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TL;DR - The finished product


Our bedroom music, part of a larger setup, is a Roon endpoint based on the following equipment:

    • a Raspberry Pi 3 B microcomputer, with on-board 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, running DietPi Linux and Roon Bridge
  • a HifiBerry AMP2 IQaudIO (now Raspberry Pi) DigiAMP+ add-on board, a 24 bit, 192 kHz capable PCM DAC with a 35 W class D amplifier
  • a 65 W (18 V, 3.34 A) switch mode power supply brick that powers everything
  • a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 bookshelf speakers, turned white
  • 2.5 mm2 OFC speaker cables

Most of the equipment is hidden under the bed, with only the speakers visible. Volume control was solely through the Roon Remote application on the laptops or mobile devices.


It was quite "naked", though!

I wanted to get the following improvements:

  • Use Wi-Fi on the 5 GHz band, 2.4 GHz is too crowded in our building, interferences are killing network performance. It's difficult to play standard CD quality music during the evening, forget high-resolution music
  • Have an enclosure that is not too geeky-looking and able to have all sorts of sockets fitted
  • Proper speaker binding terminals, no geeky screw-in stuff, but practical 4mm banana plugs
  • Physical volume and mute button, something that controls volume the good old way, quickly
  • Infrared remote control for volume and mute as well as Roon's play/pause, next and previous track
  • All that while fitting within a budget as close to zero as possible!



Here is a list of all the parts used:

  • 1x USB Wi-Fi adapater, N, 5 GHz Replaced by the built-in capabilities of a newly acquired Raspberry Pi 3 B+
  • 1x small wooden box, from Sainsbury's downstairs - Enclosure - £6
  • 1x 5.5 mm x 2.1mm DC power jack female, barrel, panel mount - Power input - £2.77 for a pack of 5
  • 4x binding posts, screw type, 4 mm, panel speaker connectors - Easy speakers connection - £6.95
  • 4x Sewell Strike 4mm banana plugs - for the speaker cables - £0 (I had spares)
  • 1x rotary encoder with switch - Will control the volume/mute - £2
  • 1x silver solid aluminium volume knob - £3
  • 1x infrared sensor (Vishay IR sensor - 38KHz - TSOP4838) - £2
  • 1x white Apple remote control - £0 (a gift from a friend!)
  • 20x 3" female/female Jumper wires - £2
  • 1x 3.5mm mini jack chassis panel Mount Stereo Headphone Input Socket Connector - For the infrared sensor connection - £1.89
  • 1x 3 m 3.5 mm male/male stereo jack cable - For the infrared sensor - £2.78
  • 1x kit of various diameters of black heat shrink tubing - Will insulate connections and make things look tidy - £1.79
  • 4x standoffs and screws - For mounting the Raspberry Pi - £0 (I had spares)

5 GHz USB Wifi

Anything below is now for historical purposes, just in case someone else needs it. I've scrapped that USB dongle and now use a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ with built-in 5GHz capabilities that are supported out of the box.

I bought a TP-Link Archer T2U adapter. It's is a dual band (2.4 and 5 GHz) A/B/G/N/AC model. I just need 5 GHz N at home.

Linux support is not stellar. I had to manually compile a specific driver (make sure that you read this bug) and force the use of the access point's 5 GHz radio (BSSID) through wpa_supplicant.conf:

ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev

    freq_list=5180 5200 5220 5240

32 bit, 384 kHz PCM audio is now flawlessly streaming at any time of the day!


Wood preparation

I've unscrewed all the lock and hinges and treated the wood with Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax. This gave the grain a bit of a better look and will hopefully keep the finish more durable. Needless to say, this is very crap wood!




The Raspberry Pi and the very efficient class D amp do not generate much heat. This is not a reason to leave them in a completely closed box.

Holes on the top:

Volume knob


The rotary encoder is mounted on the top plate, dead center. The box is deep enough, there will be no pin in close proximity with the Raspberry Pi below.

Three pins are used for the rotary encoder (volume), two pins for the push button (mute/un-mute).


I used this python script. I had to adapt it with the GPIO pins I've used and change the mixer from PCM to Digital.

It works like a charm!

Raspberry Pi

Standoffs and screws ready for mounting on the thin bottom board of the box, followed by four 2.5 mm holes:

Speaker terminals

Four 10 mm holes later...

Power connector

This is a simple female 2.1 mm barrel socket, screwed into the wood. Not much to say here. It uses the screwed binding posts of the amplifier.

Infrared sensor and connector


As the box is mostly hidden under the bed, I have attached the IR sensor at the end of a 3m cable, terminated with a 3.5 mm jack. Then sensor will end up living discreetly on a shelf above the bed.
The box is equipped with a jack socket.


