Dummies Guide to Pi2AES! Throw away your PC or laptop.

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by purr1n, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Unison can perform, but you need to control the USB on the source side. Probably means dedicated bus for USB audio, EMI and RF shielding, overbuilt 5V LPS, ground isolation, and meteor dust blessed by monks at the base of Mt. Fuji when Haley's comet is at its closest point to earth.
     
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  2. bilboda

    bilboda Florida boomer

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    fwiw, ropiee has pi2aes as an option for you roonatics, found that as a nice surprise during an update
     
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  3. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    Archimago is nwavguy to me. He trusts his test equipment way too much. His favorite DAC used to be a Teac. I am sure there is not much that can be measured here. Judge for yourself. YMMV

    I am just going by my own experience. Everything I did to limit the switcher in the Pi the better. Better and cleaner power supply, turning off WiFi and Bluetooth, and powered USB hard drive, etc. I think there is a reason the Pi2AES sounds better than the others and also requires a more expensive Mean Well power supply, as well as being a very well designed I2S to SPDIF/AES solution for the Pi. Good clean power is just one ingredient.
     
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  4. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    I've found a better power supply to have an effect - but I didn't notice a remote wifi receiver improving things over the on-board wifi. Haven't compared wifi with an ethernet cable though.
     
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  5. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Wasn't stolen!

    Just took a full 15 days to make a 2.5hr ride from Milan to Genova!

    #JustItalyThings
     
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  6. rsnblmn

    rsnblmn Acquaintance

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    I also haven't tried comparing ethernet vs wifi just because both the on-board wifi streaming and locally attached USB storage sound so much better than anything I have tried before I got the Pi2AES setup. It's all relative, I suppose, and ethernet could well be another quality jump I haven't experienced, but so far the sound is so good (and stable!) over wifi that I'm not sure the juice would be worth the squeeze. A big selling point for the Pi to me was to have it be small and fairly autonomous compared to using my PC as a source, and all the wired connections are on the other side of the house with my PC. (Also, I'm old, so the limits of my ears are very likely a bottleneck...)
     
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  7. AukePauke

    AukePauke Rando

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  8. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I've been using the onboard Wi-Fi of my Pi Zero W since day one because that's all I have. This or a dongle on a leash would be interesting to try, by I don't have an RJ45 port and I believe the available microUSB supports OTG only.
    Interesting, seems my Zero W has the same Wi-Fi implementation as the newer full size Pis. And it's a pretty good one?

    Networking goobledygook: tl;dr. But I don't think anything was presented to "prove" one way was better over the other (please correct me if I'm wrong).
     
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  9. bobboxbody

    bobboxbody Almost "Made"

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    Is it possible just to use the Pi as an AES transport from PC to DAC without a network being involved? I'd like it as a DIY project and nervosa antidote(bandaid?) but my DAC is ~4 feet from my PC and it's where I do all my listening, the router is in another room. I read through the thread, couldn't figure it out, and now feel dense.
     
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  10. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    Unfortunately the PI2AES relies on the Raspberry Pi and the only way to stream data from a PC to the Pi is via network, wired or wireless. But with wireless the Pi can received data from the PC via the router. So it is very doable, but does require some knowledge and effort to configure the PC and the Pi to work together. Maybe you have a network savvy friend you can call on?

    Cheers,
    Michael
     
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  11. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Like @Michael Kelly said, assuming you have a Wi-Fi router, just connect the unit over Wi-Fi, that’s what I do.
     
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  12. bobboxbody

    bobboxbody Almost "Made"

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    Ok @Michael Kelly and @rlow thanks for the clarification. I believe I have the capacity to follow the dummies guide and connect to WiFi.
     
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  13. Mindbender

    Mindbender Acquaintance

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    Here are a few network steps (FEW?) that I took to get my Pi setup with the PI2AES (which is one of the best deals in audio for its quality):

    Anyone who frequents this SBAF forum should be able to perform these steps. I have confidence in everyone here.

    Goal: Activate WiFi in the software and connect to your WiFi network from the Raspberry Pi/PI2AES

    Requirements (for these steps):
    • A PC (for these steps)
    • Ethernet cable (at the beginning)
    • A IP scanning application to sniff your network (I use the freeware at www.advanced-ip-scanner.com)
    • Raspberry Pi and PI2AES
    • Streaming O/S like Volumio or Moode to be installed to a micro SD card
    Note: I won't be going over the configuration of the streaming O/S because that's another list of steps entirely​

    1. Install the streaming O/S to your micro SD card using a program like Etcher

    2. Insert the micro SD card into your Raspberry Pi (RPi)

    3. Attach the PI2AES to the RPi - be careful not to bend/damage the pins

    4. Connect a network (ethernet) cable to your RPi and power it on. Once the LED lights come on, wait 60 seconds

    5. On your PC, open your IP Scanner software and scan your network - you'll have to enter the network's IP range and then click start.

