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Thread: Raspberry Pi 400

  1. #1
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    Default Raspberry Pi 400

    Long story, short: Anyone successfully using a Pi 400 to run a show including audio?

    I ran a small show last year by running xlights on a laptop connected to a Falcon F16v4. This was acceptable with my laptop and Falcon inside the garage. This year will be a significantly bigger show and I don't want to run all the cables under the garage door. So, since it will be outside, I am intending to use a Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately, they seem to be hard to find, and I know nothing about Raspberry Pis. The one I could find to purchase is the Raspberry Pi 400. Seemed like a good option for a Pi newbie until I started investigating audio options. Sounds like it isn't very audio friendly. One of the two micro-hdmi transmits an audio signal, but it doesn't sound like the typical USB soundcard works with it. Anyone with insight or experience?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Raspberry Pi 400

    Small show? You might be able to Bluetooth it. At least, until a Pi 4 becomes available.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Raspberry Pi 400

    In general a rPI is a small Linux computer. The 400 is actually a modified rPI 4. It has the Ethernet and 5 USB ports exposed. Not sure how big the flash size is but it has everything you need to run a show (plus a moderately annoying keyboard). You can connect a USB based sound blaster audio adapter (or other type) to it and use the Ethernet port to drive the show.


    2022 - Not sure yet. At least two new songs.
    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinMueller2003

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    Default Re: Raspberry Pi 400

    Have you seen the DACBerry 400? I'm not using one, but it looks like it might "answer the mail"...

    https://www.okdo.com/us/p/osa-dacber...SABEgKZEfD_BwE

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    Default Re: Raspberry Pi 400

    Quote Originally Posted by 1pet2_9 View Post
    Small show? You might be able to Bluetooth it. At least, until a Pi 4 becomes available.
    By "Bluetooth it," what do you mean? Connect the Pi 400 via bluetooth to an audio source?

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    Default Re: Raspberry Pi 400

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    In general a rPI is a small Linux computer. The 400 is actually a modified rPI 4. It has the Ethernet and 5 USB ports exposed. Not sure how big the flash size is but it has everything you need to run a show (plus a moderately annoying keyboard). You can connect a USB based sound blaster audio adapter (or other type) to it and use the Ethernet port to drive the show.
    That's what I was assuming when I purchased it. Some online posts I have read made it sound like the USB-based option does not work for some reason. Maybe I will just buy a Sound Blaster on Amazon and give it a try.

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    Default Re: Raspberry Pi 400

    Quote Originally Posted by Glycerine View Post
    Have you seen the DACBerry 400? I'm not using one, but it looks like it might "answer the mail"...

    https://www.okdo.com/us/p/osa-dacber...SABEgKZEfD_BwE
    Yes, I have. That is my last option, I think. It definitely would work, but I am a bit put off by the cost of shipping, which is almost as much as the device. Still, I suppose beggars can't be choosers...

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    Default Re: Raspberry Pi 400

    Quote Originally Posted by oyarsa View Post
    By "Bluetooth it," what do you mean? Connect the Pi 400 via bluetooth to an audio source?
    Yeah, you can connect it via Bluetooth to a Bluetooth speaker, and not have to buy any other special hardware. It's just I find your Pi 400 setup suboptimal, and mostly I think you're doing it because that is what you had available. I mean why buy other hardware if you're only going to switch it again later.

    The reason other people don't do Bluetooth more often is because the audio playback's timing is not as tight with the lights. I'm not convinced that is too much of a concern for you. Just try the Bluetooth first, and if it doesn't work, what have you lost? You learned something.
    Last edited by 1pet2_9; 04-21-2022 at 12:05 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Raspberry Pi 400

    Quote Originally Posted by oyarsa View Post
    That's what I was assuming when I purchased it. Some online posts I have read made it sound like the USB-based option does not work for some reason. Maybe I will just buy a Sound Blaster on Amazon and give it a try.
    I would try a USB soundblaster first. I don't see why it wouldn't work.

    In the long run, are you trying to get a Pi 4 or Pi 3?

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    Default Re: Raspberry Pi 400

    Quote Originally Posted by 1pet2_9 View Post
    Yeah, you can connect it via Bluetooth to a Bluetooth speaker, and not have to buy any other special hardware. It's just I find your Pi 400 setup suboptimal, and mostly I think you're doing it because that is what you had available. I mean why buy other hardware if you're only going to switch it again later.

    The reason other people don't do Bluetooth more often is because the audio playback's timing is not as tight with the lights. I'm not convinced that is too much of a concern for you. Just try the Bluetooth first, and if it doesn't work, what have you lost? You learned something.
    Timing is definitely a concern for me. I'm a musician, so even if my show is small so far, it would drive me crazy if it wasn't synced right. And, I do use an FM transmitter. I'm sure I could find some way to connect the bluetooth to an FM transmitter, but that would probably compound the latency issues.

    What do you consider suboptimal about using the Pi 400? You're right that I'm doing it because it is what was available, so you may be right. Other than the possible audio issue, it looked to be as good a setup as a Raspberry Pi 4. But, as I said, I know next to nothing about Raspberry Pis.

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