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Interested in controlling your ML setup with a Raspberry Pi?

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BeoMotion
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BeoMotion Posted: Mon, Jun 15 2015 2:36 PM

Hi all,

as some of you already know we are currently working on a PCB that allows you to connect a Raspberry Pi to your existing MasterLink bus. LINK TO THREAD

If you like to tinker the possibilities are nearly endless. You could build a DIY ML gateway or just add two additional sources like N.Music and N.Radio for AirPlay and webradio. E.g. you could program it that it automatically switches on your system or just a specific linkroom when selecting AirPlay on your iPhone.

A high quality DAC on the same PCB will be injecting all the audio from Raspberry Pi into the ML system via a RJ45 ML connector. 

 

This thread is about to find out how many of you would be interested in such a solution. 

We want to keep all HW files and SW that is developed to control the ML open source and freely available.
But when it comes to manufacturing PCBs the more you order the cheaper it gets per piece. 
The quantity is also imported in the phase of designing the HW layout which we are currently in.

So let the discussion begin... :-)

 

BR,
BeoMotion. 

leosgonewild
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Are you saying that a RP with a AE would be able to turn on my BV7 when it gets an audio stream? Could it also be controlled by a Essence Remote?

I am VERY interested! Big Smile
BeoMotion
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BeoMotion replied on Mon, Jun 15 2015 2:59 PM

leosgonewild:
Are you saying that a RP with a AE would be able to turn on my BV7 when it gets an audio stream? Could it also be controlled by a Essence Remote?

I am VERY interested! Big Smile

No, I am saying that the Raspberry can do everything at its own. Even the AirPlay part if you install the right software (e.g. shairport-sync). That is even cooler, cheaper and sounds better! 

The essence remote uses standard BLE HID protocol. So if you connect a BT 4.0 USB stick to the Raspberry that shouldn't be a big problem. Only some software would be required that maps the essence commands to the right ML commands.  

Great that you are interested!

Espen
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Espen replied on Mon, Jun 15 2015 8:10 PM

I have been reading your dev thread with great interest. I am also VERY interested, so sign me up! :)

Regards

Espen

leosgonewild
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Could a raspberry pi have spotify running, and that way be controlled with the essence remote? And when pressing play on the remote it would act as an Beosound 3200, and the sound would come out from the speakers connected to my BV7?

 

Alsfeld
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Alsfeld replied on Mon, Jun 15 2015 8:57 PM

I am highly interested at the PCB, I would take three.

BeoMotion
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BeoMotion replied on Mon, Jun 15 2015 9:58 PM

leosgonewild:

Could a raspberry pi have spotify running, and that way be controlled with the essence remote? And when pressing play on the remote it would act as an Beosound 3200, and the sound would come out from the speakers connected to my BV7?

Yes, one of the main goals of this project is that you can send and receive commands and inject audio to the ML system like with any other audio or video master. 
So in your case I would recommend running the Pi with one of the audio distributions (like runeaudio or volumio) available and throw in some software managing the connection to the essence remote and handling the ML commands. So yes, it should be possible then to press play on the essence or select AirPlay on your iDevice and the Pi will execute a given command on the ML and inject the audio. In your case turning on the BV7 and playing spotify.   
We might also provide a fork from e.g. volumio that contains the ML handling. But this is not the main focus at the moment and you should always keep in mind that you need to have fun at tinkering and some basic linux and programming knowledge. 

The next step in development is to manufacture maybe two or three prototype PCBs to validate the design.
If successful a larger production run will be made that will satisfy all the community orders.
At this stage we should also have some very basic sample applications and tutorials ready on how to use the ML interface.  

 

BeoMotion
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BeoMotion replied on Mon, Jun 15 2015 10:05 PM

Thanks Espen and Alsfeld for your interest. You are both on the list. :-)

We need a nice name for this project. Any suggestions? Maybe "BeoPi HAT" or "ML-HAT" ? (H.A.T. is the official name for RPi add-on boards.)

BeoMotion
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BeoMotion replied on Mon, Jun 15 2015 10:15 PM

Is there any interest in a data-only version without the audio part? 
So only controlling your ML setup without injection audio?

Would be the same PCB but without populated audio parts.
Good DACs are expensive and would save some money if you don't need it.  

 

riverstyx
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riverstyx replied on Mon, Jun 15 2015 10:20 PM

leosgonewild:

Could a raspberry pi have spotify running, and that way be controlled with the essence remote? And when pressing play on the remote it would act as an Beosound 3200, and the sound would come out from the speakers connected to my BV7?

