Kwjorders
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Wolfson audio card install and worth

Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:16 am

Hey I'm still a noob at raspberry pi so please bare with me. I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with the new wolfson audio card. Specifically I'm wondering what kind of hardware and even more interested what kind of software install is required. Also I'm wondering what kind of upgrade if any it is to the sound on the raspberry pi.
-Thanks any help would be greatly appreciated

PiGraham
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:53 am

I have ordered one. When it arrives (maybe today) I will try it out (when I have time) and report.

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leol
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:56 pm

I got one over the weekend. First impressions:
It connects directly to the Pi using P1 the GPIO connector and also has spring loaded legs that connect with the new P5 connector. So you don't need to solder any additional connectors to the Pi. Because it uses P5 it is incompatible with an old Rev 1 Pi.

They supply an Image file to burn onto a SD card which is a patched version of NOOBS with Raspian. This works but is not really a good solution in my eyes. Being NOOBS, you cannot expand the file system in Raspbian. It .boots straight to Desktop, has things in weird places (too much in Pi's home root for my money), etc.
Apparently the intention is to have the drivers included in Raspian in the future. Not sure of a time-scale.
The Instruction manual is not obvious to find. (At least for me.) but is at http://www.element14.com/community/docs ... g-install1
There are also instructions http://www.element14.com/community/serv ... y%20Pi.pdf on comp[iling your own Kernel and getting the required software. I ran out of time over the weekend to complete that but I assume it will work.
To use it, you run one or more shell scripts to set up the paths through the card, i.e play back to headset, or line out, or record from line in, etc. They call these "use cases". The shell scripts are basically a series of amixer commands, but as yet I don't fully follow then. You then use an appropriate application to record or playback. For some reason their "supported" play back application is a graphical one LxPlayer. But I found both mplayer and Mpd/mpc worked well.
The play back quality is amazing. I have not played with recording yet.

There is a Class D amplifier and speaker outlets, but the speaker connections are not supplied and require soldering on. And you need an external power supply (2 amps 5 volt) if using it.
There are two tiny digital microphones on the board, but I can't see how these could be used if you put the cards in a case.

Another oddity is that don't recommend the use of a powered hub with it. I ignored this as I was setting it up on a model A with keyboard, mouse and WiFi dongle. It worked fine.

Leo

PiGraham
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:30 pm

OK, it works!
Initial impressions:

1. Big download disk image - 4.4GB zipfile, 7.35GB image
2. Pillar and screws are supplied and are probably essential, given the push-fit P5 contacts they have used.
3. The GPIO can't be used with this card in place


'use_case' script files to route the audio, e.g.
Playback_to_Lineout.sh

Code: Select all

#!/bin/bash

#Playback from AP to Headset
amixer -Dhw:0 cset name='HPOUT2 Digital Switch' on
amixer -Dhw:0 cset name='HPOUT2L Input 1' AIF1RX1
amixer -Dhw:0 cset name='HPOUT2L Input 1 Volume' 32
amixer -Dhw:0 cset name='HPOUT2R Input 1' AIF1RX2
amixer -Dhw:0 cset name='HPOUT2R Input 1 Volume' 32

# The following command can be used to test
# aplay -Dhw:0 -r 44100 -c 2 -f S32_LE <file>
I guess there are controls for all the signal routing and level controls.

Audio in from the DMICs is very good for tiny mics. I just recorded a brief bit of voice at cd quality and it is very clear at 1m range.

The headset 3.5mm jack should work with a phone headset mic. I will try that later.

If I can persuade mplayer to output to the Pi BCM analog line out I will see how it compares to the Wolfson, playing the same HQ files.

I also have a cheap USB sound card (Cheaper than the Wolfson) with similar features or line in/out, but 5.1. I'll try to compare that as well.

I will try the speaker amp output at some point.

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redhawk
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:40 pm

Does this work with XBMC??

Richard S.

PiGraham
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:04 pm

redhawk wrote:Does this work with XBMC??

