Shopping list for a pi based server for ma camper van?

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This is all new to me.
I met someone at the weekend who had a system set up in his camper van that played music from his raspberry pi. He controlled it from a laptop but said he was going to use a iPod touch to control it too. I think the audio came from the pi. I want to do something similar.

moode looks like it might work for this sort of thing.

I need to:
Have audio files stored on a hard disk (or large sd card/usb stick)
Access them via a raspberry pi (what model do I need?)
Play them via a soundcard or DAC (again what is a good option taking into account price vs performance?) I have a behringer uca222 that I could use to start with if that works. I would pay for a dac though if it sounds better.
Have wifi access from my android phone, or a laptop or perhaps an iPod touch to control the server. There will be no router in the van, just the pi (so what wifi parts do I need)
Finally is there an easy solution to split the signal into 2.1 stereo and sub bass? If not I can do this externally but would be good to know.

So basically I'm asking for a suggested list of parts to buy.
You can certainly attach a USB hard driver to an R-Pi and store all of your audio files there. Then connect a USB DAC to the Pi. These run the gamut from $10 thingies on Ebay to $1k and more. The choice is up to you. In fact I have a couple of Behringer UCA202 that I use at my place sometimes. They are pretty good!

If you are interested, you can implement any crossover system on the Raspberry Pi that you would like. This thread talks about some software that you could use:
Using the crossover system you can have a 2.1 with subwoofer, or whatever you want to implement. Linux offers many possibilities!

IN my own system I use MPD as a player, and I access is from a tablet using a "client" that displays the control interface. The tablet is easy for me to bring anywhere in my home. Everything is connected via my WiFi internet network.

So you will need:
A Raspberry Pi 2 or 3
Power supply dongle for Pi, 2A or more @ 5V
Software (all is free!)
Some time to get it all working. DIY audio members can help you with this.

Prepare to have fun!
If you are new to it all, I would suggest getting to know the Pi and audio capabilities away from the camper van to start with.

My 2p...
1) A Pi3 as it has onboard WIFI. Simplifies wiring and avoids some power issues.
2) An official Pi3 PSU - 5V 2.5A - I think they are.
3) At least one 8GB (or larger) micro SD card to hold the audio software distribution.
4) Software/operating system for the Pi3. I would tend towards OpenELEC and/or MoOde audio as both can be setup somewhat remotely. OpenELEC can be control/configured from a TV remote using HDMI-CEC with a supported TV. Whilst MoOde audio is introducing WIFI AP mode.... i.e. Its own WIFI access point.
5) WIN32 Disk Imager software to write the software image to the micro SD card. Or the MAC equivalent.
6) Quite a lot of time to get to know about it all.

You can start on your quest with minor ££s. Getting to know all of the little features and pitfalls will likely take some time though.

As to your last question about splitting audio.... Splitting it, probably yes, easy, if you use a multi-channel DAC and external amps to filter/crossover. It's not quite so straight-forward to implement the filtering/crossovers on the Pi but it's certainly very achievable. And some may say far more controllable.

OrangePi Plus: $35
power supply
cable for hard drive.
case to put it in.

Total for above, about $60/
I got a 1 tb laptop hard drive another $60. (laptop hd will work. desktop needs separate power supply)

Crossover is easy, follow Richard's instructions Digital Crossover/EQ with Open-Source Software: HOWTO | Richard's Stuff
OrangePi comes with wifi and wired network. The rest of the software is free.

The only real tricks are:
1. Setup requires a tv or monitor with hdmi socket
2. finding the correct distribution. I can help you, the doc is really, truly awful....
Orange Pi - Orange Pi Plus
Ok so orangepi plus sounds good, their site is down at the moment but I will have a look later tonight.
Or maybe a PI3 as that has wifi, basically a Pi with onboard wifi is what I need.

Will also read about mpd vs moode, I think I need it to have a WIFI access point, not sure how its going to connect otherwise.

Good that I can implement a crossover, that sounds straightforward but time consuming.

I'm spending a lot of time doing up the van at the moment and the sound system is just one of the parts I need to sort out. Think I will get a R Pi and psu first and experiment with that, as the software is free I can try it out and see what works best. I can plug it all in at home (I have an hdmi socket on my tv). Then transfer it to the van when it all works.


Joined 2003
Paid Member
I too am thinking about something like this, but hadn't really considered a raspberry pi. I was going to go for a cheap (around $100) tiny x86 system and run ubuntu 14.04. What are the advantages of going raspberry pi, besides the hobby/fun of it?
Advantages include:
Low power. PI uses less than 10 watts.
No fans.
Small footprint
Really no more difficult than x86 to set up. I use Ubuntu on my OrangePi..... It's silent, and I leave it on all the time. It's not really all that much cheaper, but the above advantages lead me to replace the old laptop with it.


Joined 2003
Paid Member
Sorry for leaving out details, that's exactly it. I have one now from Qotom, but they dont make it anymore. Was thinking about another one from them.

What I have
2ghz n2810 celeron
4gig ram/64gig msata ssd
Case 140x100x30mm
Fanless, 10W (wall wart)
Comes with wall mounting kit

I had a problem with hdmi but i use nomachine nx so dont need a monitor to run the gui.

At that price point, form factor, and features im having difficulty seeing the RPi as a chouce, besides the hobby factor.

Im not trying to threadjack here, just exploring options the OP might nit be aware of.
Well just looked at the orange pi, would have to ship it from China and that will take 3 weeks or more. I can get a UK made Raspberry Pi 3 with wifi for £30 including next day post (same price as the orange pi plus from China). I'm in the UK so would be nice to know the money os going to a UK designed and made product.

I think I can make up a usb power socket to run a laptop drive off incase the pi 3 can't handle the current.

Looks like I'm in luck as the latest release of moode has this direct access point for wifi, and works with a PI 3, perfect. Not sure if MPD can be used without a router?

moode also has an android app mupeace and 2 iOS apps, mpod and mpad which sound good.

Looks like moode is the first thing to try out. Quite excited to try and do this! Might take me a while though.
Oh and yes, the x86 solution sounds expensive in comparison, and it needs to be low energy, its for a camper van. Also might be complex setting up direct access in ubuntu, I haven't had much luck with any command line stuff with ubuntu in the past, I always break it!
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