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 !! 😉


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 ! 😉


Raspberry Pi 4 ->DSD(.dsf/.dff)-files over HDMI / HDMI to I2S-extractor arrived..

so folks 😉 ,

hooray, today the hdmi to i2s extractor (from audiophonics) arrived ! 😉 (more later)..

but first, these „Raspberry Pi 4 DSD over HDMI“-thing:

i´ve read the days that openelec, Volumio, Moode + picoreplayer are also capable to sent dsf/dff(DSD)-files via hdmi-out on the Pi-4..

thats also a very nice „alternative“ because u didnt have to use an usb-bridge (which is absolutely + in every way necessary) to play DSD-files from a Pi-(X) to an „chinese“ ES90XX-board..(we didnt get it to work only over I2S)..

the Pi-4 should now be capable of streaming (also multichannel-DSD) via HDMI (was not (or less) possible with the Pi´s before)..

i´m reading just now a lot of it and will post then more about it..

so, and yet to the (long awaited) „HDMI-I2S-extractor“ 😉 ..

„rock-solid“ (not soo heavy as the before mentioned Burr-Brown-implementation in the Philips Fidelio BDP9700), but very „steady“..

in first using and setting it up, it has 2 red LEDs flashing/blinking) and no picture/sound and i´ve read elsewhere before that u have to use a 5V external power-source (although its not necessary as per „description“)..

okay, feeded it with 5V,2A and had problems (again) with the I2S-line from the extractor to the „green“ (SMPCB) ES9038Q2M, not soo with the JY „Blue“ ES9038Q2M..

ended it up now with a coax-line from the extractor directly to the coax on the ES9038Q2M..(but only for now, for DSD(native) u need the I2S-line)

and got finally my lovely 192/24 😉

as said, very „solid“-sounding, almost like the Burr-Brown-Gear in the BDP-9700; very exact, another step in the „hi-fi“-direction..

so, the problem is now that my Sony BDP-S7200 should play .dsf/.dff-files (SACD in anyway) via usb/network, but don´t do 😉 

got/always say „file is corrupt or wrong media-format“, + i havent got a single !! SACD here, so i couldnt test the DSD-functionality (and that is/was originally the reason for all these devices lately !!) right now..(but i´m on it !!)..

and so, these Raspberry Pi-4 playing DSD-files via hdmi came to my mind..

(i do play here with volumio->usb-bridge->es9038q2m .dsf/.dff-files „in native“ but for test here the hdmi-i2s-extractor)..

(will post a lot more about it)..

so, many greets for now, hope u enjoy the pictures, much more to come 

and stay tuned !! 😉

Raspberry Pico is out !! 4$, 2xI2S, 2xSPI etc../ Twister OS for Pi4

hi there ;-),

found by chance that a new „Raspberry Pico !! “ is out/available..

Cost is about 4$, software is micro-phyton or C/C++, has USB1.1, Dualcore ARM cortex 133mhz, looks like an ESP32-alternative..

some more technical specs->

Mikrocontroller RP2040
• 2 MB QSPI Flash-Speicher,• 256 KB RAM,• 2x 20 I/O Pinleiste (30x GPIO-Pins 3,3V),• ADC 12-Bit 500ksps,• 2x UART / 2x I2C / 2x SPI / 16x PWM
• RTC / Timer mit 4 Alarmen,• Pinabstand: 2,54 mm
• Micro-USB 1.1 für Strom und Datenübertragung

u can get it for example here->

and here´s a tutorial how getting started->

by that, i´ve „discovered“ „TWISTER-OS !!„->absolutely super great (for RPI-4s)..

absolutely super nice + top usable, + absolutely sleeky look, it has tons of software pre-installed (Kodi,VLC-Player,Retro Pie,Steam-client etc..) and the great advantage is still the phenomenal sound (over USB to a xmos-bridge->I2S->ES9038Q2M) because of the short electronical circuits on the board (as mentioned in the article before), absolutely great and for the first time a real good OS for the Raspberry Pi-4 !! (its based on the normal Raspberry OS)

fantastic, give it a try !! 😉

another thing is that i´ve bought now a third pair of speaker (Mission 760i (not SE)) this time and will tell u then more very interesting facts on these Mission-lines (760,780)..wanted originally make a new subsite for it (/mission-speaker) for it..