Richard S.
Sam Nazarko wrote:Added ALSA for SoC audio support. This allows you to use high quality external sound cards such as the HiFiBerry Mini via I2S. This eliminates some of the problems with USB soundcards such as occasional popping.
The Wolfram card reports as:

Code: Select all

aplay -l

Card 0: sndrpiwsp [snd_rpi_wsp], device 0: WM5102 AiFi wm5102-aif1-0 []
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
It plays well with aplay, arecord, amixer, so I guess the chances are good that it will work with Raspbmc via its ALSA support.

I'll try it and report back.

PiGraham
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:19 pm

Having installed xbmc on the Wolfram Raspbian image I initialised to Line out and ran XBMC, but XBMC obviously selects a device/channel and sound comes out of the HDMI.

There is an option in XBMC System settings audio for HDMI or Analog. I guess some extra config entries will be required to allow XBMC to select the Wolfram device as output.

Does anyone know about doing that?

PiGraham
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:35 am

Some photos of the Wolfson card...
20140226_080112.jpg
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Top
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Bottom
20140226_080141.jpg
20140226_080141.jpg (31.11 KiB) Viewed 35884 times
The P5 push-fit pins

PiGraham
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:38 am

20140226_080335.jpg
20140226_080335.jpg (34.86 KiB) Viewed 35882 times
20140226_080352.jpg
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Close-up of one of the MEMS mics
20140226_080455.jpg
20140226_080455.jpg (42.5 KiB) Viewed 35882 times
The power jack is used to supply the 2W class-D speaker outputs, if required.

panos
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:57 am

leol wrote:I got one over the weekend. First impressions:

There are also instructions http://www.element14.com/community/serv ... y%20Pi.pdf on comp[iling your own Kernel and getting the required software. I ran out of time over the weekend to complete that but I assume it will work.
Leo
Hello Leo,
I wonder if you manage to install this way... it really took several hours.
First, the kernel image file was created at different path arch/arm/boot/Image but i dont think this is an issue.
Second. When i run
arecord -L
I get:
default:CARD=sndrpiwsp
snd_rpi_wsp,
Default Audio Device
sysdefault:CARD=sndrpiwsp
snd_rpi_wsp,
Default Audio Device
But when i run the test scripts I get this input output error:
arecord: pcm_read:1801: read error: Input/output error

Any help will be much appreciated.
Panos

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leol
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Location: Haute-Vienne, France

Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:17 pm

Not sure I can help much. I did install it this way. You are right that the image was not in the documented folder, and the instructions for running the git patch were incorrect and should be "git am -3 /home/pi/rpi_wlf_3.10_beta/*.patch". If run as documented, an error was reported although it was benign.
But for me it worked.

I do think the support from Wolson and Element 14 is shocking - basically non-existent.

Leo
panos wrote:
Hello Leo,
I wonder if you manage to install this way... it really took several hours.
First, the kernel image file was created at different path arch/arm/boot/Image but i dont think this is an issue.
Second. When i run
arecord -L
I get:
default:CARD=sndrpiwsp
snd_rpi_wsp,
Default Audio Device
sysdefault:CARD=sndrpiwsp
snd_rpi_wsp,
Default Audio Device
But when i run the test scripts I get this input output error:
arecord: pcm_read:1801: read error: Input/output error

Any help will be much appreciated.
Panos

PiGraham
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Location: Waterlooville

Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:42 pm

Have you looked at the patches? I'm wondering why they opted for a custom kernel rather than loadable modules. Any ideas?
This custom kernel is a PITA. The audio card stops working on apt-get upgrade or rpi-update. I have a SPI TFT that uses a custom kernel, I want the latest raspiCam firmware and a Wolfson. If anything changes it takes hours-long kernel compilation to get it working again. That is, it will take hours, when I get round to it.

I like the sound, although I can't really tell the difference between the WAC and a cheap 5.1 USB audio card.
I hate the way this card takes over, covering GPIO and requiring a custom kernel. It's a component. It really should be more modular.

JF002
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Contact: Website

Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:20 pm

Hi!

I received my audio card at the beginning of the week, and I wanted to share my first impressions with you!

