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Old 13th July 2010, 06:59 PM   #1601
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Default Arm9 sbc

Quote:
Originally Posted by merlin2069er View Post
I'd be really interested in linux audio if I could get some questions answered.

Samsung S3C2440 ARM9 Board - mini2440 from FriendlyARM - eBay (item 120555409111 end time Aug-09-10 03:06:01 PDT)

I found these arm9 linux pc's on ebay....
I never heard of them. They give you some documentation on DVD-ROM, but what's the quality of the text? They're also shipping from China. What happens if you have a problem? Who can you call or email? Don't get me wrong, the board has nice specs. It's your money so it's your call.

Take a look at these folks: Technologic Systems PC/104 Single Board Computers and Peripherals All docs and data sheets are available. There's also an active mailing list.
I want to order this board in the near future: TS-7550 Ultra-Compact 250MHz ARM9 Computer with XNAND


Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with TS. I just think they have interesting boards that are economical for the hobbyist.
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Old 14th July 2010, 08:46 AM   #1602
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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nyc_paramedic,

the only COM I have been able to find without any on-board SMPS is probably the old Asus WL500b http://files.wl500g.info/asus/wl500g...0/HPIM1736.JPG . I happen to have one at home so I will check. My current audio project (apart of all the other non-audio ones with higher priority) is to build a miniPCI-PCI converter to hook a regular PCI sound card (e.g. Juli) to this little guy, while all the power supply pins would be fed from dedicated linear PSUs. Unfortunately the half-finished converter is being covered by dust in my workshop for many many months.
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Old 14th July 2010, 08:48 AM   #1603
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewildgoose View Post
Bah, why do you want to be tethered to your DAC with a cable? Or conversely why do you want to get up to change the channel?
Well, you are right, a headless DAC unit with wireless remote control using the already existing sw components makes more sense.
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Old 15th July 2010, 03:21 PM   #1604
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phofman View Post
Well, you are right, a headless DAC unit with wireless remote control using the already existing sw components makes more sense.
See. You're talking about a SB Touch without monitor in principle.

The basic Touch concept is IMO as good as it can get. ( It is even running a Linux. )

The processor spits out an I2S stack ( see also Beagleboard). That one even gets pretty well reclocked afterwards.

If you bypass the output caps of the internal DAC, you'll be able to experience a pretty good sounding device.

I think for many people this will be a real nice and easy entry into the streaming world.

I really think if anybody wants to start a DIY ethernet streaming project, the Touch shows the way to go. Why bother with USB and all its negative side-effects again if I have an I2S bus at hand!?!?

If I'd be looking for a nice little PC+USB out, I'd still opt for FitPc ( I stlll have one up'n running) or if I want to go very tiny I'd go for Guru Plug ( 100$). For both of them you'll find Ubuntu Linuxes.

There's IMO no need for those awful micro-Linuxes a la Voyage. Just change
the Ubuntu startup scripts and you're done.

And if you're looking for Touch related Linux challenges -- you'll find plenty of DIY potential.


Cheers
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Old 15th July 2010, 04:20 PM   #1605
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Default alix/mpd/voyage wins Fight Club against modified SB Touch

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundcheck View Post
See. You're talking about a SB Touch without monitor in principle.

The basic Touch concept is IMO as good as it can get. ( It is even running a Linux. )
For DIY or for the non-techie masses?



Quote:
Originally Posted by soundcheck View Post
I think for many people this will be a real nice and easy entry into the streaming world.

I really think if anybody wants to start a DIY ethernet streaming project, the Touch shows the way to go. Why bother with USB and all its negative side-effects again if I have an I2S bus at hand!?!?
You are contradicting yourself. For a DIY ethernet streaming project, the Touch requires a lot of work. Even on this DIY site, not "many" people have the know how or the basic tools to start stripping down a SB Touch.

A much better DIY ethernet streaming project is using an Alix board with Voyage Linux and MPD.

And what's so bad about USB audio? We have a bunch of new DAC supporting Asynchrous mode; more being release every month. The Ayre QB-9 has high speed opto-isolators between the DAC board and the USB board, effectively isolating the computer from the DAC. It could be argued that the SB Touch DAC and analog section are being polluted but the high frequency ARM CPU. With a USB DAC, you can create some distance between your CPU and your DAC.

Also, your SB touch is...

limited to 24/96

DAC/analog section can't be separated from the CPU, like a USB DAC can

subject to the whims of Logitech who can issue firmware updates in the future, thus locking you out from further DIY hacks.

has been known to have very slow and buggy software

has a useless touch screen when the unit is placed at the hi-fi rig and one sits away from the speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundcheck View Post
There's IMO no need for those awful micro-Linuxes a la Voyage. Just change
the Ubuntu startup scripts and you're done.
Voyage is awful? And you recommend Ubuntu for a player? You are comparing a full GUI desktop OS to a version of Debian that runs off a 128MB compact flash card and specifically designed for embedded devices? I know that English is not your native language, but you are quite opinionated *and* you really don't know what you are talking about.


