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About odonnell

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  1. I also don't care for NAS. I reported on a successful USB-disk configuration here: Allo staff have commented elsewhere on connections to the USB WiFi port. Two potential problems are injection of noise into the USBridge Signature and insufficient power for the disk. I may have experienced the power problem in early experiments, but I introduced a separate powered USB Hub and found the power sufficient. I expect that SD storage takes less power than my spinning disk, but that's a wild guess. I have no idea about the noise question. I never noticed any noise, but I have the impression that Allo worries about electronically detectable noise whether or not they are sure that a listener actually hears it.
  2. We discussed this briefly in another thread: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/57387-safe-shutdown-for-allo-rpi-systems/?tab=comments#comment-1007005 Bottom line: nobody seems to really know. The issue seems to be more a general Raspberry Pi issue than USBridge in particular. I learned over many years to avoid powering computer systems down without positive verification that the system has done a clean termination. That appears to be impossible with Raspberry Pi. If the disc activity light stops flashing for 30 seconds after a shutdown command, it seems that the system has terminated, but no way to be sure. It also seems that little or no harm occurs if you just disconnect power, but I have my ingrained prejudice against that approach.
  3. I am using an iFi Nano USB powered DAC, as I reported in another thread:
  4. I found in my notes that I also had to select Scan : Scan and configure SSID Within the resulting submenu, I was able to select my house wireless network. I don't remember exactly how those steps went, but they were similar to selecting a network and entering a password on a laptop.
  5. For the WiFi Dongle that Allo now sells, I think that this step (from an earlier post in this thread) was also crucial. I had to use a text editor to add the "#" symbol at the beginning of the only line in the file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-rtl8xxxu.conf. The "xxx" is part of the actual name of the file, not something for you to fill in. If you have a different WiFi dongle, this step will not apply, but there might be something else to do.
  6. I looked back at my notes regarding wireless. I can't reconstruct everything, but I noticed that there is more wireless configuration available in dietpi-config than appears at first look. There is a menu item under wireless: WiFi : Available | [On] | Connected This probably says "Disconnected" in some cases. But even when this item seems to indicate that wireless is on, there may be further configuration. If you select the item, it takes you to a further detailed menu: WiFi Details: │ │ Usage : Sent = N/A | Recieved = N/A │ │ SSID : CenturyLink4107 | 1 Mbit | Strength: -80 dBm │ │ Address : IP = | Mask = | Gateway = | DNS = │ │ │ │ ●─ Basic Options ───────────────────────● │ │ Scan : Scan and configure SSID │ │ Auto Reconnect : [Off] │ │ ●─ DHCP/STATIC IP ──────────────────────● │ │ Change Mode : [DHCP] │ │ ●─ Additional Options ──────────────────● │ │ Country : [US] │ │ ●─ Toggle State ────────────────────────● │ │ Disable : Disable WiFi adapter │ │ ●─ Apply ───────────────────────────────● │ │ Apply : Save all changes and restart networking │ It was important for me to set "DHCP" mode, and also "US" for the country. I think that the US employs different frequencies for the dongle than some other countries. If you do not set "DHCP", then you have to configure your router to recognize the USBridge's Dongle, and provide a specific IP number. Almost all routers are performing DHCP, which assigns the IP number automatically. The "Usage, SSID, Address" information at the top was not set by me, but describes the connection to my house wireless router. I think that there may have been a place where I had to tell the USBridge which local wireless signal to try. I will look some more for that.
  7. I think that, when you write "shh" you mean "ssh", which is a particular program for logging in to a UNIX or Linux system from another system. In order to get your USBridge running, you need to connect to it and control it in some way. There are a number of approaches. I don't know how to get wireless working properly without using another connection first. So, I started with a wired Ethernet from the USBridge to my laptop. I had to work hard to configure the laptop for a good connection. If you can run the Ethernet wire directly to any sort of network hub, typically a wireless hub that also has a wired Ethernet port, then everything will probably connect automatically. It may be worth sitting near your wireless hub while doing the initial steps, but I was unwilling to do so. If you need to configure the wired network connection, for example from a laptop or desktop, it al depends on the system running there. I might be able to help if it is UNIX/Linux, and other people have posted about tools on Microsoft and Apple systems. Given the wired network connection, there are some fairly simple things to configure the wireless, which I think I wrote about before, but I don't remember them in detail. If you achieve a remote login to the USBridge, then the "dietpi-config" program is pretty good for working out that sort of configuration. It is also possible to connect a keyboard and screen directly to the USBridge, but you must have the hardware for that. I did so with another Raspberry Pi before the USBridge. Once you have a wireless network connection, you may do most configuration and control through a Web page that the USBridge provides on your local network. From there, you may choose a number of ways to play music. I use the pre-installed "mpd" system, controlled across the network by "Cantata." It looks like the O!MPD Web-based control might be good for someone who doesn't want to configure as much as I did.
