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  1. #1

    Pi based build for a 6 year old - rough tutorial

    Hi all. With both of my kids, them and I have sat down and built a stereo for their room. If a 6 year old can build it, I figured it might be worth a high level tutorial in case it helps others.

    The below instructions are a bit rough and ready, but hopefully it gives you some inspiration. Feel free to ask if any of it doesn't make sense. We now have similar setups running in 9 different rooms in our house and they have been incredibly reliable (although all but two are wired to ethernet rather than wifi to allow reliable sync'd playback across all 9)

    The whole process took about an hour, and the kids absolutely love that they have a stereo they have built themselves. They are so proud of them.

    _________________

    Parts:
    Pi Zero W ($10) and power.
    PCM5102 DAC (Aliexpress $5ish - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3300...13d76d61D20oIr)
    TPA Amp Board ($10ish - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3284...27424c4dQ2WdLJ)
    3.3v Relay (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3298...7d401a85pJTkUh)
    Micro SD card
    Old laptop power supply, or something similar, for DAC


    Process: DAC Wiring

    Wire the DAC to the Pi with jumper cables based on the following. Note the board we used we had to solder the header pins on, but some others with the same chip will come with these soldered already:
    Pins for Raspberry Pi B+ /2B/3B (other boards listed here https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...ption&p=885998)
    Code:
    DAC  RPI   PIN
    Vcc    5v    2
    3.3v  3.3v   Not connected
    GND   gnd   39
    FLT   gnd   14
    DMP   gnd   20
    SCL   SCL    5
    BCK   BCK   12
    DIN   Data  40
    LCK   LCK   35
    FMT   gnd   30
    XMT   3.3v  17
    (Also make sure the that DIN, LCK, BCK wires are kept as short as possible., to avoid audio degradation)


    Process: Software

    Get PiCorePlayer and install it on the SD card. We were going headless so followed the rules for adding Wifi via the WPA_Supplicant file (as per picoreplayer tutorials).
    Install it in the pi player and boot.
    Log into router and work out the IP address for the new device.

    Visit the IP address in a web browser. Go to squeezelight settings page and set the DAC to "Generic/Simple ESS9023 DAC".

    Plug in headphones and test with some music.


    Process: AMP

    Use either a 3.5mm to 3.5mm jack to connect dac and amp, or use jumper cables (we used jumper cables for L/R/G)

    Provide power to Dac. We used an old 9v 0.8amp power block and its working great. On other versions I've used old laptop power supplies.

    Attach speakers and test.


    Process: Auto Power Off Amp

    To trigger the amp power on and off when playing, we added a 3.3v relay.

    Wire the relay to ground, vcc and a pin (we used GPIO 17)
    Put the positive from the power pack into the middle of the relay and feed the normally open output out to the amp (i.e. adding the relay in line between the power pack and the amp)
    On the Squeezlite settings screen in the web interface, find the option for "Power On/Off GPIO" and set ti to your pin (GPIO 17 in our case) and select "Active High".

    Now when you start playing the relay should turn the amp on, and off again when playing stops.


    Process: Finishing

    From there we just put all the parts in a nice box, connected the speakers properly and away we went.

    Crank up some kids party songs, add a cheap aliexpress disco light, or LED strips, and you have the best kids room addition you could possibly imagine.

  2. #2
    BTW, it doesn't have to be a pi zero. Some of the ones in the house are running as an extra on an existing raspberry pis various models) doing other functions. I also have one running on an orange pi but frankly it was a pain to get going and not worth the hassle (picoreplayer is so much easier!).

  3. #3
    Senior Member SpiderJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Cardiff, Wales, UK
    Posts
    247
    Quote Originally Posted by s2kiwi View Post
    Hi all. With both of my kids, them and I have sat down and built a stereo for their room. If a 6 year old can build it, I figured it might be worth a high level tutorial in case it helps others.
    What a great project to do with your kids, and what an excellent way to introduce them to some practical tech stuff.

    Also makes me think of the Groucho Marx quote — "Why a four-year-old child could understand this report! Run out and find me a four-year-old child."
    Last edited by SpiderJon; 2021-08-24 at 10:53.
    Duet x 3, via various hi-fi. LMS running on Raspberry Pi OS (Debian 10) + OMV on a Pi4 (4GB RAM) in an Argon Neo case.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    263
    Great write-up and family project s2kiwi!

    A reminder that we discussed these dacs a couple years ago and there's an alternate wiring method that doesn't require as many connections from Pi to DAC. See:

    https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...l=1#post929456

    Cheers!

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