Homebuilt Docking Stations


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we have USB--or will by the time we're finished--now it's time to go to work on docking stations. For the record, I know little about linux and next to nothing about hardware--but that hasn't stopped me in the past. link.

What this post is for, is to start people down the path of goodness as far as docking stations go. It will be a long and expen$ive road.

Goals of the docking station:
extend TV audio/video to useful svid/composite ports on the back (possibly even RF)
internal usb hub
house standard IDE hard disk in docking station
power usb, gp2x and IDE drive
hardwire internally a wireless usb joypad.
hardwire USB multi-format card reader

software setbacks:
can the gp2x even format its own drive? (file browser functions too basic)
mounting fat32 drive and displaying it in menu
drive size limits?
joystick drivers

major hardware items that will likely be required:
ext connector--oy
ac adaptor that powers current gp2x with enough extra mA to run usb.
usb hub
usb hard disk enclosure
USB multi format card reader
rf modulator (only if we go for RF)
IDE hard disk

who's with me, and who spotted problems I haven't yet seen? I'll be looking for the EXT connector tonight on Samsung and LG phone accessories. I'm hoping the software end catches up with me--but that's a big 'IF'. I'm thinking wood for the actual frame of the docking station--probably cherry or walnut, but casing comes last.
 
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a fair amount of that is for show--since it doesn't all relate to the USB.
Looks like those pictures relate to just about *everything* comming off of the ext port.

Bob_usb_filter.png

see, it doesn't look so threatening now, does it? All it needs after this is power, and there are very easy ways to do this. Probably a thousand places to steal +5V from.

If anybody thinks this is above their skill level, I say they are selling themselves very short. Think of it this way: all we're doing, is taking systems that should all work separately and putting them together in one place.
 

torpor

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Reaperman93010 posted on Feb 9 2006 at 07:01 PM said:
Goals of the docking station:
extend TV audio/video to useful svid/composite ports on the back (possibly even RF)
internal usb hub
house standard IDE hard disk in docking station
power usb, gp2x and IDE drive
hardwire internally a wireless usb joypad.
hardwire USB multi-format card reader

a full breakout box for the gp2x is feasible, for sure. having -all- available i/o available would be a great thing. also, cables too ..

software setbacks:
can the gp2x even format its own drive? (file browser functions too basic)

definitely. you may not have an interface to it, but i could write you a script (.gpu) right now that would let you format SD's on the gp2x .. tho', it wouldn't be pretty, or safe.

in other words, it can be done on the gp2x right now, its just not pretty, or safe: two components only a few steps away from reality.

mounting fat32 drive and displaying it in menu

some great tricks can be played: USB media can all be mounted off of /mnt/sd, which means that to the user, you can still always just hit the 'sd card' menu, and yet have access to your disks .. its like, any SD media you add to your USB hub, becomes 'just another dir' ..

drive size limits?

its linux. what limits does it have?

joystick drivers

well, i have griffen powermate done, anyway .. ;) lovely to have two of them hooked up to linux and SDL!

major hardware items that will likely be required:
ext connector--oy
ac adaptor that powers current gp2x with enough extra mA to run usb.
usb hub
usb hard disk enclosure
USB multi format card reader
rf modulator (only if we go for RF)
IDE hard disk

it would really be nice to have a base-station setup with a hard disk in it .. my jobo datatank provides that (as well as 5-in-1 card-reader), and it is battery powered .. so with gp2x+usb, computers just got hell simpler to toat around and use ..

drool: lumix fz-5 usb support ..

who's with me, and who spotted problems I haven't yet seen?

it should be pretty easy to get a board going .. i don't actually see problems, i see a new frontier..

I'll be looking for the EXT connector tonight on Samsung and LG phone accessories. I'm hoping the software end catches up with me--but that's a big 'IF'. I'm thinking wood for the actual frame of the docking station--probably cherry or walnut, but casing comes last.

the software is right up there on the edge of things, believe me. the hardware is willing, also .. its just a matter of a few greasy cables and some port love ..
 
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silly question:
does the TV-out cable connector have all the pins, or just the pins required for TV-outing?

I got skunked at the stores today, but worst comes to worst I can do some cutting on that samsung cable--unless the TV-out has all the pins, in that case it's pretty cheap for something that I know fits.

the more I think about it, the easier this project gets.

edit: Nevermind, I've been reading nubie's cable post--$6 shipped isn't bad for the 810 cable.
 

nubie

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Reaperman93010 posted on Feb 9 2006 at 11:02 PM said:
silly question:
does the TV-out cable connector have all the pins, or just the pins required for TV-outing?

