The demand for my CD-changer emulator is picking up, so I’m making several boards at the same time. Placing of the components on the board by hand and re-flow with hot air.
These 6 board take about 4 hours in this stage plus another 4 hours or so to solder the optical connector and other connectors. My hands feel tired after a while. I’ve heard that good scotch helps with this condition.
I had to re-design the new box. Before I was trying to make it from 2 parts – top and bottom. This process had issues because the bottom part would not 3D Print correctly – it would keep curling up due to stress in the ABS material.
So finally I made the box bottom from several pieces. The bottom has 4 curved corners and 4 side panels, which slide down – you can see one of the side “panels” in this picture.
Also, you can see the size of the old device version compared to the new version.
I was not satisfied with the previous Pi Zero board, because it was larger than the Pi, so here is a new version which has the same size as the Pi Zero.
Here is the new board mounted on top of a Pi Zero:
The spacers are a bit too short – you can see the bolt hitting the HDMI connector.
Here is the final version in a new box:
This was one of my favorite color combinations for the box of the CD-changer emulator device. This version has vents on the side – not because the device was overheating, but the box was easier to print this way. Without the vents, the ABS plastic would curl up, and the box looked very weird.
With this particular unit, I had some trouble with the optical connector not locking to the plug and had to improvise with some wire to hold it in place.
By the way, this re-design of the unit box was prompted by customers returning the device in half-melted form. In the initial version, the box was printed out of PLA which was getting soft in the summer temperatures in Texas and Arizona.
So I had to print all plastic parts our of different plastic – ABS, which has a higher melting temperature.
My gracious “beta” customers returned their units, and I provided them updated devices with the “final” form factor.
This allowed me the opportunity to take a picture of the “beta” version of the CD-changer emulator unit.
You can see that the fiber-optic connector is a separate board. Initially, I designed it like that because I was planning to have a version for Jaguar cars as well as Mercedes-Benz cars. The only difference between them being the optical connector. It did tun that the Benz people are far less enthusiastic about the product, so I simplified the “final” board with the connector onboard.
In this version, the Raspberry Pi was on the side of the control board, and there is a whole lot of wires going around.
The final version was much more compact and easy to make.
I was very happy reaching this point. I was quite a few years of effort, but finally, here it is. Something I can offer to people – a useful product. A device which emulates the car CD-changer and lets you stream music from your phone via Bluetooth.
Following a short beta test period, this is the re-designed look of the CD-Changer emulator. The fiber-optic control board is now on top of the Raspberry Pi. You can see the fiber-optic transmitter glowing in red through the connector plastic housing.
The board says V3.0 because V1 was the “beta” device and V2 never saw the light of day. The board has the D2B controller OCC8001 as well as a Cypress ARM M0 micro-controller and finally power supply circuit.
Here are a few more pictures.
Naturally, I misspelled the URL on the board, should be iQury.us. Brain does not function as well as it once was I guess.