Wednesday 3 February 2016

Carpi #1: genesys

The reason why I started this blog was recount for the Carpi project: taking the Raspberry pi to the car.

Our car stereo isn't too fancy. It doesn't have a Bluetooth input (only output) or even a USB reader capability. So we currently use a portable mp3 player that we connect to the stereo. But it has several drawbacks:
- It doesn't hold that much stuff (4GB, when you listen to podcasts at the speed my wife does it isn't much).
- It requires you to know what you're going to listen to in advance, which is a pain for long trips.
- It needs to be updated, but then it's in the house next time you want it in the car and vice versa.
- It's not great for searching or storing large amounts of files.
And many more.

Yes, we could upgrade the stereo, but where's the fun in that? So after having discovered the joy of pis, I though "why not get one in the car?". This is how the project Carpi was born.

I decided on a number of constraints:
- It has to be controlled from a phone to avoid losing remotes or having to install a display (I don't want to use the GPS' one).
- It needs to live in the glove box or under a seat so we forget about it.
- It can't require modifications to the car (my other half won't allow it).
- It needs to be able to update itself if needed.
- It needs to be modular, i.e. I can replace the storage whenever I want.

For the hardware, I mostly wanted to use what I had at hand around the house, with a few other bits. The goal being to keep costs down. For software, the basis will be what I have experience with on the Raspberry pi: Raspbian + Kodi + whatever else I need to write to glue things together and do small jobs.

Next step: hardware hunt.

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