  8. Do you regard USB powered disk drives as "noisy" for this purpose? What about powered USB hubs? I currently have a powered USB hub connected to one of the WIFI/BT ports, with the Allo-supplied Wi-Fi dongle and a Seagate Backup+ Portable 5 Gb disk, which contains the 2 Gb of music that I play. I added the powered hub because the Wi-Fi dongle is wide and when it is in one of the WIFI/BT ports it obstructs the other one. The hub has also probably prevented occasional spontaneous unmounts of the disk that I experienced early on with the disk directly connected to the WIFI/BT port, no dongle present. I did not diagnose those unmounts carefully, so they could also have been due to system configuration that I changed later. I have not noticed a noise that I would associate with the WIFI/BT ports. I have some bad ambient noise from my refrigerator which would mask subtle problems in the sound system, and I may be more sensitive next year when I move to a quieter house. If this is not a good way to connect a USB disk, please suggest the better approach. Thanks, Mike O'Donnell
  9. In all the other systems that I have tried, a software-initiated shutdown, such as "sudo shutdown -h now" or "sudo poweroff" first halts all system activities safely, then turns the power off. On the USBridge Sig and the Raspberry Pi 3B+ that I did early experiments with, a software-initiated shutdown halts all system activities safely, and leaves power on. There is no positive signal when the system has stopped. After 30 seconds or so with the ACT LED dark, it is highly likely that the system has finished, but there is no assurance, and I have observed much longer delays on other systems in a small number of cases. Most, but not all, machines that I have used let the power button send a signal initiating a safe shutdown, just as with a command-initiated system shutdown. That is, equivalent to "sudo shutdown -h now" on those systems, but *not* equivalent to that command on RPi. Neither the USBridge Sig nor any other RPi-based device that I know of has a power button. On all systems that I know of, cutting power at the supply by unplugging or switching off a power strip before system activity completes risks leaving system data inconsistent. The typical problem is an inconsistent file system, requiring fsck to fix it. The fix often recovers all original data, but occasionally data are lost. With SD cards there is also a risk that the card will become completely inaccessible I think of this as an annoyance, rather than a serious problem. I haven't yet experienced an RPi breaking after "sudo shutdown -h now", watching the ACT LED until it is dark for 30 seconds, then unplugging power. On my previous RPi 3B+, I completely lost use of an SD card due to an accidental disconnection. On any given controlled shutdown this is unlikely, but it is highly likely that it will happen to someone someday due to an unexpected delay in system shutdown. Also, RPi shutdown is a longer, more complex, and less reliable operation than shutdown on other hardware, and on a headless system it requires a network connection to another computer..
  10. Tiny point, but no it's not a Linux nor UNIX thing. It's the hardware design. I have used many Linux and UNIX systems and they all did software-controlled complete power down, except for the Raspberry Pi based systems.
  11. Typing a command to ssh doesn't bother me. The two things that bother me about shutdown are: It requires a connection from another device. There is no positive indication when the system is shutdown and power switchoff is safe. One must pick an amount of time and suppose that no ACT light during that time means that the system is off. I believe that these issues derive directly from the Raspberry Pi design and not from the Allo extensions. I had the same issues when I experimented with a Raspberry Pi 3B+.
