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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Announcements
Puppi Raspberry Pi Hardware
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sickgut


Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Posts: 1157
Location: Tasmania, Australia in the mountains.

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 08:09    Post subject:  

Dave_G wrote:
Lobster

I guess an external USB type sound card would work but surely
it would also require drivers.

Since Pi has no sound support yet, this is the perfect excuse to reach for
the soldering iron and build an external R-2R type DAC to get some
elementary 8 bit sound out of the GPIOs

Remember the Mod scene from days gone by?
I remember building a crude DAC for the LPT port on an old 386 PC then
writing software to send out samples from wav files one by one to the LPT port where
the DAC would convert the samples into analog voltages.
Filtering was very basic and consisted of a few capacitors and resistors.
No awards for "hi-fi" sound, but it worked suprisingly well given it's simplicity.

The output from the DAC can be connected to a pair of amplified PC speakers
thus saving the hassle of needing to build a small audio amp.

Since the Pi comes with gcc, then I assume it also has "usleep" which one
can use for a delay and timing between samples.

Once I get my Pi, whether sound support is available by then or not, I'm
gonna build myself one of these just for the fun of it.

The pin-outs of the Pi here:
(The pins of interest are GPIO 0 - 7 and of course 0v)

http://elinux.org/RPi_Low-level_peripherals


WTF i really cant believe they actually released the rasp pi with no official sound support yet in the software....

i think i just lost the last ounce of faith i had in the entire universe, also i feel like i just had some marketting managers weener in my mouth. I need to order some mouthwash online and then hide in seclusion for the next decade and reimerge when the rasp pi has sound.

[update]
however the analogue video connector means i can use my tv and unplug my ps/2 and replace it with the rasp pi and attach a mouse and keyboard instead of a ps/2 controller. Maybe ill only hide away in seclusion for 5 years instead of 10.

[update]
mouthwash altho delivered extremely quickly was not effective. Maybe a hotdog will fix that, replace the taste of one weener with another larger one.

[update]
need to wait till tomorrow till i can buy a hotdog. Ordered more mouthwash. Fingers crossed.

Last edited by sickgut on Wed 18 Apr 2012, 08:21; edited 2 times in total
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Dave_G


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 459

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 08:14    Post subject:  

sickgut

Don't take my writing that the Pi has no sound support as gospel.
I only assumed it has none by what Lobster wrote.
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sickgut


Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Posts: 1157
Location: Tasmania, Australia in the mountains.

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 08:20    Post subject:  

Dave_G wrote:
sickgut

Don't take my writing that the Pi has no sound support as gospel.
I only assumed it has none by what Lobster wrote.


after hastily setting up camp to live in seclusion to hide my sad and mudden face from the world, i came down from the mountain for a minute to check the raspberry pi site and it indeed doesnt have any sound support, altho the sound hardware is there. After confirming my worst fears, i have started on the long trek up the mountain again with more mouthwash this time.

When i here the happy beeps of 8 bit mame emulators running on the raspberry pi, i may come down from the mountain again to see what the fuss is about.
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humblesoul

Joined: 06 Apr 2012
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 08:23    Post subject:  

Quote:
no sound support


usb?
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Dave_G


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 459

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 08:28    Post subject:  

sickgut wrote:

Quote:
i may come down from the mountain again to see what the fuss is about.


Don't worry, you will know when to come down when the mountains echo to the sounds of beeps and bops. Hehehe !

From what I can remember, the frequency response extended to about 10Khz
but the SNR was only about 45dB or so.
Certainly OK to play sound clips and even music but like I said don't expect CD quality sound.

Last edited by Dave_G on Wed 18 Apr 2012, 08:42; edited 1 time in total
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Dave_G


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 459

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 08:30    Post subject:  

@humblesoul

I speak under correction but I think USB sound would also require drivers.
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humblesoul

Joined: 06 Apr 2012
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 08:45    Post subject:  

That'll teach me to click reply without reading all the preceding posts... one assumed usb sound was as generic and common as mouse, keyboard and web cam support in most distro's these days.
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Dave_G


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 459

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 08:52    Post subject:  

The reason I say that USB sound may require a driver is simply that
USB keyboards and mice are all pretty much the same so one generic driver
is suitable whereas the USB sound will be dependent on the codec chip
the manufacturer decided to use and thus would require a dedicated driver
to access the required registers to make it work.

