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  1. #1
    Senior Member pippin's Avatar
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    Building the Tivoli Squeezebox Radio

    Usually I write more in the "Software" section but today I want to write primarily about hardware since I've built a nice and stylish DIY radio.

    Itís a Squeezebox built from a Tivoli Audio alarm speaker, and for the impatient ones among you, here are the key features and a picture:



    • Tivoli Speaker and case using the original speaker and 3W output;
    • WiFi;
    • runs on battery for a whole day (more than 12h);
    • rotary and push controller for volume and play/pause;
    • separate alarm clock;
    • fully Squeezebox compatible player using a Raspberry Pi zero and SqueezeLite;
    • very simple and power-efficient 5V design.


    And since Coolio and I do software in the first place, the whole project has its own software as well, in this case our open-sourced solution to power the volume and play/pause control. Itís quite cool, too , you can find it on GitHub at https://github.com/coolio107/SqueezeButtonPi-Daemon
    If you want to discuss it in this forum, there's a separate thread for that: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showth...oders-on-a-RPi

    If you want to read the full story, you can find it here:

    http://penguinlovesmusic.de/the-tivo...eezebox-radio/
    ---
    learn more about iPeng, the iPhone and iPad remote for the Squeezebox and
    Logitech UE Smart Radio as well as iPeng Party, the free Party-App,
    at penguinlovesmusic.com
    New: iPeng 9, the Universal App for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

  2. #2
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    Looks very cool! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Can you tell us, where you buyed the rotary knop? Maybe with a link?

  3. #3
    Senior Member pippin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quadronado View Post
    Looks very cool! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Can you tell us, where you buyed the rotary knop? Maybe with a link?
    I have to admit I wasn't too happy with the encoder and the knob but I didn't find anything better (encoder) or better fitting (knob).

    The encoder is a pretty standard rotary encoder as you can find them on Amazon, Conrad etc. max2play also sell one of these on their web site. I bought several from several sources (they come at around $2.50) and they were all the same.
    It's a bit shaky and it has very noticeable stepping and it only has 24 steps per rotation which is why for my setup I used both flanks of the signal effectively doubling the volume increase per rotation but also reducing accuracy. For a more hifi-like project (I'm planning one for next year or so, think Transporter replacement) I'm definitely going to look for a better encoder but they are really hard to find and they are expensive. Like 50-100$ or so if you only buy one. There doesn't seem to be a mid-price segment.

    The knob is this one:
    https://www.conrad.de/de/drehknopf-a...st-717569.html

    I wasn't 100% happy with it either. It's essentially a plastic knob with an aluminum inner ring for mounting and it wasn't sitting tight on this ring, I added some rubber to the fitting of the aluminum ring to make it sit tight.
    But it was what looked best with the radio.

    I found a really nice knob, full aluminum and all, but it was too big, that really didn't look good with the Tivoli Radio so I'm maybe going to use it for the next project. I still have it, it's this one:
    https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Last edited by pippin; 2017-02-26 at 06:04.
    ---
    learn more about iPeng, the iPhone and iPad remote for the Squeezebox and
    Logitech UE Smart Radio as well as iPeng Party, the free Party-App,
    at penguinlovesmusic.com
    New: iPeng 9, the Universal App for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pippin View Post
    The encoder is a pretty standard rotary encoder as you can find them on Amazon, Conrad etc. max2play also sell one of these on their web site.
    Something like this?
    https://www.conrad.de/de/encoder-5-v...st-453429.html

  5. #5
    Senior Member sbp's Avatar
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    Hi Pippin

    Thanks for this, it is really interesting.
    I have also looked into something similar, and was thinking that maybe something like this would be idea.

    As far as I understand it is something like the wheel on the Duet controller and also have four different directions/buttons: http://www.elma.com/en/products/rota...-wheel-detail/

    Another option also with four directions/buttons:
    http://eu.mouser.com/ProductDetail/A...xEOwRqoDvYHw==

    http://www.alps.com/prod/info/E/HTML...tch_list1.html

    These devices might make it easier to manipulate a system using a screen based navigation like Jivelite or have presets with radio stations .
    piCorePlayer a small player for the Raspberry Pi in RAM.
    Homepage: https://sites.google.com/site/picoreplayer/home

    Please donate if you like the piCorePlayer

  6. #6
    Senior Member pippin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quadronado View Post
    Yes.
    This is one of the ones I bought:
    https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I bought three or four from different sources and they all turned out to be the same

