Intro: Internet Radio With an Evo T20 Thin Client Needing No Moniter Keyboard or Mouse to Run!
Here is how to use an Evo T20 thin client as a stand alone Internet radio receiver :
Why do it Well I did it for 3 reasons
1] because it was a challenge
2]To have a noiseless low consumption unit only 20 watts at peak rather than run a noisey power hungry Full Desktop PC ( I have measured mine and once Booted uses 8 Watts)
3]To find a use for something that otherwise was junk -
These older thin clients are currently getting pulled out of many businesses and can be picked up for anything from a few dollars to $50 dependant on how lucky you are. Have a look on Ebay or better still in the Dumpster out the back of a Network Dealer. Once fully configered no Screen key Board or Mouse is needed - Simply press the on button and after the 2 minutes of booting - Audio of your favorite Internet radio station comes out of the 3.5mm stereo plug ready for headphones or a suitable amplifier - Once you have finished press and hold the same button and the unit turns itself off
To Make things easier a Networked computer on the same Network with a "Shared" directory as a place to store files in the build stage helps, as does an extra mouse keyboard and monitor. The networked computer needs to be running Windows 2000, XP or Vista I do not Know about 7 yet!! There is a way round this using a pendrive which I have posted here https://www.instructables.com/id/Adding-Memory-to-an-EVO-T20-with-NT4e-to-make-a-u/
Step 1: First Buy Your EVO T20
Not all Evo T20 thin clients are the same some are quite high specificationed and some are basically Junk - To do this you Need one of them that Runs Windows Nt4e or Windows XPe with enough flash memory basically the 64 megabyte or better . The Windows Ce ones are totally unsuitable for this Project and are basically a Door stop: They all look the same and use the same 5 volt 4 amp power supply the only way to tell them apart is by the part number ; This is located underneath the unit. Other Thin Clients that I have tested and work are the Compaq EVO T30 Thin Client and for the Ultimate Version the " Hp T5700 which can be used as a Video Host".
Fortunately lots of information is available online at the HP web site and other sources http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/10865_div/10865_div.HTML
The following Part numbers are the ones it should work on from the HP list
305253-xxx 308791-xxx 311334-xxx
306480-001 is what I have used (128megs of ram and 128meg of flash ) in the demo After several trials any T20 or T30 with 64 megs or more is a possible candidate. With a 64 meg flash you have the options to source a 32 Meg smart media card ( if you can find one ) - slip that into the socket on the EVO's mother board then reflash it as a 96 Meg unit.I have found no way of making a Ce Unit into a NTe. With Windows media player installed a 64meg flash unit still has 9megs of spare space
You will also need a USB mouse a USB key board and a VGA monitor and Wired Internet (a Rj45 cable feeding broadband Internet From a router Ideally set in DHCP mode to give out network Ip addresses)
Step 2: Entering Administrator Mode on Your EVO
Hopefully your Evo T20 is the right sort and has the latest Firmware loaded without any problems If the EVO seems broken ( and if anything goes wrong with this project ) Reflashing the unit is the work of 10 -20 minutes with a suitably configured computer and a cross over cable lots of instructions are available online at www.compaq.co.nz and I have also done an Instructable on how to do it as well .
When you turn it on the EVO it will auto boot into the fairly limited User acount and before you can do anything you need to get it into Administrator mode to do this once it is up and running press Tab Home End Left arrow<- Right Arrow-> keys in Quick succession. This should spawn the Login screen
Change Default User Name from User to Administrator and default Password ( User) to Administrator (Both Case sensitive!) and should swap you into Administrator mode. On XPe the Tab Home End left Right 5 key sequence is changed to a simple Press and Hold the Shift Key while Logging Off ( and On again automatically ) User password sets are the same . At this stage all changes are temporary as the Flash drive is still locked and if you restart or reboot you will be back where you started . So you need to Unlock the Flash which is the next step
Step 3: Unlocking Evo Flash
To Unlock the Flash to make permanent changes the Unit needs to be in Administrator Mode
Click on Start >Programs> write Filter and this should start the Write filter Device Control
Click on Flush cache and after a few seconds the NTE Flash memory Write filter will turn off click on close and should now be able to delete and change things permanently
However every time the unit restarts the Memory Write lock will re-engage (It can be turned off but is best left like this as it this does give protection against accidental deletions )
Take this opertunity to delete a few dirrectories to create space for usefull stuff specific dirrectories that can go are Adobe Rapport etc but Leave Windows Media Player / Common files / Internet Explorer/ Windows Media Player / and Orl intact [The Orl dirrectory includes files that permit remoting into the unit over the network]
To do this may need to stop some services through control Panel - I will clarify this in another instructable later .
On XPe units in Administration mode a different Write filter of the same name is used with the Xpe version once the Write lock is turned off it stays turned off untill you turn it back on again even when you reboot.
Step 4: Increase Ram Drive
In Order to loaded needed software need a larger than standard Ram Drive as this is where tempory files are unpacked to - this is accessed through Control Panel.
Once the Ram disk has been enlarged to 30 meg need to reboot.
Remember that when the unit restarts on NTe units the Flash drive will have relocked and so will need to be unlocked again as in step 3 check you have enough space should have about 50+megs on the Drive C: now dependant on the Model and how vigerous you have pruned unneeded programs.
Step 5: Install Software Specifically Real Player
For Most Internet Radio stations you need to install a compatable Windows Media Player ( which can be optained dirrect from microsoft from www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx and for others you need to have a version of Real player installed, If you look at [http://radio.real.com/] there is an up to date list of the Many Internet stations you can set this particular Unit up to stream. - Do not try to install the latest version its to big and won't work you need a specific older version , Version 8 This is where a networked computer with a shared dirrectory comes in Or a Pen drive . The software can be down loaded from
http://forms.real.com/real/player/blackjack.html or By Doing a Google Search -I have also put it on a page on My own website so it will remain available at
You need to save this in the shared dirrectory as there is not enough space on the EVO's C drive for the compressed install file and to expand the files for the install ( this will be done in the now enlarged Z: drive [30megs] do not install the extras like jukebox basically tick no to every option and should intall without problems -
reboot the EVO and only one or two steps now left .
Step 6: Setting UP Explorer
At this stage if you click on the Internet Explorer Icon should go to the default "www.compaq.com" that was set up in the factory this is not much use So After Unlocking the Flash drive again see step 3 click on Control panel and then internet options and then edit the home page to be your favorite internet radio live feed I have mine set to UK BBC Radio whi\os Urls are listed
now if you click on internet explorer - explorer 5.5 starts then spawns realplayer or Windows Media Player depending if you have selected a . rm stream or a .AsF stream and in a few seconds you have your chosen Radio Playing.
Now the clever bit to automate things . Make a short cut copy of Internet Explorer and drag it into the start up folder located in Winnt profiles or in start menu.
This is also a Good time to reduce the ram drive back down to a smaller size about 6-8 meg to increase working ram.
Step 7: Using It Enjoy
Now assuming all is set up right if you turn the EVO on with or without Key board Mouse and Monitor attached ( But obviously a Wired Ethernet Broadband conection ) you will have Internet Audio stream in a few minutes -
If you have any problems get in touch - also if there is sufficent interest will load how to remote into the box so can control it over the network to change station and even record programs.
The Main advantage of this bit of kit is its small so could be build into other Projects . It also has very low power consumption.
Apart from the Audio as there are no moving parts no fans no disks so it is Totally silent ideal for a bedroom!
Can also play Solitaire and Type that Book you have always intended to write on it but that is a different chapter.