Raspberry pi + Wolfson Audio Card project.

 

So I finally finished my Raspberry pi + Wolfson Audio Card project.

Yea, I was lazy….anyway I now can play 24-bit, 192KHz lossless audio on my rig and there’s no need for a power hungry computer.

The Pi box is behind the TFT, its a simple black box similar with the one with a wood front in the photo. HDD is next to the decks and yea I’m gonna disconnect the blue LED ou cover up that light.
I did a little overclock to the CPU but nothing too serious, heat dissipation is enough and the box has an open back.
I also have a little hub to connect the keyboard and mouse.

Software wise the Wolfson cards suck…most distros out there aren’t compatible with it.
It runs the OS image provided by the amazing Ragnar Jensen.

As for playing music, it does sound nice and there aren’t dropouts or noticeable hum.
Anyway I’ll put a decent keyboard on the thing when I can.

On a final notice, stay away from this board as it doesn’t have decent support.
There are better things out there these days.

Audio server.


I will put a power switch on the thing for safety reasons, half ass shielding for the wolfson card, 3 RCA output, one for TV and two for audio.
The connections I wont use will not be on the back panel, this way I’ll minimize stray interference aka the cable antenna effect.  If by any chance I do need any outputs I’ll add them later.

The audio server will not have a “power on” LED, mostly because the switch will control the TFT, and believe me the thing has enough blue LEDs for rave party. The switch will be sideways this way shit (accidental shutdown) happens less.
Damn that shielding looks nice for my headphone amp…thank you Sony for the inspiration! XD

Raspberry Pi my future audio server.

So the other day I gave the raspberry a little spin…still need to test the DAC. The mark on the TFT is just a sticker btw.

Stuff I learned from the 1st hands on…Cold power off will corrupt the system so any power switch should be on the back panel.
One shouldn’t mess around too much with themes.
LAN access should be given during the setup. I want this box away from the internet so I’ll just update it from time to time.
The thing is fast for such a little card.
I need to test my 80Gb Lacie HDD from the dark ages and see if it’s compatible.

Raspberry Pi and some thoughts.

So I got the the B version of the Pi and the compatible Wolfson Dac board.
I also have a 12V 7″ TFT that I’ll plug to the analogue video out because I didn’t find any hdmi TFT around my area. Besides that I have a shitty keyboard and a mouse for my laptop that I might change for something smaller on the long run.

For power supplies I bought a second hand 5V 1.5A Sony PSP one for the raspberry (will solder a new jack) and a 12V 2A one for the TFT (It was originally made for cars)

For OS I’ll use Noobs and try stuff, the thing that works better with the DAC will be my main choice. I don’t need a pretty GUI, I just need a GUI to choose songs and a decent player for Flac files.

The box will be the same model I used to built my headphone amp, so I’ll have to extend those A/V output/inputs to the back plate via cables. the USB/LAN ports will be facing the back for easy access. I need to think about the access to the SD card but I think I’ll just cut a hole on the bottom of the box for easy access.
I’ll use a dual switch to power the boards and the TFT but no PSU will be inside the box.
I should actually shield the boards and I have the materials to do it but first I want to test the setup.

If the thing actually boots OK and the DAC runs fine I’ll think about those little details, if people put raspberry Pi inside Lego boxes why should I worry about shielding.
I should make a power supply for the raspberry…but first I want to see if noise goes to the outputs of the DAC…Fingers crossed because I don’t want to spend any more money.

I do have a little problem because I only have two USB ports, so I need one for the HDD and one for at least a mouse, keyboard will be only used for setup I hope.
Setup will be something like, run audio player on boot (If the OS lets me do it) and mount HDD.

Thats about it…I hope….sometimes I hope too much..

The crazy bat audiophile syndrome and the Raspberry pi.

Did you ever noticed people looking at you in a strange way after you talk about your audio hobby to them? That “you are a crazy bat” look after we talk about audio gear or something related?
I find it funny people don’t look that way when someone says they spend all their savings on a collectors car or other collectors items.
Expensive cars are ok for most people but audio gear is for crazy bats only!

I bought a raspberry Pi B, a Wolfson DAC card and also had to buy a 7″ TFT, when I explained the application to the seller she looked at me like I was crazy to spend 85€ on a screen to control a micro computer…I felt a bit sad because of her look, sad because I know many people think the same about other people who enjoy building stuff for audio. From my point of view I would be even more crazy if I spent 2000€ on a Sony ES audio server when I can build one for about 250€ and use some external HDD I had laying around, plus if I get tired of it I can always use it for another task unlike the Sony one.

The raspberry pi is an amazing platform I always wanted to try, I could use the OS Volumio but I don’t want more LAN cables around my house, plus it still needs a tablet or PC to work and I don’t want that because my kids tend to kidnap my desktop to watch Disney stuff.
The raspberry/Wolfson/TFT combo is also a way to save some money on the long run.

Audio servers are expensive, laptops don’t enjoy running for long periods of time, desktops need lots of juice and make too much noise, plus my living room has too much moist during the winter so I must be careful.

Now I look like a crazy bat again…I should buy old cars I know…