Quote:
Originally Posted by soundcheck View Post
And if you're looking for Touch related Linux challenges -- you'll find plenty of DIY potential.
Some people have a little DIY spirit, but don't have thousands of hours to waste on questionable mods. They just wanna hear a little music. I can assure you that many more people have experimented with an alix/voyage/mpd combo than anything else. The bar is lower, the quality is better, and you don't have to sit at an electronics bench for hours on end.

Cheers!

Last edited by nyc_paramedic; 15th July 2010 at 04:28 PM. Reason: schpelling
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Old 15th July 2010, 04:26 PM   #1606
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phofman View Post
nyc_paramedic,

the only COM I have been able to find without any on-board SMPS is probably the old Asus WL500b http://files.wl500g.info/asus/wl500g...0/HPIM1736.JPG . I happen to have one at home so I will check. My current audio project (apart of all the other non-audio ones with higher priority) is to build a miniPCI-PCI converter to hook a regular PCI sound card (e.g. Juli) to this little guy, while all the power supply pins would be fed from dedicated linear PSUs. Unfortunately the half-finished converter is being covered by dust in my workshop for many many months.
phof,

Have you seen this? Link: IM300 (Mini PCI Type III to PCI Adapter Card) : Interface Masters, Inc., Innovative Network Solutions

Web page here: IM300 (Mini PCI Type III to PCI Adapter Card) [IM300] - $88.00 : Interface Masters, Inc., Innovative Network Solutions

It's only $80 USD.
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Old 15th July 2010, 06:06 PM   #1607
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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nyc_paramedic,

a few years ago I emailed those guys about availability of their card in central Europe in single quantities and they did not even respond. I would like to use a passive solution. There is a chinese seller of passive version but those guys did not respond either. I do not think it was due to my english

But your post may make me reconsider my project and I may try to purchase the ready-made solution again. The DIY version is extremely labour-intensive. I had to design the insert card, had it produced, soldered IDE 80pin flat cable, removed PCI slots from an old MB with a heat gun, and I still have around 30 wires to solder out of those 100 or so PCI slot pins (many pins are wired together). And when finished, it will very probably not work due to some soldering bug or major design flaw
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Old 15th July 2010, 07:46 PM   #1608
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Default Soekris

Quote:
Originally Posted by phofman View Post
nyc_paramedic,
But your post may make me reconsider my project and I may try to purchase the ready-made solution again...
Soekris should have their new net6501 board out in a few months: Products

net6501, a faster and more advanced mainboard, up to 1.66 Ghz CPU, 2 Gbyte DRAM, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and PCI Express expansion, production availability in Q4 '10

And this from Soekris list:

Soren Kristensen soren at soekris.com
Tue Dec 15 20:19:31 UTC 2009

* Previous message: [Soekris] New models?
* Next message: [Soekris] New models?
* Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

Hi Everybody,

Maybe it's time to tell a little more.... The net6501 is moving forward
and I do expect to have hardware ready in Q1 2010, although I am known
to be an optimist :-)

The net6501 will basically be like the other boards, just faster, with
more memory and PCI Express expansion.

There will be both a 2 and 4 port gigabit ethernet version, using Intel
controllers, where the 2 ports version will be targeting small servers,
with up to 4 of them in a 1U case....

And yes, it will be based on the next generation Intel Atom processor,
the Pineview platform, in both single and dual core versions and with up
to 2 Gbyte DDR2-SDRAM soldered on.

And it will still be low power and high reliability, with passive
cooling. Ok, a tiny server with two 2.5" 10K rpm SATA drives will need a
small fan....

A new goodie will be onboard NiMH batteri charger/controller.


Best Regards,


Soren Kristensen

CEO & Chief Engineer
Soekris Engineering, Inc.



Nice, eh?

Could make a nice experimenters board. You could compare and see if there is any difference between alix/ethernet and soekris/ssd.

Last edited by nyc_paramedic; 15th July 2010 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 16th July 2010, 12:32 PM   #1609
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post
For DIY or for the non-techie masses?
I am talking about a processor with direct Ethernet stack and I2S out,
such as the beagleboard for the DIY enthusiasts.
It just needs an additional I2S reclocker to get closer to the Touch approach.

People, like me, who'd like to get things done, get things done timely and with lowest effort go for a Touch.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post

You are contradicting yourself. For a DIY ethernet streaming project, the Touch requires a lot of work. Even on this DIY site, not "many" people have the know how or the basic tools to start stripping down a SB Touch.
The SW mods I propose can be applied without any in depth knowledge.

