording.

But first we need to have a basic working hardware, so first have the playing first and record for after. We need more developers and resources.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 19, 2009, 03:01:34 AM
I just wanted to know where we can find your libraries?
Hello friendlyzookeeper.

What Libraries?

I am being using all code from Rockbox source. Sometimes I dig on Internet for others codes, as for example, right now I am looking for a CRC7 function for using on SD Card drivers and I am testing it.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 23, 2009, 07:33:14 AM
I did put the first patch of Lyre on Rockbox tracker (http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/task/10045).


Hi Casainho,
Thanks, you answered my question. I was doing the same thing.

I think it's the sd_crc7 function.
Did you log a chart and want to just have a constant check at all times?
You must be trying to add a second card through the spi secondary. I think there is an e-book (free in pdf format) about this in sd/mmc subject.
I thought you were using definitions to use the atmel library?
You may want to make the data from the sd to be global so the other peripherals can use the data. Just be sure to kill the pointers after the other peripherals use the data.

I must do more tests on SD Card but for now, looks the main problem is on audio drivers, there is no audio out nor time of file do not advance because there is no audio data sent to the hardware.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Bagder on March 23, 2009, 07:45:53 AM
I went through and renamed all the wiki pages about this subproject on rockbox.org to now use names involving the new Lyre name. If you think any turned out wrong, just let us know and we'll adjust!
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 25, 2009, 07:01:56 PM
I am not finding free time for working on the audio... while that, here is the last video, for the first time I got Cabie V2 theme working on playing screen.

(http://e.static.blip.tv/Jpcasainho-LyreProjectActualWorkingState921.jpg) (http://jpcasainho.blip.tv/file/1919649?filename=Jpcasainho-LyreProjectActualWorkingState581.flv)
LyreProjectActualWorkingState video (http://jpcasainho.blip.tv/file/1919649?filename=Jpcasainho-LyreProjectActualWorkingState581.flv)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 26, 2009, 04:19:22 AM
I looked at your screen and saw that the disk size is at 7.59GB. I see why you need a different protocol. May I ask what kind of media are you using?

This may help for crc16 function. I didn't go though them yet.

SD Card. CRC16 is done and is working.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on April 08, 2009, 07:47:48 AM
NEWS

We are in talkings with Matt, from AVRopendous (http://code.google.com/p/avropendous/), to produce and sell a hardware for Lyre.

Matt produce his boards on home, a bit DIY. He can solder BGA. He uses just as possible Free Software tools as KiCAD for schematics and board drawings (as we did before on this project).

Matt sells his boards on Ebay, here (http://www.avropendous.com/).

Matt wants to make a cheap hardware, because he needs to sell ;-) and because of that he choosed to use some Phillips LPC ARM9. Hopefully, we will have a new board with LPC ARM9 + color LCD (16 bit colors + 240x ??) + Lion battery chaged by USB + SD Card + wheel and buttons + stereo audio codec for playing and recording.

Target price is no more than 120 euros (?), which I think is good. And later he can design and make a plastic case ;-)

We didn't get good reception from big companies but we got from "small" business individuals like Matt... we should work together, grow together :-)

I believe that actual working state of Lyre, with the last video I did record, was important for "marketing", for prove that we can do it. It was good for convince Matt ;-)

---

I am being busy on preparing the Lyre patches instead of being able to work on audio :-(

The Lyre code were for the first time commited to Rockbox SVN :-) :-)

http://svn.rockbox.org/viewvc.cgi/trunk/firmware/target/arm/at91sam/lyre_proto1/
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Alex_Nsk on April 19, 2009, 10:21:21 PM
Hi, Guys! Your project looks great... My congratulations!
But, if you work to make' em best - you must use best audio hardware at fist!!!!!!!!!
I look at short at the project and see that you plan to use TI TLV320 codec. I think that it is a waste of money and time! If doing so why just don't buying used Cowon X5/M5 - that dap USE SAME CHIP, looks great, price is as low as it can?
 By the way - it sounds cheap!
Right now I'm working at the X5 Xmod project: I m use a half of X5 hardware, rockbox software and almost rebuilt all sound path!
Audio path hardware would be:
IIS from CF5250 (I'm appreciate any help with rebuild in rockbox with up to 24bit word IIS) > PCM1708 > AD8620 i/u converters in balanced configuration (4mA inputs  into 2V outs)  > TPA6120 (2v inputs to the +/-4V outputs with max current capacity up to 300mA whit a slew rates up to 900V/uS!!!)
All digital-to-sound chips supplied with  +/-5V voltage from  high efficiency DC/DC converters fed from a single Li-Po 3.3V cell. Low-ESR Sanyo Os-COn caps, ferrite beads for filtering and so on..
 I think that novaday such signal path is THE BEST/SIMPLE EVER!
Right now I'm working at the printed circuit board layout, to suit best available quality and physical X5 compartment.
I think it could to  be a sound killer DAP!

P.S. I'm plan to use a software volume control that present in DSP module of  rockbox (precut item in EQ) So if one want to have a best quality sound he should to share IIS word length up to 24bits. Doing so all products of rounding in the out of the DSP modules must to lay below 16bit limit.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on April 20, 2009, 04:18:11 AM
Hi, Guys! Your project looks great... My congratulations!

Thank you ;-)

But, if you work to make' em best - you must use best audio hardware at fist!!!!!!!!!

We would like to have the best of all, but we don't have all the knowledge nor possibilities... for now we are trying to have a working base hardware, on next iteration we can add better audio, but while then we should do as you are doing, small add on boards for developers test new features for finally add them on next iteration of hardware.

I look at short at the project and see that you plan to use TI TLV320 codec. I think that it is a waste of money and time! If doing so why just don't buying used Cowon X5/M5 - that dap USE SAME CHIP, looks great, price is as low as it can?
 By the way - it sounds cheap!
Right now I'm working at the X5 Xmod project: I m use a half of X5 hardware, rockbox software and almost rebuilt all sound path!
Audio path hardware would be:
IIS from CF5250 (I'm appreciate any help with rebuild in rockbox with up to 24bit word IIS) > PCM1708 > AD8620 i/u converters in balanced configuration (4mA inputs  into 2V outs)  > TPA6120 (2v inputs to the +/-4V outputs with max current capacity up to 300mA whit a slew rates up to 900V/uS!!!)
All digital-to-sound chips supplied with  +/-5V voltage from  high efficiency DC/DC converters fed from a single Li-Po 3.3V cell. Low-ESR Sanyo Os-COn caps, ferrite beads for filtering and so on..
 I think that novaday such signal path is THE BEST/SIMPLE EVER!
Right now I'm working at the printed circuit board layout, to suit best available quality and physical X5 compartment.
I think it could to  be a sound killer DAP!

Sounds nice your project... can you send the link so we can read more about it?

Right now we are working with a AVROpendous (http://code.google.com/p/avropendous/) so he will design, make, assembly and sell online (on Ebay) the hardware. We don't have all the info updated online... there is time missing.

Don't you want to join us? we need all the knowledge and developers as possible...

And later we can work on Rockbox audio drivers for having the 24 bits PCM ;-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Alex_Nsk on April 20, 2009, 10:15:15 PM

Sounds nice your project... can you send the link so we can read more about it?

Right now we are working with a AVROpendous (http://code.google.com/p/avropendous/) so he will design, make, assembly and sell online (on Ebay) the hardware. We don't have all the info updated online... there is time missing.

Don't you want to join us? we need all the knowledge and developers as possible...

And later we can work on Rockbox audio drivers for having the 24 bits PCM ;-)

I' m from Russia, just haven't much possibilities for cooperation.. :-\
Just some thoughts:
At first - you must to decide for what and for whom is your project?
Make just another ugly MP3 player with decent sound at the price of all-in-one china SoC MP4 player - isn't a silly thing?
Second, I just HATE compressed sound! That is because I'll go with rockboxed device... Right now in my remodded X5 presents over 80 CD Images in lossless nor one in lossy!
So,  I'm not interested in MP3 player in a way you go. I don't want to waste a time and money in a thing with guaranteed poor sound potential without any simple way for growing...
Instead , I had searching the most "potential in sound" DAP available at the market and that is X5, i think...
Then I though:  what I could remode to reach the best sound available from the portable device? As usual a weakest thing is a sound path !  :(
So right now I'm working on it.  Overall technical aspects I wrote already in the post above.
When it will be completed, I could offer some more information, or may be printed circuit boards, or assembly kits, or something else for people who want to reach the best with their X5...
Possibly my construction could be used as outer DAC/Headphone AMP for almost any DAP based on the processor AND outer codec chips (could to be connected except original codec via I2S bus)...that is just a thougths right now...
Unfortunately I'm not a programmer, and just cant share 16bit limits in rockbox...if you could help, i'll thank you!

That is not a "death theme" - just another sound degrading factor on a way to the high fidelity  :)
Let's go BEST!
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on April 21, 2009, 05:12:08 AM
I' m from Russia, just haven't much possibilities for cooperation.. :-\
We are all from various countries, for example, I am from Portugal.

Just some thoughts:
At first - you must to decide for what and for whom is your project?
Make just another ugly MP3 player with decent sound at the price of all-in-one china SoC MP4 player - isn't a silly thing?
Why not? we need also a cheap price as possible, but, with also good quality of sound. Did you read our objectives on project page? "Make a good quality hardware audio player and recorder;".

One advantage over that China SoC MP4 players is having Open Hardware.

Second, I just HATE compressed sound! That is because I'll go with rockboxed device...

That's the advantage of Rockbox firmware, Open Lossless codecs. That's why just seems ok to go with Rockbox firmware.

Right now in my remodded X5 presents over 80 CD Images in lossless nor one in lossy!
So,  I'm not interested in MP3 player in a way you go. I don't want to waste a time and money in a thing with guaranteed poor sound potential without any simple way for growing...
Instead , I had searching the most "potential in sound" DAP available at the market and that is X5, i think...
What is that X5? is that Open Hardware?

Then I though:  what I could remode to reach the best sound available from the portable device? As usual a weakest thing is a sound path !  :(
So right now I'm working on it.  Overall technical aspects I wrote already in the post above.
When it will be completed, I could offer some more information, or may be printed circuit boards, or assembly kits, or something else for people who want to reach the best with their X5...
Possibly my construction could be used as outer DAC/Headphone AMP for almost any DAP based on the processor AND outer codec chips (could to be connected except original codec via I2S bus)...that is just a thougths right now...
Looks like we have the same objectives :-)

Unfortunately I'm not a programmer, and just cant share 16bit limits in rockbox...if you could help, i'll thank you!
Don't worry, a team is composed of various people with different knowledges :-)

If we "give" people a good hardware base, then then will be motivated to work on 24bits audio PCM drivers for Rockbox.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: froggyman on April 21, 2009, 07:18:27 AM

What is that X5? is that Open Hardware?

I think he is refering to Cowon's iAudio X5: http://www.dapreview.net/p/content/content.php?content.201
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on April 21, 2009, 07:31:22 AM

What is that X5? is that Open Hardware?

