MARBLES DIY Section - Maytrix

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MARBLES DIY Section - Maytrix

Postby Marbles_00 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:44 pm

As many of you know here, I've used xlobby to distribute audio throughout my home. I'm almost done that project minus installing speakers in the garage, but the system has been online for a while now and is running pretty smoothly. Currently I'm using 2 Audigy cards to distribute to 7 zones (the potential eighth zone is a spare). I have an AM/FM Tuner connected via "Y" patch to the line-in of each sound card, so I can "share" the tuner between the floors of my house. This has its limitations, as any two zones, or more, would have to listen to the same external source. Also I've often wondered, what would happen if someone brought a CD over to the house, or IPOD full of music etc. You can see the limitations in just having a single external source.

Well, I'm in the process of designing my own audio matrix switch, codenamed "Maytrix". I've bread-boarded my first attempt, and it appears to be running fine. I'm using parallel port control via Girder and Lua scripts. Below is the website that I'm updating on a more regular basis now. As indicted on the site, I give my usual speal about doing DIY projects over buying the equipment.

Anyone wishing to add multiple sources to the line-in's of their soundcards can very easily make this circuit (soldering skills and a little circuit design helps).

Feedback is welcome, or if I'm doing something grossly wrong and potentially going to blow up my house...then let me know...so far it is working pretty good.

http://sites.google.com/site/maycreates ... ng-phase-2
Last edited by Marbles_00 on Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Maytrix

Postby PhilB on Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:46 pm

Over the TOP!. I love it. Go DYI!
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Re: MayIR

Postby Marbles_00 on Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:52 pm

So you like DIY, do ya :D

Here's a little circuit I pieced together last night, codenamed "MayIR", and installed in the HTPC. It works great. What it does is wake the machine with a simple IR remote code. As far as I know, it should also be able to power the machine from an off state as well. Any IR code will work (provided you have an IR receiver within the frequency of the remote your using).

http://sites.google.com/site/maycreates/htpc/ir-switch

This circuit, along with a WinLIRC, and now I have no reason for a USB-UIRT in this system. And this cost me peanuts as I had access to all the parts for both projects (MayIR and WinLIRC).
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where my:
    -Music Distribution
    -HTPC
    -MediaPVR
    -UnRAID box
    -OTA
are all discussed.

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MayBALD

Postby Marbles_00 on Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:12 pm

Since now I've turned this thread into a DIY source, here's another one.

The MayBALD is a simple audio balanced line driver/reciever circuit. What exactly does this do? The circuit is used for long cable runs to eliminate potential noise. Okay...so how does it do this? The driver portion takes a signal and produces a second inverted signal of equal amplitude. If noise is induced, then it will be roughly the same amplitude on both signals, and in the same phase. The reciever circuit takes the differential signal and restores the original unbalanced signal. Since the noise is in the same phase, it get's cancelled out of the final output, leaving a very clean signal. If you want a better explanation, google "balanced line drivers", and there should be oodles of info on the subject.

It's a nice cheap project, and one can use CAT5 cable between the driver to receiver. Power (+/-15V) and stereo signal are all sent over the CAT5. In theory, you should be able to run great distances and still have a nice clean output.

http://sites.google.com/site/maycreates ... er/maybald

I've had this circuit built and in operation for a while now, and it is working very well...better than I could have imagined.
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Mayhem Creations
where my:
    -Music Distribution
    -HTPC
    -MediaPVR
    -UnRAID box
    -OTA
are all discussed.

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Re: MARBLES DIY Section - Maytrix

Postby rembetis on Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:15 pm

A bit off topic, but I was hoping you might help me identify the correct kind of relay to use in that pc peripheral switch that powers off your amps when the server goes into standby. Do you happen to know if this would do the trick? (I hate RadioShack but would rather not place an internet order for a simple relay).

While I'm at it, what method do you use to wake the server? Magic packet, timed event, etc.?

Thanks :D
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Relays and Server Shutdown

Postby Marbles_00 on Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:38 pm

Hey Rem,

That relay should work...just be aware of the 10A contact current rating. Most home outlets as you most likely know are rated for 15A (in NA). Usually you want to leave some headroom and not draw more than 75% of the max rating or around 12A on a 15A service. That Ratshack relay is rated for 10A and could be the bottleneck in the circuit if you load it down too much. Though most likely your just using the peripheral switch to power the amps...if so, then as stated, it should be fine. I'm biased toward Potter & Brumfield (owned by Tyco) and Omron relays...just because they have a good rep for being reliable. If I recall, in my peripheral switch, I'm using this relay. I think it was the K10P-11D15-12. It was a tight squeeze, as I had to cut some of the plastic housing, but worked out fine.

