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Thread: DAB - Again - But This Time For The Car WITH USB !!

  1. #1531
    Advanced Member Enforcer's Avatar
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    I'm sure there was already a thread about it on there
    Confusion says: All my post are now on topic.
    Enforcer Forum____________________________________________BMW Carputers Forum

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  3. #1533
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    is the garmin a built in oem satnav?

  4. #1534
    Senior Member Griff1's Avatar
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    Mitchjs has been crunching this dll code for about 3 hours now (linked to my module over ip), full of bugs and its fighting back but he's making some progress with the fm side.

    Don't know if he'll be able to help with the dab code as he doesn't understand it, fingers crossed though, hopefully his changes can be added back into the dll for everyone else to access.
    Atom 330 dual core, 2GB Ram, 250Gb 2.5" HD, M2-ATX, SB Audigy2, BU353, Lilliput TS, Soundgraph Imon VFD, SONY Optiarc dvd Burner, RideRunner, iGo8, Custom Freedom 2.1, Venice5 usb DAB Radio

  5. #1535
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griff1 View Post
    Mitchjs has been crunching this dll code for about 3 hours now (linked to my module over ip), full of bugs and its fighting back but he's making some progress with the fm side.

    Don't know if he'll be able to help with the dab code as he doesn't understand it, fingers crossed though, hopefully his changes can be added back into the dll for everyone else to access.


    Which example did he based the plugin on? Was it the one modded by andy or was it my original code? The last one I released is working but incomplete.

  6. #1536
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    Quote Originally Posted by nrgizerbunny View Post
    Thats working well there. And thats with a small magnetic mount antenna? not even amplified?

  7. #1537
    Senior Member Griff1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris31 View Post


    Which example did he based the plugin on? Was it the one modded by andy or was it my original code? The last one I released is working but incomplete.
    I think it was andy's code, don't know for sure, got it from nrgizerbunny.
    Atom 330 dual core, 2GB Ram, 250Gb 2.5" HD, M2-ATX, SB Audigy2, BU353, Lilliput TS, Soundgraph Imon VFD, SONY Optiarc dvd Burner, RideRunner, iGo8, Custom Freedom 2.1, Venice5 usb DAB Radio

  8. #1538
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griff1 View Post
    I think it was andy's code, don't know for sure, got it from nrgizerbunny.
    Ah ok. Have not seen andy's code at all. Its is probably best to use his code, Im sure its cleaner than mine. I think its all in c#?

    How is mitch progressing?

    The DAB side of it work abit different from the FM. With FM you just send the frequency. With DAB you have to send the whole station parameter in order to tune into it.

    It is probably best to download the whole station list from the module straight after the DAB scan and save it as a file. You can then use that information to tune into any DAB station from that list.

    NRG tried this but I couldnt quite test it as I dont have the right FW on my module right now.
    Last edited by Chris31; 08-03-2010 at 07:50.

  9. #1539
    Senior Member Griff1's Avatar
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    would be good to get your code too, just in case.
    Mitchjs has made quite big changes and its coming along nicely, i've not tested it personaly but i should have the fm plugin in my hands later today.

    Nothing done to the dab stuff yet so any pearls of wisdom will be very helpful i'm sure.
    Atom 330 dual core, 2GB Ram, 250Gb 2.5" HD, M2-ATX, SB Audigy2, BU353, Lilliput TS, Soundgraph Imon VFD, SONY Optiarc dvd Burner, RideRunner, iGo8, Custom Freedom 2.1, Venice5 usb DAB Radio

  10. #1540
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris31 View Post
    Thats working well there. And thats with a small magnetic mount antenna? not even amplified?
    Youíre right that antenna is not amplified at all. Itís a bog standard one and some of the people on here will recognize it as the antenna I send out when people have problems!

    I shall copy the rest of this post to a few different places so it will make it easier to find.

    As this project seems like it has had a new lease of life, I am just posting with some of my thoughts on the electronics, I am an Aeronautical Engineer by training and not Electrical Engineer so please excuse me if Iíve got some terminology wrong. Some people have asked why the module I built works when theirs does not, hereís a sequence of events.

    I started off with the basic circuit that on the digital car thread which was designed for external 5v and had the max232 controller. I then modded that to use the FTDI 232 USB chip, this worked fine on the bench but as soon as I got in the car my problems started.