I think he is refering to Cowon's iAudio X5: http://www.dapreview.net/p/content/content.php?content.201
Thanks.

So,  I'm not interested in MP3 player in a way you go. I don't want to waste a time and money in a thing with guaranteed poor sound potential without any simple way for growing...

But right now you are putting your time and money to hack some hardware that is not different from the general other ones. You are hacking a closed source hardware, which I think it limit the acess to people for your work.

Don't you really think that a closed source hardware have more "poor sound potential" than an Open Hardware one which everyone can improve easily??

I would love to have your board schematics and documentation for future reference, who knows if we can reuse it? :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Alex_Nsk on April 22, 2009, 10:24:01 PM

But right now you are putting your time and money to hack some hardware that is not different from the general other ones. You are hacking a closed source hardware, which I think it limit the acess to people for your work.

Don't you really think that a closed source hardware have more "poor sound potential" than an Open Hardware one which everyone can improve easily??

I would love to have your board schematics and documentation for future reference, who knows if we can reuse it? :-)

Above I was talking about Cowon X5, of cause.
I choose this one also because of it's hardware was hacking almost to the end by rockbox guys. So we can call it "OPEN".

Just for $80 I buy a working thing which suits all my needs in hard&soft and is ready for the best audio hardwire modifications.
Thanks for the cowon & rockbox guys!

And you are just in the beginning...to make a thing that is ever equal to the X5 you'll must work really hard and spend more, more time...

Researching of Hardware..sotware..programming, design of the ergonomic and aesthetic body... Making the body at the end!

So why you must to do the same things again and again?
Especially if somebody was making a working platform just like "especially for us" already?

That is a question!

As for audio path schematic...just look at the TPA6120 datasheet and you'll see a complete BEST/SIMPLE modern audio path.
Some changes - I'll use PCM1798 as DAc chip & AD8620 as I/U convertors...There are not any mysteries... ;).
Good PCB layout and best passive components will do the best!

 There is Just one problem: 16bit PCM limitation from SCF5250 as I said earlier... ???
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on April 23, 2009, 02:27:52 AM

But right now you are putting your time and money to hack some hardware that is not different from the general other ones. You are hacking a closed source hardware, which I think it limit the acess to people for your work.

Don't you really think that a closed source hardware have more "poor sound potential" than an Open Hardware one which everyone can improve easily??

I would love to have your board schematics and documentation for future reference, who knows if we can reuse it? :-)

Above I was talking about Cowon X5, of cause.
I choose this one also because of it's hardware was hacking almost to the end by rockbox guys. So we can call it "OPEN".

No way that hardware is open.

And you are just in the beginning...to make a thing that is ever equal to the X5 you'll must work really hard and spend more, more time...

Researching of Hardware..sotware..programming, design of the ergonomic and aesthetic body... Making the body at the end!

The same as Rockbox firmware and many others Open Source hardware/firmware projects.

And I am not alone, we are a few developers, and there is one person that want to sell it which will help improving the system.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: Alex_Nsk on April 23, 2009, 05:24:46 AM
Quote from: friendlyzookeeper

Your selected components are fine for the exception of the power consumption. TPA6120 uses 10v or more, TDA2822 would be a better choice for me.  PCM1798 uses 5v analog and 3v3 digital, I like 3v3 not the 5v. AD8620 uses 5v, from the same company an op-amp can use 3v3. I prefer a codec with an op-amp. Your choices are very good ones, since they give schematics, I like that myself.


The booster DC/DC converter hardware from 3.7V LiPo to the high current +/-5V IS THE MUST for the trully HIGH END sound.
It is included in my schematic...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 27, 2009, 12:48:58 PM
NEWS about the hardware

We are moving to an Phillips LPC ARM9, which is cheaper than the Atmel AT91SAM ARM9 but also lacks some functionalities. Although this LPC ARM9 should be powerful enough for decoding lossless codecs - I hope (there is no DSP instructions on this LPC as we had on AT91SAM ARM9).

We hope to sell the boards on early June.

Hopefully by July we could have a proper, encased, audio player/recorder.

We are working with another commercial partner and we can't reveal much more info until the board is on selling. Schematic and board will be Open Hardware, and designed with Free Software tool KiCAD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kicad).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on April 27, 2009, 06:58:34 PM
Lossless codecs tend to take less power than Lossy codecs (with the exception of Monkey's Audio).

How fast, exactly, is this CPU?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: saratoga on April 27, 2009, 07:45:43 PM
ARM9 CPUs start at "faster then 1 core of a V1 Sansa" and get faster from there.  Still saying "ARM9" doesn't tell us much, since theres a lot of very different processors sold under the ARM9 brand, with the common factor being that they were all before ARM10 and faster then ARM7.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on April 28, 2009, 02:12:40 AM
ARM9 CPUs start at "faster then 1 core of a V1 Sansa" and get faster from there.  Still saying "ARM9" doesn't tell us much, since theres a lot of very different processors sold under the ARM9 brand, with the common factor being that they were all before ARM10 and faster then ARM7.

It will be a LPC3130 (http://www.standardics.nxp.com/products/lpc3000/lpc3130.lpc3131/).

And the LCD($35) will have medium/good quality because the hardware is being tunning to be cheap - but the LCD will be for sure much better than that used on last prototype.

There will be other versions of base board of hardware that will have more RAM, for running Linux.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Bagder on April 28, 2009, 03:08:43 AM
A quick check seems to indicate the primary CPU core related diffs are:

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on April 28, 2009, 06:17:58 AM
A quick check seems to indicate the primary CPU core related diffs are:

  • they use the exact same ARM core (ARM926EJ-S)
But this LPC3130 don't have DSP instructions has the AT91SAM9260 have. I think that DSP instructions could be good for audio processing.

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Bagder on April 28, 2009, 06:41:19 AM
Quote
But this LPC3130 don't have DSP instructions has the AT91SAM9260 have. I think that DSP instructions could be good for audio processing.

Only if you would optimize the existing codecs to use said DSP instructions. I would expect that to be quite complicated and not for the faint of hearted in the audience. And there's nothing like that done for existing ARM targets.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on April 28, 2009, 06:57:55 AM
Quote
But this LPC3130 don't have DSP instructions has the AT91SAM9260 have. I think that DSP instructions could be good for audio processing.

Only if you would optimize the existing codecs to use said DSP instructions. I would expect that to be quite complicated and not for the faint of hearted in the audience. And there's nothing like that done for existing ARM targets.

Ok. The most important now is to have a cheap base hardware (but including good LCD, audio).

On next iterations we can rethink about this subjects.

The boards (without plastic case) cannot cost significantly more than $100. Let's see if we can get this objective. With netbooks with ARM for $150 or less on next months and economic problems, it's difficult to justify buying this hardware.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: kugel. on April 29, 2009, 02:13:55 AM
The LPC3130 has only one storage interface. Didn't you want to have internal and external storage? Or is it still possible with only 1 interface?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Bagder on April 29, 2009, 02:27:59 AM
  So, are you still going to have two different complier? A complier for the Rockbox source and a different complier for the microcontroller?

That was never the case. And there's no two separate things either really, unless you count the bootloader and the Rockbox core as different but they're built with the same compiler. This new SoC will of course use the exact same compiler as before.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on April 29, 2009, 06:59:03 AM
The LPC3130 has only one storage interface. Didn't you want to have internal and external storage? Or is it still possible with only 1 interface?

The early schematics are here (http://code.google.com/p/armopendous/source/browse/#svn/trunk/Design%3Fstate%3Dclosed). You need to install KiCAD (http://kicad.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page) for see them.

Sorry, I need to look careful to schematics - I am not the one that is designing it nor choosing the components. I think we can choose also the LPC3131.

I think system will use NAND flash for boot but can also boot from SD Card (although I don't know how we will do with the royalties for using SD bus).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: scharkalvin on April 29, 2009, 07:05:24 AM

I think system will use NAND flash for boot but can also boot from SD Card (although I don't know how we will do with the royalties for using SD bus).

IIRC you only have to worry about royalties if you use the SD mode.  If you use the spi mode to talk to the SD card you don't have pay any royalties.
The spi mode might be a little slower since in SD mode you can transfer several bits at a time.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on April 29, 2009, 10:19:39 AM
Don't worry, we will just need to use GCC ARM (assembler, compiler, linker, debugger). We can also use (I use it) Eclipse IDE for coding and debug.

We will also need for debug the JTAG dongle and OpenOCD.

All that tools are Free Software, even the JTAG dongle are Open Hardware (some cheap versions).

For programming ARM we can use this tools, even if ARM is from different companies like Atmel, Phillips, SG Thomson, etc. That's one advantage of using ARM.

When we have the board selling, we will start documenting the way for programming and debug the code on it :-)

And by the way, on Linux Ubuntu is very easy to install all development tools we need :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Bagder on April 29, 2009, 01:27:00 PM
This is a three quotes from "Using Open Source Tools For AT91SAM7S Cross Development" pdf

Right. But that's Atmel's take and advice on how you can work. That's not the Rockbox way nor do they mention the tools we use. Even if you happen to run Rockbox on Atmel chips.

Quote
On this part of Rockbox site;
http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/SimpleGuideToCompiling#What_You_Will_Need

it shows that Cygwin is used, but the utilities does not need it.

No. It shows that you can use cygwin. But even if you use real linux, vmwared linux or cygwin you use the same gcc version with the same configs and possible patches.

Quote
This is confusing, are the utilities a version of Cygwin or rewritten with Cygwin?

The tools are all gcc and family. They've existed for decades, within or outside of cygwin.

(Shall we drop this subject now as it has nothing to do with the Lyre player anymore)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on April 30, 2009, 04:30:17 AM

I think system will use NAND flash for boot but can also boot from SD Card (although I don't know how we will do with the royalties for using SD bus).

IIRC you only have to worry about royalties if you use the SD mode.  If you use the spi mode to talk to the SD card you don't have pay any royalties.
The spi mode might be a little slower since in SD mode you can transfer several bits at a time.

Ok. The card is wired with a 4-bit bus but is the same for MMC and SD. For MMC there is no royalties, so, the final user will have just to pay if uses SD.

On LPC manual we can read: "LPC3130/31 boot ROM interacts with memory
cards in 1-bit bus mode only." So I think it reads the card by SPI
while trying to boot. SD BUS is 4-bit mode while SPI 1-bit, I think, so, it can boot without the need to pay royalties for using SD Card.

Now I must see if with the 4 wires for SD bus it can also uses 1 wire, to avoid the royalties and have the same schematic/wirings and give the people all the possibilities.

NOTE: We pretend to use internal NAND Flash for booting and not the SD Card. That NAND will hold RB bootloader + firmware. SD Card for music files (expansion storage).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Bagder on April 30, 2009, 07:51:40 AM
NOTE: We pretend to use internal NAND Flash for booting and not the SD Card. That NAND will hold RB bootloader + firmware. SD Card for music files (expansion storage).

