Evan Hailey’s Spotify Field Eschews a Raspberry Pi in Favor of a Absolutely Customized, Compact SBC

Electronics and robotics pupil Evan Hailey has constructed a devoted music playback system with a distinction: As an alternative of throwing a Raspberry Pi on the downside and calling it completed, the Spotify Field homes a custom-built single-board pc.

"The Spotify Field acts as a intermediary between the official Spotify app and a brand new or present dwelling audio system — permitting you to attach your good telephone to your audio setup and stream music all through your home," Hailey explains of the undertaking.

In that, the Spotify Field is hardly distinctive. What makes it stand out is that it is solely home-made, all the way down to the single-board pc (SBC) which hides within the engaging oiled wooden chassis.

Hailey's {custom} SBC is constructed across the Allwinner V3S, an Arm Cortex-A7 chip with 64MB of DDR2 SRAM — outdated, to make certain, however highly effective sufficient for the undertaking at hand. Sufficient of the chip's options are damaged out to supply SD Card storage for a Linux working system, SDIO to a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth transceiver, wired Ethernet, a bodily push-button to set off pairing, an addressable RGB LED for standing, and the RCA jacks which join it to the audio system.

"I’ve been fairly a fan of the V3S so far as its built-in options, however this chip has one flaw that has virtually ruined my life," Hailey notes. "The 128-pin QFP is hard to solder; In truth that is completely essentially the most tough package deal that I've handled ever."

That wasn't the one problem encountered, both: Hailey discovered that the 64MB of reminiscence was proper on the sting of usable, with a scarcity of area inflicting web page allocation failures — resolved by liberating up some reminiscence by disabling a number of options, a course of which Hailey describes as "reasonably ugly and [which] concerned a number of compromises."

Lastly, the {custom} pc was put in in a housing — initially 3D printed, sanded, and painted for a extra polished look, however lastly a CNC-milled piece of walnut handled with tung oil for "far more depth and a heat matte look.

"The method of making the Spotify Field taught me quite a bit," Hailey concluded. "I spent a whole bunch of hours studying about Linux, debugging, writing software program, and designing the shape and performance of this system. I'm each relieved and reluctant about leaving this undertaking. There'll possible be an actual second revision — using a unique microprocessor and exterior DRAM —someday sooner or later, however for the following few months I’ll in all probability take a break from this undertaking."

The complete write-up is now available on Hailey's blog.

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