    What I like about this one a bit more is that it has a metal shaft but I don't know whether that actually makes a difference
    ---
    learn more about iPeng, the iPhone and iPad remote for the Squeezebox and
    Logitech UE Smart Radio as well as iPeng Party, the free Party-App,
    at penguinlovesmusic.com
    New: iPeng 9, the Universal App for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    Does it rotate more than 360 ? Can it do several turns or spin endlessly, can you make up for the shakiness by having several turns represent 100% volume ? Several products with encoders I've seen does that .
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Main hifi: Touch + CIA PS +MeridianG68J MeridianHD621 MeridianG98DH 2 x MeridianDSP5200 MeridianDSP5200HC 2 xMeridianDSP3100 +Rel Stadium 3 sub.
    Bedroom/Office: Boom
    Kitchen: Touch + powered Fostex PM0.4
    Misc use: Radio (with battery)
    iPad1 with iPengHD & SqueezePad
    (spares Touch, SB3, reciever ,controller )
    server HP proliant micro server N36L with ClearOS Linux

    http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

  8. #8
    Babelfish's Best Boy mherger's Avatar
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    Nice job! You don't have any navigation or other Ui elements other than volume and on/off on the device?

    The rotary encoder used to be the single most expensive part on the Transporter, too. I think somebody even claimed it was the single most expensive part Logitech had ever used up to that day :-).
    Michael

    http://www.herger.net/slim-plugins - Spotty, MusicArtistInfo

  9. #9
    Senior Member pippin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mnyb View Post
    Does it rotate more than 360 ? Can it do several turns or spin endlessly, can you make up for the shakiness by having several turns represent 100% volume ? Several products with encoders I've seen does that .
    It rotates endlessly.
    The way these rotary encoders work is that they create a two-bit "Gray code" that allows you to determine the direction of the rotation, the rest needs to be done in software.
    But without the "double volume step" I used you'd have to rotate a lot to get a meaningful change in volume which is annoying. If you want to change the volume you want it to change within one action to whatever you want it to be, you don't want to keep rotating it.

    But of course this depends on your setup. If you have a very sensitive amp in a device with very high power output you can always change the command line parameter in the software to only use one edge, then you get single-step accuracy.

    Quote Originally Posted by mherger View Post
    Nice job! You don't have any navigation or other Ui elements other than volume and on/off on the device?
    No. I did consider to also add "power" with a long-press but didn't have the time to test that enough.
    I didn't have space for a display and many more buttons, otherwise I'd probably added some "Favorites"-buttons as well.

    The rotary encoder used to be the single most expensive part on the Transporter, too. I think somebody even claimed it was the single most expensive part Logitech had ever used up to that day :-).
    Well, that thing is of course a different story with the force-feedback and all.

    But just a simple rotary encoder with decent haptics and, say, 50 Steps per rotation (150 would be perfect but I understand that's harder) is expensive.
    I found a nice one but it created that effect by using a reduction gear. That thing cost 30$ or so and also was way too big for the radio.

    What I didn't find in time but what I'm probably going to try for the next project is something like this:
    https://www.conrad.de/de/encoder-sch...st-447181.html

    30$, 64 ticks per rotation and two button modes (normal and high-power) so that I can use play/pause and power on the same button.

    At this price it would only have been the second-most-expensive "component" because I paid $40 for the Tivoli Speaker (a new one!). But it would still top the huge battery at $30.
    But that thing with the aluminum knob I still have will probably be the controller of choice for my next project: a Transporter replacement with balanced (XLR) output, a second, (independently controllable) output channel for a subwoofer, one or two analog inputs (one with RIA preamp) and a small probably still passive display...
    Biggest challenge for that: find a good housing....
    ---
    learn more about iPeng, the iPhone and iPad remote for the Squeezebox and
    Logitech UE Smart Radio as well as iPeng Party, the free Party-App,
    at penguinlovesmusic.com
    New: iPeng 9, the Universal App for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

  10. #10
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    Other way of providing control is via infrared.
    Detectors to plug into RPi GPIO are very low cost and could make a tiny hole in front of case for it.
    Plenty of IR handling code for RPi and pCP has the basics built in - just need to get the remote recognised (from memory it does Slim controller out of the box).
    Then you get volume, mute, skip etc.

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