I suppose you mean "plan" or "are going" and not pretend in the above text. Look up what pretend means...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on April 30, 2009, 07:58:04 AM
NOTE: We pretend to use internal NAND Flash for booting and not the SD Card. That NAND will hold RB bootloader + firmware. SD Card for music files (expansion storage).

I suppose you mean "plan" or "are going" and not pretend in the above text. Look up what pretend means...
You are right. Oh, in Portuguese what I want to say would be with the verb "pretender", that's why I mistake. Thanks.

And looks like I were wrong, SD card 1 bit is not SPI. The only free royalties are SPI and MMC(just for host). There is more info here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MultiMediaCard#Comparisons).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: scharkalvin on April 30, 2009, 10:55:35 AM

I think system will use NAND flash for boot but can also boot from SD Card (although I don't know how we will do with the royalties for using SD bus).

IIRC you only have to worry about royalties if you use the SD mode.  If you use the spi mode to talk to the SD card you don't have pay any royalties.
The spi mode might be a little slower since in SD mode you can transfer several bits at a time.

Ok. The card is wired with a 4-bit bus but is the same for MMC and SD. For MMC there is no royalties, so, the final user will have just to pay if uses SD.

On LPC manual we can read: "LPC3130/31 boot ROM interacts with memory
cards in 1-bit bus mode only." So I think it reads the card by SPI
while trying to boot. SD BUS is 4-bit mode while SPI 1-bit, I think, so, it can boot without the need to pay royalties for using SD Card.

Now I must see if with the 4 wires for SD bus it can also uses 1 wire, to avoid the royalties and have the same schematic/wirings and give the people all the possibilities.

Actually SPI uses 4 signals, MOSI, MISO, SCK, and SS.  However SPI is a single bit at a time serial protocol with separate wires for transmit and receive plus clock and attention.
SD uses more than 4 wires to send several bits in one clock.  Sounds like you have wired the SD card up to only use the SPI protocol which is the same as the MMC card.  This mode should be royalty free.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on April 30, 2009, 12:27:18 PM
Are the royalties really high or something? You're planning to sell this player, it seems odd to me that you'd engineer it to have a disadvantage when you can pass the cost onto customers.

It seems advertising "It's slower that other players for accessing SD cards" is probably not ideal.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on May 20, 2009, 06:33:53 PM
DAP expansion board schematics released (edit on 21.05.2009)

Although not complete, the DAP expansion board schematics were released. Everyone can get them here (http://code.google.com/p/armopendous/source/checkout) (needs KiCad Free Software program).

This expansion board holds an LCD, buttons and audio codec IC.

The LCD will be a 320X240 (2.4") or a 1.8". We don't know if it will have touch screen or not, but maybe it will have.

The buttons are simple ON/OFF buttons.

The codec IC is a from TLV320 family, but is a low power version - TLV320AIC3204. Board includes headphones out, line out, line in, ext mic in and microphone.

All help is appreciated on the revision of the schematic.

A dreamer or an hero? (edit on 12.05.2009)

Os last 10 days Matt just draw the board, eat and sleep. The board is done and will go to fabrication tomorrow.

I am being reading the messages on LPC3000 yahoo groups and everybody there is pessimistic about the idea of doing a board like this, without professional tools, as expensive equipment  to verify the BGA solder and an high end commercial board design program. Matt took 10 consecutive days to draw it using KiCAD (Free Software) which is far from professional programs (it don't have undo for example).

There are just one company in the world that is selling an development board with the LPC313x (http://www.embeddedartists.com/products/uclinux/oem_lpc3131_bundle.php), but is very closed, they even don't share the schematic! (I think I understand all the investment). So if this work of making an Open Hardware LPC313x board goes ok, this will be very important on Open Hardware ARM9/Linux/Rockbox world. There is a lot of expectations on this LPC3130 ARM9 180MHz because it is cheap, it costs just 3€ (1000 units).

Matt started now the design of the expansion board for adding all the hardware needed to have the player/recorder.

The full schematic sources and a picture of the board can be found on SVN (http://code.google.com/p/armopendous/).

Here a picture of the board:

(http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Design/ARMopendous/ARMopendous_Finished_Layout.jpg) (http://code.google.com/p/armopendous/wiki/News)


Moving from Atmel ARM9 to Phillips ARM9

As you may know, I chose at begin to use an ARM9 from Atmel, because there was already all tools(example codes, datasheets, OpenOCD scripts, bootstrap, other Open Hardware projects) for a quick and ready development. It were my first time with ARM.

Now, Matt (from AVROpendous (http://code.google.com/u/opendous/)) can help us by designing, assembling and selling us a board on his shop on Ebay (http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZopendous).

Matt started by wanting to design and ARM9 board for running Linux, when I asked him for help. He did prefer to use an new ARM9 from Phillips - LPC3130.

For the previous ARM9 from Atmel he have working code for Rockbox (missing the audio), there is Linux for it from Atmel, software library, some Open Source projects, some cheap developments boards, all the tools needed for quickly deploy any application.

For the LPC3130, there is just one datasheet + software library. I couldn't find any development board for it, nor Linux, nor any project using it, nor OpenOCD scripts.

Even Matt told me that the first try to build the main board will cost not less than $500!! and that if it fails he will desist from this project (at least for some months until get more money). It will be a one shot try.

Definitively I would not do as Matt is doing, I would prefer to reuse the schematics of dev. board we are using and use the same ARM9 from Atmel. I think Matt is risking to much.

Anyway, let's see if all goes ok, if we have luck. I am being looking at the schematics to see If I found nay problem, before Matt put PCB for production.

Matt did update the schematics today, there is one picture showing the LPC3130 and the footprint printed on paper - he did used it to see if all is going ok. Please if anyone can help and see the schematics (http://code.google.com/p/armopendous/), we will appreciate.

Here is the picture:

(http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn-history/r3/trunk/Design/ARMopendous_Footprint_Testing.jpg) (http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn-history/r3/trunk/Design/ARMopendous_Footprint_Testing.jpg)

Are the royalties really high or something? You're planning to sell this player, it seems odd to me that you'd engineer it to have a disadvantage when you can pass the cost onto customers.

It seems advertising "It's slower that other players for accessing SD cards" is probably not ideal.
You are right. Actual boards/products of Opendous are very early stage (http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZopendous), later if this project proves popular, maybe Matt can invest more money and search how to deal with this questions. For now we can go low speed and even "ilegal" for when using high speeds.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on June 03, 2009, 07:41:15 AM
PDF files of the schematics now available! - base board and DAP expansion board (edit on 03.06.2009)

The schematic files of all hardware are now available in PDF files. Don't forget that the source files are always available on SVN (http://code.google.com/p/armopendous/source/browse/#svn/trunk/Designl).

Base board PDF schematic files:
- LPC313x (http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Design/ARMopendous/ARMopendous_Schematic-LPC313x.pdf)
- NAND (http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Design/ARMopendous/ARMopendous_Schematic-NAND.pdf)
- RAM_MMC (http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Design/ARMopendous/ARMopendous_Schematic-RAM_MMC.pdf)
- Power (http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Design/ARMopendous/ARMopendous_Schematic-Power.pdf)
- Connectors (http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Design/ARMopendous/ARMopendous_Schematic-Connectors_JTAG.pdf)

DAP-Expansion board PDF schematic files:
- LCD (http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Design/ARMopendous-DAP-Expansion/ARMopendous-DAP-Expansion_Schematic-LCD.pdf)
- Audio CODEC (http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Design/ARMopendous-DAP-Expansion/ARMopendous-DAP-Expansion_Schematic-Audio-CODEC.pdf)
- Buttons (http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Design/ARMopendous-DAP-Expansion/ARMopendous-DAP-Expansion_Schematic-Buttons.pdf)


Hi Casainho,

I have a question on the LyreLittlePrototype.

http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/LyreLittlePrototype


this question is about your page on rockboxplayer-Revision 225,

http://rockboxplayer.googlecode.com/svn-history/r225/trunk/tools/sam-ba_cdc_2.8.linux_01/


applets/at91lib/peripherals/ac97c.c/

http://rockboxplayer.googlecode.com/svn-history/r225/trunk/tools/sam-ba_cdc_2.8.linux_01/applets/at91lib/peripherals/ac97c/


is this code for the AT73C213 (qfn 32) chip?


http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/product_card.asp?part_id=3591

It sells for around $4 but, this code seems to reference the AT91SAM9263 chip.

Hello :-)

That code for the AT73C213 is inside Sam-Ba for Linux. I just used Sam-ba for flash the AT91 Bootstrap code on DataFlash memory, from where the AT91SAM9260 boots.

The board I were using didn't have the AT73C213 IC.

I am on focus now on the ARMopendous board (http://code.google.com/p/armopendous/) and the LPC3130 ARM9 (very cheap, price of $2,8 for 10000 units). The boards may arrive this week to Matt and I hope is all ok.

friendlyzookeeper, please give a look at ARMopendous schematic base board plus the DAP extension board.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on August 21, 2009, 03:19:51 AM
New version of ARMopendous boards, more details for planed Lyre hardware (edit on 21.08.2009)

We are working closely with ARMopendous (http://code.google.com/p/armopendous/), since he is designing the Lyre boards and on final he will produce and sell them online. Here are the last message from him:

The rev2009-05-12 version of the ARMopendous was a significant learning experience. The next version of the ARMopendous, the ARMopendous-DIP improves on the design and provides very flexible and cheap High Speed USB connectivity. A second variation of the ARMopendous, the ARMopendous-DAP, will be a high quality audio player. Schematics for it are available but the board will be routed once I figure out how to create matched-length traces in KiCAD. SDRAM was a major problem in the rev2009-05-12 of the ARMopendous. The schematic for the ARMopendous-DIP is also available. PCBs for it have been ordered and a prototype will hopefully be created before September.

The ARMopendous-DAP board is being designed to fit on the plastic case Hammond 1553B (http://www.hammondmfg.com/1553.htm):

(http://www.hammondmfg.com/jpeg/1553_handB.jpg)
(c) Hammond.

While the ARMopendous-DAP is not available, we will be able to work with the ARMopendous-DIP version, at least an initial Rockbox port for having the kernel working will be possible, for flashing the on board LED.

Here is a 3D view of ARMopendous-DIP board:
(http://lyre.sourceforge.net/sites/default/files/armopendous_board_3d_view-20090821.jpg)
Schematics sources for ARMopendous-DIP and ARMopendous-DAP are available on SVN ARMopendous page (http://code.google.com/p/armopendous/).


Lyre project website now ready (edit on 10.06.2009)

Lyre website is now ready: http://lyre.sourceforge.net/ (http://lyre.sourceforge.net/)

I had to install again the Drupal because Alex Cantos is busy and away from the project, I had to remove the last install made by Alex.

Now site have a blog, a forum and pages for collaborative writing just like the wikis :-) On next days I hope to put more information about the project on the site.

ARMopendous boards now working!!!

Matt made it, he designed the 4 layers board with KiCAD (Free Software), designed the solder paste stencil, assembled the components by hand and finally did solder them on cheap toaster oven - all at his home!! Matt is my hero ;)

Here is the image of the board:
(http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Design/ARMopendous/ARMopendous-rev2009-05-12-Picture1.jpg) (http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Design/ARMopendous/ARMopendous-rev2009-05-12-Picture1.jpg)

See here (http://code.google.com/p/armopendous/wiki/News) more details about the production and assembly of the board (DIY).

