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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
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    7

    RPi4 + Justboom Digi hat + model railway = not so good

    Here is an unusual one.
    I am new to both model railways and RPi.
    I was researching getting my sound better through my stereo amp and found some links to LMS.
    I loaded it on my laptop and was happy how it performed outputting over my network to my Pioneer sc-lx81 (or sc-07 in the US)
    So I thought how can I make it smaller. I discovered picoreplayer and it’s implementation of LMS on a RPi.
    I then purchased a Justboom Digi Hat to output the signal from the RPi in a better format to the Amp rather than across the network to the Amps network port, which is quite old.
    So I put all this together and started to play Flac files I gave acquired over the years. Sounds was great and I was really happy.
    Now this setup is in my Train room. Well actually a bedroom converted to a 12v model railway.
    I use Kato unitrack. This is very easy to lay and it is far easier to link than traditional railway track. No fishplates (the wee joiners that join the tracks together) they have snap lock joiners that are all the same.
    They also have turnout/switches to move from track to track. With these turnouts they are powered by the track 12v dc that powers the trains. They are solenoid activated, so in or out. Other turnouts are powered with small motor to wind an arm one way or the other. The solenoid turnouts are much faster than the motorised ones.

    So here is my problem, whenever I activate a turnout to switch the track, the music cuts out for just under a second. It doesn’t pause, it cuts out.
    Their is about 1.5m distance between the controller of the turnouts, the turnout to the amp with the RPi on top. These are sitting over 2m above the floor on a high shelf. The model railway layout is about 900mm off the floor.

    I am going to switch from coax cable to a toslink cable to see if it is interference on the coax cable, but other than that I have no idea.
    The RPi 4 is using the genuine supplied RPi power adapter, not an aftermarket cheap and nasty.
    I am an IT network engineer so IT is my business.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    near Berlin
    Posts
    25
    I am also curious if there are any ideas to prevent such dropouts, as I have similar problems: In my case it's an esp32-squeezelite with a different HAT DAC (with analogue output), but I would assume that the reasons are quite similar - sometimes a lightswitch is enough to cause a short dropout of around 0.5s, without causing any error messages. Therefore I assume that an unshielded i2s connection is very sensible for electromagnetic impulses. The situation improved a lot with a better power supply (now 2.5 A from sunfounder instead of 2A samsung). The best solution would probably be a faraday shield, like some (grounded) metal housing (but in this case wifi would not be possible without an external antenna). I have not yet found a workable solution, but in my case the dropouts are now less frequent (less than once an hour).
    Main: Transporter -> [Marantz PM7005 -> Canton Vento 820.2] | [Meier enhanced crossfeed -> Topping A50s -> Dan Clark Audio Aeon 2 closed]
    Office: Squeezelite-esp32+SSD1322+IR+Cirrus CS43198 -> Yamaha CRX-E400 -> Q Acoustics 3010i
    Garden: DAC32 -> Objective2 -> Dan Clark Audio Aeon 2 closed
    Bathroom and children's room: 2x SB Radio
    Spare devices / ongoing projects: 2 x SB3, Touch, PiCorePlayer8+RasPi3A++DAC+light+RTC+7'' Display+XBox Media Remote+LMS
    Server: NUC7CJYH2+Debian+LMS+Resilio Sync

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Staffordshire. UK
    Posts
    4,646
    As a guess, try a couple of ferrite beads on the power supply cable at the raspberry pi end.

    ronnie

  4. #4
    Senior Member Greg Erskine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,363
    I feel confident the solenoid are interfering with the wifi.

    Do the solenoids have a diode fitted across the coil to reduce back emf?

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Erskine View Post
    I feel confident the solenoid are interfering with the wifi.

    Do the solenoids have a diode fitted across the coil to reduce back emf?
    No Wifi involved. Everything is on cable.
    Not sure on the diodes.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    7,557
    Quote Originally Posted by Br00kee1 View Post
    No Wifi involved. Everything is on cable.
    Not sure on the diodes.
    If it's an immediate cutout of the sound when you activate the switch, it's not a networking/IT problem as there is plenty of buffering in squeezelite. I'd vote for a power supply issue that impacts the hat. Best is to capture the i2s data when the issue happens and the power supply of the hat itself, maybe just at the Vcc of the DAC.
    LMS 8.2 on Odroid-C4 - SqueezeAMP!, 5xRadio, 5xBoom, 2xDuet, 1xTouch, 1xSB3. Sonos PLAY:3, PLAY:5, Marantz NR1603, Foobar2000, ShairPortW, 2xChromecast Audio, Chromecast v1 and v2, Squeezelite on Pi, Yamaha WX-010, AppleTV 4, Airport Express, GGMM E5, RivaArena 1 & 3

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