EdwinJ85
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Re: Trying to create a Rpi XMBC media center

Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:03 pm

Hi guys,

I need help planning my Rpi project if anybody can help. I have bought one of these:

http://www.toshiba-multimedia....../alu-2-25/

I have a 500GB one, basically they are a hard drive (not flash drive!) that takes power and data over one USB2 port. Will this work with the pi? I'm trying to limit power input to just one USB in, as then my TV can power the device by itself. This thing has a aluminum case so it runs very cool, another plus. I want the system to be entirely passively cooled.

I also need to know, will the Rpi XMBC build allow us to run torrent clients? The BBC i player uses that for downloading shows amongst other legitimate torrent uses.

I could also do with a lego case design that can fit the HDD in it if anybody has one!

Thanks for the help. I intend to get a model B if that helps.
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RaTTuS
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Re: Trying to create a Rpi XMBC media center

Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:17 pm

you will need a powered USB HUb to run an external HD the RPi just wont supply enough power

however - you will be able to power the RPi from a powered USB hub and provide power for your HD

there are plenty of linux torrent software

[an External 3.5" USB HD enclosure will have enough space to add a 2.5" HD  and an RPI FYI]
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EdwinJ85
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Re: Trying to create a Rpi XMBC media center

Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:33 pm

Damn, I suspected as much. Oh well, the HDD plugs straight into the telly and plays video now as is, so it isn't a massive loss.

Could I avoid the need for a powered USB hub with a large flash drive, like a 32GB Stick?

I know linux has many torrent clients, but XMBC is a minified OS, can it handle applications etc?

Thanks,

Edwin
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plugwash
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Re: Trying to create a Rpi XMBC media center

Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:26 am

Afaict some of the larger USB sticks can also be quite power hungry, they may work directly off a Pi but then again they may not.

Having said that you don't need a powered hub, just a suitable power supply and some wire cutters/solder/heatshrink.

Jimmer
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Re: Trying to create a Rpi XMBC media center

Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:05 am

EdwinJ85 said:



I know linux has many torrent clients, but XMBC is a minified OS, can it handle applications etc?


I suspect you mean that OpenELEC is a minified OS? XBMC itself is just an application and as such is capable of being compiled and run on any distro (as long as you have the required dependancies).

OpenELEC as an OS includes download tools (torrent/sabnzbd+) as well as the XBMC gui, but if you wish to further modifiy the OS in any respect (ie install random third-party applications not included in standard OpenELEC), then you have to clone their source tree and make your modifications before you compile it yourself.

Alternatively, you can install XBMC yourself on another distro and use the distro tools to install your preferred applications (although you probably won't match the performance of an optimised OpenELEC)

EdwinJ85
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Re: Trying to create a Rpi XMBC media center

Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:57 am

Thanks guys, sorry for my bad wording. If OpenELEC can support torrents I am golden, thank you.

I'm not clever enough to modify a distro, I am going to use the hard work of others and be grateful for it!

A crucial design point of this project is I want ONE USB power in to the whole machine, are there any USB sticks that are confirms to work with the pi's power alone with no need for external sources? I want to show of with this, and the face I can run a full media center off one USB power input is going to wow a lot of people, even if the memory is limited.

Still, I imagine I can get plenty of content on 16/8GB sticks, enough to prove the principle at least. Smarter people than me can take up the flame if I work get the basics good enough to impress them.
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stuart_f
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Re: Trying to create a Rpi XMBC media center

Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:03 pm

You could still do this with just 1 power cable.

You just power a USB hub from the mains then hang everything else off the hub.  Note that you will need 2 cables to connect the RPi this way, one to the power socket and the other to the USB port.

I've attached a rather crude diagram to explain it below:


WelshMullet
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Re: Trying to create a Rpi XMBC media center

Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:33 am

I'm building something similar (but with a smaller hard drive and a dvd drive)

The dvd drive i'm using pulls extra power for writing, and it does this over another usb cable. I plan to either pull power straight from the board in my powered hub for the Pi, or simply from one of the ports. I picked up a 7 port powered hub for <£10, so it's not bad.

EdwinJ85
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Re: Trying to create a Rpi XMBC media center

Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:14 pm

Nice plans guys!

The problem is I want to power this off the TV alone. The idea is that you can have a TV and media center running on ONE power supply. If I start putting extra plugs in it breaks the compact form factor.
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WelshMullet
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Re: Trying to create a Rpi XMBC media center

Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:24 pm

Looking online, both scart and hdmi have a 5v line you might be able to pull power off. The drive takes its power through the same usb? If your tv has 2+ usb, i'd suggest trying one of those usb cords with an extra plug purely for power.

stuart_f
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Re: Trying to create a Rpi XMBC media center

Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:05 pm


The HDMI specification requires all source devices to provide at least 55mA (milliamps) on the 5V line for the purpose of reading the EDID of a display.


55mA isn't going to do much towards powering the RPi never mind the peripherals

Scart doesn't fare much better.  You can't guarantee 5v on any pin all the time, there's 2 pins that could be tapped for power, pin 8 and pin16 but the voltages change on these pins depending on the signal coming from the tv:


Pin 8, the switch signal pin, carries a low frequency (less than 50 Hz) signal from the source that indicates the type of video present.

0 V–2 V means no signal, or internal bypass
4.5 V–7 V (nominal 6 V) means a widescreen (16:9) signal
9.5 V–12 V (nominal 12 V) means a normal (4:3) signal

Pin 16, the blanking signal pin, carries a signal from the source that indicates that the signal is either RGB or composite.

0 V–0.4 V means composite.
1 V–3 V (nominal 1 V) means RGB only.


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Jessie
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Re: Trying to create a Rpi XMBC media center

Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:19 am

If your TV has USB ports you can pull power off them.  My set has 3 of them for viewing photos.

If you are really clever I'm sure you could open your TV set and find a 5V rail somewhere to tap off of.  Run, some wire and mount a female barrel jack (or whatever power receptacle you want) somewhere.

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