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 !! 😉


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 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 …!! 😉

Raspbi HAT ES9038Q2M / Ustars R38

so, 😉

found by chance this ES9038Q2M-HAT (38€, Aliexpress->LINK)..

interesting is that they use an „OPA1612“ (i´ve just ordered one too, because i´ve often seen ES9038Q2M with this op-amp and will test them against the other op-amps i have here (Burson V5i-D, AD797, OPA627AU , Muses8920 etc,etc..))

by that they say in the description:“..Professional IIS verarbeitung chip realisiert PCM/DSD ausgang. 2. unterstützung 32BIT/44,1-384KHZ DSD64-DSD128 ausgang“, means they found apparently another way („..professional I2S processing..“ to output DSD over I2S (which i, we hadn´t got solved here (we used then a usb-bridge (or „new“ now via HDMI))

u can also use an oled-display (+10$) directly connected (see pictures)..

else nothing new from here, greets for now !! 😉

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 !! 😉

New speaker / little experience-report / Volumio at 2.861 / some new ES9038Pro DACS / Universal USB to I2S Interface Indicator

so, 😉

as i´ve bought some „new“ speaker (Mission Cyrus 780 (one bass driver was defect, had to order some spare from the UK)), i´ve had to re-adjust/re-set/re-listen to my hifi in general..

I´ve just bought some AMD Ryzen on some Asus-Board too and so i could test the nowadays „onboard-sound-solutions“ (in this case some Realtek S1220A with 120db SNR) against some „normal CD-transporter“ or some Raspberry PI 4 over USB->I2S to some ES9038Q2M..

Absolutely still no comparison !! ->we forget these onboard-sound now and go directly to the USB->XMOS-USB-Bridge->I2S->ES9038Q2M vs. Raspberry Pi -> XMOS USB-Bridge->I2S->ES9038Q2M thing..

First thought (over PC->XMOS-USB->I2S->ES9038Q2M) these ESSabre-engineers „add/or re-invented“ some really funny/sunny/airy components to the digital stream..absolutely lovely, much „more voluminous“, airier..(these advanced-bitstream-thing))

But after connected to the Raspberry Pi 4 via USB(3.0)->XMOS-USB-Bridge->I2S->ES9038Q2M its still an enermous „lap ahead“, guess its absolutely because of the short electronical circuits on the Pi (less latencies) and the less EMI-interferences on some PI-boards against the „noise“ on some normal PC-mainboards..

So its again some „normal“ CD-transporter (over spdif to some dac/ES9038xx) vs. Pi-4 (for saved media-content)..

Updated my volumio-software on the Pi-4 (now at V2.851), absolutely great, super fast „scrolling“ through the libraries (more CPU-power Pi-4)..


So conclusion for now (again):->forget the soundcard/USB-thing from the PC/MAC->its still about „normal“ CD-transporter vs Raspberry Pi ->USB-bridge->ES9038xxx..

I´ve also bought some Synology DS214Play now->absolutely great, no lags/problems now, absolutely smooth..

by that i´ve found right now by chance these „Arduino-based Universal USB to I2S Interface Indicator“ by; its here-> (+ there are a lot of very interesting infos about sabre+akm-boards in general on this site !!)

thats exactly for what i searched soo long !! (.ino is here->LINK)

also found some new ES9038Pro-DACS on massdrop for example->will post then more about it..

greets for now !! 😉

Raspberry Pi 400 is out !! 70$, 1.8GHZ, 4GB LPDDR4-3200

hi there !!, 😉

hooray !! , the new Raspberry Pi 400 is out !!

Will cost about 70$, u can pre-order it from pimoroni->LINK for example..

very nice, so much things/possibilities to do with !! ..(i think this time i make a real Commodore C64/Amiga emulator with it->see comparison)

Still has the 40 GPIO-Header, 1.8GHZ (a little bit more than normal), has a keyboard general power ON/OFF (Fn+F10) but no audio connector (okay, u should use a usb-soundcard anyway 😉 )..

absolutely nice !! 😉

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