Cambridge Audio (or other) IR-repeater Option 5 / Broadlink RMmini3 / Fire TV Cube (2.Gen)

so, folks 😉

unfortunately nothing new from here concerning ES9038Q2Ms (or audio-sound-wise) but got today some „Broadlink RMmini3“ for cheap (7,50€ incl.shipping/Ebay, „normal“ about ca. 20€) to test out the „Alexa“ (-uuaargh ;-( )-functionality of my new bought Amazon-Fire-TV-Cube (was on „easter-sale“ on Amazon, 60€ instead of 120€ (more later))..

i primarily wanted to use the RM3mini as an alternative for my Cambridge-Audio IR-remote which is really,really bad in terms of ir-range (i think 3cm max directly right in front of the amp 😉 )..

I´ve made 4 „tutorials“ of this, „Cambridge IR-repeater“->, first via bluetooth (DIY), then „web-controlled“ (html), third with some mqtt-broker-thing on a Pi, and then „over-simple“, only with an Arduino, some ir-transmitter + -receiver +some dupont-cable->,

and now  i thought, i say „Volume down“ or „Aux“ in the firecube remote and the RM3mini will do it (more maybe later)..

okay, got it today, and it has really a superb ir-coverage (there a 5 or 6 led-transmitter in it), the apps according to it („Broadlink IR-remote“ etc..) are a little bit tricky to install, but the „learning-procedure“ (in using the buttons on the original remote) itself is very simple..

fine..u have a great „template“-collection, i used a very simple one (see above) but u can easily customize it..

so, just started the „Alexa“-integration with the „Broadlink“-Skill, but its a bit more complicated then for 5 minutes..

okay, now to the Fire-TV-Cube (2.Gen)->absolutely greater video (+20% compared to Fire-Stick 4K)-quality („deeper“ colors + contrast) + also audio is much better..

in these Fire-Cube 4Ks is some Amlogic S922x with 6-core and 2GB Ram..these Amlogic S922x were the „high-end-boards“ of the other years ago 2 of them here (and still) , the first also had some spdif-output and could play flac-files up to 96khz or 192khz (which was not common in the early times of mini-media-player („WD-player“, Asus O-play and such) and i used Kodi on these boxes..(okay, now with all the „HDMI“-tutorials here on the site, u can still get a good clean sound/tune out of it)..

anyway, „Kodi V19.4 (ARMv7/32bit)“ runs absolutely great, fast and very good on these 4K-Cubes (as said 6-core, 2GB Ram)..

and because Kodi runs so absolutely smooth, i thought about to „pimp-up“ the audio-line a little bit (besides the normal HDMI-output), and i knew that these Amlogic 922x also has some I2S-output (original design) but on the Amazon-Cube-board its after the first „check“ not available/disabled/not carried out->

(more here ->

anyway, we could use (with the help of our great „HDMI“-tutorials here 😉 ) the hdmi-output with some hdmi-audio-extractor to I2S and tell Kodi to put it out „native“/bit-correct/“hdmi-passthrough“..(havent check it out here at present)..

so, that was it for now, as said „hi-fi“-bricolage (with case,toroidal,es9038q2m) is a little bit on hold but i´ll post then maybe more about it..

but many greets and have a happy easter !! 😉


Happy New Year !! ;-) / momentary „gear“ / nothing new / I2S over hdmi far better than via spdif

Hi there !! 😉

first, Happy New Year !! 😉

second: unfortunately absolutely no news from here 😉 ..i´m „stuck“ at present to find the right toroidal transformer + the right rectifier for it (Dual DC +-15V) (as written here a thousand times) (btw. „burnt“ meanwhile 2 rectifier + 1 Philips power-board + 1 ES9038Q2M-board ;-(  (so, be careful 😉 ) 

and because its always the same here lately, i just want to wish you a happy new year !! 😉

hope i´ll get something more interesting in future about this whole DIY-DAC-thing + ESSabre-boards !! 😉 

(some quick and dirty pics (only for happy new year) ->Sony BDP-7200->HDMI->HDMI-extractor->I2S over hdmi receiver->I2S->Skysong ES9038Q2M (only single 12V at present)..(+but after connecting it via I2S its really really far better than the normal spdif/coax-line from the Sony BDP7200)..

