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A zero-config €65 Roon endpoint for any USB DAC

  • The long way ’round. For our first dive into repurposing a Raspberry Pi as a a FauxRoonReady streamer we took the scenic route. Why so? Our operating system of choice, Volumio, serves as more than just a Roon Endpoint. After all, there is more to network streaming than Roon.

    Volumio offers Ethernet and wifi connectivity, an MPD-based music player to directly stream audio from connected USB drives and network shares (via UPnP), Spotify Connect and (Shairport) Airplay.

    The entry fee for Volumio’s additional functionality is a little extra complexity when installing Roon Bridge which doesn’t come ‘fitted as standard’. We must get down and dirty with the Command Line Interface (CLI) to manually Roon Bridge to Volumio via three Linux commands.

    For CLI refuseniks or those who don’t need Volumio’s functional extras, there’s a short cut to Roon Bridge installation: an alternative Raspi operating system called RoPieee. One O, three Es.

    “RoPieee provides a ready-to-go image that runs Roon Bridge and enables your USB port for playing audio over an USB DAC. Without *any* intervention. 

    RoPieee has an elaborate update mechanism which makes sure your RoPieee is up-to-date. RoPieee will update in the background, without user intervention. This makes operating RoPieee as simple as possible. In the end we just want to enjoy our music…”

    Download the latest Ropiee image file, flash it to the microSD card with Etcher, slot it into the Raspi’s microSD card slot and restart. Job done.

    RoPieee’s first boot handles initial setup with zero user intervention but, as such, takes a good ten minutes to finish doing its thing. When the LED slows to a single flash per second, we’re ready to rock with Roon. No SSH, no CLI. It’s that simple.

    The first compromise is RoPieee is for Raspi users who need Roon and only Roon. The second compromise is an absence of Wifi support. RoPieee is strictly Ethernet only.

    Limited configuration options – reboot time and HAT optioning (which we’ll get to in our next Raspi piece) – are accessible via RoPieee’s web interface. Use Fing or your LAN router to locate your Raspi’s IP address and punch it into any web browser.

    I’ve been using RoPieee these past 24 hours with the KEF LS50 Wireless and without issue. It really is as easy as DIY Roon endpointing gets.

    What this means is the Raspberry Pi 3 (€65 w/ official case and SMPS) can be up and running as a Roon Endpoint in a matter of minutes.

    Have we ever had it so good?

    Further information: RoPieee

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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