Now Matt is looking for help on the DAP-Expansion board, he will soon send the files to produce the board. Please everyone give a look at the schematics and see if something is wrong or missing. Thank you.

DAP-Expansion board PDF schematic files:
- LCD (http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Design/ARMopendous-DAP-Expansion/ARMopendous-DAP-Expansion_Schematic-LCD.pdf)
- Audio CODEC (http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Design/ARMopendous-DAP-Expansion/ARMopendous-DAP-Expansion_Schematic-Audio-CODEC.pdf)
- Buttons (http://armopendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Design/ARMopendous-DAP-Expansion/ARMopendous-DAP-Expansion_Schematic-Buttons.pdf)
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: Looks_Confused on September 23, 2009, 02:15:13 PM
You can get PCB's printed? I thought that was just for huge orders from big companies. The housing wouldn't be too hard, check out the projects on http://www.benheck.com. I still think writing firmware would be the hardest, because you can't get much more than rockbox devs anyway.

For the future I would recommend a dual-core CPU, because I've read that will be the fastest way to decode video and audio without an external chip. The problem is, nobody knows how to use both cores yet.

Yeah, I'm too lazy to see if anyone else has answered this question.  That said, there are several quick turn PCB companies that can turn out small quantities of PCB's very cost effectively.  in the neighborhood of $25-50 each.  Advanced Circuits and Express PCB to name a couple.  Advanced Circuits even has a student program with $33 two layer PCB's with a minimum order of 1.

Regards,

Hans
Title: Re: Opposite of porting: Designing Hardware around RockBox!
Post by: casainho on September 23, 2009, 02:23:30 PM
I am writting now the news on project page at SourceForge.net: http://lyre.sourceforge.net (http://lyre.sourceforge.net)

Latest news

Me and Bob, we both bought the Friendly ARM mini2440 development board (http://www.friendlyarm.net/products/mini2440). Schematics, datasheets and example code as Linux, are avaialabe here (http://www.friendlyarm.net/downloads).
We bought the boards on Ebay for about $85 (with LCD and touchscreen + jack audio output) plus shipping.
(http://www.friendlyarm.net/sites/products/mini2440-35.jpg)

We were looking for a way to have a repository of firmware where we could store our Rockbox port and at the same time keep it updated with the Rockbox SVN, to be able to create patchs. The best way we find were to use Mercurial on Lyre SourceForge.net project space. I wrote a quick instructions page (http://lyre.sourceforge.net/?q=content/lyresourceforgenet-source-code-management) for how to view the code, get it or commit.

We were able to create the structure on Rockbox for our port and now the Rockbox bootloader builds without errors. The code is a copy of the Gigabeat port, since it uses the same ARM9 SoC.

Next tasks is to learn and try to rewrite the C Startup code and Linker Script, so the main() on bootloader file can be run. We also need to get the OpenOCD script file for loading/debugging the code on SDRAM.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on September 29, 2009, 03:12:07 PM
Next picture were taken by Bob. Note that LCD can be mounted in many ways, it can cover almost all the board as seen on this picture.

(http://lyre.sourceforge.net/sites/default/files/lyre-mini2440-20090929.jpg)

Two others Rockbox developers bought the board, Domonoky and JdGordon. We should see a big push on this hardware soon ;-)

Read more here (http://lyre.sourceforge.net/?q=content/news-lyre-mini2440-prototype).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: TexasRockbox on October 01, 2009, 11:05:07 AM
Western Digital has introduced a 750GB 2.5" SATA HDD.  I've been reading through the posts.  Is a 2.5" SATA drive a consideration for this project?  I've seen postings concerning 1.8" ZIF drives but those are still very limited in capacity and expensive.  2.5" drives are plentiful and relatively cheap.

It would be nice to have one's entire FLAC collection to carry about.

Just a thought.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: bobc on October 04, 2009, 02:28:37 PM
Hi,

I'm planning to create a PATA IDE interface for the Mini2440 designed for 2.5" drives, which should be quite straightforward.  The Mini2440/HDD device will be portable, but not battery powered (unless it's a car battery ;)).

Onboard SATA will take a little more work and is a topic for future study, but a PATA-SATA adaptor might work.

Out of interest, how many MB is your FLAC collection?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on October 17, 2009, 07:53:48 AM
I got my board finally and I got Rockbox firmware running. Read more here (http://lyre.sourceforge.net/?q=content/rockbox-firmware-runs-mini2440-development-board).

(http://lyre.sourceforge.net/sites/default/files/lyre-mini2440-firmware_running-20091017.jpg) (http://lyre.sourceforge.net/sites/default/files/lyre-mini2440-firmware_running-20091017.jpg)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: angelwolf71885 on October 31, 2009, 12:54:10 AM
I got my board finally and I got Rockbox firmware running. Read more here (http://lyre.sourceforge.net/?q=content/rockbox-firmware-runs-mini2440-development-board).

(http://lyre.sourceforge.net/sites/default/files/lyre-mini2440-firmware_running-20091017.jpg) (http://lyre.sourceforge.net/sites/default/files/lyre-mini2440-firmware_running-20091017.jpg)

oh that looks so pretty and rather cheep at the Bord and lcd price
add a usb wifi module and wed be golden :D

the progress is very nice :D
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on November 03, 2009, 12:37:18 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen: we have SOUND! on Mini2440 (http://lyre.sourceforge.net/?q=content/ladies-and-gentlemen-we-have-sound-mini2440)

You can see this small video I did shot right now:
(http://a.images.blip.tv/Jpcasainho-lyre_mini2440rockboxladies_and_gentlemen20091103900.jpg) (http://blip.tv/file/get/Jpcasainho-lyre_mini2440rockboxladies_and_gentlemen20091103563.ogg)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: perfectdrug on November 18, 2009, 08:54:07 PM
I ported the awesome fidelity theme to the 2440 ( http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=23142 )

tell me if it works on the actual device (I plan to buy one for christmas)

here it is:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/283924/fidelity2440.zip
(updated)
(http://dl.dropbox.com/u/283924/Mini2440.png)

have fun.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on November 19, 2009, 07:42:55 AM
I don't have the Mini2440 with me now, so, I can't test it for now.

Bob did designed a board for ATA disk interface:
(http://lyre.sourceforge.net/sites/default/files/ata_if_3d_0.png) (http://lyre.sourceforge.net/?q=content/ata-disk-interface)

See all the info here: http://lyre.sourceforge.net/?q=content/ata-disk-interface
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: coacharnold on December 02, 2009, 09:58:35 AM
OK .... I've been using Rockbox for a few years and never saw this topic till today ... this looks fantastic..  I'm amazed ....i have two questions

1: can somebody give me a summary of where this project is?? has it gotten to a point where its just about ordering hardware and putting it together or still in heavy development??


2:  Feature request ..... I would kill to have something like this with a huge SATA drive and plug in power to sit on top of my stereo ....  has it gotten to a point where I can suggest putting a passive RCA output with some better audio output electronics to jack up the audiophile quality of the device...

I realize what I'm talking about is starting to get close to a simple linux flavored media box ... but even slight portability would be awesome ........ 

anyone have any thoughts?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on December 02, 2009, 10:33:47 AM
Here: http://lyre.sourceforge.net/

Currently I am trying to build my own 3D printer based on RepRap, to be able to print a plastic enclosure for the Mini2440 board.

And about portable device, Opendous is still working on it and have good advances: http://code.google.com/p/opendous/wiki/LPC313x_DIP_Board

(http://opendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Current_Designs/LPC313x-DIP-Board/LPC313x_Core_Board_MatchedLengthTracesDone.jpg)

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: angelwolf71885 on December 02, 2009, 10:36:53 AM
Here: http://lyre.sourceforge.net/

Currently I am trying to build my own 3D printer based on RepRap, to be able to print a plastic enclosure for the Mini2440 board.

And about portable device, Opendous is still working on it and have good advances: http://code.google.com/p/opendous/wiki/LPC313x_DIP_Board

(http://code.google.com/p/opendous/source/browse/trunk/Current_Designs/LPC313x-DIP-Board/LPC313x_Core_Board_MatchedLengthTracesDone.jpg)




have you considerd just making a clay or wood negative

and vacuforming a case for it?
then sending it ff to a CNC place to have it made in metal
and then finialy made into an injection mold?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on December 02, 2009, 10:40:32 AM
have you considerd just making a clay or wood negative

and vacuforming a case for it?
then sending it ff to a CNC place to have it made in metal
and then finialy made into an injection mold?
No, I didn't consider such "looks complicated and expensive" thing.

Having a RepRap 3D printer (http://reprap.org/bin/view/Main/WebHome) looks much more simple and cheap ;-)

I hope to get a case like this:
(http://andahammer.com/assets/Uploads/Cases/_resampled/ResizedImage576455-MN35A7WEB.jpg)

(http://andahammer.com/assets/Uploads/Cases/_resampled/ResizedImage576452-MN35A6WEB.jpg)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: angelwolf71885 on December 02, 2009, 10:44:49 AM
have you considerd just making a clay or wood negative

and vacuforming a case for it?
then sending it ff to a CNC place to have it made in metal
and then finialy made into an injection mold?
No, I didn't consider such "looks complicated and expensive" thing.

Having a RepRap 3D printer (http://reprap.org/bin/view/Main/WebHome) looks much more simple and cheap ;-)

you can build one for little or nothing

out f a airhockey replacement bord a hoover and a big sheet of thin plastic
and a lamp to heat the plastic to flexible

and drop it over the item switch on the vac and thus you made a mold

hell you can have aglist a temp case in 5 mins

till you can git the 3d printer
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on December 02, 2009, 10:49:48 AM
have you considerd just making a clay or wood negative

and vacuforming a case for it?
then sending it ff to a CNC place to have it made in metal
and then finialy made into an injection mold?
No, I didn't consider such "looks complicated and expensive" thing.

Having a RepRap 3D printer (http://reprap.org/bin/view/Main/WebHome) looks much more simple and cheap ;-)

you can build one for little or nothing

out f a airhockey replacement bord a hoover and a big sheet of thin plastic
and a lamp to heat the plastic to flexible

and drop it over the item switch on the vac and thus you made a mold

hell you can have aglist a temp case in 5 mins

till you can git the 3d printer

Sorry, I don't understand how to do such thing. Would be easy for me if I could read and see pictures, example of such works...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: coacharnold on December 02, 2009, 10:56:44 AM
Ok Wow .... your doing wonderful work ....   how long before you have a wiki up on how someone with only a little build experience can do this....

When will there be a test on the ATA interface??

Also is the any thought of designing it with a passive RCA output for home stereo?


