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Old 01-27-2013   #26
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

I guess this is now my official build thread. Certainly, It's not on the order of Neil's build, but as a mere mortal, I'm having fun.

Here's a picture of my current interim mess. I bought the first of several cheap DAC's and hooked it up via the Toslink output on the MB. Works great. I also was hoping to use the digital in/out from the SoundBlaster USB soundcard to integrate a physical volume control, but had no luck. I think it'll do it, but the SoundBlaster settings and documentation have me baffled. I'll give it another try later.

_1015216.jpg

Next is an appropriate case and PS. I'm hoping my GTI has enough depth in the radio hole to accommodate a double-din PC case, but I'm doubtful. I may pull the radio today to have a look-see.
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Old 02-03-2013   #27
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

Waiting for my PC case and Power Supply to arrive. I decided to pull my factory deck to see how much room I have to work with. The VW style deck is a bit bigger than double din around the faceplate. I'm thinking I may have room to go bigger than the typical 7" touchscreen. The trick will be to make a fascia that looks good. Hmm, I have an acquaintance with a water jet. I may need to recruit him for some work.

_1015220.jpg

_1015222.jpg

_1015223.jpg
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Old 02-04-2013   #28
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

looking like you are off to a good start. centrafuse seems like the way to go
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Old 02-10-2013   #29
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

I got my case and power supply. I bought a Morex 557B Mini-ITX Compact Computer Case and M3-ATX-HV Automotive PSU

I'm really happy with the case, it's solid, heavy, and well ventilated. I did quite a bit of work with the power supply harness to minimize the wire mess inside of the case. I hard soldered the hard drive and P4 mother board pigtails, as well as tapping both 5V and 12V for use in low power accessories. I used a coaxial plug for the main power/ground and a 9-pin sub-D connector for the other wires. I even slipped in an inline fuse. It's a pretty tight fit to get it all in the case, but it would have been nearly impossible if I used the stock power supply harness and all the miscellaneous adapters.

_1015224.jpg

_1015225.jpg

The power supply is a very tight fit. It overlaps the second memory slot (luckily I'm only using the first). The ps capacitors are pushed up against the case on/off board. I had to remove and re-solder the on/off board's wire connections to get everything to fit.

_1015226.jpg

_1015227.jpg

Here it is working on 12V power. I had a initial scare when at first it wouldn't fully boot. Luckily, my battery wasn't fully charged (11.4v). After a quick top-off (12.4v) it worked perfectly.

_1015228.jpg

A quick test fit under the car seat - pretty snug. I wish I could push the case farther back, but there's a structural steel piece that limits where I can place it. I might nose around for some other locations too.

_1015229.jpg

..not sure why some of the pictures display full size (640x480) and others are just thumbnails.

Last edited by chad1376; 02-10-2013 at 03:00 PM..
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Old 02-16-2013   #30
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

Rough mockup on some dash pods. One goal of the project is to be able to return the car to stock, without any cutting and hacking, so big fiberglass A-pillar pods are definitely not in consideration. I think this will look reasonably subtle. I plan on constructing these out of sheet metal, with welded seams, and possibly painting them with spray-on Plasti-Dip.

I plan on using Dayton Audio RS75-4 3" Reference Full-Range Driver 4 Ohm 295-380 (hey, I can't afford Focal) and maybe relocating the tweeters from the sails to the pods and using Dayton Audio ND16FA-6 5/8" Neodymium Dome Tweeter 275-025.

_1015230.jpg

_1015231.jpg


Just to be sure the speakers would fit, I mocked up a magnet, based on the dimensions listed in the specs.


_1015232.jpg


And just for kicks, I used a very scientific and technical method to accurately determine the box volume.


_1015233.jpg

_1015234.jpg

My skills at welding thin sheet metal (with a wire-feed mig welder) are are so-so, so there's no guarantee yet these will turn out. I'll post back with the results; either beautiful sheet metal boxes, or booger welds and a big fail.