As for turning on the system, I've setup my PPC with a little macro program called ButtonMax. It runs a macro which executes a WOL program that wakes the server, then runs the client.exe to connect. If I'm on the HTPC and want to wake the server, I'm using defrag's great xWOL plugin. His plugin will wake the server automatically if starting xlobby from scratch, or I can wake the server within xlobby at anytime thereafter. To put the server to sleep, I use both sleep.exe and the poweroff.exe running as a service. I use xEvent to perform a timed event at 3:00am to run sleep.exe and shutdown (most likely will change that time to something earlier). From the PPC it also runs the same shutdown event as xEvent and runs sleep.exe. The HTPC, since it is running as a server as well, back when doing everything I couldn't figure out how to run an event remotely (that was before figuring out xSend/Recieve). The HTPC has an event that I run poweroff via command line and shut the server down remotely.

*EDIT*
I should add to the peripheral switch, I found shutting down the amps at the same time as the computer, I get a pop sound. I boiled this down to the computer and not the amps. Ideally it would be good to have some sort of timed circuit to shut off the amps then shut down the computer. I've thought about how to do it, but that's about as far as it has gotten.
Last edited by Marbles_00 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mayhem Creations
where my:
    -Music Distribution
    -HTPC
    -MediaPVR
    -UnRAID box
    -OTA
are all discussed.

Xlobby Free Zone
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Re: MARBLES DIY Section - Maytrix

Postby rembetis on Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:52 pm

Thanks Marbles, for the detailed reply. :D
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Re: MARBLES DIY Section - Maytrix

Postby scottw on Sat Sep 27, 2008 1:42 am

Marbles_00 wrote:*EDIT*
I should add to the peripheral switch, I found shutting down the amps at the same time as the computer, I get a pop sound. I boiled this down to the computer and not the amps. Ideally it would be good to have some sort of timed circuit to shut off the amps then shut down the computer. I've thought about how to do it, but that's about as far as it has gotten.


I get this too. I was just leaving the amp on before and everytime I would bring the PC in or out of standby it would make a "pop" on all speakers....scared my daughter several times. I have since bought an X10 appliance module that will shut down the amp prior to putting the PC to sleep and turn the amp on when someone pushes the "Music button". I put it to sleep using sleep.exe, from Marbles, and I have a touchscreen hooked up to the XL machine that I can just glide my finger over to wake up the server (just like shaking the mouse). For remote wakeup I "try" to use WOL but for some reason when I do a WOL my screen on the XL machine does not turn on until I shake the mouse.

Sorry to get off your original topic Marbles :D

This section is an excellent idea....heck most of use are using XL because it's DIY :lol:

It would be cool to see something that can replace the X10 appliance module.....the X10 works if it's plugged in right near the PC but I cannot use it anywhere else.

I have a USB/UIRT but would love another so I may try to make this to add a second :D
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Re: MARBLES DIY Section - Maytrix

Postby Marbles_00 on Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:54 am

Hey Scott, if your going to build a WinLIRC and are using it in conjunction with Girder, make sure you use the circuit shown in my HTPC page...5 parts. Use the IgorPlugXP plugin for Girder, and it should work perfectly. The circuit is slightly different from the original LIRC circuit, and I had a dickens of a time trying to get the original circuit to work in Girder using an older Igor plugin. I tried to use the original LIRC circuit even after installing the XP version of the plugin and it still didn't work. After I made the circuit change, works a charm.

Also, I mentioned this on the MayIR page, but will re-iterate it here. It will respond to any IR signal, but the key is to hold the button on the remote down. This will charge cap C1 within the RC time constant (R3)(C1)...roughly 2 seconds. After that C1 will discharge through R4, toggling U2c, triggering the 555 timer.

What I found is if I lower the value of R3, then C1 would charge/discharge too early...meaning false triggers. What I also found out is that the 555 timer "remember" these triggers, so after you shutdown, taking the reset of the 555 back to a high state, it would flip the output high, turning on the computer again (actually I noticed this on the bench before installing it in the computer, but essentially that's what would happen).

