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How to integrate audio into RV sound system?

Sat May 05, 2018 2:55 pm

My wife and I live full time in a 30 year old RV. We've been slowly working on updating it and remodeling it and I'm to the point where I want to add a sound system to it, I'm just not sure how to go about it. There are speakers in a few places throughout the RV, but they are all attached to a very outdated stereo head unit in the dash that doesn't even have a cassette player. Since the speakers are 30 years old, I'm going to be taking them out and putting in some new speakers and I'll update the device that plays music through it as well.

Right now in our RV, we have two Pi 3's, one running Plex on raspbian and one running RetroPie. I would like to add one to be a music player of some sort, but I'm not sure how. I might be able to do it with a Zero, but if I have to use a 3, that is fine as well. Whatever I use, it'l be connected to the network with ethernet. I've been having trouble getting DLNA connections with the current Plex server and a Roku stick, so I think I might just put the music on a small hard drive for a dedicated stereo machine.

The thing is though, I want to be able to control what is playing remotely so we don't have to leave the stereo box connected to a monitor all the time and can just open something up to choose music or change stations or whatever. Plex would be okay, I might even be able to use the Plex server already set up and go through the webpage to access it so it plays through the stereo. If I did that, then I could also use Pandora through the browser to play as well.

I think to do that and access it remotely, I could do it with VNC and use our tablets to access it, set it up so we can login to the stereo box from either tablet, navigate the browser and select it that way. Maybe even make it its own account so it just the bookmarks for the music services and leave it at that. If there is an easier way, I'm open to suggestions.

The other main problem is how to connect it to the speakers. If I need to run DC power to the speakers and new wires for the audio, that is fine, I've got no problem running new wires in here. If I could do it with Bluetooth, that would probably be more expensive, but still easy to do. The RV is 33 feet long and the stereo box would be about 8 feet from the front, so I think Bluetooth would cover the whole thing.

I could also use the stereo jack on the Pi, at least I think I can. I would probably need to get an amplifier though. I've never done anything with a car stereo though, so this is all new time. But I'm kind of building more of a home stereo system than a car audio system anyway.

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