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  1. #1

    rPi Server/Player builds

    Hi Folks,

    I'm looking at putting together a standalone system for our trailer, and was hoping for some advice.

    I'd like to put together an LMS using an rPi that could act both as a server and player. I have an old Admiral antique radio (non-functional, but the case looks cool!) that I thought I could use to hold everything.
    Design questions/constraints are:

    Power supply. The rPi needs 2A at 5V. Music would be on a USB powered drive, so would likely need a powered USB3 hub which could power both the drive and the rPi.

    Amplifier/speaker. Not sure what way to go here. Either an rPi plug in amp that just piggybacks on the Pi with a single speaker (or two?), or a plug in DAC feeding a small class D amplifier and a pair of speakers. Space is a limiting factor, as is complexity! Probably the amp would need a separate power supply - I recall seeing some that ran off 18VDC, but that means a separate supply, or a more complex / expensive supply that could feed both the 5V and 18V requirements.

    Display. I've never played with a display on a Pi, but have seen them available online. Just really want to be able to display album art, and potentially a clock when the LMS isn't in use.

    There is a really weak, completely over-used wifi internet connection at our campground, but I don't plan on using it. I figured I'd take a router up, and run some sort of offline network just for my own use, with the LMS and our iPhones/iPeng/bluetooth speakers connected.

    So - long story short - I'm looking for advice, or examples of something similar that others have built. Even better would be pictures of your creations (I couldn't find a thread like this, but that's probably due to my poor searching skills!)

    Thanks in advance for any advice or pointers people care to share!

    Brawny

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Staffordshire. UK
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    1,970
    Quote Originally Posted by brawny View Post
    Hi Folks,

    I'm looking at putting together a standalone system for our trailer, and was hoping for some advice.

    I'd like to put together an LMS using an rPi that could act both as a server and player. I have an old Admiral antique radio (non-functional, but the case looks cool!) that I thought I could use to hold everything.
    Design questions/constraints are:

    Power supply. The rPi needs 2A at 5V. Music would be on a USB powered drive, so would likely need a powered USB3 hub which could power both the drive and the rPi.

    Amplifier/speaker. Not sure what way to go here. Either an rPi plug in amp that just piggybacks on the Pi with a single speaker (or two?), or a plug in DAC feeding a small class D amplifier and a pair of speakers. Space is a limiting factor, as is complexity! Probably the amp would need a separate power supply - I recall seeing some that ran off 18VDC, but that means a separate supply, or a more complex / expensive supply that could feed both the 5V and 18V requirements.

    Display. I've never played with a display on a Pi, but have seen them available online. Just really want to be able to display album art, and potentially a clock when the LMS isn't in use.

    There is a really weak, completely over-used wifi internet connection at our campground, but I don't plan on using it. I figured I'd take a router up, and run some sort of offline network just for my own use, with the LMS and our iPhones/iPeng/bluetooth speakers connected.

    So - long story short - I'm looking for advice, or examples of something similar that others have built. Even better would be pictures of your creations (I couldn't find a thread like this, but that's probably due to my poor searching skills!)

    Thanks in advance for any advice or pointers people care to share!

    Brawny
    Hi Brawny, I'm guessing you are Stateside, what electrical power supply do you have to your Trailer and do you intend to use it for the pi?

    There are a lot of usb power banks available that provide 5 volt of sufficient amperage. the amp part might require a different voltage?
    Search a bit more for builds, but you could do a simple pi screen, rpi3 running lms on piCoreplayer, an iQAudio dac hatandamp combo into speakers of choice.

    When you do it, a few snaps would be appreciated by the folks on here

    Ronnie

    A rpi3 with dac hat into active speakers would also be good

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Man in a van View Post
    Hi Brawny, I'm guessing you are Stateside, what electrical power supply do you have to your Trailer and do you intend to use it for the pi?

    There are a lot of usb power banks available that provide 5 volt of sufficient amperage. the amp part might require a different voltage?
    Search a bit more for builds, but you could do a simple pi screen, rpi3 running lms on piCoreplayer, an iQAudio dac hatandamp combo into speakers of choice.