many greets !! 😉

PROJECT IV: PART 3 / Dual DC +-15 / LibreELEC / Toroidal T.+ LM317/337

so, 😉

as said, burnt my Philips BDP9500-powerboard with these fabulous dual DC (+-12V) ->(see post before) but i didn´t give up 😉 and so i tried another way to get my wonderful dual DC 😉 ..

okay, as i have now only straight/normal +12V DC (via another line on the powerboard (have still of course the toroidal Dual AC (18V1 + 18V2, more later)) i thought why don´t buy a single DC to Dual DC-converter !! ? (found it by chance,  didn´t knew its possible)-> 5,50€ Aliexpress->

and so i could test-out again the „benefits“ from dual DC..

okay, the dc-dc converter runs a little bit hot (had to screw the poti a little bit up (from 12V to +- 15V)(use a little 5V-fan to cool it) but again, such a nice sound/tune from dual DC (absolutely better channel separation etc., see also post before) (and now with the, for me missing, „push“ from the +-15V instead of +-12V before !!) + and this time i used „LibreELEC„-> 

because i´ve got the Rasberry Pi Zero 2 earlier, (and wanted to check the usability as a media-center with only 512MB Ram from the Zero 2) and voilá also a nice sound via Pi 4->Skysong XMOS-USB-bridge->I2S->ES9038Q2M; really a little bit „airier“ maybe better as with „Volumio“ for example (but also a little bit more „distorted“, have to evaluate it more), but absolutely nice, these better dual DC-sound 😉 ..

and because i´m an absolutely dummy/noob concerning electronical things like these whole dual AC/DC.-thing (but made these site also for people with no knowledge in these things 😉 , to learn about it) i also found out by connecting the toroidal 18V1/18V2 to a simple dual AC to dual DC-converter (see post before) that i got a massive voltage drop under load (means: set to +-15V out, dropped under load extremly about 4-5V (to 11V for example), had not such a drop with the single DC-rail/line, discussed it with some friends and yes, absolutely clear, u need some capacitor to „buffer“, like with these ->“regulated LM317 + LM337 power supply board AC-DC“ with some 35V/2200uF capacitors for example ! 😉 (as said, totally clear for some electronical-hifi-freaks but not for me till this point); there are a lot of them around, also with greater capacitors, but just to learn about)..this thing cost about 9€ ->

(Voltage input-range: Dual AC28V (three lines), Voltage output-range: ±DC1. 25 V to 30 V adjustable.)

good 😉 ,

so, and now we´ve learned:

you have to use/need a regulated power-board behind some toroidal transformer !! 😉 (and some „thermistor“ before, another time..)

more to come + greets for now 😉

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W / ESP32-S2 (ESP12K) / Skysong ES9038Q2M

so, 😉

as i unfortunately „burnt“ my green SMPCB 1.07 + the power-board from the BDP9500 (schniff ;-( , had not fixed the +12V-0V–12V cables correctly, only „so half-way“ 😉 , moved the sabre-board a little bit and voila: a nice grey cloud lifted up here above the power-board 😉 ) (but i ordered a new one (ES9038Q2M), see at the bottom), i´ve meanwhile recognized the arrival from the new Raspberry Pi Zero 2..

has 4 cores @ 1GHZ (instead of 1 core before) (same amount (512MB) ram), some newer Bluetooth (4.2) BLE and cost about 19$-> (u can read a lot about it in the web-> )

(i still thought to use it as „control“ for the LCD1602-display, the relais for the inputs (coax+tos) + „webcontrolled“ (see other projects before), but i guess the „boot-times“ for the Pi Zero 2 (also for Micro-Python btw.) are too long, so i guess i stick back with the ESP32 but this time i think i use „micro-python“ because u can use the same „sketches“/python-scripts on the both platforms (its easier + more interesting for me at present (super easy to flash and work with micro-python on the ESP32 btw.))..