I was half way through a long reply but BeoMotion beat me to it and said pretty much everything I was going to say Smile

 

lonfred
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lonfred replied on Mon, Jun 15 2015 10:42 PM
I am also very interested in the one with an build in DAC. The only thing is I am not a data hacker so it need to be on an as basic preinstalled level as possible,
riverstyx
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riverstyx replied on Mon, Jun 15 2015 10:56 PM

BeoMotion:
But this is not the main focus at the moment and you should always keep in mind that you need to have fun at tinkering and some basic linux and programming knowledge.

The only exception to this that I'd mention, is that I'm in need of as much data as possible to test my code and further my understanding of the masterlink protocol.

So if there are any members who don't have the required tinkering/linux/programming knowledge, but who would still like to contribute in some way to the development process, they might consider investing in one of the interfaces (and a raspberry pi) and simply leave it connected (to masterlink, and to their network / internet connection) and continue to use their B&O system as they normally would - I could then provide software which would log the masterlink data and upload it to a central location (or send it by email) overnight for use in testing code and analysis of the masterlink protocol.

There may be a small privacy concern for users with a BM5/BS5 in doing this, in as much as I would be able to see the names of the tracks you had been listening to in the logged data, but I promise not to tell anyone else or to criticise your taste in music Wink

Obviously at the point where we (and others) start to produce working applications for the device, you could simply redeploy the device for a more interesting use by simply installing a new image (power down the RPi, eject the memory card, copy a new image to it using a PC or mac, reinsert the card into the RPi and boot up again, voilà)

Martin.

 

leosgonewild
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What would the total cost be for buying the testing equipment be?

riverstyx
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riverstyx replied on Tue, Jun 16 2015 1:08 AM

leosgonewild:

What would the total cost be for buying the testing equipment be?

You'd need the following:-

  • A Raspberry Pi 2 Model B - approx 30 euros
  • Power supply for Raspberry Pi - between 4 and 8 euros (depending on model chosen)
  • An 8GB Micro SD Card - less than 5 euros (but I'd happily post one preinstalled and configured to anyone who wants to use the data logging setup for a while, you can then copy a new image to it later when you want to actually do something useful with the box)
  • A cat5e ethernet cable to connect you RPi to your network (or a USB WiFi adapter)
  • half a cat7 ethernet cable to connect the 'BeoPi' interface to your nearest masterlink junction box
  • The 'BeoPi HAT' interface card (or whatever it ends up being named) - see below.

The first three or four items can often be bought as a kit, but can sometimes work out cheaper to buy them separately.

An idea of cost for the Masterlink interface (BeoPi HAT) is the bit we are trying to determine right now.

Potentially it will be available either with or without a DAC, (without being cheaper) and either would suffice for the data logging but unless you intend subsequently to use it purely for MLGW type roles, rather than audio, you are likely to want the 'with DAC' version.

We should have at least a ballpark indication of cost in a few days once we know what quantity we are likely to want to produce. Broadly speaking the cost per unit decreases as the quantities increase, but it is not quite this straightforward as there are a number of assembly options:

  • for 1 or 2 prototype units, it is possible to solder by hand, but this can be tricky with very small surface mount components and is very time consuming.
  • for a small quantity of units, a stencil can be used to apply solder paste to the circuit board, components are then placed in position by hand and the entire unit is baked in an oven to melt the solder, but since the process is still carried out by hand it remains time consuming.
  • alternatively, components can be purchased on a tape, and a pick and place machine does the assembly work, this tends to yield the best results but components then need to be bought on a tape and this can mean buying many more components than are actually required or requires the fabrication house having to add leader tape to each strip of components so that it can be handled by the machine (thereby increasing tooling costs) - that said, this tends to be the best option as soon as quantities are sufficient to justify the initial setup / tooling costs.
  • each assembly method also has an impact on the design of the circuit board, when hand soldering for example, you would generally want to increase the size of the pads under each component but this would certainly not be desirable for pick and place assembly.

Kind Regards,

Martin.

BeoMotion
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BeoMotion replied on Tue, Jun 16 2015 9:10 AM

Thanks Martin for your detailed description.

Regarding the price and quantity of the BeoPi HAT:
I wouldn't do more than 10 pieces manual. Even if you have stencils and an oven this is really time consuming and a hard work in general. We are talking of about maybe 30 very small components that each has to be placed accurately on each PCB.

The PCB manufacture I normally order my PCBs can do smaller production runs with their pick and place machines. 
For populating 20 boards we are talking of about 40 euro per PCB (manufacturing and populating) without the component cost.
When ordering 50 this will drop down to about the half. The PCB company would also take over the ordering of the components in both cases. 