I could be wrong though but the fact that ALSA is not included, I don't hold
out much hope that the Pi will be making any sounds as is.
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humblesoul

Joined: 06 Apr 2012
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 08:56    Post subject:  

Agreed, but if one is spending less than twenty quid on a computer... usb sound can be had for less than a fiver and is bound to be pretty generic at that price. Even some supposedly pro usb audio gear doesn't require drivers in windoze.
Last edited by humblesoul on Wed 18 Apr 2012, 09:07; edited 2 times in total
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Dave_G


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 459

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 08:59    Post subject:  

True, it all depends if any USB sound support is included in the distros
available for the Pi.
If so then theoretically one might find one (or more) USB sound adaptors
that may just work.
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sickgut


Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Posts: 1157
Location: Tasmania, Australia in the mountains.

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 09:33    Post subject:  

*puff* *puff* phewww....
just catching my breathe, had a thought and came running down the mountain, i hope they put a road in so i can use a skateboard next time.

Any way, i have messed with a USB sound adaptor, its a budget behringer brand, but the interesting thing is that it works immediately in puppy 4.2, debian lenny/ squeeze and ubuntu and puppeee/ fluppy and others and windows xp with no looking around for drivers, its identified as a Generic USB sound device, aparently the hardware in these devices arent all the same but they use the same driver.... i think much the same way as external usb dvd drives and usb thumb drives all use the same set of generic drivers.

but i think most arm devices have never been made to attach usb sound devices too.... i dunno..... i would be interested if someone tests a cheapo $9 usb sound adator on one of these things.... is alsa installed at all in the software or is it there but not functioning?
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Dave_G


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 459

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 09:41    Post subject:  

sickgut wrote:

Quote:
is alsa installed at all in the software or is it there but not functioning?


Judging from what Lobster wrote, I suspect that you may be heading back to the mountain very soon.
You may well be right that the generic USB Audio class driver
may not be available for ARM.

Lobster, any chance you have one of these USB audio goodies laying about
that you could try out and save sickgut the exhausting trip back up the mountain? Smile
(The poor guy has a backpack full of mouthwash bottles, very heavy).
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1255

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 10:10    Post subject:  

A video I saw via BBC showed the RPi connected to a television via HDMI. Normally, HDMI carries both digital video and digital sound. Could the assumption that people will use a television with HDMI be the key to this audio omission mystery? Generic USB audio should be a cheap alternative, but not particularly neat.

Very glad to hear that the dd problem was due to using /dev/sda1 instead of /dev/sda. You don't want to get into kernel debuggery on a system which does mysterious things with dd. I have an early netbook with a cheap SSD that looks like /dev/sda at boot and /dev/sdb later. Using dd on that is dangerous.

Been there on the powered USB hub mysteries. Another version of the problem shows up on devices like KVM switches which draw power from PS/2 ports.

Very general advice: even though you intend to squeeze your resulting system into a small SD card, use a large size, or an external USB drive, during development. (I also use unreasonably large swap partitions, so I can watch memory leaks develop before they bring a system down. Years ago this allowed me to trace a problem to a proprietary nVidia driver.) This would immediately distinguish between a restriction caused by the size of the card, and an entirely different restriction, as described above.
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 10:16    Post subject:  

The Pi has an HDMI combined digital video and audio o/p, as well as phono analogue video and 3.5mm audio o/p, so it IS designed for audio, and SBMC are interested as it has xbox/1080p video capabilities, apparently...so I suspect a codec issue only....there was talk of AAC licensing costs early on

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=121499

Best get some skates on or XBMC will steal the glory!

Aitch Smile
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Dave_G


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 459

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 10:30    Post subject:  

The drivers are one thing, whether they be USB, HDMI or thru the Pi's audio port.

The fact that Lobster mentioned that there is no ALSA, there is no way to "talk" to the drivers as there is no audio "core".

The way I see the Linux audio system is as follows: (could be wrong)

Code:

{audio file} ----> {music app} ----> {ALSA} ----> {driver} ----> {hardware} ----> {audio out}

Hope I'm mistaken and that one of those USB thingies work.
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