    Depending on how much load the PC was on the radio would cut out and or become unresponsive, this was followed by interference (which on DAB sounds like swimming underwater, as opposed to hiss or static). Once I had sorted one problem out, I created another problem in the inability to pick up certain frequencies!

    After much investigation I found the noise was being conducted through the USB rails into the FTDI chip, this was dumping the interference onto the ttl rails which was causing the radio to behave erratically. I initially tried to kill the interference on the ttl rails, although this was an improvement, I still wasnít happy. I think this effect is what makes HQCTís behave erratically.

    In the end I rewired the FTDI so it used the same 3.3v filtered power supply as the Venice instead of the internal FTDI regulator and performance was significantly better (as good if not better than a blaupunkt dab headunit). Although any 3.3v usb to ttl module will work with the Venice, 95% of them will use the onboard regulator to set the voltage, this WILL compromise the reception and/or cause the radio to behave erratically especially if it is hooked up to a noisy power supply.

    Once Iíd finished rewiring the power supply to the interface chip, I refined the filters until I could get the best range, this is by no means a perfect test but my benchmark was a railway bridge which I drive under in my demo video, I used to momentarily lose reception under there, once Iíd gotten my filters sorted I had strong reception everywhere. There is nowhere in the UK I have driven since where I could not receive BBC or Digital One (these are the national multiplexes) perfectly.

    Some people have asked about the filters I use, the filter design is a low pass filter, this is in 2 stages and each of the sub power rails (3.3V and 1.25V) has an individual low pass filter.

    If you are considering making your own radio, here are some tips:

    I measure each capacitor (which I have found are the critical components) before installation, so everything is matched. Generally capacitors can be up to +/- 20% on their value. So if you happen to pick up a capacitor that is +20% and then pick up another capacitor which is -20% on the other side of the filter, you will get attenuation where you donít want it. For example on a 3300uF cap, this gives a high of ~4000uF and a low of ~2700uF

    I would spec tantalum capacitors for all HF applications, ceramics will do the job but there is a difference.

    If using electrolytic capacitors, 6.3v minimum will work and the tolerance on these tends to be tighter.

    Make sure you use a decent antenna connection. Donít skimp on this component. The Venice is designed to take a 1.5mm End Launch Connector (either SMB or SMA preferred). In the UK, Farnell sell these for £10.00 each, although expensive they are worth paying for. The alternative is to hard wire directly to the board.

  11. #1541
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    I emailed Frontier Silicon to ask where i could find some "donor" radios they wouldn't tell me under their Non-disclosure agreement. However I have been told that Argos might be a good place to pick one up. I'm suspecting Alba and Bush dab radios are the way forward.

    I was starting to buy pure radios which is a significant price hike over the alba ones.

  12. #1542
    Senior Member Griff1's Avatar
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    You might want to search out the other models from the same era, the pink 1's are the TRDAB2810 but they also did the TRD2820 and TRDAB2830, can't go far wrong surely.

    The 2820 looks the most likely, all button operation like the pinky's.

    Dab and Fm now work in RR but there's more to do before release, need a good skinner to run with it.

    Last edited by Griff1; 09-03-2010 at 10:57.
    Atom 330 dual core, 2GB Ram, 250Gb 2.5" HD, M2-ATX, SB Audigy2, BU353, Lilliput TS, Soundgraph Imon VFD, SONY Optiarc dvd Burner, RideRunner, iGo8, Custom Freedom 2.1, Venice5 usb DAB Radio

  13. #1543
    Senior Member Mr Monkey's Avatar
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    Wow, can this be ported to CF3?

  14. #1544
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    Result!!! I got an E in art, i'm not the man for that job!

  15. #1545
    Right. Thought I'd just post here to let you know what I have planned.

    At the moment, the only way to get this working is to build your own or buy a board. Even once you have done this, the software isn't perfect and won't work with the new DAB+ which is available in some countries like Australia and will eventually come to the UK. This is because it is based on the Venice 5 chip. The other problem is having to rob the chips from existing radios.

    I have managed to find a contact who can supply me with Venice 7 chips. These can do DAB+ as well. My aim is to produce a full unit that you can purchase ready to go. I have two sample units I am working with now.

    These chips run software accepting commands nearly identical to the Pure firmware Venice 5. I have one of my software guys building a full plugin (not using the Radio plugins system as it only really works with FM) for Centrafuse and then we will get one out for RoadRunner as well. Any units purchased from us will come with a free copy of the software.

    I will keep you updated...

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