[HowTo] Install OSMC on Audiophonics RaspDAC


#1

I wrote an how-to for the installation and configuration of OSMC on Audiophonics’ RaspDAC.

The Audiophonics’ RaspDAC is built on a Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 board, a Sabre ES9023 based DAC, a Power Management unit and a HD44780 LCD. Of course, you can also hook an IR receiver.

You can find the how-to, along with some scripts and photos on github. The system is fully functional, though I had to use a few workarounds. I will update the page when they are no longer needed.

[Note: I was not allowed to post in the HowTo section]


#2

If you can import the GitHub content to OSMC’s forum that is great. Our forum supports Markdown so should be fairly simple to copy over.


#3

All right @sam_nazarko ! Note that it will evolve though. For an up to date version, check the project on github. I also had to suppress most of the external links and the internal refernces as I’m not allowed to post more than 5 links in a post.

RaspDAC on OSMC

RaspDAC on OSMC is an how-to and a set of scripts to help people get their Audiophonics’ RaspDAC up and running with the OSMC.

The RaspDAC is a high quality yet affordable network audio player. It is built on a Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 board, a Sabre ES9023 based DAC, a power management unit and a LCD. Being an affordable device, you are supposed to install the OS yourself.

The product page refers to a pre-configured version of RuneAudio, but the link was broken when I checked, so I had to start from scratch. After the OS installation, you have things to configure such as choosing an overaly to use
the DAC, and figuring out how to handle the power management unit and the display. @dhrone wrote a very helpfull project on github: Raspdac-Display. to describe how to install the RaspDAC on audio oriented distributions such as Volumio and RuneAudio. These instructions helped me a lot understand how the RaspDAC could be supported.

Of course I wanted to play my audio collection, but I though: it would be great if the device could play videos too. So, I searched for an active distribution that supported the Raspeberry Pi with a special on multimedia, hence OSMC. If the audio capabilities of Kodi were not that good, I would install mpd and find a way to switch between Kodi and mpd when necessary.

Kodi uses LCDproc to write on a LCD. This is a different approach from the one described in RaspDAC-Display and that’s the reason why I decided to write my own how-to.

The Sabre V3 versions of the RaspDAC are designed to host an IR remote control receiver. See the dedicated section for how-to install and configure LIRC and use it to control Kodi.

Photos

For the photos, please check the project.

Note: in no way am I affiliated to Audiophonics. I wanted to share my experience in the hope that it would be helpfull. If you want to try this, proceed with caution and at your own risk.

Software installation

This project is dedicated to the software installation of the RaspDAC on OSMC. If you’re looking for instructions on how to assemble the hardware, refer to the links at the end of this document on the project’s page.

Prepare the SD Card

Go to the download page for OSMC. As of June 2017, there is no specific image for the Rapsberry Pi 3, so use the one for the Raspberry Pi 2.

Option 1: installer

OSMC proposes a dedicated program targetting the OS from which you will install OSMC. If you wish to follow this path, click on your installation host OS and follow the instructions. I never used the installer.

When you’re done, insert the SDCard into the Rapsberry Pi and start the Pi. Continue to the Configure OSMC for the Sabre DAC section below.

Option 2: manual installation

I assume you use a Unix-like operating system.
. 1. Download the compressed image: click the Disk images button and scroll down to the latest release for Raspeberry Pi 2/3.

. 2. Extract the image:
cd to the directory where you downloaded the compressed image and issue the following command:

$ gunzip OSMC_TGT_rbp2_20170615.img.gz

. 3. Prepare the SDCard: insert the SDCard in your installation host and figure out which device it is associated to. If the OS auto-mounted the partitions, unmount them. E.g.:

$ unmount /dev/sdb1
$ unmount /dev/sdb2

Copy the image to the SDCard. Warning: this will erase everything on the SDCard. Make sure the device matches the SDCard before proceeding with the following command:

$ sudo dd bs=4M if=OSMC_TGT_rbp2_20170615.img of=/dev/sdb

. 4. Finalize the installation: eject the SDCard from the installation host and insert it into the Rapsberry Pi. Connect an ethernet link and a keyboard and start the Pi.

OSMC will format and install the filesystem. When it’s done, it will reboot. Follow the instructions. Choose a name for your media center. When prompted for SSH, accept the default (Enabled).

Configure OSMC for the Sabre DAC

You should now have a runing OSMC with the main menu and time of the day.

Note: don’t worry about the blinking power button, we’ll get to that in a dedicated section for the Power Management unit.

Update OSMC

Before doing anything, it is a good idea to check for updates.

  1. From the main menu, select My OSMC
  2. Move up to the cloud Updates
  3. Move down to Manual Controls
  4. Move right to Scan for updates now and press the enter key.
  5. Wait until the scan is done. Reboot if needed, otherwise you can press the backspace key to return to the main menu.

Configure the overlay for the Sabre DAC

  1. From the main menu, select My OSMC
  2. Move left to Pi Config
  3. Move down to Hardware Support
  4. Move right and change Soundcard Overlay to hifiberry-dac-overlay
  5. Move down and select OK
  6. Press the backspace key to return to the main menu.
  7. Move down to Power
  8. Move down to Reboot and press the enter key.

