High-End Sound With 7 Inch Touchscreen Control Based on Raspberry Pi and Max2Play





Introduction: High-End Sound With 7 Inch Touchscreen Control Based on Raspberry Pi and Max2Play

About: Max2Play offers a browser based administration interface for mini-computers like Raspberry Pi and Odroid on a Linux basis. With Max2Play, applications, so-called Max2Play extensions can be installed and admi...

With the arrival of the new official Raspberry Pi Touchscreen, we were excited to find applications for it in our Max2Play system. Since audio applications have been one of our main focuses from the start, we immediately thought of a combination of sound card and screen. We had already created great bundles for both touchscreen and sound card solutions, but the combination was something we were still working on. The main connectors of the Raspberry Pi can only be used for one device at a time. So we had to become creative and can now show you the result.
With just a few tweaks to the standard Raspberry Pi Touchscreen and Case, we can now combine it with a powerful DAC sound card directly on-board. When we incorporate these components into our Max2Play Image using the elegant Jivelite visualization and our own RPi display plugin, we get a great setup with all the features we know and love, great sound and massive touchscreen to control it all.

We offer a bundle including all necessary components for this instructable in our shop.

Step 1: Connect the Touchscreen and the Sound Card With the Raspberry Pi

Just follow the instructions from your touchscreen and make sure everything is well adjusted using spacers and screws. Then put the sound card on top of the Raspberry using the GPIO connector bar. We are using a HiFiBerry DAC+ light for our system. Its affordable yet powerful nature combined with its small size makes it perfect for this project.

You can buy the HiFiBerry DAC+ light and other HiFiBerry sound cards that work with this setup like the Digi+ or the DAC+ in our shop

Step 2: Drill Holes Into the Case for Your Sound Card's Output

Check the dimensions of your sound card's output and its distance from bottom of the touchscreen. With these specifications you can mark the area on the case that has to be removed in order to be able to connect your sound card
Use a drill to bore a hole where you have marked the exits for the sound card. Then check if the case fits comfortably onto the system. If not, just extend the holes until there is no pressure on the case anymore.

You can find the case for this whole system in our shop.

We also offer a free template for the right drill locations for HiFiBerry's DAC's on our website.

Step 3: Solder the Two Pins Onto the Sound Card

Since the two peripheries, screen and sound card, both need a lot of juice to run properly, we need to give the sound card an additional power source in the form of the 5 volt connector on the touchscreen. However we cannot connect the two yet since the connectors on the sound card are only for the Raspberry Pi.
That is why we need to solder a little line of five connectors onto the top of our sound card. We just need two connections for the power supply, the first and third hole, so we only need to solder in two places. Once those two are rightly connected and sit strong on the sound card, we need to bend the connectors a little in order to not have them stick out in our case.
Now that this new ridge is added and conformed to the rest of the system, we just need to connect the two cables and all the hardware is in place.

Step 4: Burn the Max2Play HiFiBerry Image on a MicroSD Card

The Max2play image is available for free download on our website.

All images for download on Max2Play are packed in .rar or .zip files and can be burnt onto a card using a simple tool like the WinDiskImager for Windows. Just let it burn and once the process is done, put the card into the Raspberry Pi. This image lets you configure your Raspberry Pi without connecting a keyboard or mouse to the Raspberry. All settings can be done through our web interface on your laptop, desktop computer or even your smartphone.

In this instructable we use the HiFiBerry Image since we are using a HiFiBerry DAC+ light as our sound card, but the other Raspberry Pi images work as well.

You can also order an already burnt and configured microSD card from Max2Play.

Step 5: Set Up the Plugins Jivelite and RPi Display

Now its time for the software setup. Max2Play has already done the heavy lifting with its plug-and-play image. We just need to make a few adjustments in the web interface, which we can reach on any device connected to the local network as well with the browser. Just type http://max2play/ in the URL bar.
With the HiFiBerry Image, we can first set up our sound card. Just select it from the drop down menu, click save, reboot and the sound card is activated. The two premium plugins we need for this setup are the Jivelite installer and the RPi Display. Please make sure you have the filesystem expanded, the premium license activated and the system updated before you install them.
Jivelite comes preconfigured when the license is active. We just need to select it from the available plugins section and put it in into active mode where it will show up in your main menu. From there we can access its own page where just need to click install and wait a few minutes until we get the message to reboot again.
Now we just need one more plugin to activate the touchscreen; our RPi Display addon. We have to add it to the plugins section by copying the source URL from our plugins list on Max2Play.com. Once we have done that, we just need to select our 7 inch screen and click install. Then we have to reboot and click install again to fit the kernel update. This marks the last step and if we have Jivelite in autostart, we can already start to play music when our system is booted up again.