For the components you have to add maybe another 20...25 euro (DAC version).

This are only very rough estimations. We will have a more precise calculation when the first prototype series is finished and working. 

 

BR,
BeoMotion. 

riverstyx
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riverstyx replied on Tue, Jun 16 2015 11:05 PM

BeoMotion:
Thanks Martin for your detailed description.

No worries, just wanted to make it clear that we weren't just evading the question and explain why it is so difficult to calculate precisely at this stage.

BeoMotion:

For populating 20 boards we are talking of about 40 euro per PCB (manufacturing and populating) without the component cost.
When ordering 50 this will drop down to about the half. The PCB company would also take over the ordering of the components in both cases. 

For the components you have to add maybe another 20...25 euro (DAC version).

Great, thanks BeoMotion, so we're looking at around 65 euros for the interface with current levels of interest, perhaps dropping to sub 50 euros if demand increases.

Even adding the cost of a Raspberry Pi if you didn't already own one it's still in a price bracket comparable to say an airport express. I suspect (and totally understand) that at the present time this will appeal mainly to those who have already had some experience experimenting with the Raspberry Pi (the geeks amongst us!) but I can see this becoming more popular as applications are developed. For example, a 100 euro MLGW / BLGW alternative or a 100 euro Beomaster 5 alternative anyone?

BeoMotion:
This are only very rough estimations. We will have a more precise calculation when the first prototype series is finished and working. 

Yes, and I would hope that given the complexities of calculating manufacturing cost that I've already outlined, nobody here will be too critical if the cost estimate changes a little, but I'm sure it helps to have a ballpark figure as otherwise people are unsure as to whether we are talking about a unit which costs 10 euros or 1000 euros and it is therefore difficult for them to determine whether they are interested or not Wink

Martin.

steve1977
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steve1977 replied on Wed, Jun 17 2015 11:20 AM

This would be groundbreaking. I would take 2!

Beobuddy
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Beobuddy replied on Thu, Jun 18 2015 8:07 AM

I'm following the thread with the same interest. So, count me in for 2 PCB's.

Soldering/building will be no problem.

Another question. I have a first model RPI B version lying here. Is this one still useable? Or do I need to invest in the newer latest version.

Is the GPIO the same for both boards?

BeoMotion
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BeoMotion replied on Thu, Jun 18 2015 10:41 AM

@steve77: Thanks for your interest! :-)

@beobuddy:
There are two versions of model B out there. The very fist ones doesn't have the P5 connector and therefor no access to I2S. If you have a RPi with the P5 connector you could simply desolder or cut off the analog TV connector to make the BeoPi HAT fit.
For using I2S digital audio you would have to run 3 wires from the P5 to the appropriate pins on the 40 pin connector of the BeoPi HAT. 
Remember that the screw holes in model B are different and the HAT would be quite loose.  Thanks for the interest!

 

Espen
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Espen replied on Thu, Jun 18 2015 12:38 PM

Just want to add that i would take 3 boards. Smile

 

Regards

Espen

BeoMotion
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BeoMotion replied on Thu, Jun 18 2015 12:53 PM

Espen:

Just want to add that i would take 3 boards. Smile

Regards

Espen

Great, even better :-)

tournedos
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tournedos replied on Thu, Jun 18 2015 1:45 PM

If the price for a ready-made¹ board stays well under 100 euros, I'll want at least one too. I don't even have an ML setup, but I think I have a 1611 and a Beolink Active laying around somewhere Big Smile

I might be able to provide some software input as well if I ever find the time.

¹in a previous life, I used to even build the prototypes in an embedded systems company, but with my current eyesight and interests, I'll be glad if I never need to touch another sub 0806-component again

--mika

BeoMotion
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BeoMotion replied on Thu, Jun 18 2015 2:29 PM

tournedos:

If the price for a ready-made¹ board stays well under 100 euros, I'll want at least one too. I don't even have an ML setup, but I think I have a 1611 and a Beolink Active laying around somewhere Big Smile

I might be able to provide some software input as well if I ever find the time.

¹in a previous life, I used to even build the prototypes in an embedded systems company, but with my current eyesight and interests, I'll be glad if I never need to touch another sub 0806-component again

Okay, sounds great. :-)
The idea is that all boards will come fully populated with all the components in place. If it will be significantly cheaper without the THT components I'll ask around again if it would be okay for all if soldering the connectors on their own.  

