Have you ever wanted a speaker that can stream your own music? What about things related to Spotify, Google Music and SoundCloud? Does AirPlay support sound good? In this project, I will show you how to achieve this with an old speaker and a Raspberry Pi.

You will need basic skills but otherwise it’s really easy to do.

We’ve said it over and over again on . Raspberry Pis is amazing. I turned it into a media center media center Christian turned it into a wireless printer. and James used it to browse the internet anonymously. This project is my favorite to date.

Step 1: What You Need

Turn an old amplifier into a smart streaming speaker with Raspberry Pi 1

You need a Raspberry Pi for this project; preferably B+ but any model will work for wireless USB dongle, micro USB power cable, case and microSD card. I used this kit from Amazon.

You also need an old speaker. I used a Vantage guitar speaker with a built in amp that lay around me. You can pick up similar models for around $50, but any old speaker should work. The Raspberry Pi doesn’t sound great, so if your speakers don’t have a built-in amplifier like mine, you’ll need to add one to your Pi. I like this one from HiFiBerry even though it doesn’t support B+ yet.

You will also need:

  • Auxiliary cable
  • Socket with two plugs
  • Fork
  • Two meters of three-core cable
  • Insulating tape or heat shrink
  • Heavy Duty Mounting Tape
  • Solder and soldering iron
  • Various screwdrivers
  • Wire stripper
  • scissors

Step 2: Flashing pi

Turn an old amplifier into a Raspberry Pi 2 Flashing Pi Smart Streaming Speaker

Before you start building, it is important that your Raspberry Pi is working properly. For this project, I’m using Wouter van Wijk’s Pi MusicBox operating system.

Download and extract the file .zip from Wouter website.

There are many ways to flash or install a disk image on an SDCard for Raspberry Pi. GUI interfaces are simpler, but not as robust as if you did it yourself from the command line. The Embedded Linux Wiki contains a complete guide to the various methods available for each platform. Follow the instructions they provide. If one method doesn’t work, try another.

Once the MicroSD card has been flashed, use Windows Explorer or Finder to navigate to the folder configuration and open settings.ini file in a text editor.

Under network settings enter your WiFi details and save the file. You can also name your speaker; default name — musicbox, but i named mine TheAmp . My first choice TheAwesomeAmp was too long.

Now you can configure everything, but it’s easier through the web interface.

Step 3: Set up your Pi MusicBox

Turn an old amplifier into a smart streaming speaker with a Raspberry Pi 3 setup

Insert a microSD card into the Pi. Insert some headphones into the audio output port and connect it to a power source. Wait about 90 seconds for it to fully load.

On your computer, point the browser to [имя динамика] .local . In my case it is theamp.local . If everything went well, connect the speaker via the Music Player Daemon (MPD) web interface. If it doesn’t, get shooting problems!

Open the settings menu and set up your services. Typically, you’ll just need to add your login details, although for some, like SoundCloud, you’ll need to follow the steps they provide to get an authentication token.

If you’re just using the Pi’s audio output like I do, the menu Audio select analog for audio output .

Click Update settings and wait for the Pi to reboot.

Reconnect using the web interface and put on your headphones and play something. After a couple of seconds, you will hear the song you have chosen.

The Pi is now ready, so it’s time to set up the speaker.

Step 4: Take apart the speaker

Turn an old amplifier into a smart streaming speaker with Raspberry Pi 4

Take the speaker apart carefully. Take your time, take photos of where each screw goes, and don’t break anything. The speaker I used was very easy to take apart. I unplugged the speaker from the amplifier, removed all the screws on the back, then, holding the amplifier firmly, unscrewed the top screws.

With all screws removed, the amplifier and front panel can be pushed forward.

Step 5: Learn Electronics

Turn an old amplifier into a smart streaming speaker with Raspberry Pi 5 and explore electronics

Before doing anything with an unfamiliar schema, it’s important to understand what it does. It was easy to locate the auxiliary audio input on my amplifier because the external jack was clearly marked. Yours might be a little harder to find. I originally planned to connect the Pi via a step-down transformer to the speaker’s power supply. It was not possible due to the way it was connected.

I decided to run the Pi and the amplifier on separate power circuits. The Pi takes a while to boot up and consumes very little power when not in use, so I wanted it to always be on. The amplifier produces a transformer buzz when connected to power and not playing music, so I wanted it to be easy to turn off. Studying the advice helped me decide what to do.

Step 6: Connecting to the input

Turn an old amplifier into a smart streaming speaker with Raspberry Pi 6

Take your aux cable, cut off one end and peel off most of the remaining outer layer. Inside should be two cables wrapped in copper wire. You need to connect two wires to the input of the amplifier and a copper wire to the metal case for grounding.

On my amplifier, the input jack had two wires that went to the amplifier. I disconnected those wires at the input jack — I just cut them off — and soldered the auxiliary cable wires to them. I sealed the joint with duct tape, although heat shrink would have worked too. If there are two wires of the same color, connect them together. They will usually be red.

I connected the copper wire to the case by making a loop, loosening the case screw, wrapping a wire loop around it, and then tightening the screw again.

Step 7: Adding Pi

Turn an old amplifier into a smart streaming speaker with Raspberry Pi 7

It’s time to add the Pi to the amplifier.

Pass the power cord through the same hole that the speaker output wires use.

Using a couple of strips of double-sided mounting tape, attach the Pi to the amplifier case. Connect the power cable and auxiliary input to the Pi before attaching it. It’s easier than trying to connect them later. Position it so that it does not interfere with amplifier components or cause short circuits.

Double-sided mounting tape is ideal for situations like this. The Pi will never be under significant mechanical stress. We just want it to stay where it is. Trying to install it on a metal case in any other way will be much more time consuming than it’s worth.

Step 8: Shorten the Power Cord

Turn an old amplifier into a smart streaming speaker with a Raspberry Pi 8 short plug

You are going to add two outlets inside the speaker cabinet so the amplifier doesn’t need a long power cord. Cut the cord to 15 or 30 centimeters. Connect the plug to the short cable. Be careful when connecting the plug and follow local regulations.

Step 9: Make and Install an Extension

Turn an old amplifier into a smart streaming speaker with Raspberry Pi 9

Connect a two-prong socket, 2 meters of a three-wire cable and connect together to form an extension cord. Again, be very careful to attach the correct wires to the correct pins.

Attach the two-prong socket to the side of the speaker cabinet with mounting tape. Make sure everything else can be gathered around it.

Step 10: Assemble the Speaker

Turn an old amplifier into a smart streaming speaker with Raspberry Pi 10, build an amplifier

Repeat the procedure from step 4. Carefully assemble the speaker, this time with a Raspberry Pi connected to the input of the amplifier and placed in its housing.

Connect both speakers and the Pi’s power wires to the two power connectors. Use cable ties to tidy up any extra wires.

Plug the power strip into an outlet and wait for the Pi to boot up.

Step 11: Enjoy!

Turn an old amplifier into a smart streaming speaker with Raspberry Pi 11 and enjoy

Once the speaker is connected and working, you can control it from the web client. You must download a smartphone client such as MPod for iOS [больше не доступен] or MPRemote for Android.

On iOS devices, the speaker should also show up in the menu air play . On Android, you can use an app like AllStream Cast to turn it on.

If you’ve been following this build, please share your results with me in the comments. Or if you’re having trouble let me know .

Image Credit: piqbg via Shutterstock.com

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