Several years ago I received an iPod Touch for Christmas and I wanted a better way to get the audio from the device to my car’s stereo. In the past I have used FM transmitters that worked pretty well, but the audio quality can be poor and you have to adjust the transmit frequency when traveling between radio markets.
I found iSimple’s iPod2Car adapter. It emulates a factory CD Changer for a bunch of different radios from a variety of manufactures. The device unlocks the auxiliary audio input for the radio and passes the control commands from the radio back to the iPod. The setup worked for several years with my iPod, allowing me to enjoy my music collection as well as podcasts and audiobooks in my car. After I bought my first Android phone I needed a way to connect it to my car to enjoy streaming Internet radio. A simple iPod Bluetooth adapter hidden behind a cup holder has worked very well, it passes the audio to my car stereo as well the control commands back to my Android device.
I may have the only Saturn S-Series with a factory radio with Bluetooth audio input.
I recently purchased a pair of Behriner EuroLight LD6230 dimmer packs used from a seller from eBay. Each pack supports six channels at 10 amps each and support DMX, an analog input, and a manual mode. There are also some advanced features such as adjusting the dimming curve and lamp preheat. The packs do not include their own power input and channel breakout so I had to build my own.
For the past couple of weeks I have been working on a portable DMX testing device. The hardware is based off of the Arduino platform and utilities the max485 to convert the serial data to RS-485 for DMX, a 16×2 LCD for the display, and a 16 button keypad matrix for the input. The unit can be powered by four AA batteries or from a USB adapter. The keypad is originally intended for use in telephone test equipment. A few printed labels on the keypad map the buttons for lighting use.
The hardware appear to work pretty well on the different dimmer packs and relay boxes that I have tested it with. It currently only has the ability to transmit DMX, but receiving DMX in entirely possible.
The software is still in development and has a few bugs and is missing a few features, such as having the option of displaying the values as a percentage or as its decimal value. It is also currently missing the ability to record and recall saved looks from the universe edit to make it easier to use while out in the field.
After developing this prototype I have ran into the limits of the small screen and the limited buttons on the keypad. I would like to build a second prototype with a larger screen, perhaps one that is 20×4 and add a few function buttons under the display that can be remapped on the fly.