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New audio module - requirements and thinking


As most of you know by now, I am desperate to get some sound into my Gadgeteer projects, and it has not been successful yet.

The current GHI module is based on the VS1053 chip which is ok.

Danibjor suggest upgrading to VS1063 - see for example

But the core issues are as follows:

  • plays with noise and hiccups - very much depending on fast cpu and transfer of data
  • has a dc overlay on the headphone output, and cannot be connected to an amplifier
  • cannot be disabled when not in use, to save power

DFRobot module is only a little better:

  • still noise
  • even at zero volume, while not playing it eats too much power and makes noise in speakers.
  • very limited interface to the cpu on the board
  • cpu and storage on board making it simple to use
  • built in small amp so it can power small speakers

I need ideas on where to go from here…


  • low power
  • line out
  • could be nice with a small amp to power small speakers
  • option to disable/turn off
  • headphone out
  • line in
  • mic in


I already have two of these on my desk

For now, it plays MP3 from SD card and byte[] from resources. Sound is OK, connected to descent sounding set of Creative desktop speakers.

Edit, also plays without hickups from SD card on the Raptor when play-thread (spi_send) is running in High Priority mode.

RLP module would have been sweet.


I have used the rMP3 in R2 for years with very little issues.

Best feature I like was being able to control the volume while it was playing. I could control the volume output from my R/C transmitter which come in handy if at a gig or shoot and you need a little more\less sound coming out of the droid. It is a self contained unit as it has a built in SD card and you can either use triggers or data lines to control it.


@ njbuch - FYI, The VS1063 i awsome! On the fly, realtime decoding, in hardware, VOIP packages (G.711 mu-LAW encoded audio stream)

Also, it has options to upload patches and new functionality (DSP like stuff) to the chip… It’s awesome ;D


Umm I guess it’s getting a little too complex pretty quickly. But it sure looks interesting.

Btw I don’t understand the video…???