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  • NSLU2
  • ROKU M1000/M1001
  • Micro Shutdown Controller from MP3Car?
  • 2@5v POL DC-DC converters from MP3Car?
  • 9v 1.5A or greater auto power supply from Ebay
  • USB enclosed Laptop Drive like the WD800UE?
  • 512MB Flash Drive
  • Automotive Power Insulated Terminal Strip from RadioShack?
  • 10' 10Ga, 20' 12Ga hookup wire (red and black)
  • Assorted Barrel Connectors (see below)
  • 2@ 17AH 12v Gel Batteries (Optional)
  • 50A Battery Combiner (Optional) from West Marine



  1. Open slug
  2. solder 24Ga wire to Power Button Ground and 5v trace
  3. solder 24Ga wire to Disk1 Pin1 (5v) for power sense
  4. Close Slug
  5. Test Power button with slug powered down, and connected to drives and power by shorting the first two wires
  6. Test the third connection with a voltmeter or test probe (use the USB connector shield as ground)

Redundant Battery System (optional and DANGEROUS)

  1. Connect 12v gel battery ground to car chassis
  2. Connect ground lead of combiner to car chassis
  3. Connect gel battery lead to one battery Lead on the combiner (Cap all exposed hot wires)
  4. Connect second battery lead of combiner to starter battery

Micro Shutdown Controller

  1. Connect ground tab to chassis and chassis to terminal strip
  2. Connect Vout to terminal Strip (not ground)
  3. Connect ACC to a switched accessory source in the car-e.g. cigarette lighter
  4. Leave Vin disconnected until work is complete

5V Point of Load Converters

  1. Attach Regulators to heatsinks or to a portion of the vehicle chassis (Metal)
  2. Attach the chassis ground lug to the chassis or heatsink, making sure the lug is also grounded
  3. Attach the Red and Green wires to the terminal strip Vout (from Shutdown Controller)
  4. Attach each 5v out to different terminal strip lugs

9V Auto Power Supply

This can be a cigarette lighter adapted version, or can have the 12v-in connected to Vout on the terminal strip and the ground to chassis

Barrel Connectors

Everything has to get power. There are at least 3 ways to do this practically:

  1. Open up your horde of old wall warts that your significant other has been asking your to throw away because: "that answereing machine hasn't worked since Carter was in office"
  2. Call up Digi-Key, Jameco, Parts-Express, or my favorite allelectronics and order the connectors
  3. Cut the ends off of your wall warts for the HDD, Slug and ROKU

I always go with option 1 unless pressed.

  1. Connect the solid color wires to the chassis lug on the terminal strip
  2. Connect the white-stripe wire for the Slug to one of the 5v POL lugs
  3. Connect the white-stripe wire for the HDD Power to the other POL lug (I do not recommend using bus-power for the drive; make sure your HDD has the ability to receive additional power from a barrel connector power input or simular input not from the Universal Serial Bus of the Slug)
  4. Connect the output + of the 9V supply to the barrel connector tip for the ROKU
  5. Connect the white stripe wire for the WRG614? (or other wireless router/client) to the appropriate supply voltage: I chose the 614 bacause it is cheap ($30) and it runs on 12v (also cheap in a car: notice how everthing else requires a step-down DC-DC)

Testing Barrel Connectors I suggest testing all barrels for continuity: the tip should be + and should be on the white-stripe wire, the barrel exterior should be - and on the solid color wire. (I have seen the opposite)


Flash Boot Drive

  • I have followed the standard HowTos? on Flash Drive Setup. I use an unslung.starup diversion script to turn swapoff for the flash drive (check your results with $cat /proc/swaps


  • Install mt-daapd.
  • modify the config to use the hdd as the song db location (unless you want to hose your flash sooner)
  • modify the playlists location to be in the same drive root as the songs


just install it: the trick is setting up your Mac to sync. I am working on the best way to cron that one, so that the job sees the car's network and then syncs up my podcasts and such

Twonky Media Server

Same general strategy as mt-daapd, but with the added benefits of iTunes-savy operation


I use a Mac.... I have set a return 0 samba diversion script

If you you use a PC, rsync and nfsd may not be your sync solution. Perhaps a diferential backup/archive over samba will work for you. You can check out Cygwin from http://www.cygwin.com to install srync, ssh etc. for a Windows based PC.

Wiring Diagram and finished photos

I have posted these in the Message Board NSLU2-General/Photos section

Update 19Feb2006

I have updated the hardware to simplify it a bit.

  • Switched over to a D-Link G730 on the same 5v leg from the POL as the HDD. This also has the benefit of running as an AP , but has a manual switch to convert to client mode (great for private networks)
  • Updated my NSLU2 to a turboSLUG
  • Removed the solder link from the USB port, for removal; now using a USB Cable pigtail, plugged into the DISK2? port for the voltage sense back to the Shutdown Controller
  • Removed the flash drive: there was no benefit, it was mostly for proof of concept. The ROKU Carputer boots from the USB drive with the media library

Update 28July2006

And the (r)Evolution continues

I have dropped the NSLU2 platform entirely, choosing, instead, the DSM-G600 revA.

Subsequently, the wiring is very simple:

  1. DSM-G600
  2. micro ShutDown? Controller
  3. 80GB 2.5" Notebook drive attached to the internal header

I was able to get rid of the following components:

  • USB Enclosure
  • Both Point of Load (POL-5V) Converters
  • about 2M of external wires
  • Wireless Gateway (the DSM has one built in)
  • TwonkyMusic?/TwonkyMedia? (the DSM has one built in)
  • The DSM Fan- My current low draw reduces the heat disspation in the DSM.

Unit cost has dropped $100

view · edit · print · history · Last edited by kamcgough.
Based on work by Gustin Johnson, kvnmcgough, and kamcgough.
Originally by kamcgough.
Page last modified on July 28, 2006, at 03:57 PM