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I'm trying to figure out a way to be able to use the Raspberry Pi to act as a syncing device between my home network and my car.

I'm imagining it would work something like this:

  • Car Receiver that has USB ports and mp3 support, probably the Pioneer DEH-X9500BHS
  • USB mass storage device, plugged into the receiver, provides music library, uses mp3 browsing featured built into receiver
  • Raspberry Pi w/ wifi, automatically syncs music from home server to usb storage

This assumes I'll be able to figure out how to provide stable power from the car to both the pi and the USB storage device. I'll have custom software on the raspberry pi and my home network to automatically sync music files when the car is in range of my home wifi.

However, the problem I'm grappling with is how I can connect the pi, the receiver, and the USB device. My first thought was to expose the pi as a USB host device, but based on this question/answer, that doesn't seem feasible right now. The only other thing I could think of would be using some sort of USB switch, but I don't want to have to push any buttons to allow it to sync - or have any of the extra hardware exposed, for that matter. Are there any other options available for this problem?

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2 Answers 2

Let me help you a little with your worries on providing a stable power supply to the Rasperry Pi. A DC-DC converter will do this job for you. These devices convert a DC voltage to the same or a different DC voltage.

I found one on ebay that will provide sufficient power for the RPi and some 5V external storage device. It is called a DC/DC Converter 12V/24V Step down to 5V it outputs 25 Watt, on 5V this means 5A, more then enough for what you want to achieve I guess.

Here is a more general link to ebay (in the case the item is removed) that shows the search result for similar converters: DC-DC step down converters

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well that makes it dead simple ... thanks! –  Daniel Schaffer Dec 28 '12 at 0:51
    
You might also be able to use a USB car charger. They're cheaper than the DC/DC converters ikku mentioned, and can be found online or locally for <$5. They only provide around 1 amp of current, but that would be enough to power the Raspberry Pi. –  zacharyliu Dec 29 '12 at 3:37
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I'm not exactly an electronics veteran here. But I think I've heard that vehicle power is usually pretty dirty...

I'm not sure how sensitive the pi is to that kind of thing but you may be interested in getting the step down converter anyway.

Also, there's this neat WiFi-USB stick you can get. No idea how it works, but if you're trying to avoid plugging the pi into the aux input id say that might be an option... Maybe.

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Which wifi USB stick? –  Daniel Schaffer Dec 31 '12 at 18:14
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