Tim

PS: Where are you in Portugal ..... my girlfriend is from right outside Porto .....  if you need to reply or message me in Portuguese ....
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: angelwolf71885 on December 02, 2009, 10:59:41 AM
have you considerd just making a clay or wood negative

and vacuforming a case for it?
then sending it ff to a CNC place to have it made in metal
and then finialy made into an injection mold?
No, I didn't consider such "looks complicated and expensive" thing.

Having a RepRap 3D printer (http://reprap.org/bin/view/Main/WebHome) looks much more simple and cheap ;-)

you can build one for little or nothing

out f a airhockey replacement bord a hoover and a big sheet of thin plastic
and a lamp to heat the plastic to flexible

and drop it over the item switch on the vac and thus you made a mold

hell you can have aglist a temp case in 5 mins

till you can git the 3d printer

Sorry, I don't understand how to do such thing. Would be easy for me if I could read and see pictures, example of such works...

will this video help?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGBRiYhxRTM

step by step

http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-good,-cheap,-upgradeable-sheet-plastic-vacu/
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on December 02, 2009, 11:16:45 AM
OK .... I've been using Rockbox for a few years and never saw this topic till today ... this looks fantastic..  I'm amazed ....i have two questions

1: can somebody give me a summary of where this project is?? has it gotten to a point where its just about ordering hardware and putting it together or still in heavy development??
You just need to buy the player on Ebay. After get the Rockbox SVN and build the bootloader and firmware for Mini2440 board, and after flash the bootloader on Mini2440. Firmware is placed as the music files, on SDCard.

You can get more info here: http://lyre.sourceforge.net/?q=content/mini2440-porting

And the video showing the system playing audio: http://lyre.sourceforge.net/?q=content/ladies-and-gentlemen-we-have-sound-mini2440

And I am very busy right now. I will try to answer other questions later or even better, I hope that Bob can also answer them ;-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: bobc on December 07, 2009, 07:23:13 AM
Ok Wow .... your doing wonderful work ....   how long before you have a wiki up on how someone with only a little build experience can do this....

When will there be a test on the ATA interface??

Also is the any thought of designing it with a passive RCA output for home stereo?

I just got the PCB back from the board house, I hope to be working on it in the next few weeks. The software driver for it should be easy.

I'm not sure what a line output entails, since I don't know much about analog design. If it is just a question of a suitable connector, that can be arranged.

Otherwise the major pieces of work missing are USB to enable data transfer and a suitable enclosure.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: angelwolf71885 on December 07, 2009, 07:46:17 AM
Ok Wow .... your doing wonderful work ....   how long before you have a wiki up on how someone with only a little build experience can do this....

When will there be a test on the ATA interface??

Also is the any thought of designing it with a passive RCA output for home stereo?

I just got the PCB back from the board house, I hope to be working on it in the next few weeks. The software driver for it should be easy.

I'm not sure what a line output entails, since I don't know much about analog design. If it is just a question of a suitable connector, that can be arranged.

Otherwise the major pieces of work missing are USB to enable data transfer and a suitable enclosure.

what about a battery management control chip?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: bobc on December 07, 2009, 12:39:01 PM
what about a battery management control chip?

I have no plan for that, since the mini2440 is not designed for battery operation it uses too much power. The mini2440 is really only suitable for home/car operation. The PATA interface board has space for a 5V regulator, so I guess you could hook up a 9/12V battery pack if size/weight is not an issue.

I have been looking at designing a portable handheld DAP with a 1.8" disk, and if/when the mini2440 project is completed, I hope to work more on that. Hopefully the Opendous project will have produced some usable hardware by then which can be used as the basis for a design.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on December 09, 2009, 10:53:28 AM
Otherwise the major pieces of work missing are USB to enable data transfer and a suitable enclosure.
I think Domonoky is trying to work on USB...

And for enclosure, I am working to get my RepRap alike 3D printer to work correcly, would be nice if in begin of January I could start printing and design one enclose for Mini2440. Is there anyone that knows how to design a plastic enclosure on Blender or other similar program?

As for now, I got this print object (video here (http://blip.tv/file/get/Jpcasainho-MyFirst3DPrintWithRepStrapRepRapProject634.ogg)):
(http://a.images.blip.tv/Jpcasainho-MyFirst3DPrintWithRepStrapRepRapProject144.jpg) (http://a.images.blip.tv/Jpcasainho-MyFirst3DPrintWithRepStrapRepRapProject144.jpg)

And soon I will start offering the service of selling Mini2440 system with Rockbox working on it, and full of music files with Creative Commons License.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on December 18, 2009, 07:26:47 PM
casainho, what media is your Reprap using? It looks like hot glue with air pockets. It does look interesting.
It's ABS (http://reprap.org/bin/view/Main/ABS).

I am not being able to print with detail... I have a lot to make in my printer for it full working. At least I already started to learn and design in 3D and I am sure I could now easily design a enclosure for Mini2440.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Falco98 on December 20, 2009, 10:32:15 PM
2:  (snip) ... has it gotten to a point where I can suggest putting a passive RCA output with some better audio output electronics to jack up the audiophile quality of the device...

Please excuse me if I'm mistaking what you are asking, but as far as I can tell this unit includes an analog headphone-out jack, which as far as analog audio goes, should be just about equal in quality to dedicated RCA jacks, and in fact you can pass audio from this to a stereo's RCA input using a ~$5 cable from Wal-Mart or Target (which I do pretty often with my current rockboxed iRiver).  Or is this not what you meant?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: coacharnold on December 21, 2009, 09:59:30 AM
Well .... not to sound like an audio snob ... but there is a HUGE difference between a 4 dollar cable from wall mart and a set of decent RCA interconnects ( not the least price ... I have a pair of interconnects that I could trade for a new computer)  .... in fact this is one of the areas that DAPs lag behind serious high grade audio ...   we spent a lot of time and effort  developing flac and great digital DAP audio but we are limited to the weak links in the signal chain .....   as I see it here's the weak links .....

the D to A converter in the player itself ... the electronics after the D to A converter ... the headphone plug ..... and the cables after the headphone plug .....  this of course if you  are using your DAP to run through an audio system as opposed to a set of good headphones.... even with expensive headphones .... the weak link is the cable and the plug and the output plug and D to A converter ....on the DAP

These are limitations .... even the best DAPs lack at the end of the signal chain .... 

if your someone who has sent a lot of time, worry,  and money developing home audio .. it's almost not even worth switching to digital audio .....  ( this is why a lot of us use Rock box in the first place .... so we don't have to use lossy formats like Mp3) ....  I have been waiting for a project like this one for a long time .... the possibilities that this community has raised with this new Open Audio player are for  far greater than what Apple of the rest of the digital audio universe has offered us .....
 
I know I'm asking for the Moon here ... but I'm seriously excited by the possibilities of this open sourced player ......

thoughts??

Tim
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Llorean on December 21, 2009, 10:03:05 AM
These are limitations .... even the best DAPs lack at the end of the signal chain .... 

The iRiver H100 has a digital optical output, so you can attach it to whatever you like and use the DAC and analog electronics in that, letting you choose entirely what sort of signal quality issues to introduce (or not) by what hardware you attach it to.

Digital output is something that has been recommended many times for an 'open' player to run Rockbox on, but there will always be limitations on how many ideas can be included.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: coacharnold on December 21, 2009, 10:09:46 AM
I think I knew about the digital output in the h100 --- it's something that Iriver was way ahead of the game with .... I wish they still made that player .... I'm glad to hear that some sort of hi fidelity output has at least been talked about .....

thank you for responding ... you folks are doing an incredible job with this project ... please don't think that I'm complaining ....  I just found out that this project existed a week ago ...

T
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: casainho on December 21, 2009, 03:14:42 PM
thank you for responding ... you folks are doing an incredible job with this project ... please don't think that I'm complaining ....  I just found out that this project existed a week ago ...
If you want to help/discover/learn about this hardware and audio quality, try to buy it, use and hack ;-)

http://lyre.sourceforge.net/
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: anten44733 on January 01, 2010, 04:42:59 PM
Hi!
I am from Russia
Long enjoyed this player on my phone Motorola E6
Ready to help in the development of the project
In programming I'm not very strong
Can help with electronics

I have a few questions and suggestions

I do not understand why the chosen ARM 2440?
He is an old USB1.1
Maybe only because of the price?

You used Mini2440 ARM9 Board
I found a micro-2440 Board
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110413382725&refid=store&ssPageName=STORE:HTMLBUILDER:SIMPLEITEM

Get on it to run your firmware?
I want to buy this designer
I want to use the CPU module separately to reduce the size of the player
http://cgi.ebay.com/Samsung-S3C2440-ARM9-ARM920T-ARM-Core-Board-Design-Kit_W0QQitemZ120446764043QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item1c0b2fc40b

I propose to use
I am in their designs using LiPol batteries and charge them LTC4054
http://www.linear.com/pc/productDetail.jsp?navId=H0, C1, C1003, C1037, C1078, C1088, P2294

To monitor the battery in collaborative projects using DS2745
http://www.maxim-ic.com/quick_view2.cfm/qv_pk/4994

Radio module for example WRL-08770
 http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8770
Sorry for English
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: AndrewT1989 on January 06, 2010, 01:57:04 PM
All I can say is that this is an incredible project that I'm going to continue to follow, and I know I've come across it at a pretty exciting time in its development cycle, when all the major features (most of all sound playback) are now functional, firmware is running without issues, touch screen functionality is implemented, etc. Overall, this progress is wonderful. Find a manufacturer to mass-produce these, and I would happily purchase one myself from Amazon or wherever you'll eventually make it available. I would recommend the color black (especially if you can't manage to slim it down; let's not lose any of those customers that buy based on appearances) and 16GB and 32GB models. This mp3 player, I believe, represents another milestone for the free software movement.

And perhaps you could implement something approximating software crystalization/expand or SRS WOW in a future version of the hardware.  ;)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: anten44733 on January 10, 2010, 04:11:38 PM
Another question
USB stack is implemented?
How to throw music on SD?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: AndrewT1989 on January 10, 2010, 10:32:14 PM
anten44733,

I'm pretty sure the design of the hardware is about 100% finished, including USB. Sound was actually one of the last things that ended up becoming functional, but now it works too. I wish they'd use a smaller battery and do anything else that would result in a thinner final product. The current prototype appears to have the dimensions of a shoebox. :)

To put music on an SD card, you either sync to it with your favorite music program or simply copy and paste the files to the drive. I actually like the idea of customizing the mp3 player's memory for a change, although 32gb SD cards are still too expensive at this point.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: anten44733 on January 11, 2010, 12:44:54 PM
AndrewT1989

Hi!
You are the developer of this project?
Where did you get this information?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: Domonoky on January 11, 2010, 01:28:21 PM

No, USB currently doesnt work on this plattform. And there are also many rough parts still left in the firmware.
For example plugins are still not enabled, because noone has done the neccessary work to make all keymappings for them. And while playing sound, i hear many interferences which may be reduced if someone does the neccessary work to optimize this. There is probably much more work left todo.

And about the Hardware: There is no battery used currently, because the mini2440 draws too much power to make this usefull. The case is still in development and i dont know the current status of the Harddisk extension board. 

