Boat Entertainment System

by: Mike O'Quin
August 15, 2013

I wanted a compact enterainment system on board.  This system should draw low power, be compact, and store all our music, videos, and other enterainment media.

The diagram of the system looks like this:

Media Center Drawing

The list of parts is:

  • [amazon:B009SQQF9C]
  • [amazon:B00C5OU3PQ]
  • [amazon:B004AXAZU8]
  • [amazon:B003VTZ070]
  • [amazon:B006Y5UV4A]
  • [amazon:B003UE52ME]
  • [amazon:B00C8NNZ36]
  • [amazon:B003VNKNF0]
  • [amazon:B00BCS0WY8]
  • [amazon:B000ID7QNI]
  • [amazon:B0002JFN4M]

I started out with a Rasberry Pi model B.  This board has 512mb of ram.  To this I added a the above parts.  This configuration uses both USB ports on the Rasberry Pi.  One port is connected to the control port of the hub.  This port does not supply power.  To get power I connect the other Rasberry Pi USB port to another slave port on the hub.  Using this configuration everything is powered by the USB hub and I don’t need additional power connections.

After getting the system setupd I went to and downloaded the Windows installer. This will come as a “.zip” file.  Extract the file to your perferred location.  There will be 3 files extracted:

  • installer
  • usbit32.dll

Place the SD card in your computer and run the program “installer”.  (Note: incorrect useage of this program and or problems with running this program may result in your hard disk being erased.  I have not ever had this problem but you may.)  The following screen will be displayed:

Select your SD card.  I also recomend that you check the

I installed the installation program, inserterd the 32GB SD card into my computer and ran the program.

After I finished installing the XBMC program on the SD card I removed it from my computer and installed it into the Rasberry Pi.  I plugged in the USB cable to power on the Rasberry Pi and my Media Center was up and running.  Now the long and tedious process of ripping all my music and movies to the USB hard drive.

I did start with a USB wireless keyboard but that proved difficult to use.  Later I found “xbmc Remote” for both the iPad and the iPhone.

iPhoneiPhone Remote

iPadiPad Remote

The first image is the iPhone screen. The second image is the iPhone Remote function.  The third image is the iPad XBMC and the forth image is the iPad Remote.

The i devices are connected via the WiFi on the boat. (Note: I only use the WiFi on my iPhone and use a throw-away flip phone for cellular calls. See the communications catagory.) I use the iPad to look up movies, music, TV shows and pictures. After that I use the iPhone as a remote to pause, start, and stop movies, music, etc.