Category Archives: AV

Lounge 5.1 sound Part 1

After putting up with crappy TV sound for years I finally got around to getting the 5.1 system (mostly) setup.

In order to keep the lounge neat I decided to keep all the AV gear in the rack and just run HDMI over CAT5 which will require me to get a new receiver with HDMI switching eventually. It’s not a huge problem currently as I mostly use just the Raspberry Pi for my media needs.

Top amp is the sub amp and bottom is the current 5.1 receiver which lacks HDMI unfortunately.

av-amps

Let the crawling through roofs begin…

cablespool

I purchased wall plates with banana plugs for each speaker to allow easy changing of speakers if I desire and for a clean install.

faceplate

subcon

 

Here is the front of the room as it stands, front LR speakers are left over from an old stereo as is the current centre speaker.

The centre speaker I will replace but the front LR have proven to work quite well.

The sub’s are custom 12″ boxes made by a friend that are only there temporally as I haven’t quite figured out how I wish to incorporate the subwoofer(s) in a neat fashion. Perhaps a semi false wall on the bottom half or the likes.

speakershung

 

I still have to run the cables for the rear speakers (ran out of cable) and figure out the best looking way to build a nice subwoofer enclosure to try and keep the neat(ish) look of the system.

Wolfson Audio Card for Raspberry Pi

I had no end of trouble trying to download the SD-Card image from the Element14 website. Downloads stopping half way through, page being unavailable, etc but managed to find another smaller image that had been compiled on the forum.

You can see the original post here and the direct download from Google drive here.

Got it all installed and booted only to find my Audio board was DOA, after a quick phone call to Element14 a replacement was sent out.

Once it arrived I booted up Raspberrian and installed Shairport this time the card was detected correctly and played sound 🙂

DSC_0744

DSC_0745

All powered up:

DSC_1162

This particular Raspberry Pi runs the speakers in the Kitchen and on the deck and the difference in sound quality from the onboard to the Wolfson card is significant. Will be looking at getting at least one more for the lounge.

Would certainly recommend it if you are using your Raspberry Pi for analog audio.

Outdoor Kitchen Build Part 1

With summer approaching thought it best to get started on the outdoor kitchen I’ve been planning for the last ~12 months.

Plan is to have BBQ, oven and sink all out on the deck save having to cook inside on the really hot days ahead.

On the electronics side got a 12″ sub mounted in one corner of the kitchen to back up the mounted line array and a 32″ telly mounted on a swinging bracket which will be driven from the raspberry pi inside via HDMI-CAT5 converter.

Most of the construction has been done, have to finish off cupboards, draws and put some paint on and some trim here and there. Also still got power and several runs of CAT5 to do.

Onto the pictures:

Base built
Base built
Coming together
Coming together
Placing parts
Placing parts
All screwed down
All screwed down
Bench all done
Bench all done
Cupboard doors hung
Cupboard doors hung

 

Back all on
Back all on

 

TV Bracket
TV Bracket
TV Mounted
TV Mounted

 

Car Stereo Status 8-14

Bit of a different post this week. Just a look at the current state of the car stereo install which is soon to get some attention now the sun is out 🙂

System is 95% functional most of the work to be done is cleaning the install up and making it all fit back together nicely.

System consists of:

-Acer Aspire One netbook with screen removed

-Creative Sound Blaster Play USB sound card

-7″ Double DIN VGA touchscreen

-Swiss Line SL-Q400 EQ and crossover

-Rockford Fosgate POWER! 6.5″ speakers (Fronts)

-Sony Xplod 6×9″ (Rears)

-2x Pioneer 12″ champion series (Not sure on model)

-Response AA0460 1000w Mono Block running at 1ohm

-Response AA0458 5 channel amp 4x60w 1x225w

 

Screen was removed from the laptop to allow good fit in the glove box and easy access if keyboard/touch pad use is required, handy for passengers looking for tracks, etc.

A USB cable then runs into the dash to a hub which has the connectors for the USB sound card, touch screen, SD-Card reader.

Laptop with screen removed in glove box
Laptop with screen removed in glove box

From the USB sound card it’s connected to the input of the Swiss Line SL-Q400 EQ which splits the signal out to the 5 amp channels (Front, Rear, Sub).

Swiss Line SL-Q400
Swiss Line SL-Q400

The left power button on the screen powers the laptop on and the right button powers the screen and changes screen input.

 

7" touch screen
7″ touch screen

The current state of the dash as it stands now. I still have to wire in a relay and the DC->DC converter for the laptop power. It’s currently running from an inverter.

After that the dash can start to go back together.

Current state of the dash
Current state of the dash
Rockford Fosgate POWER! 6.5" speakers
Rockford Fosgate POWER! 6.5″ speakers
Power splitters and breaker
Power splitters and breaker

 

Current state of the boot.

 

Subs and amps
Subs and amps
2x 12" Subs
2x 12″ Subs

Hopefully I will get a chance this week to get back to the car and finish off the install.

 

To-Do List:

-Build panels and mount amps

-Dynomat front doors and boot

-Carpet boot

-Replace rear speakers

-Change 5 channel amp out for 4x100w version

-Dash back together

-DC->DC converter for laptop power

-Update laptop software to Centrafuse

 

 

Lounge TV Mounted

After having the TV sitting on a coffee table for months I thought it about time to get it up on the wall.

Network and aerial were already running down the wall so they were just pulled back up from the wall plate and re-terminated.

Power is being run down with an extension cord in the wall currently until I organize something better.

 

Network, aerial and power cables in wall.
Network, aerial and power cables in wall.
TV mounted up and power routed through face plate on the wall.
TV mounted up and power routed through face plate on the wall.

Cupboard Rack Build

When the house was getting built I made sure to get power and a phone jack run into the top of the linen cupboard in anticipation of networking, storage and home automation requirements .

It quickly became quite a mess with cables hanging everywhere so it was decided it was time to clean it up and get it into a rack.

From top to bottom:

24 port patch panel

Linksys 24 port smart switch

3RU case containing Netgear ADSl modem, Router Station Pro and PSU’s

1RU blanking plate with 3x 20w per channel class D amps.

(To Drive Bathroom, kitchen and deck speakers)

 

Still a bit more to do on cable tidying and I’m going to get some blanking plates to cover the bottom up and then possibly build a second rack next to it to house the NAS and drives.

 

Before the rack/tidy up
Before the rack/tidy up
All cleared out
All cleared out
Racking the amps into a 1U faceplate
Racking the amps into a 1U faceplate
First parts racked up
First parts racked up
Everything racked up
Everything racked up
Everything racked up and powered up.
Everything racked up and powered up.

Spa TV Install

After the speakers were installed it was quickly decided that we best have a screen as well.

I had a spare 17″ lcd lying around which I paired with a Raspberry Pi running XBMC.

12v and VGA run from the back of the screen back to the main rack keeping all the mains voltage well away from the bathroom.

The wall before.
The wall before.
All cut out
All cut out
Bracket, cables and plaster in place
Bracket, cables and plaster in place

 

Raspberry Pi driving Spa TV
Raspberry Pi driving Spa TV
Initial Testing
Initial Testing
Tinted glass and tiles in place
Tinted glass and tiles in place

All Finished including chocolate stains from the kids…

All Finished including chocolate stains from the kids...

Bathroom ceiling speaker install

Wasn’t long after I moved into the new house that I knew I wanted some sound in the bathroom while enjoying the spa bath so I got to cutting some holes….

They are powered by a cheap Chinese class D amp mounted in the main rack.

 

Speaker
Speaker
First hole cut
First hole cut
Both speakers installed
Both speakers installed

Bathroom amp