and so i found a newer revision of the ESP32; the ESP32-S2 (ESP-12K) has only one but newer core, a little less ram, without bluetooth (was either way too resources-hungry) + has a better usb-support etc..cost only about 5€; is here->

so, and as i either way „burnt“ an „old“ SMPCB 1.07, i thought this time i buy a

„Skysong“ ES9038Q2M with display and poti; 45€ from here->

(i wrote about this particular ES9038Q2M-board already here->

and i think/thought that as they made such a phenomenal XMOS-USB-bridge („ xmos-implementation..“)->

it could be really an upgrade to the SMPCB 1.07(will report more then about it) that these ES9038Q2M-board is DSD512-compatible (didn´t read it somewhere else) + special japanese condensators + u can also use some Apple TV remote (3€) to select the input-channel (I2S,coax,tos) + volume adjustment + select digital filter..

by that, a new „Moodeaudio“ is out (7.6)->

nothing else new from here, guess i want to buy a new (spare-part) Philips BDP-9500 power-board (for the dual 12V) and will maybe post a python-script for the web-controlled/IR-receiver/LCD1602 for the „ES9038Q2M-Box“ in future..

but greets from here and have a nice pre-christmas-time ! 😉


PROJECT IV: PART 2 / fast update / benefits from Dual (+12V-0–12V) DC

so, 😉

fast update: as my original plan (using the massive Cyrus-PSX-talema transformer (see posts before) + some AC-DC rectifier for dual-DC)) is now suddenly „obsolete“ cause i´ve got no voltage output at the end of the chain (don´t know why at present) i used the power supply for the video-section (+12V-0V–12V) from the BDP9500 and my green ES9038Q2M for finally dual DC power supply..and first impressions ?

1.for the dual DC-thing: absolutely more exact left/right->absolutely better „channel separation“ higher S/N i guess too, more „lively“..i knew and read a lot about it, and indeed, it has a great impact of the output (want not to go back to single DC) +

2.the high-class power-supply chain (from the BDP9500): absolutely lower „noise-floor“; everything more „lively/airier“, absolutely higher S/N-ratio (is absolutely clear->if u remove the background-noise, everything will get more in the „foreground“ and is more clear + lively)..

i miss a little bit the „attack“ which i got more, the more voltage i put in (IMO) and as said, the manufacturer says „..dual 15V (+15V-0V–15V)“ and have now only 12V; will look for a way to solve this..

another result from this 2 „optimizations“ is an absolute greater „presence“ in the mids/vocals (here on Mission-speaker) that i´ve got the feel that i have to put the volume on the amplifier a little bit „up“, to get to the „sweet spot“->guess a good alternative could also be to reduce the DAC-volume via the onboard/onchip-volume-control via some poti to 90%-95% (and turn the amplifier up)->had this first checked with the ES9028Q2M some years ago 😉 -> and the result was fine..(the disadvantage is maybe a little bit worser SQ (because of the „altering“); have „to balance/check“ it out) 

Conclusion: with these 2 „optimizations“ you get some really interesting new ways/turns concerning the sound/character !! have now to adopt it in further testing out; dual DC + high quality power supply (+less EMI-noise +such)->to recommend !! 😉

greets for now (+ more to come) !! 😉

Project IV: Part 1 / Philips BDP9500-case + ES9028/38Q2M + USB-bridge + Pi4 + stuff

so, 😉

as i´ve got today an old Philips BDP9500 (couldn´t read any discs („no disc“) anymore, cheap, Ebay, 18€ !! (incl.shipping)) + also this Dual AC to DC rectifier-> i can finally start/begin with some „example“-tutorial how to build your own DIY-DAC !! (main „goal“ on this essabre-site 😉 )

it´s only an example/showcase how to eventually do it..(a little story to begin with now):

okay, as this BDP9500 is trés chic 😉 (a really nice „blue“-light at the bottom) + massive, brushed, aluminium case and has this separated, dual power supply (one via some toroidal with 18V1 + 18V2 for audio) and one „power-line“ with +12V-0–12V for the video section (+ also with some +5V/GND-lines)(i knew this „hifi-high-end-build-up“ from the BDP9700 „Fidelio“(599€)-> and thats why i bought this BDP9500), we have now to find a way how to fit the other parts in it (the ES9028/38Q2M-board, the ESP32, AK4113,LCD1602 + oled-display (maybe a Pi 4), usb-bridge etc..)

it is really a long story/tutorial (cause i wanted to post the circuit diagramms from the Parts of the BDP9500 too etc..), a lot to do, and so i will post also a lot of steps (parts(ideas) „in between“)..