So saying that this hardware is 100% finished, i a little bit exaggerated. :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: JdGordon on January 17, 2010, 07:11:44 PM
I finally got openocd going and I can telnet in and run init_2440, but when I try "source prog_boot.txt" it fails...

> source prog_boot.txt
requesting target halt and executing a soft reset
target state: halted
target halted in ARM state due to breakpoint, current mode: Supervisor
cpsr: 0xf00000d3 pc: 0x00000000
MMU: disabled, D-Cache: disabled, I-Cache: disabled
Flash Manufacturer/Device: 0x00bf 0x234b
flash 'cfi' found at 0x00000000
auto erase enabled
not enough working area available(requested 32768, free 4032)
not enough working area available(requested 16384, free 4032)
not enough working area available(requested 8192, free 4032)
not enough working area available(requested 4096, free 4032)
error writing to flash at address 0x00000000 at offset 0x00000000 (-902)

called at file "command.c", line 473
called at file "prog_boot.txt", line 12
called at file "embedded:startup.tcl", line 89
called at file "embedded:startup.tcl", line 91
called at file "embedded:startup.tcl", line 93



any ideas?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: JdGordon on January 19, 2010, 01:37:00 AM
woo! got it fixed... commented out the working space line in the config and now we are good to go.
So, how much of a pipe dream is it to get a SMB or NFS client on this for storage?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: JdGordon on January 19, 2010, 02:55:07 AM
any ideas where the bug for the SD speed is? speed is crazy!

also, why the hell is the only button that is accessable with the lcd mounted the reset button :< is http://lyre.sourceforge.net/?q=content/keypad-mini2440 supported in svn already?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 22, 2010, 05:14:22 PM
Hello :-)

I have some good news :-) -- I printed the first verison of enclosure for it. I want to use the Mini2440 with Rockbox as home DAP. My enclosure have input for power supply and SD card. Outputs audio on jack. Touchscreen is used for user input.

I am working now on improving the 3D design on the case and I hope to print a better version tomorrow, mybe the final one, I hope :-)

Some pictures:
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2690/4348827472_c1fb86c164.jpg)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4040/4348083387_015867a1be.jpg)

See all pictures here:
http://lyre.sourceforge.net/?q=content/my-first-3d-print-mini2440-enclosure

Me and Domonoky, we both have have Mini2440 and a 3D printer :-) -- but I can print the enclosure if anyone needs it, PM me.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: JdGordon on February 22, 2010, 05:16:32 PM
but... isnt the whole point of the mini2440 to show how geeky you really are? hiding it behind a plastic case just feels wrong :p

(mine is still in a semi broken state :( )
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 22, 2010, 06:01:08 PM
but... isnt the whole point of the mini2440 to show how geeky you really are? hiding it behind a plastic case just feels wrong :p
Ahah :-) PLA plastic is a bit translucid, maybe I can lower the thickness of the enclosure so we can see the board inside :-)

But I want that the system be robust, because my girlfriend and future son will use it...

(mine is still in a semi broken state :( )
Why? what is missing? -- you know, BoB_C, me and Domonoky, we both have Rockbox running on it :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: JdGordon on February 22, 2010, 06:07:16 PM
I decided running rockbox would be a waste, I'm working on getting linux going and then rockbox as an app so I can have storage on the network :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 22, 2010, 06:09:21 PM
I decided running rockbox would be a waste, I'm working on getting linux going and then rockbox as an app so I can have storage on the network :)
Wouldn't be better to hav some Linux on it and play the multimedia files with VLC or any other player? What are the advantages of Rockbox over VLC, for example?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: JdGordon on February 22, 2010, 06:15:28 PM
stop talking crazy!
rockbox as an app is one of our long term goals and this seem to be a perfect testbed
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 22, 2010, 06:22:51 PM
stop talking crazy!
rockbox as an app is one of our long term goals and this seem to be a perfect testbed
Ok, I readed now the Bagder blog message about this subject (http://daniel.haxx.se/blog/2010/02/15/the-rockbox-future-is-an-app/).

If we could manufacture our electronics boards, we could also print the enclosures and then make at home our full costum Rockbox device :-)

My dream is to use new tecnhologies to make a simple and cheap player/recorder, just for audio. If anyone want video or games, then go with Rockbox as an app on Android or anything else.

I wish I could build a board using cheap ARM Cortex M3, with external 4MB RAM and small and cheap color LCD. Then I could also print at home my enclosure for it and have a full portable DAP running Rockbox at my hands :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 25, 2010, 06:11:59 AM
I went to IRC Rockbox channel and developers told me there that ARM Cortex M3 will not work, lack of power processing/speed.

While Opendous (http://code.google.com/p/opendous/) quit the idea of using LPC313x for a multimedia device system, he is pursuing with another ARM. I am waiting for see what he can do. At least I am working in plastic enclosure, so I think if he can produce the boards including the LCD and battery, I can put it inside a plastic enclosure and create a complete device :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: torne on February 25, 2010, 07:13:57 AM
No, you were told that the Cortex-M3 will not work because it can only run Thumb2 instructions, and Rockbox cannot currently be compiled for Thumb/Thumb2 (it's been tried in the past and makes things go wrong for reasons nobody spent enough time to figure out).

Whether a specific M3 setup is actually fast enough is a totally different issue. In terms of raw CPU performance the M3 is unlikely to be *slower* than an ARM7 (e.g. PortalPlayer) at the same clock speed, and may be significantly faster (ARM has gotten a lot better over the years)... but memory accesses might be too slow, perhaps (not sure what the caching arrangements are for the available M3-based chips).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 25, 2010, 08:32:50 AM
No, you were told that the Cortex-M3 will not work because it can only run Thumb2 instructions, and Rockbox cannot currently be compiled for Thumb/Thumb2 (it's been tried in the past and makes things go wrong for reasons nobody spent enough time to figure out).

Whether a specific M3 setup is actually fast enough is a totally different issue. In terms of raw CPU performance the M3 is unlikely to be *slower* than an ARM7 (e.g. PortalPlayer) at the same clock speed, and may be significantly faster (ARM has gotten a lot better over the years)... but memory accesses might be too slow, perhaps (not sure what the caching arrangements are for the available M3-based chips).
Thanks for the clarification :-)

I wish there was more developers interested in playing with hardware...
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 25, 2010, 10:05:16 AM
I think it would be a waste to develop something like this for 1 messly custom made MP3 player because nobody on here would be able to use it or develop for it except you...
The idea is to develop something we can build at home or a small fab, and being Open Hardware. Like now we have the possibility of making our own plastic enclosures thanks to Open Hardware 3D printers like RepRap. We can also design/assembly our custom electronics boards and make small fabs at home - peole is being doing this and selling directly on communities.

Maybe you should help me with my Rockbox Port for PSP GO PM Me...
Go and ask help for the company who make and sell it to you. Maybe you could start asking them for the schematics and datasheets of electronic components.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: torne on February 25, 2010, 02:43:12 PM
I don't want to be mean, but if you want to use atmel arm, you will need to be able to embed the system to introduce a firmware like Rockbox.
...what?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 25, 2010, 03:38:58 PM
I don't want to be mean, but if you want to use atmel arm, you will need to be able to embed the system to introduce a firmware like Rockbox.
...what?
I think Opendous will next try to make a board using i.MX233 (http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=i.MX233). You know, it is used on actual version of Chumby (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chumby) which have some parts Open Sourced.

Let's see if we will see an Open Hardware device based on that i.MX233 and Opendous selling it on Ebay.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 26, 2010, 06:52:28 AM
casainho,
That would be an excellent board, what will be an approximate cost? Looks like around $200US.
I don't know. We have to wait.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2711/4389754512_7567fc129c.jpg) (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2787/4388986093_7a0a9424b7.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/archives/date-posted/2010/02/26/)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio play
Post by: agdurrette on March 04, 2010, 01:43:01 AM
hay would mined explain how you would make an mp3 player cus i would like to build one myself.


Thanks.
LoL This is not something I recall posting O.o  Oh well  :-\ at least It's a Golden Quote  :D
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: ean611 on March 04, 2010, 10:32:51 AM
I would love to put something like that in my car, with one catch, I would want the screen to be external.

I already have an in-dash screen that runs off a composite video cable, and I'm feeding that with a Western Digital WDTV. (it has S/PDIF and reads any HD).

I would love to upgrade/replace it with something running rockbox, but I'd need the same integration I have now.

Any way to get rockbox with S/PDIF out and an external screen? (besides a port of Rockbox to WDTV, which I doubt would be trivial and popular)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: torne on March 05, 2010, 10:55:32 AM
I would love to put something like that in my car, with one catch, I would want the screen to be external.
The screen there is external, effectively; it's just been put in the same box. You can put it further away, I'm sure. (though there may be bounds on the cable length). There certainly exist boards with various kinds of TV-style video out that would attach to your in-dash screen.

And yes, porting to the device you already have is a possibility, if it's suitable; follow the same process as any DAP port :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: bobc on March 14, 2010, 11:43:03 AM
I decided running rockbox would be a waste, I'm working on getting linux going and then rockbox as an app so I can have storage on the network :)
I think that Rockbox/App on Linux makes a lot of sense for mini2440, I will have to look into it. I suspect it will be easier to create an App than a hardware port, and much more useful in the long run. Getting access to USB and network drivers etc via Linux is a big chunk of work saved. The Chumby could also be a suitable target for Rockbox/app.

The Lyre project is somewhat stalled at the moment, we can continue with mini2440 even though it is not suitable for portable player, or develop/adopt an alternative platform, of which there are several potential chips but no board designs yet. Cortex support is also a sticking point, since many of the new chips use this architecture.

So I think the way forward is Rockbox/app for mini2440.

Quote from: ean611
I would love to put something like that in my car, with one catch, I would want the screen to be external.

I already have an in-dash screen that runs off a composite video cable, and I'm feeding that with a Western Digital WDTV. (it has S/PDIF and reads any HD).
There is a VGA adaptor board for mini2440, but no composite video or SPDIF, so I can't think how that can be done.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on April 27, 2010, 07:39:40 AM
EDIT on 2010.04.27:

THE BOARD FROM OPENDOUS:

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3262/4557736956_994cf77756.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/4557736956/sizes/l/in/photostream/)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3605/4557104887_ee7e0ddb78.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/4557104887/sizes/l/in/photostream/)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3481/4557736506_a512a6d49a.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/4557736506/sizes/l/)

Source files, schematic in pdf and more details about the plastic enclosure: http://code.google.com/p/propendous/

Matt wrote:
Quote
I just completed the first revision of the board and am about to
send it off for fabrication.  I managed to fit the following into this
hand-held 77x61mm 2-layer board that fits the Hammond 1553B_BAT case:
- 0.1" 40pin Header with all usable signals exposed
- 0.1" ARM JTAG Header as well as Serial-JTAG Header
- 2 LEDs (Power and Debug/USB Host)
- microSD (captive) for system files
- SD (external) for user files
- DDR SDRAM
- USB Hosting
- USB Device
- Headphone Jack
- Line-In Jack
- Microphone
- RCA Video Jack
- 2 LCD connectors - 1.8" and 2.4"
- Touchscreen Controller for the 2.4" LCD
- Accelerometer
- 2mm Boot Jumpers

 Most of the components are optional.  I hope to start prototyping
later next week.

