It’s been nearly a year since I posted anything on here. This was for a couple of reasons; probably most importantly, I was finally made redundant in July and have been working towards self-employment. Another reason is that I decided a while ago I would only build things I had a genuine use/need for (although I do have yet another completed headphone amplifier that just needs the enclosure). Now, ‘having a use/need for’ can be interpreted in a number of ways, or so I told myself as I embarked on this little project.
The kitchen in my house used to have a small Denon micro-system and Chromecast Audio with a pair of new/old stock Wharfedale floorstanders that were picked up ridiculously cheap years ago. The refurbishment of the kitchen during the pandemic left no space (or place, according to some) for the speakers so I ended up buying a Sonos Five. In all honesty, keeping at least one system that is easy for everybody to use all their different devices/apps on results in a small amount of domestic bliss and means they don’t have to sit through a 20 minute powerpoint presentation on how to get something working.
After my partner decided she didn’t need the Raspberry Pi4 I bought her to use as a second computer in the spare room, I started to look to see if I could use this to run a display for the Sonos. Turns out there is a very nice little project by Mark Hank on Hackster.io. Even better, I got it running on an old Pi Zero W, so that means the Pi4 can be saved for something that might need the extra power. Mark provides a very good tutorial for getting the Pi running and the comments below the line proved useful for some troubleshooting problems I had. I went with the non-touch Hyperpixel 4 square display, and it is indeed very nice and looks much better than the photo shows.
Once running, the display picks up the Spotify album art quickly when switching tracks. I also listen to BBC radio stations frequently and this works well, a picture of the DJ is shown whilst they are speaking, then the cover art comes on when a track is played. I haven’t got it playing nice with streaming from my NAS yet, but that’s for another day. The case is a simple little box frame from Hobbycraft, (£2 in the sale!) and this fits the screen and Pi Zero quite nicely.
So, did I ‘need’ this? No, but I like it and it hasn’t taken over space, which will surely lead to a more harmonious household.