If your RaspDAC is connected to an amplifier, you should get notification sounds from Kodi when you move through the menus.

Configure the installation host to connect to your RaspDAC

First you need to figure out which IP address is used by the Raspberry Pi. There are multiple ways of doing this depending on your network infrastructure. You may try something like this:

$ arp -a

In the rest of this section, I will use the IP address 192.168.0.15.

Note: it is a good idea to assign a static address to the RaspDAC.

Get the ssh id from the RaspDAC (enter ‘osmc’ when prompted for the password):

$ ssh-copy-id osmc@192.168.0.15

Log in:

$ ssh osmc@192.168.0.15
$ uname -a

You should read someting like this:

Linux raspdac 4.9.29-5-osmc #1 SMP PREEMPT Tue Jun 6 18:23:42 UTC 2017 armv7l GNU/Linux

For security reasons, you should change the password:

$ sudo passwd

After you log out, just issue the following command to connect to the RaspDAC:

$ ssh osmc@192.168.0.15

Download this project

For the rest of the installation, we will use files from various git projects.
On the RaspDAC, in an ssh session (see above), install git:

$ sudo apt-get install git-core

Clone this project:

$ mkdir ~/Projects
$ cd ~/Projects
$ git clone https://github.com/fengalin/raspdac-on-osmc

Handle the Power Management Unit

The project contains scripts and a systemd unit to handle the power management subsystem. This allows stopping the button from blinking when OSMC is started and handling soft reboot or shutdowns as well as clean shutdown when the button is pressed.

The scripts rely on the python RPi.GPIO module which can be installed using pip (we will also need gcc):

$ sudo apt-get install gcc python-dev python-pip
$ sudo pip install rpi.gpio

Install the scripts and the systemd unit:

$ sudo cp -r ~/Projects/raspdac-on-osmc/power/* /usr/local/

Register and start the service:

$ sudo systemctl enable raspdac
$ sudo systemctl start raspdac

After a few seconds, the power button should stop blinking. You can now press it to cleanly shutdown the RaspDAC or manage the power from the command line or from Kodi’s user interface. E.g. to shutdown from the command line:

$ sudo systemctl poweroff

Configure the LCD

Kodi uses the XBMC LCDproc add-on to show informations on a LCD display. Obviously, the add-on relies on a properly configured LCDproc server.

LCDproc supports the OLED LCD HD44780 display that comes with the RaspDAC. LCDproc gained support for the Raspeberry Pi 3 recently, so we need to get a newer version (0.5.9) than the one provided by OSMC (0.5.7-2 as of today).

LCDproc generation requires automake:

$ sudo apt-get install automake make

Clone LCDproc:

$ cd ~/Projects
$ git clone https://github.com/lcdproc/lcdproc

Generate LCDproc with support for HD44780 only and install it:

$ cd ~/Projects/lcdproc
$ sh ./autogen.sh
$ ./configure --enable-drivers=hd44780 --disable-libusb --disable-libusb-1-0 --disable-libftdi --disable-libX11 --disable-libhid --disable-libpng --disable-freetype --disable-ethlcd
$ make
$ sudo make install

I stripped the configuration and adapted it to use the LCD via the GPIO. I also wrote a systemd unit in order to start the daemon automatically. Install the scripts and the systemd unit:

$ sudo cp -r ~/Projects/raspdac-on-osmc/lcd/* /usr/local/

Important: I configured LCDd for the Sabre V3 version. If you use a V2, proceed as follow (otherwise you can skip to register the service):

$ sudo nano /usr/local/etc/LCDd.conf

replace the following line:

pin_D7=27

with

pin_D7=15

Register and start the service:

$ sudo systemctl enable LCDd
$ sudo systemctl start LCDd

You should see a welcome message on the LCD display.

Install the Kodi add-on to use LCDproc:

  1. From Kodi’s main menu, move to Settings -> Add-on browser -> Search
  2. Enter LCDproc
  3. Select Services - XBMC LCDproc, then install

The LCD display should show “XBMC running…” and the time and date.

Configure an Infrared Remote Control

The Sabre V3 features 3 pins for an IR receiver. The case of the RaspDAC has a slot between the power button and the LCD to receive the module. The shape and size suggests it was designed for the TSOP 38238 form factor. I couldn’t find this exact model locally, so I went with a TSOP 4838. I had to file down the hole a bit from the inside for the 4838 to fit properly.

Configure OSMC

On my device, the IR receiver data pin is connected to GPIO 26. As of today, OSMC doesn’t allow defining a GPIO pin higher than 25 for an IR receiver. I submitted a pull request on OSMC github for this.

Until this changes are released, you can modify your existing installation.

