NanoNote application: audio for helicopters?

Joshua Judson Rosen rozzin at geekspace.com
Sat Sep 8 12:14:11 EDT 2012


I just saw this post on Slashdot:

    Ask Slashdot: Hackable Portable Music Player For Helicopters?

    http://ask.slashdot.org/story/12/09/08/0215217/ask-slashdot-hackable-portable-music-player-for-helicopters

Ben NanoNote sounds like a good fit, to me, so I posted a response to
that effect <http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3102653&cid=41273789>.

Qi Hardware's marketing/sales dept might want to talk to this guy. ;)

His inquiry, as he posted it to Slashdot:

    "I work for a medium-sized helicopter company; we mainly fly
    tourists around on sightseeing flights. My company needs help
    finding a hacker-friendly portable music player for our
    helicopters. We have a problem with our onboard music players —
    mostly because it is an obsolete terrible design. The manufacturer
    has made an updated model, but it's basically the same obsolete
    design with the same terrible software and user interface. We are
    worried about spending $1000 per unit on these because the
    manufacturer will eventually stop making replacement units and then
    we will be force to buy upgrades for our entire fleet again and get
    everything recertified. (Any piece of equipment hard mounted in a
    commercial aircraft has to be certified by the FAA and it takes a
    lot of paper work, time and money for that to happen.) So we have a
    new plan: get portable music players like iPods, and plug those into
    the aux input in the intercom system. We need something that has
    nine hours of battery life, can hold at least three hours of music,
    and has remote control options for start, stop, volume, and
    selecting tracks and playlists, and a display that is visible in
    bright and sunny as well as dark conditions. The remote control
    option is the toughest part to find. The pilots need to be able to
    control the music without taking their hands off the flight controls
    for safety reasons. There are buttons and toggle switches already
    designed into the flight controls for these kind of purposes and we
    have mechanics/ engineers that can wire it all together, but the
    music player has to support the remote interface in the first
    place. Our first choice would be to give each pilot an iPod, but
    Apple is notoriously anti-hacking and anti-open source, plus you
    have to pay them ridiculous licensing fees to get access to their
    USB interface. So we are looking for a manufacturer that is open
    source / hacker friendly and makes something that meets our
    needs. Do you know of anything that would work for us? Maybe
    something that runs Rockbox? Should we just break down and design
    something from scratch like the Butterfly MP3 player?"

-- 
"Don't be afraid to ask (λf.((λx.xx) (λr.f(rr))))."




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