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my built in touchscreen jukebox

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I built this for my home theater. Its a Hope Industries touchscreen on an old dell Win XP tower. it's networked to the home wifi, so I can sit upstairs and rip cds off my laptop and put them on the touchscreen pc.

I really wanted to make it look as non-XP as possible. I use objectdock as the interface, and Virtual Music Jukebox software for the main function, but I find myself running Slacker internet radio more and more. So far its gotten plenty of use.

Here's a pic of it in its location on the right side of the snack bar area of my HT.




My son demonstrates:


Despite being a controls and automation engineer in my day job, I have yet to put any home auto on this unit. Maybe I will start up on that automated drink maker I have been kicking around in my head...

Tim
post #2 of 6
nice job, care to share?
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Primo Orion View Post

It's so cool. It has Album art and song(i can't see it clear). But if i want to touch some song, this home touchscreen needs to link to internet? Or has two kinds functions?


The VMJ software uses music that I loaded on to the dell. It is set up in an artist/album/song format and works best when I use the entire CD as opposed to just picking one or two songs from each album. It can run that way, but I wanted it to look like an cd-based jukebox. No internet connection is needed. But I put it on the home network just so I didnt have to stand in the basement putting my cd's on.

All the album art is loaded on as well, the VMJ has a provision for album art. Its not automatic, though. I just copy the album cover from Amazon's website, that way they are a consistant size and quality. If you dont load album-art, it just puts up a generic placeholder (0:34 on the video at lower right section). By the way, there is a couple of dozen skins for the VMJ software. I just happen to like the default one the best.

I have listened to slacker at my work for quite some time, and after a week or so when I got it running, I thought "Hey, I could put slacker on it as well!" So to do that, I had to keep it from auto-loading the VMJ as startup, and being the anal engineer I am, I absolutly despised having it look like a windows XP when it wasnt running slacker or VMJ. thats where the custom 'front-end' came into play. If I hit the Windows button (furthest left) I jump out of the front-end and go to a pure windows enviroment. Slacker is an Internet radio site, so connection to the internet is required for that part.

What the video didnt show was my screen saver for it cycles through the posters of movies that I really like.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pyro383 View Post

nice job, care to share?

Sure! Bring beer. What do you want me to share? How to make it or what?

tim
post #4 of 6
i vote for how to make it. and if possible source of touch screen. this is one of my many plans i have for my future build.

also list of software. like your main screen. how do you turn on the pc that runs this? etc. etc.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool Face View Post

i vote for how to make it. and if possible source of touch screen. this is one of my many plans i have for my future build.

also list of software. like your main screen. how do you turn on the pc that runs this? etc. etc.


Touch Screen: Hope Industrial 17" panel mount http://www.hopeindustrial.com/

Bear in mind that these are factory spec, NEMA4 rated (waterproof) and kinda pricy at $830. You can also get desktop touchscreens on ebay for 300-400 buck. I prefer ones with ELO brand touch overlays. They are USB connected and ELO drivers emulate all mouse function (and let you remove the cursor)

PC: I just used an old Dell tower that I had laying around. You don't need a fancy PC, just one with enough hard drive to hold all your music. Mine is on the opposite side of the wall that the screen is on. Its a mud-room, so I'm not too worried about the looks. I leave the PC on all the time. On one wall, I have the upper half of the outlets switched with a wall switch. That way I can turn off the lights/monitor on the MAME video game I am building, but leave its PC on. I have the Jukebox screen on the same circuit. It turns on automatically when power is applied

Jukebox software: Video Music Jukebox ($34.95) http://www.mameroom.com/vmj/index.htm Just FYI: this software works with a mouse instead of the touchscreen as well. Its pretty easy to set up if you follow the directions. There are plenty of skins available if you want a different look, and if you are really good (i'm not) you can create your own skin/layout

Front End Navigation Software: ObjectDock (Free Download) http://www.stardock.com/products/objectdock/index.asp

Buttons: K-tek 4d (Free download) http://www.wincustomize.com/explore/objectdock/14009/

ObjectDock is the interface that puts the button up on the screen, However there are hundereds of people who generated custom button 'icons' for ObjectDock. a guy named K-tec makes some of the coolest.

And that's about it. An audio cable from the PC to your receiver and you are good to go.

I have installation pictures on my work computer. I'll post them up next week. Basically, the screen comes with a bolt on collar on the back side of the bezel.



I framed a hole to fit the collar snugly, then secured the collar to the lumber with drywall screws. I then drywallled over the wall and cut out the opening. You can mount it just to drywall, but I like the security of having it tied to the framing. The bezel is quite large, so it makes it pretty forgiving, as it covers up any cutting errors in the drywall. You must have rear of wall access to mount it though. after I drywalled the back side, I put a 14x14 plumbing access door in the back side wall in case I ever need access (I haven't yet)



Tim
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Installation pictures:


This picture shows the mounting ring mounted to the framing I did in the wall. As you can see, the hole is kinda ragged, but the screen bezel covers it up nicely. I painted the wall first simply because I wasnt going to install the screen until I had everything ready, but I got tired of it knocking around on the bar while I was using it to play music while I worked.


Close up view of the ring secured to the frame. Just a couple of drywall screws in each side is enough.


View from the backside looking thru the ring into the theater. this was before I put the hunk of backside drywall back on. Notice the notch in the header, this is to pass the cables through, up and out the top of the wall, above the drop ceiling


View of the screen mounted in the wall and powered up. (during theater construction)



Like I said, not to hard, IF you can do it before you drywall.

Tim
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