LIRC is used for understanding the remote input, IREXEC is used to take action on button presses, using amixer.

The LIRC configuration has dramatically changed in recent versions of Raspbian, making the guides commonly found on the Internet rather misleading.

Here is what needs to be done:

First, add the dtoverlay info in /boot/config.txt (/Dietpi/config.txt in DietPi), there will be no manual loading of any module:


If you see online documentation using lirc-rpi and gpio_in_pin, it's from an old configuration method that got deprecated sometime in 2019.

Edit file /etc/lirc/lirc_options.conf and change from:

driver = devinput
device = auto

driver = default
device = /dev/lirc0

You can test that data in coming in with:
systemctl stop lircd.socket
systemctl stop lircd.service
mode2 --driver default --device /dev/lirc0

Delete or suffix (.dist) the existing remote configuration file(s) in /etc/lirc/lircd.conf.d/

Get the know nomenclature for button names:

irrecord --list-namespace

Create a remote configuration file using:
irrecord -d /dev/lirc0

The output file in /etc/lirc/lircd.conf.d/ will be buggy, removing the last column of number for each key normally works. It did for me.

Test that it's working with


Then my buddy Pal gave me a white Apple remote, a very well known entity, to replace the no brand credit card thing I had salvaged from a TV tuner. You can find its configuration file easily. Pal is a very cool guy. Thanks again!

I'm using the following /etc/lirc/irexec.lircrc global configuration to control amixer on button presses:

 prog = irexec
 remote = Apple_A1156
 button = KEY_MENU
 repeat = 0
 config = amixer sset Digital toggle > /dev/null

 prog = irexec
 remote = Apple_A1156
 button = KEY_KPPLUS
 repeat = 1
 config = amixer sset Digital 1%+ > /devnull

 prog = irexec
 remote = Apple_A1156
 button = KEY_KPMINUS
 repeat = 1
 config = amixer sset Digital 1%- > /dev/null

 prog = irexec
 remote = Apple_A1156
 button = KEY_PLAY
 repeat = 0
 config = /usr/local/bin/ playpause

 prog = irexec
 remote = Apple_A1156
 repeat = 0
 config = /usr/local/bin/ next

 prog = irexec
 remote = Apple_A1156
 button = KEY_REWIND
 repeat = 0
 config = /usr/local/bin/ previous

You will need this script to apply play/pause/next/previous to the proper zone, regardless of grouping (many thanks going to Guillaume for the jq stuff!):

## Finds the zone of a Roon output_id and issues various commands
## Needs curl and jq on the machine running the script
## Need the following Roon extension: HTTP Calls for Roon API

# Setup variables

# Checking for needed tools
command -v curl >/dev/null 2>&1 || { echo "I require curl but it's not installed.  Aborting." >&2; exit 1; }
command -v jq >/dev/null 2>&1 || { echo "I require jq but it's not installed.  Aborting." >&2; exit 1; }

# Finding the zone_id based on output-id
BEDROOMZONE=$(curl -s -H "X-Requested-With: XMLHttpRequest" http://$SERVER:$SERVERPORT/roonAPI/listZones | jq --raw-output '.zones | .[] | select(.outputs[].output_id=="'$OUTPUTID'") | .zone_id')

echo roon_ir: Bedroom zone is: $BEDROOMZONE

# Sending the command via the HTTP API
case "$1" in
    curl -s -o /dev/null http://$SERVER:$SERVERPORT/roonAPI/play_pause?zoneId=$BEDROOMZONE
    echo roon_ir: Play-Pause using http://$SERVER:$SERVERPORT/roonAPI/play_pause?zoneId=$BEDROOMZONE
    curl -s -o /dev/null http://$SERVER:$SERVERPORT/roonAPI/next?zoneId=$BEDROOMZONE
    echo roon_ir: Next using http://$SERVER:$SERVERPORT/roonAPI/next?zoneId=$BEDROOMZONE
    curl -s -o /dev/null http://$SERVER:$SERVERPORT/roonAPI/previous?zoneId=$BEDROOMZONE
    echo roon_ir: Previous using http://$SERVER:$SERVERPORT/roonAPI/previous?zoneId=$BEDROOMZONE
    echo "Usage: $0 {playpause|next|previous}"
    exit 1

I am using amixer commands to control the volume level, including a mute toggle, and HTTP Calls for Roon APIs to control Play/Pause, Next and Previous track though cURL.

Technical test with alsamixer:

Practical test with Roon:

Update of the amplifier board - September 2023

The Hifiberry amplifier board that I've used finally developed loud popping sounds, first during music start and stops, then during playback, continuously. This is a problem that I've experiences with ALL such boards when used in other projects. Mine only survived longer than usual. I suspect an engineering issue with input power regulation.