Last edited by chad1376; 02-16-2013 at 10:43 PM..
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Old 02-16-2013   #31
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

How is Centrafuse these days? I tried it last year and it had way too many issues for me to delve any deeper than the demo.
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Old 02-16-2013   #32
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

So far, I've only used it on the kitchen counter, so I can't say for sure. I about gave up on it, but couldn't find anything significantly better. I'll have to finish my install and actually use it in the car to pass any further judgement.
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Old 02-16-2013   #33
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

Yea I'm looking at a new build now and leaning towards android with a customized interface and external processing. Centrafuse just isn't stable enough for me when we are planning an 1800+ mile road trip this summer lol.
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Old 02-17-2013   #34
 
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I've been lurking and following along. What interface for android would you use? Seen some interesting android boards in another forum that I might do the same thing with.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

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Old 02-18-2013   #35
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

Made some good progress on the dash pods. Yes, I have boogary welds, but nothing the grinder and sander won't clean up. I'll need to do a skim coat of filler before I paint. These will also need a liberal lining with Dyna-mat, since the thin metal "rings". The mass of the speaker, once mounted, will help too.

_1015237.jpg
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Old 02-18-2013   #36
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

Hmm...steel pods. Any reason you went steel over fiberglass?
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Old 02-19-2013   #37
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

Mostly because I have the tools for steel, and little more experience (although I'm no expert). The few times I tried fiberglass, I ended up with a stinky, gloppy mess.
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Old 02-19-2013   #38
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

Ok, that makes sense. I didn't find using fiberglass to be that hard my first time, although I did have help. They didn't come out perfect either lol but it worked out in the end.
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Old 02-26-2013   #39
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

Following your build! Looking at doing the same regarding audio all digital to the amp...only difference would be android tablet(Toshiba Excite 7.7) as opposed to pc...here is my planned path for active 2 way front stage + sub

Tablet running Neutron Player --> HDMI multi dock out--> ViewHD HDMI to SPDIF --> nanodigi SPDIF in --> 3xFiio d03k dac's to Alpine PDXv9 5.1 amp
(also putting a jl-rlc in between one fiio and sub input for remote sub gain)


I've already got tablet , multi-dock , ViewHD and 1xFIIO setup into my amp...the amp is now doing simple crossover duties, now i just need to pickup the nanodigi and 2 more fiio's ($280..for all processing and 3 dacs , not bad) ...btw , the FIIO dac sounds so much better than my tablet's built in dac

Having the path and processing all digital to the dac allows for so much flexibility and dac experimentation...really looking forward to hearing your results...

Master volume apparently can be controlled from any programmable remote..I'm curious how I'm going to integrate that into the car...

A link to my setup follows if anyone is interested...Android is really making some in roads...dont even really need a front end ..the widgets , and usb hid controls take care of that...

Ford Flex Toshiba Excite 7.7 Android Tablet Install
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Old 02-27-2013   #40
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

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Originally Posted by chad1376 View Post
Made some good progress on the dash pods. Yes, I have boogary welds, but nothing the grinder and sander won't clean up. I'll need to do a skim coat of filler before I paint. These will also need a liberal lining with Dyna-mat, since the thin metal "rings". The mass of the speaker, once mounted, will help too.

Attachment 42628
Those are the most epic-hardcore-chuck-norris-built pods I have ever seen. Seems its gonna be hard to screw in the speakers tho without gettin a lot of burrs, even with predrilled holes.
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Old 02-27-2013   #41
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

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Originally Posted by MattB101 View Post
I've been lurking and following along. What interface for android would you use? Seen some interesting android boards in another forum that I might do the same thing with.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2
I'll likely just use a custom launcher and tweak it so it's more car friendly. I've seen this done a bit and seen some great outcomes. My current plans are to use a tablet or some form of android dev board (arndale more than likely) going USB to I2S through an Xmos board, then into a SHARC DSP (MiniSharc) board (Xover, PEQ, Time alignment so on) then into a Buffalo III 8 channel dac, then into my amps and so on.
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Old 02-27-2013   #42
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

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Originally Posted by pcpete View Post
..
Master volume apparently can be controlled from any programmable remote..I'm curious how I'm going to integrate that into the car...
I'm still thinking about this. I'm not sure if I want to totally rely on the PC/OS/Centrafuse for volume. I plan on locating the nanodigi in the rear hatch, so a remote won't work directly. I might just unsolder the IR reciever, run some wires, and relocate it to the dash, but I dunno - It sounds like a PITA. I'm not an electrical engineer, so I don't know if a long wire run from the IR reciever to the board will affect it's performance.

