A few months ago, I opened a post about my second project. Today, I’ve finally managed to assemble the parts, and therefore, I am pleased to share the result.
It’s been a long and winding journey, filled with countless reconsiderations, and there’s still much left to do, especially on the software side. I need to figure out how to integrate the Volumio system with the 8.8” 1920x480p Touch screen. The streamer is designed for a dual boot with Volumio and Windows 11 using Foobar2000, which has no issues with the touch feature.
In the renderings, you can see the DAC port-to-port unit, currently designed for my smsl DO300, connected via USB, which is still a work in progress. The main cabinet has a small DAC, but it’s only intended to add digital outputs, as it’s well known that mini PCs lack them.
Compared to the initial project, an ultra-slim DVD reader has been added to enjoy the many CDs I own and utilize the ripping mode available in many bit-perfect software. Currently, two software configurations are implemented: Windows 11 with Foobar2000 and Volumio, each independent of the other (the latter starts with a USB stick or SD card, as soon as I find a longer extender than the one I currently have). Inside, there’s a 2TB internal SSD storage with around 3000 lossless albums, but I already plan to add 2 more slots via USB.
The core is a fanless mini PC, but there’s an “insane fan” of 200mm Noctua (practically half the size) that’s connected in series with a programmable thermostat, activating only beyond a certain temperature threshold (I still need to figure out what that limit is). The fan reduces the temperature by about 15°C (verified some months ago with Coretemp).
Many things need reviewing, like the internal layout because I didn’t consider that the extender connectors’ dimensions double or triple when the cable needs to bend, and there are indeed many extenders. The 1920x420 touch panel, while well-defined, has a touch sensitivity issue (fingers are too large). For the next version, I need to include a mouse knob (as soon as I find a suitable one). Nevertheless, normal usage involves remote control via smartphone.
DIY certainly isn’t cost-effective, but it brings a lot of satisfaction.