THE BOARD FROM JOHN COOPER:

John Cooper is also making a board for imx233, and he have already good images of it: http://people.redhat.com/~jcooper/projects/nutshell/wip/0.01/

I think this two boards will blend in just one. We are all cooperating to make a cheap DIY board based on imx233 :-)

The objective is that the hardware can run Rockbox and Linux, thinking in the Rockbox as being an app on Linux :-)

---

Me and Bob, we had being in talk with Matt from Opendous. We decided to pay Matt for design a module board with ARM9 + SDRAM + uSDCard.

We decided for imx233 (the same Chumby uses) because it have integrated audio dac.

The module we plan will have imx233 + SDRAM + uSDCard + power + 1 LED.

We plan to make a "nano" DAP, in the sense of being simple, cheap, DIY. After having the module, we will connect to it a Lithium battery of 3.7V. Firmware will be stored on uSDCard as user files. Some buttons will be wired to module board. A audio jack for audio out will also be wired. Also a cheap LCD with few wires. Finally we will put it inside a plastic enclosure (I plan to print my own).

We defined already the module functionalities and size. Matt will start design next week and finish. Other week for boards be done. Another week for then arrive at our homes.

I think this project must be a kind of DIY. Like Arduino and RepRap 3D printers which are my both projects references. Both of them are Open Source and have many sellers/online shops :-)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: squonk on April 29, 2010, 07:19:42 AM
I'm very happy to hear something new about Lyre project!
Some questions about the recent update.

1) casainho talk about Rockbox as being an app on Linux: this is reported also in the ideas list of Google Summer of Code 2010. How long can take to developers to realize a this "porting"?

2) With the new board that seems to be realized very soon, what about sound quality? We can expect a kit with a decent sound?

3) With the new palyer it will be possible to store the audio files on both HDD and SD memory card?

Many thanks!
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on May 19, 2010, 04:47:47 AM
EDIT on 2010.05.19:
And now John (http://www.third-harmonic.com/), updated his board for also the IMX233 ARM9 and wrote this message:

Hi all,
   I've reworked/augmented the design somewhat, tightened up the core board layout, and added the mating user interface board to complete the self-contained portable audio decoder.

schematic/mechanical (PDF) (http://people.redhat.com/~jcooper/projects/nutshell/wip/0.02/nutshell.pdf)

core board:
(http://people.redhat.com/~jcooper/projects/nutshell/wip/0.02/nutshell-0.02-front.jpg) (http://people.redhat.com/~jcooper/projects/nutshell/wip/0.02/nutshell-0.02-front.jpg) (http://people.redhat.com/~jcooper/projects/nutshell/wip/0.02/nutshell-0.02-back.jpg) (http://people.redhat.com/~jcooper/projects/nutshell/wip/0.02/nutshell-0.02-back.jpg)

user interface board:
(http://people.redhat.com/~jcooper/projects/nutshell/wip/0.02/nutshell-user-0.02-front.jpg) (http://people.redhat.com/~jcooper/projects/nutshell/wip/0.02/nutshell-user-0.02-front.jpg) (http://people.redhat.com/~jcooper/projects/nutshell/wip/0.02/nutshell-user-0.02-back.jpg) (http://people.redhat.com/~jcooper/projects/nutshell/wip/0.02/nutshell-user-0.02-back.jpg)

The core board is still usable in standalone/embedded scenarios (without mating interface board) as a second micro SD connector has been added for application use.  The modified debug port can be used for basic off-board control rather than interfacing via the full expansion connector.

But the primary target has been a self-contained audio player. To that end the interface board adds a low power transreflective graphic display, UI navigation direction control, rotary jog encoder, and discrete tact switches.  A full sized SD card slot is also provided.  I've located base and interface board
components to maximize stacking density and was still able to reclaim over 5% of base board area.  The updated schematic includes a mechanical drawing of the intended enclosure for reference.

Further size reduction is possible to some degree but would involve changing the 3.5mm audio jack to a 2.5mm version, use of a lower capacity (smaller) battery, and dropping the standard size SD slot.  For perspective, the standard SD connector alone is nearly half of the size of the 40x56.8mm core board.

Sans a few minor tweaks such as potentially adjusting switch mounting locations for mechanical optimization, I think it is near complete.  Feedback and suggestions however are welcome.
Even after layout validation another spin will be needed using 0.5~0.8mm thick laminate as standard 1.6mm stock wastes considerable volume in a design of this size.

Thanks,

-john


EDIT on 2010.05.18:
Matt just received the PCBs (to fit on this Hammond plastic enclosure (http://www.hammondmfg.com/pdf/1553B_BAT.pdf)), and we will be 3 developers assembling it, me, Bobc and Matt Opendous.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4053/4617959519_3a700961cd.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/4617959519/sizes/o/)

I think Matt have more PCBs, if anyone want one, please ask him (http://code.google.com/p/propendous/). Source files for schematic, board (in KiCad) and fabrication are here (http://code.google.com/p/propendous/source/browse/#svn/trunk) (Open Hardware project).

Matt told us on e-mail: I will be prototyping a board tomorrow and will film the process and
post on YouTube.


Here is video about IMX233: Get Started: Freescale i.MX233 Multimedia Applications Processor (http://=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjM3hPe76Cc)

And I hope to receive my PCB and components in a week :-) -- Matt sold to us one kit (PCB + components + shipping) for $50 :-)

---
I'm very happy to hear something new about Lyre project!

I am happy too :-)

Some questions about the recent update.

1) casainho talk about Rockbox as being an app on Linux: this is reported also in the ideas list of Google Summer of Code 2010. How long can take to developers to realize a this "porting"?
I don't know. Board will be able to run Linux. It's Open Hardware project, and board have the same size of Arduino pins for attach a secondary board... we hope that users will be able to hack it and help us to get Linux and Rockbox running on it ;-)

2) With the new board that seems to be realized very soon, what about sound quality? We can expect a kit with a decent sound?
I don't really know. imx233 have integrated audio codec and we will use it for start. Later if we need more quality, we can use any better external codec IC and electronics circuit.
The Chumby uses imx233, so maybe the ones who have one Chumby can tell about the audio quality.

3) With the new palyer it will be possible to store the audio files on both HDD and SD memory card?
Actual board have 2 memory cards. 1st: an uSD card to hold Rockbox or Linux firmware and from where imx233 boots. 2nd: and SD Card to hold user files.

An HDD? I don't know, maybe if someone want to add it... it's Open Hardware, ready to hack :-)

Board have USB Host, which means it can read any external USB flash disk/hdd.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on May 20, 2010, 04:11:42 AM
Would that be the Chumby one or Classic? Will it be able to have wi-fi from the board or will it need a secondary board for wi-fi? If it is the Chumby one the 2watt sound will be in mono or stereo inputs. Does it have just stereo inputs?
See the schematic (in PDF files or KiCad files) (http://code.google.com/p/propendous/source/browse/#svn/trunk/PRopendous/Hardware/PROpendous) and try understand/compare with Chumby version that uses the same i.MX233 ARM9.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: john.cooper on May 23, 2010, 08:42:15 PM
I would love to put something like that in my car, with one catch, I would want the screen to be external.

I've come to that realization several times myself.  IME in-dash
audio decoders tend to miss the mark UI-wise.

Locating a screen remotely is fairly straightforward.  But I'd
almost want to situate it quite close (but not obscuring) the
normal field of view while driving.  At least in my usage I
find myself frantically multiplexing between the road and
the economized display down/over there which is neither
safe nor a pleasant user experience.  Having a display either
on the dash or just below (above the instrument cluster)
would seem to work far better.  Width is probably easier
to accommodate in such a location vs. height so it could as
well be a secondary display.

For an input device I can make a case for either a wheel
mounted control and/or a handheld remote.  The in-dash
front panel buttons tend to be limited to setup operations
in my usage if not nearly ornamental.

Quote
I already have an in-dash screen that runs off a composite video cable, and I'm feeding that with a Western Digital WDTV. (it has S/PDIF and reads any HD).

I would love to upgrade/replace it with something running rockbox, but I'd need the same integration I have now.

Any way to get rockbox with S/PDIF out and an external screen? (besides a port of Rockbox to WDTV, which I doubt would be trivial and popular)

This external screen is driven by an NTSC signal?  If so
what effective resolution does it achieve for rendering text?

-john
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on June 08, 2010, 06:20:53 PM
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4065/4683759464_32c7d3c3f8.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/4683759464/sizes/l/)

I got the SDRAM working! It's running at 133MHz. Initially I started to run it at 96MHz. I used code the fill the full 32MBytes SDRAM with 1 and tested, again with 0 (I used volatile variables to hold the values, so the values are for sure written and readed from SDRAM).
Matt Opendous also have his SDRAM working :-)

So, the SDRAM runs at 133MHz and the ARM9 core runs at 454MHz!

So, this great DIY board works and next we will put the 2.4'' color LCD working. After the buttons and audio connector. We may also start porting Rockbox to it. And I am sure some of us will also try Linux and Android on it :-)

I also want to put my 3D printer working again, and try to design and print a plastic enclosure for this "Digital Lyre" :-)


--------------------------------------
Edit:
Today I got the Hammond plastic enclosure. I placed the board on it and the Lithium 3.7V 900mA AA size battery:
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4065/4662568863_efaf67aa94.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/4662568863/sizes/l/) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4068/4663189510_0d63356bef.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/4663189510/sizes/l/in/photostream/)

I think we need to use instead printed enclosures, because:

- that Hammond enclosure cost 9€ (including VAT), a printed one could
cost 3€ or less;

- there are some free space on case, with a printed one we can design
it to have the smaller as possible;

- on the Hammond we need to make a big square hole on it for the LCD +
more holes for buttons + holes USB and audio. On a printed enclosure
there is no need to open the holes, so, much less work!

--------------------------------------
After a few days, I have 2 boards blinking their own LED, and firmware code is on the uSDCard - i.MX233 is booting from the card:
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4036/4653209813_326cebea48.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/4653209813/sizes/l/)
This is the back side of the board. SDRAM is not assembled yet.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4058/4652565559_cd09a14c9d.jpg)
This is an image of my oscilloscope shows the time i.MX233 takes to boot. The channel 2 is VDDIO_3V3, showing the start o boot, and channel 1 shows the uSDCard clock signal. So, i.MCX233 boots and takes about 25ms to start reading the firmware file stored on uSDCard.

The current blink LED code is heavily based on Chumby (http://www.chumby.com/) -- many thanks to Chumby hackers :-)

Right now, me, Bob, John and Matt, we are the only ones that worked for this board - the code is on SourceForge Lyre SVN (http://lyre.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/lyre/).

