Restoring a jukebox with an Arduino

[Jim] just finished restoring an old Seeburg USC1 jukebox for his father using an Arduino, replacing an electromechanical rats nest of wires. The stack of 45 records were replaced with an Arduino Mega 2560 with an Sparkfun MP3 player shield, and he jukebox lights are now controlled with 74595 shift registers. Because his jukebox isn’t taking in money, the dollar bill validator has been modified into a ‘skip song’ button, and when there are no songs in the jukebox queue, there are 500 additional songs on the SD card that will randomly play.

We’ve seen one of [Jim]‘s builds before. Earlier this year he repaired a thirty year old Pachinko machine using the same Arduino + MP3 shield setup. It looks like [Jim] is pretty skilled at revitalizing bulky old electronics. The jukebox restoration is great and has a lot more class than the internet-connected touch screen monstrosities that we still pump money into.

Check out the video after the break for a walk through of this restoration.

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Stream music anywhere in your house with these WiFi speakers

wifi_speakers

[Rui] needed an easy way to play music in several different zones from one centralized location, but he didn’t want to run any new wiring in the process.

He figured that the best way to do this would be to stream his music directly to his speakers over Ethernet. Earlier this year, he put together a handful of Ethernet-connected speaker nodes using a few Arduinos equipped with both Ethernet and MP3 shields. To interface with these speaker nodes, he wrote an application utilizing VLC’s network streaming engine. This software monitors his network for newly attached speakers, adding them to his inventory automatically. He can choose to play music on any set of speakers using a multicast audio stream.

The setup was pretty slick, but what about locations that didn’t already have Ethernet drops? He thought of that too, revising his design just recently. The newest set of speakers he constructed ditches the Ethernet board for a Wifly shield, all of which he crammed inside the speaker cabinets. Now, he has the ability to stream music anywhere he’d like, no matter what sort of infrastructure is in place.

If you have a need to do this in your home, [Rui] has made his software available for free on his site, so be sure to grab a copy.

Continue reading to see a short video of the speakers in action.

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RFID record player

Like most of us at Hack a Day, [Bertrand Fan] has a huge collection of digital music that was all obtained through legal channels. Missing the physical process of choosing and playing an album, [Bertrand] built an RFID record player to get rid of the paradox of choice that arises when thousands of albums are at your fingertips.

The records are repurposed Christmas ornaments with RFID disk tags pasted under the label. These records are read by a RedBee RFID reader and sent to a Popcorn Hour media server, but we’re guessing this could be easily adapted to any HTPC.

The only limitation we see is the fact that the RFID chip is hard coded to individual songs. We think it would be easier to have the RFID chip store an album’s CDDB discid, but feel free to leave a comment and say how you would catalog thousands of albums on RFID tags.

We’re a little tired of skipping though our music collection like a portable CD player from 1990, so we’re pretty impressed that [Bertrand] came up with something that would get us to sit down and listen to our Terabytes of FLAC-encoded music. Check out the video after the jump for a demo of the RFID record player.

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DIY MP3 player shows that no hack is ever obsolete

wacken_death_box

[Ole Wolf] wrote in to tell us about a project he has been working on for several years now. The Wacken Death Box serves as a reminder that once you start a DIY project, it’s probably a good idea to finish it in a reasonable amount of time, lest it risk becoming obsolete.

His Death Box is an MP3 player that he takes along on his annual trip to the Wacken Open Air Festival. His goal was to construct a portable amplified music player that could be powered from either a car battery or charger. A Via EPIA Mini-ITX computer serves as the brains of the device, blaring his tunes from a set of car loudspeakers via a two-channel 100W amp.

[Ole Wolf] used the music player for a few years, improving it as he went along. He does admit however, that with the continually dropping prices of MP3 players, he decided to bring a small portable unit along with him to the 2010 festival, leaving his box at home.

Given the fact that far smaller and more portable devices make his music box seem clunky and obsolete in comparison, you might ask why he even keeps it around. We think that every hack has its place, and while you won’t be strapping the Death Box on your back for your morning jog, it fits quite well in a variety of situations. This rugged music box would be an appropriate choice to use in your workshop, at the beach, or even on a construction job site – places where you might not want to use your comparatively fragile iDevice.

Solar-powered MP3 playing speaker

solar_speakers

[Valentin] bought a small battery-powered cube speaker with a built-in amp some time ago, but didn’t have much patience for replacing or recharging the batteries. It sat on the shelf for awhile until he decided to revive an old MP3 player he had sitting around.

He gutted a pair of solar garden lamps, retaining the solar panels, the built-in charging circuits, as well as the included rechargeable batteries. The MP3 player was disassembled, and its components were built into the speaker enclosure. The player’s buttons were relocated to the outer shell of the speaker box with a few pieces of wire, allowing him to easily control his music without having to build in a method for opening the case. Both the speaker and the MP3 player are powered by the batteries salvaged from the solar lamps, which is why he opted to mount both of the solar panels on the the side of the speaker enclosure rather than just one.

We like it even though the speaker looks a bit rough at the moment, especially where the MP3 player’s buttons were transplanted. After a few minutes of touch-up work however, it’ll look great.

If you’re interested in some more solar hacks, check out this solar-powered junkbot, these solar toys for kids, and this solar-powered WiFi repeater we featured in the past.

Researchers discover that cars can be hacked with music

car_dash

In 2009, [Dr. Stefan Savage] and his fellow researchers published a paper describing how they were able to take control of a car’s computer system by tapping into the CAN Bus via the OBD port. Not satisfied with having to posses physical access to a car in order to hack the computer system, they continued probing away, and found quite a few more attack vectors.

Some of the vulnerabilities seem to be pretty obvious candidates for hacking. The researchers found a way to attack the Bluetooth system in certain vechicles, as well as cellular network systems in others. Injecting malicious software into the diagnostic tools used at automotive repair shops was quite effective as well. The most interesting vulnerability they located however, was pretty unexpected.

The researchers found that some car entertainment systems were susceptible to specially-crafted MP3 files. The infected songs allowed them to inject malicious code into the system when burned to a CD and played. While this sort of virus could spread fairly easily with the popularity of P2P file sharing, it would likely be pretty useless at present.

The researchers say that while they found lots of ways in which it was possible to break into a car’s computer system, the attacks are difficult to pull off, and the likelihood that they would occur in the near future is pretty slim.

It does give food for thought however. As disparate vehicle systems become more integrated and cars become more connected via wireless technologies, who knows what will be possible? We just hope to never see the day where we are offered an anti-malware subscription with a new car purchase – at that point, we’ll just ride our bike, thanks.

[Picture courtesy of Autoblog]

Homebrew Mp3 player with some bonus features

When [falldeaf] set about making his own homebrew Mp3 player, he ended up at the same place we most do while looking into the subject, the wonderful Minty Mp3. Basing the design on [Adafruit Industries] popular board, we are presented The Mp3 Garbler.

First change of the project was to replace the sometimes difficult to find ST013, or the more expensive ST015T Mp3 decoder chip, and the CS4340 digital to analog cconverter with a single vs1001k, which we have checked out before. And while yes VLSI says that the 1001 series is a discontinued product, and it may be a bit hard to find now days, they also offer an updated model on their website, which should suit the application fine.

Next up is a useful LCD display sporting a Sparkfun lcd backpack, that shows us all the important to know music info. And finally there is a 10×14 led matrix display, that can be used to display all sort of user feedback icons, and is driven by a MAX6953, which we think is a pretty spiffy chip.

While there is no schematic, there are brd files, and source code available for your PIC18F452 or similar micro controller to complete your own