Oh yeah, I had a very unsuccessful run at using X10 stuff. Tried the serial controller and had nothing but problems...so I gave up on it. I still have nightmares :shock:
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Mayhem Creations
where my:
    -Music Distribution
    -HTPC
    -MediaPVR
    -UnRAID box
    -OTA
are all discussed.

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MayIR Update

Postby Marbles_00 on Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:10 pm

I just verified that the MayIR will turn on the computer from a complete shutdown (OFF) state. Pretty 8)
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Mayhem Creations
where my:
    -Music Distribution
    -HTPC
    -MediaPVR
    -UnRAID box
    -OTA
are all discussed.

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Re: MARBLES DIY Section - Maytrix

Postby sharp_1 on Mon Sep 29, 2008 3:38 pm

Marb's...it's amazing how your able to pull off some of the things you do. Great work!!!
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Re: MARBLES DIY Section - Maytrix

Postby Marbles_00 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:53 am

Marb's...it's amazing how your able to pull off some of the things you do. Great work!!!


Thanks for the kind words, but I have to give credit where credit's due. Big thanks to guys who actually come out with the original designs, and I try and make a reference to their great work. All I do is take those designs and re-model/re-design them to work for my applications and usage.

In the same token, I won't endorse a circuit unless I have personally built and using it in some sort of application.
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Mayhem Creations
where my:
    -Music Distribution
    -HTPC
    -MediaPVR
    -UnRAID box
    -OTA
are all discussed.

Xlobby Free Zone
Marbles_00
 
Posts: 1882
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:44 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Relays and Server Shutdown

Postby lpg on Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:42 pm

Marbles_00 wrote:*EDIT*
I should add to the peripheral switch, I found shutting down the amps at the same time as the computer, I get a pop sound. I boiled this down to the computer and not the amps. Ideally it would be good to have some sort of timed circuit to shut off the amps then shut down the computer. I've thought about how to do it, but that's about as far as it has gotten.


I power my amps on and off by 12v triggers from a matrix orbital lcd. I have the same pop problem at startup. There is a transient signal sent from Matrix orbital that brings the 12v signal high for a very short time but it is enough to start the amps up. If you have any ideas I would appreciate it.

Larry
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Re: MARBLES DIY Section - Maytrix

Postby Marbles_00 on Fri Oct 17, 2008 5:13 pm

If you have any ideas I would appreciate it.


As mentioned, the source of the problem is indeed the source output, and not the amps themselves. This can be verified by switching the amps on and off via the amps own switch. Then leaving the amp on, switch off only the source. Computers are natively very noisy devices with fans and hard drives spinning, so its understandable why this occurance happens.

The easiest way around this is via Girder and using a parallel port and a latching circuit or relay in the amps AC line. When performing a shutdown/standby in Xlobby, have an event that sends a Girder command to set a parallel port output high, latching a relay open. This will open the AC lines going to the amp. On a resume, or start, have Xlobby send an event to Girder to set another port output high, latching the relay close, turning on the amps. This is possible now with the awesome xPower plugin.

I would spend more time on this, only I'm swamped with too many projects currently. I think I will have two free IO bits on the port I'm going to use in the Maytrix project, I could dedicate those for this purpose. I'll revisit this at a later date, when my plate begins to clear.
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Mayhem Creations
where my:
    -Music Distribution
    -HTPC
    -MediaPVR
    -UnRAID box
    -OTA
are all discussed.

Xlobby Free Zone
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Re: MARBLES DIY Section - MayIR Correction

Postby Marbles_00 on Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:43 pm

I found a couple of errors in my drawing. The most recent one was when I was laying out the board in ExpressPCB I noticed pins 6/7 of the 555 timer and their connection to the RC timer grounded to pin 1 and the ground of the 555 timer filter cap. All fixed now and the drawing was updated. The other minor issue that was fixed a while back was that I by mistakenly pulled the LED (D1) high, when it should have gone to ground. Drawing was fixed and updated for that correction.
Image
Mayhem Creations
where my:
    -Music Distribution
    -HTPC
    -MediaPVR
    -UnRAID box
    -OTA
are all discussed.

Xlobby Free Zone
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