--------------------------------------
Edit:

I assembled the 2 boards, a minimal assembly that permits boot the imx233 and blink the LED. Right now one board is shutting down, some problem on imx233 internal DC-DC, and I am getting help on FreeScale forum (http://forums.freescale.com/t5/i-MX-Microprocessors/i-MX233-PMU-problem-DC-DC-shutting-down-the-system/td-p/56214).

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4034/4647475515_37e81b0100.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/4647475515/sizes/o/)

--------------------------------------
I got my board and components, plus the ones for Bob. I will assembly both boards and send one to Bob :-)

I took 2 pictures shoing the board and the imx233 (not assembled):

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3392/4638269251_6997edbaf9.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/4638269251/sizes/o/)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4041/4638269929_e87ac95757.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/4638269929/sizes/o/)

For me, this board is art. This SoC i.MX233, ARM9 @ 454MHz, booting from uSDcard, having a secondary SDCard, having LCD controller and audio output and input, lithium battery charger, is the SoC we were waiting for this project! And it's very important because it is LQFP of 0.4mm pitch, and not BGA, meaning that we can DIY soldering.
i.MX233 is from FreeScale, but FreeScale bought Sigmatel (many MP3 players on market with SigmaTel SoC (http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/SigmaTelSTMP3xxx)), and this i.MX233 looks like to be a Sigmatel SoC, because it boots only images files of "sb" type. The is one utility for Linux to convert images to "sb" type, and I got this output when seeing version on the utility:
Quote
cas@cas-laptop:~/Documentos/propendous$ ./elftosb2 -v
elftosb 2.2.1
Copyright (c) 2004-2007 SigmaTel, Inc. All rights reserved.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: cohe30ve on October 12, 2010, 07:31:51 AM
hi all
i am new in i.mx233 and i want to start it for my new project .
my project have a color lcd display .

can i use color lcd with this i.mx233 ?
i can`t access to your pcb and schematic files , please someone email it to my email :at89c4051@yahoo.com

and last :
how can i work with this device in micro controller mode like (at91sam9263+IAR).
i want to turn on a led (work with GPIO) for my first project , is it a good way to learn to use i.mx233 ?
==> please help me . i cant find someone that worked i.mx233 ....  :-[

Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: friendlyzookeeper on October 16, 2010, 09:36:34 PM
You should be able to hit some forums, but you can start with some tutorials

http://wiki.ladyada.net/chumbyhackerboard

forum for chumby....

http://forum.chumby.com/viewforum.php?id=20 

and you can purchase a chumby hacker board from....

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=10106
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: cohe30ve on October 19, 2010, 03:46:48 AM
so thanks for your reply .
but i dont have any device that use imx233 .
and i cant buy chumby because i am form india ... .
please offer link to download 2 layer pcb for it ... .
so thanks.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on November 20, 2010, 06:25:16 PM
New times

Last time I were stucked with the idea of using color LCD, and since I am not able to produce a PCB and solder it, I didn't went further. Now I changed my ideas, mainly because now I see people "aligned" with me (or me with them ?).

1st. People need to share art, and in NY people is creating "networks" of sharing using cheap USB flash drives (http://lyre.sourceforge.net/?q=content/share-art) -- I always wanted a device to play music and easily share the art files;

Some artist, like Binärpilot, which I love, says about their art/music files: "share them with your friends, give copies of them to strangers"

2nd. Online shops like www.Etsy.com (http://www.etsy.com/) have users/clients that buys handmade electronics and art pieces.
DIYers are growing and people likes a lot electronics and art, the example of 3D printing robots like RepRap and MakerBot (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fScRYhq-5M0).

My plan is now to continue use IMX233 ARM9 board @ 454MHz:
(http://propendous.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/PRopendous/Hardware/PROpendous/PROpendous-Picture-Top.jpg) (http://code.google.com/p/propendous/)
and wire to it a few buttons + battery + cheap b/w LCD. Then design and 3D print the plastic enclosure. Finally sell it on www.Etsy.com (http://www.etsy.com/), running Rockbox and including Rockbox source files plus all others like schematics, board and 3D design of enclosure. Also full on music with Creative Commons licenses like this album from Binärpilot:

(http://imgjam.com/albums/s76/76732/covers/1.200.jpg) (http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/76732)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on November 20, 2010, 07:04:36 PM
From the last post, I see the board you're working now with has a USB host port, this is for inserting pendrives, correct? Great idea. Having a SD/MMC slot is great too.

That board were done to be a general board for Linux and so have all that things. As for Rockbox, I just need as minimum at working the SDCard, LCD, buttons and output audio DAC -- so I will port Rockbox for that.

One small consideration though... if I understood correctly, you're not going to use a color LCD, correct? What's the resolution that might be used, do you have any idea?

Cheap (6€ including shipping on Ebay) Nokia 84X48 b/w LCD (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10168) -- because it's cheap, easy to source and mainly because it's very easy to solder the few wires.
I have "good" color LCD but I can't put it working because of a missing electronics board. I need to move on, so for now I will use that "crap" LCD BUT what I am looking for is audio and not image/video.

Greetings from Portugal - I hope local forum posts are cheaper...

Yeah, I am from Portugal.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: coacharnold on November 20, 2010, 07:35:04 PM
Ok Guys,

    with respect, I don't ever post here just follow this thread. But, this conversation has perked my funny bone.  Rockbox is fantastic to start out with.  The guys on this thread are doing an amazing job developing an open source piece of hardware that will run Rock Box and be a great music player.  If network support is so important lets all go over to the Rockbox Android forum and have this conversation.

Thanks for all the hard work being done here ..... its looking amaizing

Tim

quick question .......   whats the quality of the D to A on this thing as it stands now. Has there been discussion on making this things sound output be better than any of the current store bought players .....   ( HiFiMan)  ?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on November 20, 2010, 07:46:00 PM
quick question .......   whats the quality of the D to A on this thing as it stands now. Has there been discussion on making this things sound output be better than any of the current store bought players .....   ( HiFiMan)  ?

The ARM9 IMX233 SoC have it's own internal DAC, it's a cheap and simple solution however I don't know if it's good or not -- but it should be, I hope. Being OpenHardware the board and having expansion header, should be easy to add an external DAC and components for better audio quality (if someone wants to) :)
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on December 01, 2010, 06:29:50 PM
First pictures of finished prototype. The schematic is on Lyre SVN.

I didn't solder yet the battery because I don't have yet firmware to handle the charge. Characteristics of this hardware:

    * i.MX233 ARM9 32bits @ 454MHz
    * 32MBytes SDRAM
    * low power, black and white LCD, Nokia 5110 clone, 84X48 pixels
    * audio IN and OUT
    * 6 users buttons
    * 2 memory card: 1 uSDCard from where system boots and 1 SDCard
    * USB mini (for operation as USB Mass Storage Device)
    * Operates from USB or Li-ion battery, and charges the battery when connected to USB
    * JTAG connection for debugging
    * 3D printed enclosure

I will now start porting Rockbox  :)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4133/5224453093_070c2ebe39.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/5224453093/sizes/l/in/photostream/)

(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5006/5224453225_07d568f93e.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/5224453225/sizes/l/in/photostream/)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4108/5225047602_192103ca50.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43558168@N00/5225047602/sizes/l/in/photostream/)


---

Finally I have all the hardware needed to build my own player:

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4085/5219382194_7c7157cb83_b.jpg) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4085/5219382194_7c7157cb83_b.jpg)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4103/5219382200_057df19c30_b.jpg) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4103/5219382200_057df19c30_b.jpg)

That LCD cheap (6€) and I bought if on Ebay - there are many sources for it. The advantages are the simplicity to wire it to board, his low power, low price and easy to source. Disadvantages, well, it's a black and white LCD of 84x48 pixels.

Selling a DIY Lyre player

I am planning to assembly by hand and sell on Ebay and Etsy for 200€. I plan to also design and print the enclosures on my RepRap 3D printer. I will ship the player running Rockbox and the uSDCard full of music (CC licensed music) and with source files of Rockbox firmare, hardware and 3D file on the 3D printed enclosure.

Maybe I will design the enclosure as being an audio cassette :-)

---

About Lyre project and using actual IMX233 ARM9 @454MHz board, I need to use Rockbox as firmware, since the board have as maximum 32MBytes of RAM and Android needs much more.

I am looking for a device just dedicated for audio and if possible, easy to share the audio files - for now, the easy way is to use the SD memory card or connect the device to a PC where it will act as a USB flash drive.

I am not looking for web browsing, facebook, etc. Maybe in future use the USB Host capabilities to add a USB<->Wifi adapter, for connect to Internet to listen radio stations or something like that. Right now, the straight way is to play music from the SDCard (which is realistic to develop/do in 6 months).
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: scharkalvin on February 15, 2011, 08:47:10 AM
Adafruit has this nice touch screen LCD.
http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37&products_id=335
Looks like a nice addition to a homebrew player.  iTouch clone anyone?
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on February 15, 2011, 10:02:10 AM
Adafruit has this nice touch screen LCD.
http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37&products_id=335
Looks like a nice addition to a homebrew player.  iTouch clone anyone?

This project is idle for now, because:
- I am not being able to develop/code for the imx233 bootloader (1st bootloader), to load the Rockbox bootloader (2nd bootloader) from SDCard and run it. I don't have knowledge to do that. Bob Cousins seems to be busy and can't help either.

- Lack of a business plan for the project. Although, I did plan to produce and sell a few units, but since I can't develop the prototype, I can't go further. Neither I have money to pay someone to develop the prototype.


BUT, there is some light!! Lady Ada from Adafruit Industries, is planing an Open Source Audio player :-) -- Lady Ada have the shop/business/clients, so I am sure he will have success!! However I don't know if their hardware will be able to run Rockbox. I asked her to please think on an hardware to run Rockbox and I told her about Lyre project. I even offered help to port Rockbox (in what I can, which is not to much...). Lady Ada is selling "Chumby Hacker Board", which is a general board running Linux with the imx233.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: casainho on March 13, 2011, 07:49:02 PM
Finally I got it working :)

I got the "system_init" code which setup the clock to 454MHz and the 32 Mbytes SDRAM, running on internal RAM. Right after, Rockbox bootloader is loaded to SDRAM and runs (right now is just a blink LED code).

I got help from Pamaury Rockbox dev. and from Sean from Chumby :)

Next task is to put Rockbox kernel working, by using an interrupt...

After LCD, after buttons and in the end, the uSDCard.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: zone22 on April 19, 2011, 08:15:37 AM
Woot!
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: lolsack on April 19, 2011, 09:49:15 PM
I want one lol, dats a sexy player.
Title: Re: Rockbox Player - Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player
Post by: phr on May 11, 2011, 06:10:22 PM
Looks very nice, though somewhat large and expensive (understandable given the low quantities it will be made in).  I like the monochrome LCD since it identifies the player as an audio player, something few mainstream manufacturers dare to make (they all put useless video in players for marketing reasons).   Main things I'd hope for are:

1) high quality audio codec
2) SD socket should electrically support SDXC cards (FAT32 or Linux file format is fine)
3) should use commodity AA or AAA battery (1.2V NiMH or 1.5v alkaline) instead of lithium, even if that makes the package bigg