2xRPi + PCM5102 DAC + NAS + Surround web volume control

First Post…

I am a Process Automation student - (On a student budget) in Canada, but from Barbados and am sharing my Volumio setup!

  • Volumio Pi: Version B rev2, I have mounted a PCM5102a DAC - diyinhk.com/shop/audio-kits/ … lator.html directly above the I2S pins for shortest possible trace length, and connected with silver wire. This Pi is powered by a Linear PS. The DAC is powered by a separate Linear supply using the LT3080 regulator (this separate PS for the DAC gave an improvement in highs).

  • NAS Pi: Version B rev2. I am using a 2nd Raspi running Raspbian Wheezy to act as a NAS - powered by standard 2A tablet SMPS. The NAS is not the fastest, but it works great, and makes adding music to the Volumio library as simple as drag, drop, refresh. Also connected to this Pi are 2xL293 motor drives that control 3 stepper motors (two motors are small and drive identical amps - Center channel amp and rear speakers amp so they share a motor drive). the 3rd stepper motor controls the front L+R channels. I’ve also installed a web server on this Pi, which I run a PHP script that acts as the remote control (I use to use an IR remote yes, but I lost said remote in my tiny bachelors apartment. How this happened still baffles me).

  • Passive Pre-amp: A simple DIY preamp with an Alps POT. DPDT switches allow me to switch between the HiFi input from RPi+DAC and any other source (In my case, a cheap and cheerful 5.1 sound decoder connected to PS3/PC). The output then connects the the Stereo amp for the front speakers.

  • LCD: 20x4 - I have displayed now playing info, and volume from 2nd pi (not at the same time - yet), this LCD requires some more debugging to work the way I want it to, for this I plan on making another post to get some advice.

  • PICS!:




Very nice! Which linear AC-DC supplies did you use for the pi? I’m considering another project and the 50USD ones from diyinhk are a bit steep for that application.
You mentioned that you can update the volumio MPD library with a drag and drop, how did you achieve that? My server is running synology dsm and if I can save 16 hour update times, that would be great!
PS: Thanks again for hauling the transformer down for me (see image)

Ah, is that Alex? The PS for the Pi running Volumio is just a standard 9v, 1A transformer (You can see it in the 2nd pic mounted on the clear perspex). I know the diyinhk ones you’re talking about. They are really nice and probably slightly better than a home-made one, but don’t come with the transformer, meaning by the time you’re through you’d have spent about $70+. Sourcing a transformer, LT3080 regulator and a decent 4700uF cap from digikey.ca will run you about $30CAN (plus a couple extra dollars for rectifier and ceramic cap) and you can build your own. Get a transformer with more than 1A capabilities and you can buy two LT3080 regulators ($5.70CAN each) and have the same 5v & 3.33V outputs as the DIYINHK board.

As for the “Drag and Dropping”, I’ve set a second Raspi up to run as a NAS, So when I download music (Legally… Obviously) I copy it to a “New Music” folder within the primary Music folder to which Volumio is directed to. By having the New Music folder, using the Volumio GUI on Windows, you can update individual folders (Clicking on the 3 horizontal lines to the right of the folder and “Update this folder”). This is significantly faster - updating the folder with 300 24bit songs takes less than 10 seconds. From there you can make your own playlists etc. No more 16Hr updates to hear one new album.

It is he!
Exactly my thoughts on PS cost, I think the diyinhk one will outlive the ES9023, so I suppose from an investment standpoint it may not have been entirely wasteful. Will build from scratch next time.
I’m going to try the library update trick later today, sounds sweet man! Thanks for the advice.
Sorry that I can’t be of help with your question, though I’d think to see whether you can have the server pi query MPD and have the LCD run from there, as for how to actually go about it, I have no idea! Have you figured out why the screen is creating the noise?

For some reason I don’t get emails from this forum, thought I had it set to notify me, hence the 10 day delay in response.

RE the LCD, I don’t seem to get noise when toggling the backlight manually with the remote anymore. I have the backlight powered from a separate circuit to the one that powers the Pi running Volumio and DAC (the two arn’t connected by ground). Suspect it was a grounding issue. That being said I’d still like to be able to display mpd data on the LCD without anything connected to the Pi with Volumio. Just to figure out whats causing it to crash on certain songs now!

How are you reading the MPD info?

I might be teaching you to suck eggs here, but I’ve been using Python MPD and have had problems with the script throwing an error on blank or “strange” track names, that spits me out of the loop.

I found a fairly obvious solution, instead of just doing

artist = client.currentsong()['artist']

To get the artist, etc, I do:

try: artist = client.currentsong()['artist'] except: artist = "No Artist"

Which catches any errors gracefully.

I see what you’re doing there cobblers. Check out this post: anyone-using-andypi-lcd-with-volumio-help-needed-t2732.html#p12063
The problem with mpdlcd crashing seems “strange” characters in the songs metadata. Removing symbols or " " " seems to solve the problem. I will search my library and find a song that causes it to crash and try your approach. Another approach is mentioned in the above link!
(Will have to do the same for Title and Album as well obviously as “strange characters” in these fields also cause it to hang)