Old Theme

posted Dec 29, 2014, 6:21 PM by Chris B

The theme of these posts is that its too long between posts. I haven't had time to work on this project in over a year and that is beyond my self imposed limit of keeping it trapped on my hard drive. As such, you will now see schematics and code snippets on the main page. Do with it what you please but understand, I cannot provide any support. You are on your own. Blogs will not be updated. Email questions will go unanswered. All you will have is a couple pages of data, your wits, and....the entire internet to search for help....which is more than any EE student had that started college in the 90's. 
This is a moderately complex design that you can still do at home if you have some experience with embedded systems (I did!). Its a good project for those who are reaching the limits of arduino and want to take the next step. If you can build this, you can build pretty much any device you desire. But don't stop here, add bluetooth! Add high current charging! Put in all the missing commands! Fix audio source switching! Emails about cool improvements will be read!

Now get out there and do it!

Off the face of the Earth

posted Jun 24, 2013, 10:58 AM by Chris B

Off the East Coast anyway. I've been MIA for months since I'm in the middle of moving cross country. All of my prototyping tools were packed up in April to convince buyers that my house might be suitable for normal people. All of my time was devoted to hunting down records and fixing those last few things I never got around to while I was teaching myself Java and breathing solder fumes in my bedroom. Its all over now...because I'm homeless and job-less. I'll hopefully be living in my new house next week. And for everyone that isn't me (and my wife) who reads this, my unemployment is good news. Until I find a new job out west I'll have nothing to do but ride my bike and work on my projects. S0 I'm saying there is a chance! I may finish the lot that is currently packed away in a shipping container and depending on how bleak my full time prospects are...I may even follow through with the kickstarter to produce enough boards for everyone! In summary, all of my cross country driving is why I haven't been updating the site or responding to emails. But thanks for all of your continued support and interest. 


posted Feb 12, 2013, 7:41 PM by Chris B

So its been 2-3 weeks +/- 3 weeks (plus another week) so its probably time for an update. I'm currently building the last set of DD boards I ordered and...that will probably be it for a while (don't worry, if you're on the wait list I haven't forgotten). I may poke around with the IBus-only version a bit more and if it gets built I'll be posting it here. In the mean time I have a few other projects that need attention. To everyone that's already bought a board i'll still be supporting it with a much needed app update...eventually. Driving my car again as the weather warms up will likely inspire me to get it to a more presentable state. I'll also be looking into the kickstarter project I mentioned a while back but at this point it may be a longshot. Thanks for all your emails along the way that kept the project moving (slowly). 


posted Dec 27, 2012, 9:44 PM by Chris B

As you may have seen, I've made some changes to the Android IBus page that will hopefully explain the project more clearly. I've even resorted to youtube for a quick demo of the project. I've received a bunch of emails asking if the board is available. The answer is...sometimes. I've done two very small prototype runs so far where I've sold all of my spares. I will be making a third (and perhaps final) run in January since they are somewhat tedious to assemble. But don't worry! If I get through the last prototype run quickly and still have enough interest, I'm going to try my hand at to make a larger (but still small) run of 100 units or so. If it all goes through, I'll be open sourcing all of the app software as well to allow everyone the freedom to use it how they please...and so the user base isn't held hostage by my dubious Java skills. Stay tuned for the next post in 2-3 weeks (+/- 2-3 weeks)

Fabulous Services

posted Nov 16, 2012, 8:47 PM by Chris B

By popular demand I've sent another round of DistractedDriving boards off to fab...rication. With any luck they'll arrive in early December giving me enough time to build them and have them available for all your holiday shopping needs! I'm sure your niece's eyes will light up upon receiving a half finished tablet integration system. 

Speaking of being half finished...I've been re-writing the app to run all of the connectivity functions as a service. This means that the tablet can talk to the car whether the app is open or not. It also opens the door for widgets on the home screen. That way you can arrange whatever displays you want in whatever manner looks good to you. When this gets to a reasonable state I'll make the .apk available for anyone who wants to take it for a test drive. 


posted Oct 29, 2012, 12:08 PM by Chris B

A big thanks to everyone that was interested enough to email me about the android Ibus interface (affectionately known as DistractedDriving). However, I'm going to put off building more boards until the software is in a more robust state. I basically got to a point where I could tolerate all the bugs and get it to do what I wanted without much hassle but I don't feel comfortable selling it without a bunch of "THIS IS A PROTOTYPE FULL REFUND AVALIABLE NO QUESTIONS ASKED" disclaimers. That said a few people have taken the plunge and I've found that to use this board properly you either must have stock Navigation or retain your stock radio. Until the next update or the hurricane knocks out my power, I'll be working on the App. 

20 October, 2012 - News! Nexus 7, Next DD board

posted Oct 20, 2012, 2:54 PM by Chris B

As you've probably seen by now, StarterCircuits now has a News section. Now for the inaugural news nugget:

The DD system (android Ibus interface) is compatible with the Nexus 7. The app needs updating to look reasonable on the increased resolution but the functionality is there:

With all the recent inquiries I've begun ordering another set of boards. They should be ready sometime in November. And if demand keeps up I might just open up a Kickstarter project to try and make enough professionally manufactured DD boards for everyone!

1-7 of 7