by that a very interesting site is also this: (link also in a widget on the right) is a very good adress for „used“ hifi-gear (crawler), cause this is also a „hi-fi website“ 😉 (or is intented to be 😉 )..

more to come „in this fashion“,

greets for now !! 😉

Usability / Volumio->BubbleUPnp / Volume-Potentiometer-Hardware-None

so, 😉

sorry for the lately uninteresting/not so „fresh“ news about the ES9038Q2M/ES90xx-chips/boards etc..; maybe that will come back..

today, to keep this blog going, some usability-tricks/tips using a RPI-4B and volumio..->

runs fantastic (imo), is absolutely DSD-capable (remember to use an USB-bridge (XMOS or Anamero) „in-between“ and set volumio on „DSD-direct“,“no mixer“, „no resampling“-> else u wouldn´t get the red/torquise DSD-lock-light on the ES9038Q2Ms..->

by that i´ve tried a lot of dlna-apps for volumio and best for me so far is->BubbleUPnP->LINK

there are millions of other („Mediahouse etc.,etc.,“) but imo, BubbleUPnp correspondends superb with volumio..u can see in BubbleUPnP whats playing, can change the volume via the „normal“ volume-keys and u can also play/send .mp4/.mkvs etc.  to volumio and it plays only the audio/tracks..great ! 😉

by that i´ve bought a 10kohm-poti again (wire-diagramm here->  ) and although we have a web-volumecontrol with a MCP4131 „here“->

i still thought its „usability-wise“ better to use an old-school (analogue) poti but its still the same problem as first: u have only a very short range (i guess 35 degrees) from full to nothing and u have to turn it manually ;-)(but u are nearer on it 😉 )..still doesnt know the right conclusion for me, still in testing 😉 )..

greets for now and more to come !! 😉

DIY-DAC: Telekom Media Receiver 303A as case/with 12V/3A power supply->as audio-streamer with Rpi4 + XMOS-USB-bridge + ESP32 as display-controller..

so, 😉

i´ve found a few days ago some „withdrawn from service“ 😉 Telekom (uarghh ;-( )  Media Receiver 303A->was first interested in the internal HDD->500GB Seagate, but have seen then this has also a built-in 12V/3A power-supply and its from the dimensions almost ideally as some Raspberry Pi4-ES9038Q2M-audiostreamer !! (not soo big) 😉

Display-wise its a little bit limited (due to the available space (height)) in the front, but some LCD1602 will maybe do it fine..

found then an easy way to connect some to an ESP32 via I2C and via some „web-remotes“ (see other posts here „Project-1“ etc..) we can select via some photocoupler/relais the inputs of the ES9038Q2M (Coax,Toslink, I2S/USB), adjust the hardware-volume, filter-selection and so on and can display the settings on the display/LCD1602) !!

so far so fine, but this is a heck of a lot work to do !! 😉 ..

(i´ve planned to use Volumio on the raspberry ->easy controlling via the web-interface, DLNA-capable, MPD etc..)..

as said, here at first testing-out some aspects/parts for it and a first result by example is that these 3A makes the „blue“ ES9038Q2M absolutely a little bit „airy(ier); had before some 2A power supply (12V)..

by that the „Leaf-XMOS-USB-bridge“ (-> is better than first thought..

+ also my new „ESP32“ will come to a new life 😉  (not to mention the Raspberry Pi4 2GB)

makes really a lot of fun here, and i will inform you about some further improvements !!

greets for now !! 😉


Raspberry Pi 4B 2GB arrived / Volumio now at V2.714

so, 😉

finally the Raspberry Pi 4B 2GB arrived here->still an improvement in sound-quality and clarity..less jitter, more exact due to more processor-power and when u first power on your raspberry (here with an XMOS-bridge and then via I2S to an ES9038Q2M) u really got the the feel that the Pi is made for music !! 😉 (i think its also because of the short electronical circuits on the board, absolutely low latencies))..

absolutely fantastic, beats absolutely a lot of other DAC/PC/USB-combinations, wonderful 😉

fired it up with Volumio V2.714, its now with a changed UI->

plays here DSD256 without any problems (see other posts here for configuring Volumio with an XMOS-bridge)..->

and because the Pi 4B has finally a Gbit-Lan + USB3.0 (and more Ram + processor-power) its makes now so much fun to browse through your media-libraries and play it („instant“), great 😉

nothing else special, particular by now but many greets and stay tuned 😉

1 2 3 4