linux_author
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US$2 audio amplifier

Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:51 pm

IMG_0564.jpg
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hey folks,

just thought i'd pass on a tip if you're looking for an inexpensive way to boost your RPi's audio output... i really enjoy listening to streaming classical music, but have found the audio output a bit tinny through cheap speakers plugged into the RPi's output jack...

i know, i know, headphones would be better, but we like to have sound throughout the house and classical music seems to calm our rambunctious tabby, Winston [named after a famous British fellow]; as an aside, Winston likes Mozart and Hayden, but does not like Chopin - go figure...

:-)

anyhow, i looked at some of the wonderful audio HATs, but being an old-aged, frugal pensioner on a fixed income, didn't want to lay out a lot of cash for an RPi sound system...

my solution was to hit up the local thrift stores... scored a nice set of Sony speakers, along with an inexpensive iphone/mp3 speaker system for US$2... the system came with two cheap speakers and required 2 AAA batteries for operation... when i saw it in the store, the lightbulb went off and i thought 'hmm... the RPi's GPIO offers 3V output... maybe?'

and well, the answer is 'yes!' .... so i tore the battery and circuit compartment apart - a stereo audio plug was already attached, so all i had to do was desolder the 3V +/- pads, along with the speaker paired wire pads... soldered on two GPIO pins w/headers to plug into the RPi3, along with two speaker wires... put my RPi back into its case w/the circuit board encased in its original compartment, attached the two nice Sony bookcase speakers and rebooted...

now listening to some nice streaming audio... works great, no batteries required!

willie
on the cheap streaming audio Gulf of Mexico

denis_hr
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Re: US$2 audio amplifier

Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:19 pm

Another (even cheaper!) option is to use any of the cheap PAM 8403 modules from ebay (about $1 or even less): these work on 5V and produce about 2x3W. Paired with OK speakers, those can sound pretty loud :)

linux_author
Posts: 248
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:04 pm
Location: Gulf of Mexico
Contact: Website

Re: US$2 audio amplifier

Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:28 pm

denis_hr wrote:Another (even cheaper!) option is to use any of the cheap PAM 8403 modules from ebay (about $1 or even less): these work on 5V and produce about 2x3W. Paired with OK speakers, those can sound pretty loud :)
thanks! excellent idea and will look for the modules!

btw, about a hour after finding the nice Sony speakers i ran across a wonderful pair of wood-encased Pioneer bookcase speakers (alas, they were 3X more expensive at US$6)

:-(

willie
on the rapidly warming Gulf of Mexico

Slackware
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:45 pm

Re: US$2 audio amplifier

Sat Jun 18, 2016 3:55 pm

linux_author wrote:
denis_hr wrote:Another (even cheaper!) option is to use any of the cheap PAM 8403 modules from ebay (about $1 or even less): these work on 5V and produce about 2x3W. Paired with OK speakers, those can sound pretty loud :)
thanks! excellent idea and will look for the modules!

btw, about a hour after finding the nice Sony speakers i ran across a wonderful pair of wood-encased Pioneer bookcase speakers (alas, they were 3X more expensive at US$6)

:-(

willie
on the rapidly warming Gulf of Mexico

I made the mistake of spending $15 on a logitec 640 surround speakers. They sound better than my Pioneer cabinet ones. To bad Pi doesn't have 5 ch sound, I would hook them up in heartbeat. Maybe that would be a good hat?
Now if I can just find out why my tabby likes sitting on the sub woofer, and his sister doesn't.

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 22047
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm
Location: Delightful Dorset

Re: US$2 audio amplifier

Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:29 pm

Slackware wrote: I made the mistake of spending $15 on a logitec 640 surround speakers. They sound better than my Pioneer cabinet ones. To bad Pi doesn't have 5 ch sound, I would hook them up in heartbeat. Maybe that would be a good hat?
Now if I can just find out why my tabby likes sitting on the sub woofer, and his sister doesn't.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/TRIXES-Externa ... B003TO3KHY
Retired disgracefully.....
......to an uncomplicated life !

Rather than negativity think outside the box !

linux_author
Posts: 248
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:04 pm
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Re: US$2 audio amplifier

Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:37 pm

looks great, but is it supported under Linux? according to the listing, it's not! can you confirm?

willie
on the audio-enhanced Gulf of Mexico

User avatar
gychang
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:54 pm
Location: 95618

Re: US$2 audio amplifier

Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:50 pm

linux_author wrote:
IMG_0564.jpg
hey folks,

my solution was to hit up the local thrift stores... scored a nice set of Sony speakers, along with an inexpensive iphone/mp3 speaker system for US$2... the system came with two cheap speakers and required 2 AAA batteries for operation... when i saw it in the store, the lightbulb went off and i thought 'hmm... the RPi's GPIO offers 3V output... maybe?'

and well, the answer is 'yes!' .... so i tore the battery and circuit compartment apart - a stereo audio plug was already attached, so all i had to do was desolder the 3V +/- pads, along with the speaker paired wire pads... soldered on two GPIO pins w/headers to plug into the RPi3, along with two speaker wires... put my RPi back into its case w/the circuit board encased in its original compartment, attached the two nice Sony bookcase speakers and rebooted...

now listening to some nice streaming audio... works great, no batteries required!

willie
on the cheap streaming audio Gulf of Mexico
sounds like my type of project, any further details on the speaker / mod..., I was thinking about a adding something like this to improve the sound... http://www.ebay.com/itm/162076067477?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

am into classics myself...

linux_author
Posts: 248
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:04 pm
Location: Gulf of Mexico
Contact: Website

Re: US$2 audio amplifier

Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:50 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Slackware wrote: I made the mistake of spending $15 on a logitec 640 surround speakers. They sound better than my Pioneer cabinet ones. To bad Pi doesn't have 5 ch sound, I would hook them up in heartbeat. Maybe that would be a good hat?
Now if I can just find out why my tabby likes sitting on the sub woofer, and his sister doesn't.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/TRIXES-Externa ... B003TO3KHY
just got this unit in today - and it works great! but it's not really an amplifier - but works really well with the Pi Zero for audio output (i may just take the thing apart to see if the Zero will fit *inside*)

:-)

on the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' Gulf of Mexico

peterlite
Posts: 720
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:00 am

Re: US$2 audio amplifier

Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:46 pm

Sounds like a better option would be to replace the cat to get a wider choice of music. :)

5.1 sound would be excellent. Just plain 2.1 would be good so I can hear the lower notes clearly. I have a 2.1 amp+speaker set that makes classical music, like early AC/DC tracks, beautifully clear. The drums on Chain's class blues track, Black and Blue, sound way better, as does the opening of Carmina Burana.

Given that woofers often have their own power, the Pi 2.1 chip would only have to supply a line out to the woofer amp. Has anyone found a low cost 2.1 sound chip?

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