    When you do it, a few snaps would be appreciated by the folks on here

    Ronnie

    A rpi3 with dac hat into active speakers would also be good
    Hi Ronnie,

    I'm in Ontario, Canada. We actually have a couple trailers, but the 'use case' is the same for both. One trailer is a 'park model', meaning that its a permanent fixture in the park, and the other is an Airstream, that we use to travel in. Both trailers have standard North American 120VAC/60 Hz power available.

    I'll definitely post some pics once I get to end of task on this. Thanks for your advice!

    Brawny

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by brawny View Post
    Hi Folks,

    I'm looking at putting together a standalone system for our trailer, and was hoping for some advice.

    I'd like to put together an LMS using an rPi that could act both as a server and player. I have an old Admiral antique radio (non-functional, but the case looks cool!) that I thought I could use to hold everything.
    Design questions/constraints are:

    Power supply. The rPi needs 2A at 5V. Music would be on a USB powered drive, so would likely need a powered USB3 hub which could power both the drive and the rPi.

    Amplifier/speaker. Not sure what way to go here. Either an rPi plug in amp that just piggybacks on the Pi with a single speaker (or two?), or a plug in DAC feeding a small class D amplifier and a pair of speakers. Space is a limiting factor, as is complexity! Probably the amp would need a separate power supply - I recall seeing some that ran off 18VDC, but that means a separate supply, or a more complex / expensive supply that could feed both the 5V and 18V requirements.

    Display. I've never played with a display on a Pi, but have seen them available online. Just really want to be able to display album art, and potentially a clock when the LMS isn't in use.

    There is a really weak, completely over-used wifi internet connection at our campground, but I don't plan on using it. I figured I'd take a router up, and run some sort of offline network just for my own use, with the LMS and our iPhones/iPeng/bluetooth speakers connected.

    So - long story short - I'm looking for advice, or examples of something similar that others have built. Even better would be pictures of your creations (I couldn't find a thread like this, but that's probably due to my poor searching skills!)

    Thanks in advance for any advice or pointers people care to share!

    Brawny
    In my office, I am using a WD My Passport WiFi enabled 2Tb drive to store music files and run LMS. I have a Raspberry Pi (original B model) with a HiFiBerry DAC running piCorePlayer. I periodically bring the drive home to sync with my main music collection. This works pretty well, you can control LMS using the web interface or one of the phone/tablet apps. I guess you could use one of the DAC/amplifier boards with the Pi rather than the DAC.

    Maybe this is another way forward? In addition to its own wifi network the WD drive can connect to your router.

    Robert
    Home: Raspberry Pi 3/piCoreplayer/LMS7.9 with files on QNAP TS-239
    Touch > DacMagic 100 > Naim Audio Nait 3 > Mission 752 (plus Rega Planar 3 and Naim CD3)
    PiCorePlayer(Pi2) with touchscreen and IQAudIO DAC+>Sennheisers
    2 x Squeezebox Radios, 1 X Squeezebox 3 (retired)
    Office: LMS7.9 running on WiFi MyPassport drive > piCorePlayer(PiB)/HiFiBerryDAC > Amptastic Amplifier
    SqueezePad, iPeng as controllers

    last.fm/user/GrumpyBob

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    161
    How large is your music collection? I got away with a 256 gb usb stick I purchased on sale at Costco for $40. Works fine with my pi, official 7 inch screen and usb dac. I am not sure if a Hifiberry Amp would require more power though.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy Bob View Post
    In my office, I am using a WD My Passport WiFi enabled 2Tb drive to store music files and run LMS. I have a Raspberry Pi (original B model) with a HiFiBerry DAC running piCorePlayer. I periodically bring the drive home to sync with my main music collection. This works pretty well, you can control LMS using the web interface or one of the phone/tablet apps. I guess you could use one of the DAC/amplifier boards with the Pi rather than the DAC.

    Maybe this is another way forward? In addition to its own wifi network the WD drive can connect to your router.

    Robert
    Sounds like a neat setup, Bob. I didn't realize that devices like the WD WiFi drive were available - or better yet - that you could install LMS on them. Certainly worth thinking about! Being able to simply bring the drive home, and update/add more audio files would be handy. How is LMS on the WD drive at rescanning? Your solution would let me focus on just building a server/player in the old radio, without worring about including media.