    6. Sidebar: If you don't know what subnet your home network is on, you could do the following:
      - Open a command prompt and type "ipconfig" without the quotes
      - In the bunch of text that appears, look for the line "IPv4 Address..... <numbers>"
      - The "<numbers>" that follow the sentence "IPv4 Address" is your PC's IP address
      Example: "IPv4 Address..... : 192.168.1.5"
      - Once you have your PC's IP, enter the network range to scan (depending on the program)
      Example: 192.168.1.1-253

    7. Look for the streaming O/S name in the list of devices on your network. It might say "Volumio" or "Moode" and then have an IP address next to it. This is your unit's IP address

    8. Enter that IP address in a web browser on your PC - Example: "http://192.168.1.10"

    9. If the Volumio/Moode/Streaming OS menu appears in your browser, you've made great progress

    10. Go to the Settings section of the software and look for a Network sub-section

    11. In the Network sub-section, turn on WiFi and look for your home's WiFi network. Connect to that network and enter the WiFi password.

    12. When you connect to your home WiFi network, you will be assigned ANOTHER IP address - the O/S should display that IP in the networking section you're already in. If not, you might have to rescan your network to look for the second IP for your RPi. This is not the same IP as the first address you entered into your browser

    13. Once you have that 2nd IP, type that into your web browser. The same Streaming O/S screen should appear but you're using the WiFi address now. This is what we want.

    14. Disconnect the network cable from the RPi and see if you can still access the different sections in the Streaming O/S. If you lose the software in your web browser, verify that you're using the WiFi IP address and not the first IP in your browser.

    15. If you lose the Streaming O/S in the browser or see an error, reconnect the network cable to the RPi and go back to Step 11 and try to get that WiFi IP address again.

    16. Configure the rest of the Streaming O/S and don't forget to connect a digital cable between the PI2AES and your DAC.

    Listen and enjoy!
     
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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2020
  14. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Man that is complicated, with roopiee it's as easy as going to roopiee.local and switching WiFi on and giving it the password.

    I mean, none of that is hard - mine all have DHCP reservations so I can bookmark their IP address in case of need - but still.

    Screenshot_20200819-003420_UniFi_Network.png

    Also Pi4 gets better signal than my 500 euro tablet, kinda sad.
     
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  15. Mindbender

    Mindbender Acquaintance

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    Yeah, it is complicated because of the Raspberry Pi - it's a headless server that has to be configured manually.

    But some of us like the punishment. Not me, of course.

    Question: Is there a way to configure Ropiee or any of the Roon software to use the PI2AES? Because the PI2AES is rather spectacular for what you pay for it.
     
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  16. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    I have 2 Pi2AES running roopieexl.

    You're only seeing 1 there because that's the WiFi clients and the other is wired.

    "Salone" is a 502DAC cuz my gran is going actually deaf anyway.
     
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  17. haywood

    haywood Friend

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    All the messing around with ip addresses isn't a distro limitation, it’s because some client operating systems don’t support zero conf which is represented by the .local address.
     
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  18. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    Don't get this. I've installed Volumio, piCorePlayer, moOde, Ropieee(XL) on a variety of Pi-based streamers, always wired. Of those, piCorePlayer required the most configuration because I wanted to run it standalone with its own LMS server. Otherwise, pretty trivial, maybe because my router (Ubiquiti EdgeRouter) allows me to inspect DHCP leases or (current configuration) run mDNS so that I can use .local names. Either way, once that simple step is taken, all of those distributions are configurable through a Web browser.
     
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  19. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    You could also go to your router's web UI to look up the IP by going to 192.168.1.1 and checking the connected devices. My moOde Pi is called openelec.

    All modern router's should have a web UI.
     
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  20. Mindbender

    Mindbender Acquaintance

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    That's true, but I believe that WiFi might not be switched on by default in Volumio. mDNS/Rendezvous won't turn that on for you, but it works well after an IP is assigned to the wireless networking (and physical cable unplugged).

    In addition, the user would have to select and join the O/S to their wireless network. Although I have seen some instances where the "Device.Local" just worked (without having to configure it) but it likely needed a wired connection. It would be a security issue if a device could just "join" your network wirelessly.
     
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