Progress has been made this morning in the finishing of the drivers to interface and interpret the proprietary communication protocol used by the iPod clickwheel. The command signals that are transmitted from the synaptic controller on the clickwheel module are decoded using an Atmel ATtiny88. Since the protocol used in this communication link is non-standard, the incoming data is bit banged in using interrupts and then decoded in the main program.
Plans are to now add a wireless communication to the controller (probably nrf24L01), getting me closer to a remote control for my computer/stereo. As I want this to control Rhythmbox (two way, relaying back song data), but also have the ability to mount as a generic HID class device allowing media key functionality as well as portability.
I am hoping to have documentation on some of the process up untill now up on the main clickwheel project page soon.
This project goes through the process of reverse engineering the communication between the clickwheel module and the Apple iPod. Once a working interface is established using an AVR microcontroller the clickwheel will be used to control media on my PC.
So this is it, I have finally gotten around to starting this blog to document and share my projects and ideas. The projects that will appear here revolve around my educational background but also other interests of mine that are usually the motivators of my projects. To give an idea my interests would include things from electronics to mechanical things. I guess thats a bad example as that covers about anything; though usually centered around: any type of vehicle, micro controller centered projects, photography, metalworking and hi-fi.
One current project that will soon be appearing on here is going to revolve (no pun intended) around an iPod clickwheel. What its going to control just yet I can not say, and already a reason to visit again ;). The picture below is a blurry spy shot of some development work earlier on with this project. At this stage I had fly-wired leads off the 0.5mm pitch zif ribbon cable of the clickwheel module. After doing some captures of the clickwheel signals with my logic analyzer the communication protocol transmitted is not a standard protocol (I2c, SPI, async serial, one wire) that would be expected. Deciphering the data manually would be a daunting, efficient task. For this reason i thought this would be a good opportunity to learn python so that i can automate a protocol of my choice to analyze pattern in the data packets.
I am going to stop here with the devolopment of this project as ive already hijacked this posts initial one sentence attempt. I will be starting a thread or whatever its called in blog world detailing more about the project.
Future projects that are currently in mind and will eventually make their way to the blog(in no particular order) are: DC servo CNC machine, wire EDM, coil gun, something in to an EV… …hmmm i wonder if theres a brainstorming room widget?