Part 1 (today):

as i´m relatively „unsure“ if this +12V-0–12V works (from the second power-supply), i will use an old ES9028Q2M (want not to „destroy“ some new ES9038Q2M) ->…

more to come …!! 😉

Panasonic DMP BDT 385 / playing finally .dsf/.dff-files / Toroidal transformer – Talema (Cyrus PSX) 27,9V

so, 😉

got today finally a Panasonic DMP BDT 385 (got it cheap from Ebay, 17€, faulty, couldn´t recognize a bluray-disc anymore) to test the DSD-functionality + to compare it with my other Sony + Philips Blurayplayer here..

very nice, detect and play any .dsf/.dff-files which i have on my usb-drive..the Sony only detects Sony-„tagged“ .dsfs and the Philips only Philips .dffs 😉 ; the pansonic plays them all + also other „non-tagged“-DSD-files->stupid..

by that, the „quantizing-noise“ (and i think thats mainly the „white noise“) is absolutely more less via my hdmi-extraction-board + ES9038Q2M-combo here then via the Sony for example; have to test + evaluate it more..(its still an I2S-connection problem i guess->soldering)

DSD-files are btw. outputted at 88.2/24 via toslink (besides over HDMI of course)->

picture-quality + handling-/usability-wise its a lot more „basic“ then with the Sony BDP-7200 for example..thought first why Panasonic have such a good reputation, i felt it too „basic“, but in the end its okay (but its really about your personal taste and overall the Sony is better (for my taste)).

by that i got by chance a really, really, massive (guess 5kg !! or so) Talema toroidal-transformer 220V/2*27,9V..was originally from a Mission Cyrus PSX only power supply expansion (posted a lot of  it before)-> heavy bummer !! 😉

wanted originally some 15V-0-15V toroidal for the chinese ES9038Q2M but will use it as power supply for the DAC and for the rest of things in our „DIY-DAC“ !! (esp32s,arduino-display,usb-bridge,AK4113-digital to i2s receiver etc..)

will post a lot more about it, cause that was the „main goal“ with this site->ourDIY-DAC !!“ 😉

greets or now + much more to come !! 😉

Got today the AK4113 digital receiver to I2S-output/ still at 96khz/24bit..

so, 😉

got today this little „gem“, the mentioned AK4113 Digital Receiver Board + LCD1602 Screen SPDIF Optical/Coaxial/I2S To I2S Converter“(LINK)

thought first i have to solder the pinheader for the LCD1602 by myself; but it was already soldered->

„powered“ it by a simple usb to 5V „converter“ but all i got at the end was 96khz/24bit via the hdmi-audio-extractor and also via the coax/toslink-output of the Sony BDP-S7200 and the Philips BDP9700/12->

tried all different settings in the system-menus from the both player (auto,bitstream,pcm etc.,etc.)->no success..also via the hdmi-extractor the max was 96/24..

but don´t know if the AK4113 detects (and displays) it accordingly; but the 3 manual settings on the extractor were „pass“,“2ch stereo“ and „5.1“..with the „pass“ and „2ch stereo“ i got only 48/24 max..has to „evaluate“ it more..

UPDATE 1: seems like these special 4k-hdmi-switch/audio-extractor only supports audio up to 96/, be careful in choosing the right one !!

another thing was that i wanted originally connect the AK4113 via I2S (to bypass the spdif-conversion) to an ES9038Q2M, but absolutely no „lock“-light..thought about it a lot and i guess (at the moment) the I2S-line (-cables) are too long (ca.30cm)..(read it sometimes ago->“the i2s-line(-cables) has to be short as possible (5-10cm)..“

UPDATE 2: curiously, i´ve got the „lock“-light (and its playing) with the „blue“ ES9038Q2M; so, again, there is often a compability-problem with different devices..

greets for now + much more to come.. 😉

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