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Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:51 am

House audio distribution. Please point me in the right direction....

Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:08 am

Hi all,

I haven't even bought a Raspberry PI device (or multiple) but hoping you can at least point me to the right direction so I can read up about it and get some more specific advice

We have bought a house which has c-bus smart house wiring (Square 4 I think it's called in US) integrated into it along with a "no-longer-working" Clipsal/C-Bus Audio matrix device along with 5 amplifier units integrated into this setup. I can only assume this thing originally distributed sound around the house to 5 different rooms which have built in audio speakers into the ceilings via some of the c-bus remotes.

Anyway, I am now keen to sacrifice this existing audio matrix unit and amps setup and replace with a Raspberry PI unit. I have seen some basic info about it and some youtube videos. More specifically, we use Spotify and I've seen there are a couple of ways to set this up. My question is, will I need 1 RPI or is this a case of having to buy 5 (or 6) of them and almost replicate what was originally set up (albeit taking up much less real estate on my server shelves....). I guess the entry level goal is to be able to bring up Spotify on my phone and select 1 or more rooms to play the music on. I fully appreciate that this will no longer be integrated into the c-bus system (but it isn't really now anyway!)

Any advice really appreciated......


Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:27 pm

Re: House audio distribution. Please point me in the right direction....

Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:49 pm

First off: I have no clue how C-Bus works, so here is a solution that only uses WiFi/UTP.

I think the "simplest" way is to use multiple Pi's for this: a master Pi, and in each room a client Pi. Each client has a DAC HAT, to which you can connect your amplifiers. Depending on your demands, Pi Zero's may simply work for the clients. Perhaps for your master too.

A problem being that there is as far as I know no software readily available that supports your setup.

If you are not too handy: install a Pi in each room with Volumio/Peppy/Rune/etc. audioplayer, and operate each independently using the webinterface (i.e. your phone). This way you can play a different tune in each room. Or use a normal Pi and add a screen to each one, so you can operate it in each room.

If the audio has to be synchronised (i.e. same tune in each room), this setup is far from optimal, as it will not be able to play exactly the same note through each speaker in each room.

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Paul Webster
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Re: House audio distribution. Please point me in the right direction....

Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:12 pm

Looks like that kit uses Cat5 cabling (with pink casing) to link the various components.
Buying new bits for it may prove to be expensive but reusing the cabling might work.

Being able to reuse wiring could save a lot of effort.

I suggest trying to work out how the speakers are connected up and seeing if you can drive them with a regular amp to see if they are any good.

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