Another long break ends and new work begins

Added by Michael J. Hammel over 1 year ago

I've taken a long break from PiBox development to deal with some personal issues. We bought a travel trailer, so it wasn't bad personal stuff - it was fun personal stuff. And it leads me to some new ideas for PiBox.

There are a couple of features I'm going to add to PiBox to support our entertainment and safety needs in our new trailer. In short these are:
  1. A wifi backup camera
  2. Network export of SD card data (for movies over NFS)
  3. Wireless audio
  4. A pico DLP projector.
  5. Make PiBox act as a wireless access point.

The projector shouldn't require much extra. Just plug into the HDMI and its ready to go. But I'll need power to it and I'm not sure how I'll deal with that just yet.

The wireless audio should be supported with a USB stick and external speakers.

The network support of SD card data over NFS means making sure the kernel and user space support is in place.

Also, since I'll need to use USB to add the SD cards (to give a variety of video options) I'll need an external USB hub with a bunch of ports. It will need to be powered, and the Pi will be powered from it, including wireless keyboard/mouse.

The wifi backup camera may prove challenging. I've already experimented with a number of solutions and finally found a mix of ffmpeg, crtmpserver and Jw Player to provide the least amount of lag on Fedora. The question is: can I cross compile crtmpserver and will JWPlayer work correctly if served from PiBox? I think the answer to both is "yes", but I've yet to verify that.

Making the Pi into a wireless access point/router should be fairly painless, especially since my default Wifi adapter already supports that feature.

Another side project has been to build a portable power solution for the Raspberry Pi. I've designed the board and have ordered and received the parts, but I've yet to put the thing together. It should allow for battery power to run the Pi, which would be nice for use with the DPL projector. However, I can also just use 110v power at the campsites since we don't plan (yet) on dry camping.

In the end I hope to allow PiBox to provide the following:
  • Wireless backup camera serving via RTP to a tablet browser so I can see behind the trailer while we're driving.
  • A wireless media server providing AVI videos on SD cards.
  • A second Pi with the media server mounted to play AVI's through a DLP projector and wireless speakers while camping.
  • Self-powered media players using DLP projectors for the bunks in the trailer.

Anyway, some fun stuff to work on. Time to get back at it.


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