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Old 7th July 2007, 03:21 PM   #1
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Default Ipod controller links, kits???

I am looking to build a remote control for an iPod device and was wondering if anyone knew of kits, plans etc.

I have an application where i need to put a iPod in a secure location and put basic controls plus a display in another location. Picture something like a in store Kiosk where the ipod is locked up inside. but users can control the sound from a front mounted panel.

I have seen various factory remotes that plug in allow you to control the ipod, but none that have a display as well.

I have seen such things for other MP3 player products. but for this application i am stuck using ipod brand.

This needs to be a wired controller. something that i could build, or dissasemble a stock unit and mount to a panel. i have a 1.6" x 10" working area so most stock units wont work unless the display is or can be seperated and the controls mounted next to the display.

Any suggestions?


Zc
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Old 7th July 2007, 04:38 PM   #2
Chartal is offline Chartal  Canada
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I fund something for you.

Logic3 In-line Remote for iPod®
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Old 8th July 2007, 08:29 AM   #3
sek is offline sek  Germany
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Hi,

the Keyspan TuneView is another, more comfortable choice, yet expensive - due to wireless technique.

A smaller one was tested by The Unofficial Apple Weblog.

Advanced Technetics used to make one, too. But it's not intended to navigate the iPod, only the current playlist!

An in-car solution might be readily usable for you (except for the enclosure), the Harman Drive+Play.

And then there are more universal devices like this one, which would probably be completely oversized (and overprized) for your purpose.

This market isn't too crowded with wired remotes with display, as the demand is low. Manufacturers expect people to require display remotes being used remotely

Cheers,
Sebastian.
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Old 10th July 2007, 02:52 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. the Logic remote is just too small. I need to remove the guts and mount them to the back of a panel and that is just too small for someone at a kiosk to see and use.

The HK drive and play, i thought would only work with a car stereo. I wonder if it would work stand alone? the display is about the right size...maybe.... but the controller would be hard to integrate i think. But we are closer!

I was hoping someone out there has come up with there own design maybe... I have found that the ipods are serially controlled. so a PIC microcontroller could operate it easily. but i am not sure about the display.


Hmm now i am thinking about that drive and play. but that is expensive.


Zc
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Old 10th July 2007, 07:02 AM   #5
sek is offline sek  Germany
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Hey,

the serial communication is 'encrypted' in a proprietary way. Putting the iPod into 'accessory mode' isn't difficult, but sending data that it accepts indeed is!

The more recent iPods use firewire (!!!) in order to link to accessories (which is the reason why firewire no longer works together with the host computer), at least all the original Apple accessories do it that way.

H/K and others simply agreed to a license (and an NDA) and got sample code and schematics from Apple. This might be the explanation of the price points that all 'smart' accessories achieve at. The official accessories also have a means to be compatible to all iPods of their respective (and all future) generations. I don't know wether you would have to account for this, too.

The drive+play transmits via FM radio frequency or links via line cable. The older model goes for 70 bucks on ebay where I live, btw.

Cheers,
Sebastian.
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Old 14th September 2007, 04:21 PM   #6
Tolu is offline Tolu  Germany
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Hi

aren't there any interface descriptions on the web how to control an ipod via the dock connector or how to build a remote for them?

Regards
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Old 14th September 2007, 09:57 PM   #7
sek is offline sek  Germany
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Hi Tolu,

Apple usually does release such information. You just have to pay a license fee and sign an NDA.

Without doing so, it is a very complicated matter, as developers who leak information risk their license and might face legal issues.

BTW, Apple has just released new iPod models. The connector's capablities and acccessory compatibility have changed - yet again...

Cheers,
Sebastian.
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Old 14th September 2007, 10:48 PM   #8
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This wouldn't be too difficult if you're capable of the microcontroller programming. Grab yourself a $2 ATtiny with a UART, an LCD display and some wire, then read http://ipodlinux.org/Apple_Accessory_Protocol

You might not be able to do everything you want, but it definitely shouldn't be too hard to at least get the control part done. The display control and getting the necessary information is going to be the tough part.
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Old 14th September 2007, 10:58 PM   #9
sek is offline sek  Germany
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Very true, but still plenty of work. Then there's always the tons of old iPod remotes that can be salvaged (and the controllers put to use).

But don't forget: Those sites are very incomplete and partially outdated. Apple changed a lot with the 5G/5.5G, we're receiving the 6G now which is incompatible to some old Apple stuff and many third-party accessories. And I didn't mention the iPhone and "iPod Touch"...
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Old 15th September 2007, 05:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by sek
H/K and others simply agreed to a license (and an NDA) and got sample code and schematics from Apple.
Quote:
Originally posted by sek
Apple usually does release such information. You just have to pay a license fee and sign an NDA.
As i understand it Apple makes more money on licencing than on actual iPod sales (not hard to believe given the margins (a retialer will make $6-10 on an iPod Nano))

If your venture is large enuff you buy a licence, otherwise you will likely need to hack someone else's licenced product.

dave
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