$100 Squeezebox Server

Squeezebox Touch

That article can be interesting for all who would like to have budget multi-room music system. The system uses Logitech Squeezeboxes as front-end and Squeezebox server as back-end. The Squeezebox server can be run on any Windws/Linux/Mac OS X PC. So the author bought compact, low power and fanless HP T5530 Thin Client PC. Plus two flash drives – 1GB for OS and 64GB for music. Sure, 64GB is too small for the large media library. But it can be extended by internal or external HDD.

The author chose Debian as OS for Squeezebox server. It offers a simple way to install Squeezebox server from the SlimDevices repository. Everything should work out of the box – just add your Squeezebox device to the local network and specify the IP of the Squeezebox server.

Nice DIY project. I’d like to just add a few notices here. Squeezebox server can be installed on NAS or router. If you already have some you don’t need to run detached PC. Also you can use Nokia Internet Tablets – Nokia770, N800 or N810 with adopted SlimSkin to control your music system more efficient and comfortable as well as iPhone.

DIY: LED Door Lock Status Indicator

LED Door Lock Status Indicator Hack

Cool solution to show the status of door lock is given by Martin Howell. He uses a standard micro switch, mounted on to an aluminium plate which is screwed to the inside of the opening in the door frame where the lock tongue goes in, two LED lights and CAT5 wiring for each switch. The wires come from the ‘engine room’ where server and all network stuff are located and carrier power from a central 12v power supply to the LEDs. Using CAT5 he receives the status of each lock to the central place. It’s passed to the HomeSeer server via Ocelot. As result the status of the door lock can be viewed from touchscreen panel or system will say about it via SONOS players using text-to-speech software.

Simple and cheap solution but it’ll help you to make your house more secure. Sure such approach can be used for new house with more then one door (my friend has three plus garage). There is a possibility to install door/window sensors but they can indicate open the door or window or not. The status of the lock is unknown in that case. You can use “smart” locks such Schlage LiNK but it’s too expensive than the Martin’s solution.

DIY: kitchen PC from EEE netbook

Good example of using used EEE netbook is demonstrated by German folk sidekickx81. He created a media PC for his kitchen. It allows to him watch DVB-T TV, video from online services or network shares, listen music, check receipts or weather forecast. In standby mode it can be used as digital photo frame.

The kitchen PC is controlled by touchscreen added with USB touchscreen set because original EEE doesn’t have that feature. It’s connected to LAN via WiFi. So, no additional wiring is needed. Moreover, thanks to netbook battery it can work a few hours after power cutting.

Nice idea, implementation and … music in video clip 🙂

HTPC from NES console case

NES HTPC mod with NVIDIA Ion graphics

Good case mod demonstrated by modder drumboog. He made from the old NES console case the modern nVidia Ion based HTPC with Blu-ray drive. If you’d like to have details watch his videos which explain whole mod process.

Hardware list for that mod project:

  • NES case
  • ZOTAC Mini ITX Motherboard with 1.6GHz Dual-Core Intel Atom & 90 Watt PSU (IONITX-A-U)
  • ASUS My Cinema Dual Hybrid TV Tuner (EHD3-100)
  • Scythe 140mm Case Fan (SY1425SL12M)
  • Kingston 64GB solid state disk (SNV125-S2BN)
  • G.SKILL 4GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ)
  • Sony Optiarc slot load Blu-ray drive (BC-5600S-01)
  • Mini PCI-E to PCI-E X1 adapter and riser (ribbon cable).

The NES HTPC has enough horsepower for Full HD video playback and moder video games playing.

[via SlashGear]

A geek DIY home theater

A DIYer's Geek Theater

One guy spent seven years and around $90000 to build his dream home theater. He did everything by himself – design, installation of equipment and furniture. He just did consult with Roy Johnson from Green Mountain Audio and used some books such “Master Handbook for Acoustics”.

The result looks pretty much. Even for professional installation. Only two things I don’t like – no covered wires and speakers without proper stand. But I suppose that those small issues will be fixed in the future.

The list of equipment and furniture can be found below.
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