Quote:
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Those are the most epic-hardcore-chuck-norris-built pods I have ever seen. Seems its gonna be hard to screw in the speakers tho without gettin a lot of burrs, even with predrilled holes.
Once I have the 3" speakers in hand, I'll mark the hole locations, drill, and tack weld a nut behind the baffle. The tweeters are press fit, so I'll need to size the holes as closely as possible and maybe use a bit of silicone to secure them.

I have a plan partially executed to bolt the speakers to the dash. I'm securing a piece of steel that runs vertically from the side of the dash, in between the A-pillar cover and dashboard. I'll bolt the pods to the steel, so I won't have to drill into the dash. To make this work, I need to to fabricate a notch in the pods. Hard to descibe. l'll post pictures when complete.

Last edited by chad1376; 02-27-2013 at 12:11 PM..
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Old 02-27-2013   #43
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Quote:
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I'll likely just use a custom launcher and tweak it so it's more car friendly. I've seen this done a bit and seen some great outcomes. My current plans are to use a tablet or some form of android dev board (arndale more than likely) going USB to I2S through an Xmos board, then into a SHARC DSP (MiniSharc) board (Xover, PEQ, Time alignment so on) then into a Buffalo III 8 channel dac, then into my amps and so on.
I was going to go with a Buffalo III, the ES9018 is a killer DAC. They weren't in stock at the time I started my DAC project, and it was too expensive to do my own 4-layer board and obtain the chips. Twisted Pair audio was supposed to come out with their own USB 2.0 to I2S converter, but IMO even when it gets here, the USBstreamer is the better deal. The only gripe I had with it was the 2mm header for the I2S signals, and the fact that there's not an easy way to bypass the USB power (my setup doesn't shut the USB power off in sleep mode). I did get the power bypassed on mine, but it required an SMT rework station and a stereo microscope. Sounds like a great project, good luck.

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Old 02-27-2013   #44
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

Yeah I'm going to use this Amanero Technologies It can do DSD and I2S up to 32bit 400khz. Obviously getting DSD from an android device is likely a joke, but I got it for the I2S features.

TPA is very soon going to put out something similar based on the XMOS chip as well. The one that I'm getting is on a group buy at another forum and will be like 60 bucks shipped.
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Old 02-27-2013   #45
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

Quote:
Originally Posted by chad1376 View Post
I'm still thinking about this. I'm not sure if I want to totally rely on the PC/OS/Centrafuse for volume. I plan on locating the nanodigi in the rear hatch, so a remote won't work directly. I might just unsolder the IR reciever, run some wires, and relocate it to the dash, but I dunno - It sounds like a PITA. I'm not an electrical engineer, so I don't know if a long wire run from the IR reciever to the board will affect it's performance.
I'm in the same boat! My tablet freezes the audio output to 100% when in HDMI mode, which is what I expected and wanted, so I don't have the option to control volume on the tablet. I too was looking at the minidigi pcb and considering relocating the ir sensor. My run however would be considerably shorter than yours as I'm planning to mount it under the front passenger seat.

Another option i was thinking about was buying a cheap small programmable remote and placing it pointing at the minidigi under the seat, and then running wires from the remote to switches integrated on my dash, perhaps even a rotary encoder for volume, as I prefer knobs

I really wish it provided for an option for wired controls...
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Old 02-27-2013   #46
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

I guess there's the option of IR repeaters too, but that's just more junk to buy and install ..and one more thing to fail.

Maybe I just need switch and big relay to kill the whole system when the computer randomly freezes and I get some ungodly digital noise at peak volume frying my speakers.
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Old 02-27-2013   #47
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

Quote:
Originally Posted by chad1376 View Post
I'm still thinking about this. I'm not sure if I want to totally rely on the PC/OS/Centrafuse for volume. I plan on locating the nanodigi in the rear hatch, so a remote won't work directly. I might just unsolder the IR reciever, run some wires, and relocate it to the dash, but I dunno - It sounds like a PITA. I'm not an electrical engineer, so I don't know if a long wire run from the IR reciever to the board will affect it's performance.



Once I have the 3" speakers in hand, I'll mark the hole locations, drill, and tack weld a nut behind the baffle. The tweeters are press fit, so I'll need to size the holes as closely as possible and maybe use a bit of silicone to secure them.