 

RaMaBo
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RaMaBo replied on Thu, Jun 18 2015 3:28 PM

Hi,

 

i'm fine with soldering the connectors my self to the board i 'pre ordered' in the tech thread. Smile

Ralph-Marcus

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DocLeisure replied on Fri, Jun 19 2015 11:09 AM

Hi,

I am also interessted, but as my soldering skills are not that good I would prefer to get an fully fledged and already assambled one ;-)

Please put me on the list!

Thanks and best regards

Doc Leisure

 

BeoMotion
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BeoMotion replied on Fri, Jun 19 2015 11:18 AM

Hi RaMaBo and DocLeisure,

thanks for the interest!
I really think that we are able to let the PCBs manufactured including ALL components for the estimated price above. 
As soon as the first prototype arrives I will give you an update on the price.

BR,
BeoMotion. 

TWG
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TWG replied on Sat, Jun 20 2015 12:55 PM

Count me in, I'm interested, too!

It doesn't need a DAC for my taste as there are enough high quality DACs already in this world that could be used.

What I would like:
- Beo 4 control

An interface like this, could provide a major boost to hobby projects and moving old B&O or non B&O stuff into the B&O ML world. Smile

@ryverstyx: Thanks for your email btw! :)

steve1977
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steve1977 replied on Sun, Jun 21 2015 12:05 PM

TWG:
What I would like:

- Beo 4 control

This can already be done assuming you are connecting your RPi to a BV. You nee dto get an IR receiver and then connect it via PUC. Works very well!

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MJBeo replied on Mon, Jun 22 2015 7:05 AM

I am very interested as well! I have my Pi connected to the Bv7, controlled using a lintronic box. I have a MCL system throughout the house. i have tried to make the Pi react to commands from the link room, to change tracks when I am on airplay, or playing music from my NAS. It wouldnt work, because i can run the MCl cable to the jack input if the -238, but I would not be able to control it directly anymore, as the direct IR is switched off. So if this unit is capable of adding control over the MCL network (with t1611) I would be interested. Would it be controllable by beo4 without the need for the -238?

one question though, what source would it be? My BM5500 does not support N.music, and N.radio is 'used' for Phono.

thanks

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TWG
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TWG replied on Mon, Jun 22 2015 7:34 AM

steve1977:

TWG:
What I would like:

- Beo 4 control

This can already be done assuming you are connecting your RPi to a BV. You nee dto get an IR receiver and then connect it via PUC. Works very well!


I want independent Beo 4 control. It would be great if that little device could inject Light and Control commands into the ML-Bus, too.
This would allow tiny devices with an external IR receiver that can be hidden anywhere due to the high sensitivity and then forward those commands to a MLGW or BLGW! This would be VERY handy if you have no compatible (older) Beovision, Beosound, Beocenter etc. that are not able to send those commands (Light and Control) over the ML-Bus.

riverstyx
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riverstyx replied on Mon, Jun 22 2015 10:11 PM

double post removed

riverstyx
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riverstyx replied on Mon, Jun 22 2015 10:11 PM

TWG:
Count me in, I'm interested, too!

Great, thanks for your interest.

TWG:

It doesn't need a DAC for my taste as there are enough high quality DACs already in this world that could be used.

It's a tricky issue - there are Raspberry Pi DAC HATs available, but the HAT specification doesn't specifically support stacking of multiple boards, so whether you could use both the BeoPi HAT and a DAC HAT too would depend on which of the RPi's GPIO headers each board uses. Also, we are converting the output of the DAC to balanced audio to feed to the Masterlink audio lines, so, for these reasons, and in order to provide a one size fits all solution, we decided to include a DAC on the interface itself. For most it will also be a much cheaper option that a BeoPi HAT plus a seperate DAC.

TWG:

I want independent Beo 4 control. It would be great if that little device could inject Light and Control commands into the ML-Bus, too.
This would allow tiny devices with an external IR receiver that can be hidden anywhere due to the high sensitivity and then forward those commands to a MLGW or BLGW! This would be VERY handy if you have no compatible (older) Beovision, Beosound, Beocenter etc. that are not able to send those commands (Light and Control) over the ML-Bus.

The BeoPi interface design will be concentrating on Masterlink connectivity, namely providing the ability to send and receive ML telegrams, and the ability to inject audio into the ML network, so there are no plans to include IR on the interface itself.

