Pi Zero Portable Network Music Player (Part 2)

I decided to split up the posts, since the first was getting pretty long.

Once I had played around with the compressed package and overcome some software issues (The Pi Zero only has 512 MB RAM, Volumio was a bit grumpy in the confined space until the excellent team made a quick patch to enable a swap file), I decided to take it up a notch and downloaded some music to it.  Interestingly, once Volumio is set up to work on your home network, browsing to it with your file manager will expose a network drive you can dump files to:


(Your internal network IP may vary)

The setup work extremely well in this configuration too, which was important, because one of my fears was needing to add a USB hub to this mess.  If I could use internal storage, there was no need for USB storage.  I jumped online and looked at a list of compatible SD cards and found what I was looking for:  a 128 GB card that should work.  When it came in the mail, I installed, setup, and it works perfectly.  (I realize 128 GB might be overkill, however I have a lot of music in FLAC format, so my library is a little chunky).  For anyone interested, I purchased a Samsung EVO+ 128 GB

That over with, I had to contend with the Wifi adapter sticking out of the side like a sore thumb.  My solution to that uses the test pads on the bottom of the Pi Zero.  It’s not clean, it’s not elegant, but I soldered wires right to them, similar to what can be found here.  Frederick Vandenbosch did a great job with pictures and labels, so instead of replicating his effort, I’ll simply link to it and give credit.

To accomplish that, of course, I had to do some surgery.  The plastic cover and shell, thankfully, peeled right off with some encouragement:


Then came the soldering:

Edimax with a tail

I’m not particularly proud of this soldering, but I’m certainly not proud of what I did to the bottom of the Pi.  Just accept that it works, and that I need a better soldering iron.

A quick note:  The wires you run to the USB D+ and D- wires have to be exactly the same length.  USB is a differential signal, so length differences will make all the bits fly out the side instead of going into the Wifi adapter.

The final (for today) result?



I’m guessing I’ll take a performance hit on the Wifi having it tucked like that.  I’ll play around with it and let you know!

On the to-do list:

  • Hardware Buttons
  • A Battery and charger solution
  • An enclosure to make it look cool

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