PiDeck 0.1 'Kool Herc'

@danielhjames danielhjames released this Oct 10, 2016 · 12 commits to master since this release

This is the first official release of the PiDeck project. Version 0.1 is named after DJ Kool Herc, the old-school originator and true DJ Hero.

PiDeck is an open source hardware and Free Software project retro-fitting the Raspberry Pi onto a turntable. The software is based on the armhf (ARM Hard Float) port of Debian GNU/Linux stable (jessie) and xwax. This software is built into a custom single-purpose distribution (using PDK), which you can hack on, or just download as it is, and put on a (2GB or larger) micro SD card for your own Pi version 2 or 3. First generation Raspberry Pi's are not supported, sorry.

If you flash the wrong target drive, you could destroy all the data on your computer, but you knew that, right?

Flash the image on GNU/Linux

First install bmaptool, it will check the integrity of the image for you, works with compressed image files, and unlike dd will give you a progress indicator. For example on Debian or Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install bmap-tools

Download the .bz2 compressed image and .bmap metadata file from this page. Then, if your Micro SD card is /dev/sdb, run the command:

sudo bmaptool copy --bmap pideck-koolherc.bmap pideck-koolherc.img.bz2 /dev/sdb

Flash the image on Windows

Download the .bz2 compressed image, unpack it, and copy the uncompressed image file to the drive letter of the Micro SD card with Win32 Disk Imager. Then safely remove the Micro SD card from the system.

You may need to run Win32 Disk Imager as administrator. If you want to check the image integrity manually, you will find the sha256sum in the .bmap file on this page, in the XML tag Range chksum.

Tested soundcards

We have tested PiDeck with the Audio Injector card (requires external phono preamp), the Hercules MK2 USB interface and the American Audio Genie II USB interface. The USB interfaces will work with xwax with a 3ms buffer, the Audio Injector requires 16ms in this build of PiDeck but should be able to do much better than that. Reports of specific soundcards that do or don't work are very welcome.

Boot PiDeck

Power down your Raspberry Pi, insert the MicroSD card you just flashed, connect your audio interface and turntable, then power up the Raspberry Pi. The screen will be blank for ten or more seconds, then it should boot directly to xwax.

If you see a desktop but you don't see xwax start, run the /usr/share/pideck/pideck script from a shell to find out the error message. For example, your particular soundcard might require you to use a plughw:0 rather than hw:0 device when starting xwax.

To access a shell, give the touchscreen controls across the top of the screen focus by tapping a button, then press F10 on an attached USB keyboard. There is no need to login to use the PiDeck, but if you need to use sudo in the shell, the password for the pi user is raspberry.

Using PiDeck

  1. Insert a USB stick containing audio files into the Raspberry Pi
  2. Tap the Rescan button to load the file list
  3. Use the Up and Down buttons to select the file you want, then tap Load
  4. Put the needle to the record.

Please send us video of your mad skills for the PiDeck channel on YouTube!

Bug reporting

Please file bugs and suggestions as GitHub issues on the PiDeck repository. The first place to look for solutions to issues is likely to be the /usr/share/pideck/ directory containing the custom scripts. Go nuts!

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Credits

Big up all Debian massive and crew. Thanks to Mark Hills and Matt Flax for their support. And a special mention of Chris Obbard for hacking on PDK so that it supports making Raspberry Pi images now.

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