I am however planning in due course to design an add-on board that will piggyback onto the BeoPi interface and provide full audiomaster functionality. This would add an IR receiver input (to connect a B&O IR eye), a powerlink socket (to connect a pair of active speakers or a beolink passive), an aux in socket with datalink (I and several others here are interested in the ability to connect our datalink capable beograms and gain the ability to control them from the masterlink network or locally by IR remote, or even via an app!) and an audio switch matrix to route the audio between the various inputs and outputs (so that, for example, you could listen to your beogram on the locally connected speakers, whilst simultaneously routing audio from the RPi to the ML network, or visa-versa, or indeed any other combination of audio inputs and outputs). Obviously this would also provide the ability to route light and control signals to the ML network.

Having said that, my current focus is on continuing to decode / decypher the masterlink data protocol as that must take priority for the moment, but if you wanted to add an IR eye in the meantime, it would only require a simple circuit with only a few components to be added to one of the unused GPIO inputs to do so.

Kind Regards,

Martin.

 

 

leosgonewild
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Connecting a Gramofon to the Raspberyy would be nice. That would make it possible to use Spotify Connect.

riverstyx
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riverstyx replied on Mon, Jun 22 2015 10:55 PM

MJBeo:
I have a MCL system throughout the house. i have tried to make the Pi react to commands from the link room, to change tracks when I am on airplay, or playing music from my NAS. It wouldnt work, because i can run the MCl cable to the jack input if the -238, but I would not be able to control it directly anymore, as the direct IR is switched off. So if this unit is capable of adding control over the MCL network (with t1611) I would be interested. Would it be controllable by beo4 without the need for the -238?

The short answer is I don't know. I don't have much experience with mixed MCL / ML setups so I'm not certain what the 1611 will and won't pass between the two systems and I'd probably need more details about how your system is set up in order to try and figure out what would be possible. Without giving it too much though there could be two potential scenarios that may work for you though - if you could in theory connect a B&O ML audio master (eg an Ouverture, BS9000, BS5 etc) to your current setup, then connecting the BeoPi would be the equivalent of this and should also work. Alternatively, the BeoPi interface could be configured to act more like a MLGW, and thus monitor the data being sent over the ML bus and react to this, perhaps by turning on your BV7 and switching it to the source which has the RPi connected to it, it could then silently respond to commands sent over the ML bus destined for this source (even if your BV normally just ignores them).

MJBeo:
one question though, what source would it be? My BM5500 does not support N.music, and N.radio is 'used' for Phono.

Theoretically, we can respond to any source, but again, what will work will likely depend on how your setup is configured (a.opt / v.opt of the various devices and to which devices your speakers are connected).

Kind Regards,

Martin.

 

 

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Interested! :-)

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riverstyx replied on Mon, Jun 22 2015 11:23 PM

leosgonewild:

Connecting a Gramofon to the Raspberyy would be nice. That would make it possible to use Spotify Connect.

It depends what you want to achieve, if you specifically want spotify connect support in order to control your spotify streaming from the official spotify app on another device, then currently, connecting a spotify connect capable device is the only solution as spotify have only released the connect API to spotify partners (although there is work underway to reverse engineer this API and/or spotify may in the future decide to release it publicly).

If however you just want the ability to control the spotify streaming on the RPi from other devices (computers, iphones, android etc) then there are already apps that enable you to do this. You can run a music player daemon (mpd) on the RPi, which will allow streaming from spotify, sound cloud, google music and your own local files amongst others) and then install an mpd client on your phone / laptop etc to control all this. This then gives you a very similar setup to how 'connect' works, whilst also providing for a wider range of music sources, and without having to add any additional hardware.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mpod/id285063020 for example.

Martin.

 

riverstyx
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riverstyx replied on Mon, Jun 22 2015 11:24 PM

joostdeclercq:

Interested! :-)

Ok, thanks (and a warm welcome to beoworld)

Martin.

Johan
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Johan replied on Tue, Jun 23 2015 10:16 AM

I've been meaning to do this myself sometime in the future, but if you're doing it and I can buy it, then sign me up! :-)

Like Mika I want 2 if the price isn't too high. And I'd prefer soldering connectors myself if that keeps the price down.

Very cool, keep it up!

Cheers

/  Johan

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BeoMotion replied on Tue, Jun 23 2015 10:44 AM

Thanks a lot for all of your interest! And thanks riverstyx for your answers.
There is now a demand for somewhere around 20 boards. 

I was very busy during the last couple of days but I think that I can finish the schematic part this week and start routing the PCB. 
As soon as the schematic / PCB layout is ready I will put it on github an link it in both threads.


BR,
BeoMotion. 

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Would it be possible to have a gramofon connected to the Raspberry, so that it would send a signal to turn on the system when the raspberry gets an audio signal via audio input? And also turn it off when the audio signal stops?

That would make the gramofon a killer integration with B&O systems :)
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