Intro: Build a Star Trek (LCARS) Themed Jukebox, and More
One day I stumbled across the Dos\Windows Jukebox program at dwjukebox.com I had been testing many of the automotive media players out there but wanted one for the house too. I still use XP and the effortless touchscreen support was a nice surprise.
Step 1: Where It All Started
I like'd RoadRunner the best for the car but then there was an issue with the skin and the name.... It became RideRunner but it never was the same.... I then switched to Driveline.....
But back to DWJukebox.
I couldn't get dwjukebox to work on this little Fujitsu since its running Win2000
I ended up putting this one on my golf cart with a panasonic auto adapter and a custom mount.
Now its time to start over.
Step 2: Custom Case
I used a wooden cabinet to make a player that looked like a bar top arcade machine. I had a 15inch touchscreen liberated from a commercial Kiosk.
I gutted an old Dell desktop and mounted all the parts to the case. I extended the important connectors like Network, Keyboard and USB to the side paned using a few jumper cables.
It's not the prettiest thing but it worked great. Theres no set plans or dimensions. Its all a matter of what scraps are lying around when I get the idea....
I was going to put some auto speakers in the sides but I soon had a better idea.....
Step 3: Full Size Cabinet
Some time ago I built a Mame cabinet. The DWJukebox software works well on this too. Even though there is no touchscreen the trackball does the job. With a little config file tweaking the keyboard buttons and joysticks can be used too.
This one has a LOT of speakers. 4 tweeters, 6 midranges, and a JVC Titanium coned subwoofer. I used a standard Mosfet car amplifier to drive all the speakers. I had to use a large 12V 50Amp Mainframe Computer Power Supply.
Great sound and the Bass is incredible. I sometimes wonder why the hard drive doesn't crash from the vibration. I never did make a new Plexi cover for the monitor but I will get to that soon.
Step 4: Time for Upgrades
This cabinet has been through a lot. Several different keyboard configurations and PC's but the Pioneer Audio system never changed.
I did add some grill covers to protect all those speaker from damage. The radio itself came from my old Plymouth Voyager. It even has a remote which makes it easy to control the volume from across the room.
I added a logitech wireless keyboard and mouse. I store them above the PC for doing updates.
For the joysticks I used 2 separate USB controllers, one for each side. These show up under windows as standard digital gaming controllers.
The trackball is recognized as a standard 3 button mouse and the 6 keys on the very top are seen standard keyboard keys.
At some point the computer grew so large I had to replace the front tweeters with narrower ones to get the bigger case to fit.
It also see a lot of use as a DDR Clone machine.
Step 5: The Shuttle X50
I found this shuttle X50 touchscreen on Newegg. It seemed perfect. It runs XP well, has built in Wifi and Ethernet ports as well as some simple accent lighting.
It has a built in kickstand that folds up to become a handle. the makes it easy to transport to parties.
We even used it in a public park connected to a commercial PA system to provide music for a party.
I like that you can define a bunch of music directories in the config file and if they don't exist it doesn't stop the boot up. I defined some mapped network drives so when I'm home it finds the music on my network shares. I also defined the drive letters for the CD rom and USB pendrives. This way people can bring their own music to the party. If it's there on boot up it gets added to the playlist, simple as that.
In the pictures you can see it's usual home on my desk. It is connected to an equalizer that feeds a 6 channel headphone distribution amp. The amp feeds speakers around the room and also a set in the workroom.
The silver box to the right with only a toggle switch and a power LED is an FM transmitter. This way I can feed the sound to the stereo for the projection TV. This monster audio system has a set on 15in drivers that make the Mame cabinet sound like a walkman.
Step 6: Other Features
It has the option to log the current song info to a file. Then you can poll the file for changes and process it using you language of choice. I've done this before using things like LCD Smartie but with so many display skins I don't see the need for it.
Above you can see what it looked like with LCD Smartie and Winamp on a 20X4 LCD. I finally found those nice Black on White LCD's. They aren't backlit like the Black on Green one but they are so clear in a well lit room. When I looked in the file It had so little information that I never bothered to set this up.
Many people talked about using EventGhost to control it but I found a leftover Dell Media Center Remote that works just fine.....
Step 7: Skins
They have plenty of skins. Some are even targeted at organizing and playing entire albums. I like the Star Trek style LCARS skin the best.