  12. Here's a configuration that worked out well for me, just FYI. If others are following parts of the same path, I might be able to provide some useful details. USBridge Sig with DietPi on eMMC memory, 5V 3A Allo-provided power supply, Allo provided USB WiFi Dongle, in the Allo Aluminum case. I run MPD and control it with mpc onboard and Cantata on a separate laptop. Seagate Backup Plus Portable 5TB disk, connected to one of the "WiFi/BT" USB ports through a powered USB Hub, which also holds the WiFi Dongle. The hub was necessary because the WiFi Dongle is fat and blocks the adjacent USB port. It also might have been required for sufficient power to the disk, but I can't find clear specs for the disk's current draw. ifi nano iDSD portable DAC on the clean USB port. The USBridge Sig replaced an old 32-bit netbook, which was getting flakey and could not mount the large USB disk. I suffered occasional stops and loss of connection to the DAC from the netbook, which so far have not occurred with the USBridge Sig. The setup sounds great, but I attribute most qualities of the sound to the DAC and the hifi amplifier and speakers behind it. I can't detect any change in sound due to the transport. Comments that might help others: There were lots of configuration glitches, all of the critical ones solved, too many to list. If anybody works on a particular similar component, I may be able to help with configuration problems. I use WiFi for control of MPD, for shutdown by "sudo shutdown -h now" through a remote ssh connection, and to receive Internet music streams. When I can install appropriate wiring, I will probably switch to wired Ethernet. I did initial configuration with a direct Ethernet connection from laptop to USBridge Sig. I have 1.7TB of music files. MPD handles the quantity fine. Cantata has some noticeably slow but tolerable responses when opening huge folders. Cantata sometimes disconnects and has to reconnect, which I can probably fix by tweaking the MPD configuration. I occasionally lose WiFi, and regain it by unplugging/replugging the dongle. There is probably a timeout configured somewhere that could fix this. Low priority since the wired connection will make it irrelevant. I use udisks2 and udiskie to automount the USB disk on /media/<username>/<longdevicecode> for equivalence with other hosts. I reset my UID on USBridge Sig to be the same as on other local hosts. When I experimented with the USB disk connected directly to one of the USBridge Sig "WiFi/BT" ports, there were several unwanted unmounts. I haven't had such problems since using the powered USB port, so I'm inclined to think that the disk occasionally wants more than the 900mA provided by the USBridge Sig. There also might be a problem in udisks2/udiskie. The eMMC memory sticks out of the SD slot in the case about 1 inch, and is probably vulnerable to accidental disconnection. SD chips would be well protected by the case, but I have bad past experience with damage to SD due to accidental disconnection. It's not the replacement cost so much as acquisition delay and the backup/restore of the system configuration that is annoying. I tried O!MPD as an alternative to Canatata that would work on any Web browser. I solved one glitch, but only made it through 41% of my music files updating the database before a Signature Expiration. I'm sure problems are solvable, but I suspect that O!MPD will always be too slow for my huge collection. I shut the USBridge Sig DietPi system down with "sudo shutdown -h now" in ssh from my laptop. I wait until the ACT light hasn't flashed for 30 seconds, and then power off. I power on/off with the switch on a surge-protector power strip supplying all components of the sound system. This is the clumsiest part of the setup, and will be particularly annoying when I want to use the turntable or CD player without starting the USBridge Sig. Eventually, I will ameliorate this with separate switched power strips, but it will never be nice. Cheers, and happy listening.
  13. The picture on this catalog page shows an eMMC card connected to the larger adapter and plugged into the USBridge Sig through the slot in the case: https://www.allo.com/sparky/usbridge-signature-player.html You have to click the picture, then scroll to the right. The second last picture shows eMMC, the last picture shows the (almost invisible in the slot) SD card. Still haven't found a picture of the eMMC card connected to the smaller adapter.
  14. WARNING ABOUT ORIENTATION OF THE CONNECTORS: The connectors look symmetrical to my eyes (which are not good for close up work). But, I think they are probably not safely reversible. I have no idea what happens if you attach in the wrong orientation, and I don't care to try. I received the eMMC card connected correctly to the smaller adapter. When I changed adapters, I inspected both closely with a magnifying glass. I saw some pin labels around the connectors on the adapters, so I turned the eMMC card 180 degrees to match those pin labels in the same way. That worked. The other direction might work, might be impossible to do, or might be possible but damaging. Again, advice from somebody who really knows would be appreciated.
  15. Key to the pictures at https://www.allo.com/sparky/emmc.html There are 5 pictures but you have to click on one and use sideways scrolling arrows to see them all. From left to right: 1 appears to be a rectangular adapter different from both of the ones I received with the USBridge Sig. 2 is the eMMC card attached to the adapter from #1. The eMMC card is a duller gray than the adapter, slightly smaller, with "SAMSUNG" printed on it. The connectors are hidden between the card and the adapter. 3-5 appear to be the case-compatible connector, from three different angles. Instead of attaching so that it hovers over this adapter, the eMMC card overlaps but sticks out well beyond the wider end of the adapter. The alternate adapter that came with the USBridge Sig is narrower than the eMMC card, almost rectangular, its narrower dimension fits into the SD slot. It connects to the eMMC card sort of like picture 2, but in this case the adapter is smaller than the eMMC card. When the adapter slides into the SD slot, the eMMC card rides above the slot.
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