I got skunked at the stores today, but worst comes to worst I can do some cutting on that samsung cable--unless the TV-out has all the pins, in that case it's pretty cheap for something that I know fits.

the more I think about it, the easier this project gets.

edit:  Nevermind, I've been reading nubie's cable post--$6 shipped isn't bad for the 810 cable.

Yes, go here: Ext Connector Source, Serial/tv-out (Found em Cheap)

Just wanted to chime in here to point out that these cables: SAMSUNG E810/E818/P518/P510 USB-Data-Cable + Driver at axshop.com have all 24 pins and they line-up perfectly with the GP2X, and that they connect to two sides of 1 PCB unlike the ones in the GPH TV-Out, which seem to be on 4 planes.

If you made a cool custom PCB and connected the traces out to the Resistors and Capacitors you needed and then put in solder connections, or even surface mount connectors it would be awesome. I really only care about TV-Out and USB so I can get it working as an awesome Divx player for my 80GB external hard-drive.

Later I want USB controllers, I use PSX controllers to play practically everything using an adaptor originally meant for the Xbox and Gamecube, I added a USB and it worked like a charm on any PC I connected it to, no drivers needed even in windows 98, not bad for something available at GameStop, a walk-in store. I have beat Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness and Need For Speed HPII and many other games using the PSX controller exclusively, I even took a couple to a friends house and we had a battle with Gish, try it out if you never have before :D .

Edit: In response to above, a powered hub and a USB LAN dongle should cost about $20 if you look in the right places, just get on of those nice slim/mini USB hubs with 4 ports on one side and it would be perfect: 2 controllers, 1 HD, and the LAN.
 
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timbobsteve

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With the USB External HDD, do you plan on using a standard USB HDD? Or will you just fashion an IDE -> USB converter so ppl can mount their own 2.5" HDD's. I think having a USB host + option to conenct a small 2.5" laptop HDD would be most beneficial. You could even conceal the laptop hdd inside the stand.... anyways... that is just a thought I had.

Good luck with this project.

BTW, when did they get USB host working? I new they were close... but didn't know they had it 'down' yet.

:)
 

nubie

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timbobsteve posted on Feb 9 2006 at 11:42 PM said:
BTW, when did they get USB host working? I new they were close... but didn't know they had it 'down' yet.

:)

We are just being optimistic as I myself have read of at least 2, possibly 3 people getting USB Host working already.

One built his own Kernel, another has uploaded "USB drivers" to the file archive, and I believe the other has posted on the wiki.

I personally just plan to use an external HD, a standard WD 80GB I got for $40 with a rebate last year.
 
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lucoxade

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Goals of the docking station:
extend TV audio/video to useful svid/composite ports on the back (possibly even RF)
internal usb hub
house standard IDE hard disk in docking station
power usb, gp2x and IDE drive
hardwire internally a wireless usb joypad.
hardwire USB multi-format card reader
You can add infra red to that list! (to control the movie/music player)
 

Eagle747

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lucoxade posted on Feb 10 2006 at 03:42 PM said:
Goals of the docking station:
extend TV audio/video to useful svid/composite ports on the back (possibly even RF)
internal usb hub
house standard IDE hard disk in docking station
power usb, gp2x and IDE drive
hardwire internally a wireless usb joypad.
hardwire USB multi-format card reader
You can add infra red to that list! (to control the movie/music player)

Can we have a keyboard as well?
 
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there will be extra USB for whatever comes up like second joysticks, Keyboards etc, but I don't really know of any USB IR stuff--I'm sure it exists though. all it would need are drivers. I've even thought along the lines of optical drive support--but really once the hub is in place, and USB is cleaned/powered, individual users can put just about anything they want to on it.

I can't think of a regular use for rs232 or jtag that would be worth the trouble of putting them in.
 

timthepig

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All extremely good ideas. I would buy a gp2x tommorow, an entire emulation system plugged into your TV with Keyboard\Joypads as well as a handheld device.
 

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Reaperman93010 posted on Feb 11 2006 at 01:00 AM said:
I can't think of a regular use for rs232 or jtag that would be worth the trouble of putting them in.
You don't write any software for the GP2X, do you? Those are the two things that are highest on my list.
 
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