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Old 13th February 2011, 03:28 PM   #1
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Default DIY class-d with DSP and active XO over CobraNET

I'm in a search for a good audio diy solution for my home theater.
I use a HTPC as a source for audio, tv, radio, and music.
My audio system consists of HTPC > Onkyo se-200 > 5.1 analog > line driver > 2X DCX2496 > 12.2 amplifier
As you can see it is quite a chain of equipment, not to imagine how much cables are around here.
The amplifier weights an outrageous 72 Kg and eats power.
The heat in the cabinet where the equipment is in is also hard to cut down on.

So I'm in a search for something smaller, first thing that came to mind is to go for class-D as the current amp is class-AB.
Class-D is going to increase efficiency and reduce heat considerably, but i will still have a lot of cables and big amplifiers in my cabinet.
The i was thinking of using HDMI cables to transfer I2s directly to the DCX and then transfer I2S from DCX to the amplifiers.
This is going to set me back a lot of money and headaches so the search continues.

Then i found CobraNET, CobraNET is a audio over Ethernet protocol with low latency.
Since Ethernet cables, router and other networking stuff comes cheap and the HTPC is already connected to the Ethernet this has a lot of potential.

Getting to the point:

My idea was using the following chips:

unknown -Ethernet interface chip
CS496102-CQZ -CobraNET processor with integrated DSP
sta328 -2.1 channel DDX amplifier 2x40W + 1x80W (integrated volume control and EQ)
PIC18*** -MCU for control

Some other chips will be required but this is the main setup.
With this setup you can make a active 3 way speaker that is connected thru the Ethernet.
The DSP will be used for room correction, and the EQ of the STA328 will be used to create the digital XO.
The cobranet processor will be connected with one i2s channel to the STA328.
Volume control is done from the HTPC with software.

Pros:

-very low cable count
-efficient
-versatyle
-calibration can be done using software example: REW
-No external equipment is required (clean setup)
-Cheap compared to my other setup

Cons:

-PCB design is hard.

Well this is what came to my mind, i would like to make it a open-source project.
I have some MCU and electronics knowledge as well as visual basic and c programming.
Do you have any consideration or other methods ?
I don't want to reinvent the wheel and was also wondering if anybody is interested in this.

PS. Audio transmission can be done using a cobranet sound-card which is WAY over priced, it should also be possible
to send the audio over Ethernet using the ethernet card of your PC, i could not find any info on this yet.
If all of this fails we could use the i2s of a envy24ht based sound card with a CobraNET processor to send the audio over Ethernet.
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