Step 6: Enjoy Your New, Elegant Touchscreen Panel With Amazing Sound and Simple Controls

Now you can enjoy Max2Play to its fullest potential. With the touchscreen and Jivelite interface, you can always quickly start your favorite radio station, podcast or playlist. The navigation is simple and gives all the features that the Squeezebox technology has to offer.
Thanks to the sound card all the output sounds crisp and you can enjoy your music in the quality it deserves without a big investment. With the RCA connectors, you can connect any analog speaker you like and easily take your music station on the road.

We hope you enjoy this new sound solution by Max2Play and we would love to hear your feedback, here in the comments and on our Forums and Facebook page.

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15 Discussions


2 years ago

Hi, in Step 1 it looks like the touchscreen gets its power through the two cables that are connected to the raspberry pins (power to microusb in the pi?).

In Step 4 it looks like those same cables are now not any more connected to the raspberry, but to the soundcard and the touchscreen. Or did I get this wrong?

Where would the microusb-powercable go? I have all parts to start the project, but want to make sure, I'm getting this right, before I start.

Thanks, Fred

4 replies

Hi Fred,
The image in the first step is does not have the sound card yet. The touchscreen gets its power from the Pi through the white monitor connector. The pin connectors' cables have to be connected to the sound card as detailed. The two connectors on the monitor's connector ridge where it says GPIO have the inscription GRD for ground and 5V for the 5 Volt.
You can also now set up the software much easier and quicker with our dedicated 7" Touchscreen Image for exactly this application. It automatically configures the Plugins "RPi Display" and the Jivelite Installer. You can find the download on our website at http://www.max2play.com/en/max2play-image/

If you are still having questions, feel free to join our forums or write another comment here.

I have one more question: you mentioned in earlier comments, that there is the option of a screensaver in jivelight. I couldn't find the option in the web application. (I used the image you recommended with preinstalled jivelight). I updated max2play and got logitech media server and jivelight working, but found no option to toggle the screensaver.

Hi Fred,

The option should be in the Jivelite interface itself under Settings > Screen > Screensaver. Make sure that you installed the skin for your 7 inch display.

thanks for the fast answer. Tried your image out (without the hifiberry attached) with the max2play license that came with the card... really easy to setup, everything works, especially jivelight...perfect!
Will try to solder the power connection tomorrow... will be the first time for me, hope I get this right :)

This project looks almost perfect for my needs, I love my Squeezeboxes, but want to be able to play 24bit 192kHz audio.

The only thing I'm worried about is integration with my Logitech Harmony remotes, as this doesn't seem to have IR.

Do you think adding a FLIRC RPi USB XBMC IR Remote Receiver would enable my all in one remote to control the Max2Play player?

1 reply

Hi ben,

Good to hear we fit your needs. Regarding the flirc solution, there are several topics on this subject in our forums. Definitely a lot of users have implemented this receiver in Max2Play in some capacity. For more infos, here is a topic discussing the matter: https://www.max2play.com/en/forums/topic/infrared-...
You will also find more infos by searching for "flirc" in the forums' topic search.

Hi, I was wondering if it is possible to use the 7inch display with the hifiberry amp+?


2 replies

Hi Jamie,
The newest model of the Amp+ now has a connector bar on top. With this model, you can thusly follows the same steps as with this Instructable for the DAC+ and should be able to get it to work. We are also currently working on a full Amp-Solution with a fitting case.
However, the old Amp+-models do not work with this setup.

Hi, I've got the set from you with touchscreen, hifi berry amp and pi2. When connecting the supplied psu with the amp and powering the touchscreen with pin 1+6 from the amp the pi +screen is working, but not the amp. The system only works when connecting an additional 5v micro usb to the screen. Is that supposed to be like that? Regards Martin

Hi, sorry this may be a stupid question, but I was wondering if I can connect this to my Gainclone amp, and speakers. Or is this an amplifier itself?
Can i use my spotify account on this box? I am really thinking of ordering your kit including HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro. Keep up the great work!

1 reply

Hi chellebust,

This system uses a DAC (Digital-Analog-Converter), so the audio signal it puts out is an analog stereo signal that you should be able to connect to your Amp via the RCA connectors.
Spotify can be used through the Squeezebox Server, there is a third party plugin called Triode that enables Spotify-Support.

I all ready got this set up and it's working real good. But it's hard to find a 7 inch case for this touch screen and Raspberry PI. Any link were can buy one?

The screen has 4 other mounts on the out side corners looks like for a case that can mount on it.

2 replies

Looked before and I could not find that link to the case hard to find I guess.

Looks nice. I will buy it later when I have the $ thank for the link to it.