In summary, in my opinion, it's a very good product, it does what I expect it to do : digital (SPDIF) output.
Using the OS image provided on the website, it's quite easy to setup.
I installed Logitech media server and Squeezelite and everything is running well! The sound quality is very good, even when using the analog line output. Finally, I can listen to good sound using my RaspberryPi and my Hifi amplifier!

There are some issues, but I think they can be solved quite quickly and easily :
- when fixed, the sound card is a little bent because it touches the audio connector of the RaspberryPi. This is not a problem, because the audio card is maintained in place with a screw, but this could be improved.
- the drivers and software are not integrated into Raspbian, and you have to compile the kernel yourself if you want to use the card in Raspbian. That's why I used to OS image provied on the Farnell website, but I hope this will be fixed soon.
- I don't think there is any enclosure in which the Rpi and the audio card would fit. I suppose that they will be available once the audio card becomes popular...

I wrote an article on my blog about it.
My web site : https://codingfield.com

schillachi
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:40 pm

Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:49 pm

Hi There

I'm using the raspberry with XBMC and just bought the wolfson audio card, because of the poor
audio quality from analog raspberry output. I'm using the XBMC with a usb 3.0 stick to boot from and have
the sd card as well. Can someone tell me how to get the wolfson card working under XBMC

I found this user manual, but will this be enought to get the card working or do I still miss a few things ?
http://www.element14.com/community/docs ... g-install1

any help would be really appreaciated
rgds
Schillachi

schillachi
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:57 am

PiGraham wrote:Having installed xbmc on the Wolfram Raspbian image I initialised to Line out and ran XBMC, but XBMC obviously selects a device/channel and sound comes out of the HDMI.

There is an option in XBMC System settings audio for HDMI or Analog. I guess some extra config entries will be required to allow XBMC to select the Wolfram device as output.

Does anyone know about doing that?

Hi Graham

Did you already managed to get the Wolfson card working under XBMC and if yes
do you need what to configure

rgds
schillachi

cazz
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:16 pm

Hi

I have only one question and that is, if I like to have a very good sound quality and also use GPIO I can't use the wolfon audio card??
/Cazz

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Paul Webster
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:06 am

The Wolfson card makes 2 GPIO pins (plus power) available.
Those pins are usually used for serial comma but I read that they can be readily reassigned.
See http://www.element14.com/community/thre ... ss-to-gpio

cazz
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Location: Sweden

Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:00 am

Hmm ok, well I like to have more then 2 GPIO :)
/Cazz

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Paul Webster
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:41 pm

If you want only output then maybe look at the IQaudIO board - that makes 5 available.
Otherwise you'll have to be more precise in your requirements to get better recommendations.

Chamuel
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:34 am

Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:08 pm

Hi,

I want to control my music (saved on RPi) in a python programm, so...

...Is it possible to use the "Wolfson Audio Card" with the Rasbian ?
...And is it possible to control the Sound Card in a Python programm (basic functions like play a Song, stop...) ?

Foxxx909
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Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:37 am

Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:45 am

i have tryed to install the image file as per instuctions at element 14 site every time i have tryed to installed the wolfson image it give me error msg from win32 Disk imager
write error
not enough space on disk: size: 15415296 sectors Available: 15353856 sectors
Sector size:512

can any one help me please?
is there any other why to install the drives?

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ragnarjensen
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:57 pm

You have discovered that all 8GB cards are not equal. Many others have discovered that the official Farnell/Wolfson image doesn't fit on their cards. The image is 7.35GB, but your card is only 7.32.

I have made a Raspbian image that fits onto 4GB or larger cards:
http://www.element14.com/community/mess ... oad#106822
--
Ragnar

Francesgeh
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:08 pm

Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:11 pm

Please Help. I only get an output via lineout but not via headset when when there was no error running ./Playback_to_Headset.sh. I need to use the headset as both input and output.
Anything i am not doing properly?

Thanks in anticipation

Pander
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:36 pm

Please see my reply at http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewt ... 45&t=82200 This audio card needs a wiki page I think. I am very interested if people get it to work on B+ with Raspbian.

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DougieLawson
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Re: Wolfson audio card install and worth

Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:46 pm

The Wolfson card (unless they've redesigned it) WILL NOT WORK with an A+ or B+.
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