    I have a Pi connected to a 2TB WD USB3 drive (non-wifi) running OSMC (a Kodi variant) already at the trailer that we use for TV/Movies, which seems to work ok. I have all my music on it as well - and it plays OK through the HDMI output to the TV, playing on a cheap set of Bose speakers, but the interface for music is pretty poor on OSMC - especially with a large collection. I've got LMS installed on the Pi as well - but don't have a network (yet!) so using it with my iPhone/iPad/iPeng has to wait until I can get a router working to provide a local wifi network. Even still - this solution isn't very transportable - its a nest of wires, USB hubs, etc, so not great when we want to travel.

    Thanks for the suggestion, Bob. Definitely food for thought!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by usc95 View Post
    How large is your music collection? I got away with a 256 gb usb stick I purchased on sale at Costco for $40. Works fine with my pi, official 7 inch screen and usb dac. I am not sure if a Hifiberry Amp would require more power though.
    Just checked, and my library is 262GB in mp3 format. I use flac at home, but convert everything to mp3 for portable use. I could probably get that down under 256GB if I were a bit selective, removing Christmas music, and stuff I don't listen to often...

    Just looking at the Hifiberry site, and the amp does require more power:
    o Up to 25W output power
    o Only one 12-18V external power supply needed for both AMP and the Raspberry PiŚno need for USB power supply anymore

    I just figured out that I could use a laptop ac adaptor as the 'power supply' for this amp, which would greatly simplify things...

  8. #8
    Senior Member tcutting's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
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    1,355
    Quote Originally Posted by brawny View Post
    Just checked, and my library is 262GB in mp3 format. I use flac at home, but convert everything to mp3 for portable use. I could probably get that down under 256GB if I were a bit selective, removing Christmas music, and stuff I don't listen to often...

    Just looking at the Hifiberry site, and the amp does require more power:
    o Up to 25W output power
    o Only one 12-18V external power supply needed for both AMP and the Raspberry PiŚno need for USB power supply anymore

    I just figured out that I could use a laptop ac adaptor as the 'power supply' for this amp, which would greatly simplify things...
    I am using the HiFiBerry Amp+. One concern on power is if you plan on running other items from the rPi's USB - the supply from the Amp+ to the rPi is not intended to power more than just the rPi. If you want to use a screen (eg, the rPi 7inch touch screen), or a USB hard-drive, you shouldn't try to power that from the rPi itself. Just the Amp+, the rPi, and a wireless dongle should be fine from the Amp+ supply. I added a small power converter to be able to convert the 13V I send to the Amp+ to be able to provide power to the display separate from the supply the Amp+ provides to the rPi.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    104
    A RPi3 only needs 2.5A at peak (when decoding using the GPU etc.). I am happily, on occasion, running one headless with a 2.5" portable drive attached. Note that USB2.0 will only supply up to 500mA officially while USB3 (which the RPi3 does NOT have) will do 900mA - some HDD rely on USB3 not just for data speed but power. Make sure the drive is sold as "USB2 compatible" just in case.

    That said, I also have the WD Passport Wireless and Wireless Pro. I have seen guides to installing LMS but I never did. The otherwise work fine (I use Plex on the Pro for streaming 720p films to devices while travelling). You can just mount the remote file system over WiFI if you want that, and for music it should be plenty of bandwidth. Grumpy Bob's system to use one to move music around is an excellent idea

  10. #10
    To set up LMS on a WD WiFi enabled drive, I followed these instructions.
    It's not too difficult, but it helps to know a little Linux.

    Robert
    Home: Raspberry Pi 3/piCoreplayer/LMS7.9 with files on QNAP TS-239
    Touch > DacMagic 100 > Naim Audio Nait 3 > Mission 752 (plus Rega Planar 3 and Naim CD3)
    PiCorePlayer(Pi2) with touchscreen and IQAudIO DAC+>Sennheisers
    2 x Squeezebox Radios, 1 X Squeezebox 3 (retired)
    Office: LMS7.9 running on WiFi MyPassport drive > piCorePlayer(PiB)/HiFiBerryDAC > Amptastic Amplifier
    SqueezePad, iPeng as controllers

    last.fm/user/GrumpyBob

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