  1. Stop Kodi:
$ sudo systemctl stop mediacenter
  1. Open the file which defines the limits for the IR receiver’s GPIO:
$ nano /usr/share/kodi/addons/script.module.osmcsetting.pi/resources/settings.xml

and change the following lines:

                <setting default="17" id="gpio_out_pin" label="gpio_out_pin" option="int" range="1,1,25" type="slider" visible="eq(-1,tr$
                <setting default="18" id="gpio_in_pin"  label="gpio_in_pin"  option="int" range="1,1,25" type="slider" visible="eq(-2,tr$

to (update the ranges):

                <setting default="17" id="gpio_out_pin" label="gpio_out_pin" option="int" range="1,1,27" type="slider" visible="eq(-1,tr$
                <setting default="18" id="gpio_in_pin"  label="gpio_in_pin"  option="int" range="1,1,27" type="slider" visible="eq(-2,tr$
  1. Update the range validator for the OSMC Pi config addon:
$ nano /usr/share/kodi/addons/script.module.osmcsetting.pi/resources/lib/OSMC_REparser.py

Press CTRL+W and enter ‘def gpio_pin_validation’, then change the following line:

        return generic_range_validation(config_value, range(1,26))

to (update the ranges):

        return generic_range_validation(config_value, range(1,28))
  1. Restart Kodi:
$ sudo systemctl start mediacenter

Select the parameters:

  1. From Kodi’s main menu, go to My OSMC -> Pi Config -> Hardware Support
  2. Activate Enable LIRC GPIO support
  3. You need these values: gpio_out_pin: 10, gpio_in_pin: 26,
    gpio_in_pull: down

Restart the Rapsberry Pi for the changes to take effect.

Configure your remote control

If your remote control works out of the box, I guess your are lucky. Otherwise, let’s try to configure it. Linux Infrared Remote Control is a subsystem and a set of tools to handle remote controls on Linux.

Check if the Raspberry Pi receives an IR signal.

  1. Stop the LIRC server:
$ sudo systemctl stop eventlircd
  1. Dump the raw device:
$ cat /dev/lirc0

Now, press a few keys on the remote control. If you see garbage, it is a good sign.
If the command doesn’t print anything, you might have an issue with your IR receiver.

Check the LIRC remote database for your remote. If you can find it, download the matching lircd.conf file and go to the section Assign names to keys below.

Generate a lircd conf

If you can’t find your remote in the database, you’ll have to generate the configuration file.

First, get the list of the valid names for keys with the following command:

$ irrecord -l

Then, use this command to generate a configuration file and follow the instructions:

$ irrecord -d /dev/lirc0 /home/osmc/your_lircd.conf

You will probably need to start over before getting it right. Check the next section for usefull keys. Using this method, I had a bouncing effect when pressing the keys. From what I read, sorting this issue out depends a lot on the remote control itself. I ended up finding my remote control in the database. As an example, these were the lines that solved the issue:

  min_code_repeat 1
  min_repeat      2

Assign names to keys to control Kodi

In order to ease the integration with Kodi, it is a good idea to choose key names that will produce the expected result out of the box.

Here are the ones I used and which allow controlling kodi to a large extent:

  • KEY_LEFT, KEY_RIGHT, KEY_UP, KEY_DOWN
  • KEY_OK, KEY_BACK, KEY_HOME
  • KEY_CLOSE, KEY_POWER
  • KEY_MENU, KEY_INFO
  • KEY_MUTE, KEY_VOLUMEDOWN, KEY_VOLUMEUP
  • KEY_PREVIOUS, KEY_NEXT, KEY_STOP, KEY_PLAYPAUSE, KEY_FASTFORWARD, KEY_REWIND

Edit your_lircd.conf file to use these names. Then set it as the default configuration:

$ sudo rm /etc/lirc/lircd.conf
$ sudo cp your_lircd.conf /etc/lirc/lircd.conf

(or use a symbolic link if you prefer)

Then restart, LIRC and Kodi:

$ sudo systemctl restart eventlircd
$ sudo systemctl restart mediacenter

Use the remote to navigate in Kodi’s UI. If it doesn’t work, I’m afraid, you’ll have to dig a little more into LIRC’s documentation.

Tips

Modify how things are displayed

Kodi stores a definition of the screens to display depending on the context in
the following file:

$ nano ~/.kodi/userdata/LCD.xml

If you want the display to scroll long lines slower or faster, you can adjust the FrameInterval in the LCDd configuration:

$ sudo nano /usr/local/etc/LCDd.conf

Of course there are other parameters like the strings Hello and GoodBye which are displayed when the server starts and stops.

Use a mobile device interface to control the media center

Kodi comes with a web server that allows managing some of its features from a browser or a dedicated mobile device application: Kore.

These are the steps to configure the web server:

  1. From Kodi’s main menu, move to Settings -> Services -> Control
  2. Enter a user name and password
  3. Allow remote control

Check that the web server is runing: open a browser and connect to this URL: http://192.168.0.15:8080/ (replace ‘192.168.0.15’ with the IP of your RaspDAC). You should be prompted with a user and password. Enter the ones you defined above.

If the connection succeeded, try installing Kore and configure it with the same settings you used above.

Kore hosts a copy of the metadata from your media center. You can browse your collection and control playlists, etc.

Links

Check out the project on github for the links as I can’t post more than 5 links on the forum here.