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Tiny M7+ music streamer
Tiny M7+ music streamer
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Old 9th November 2016, 11:17 AM   #1
jean-paul is offline jean-paul  Netherlands
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Default Tiny M7+ music streamer

Hi got this device and thought it might be of use to describe it here. I have already modded some things and will be building a linear PSU for it. Tiny M7+ is a FM/DAB+ tuner with RDS, Internet radio, Spotify player and DLNA audio streamer. It is distributed by a Norwegian company called Pinell. It does many things and it may be not high end but it is a very practical device and I found that I am using it every day. I had some issues though which I will describe. Maybe some of you also have the Tiny M7+ and have some benefit of the small mods I did.

It is very small, 130 x 42 x 95 mm and it's a jack of all trades (but not a master of none ). The display is a color LCD with good visibility. It has analog outputs via the dreadful 3.5 mm plug and a Toslink connector for digital output. Yes, analog FM radio is digitised by an ADC and it is the least performing of all features in sound quality. Antenna connector is a coax type and not the more standard F connector. It plays MP3, FLAC, WAV and WMA. I haven't tried high res files yet is what I am typing now and at the same time I ask myself why I haven't bothered . Analog output is OK but it really shines when connected to a separate DAC or FDA. It has an IR remote control but since it has wireless 802.11b/g/n connectivty it can be also controlled and "woken up" from standby by the Undok or Pinell app. Nice ! Quite rare is the menu item that firmware can be updated online. For me this is the first of the DAB+ tuners I have tried that has this function. When not used and in standby it changes to an elegant clock.

As I am testing some DAB+ tuners out of curiosity I found the M7+ to be more sensitive than some others I have. An external passive Vega antenna makes it receive all DAB+ transmitters where I live and sound quality is OK (for DAB+). The area where I live is somewhat problematic with regards to DAB+ but this device does what it is supposed to do. Its main use at my place is being a DAB+ tuner for news and some background music.

Despite all practicalities it is not an ideal device though but what device is ? As the display is quite large and heavy the device has the habit of tilting over when slightly touched which is annoying. Secondly its switched wall wart emits copious amounts of RF. My FX Audio D802 locks up and even optical transmission via Toslink is disturbed. When I tested with an other wall wart things were OK. Adding ferrite rings to the original very small switched wall wart also works. A linear PSU will hopefully give better performance and I am working on a 6V linear PSU in a nice but neutral case.

My sample has the phenomenon that the Toslink connector is mounted too deep and Toslink connectors don't "lock" enough to make them stay. Some slight force and they fall out. I am working on a solution for that.

Although it has some quirks I think it is worth its price and its versatility make it an interesting device. Pictures will follow.
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File Type: jpg Backside-300x232.jpg (14.3 KB, 159 views)
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Last edited by jean-paul; 9th November 2016 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 9th November 2016, 12:22 PM   #2
jean-paul is offline jean-paul  Netherlands
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The linear PSU is the one I made for SB Touch devices but set for 6V. The original micro sized wall wart is a 6V 500 mA type. Since my PSU is a linear PSU with a 6V 12VA transformer I can not make it smaller than this. The LDO regulator chip can deliver 3A but this transformer limits this to 2A. In 6V chassis mount transformers there is not much choice and I ended up with an EI type despite having very nice 6V Rcore transformers (don't fit in the chosen case). The transformer has been treated with slow curing potting compound to make it mechanically silent. This can be done as load will be way less than it can power so no heat problems are expected. It can be switched off from mains but the M7+ is meant to be powered on continuously. We'll see what works out best.
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Last edited by jean-paul; 9th November 2016 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 10th November 2016, 02:09 PM   #3
jean-paul is offline jean-paul  Netherlands
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The tilting is solved by glueing some nickel plated brass standoffs in the lower part of the back cover with 2 component glue. The standoffs fit exactly in height and in width. The device now does not fall on its front when one touches the cables but it flips back on its feet again.
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Last edited by jean-paul; 10th November 2016 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 10th November 2016, 02:16 PM   #4
jean-paul is offline jean-paul  Netherlands
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A Toslink plug of an optical cable to a DAC or FDA looses its "lock" because the wrong type of Toslink connector is used in the M7+. A type with screw hole for mounting against a back cover is used but in this device no screw is used. The (unbranded) Toslink transmitter with screw hole is a bit deeper than the type without screw hole. Using the screw hole type causes the transmitter not to be flush with the back cover. This is why Toslink plugs that are inserted don't lock as they should.

I replaced the unbranded 3.3V Toslink transmitter for an Everlight PLT131 and that one is nearly 1 mm longer. This is a Toslink transmitter without screw hole and without shutter as I don't like the shutter type. Now the connector is flush with the back cover and Toslink cables are locked fine.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0456-1.JPG (35.3 KB, 32 views)
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Last edited by jean-paul; 10th November 2016 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 10th November 2016, 02:21 PM   #5
jean-paul is offline jean-paul  Netherlands
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The Toslink transmitter was not decoupled so a Wima 2.5 mm pitch 0.1 F 63V cap was added. Also a 5 mm 0.1 F MKT cap was soldered to the DC connector.
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Old 10th November 2016, 02:54 PM   #6
jean-paul is offline jean-paul  Netherlands
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An angle PCB mount F connector is ordered and the PSU will be built.

Just some basic info on slightly improving a simple device. Thanks for reading.
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Last edited by jean-paul; 10th November 2016 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 10th November 2016, 04:25 PM   #7
davym is offline davym  Scotland
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Interesting read jean-paul, i want something like that with a in-built hard drive. A decent music server should not have to cost much. I've had issues with those wall wart switchers too, some seem to work ok while others are very noisy.
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Old 10th November 2016, 04:26 PM   #8
jean-paul is offline jean-paul  Netherlands
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An Olive One is a nice device with SATA connector and harddisk bay. Built in amplifiers too. I have one and it is a good device. The switcher that is delivered with the Olive is a good one.

Software was not too good in the beginning but it has improved a lot and I don't complain as everything works OK now. Lately updates seem to be coming out less frequent. Possibly development has halted. Still a good device with very good sound quality. Playback of DSD was planned, let's see if we'll have that.
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Last edited by jean-paul; 10th November 2016 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 10th November 2016, 05:18 PM   #9
davym is offline davym  Scotland
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Thanks, that's one i haven't come across. If i was more computer savvy i would make my own, maybe one day. For now a refurbished Thinkpad is doing a surprisingly good job with an HRT DAC. I just wish bluetooth would improve so i wouldn't' need the umbilical cord (USB cable)
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Old 10th December 2016, 09:50 AM   #10
jean-paul is offline jean-paul  Netherlands
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Meanwhile I have changed the coax connector for an F connector and use a linear PSU with better results than the original SMPS.

This is a nice device and internet radio sound quality is quite good. Only the digitised FM radio is not recommended. DAB+ works OK but the system itself is being misused by the broadcasters by using low bitrates while the system allows for better quality broadcasting.

All in all the device is clocking most "power on time" of all my devices. It is coupled with a Wadia powerDAC 151 by Toslink connection.
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Last edited by jean-paul; 10th December 2016 at 09:56 AM.
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