The Media Closet

The Media Closet

In our RV, there is a set of two cabinets above the passenger side main window, between the back of the copilot’s chair and the side main door. There is also a large window there below the cabinets. It has a small clock that doesn’t work as well as a two outlet AC block.

I didn’t think to check at the time, but the clock is likely powered by a battery within the cabinet. The power for the AC outlet comes down from the ceiling, inside the cabinet. Originally, I was going to tear out the whole cabinet and mount the TV in its place. That would require some work, and the end result might be ugly. There would be remains from screws and mounts, and the electricity would have to be redone a little. So I was wondering, why remove the cabinet?

Instead, I’m going to buy a different mount that has a pole that can be removed and reattached. That way I can drill a hole through the bottom of the cabinet, run the pole through it and reattach it to the mount and connect it to the ceiling. The cabinet will be a passthrough and hide the technology needed for the entertainment system. The TV, which we already have, can be hung from the ceiling and plugged into one of the AC outlets, allowing it to function.

Then, we have to power the rest of the devices. There’s the Raspberry Pi for movies and music, the Roku stick for Netflix and Hulu, the Mobley for internet access, the Stick PC that will distribute the internet, and finally, the Apple Airport Extreme, which will send out the wifi signal through the whole RV. Lastly, I’ll be getting a second Raspberry Pi set up so we can play older video games on it.

To make this work, I need one AC outlet for the Airport, and five USB ports for the other devices. I’ll probably also add an external hard drive plugged into the Airport, so then we can use that as a backup for our computers. That means one extra AC port, since those are cheaper and more reliable than the USB powered ones alone.

Finally, a fan. I don’t think having all these devices in a small enclosed space will be good for heat, so I’ll have to plug in a small fan and have it push air out of the cabinet. There is room on the side and I think I can buy a small USB powered fan that will push it out through an opening with a grill covering it. It won’t be perfect, but it should be enough. With the hole for the AC power and the pole from the TV mount, there should be enough intake to keep everything inside cool enough to function.

One last thing: I’ll probably need an HDMI switch that I can somehow control with a universal remote. Ideally, I’d like everything to have one universal remote that controls it all, but I’m not sure that’s possible. The Roku has its own remote, the Stick PC uses a small wireless keyboard, and the Pi uses a Playstation 3 controller. I may be able to replace that one with a wireless one, so that may not be a big deal, but I don’t know if the Pi supports the wireless features.

So in the end, we may have a PS3 controller, Roku remote, mini keyboard, and a normal TV remote. That will give us everything to watch or play just about anything we want. And with a surge protector that has two or more AC outlets and six or more USB pors, we should be set.

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Eric is a dedicated technophile and strives to make things in Sleipnir as innovative, simple to use, and convenient as possible. He has worked a variety of jobs, from construction and manufacturing to working as a civilian in a law enforcement agency. He is an avid tabletop gamer and builds websites in his spare time.

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