I have a plan partially executed to bolt the speakers to the dash. I'm securing a piece of steel that runs vertically from the side of the dash, in between the A-pillar cover and dashboard. I'll bolt the pods to the steel, so I won't have to drill into the dash. To make this work, I need to to fabricate a notch in the pods. Hard to descibe. l'll post pictures when complete.
ah ok, good call on nut plates.
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Old 03-03-2013   #48
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

Lots of planning and cadd work done:

Spent a bit of time planning wiring. Most of the work is done, except detailing the touch screen hookups. I'm placing the NanoDigi, DACs, power blocks and front stage amps on a board below the truck liner. VW was nice enough to use a piece of easily removable Styrofoam below the trunk, next to the spare tire. It's a tight space, but luckily most of the components are small.

Wire 1.jpg

Wire 2.JPG

Wire 3.JPG

Also, I purchased a buyout Bravox EXS10D-2 Extreme Duty 10" DVC Subwoofer 2 Ohm Per Coi 269-529, and designed a pretty decent box for it. My friend at work has a CNC router, which will make the layered, curved construction possible. I want the sub box and sub amp to be easily removable, to accommodate luggage on road trips. I designed in some big grab handles, and the electrical will unplug easily.

SW CADD.jpg

SW Color.JPG

I'm pretty happy with the modeled response for the sub. I could have gotten a little flatter and deeper, but I didn't want to take up any more trunk space, and I had to limit the port length to avoid using an elbow. I'm sure that little round hump in the jucy part of the bass will sound just fine for regular music.

SW Model.JPG

Also, I made a little progress on the steel dash pods, but nothing worth posting up yet.
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Old 03-08-2013   #49
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hdale85 View Post
I'll likely just use a custom launcher and tweak it so it's more car friendly. I've seen this done a bit and seen some great outcomes. My current plans are to use a tablet or some form of android dev board (arndale more than likely) going USB to I2S through an Xmos board, then into a SHARC DSP (MiniSharc) board (Xover, PEQ, Time alignment so on) then into a Buffalo III 8 channel dac, then into my amps and so on.
Hmmm..this sounds like an awesome plan!

I've got my tablet (Toshiba excite 7.7) outputting spdif by going through Toshiba docking station hdmi out to to spdif converter. I'm hoping I'm getting bit perfect output...the android volume control doesn't work, which is what I was hoping and expecting.

Now, I've been reading on the minidsp site and the minisharc that you mentioned hdale, looks like a great option for processing...I particularly like the fact that it has 2 digital in (DIGI-FP) and a really like that it works with the VOL-FP! I wonder why the nanodigi doesnt...dont really like the ir option.

The problem now is finding some dacs that would work it!

The buffalo III you mention, hdale, is the ultimate dac...but with all the options and add-on's necessary...it's looking like close to $600-$700 ...ouch! Plus you can't get one anyway...not in stock..

What other options do we have? I'm looking at spending maybe 250 on the minisharc stuff and another 250 on the dac side , for an awesome all digital processor with volume control for around 500 bucks!

Is there a single channel dac with i2s in -> analog out?

Can a usb/spdif input dac be hacked to accept i2s in?

Is there a simple cheap single or multiple i2s -> optical spdif converter? This would be ideal...

I'm really thinking the minisharc could be the ultimate car audio processor..

For Input:

Preferably a digital spdif source from head unit /car pc / tablet etc...

You can also pick your own ADC (stereo rca to spdif) for analog in connected to the second digital ins...if needed

You can pick your own output dac stage...ideally with an i2s to spdif converter, one could pick and choose different dac's for their tweets , mids etc..the flexibility is awesome!

For master volume and preset selection there is the VOL-FP...

I'm also planning to use a JL Audio CL-RLC to control volume for each output channel pair between the dacs and amp...tweet,mids and sub...
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Old 03-08-2013   #50
 
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Default Re: All digital to amp - using nanoDIGI

You need a DAC with 6 to 8 channels is the problem. Also I'm not sure how you got up to 600-700 for the buffalo 3? The kit that comes with most of what you'd need is under 500 and you can feed it I2S directly from the MiniSHARC. Also those DACs sell out almost instantly, just have to watch for new batch pure orders.
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