There is not much to strip down on the HW side. Just open up the box to remove the screen.
By opeinng the box you actually automatically remove the screen

You can build your own linear 5V supply or you buy an "audiophile" PS.



Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post
A much better DIY ethernet streaming project is using an Alix board with Voyage Linux and MPD.
Your solution sounds to me like a basic PC with an OS and some off-the-shelve apps . No idea what you call DIY here!?!?

This you can do on any other PC. I consider a Guru plug a much better
base.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post
And what's so bad about USB audio? We have a bunch of new DAC supporting Asynchrous mode; more being release every month. The Ayre QB-9 has high speed opto-isolators between the DAC board and the USB board, effectively isolating the computer from the DAC.
Wrong forum. Wrong thread. Ayre products you should discuss at Computer Audiophile.

Beside that many people, including me, claiming since years -- because we're using it -- that USB isolation gets you a big step forward. Charles Hansen just picked it up at AA and applied it to his DACs with great success.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post


It could be argued that the SB Touch DAC and analog section are being polluted but the high frequency ARM CPU.
Agreed. You'd probably have the same with SPDIF out from the Touch.

I'd say - give it a try to make up your own mind.
After applying the tweaks the Touch IMO sounds great. At 300$ I couldn't be more then happy with that device. Yes I could. A Duet II at <199$ would be even better.



Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post

With a USB DAC, you can create some distance between your CPU and your DAC.
More and more USB-DACs do have PICs or DSPs or FPGAs onboard. You'll face similar issues on those devices.

John from EC-designs has shown on his SD-card player that the only way to get around the interference/intermodulation/noise problems is to use one master clock for your processor and DAC.

I2S isolators are slowly but surely popping up here and there in discussions.
Let see how this develops.



Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post

Also, your SB touch is...

limited to 24/96
Anybody out there who need s more then that? Do you know Dan Lavrys article about Hirez >96kkhz.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post

subject to the whims of Logitech who can issue firmware updates in the future, thus locking you out from further DIY hacks.
That's a risk.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post
has been known to have very slow and buggy software
I am fine with the performance. I don't experience more or less Bugs then with other SW. MPD plus Ubuntu/Alsa/Pulseaudio was ten times worse at the time of using it. The MPD feature list won't come close to the SB feature list.

The SB stuff - the audio relevant part - runs pretty much independent from your/any OS, what I consider a major advantage. However with the Touch
they also entered the embedded Linux and Alsa environment. This I consider a major disadvantage. The DUET firmware approach was IMO the much better choice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post
has a useless touch screen when the unit is placed at the hi-fi rig and one
sits away from the speakers.
That's why I take it out, which sounds even ways better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post

Voyage is awful? And you recommend Ubuntu for a player? You are comparing a full GUI desktop OS to a version of Debian that runs off a 128MB compact flash card and specifically designed for embedded devices?
Please read what I am writing.

Installing Ubuntu is a no-brainer. Disk-space is not a problem either.

I changed my startup scripts and boot my audio client up in network-recovery mode. I start only the processes I need. In fact I don't run the
Ubuntu overhead at all that way. I get along with a couple of MB ram utilization.
Something like that you can implement within 10 minutes and you can use the infrastructure, tools and support of Ubuntu. (I should write an article about that)

I tried Voyage, when you came up with it. You know my opinion.







Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post
I know that English is not your native language, but you are quite opinionated *and* you really don't know what you are talking about.
Sorry for my poor english.Though I guess you understand what I am saying. I am sure I know more about what I am talking about then you do. *AND* I do consider myself pretty open minded. And I'd try to avoid putting an "opinion" out into public, which I couldn't prove. Usually I verify what I am claiming.

Have you ever had the Touch in your hands?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post


Some people have a little DIY spirit, but don't have thousands of hours to waste on questionable mods. They just wanna hear a little music.

This is really complete nonsense and disqualifies you for any further discussions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post

I can assure you that many more people have experimented with an alix/voyage/mpd combo than anything else.
Poor guys.



Cheers
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Old 17th July 2010, 01:27 PM   #1610
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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Major streamlining of full ubuntu desktop installation is no simple task, even pro seasoned linux users. I do doubt you can do it in 10 minutes. Modern linux desktop is VERY complicated and ubuntu is not renowned for correct and minimal dependencies among packages. Even stopping some services after login, easily accessible to any user, ruins key desktop functionalities without any warning. Such as disabling the start of gnome power manager (I do not want any power-saving features on a desktop PC ) leads to quiet disfunction of the shutdown button in gnome menu. Ubuntu desktop is definitely not easy to streamline.

For a streamlined audio client without GUI it is much less work to install a debian netinstall and add the remaining packages, or even use the specialized embedded distros (basically a predefined set and configuration of debian packages).
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