I have used an IQaudIO (acquired by Raspberry Pi) DigiAMP+ as a replacement. I've used it in many other projects, quite a few times replacing a defective Hifiberry product, with great success and reliability. It's almost a drop-in replacement, as I had to solder the power wires on the available pads (no screw-in terminals). The GPIO pins are also standard and thicker, making the connections far more secure. The pins used and software side are identical, outside of the audio HAT config.

IQaudIO DigiAMP+ on-board

Click for PDF

Mountain house - Washington, USA

This is a project that I have integrated and installed as part as a birthday present. Three zones Roon system, 1 with a DAC and reusing an existing amplifier and set of speakers, 2 using a TI DAC + Class D amplifier (I am extremely positively surprised by how well and cleanly it works, those things got some oomph!). I had to completely rewire the house with Ethernet and add Wi-Fi access points

Click for PDF

Desert house - Dubai, UAE

This was a demo system for a friend's business in Dubai. It has since moved to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania! I've installed it from scratch, including a network remodel (the house was already pre-wired with Ethernet), entirely remotely. Five zones Roon system, using a nice existing Forté + Tannoy kit, or a collection of Focal powered speakers (my friend was a distributor).

I even engineered a mobile system, using a car PC, tablet in dashboard, on-board WiFi and fully integrated DSP system, ready for public demonstration to the local market.

Home system - Redhill, UK

And then there is my 2 zones Roon home system, with multiroom TV+Kodi deployment, quite documented on this web site...


After more than 10-15 years, you can be certain that the electrolytic capacitors in your amplifier will have aged, leaked, if not worse, and will not perform at their best, making your amplifier a worse performer.

Some of those capacitor are important because they provide an electrical power reserve when volume peaks are needed, some others are on the signal path, some are within the phono pre-amplifier.

A replacement of those capacitors (a recap) is something that is needed at that stage.


Here are the capacitors that will need changing on this amplifier, on the schematic diagram:

Power supply capacitors in yellow, signal path capacitors in pink

Here are the capacitors that will need changing on this amplifier, on the wiring diagram:

Power supply capacitors in yellow, signal path capacitors in pink. Red shows the bias adjustment points and variable resistors

In order to visually help, here are a few shots of the real thing. The two main 8200 µF capacitors for the power supply are not shown here, but you can't miss them, they are the biggest things on the board!

Here is the list and description of the capacitors to change:

ItemNumberVoltage (V)Value (µF)Diameter (mm)Comments
1. Power Supply
C9033582003010,000 µF 35-40V would be ok too
C9043582003010,000 µF 35-40V would be ok too
2. Amplification
C605100106Something like Panasonic FC series
C606100106Something like Panasonic FC series
3. Phono stage
C405104.7"Bead"Something like Panasonic FC series, use 10 µF instead
C406104.7"Bead"Something like Panasonic FC series, use 10 µF instead
C41750106Something like Panasonic FC series
C41850106Something like Panasonic FC series

Here are suggestions for replacement, with references from RS Components:

ItemNumberDescriptionPack ofDiameter (mm)RS Stock NoManufacturer part #PriceURL
1. Power Supply
C903Nichicon Aluminium Electrolytic Capacitor 10000μF 35 V 22mm Through Hole 5101-4 VY Series Lifetime 1000h +105°C122739-5324UVY1V103MRD£3.02
C904Nichicon Aluminium Electrolytic Capacitor 10000μF 35 V 22mm Through Hole 5101-4 VY Series Lifetime 1000h +105°C122739-5324UVY1V103MRD£3.02
C901Nichicon Aluminium Electrolytic Capacitor 2200μF 25 V dc 16mm Through Hole PW Series Lifetime 8000h +105°C516715-2684UPW1E222MHD£4.64
C902Same as above, in the pack of 5-
2. Amplification
C605Nichicon Aluminium Electrolytic Capacitor 10μF 100 V 5mm Through Hole JIS C 5101-1 VY Series Lifetime 1000h +105°C15862-4190UVY2A100MDD£0.24
C606Nichicon Aluminium Electrolytic Capacitor 10μF 100 V 5mm Through Hole JIS C 5101-1 VY Series Lifetime 1000h +105°C15862-4190UVY2A100MDD£0.24
3. Phono stage
C405Nichicon Aluminium Electrolytic Capacitor 10μF 50 V dc 5mm Through Hole PS Series Lifetime 2000h +105°C55519-4289UPS1H100MDD£0.93
C406Same as above, in the pack of 5-
C417Same as above, in the pack of 5-
C418Same as above, in the pack of 5-


Removal and clean-up of all capacitors:

Installation of the new components, plus bias readjustment:

This little amp is now singing like a champion!


For your reference, here are the owner's manual and service manual:

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