Introduction: How to Use Supstronics X400 Expansion Board

This will show you how to use the Supstronics x400 Expansion Board with Raspberry Pi.
Check it out here

First of all what is a Supstronics x400 Expansion Board?

Here are its key features:

Input Voltage - 6V to 24Vdc converted to 5V, 3A via step-down DC/DC converter to power the Raspberry Pi
- Full-HD audio– up to 24-bit/192kHz playback
- Class leading audio; 112db SNR, and THD of 0.0019%
- Audiophile TI Burr Brown 32-bit/384kHz DAC (TI PCM5122)
- Uses the digital I2S audio signals to reduce CPU load over USB audio solutions
- Integrated hardware volume control
- Mute can be enabled / disabled via jumper
- Built in High quality audio headphone amplifier (TI TPA6133A)
- Earphone AMP can be enabled / disabled via jumper
- Built in High quality Class-D stereo audio amplifier (TI TPA3118D2)
- Up to 2 x 20W into 4 ohm
- AMP can be enabled / disabled via jumper
- Phono/RCA connectors
- 3.5mm stereo audio jack
- Speaker terminals
- Built in IR sensor (38KHz)
- DIP switch to remove connection from RPi’s pin header
- Directly connected on top of the Raspberry Pi using the board GPIO header pins
- No wiring nor soldering is required
- Duplicated the 40-pin header of the R-Pi in order to support existing expansion boards
- Suitable for Raspberry Pi Model B+, Raspberry Pi 2 Model B and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B NEW!
Dimensions - 85 x 56mm (Same size as Raspberry Pi)

Step 1: Build the Setup

Picture of Build the Setup

Just put the standoffs on then screw it all down. It's simple.

Step 2: Edit /etc/boot.txt

You are now going to need to edit /etc/boot.txt so we can change the soundcard.

First in the terminal (ssh) type:

sudo nano /etc/boot.txt

Once that is open add the fallowing line:


Step 3: Edit /etc/modprobe.d/raspi-blacklist.conf

Enter the fallowing into the terminal(ssh):

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/raspi-blacklist.conf

Comment out these lines (if they exist):

blacklist i2c-bcm2708

blacklist snd-soc-pcm512x

Step 4: Edit the /etc/modules File

Enter the fallowing into the terminal(ssh):

sudo nano /etc/modules

Then add the fallowing:






Step 5: Setup OSMC Audio Output

Picture of Setup OSMC Audio Output

1) Go to "My OSMC"

2) Click on "Pi Config"

3) Make sure the right soundcard is selected, then click ok.

Step 6: Test It Out!

Picture of Test It Out!

WARNING!!! - Do Not Power the Raspberry Pi through the Micro USB Port. Use the DC Plug on the x400 Board

Plug everything in, the sound quality is awesome.

I hope you enjoyed the project! If you have any questions leave them in the comments.

Disclaimer: The url is tracked by gearbest because I am part of the Associate Program. No need to be worried, it doesn't affect you at all.


GustavoC14 (author)2017-07-22

wich supply you use ?

12v 18 v ?

Funguypro (author)GustavoC142017-07-22

I use 12V

GustavoC14 (author)Funguypro2017-07-22

What amperage?

Did you ever try to use the outputs for passive boxes?

WenleZ (author)2017-03-19

HOw does this work with OSMC 2017.02.02 release? there is no /etc/boot.txt file.

Funguypro (author)WenleZ2017-03-19

Hello, I'm not sure I haven't tried it. But the retrosmc community should be coming up with a solution soon

PeterC288 (author)2016-12-30

Step 2:

dtparam=audio=off #disable Raspberry onboard audio

dtoverlay=iqaudio-dacplus #enable X400 audio

dtoverlay=lirc-rpi,gpio_in_pin=17 #enable X400 IR receiver

Steps 3 and 4 are not needed for Raspbian Jessie

rusty0101 (author)2016-11-07

The video does a decent job of explaining what the X400 is, however much of that explanation should also be in an introduction to this instructable. Things that even the video is missing include, "Why are you using a Yellow RCA jack for Left Audio, and a White one for Right?" "There is a volume control next to the RCA jacks, are the RCA jacks outputting line level outputs, or speaker level outputs? Does the volume control affect Line Level outputs, or only the screw down terminals on the far side of the board?"

I'd personally look at getting one if it had audio capture capabilities, as I would think that a RPi based audio recorder would be a great tool to have so that I'm not trying to capture audio on a device that's expecting me to speak into the microphone of a phone. Sure I can get stand alone audio recorders and voice recorders, but with this I could subsequently edit the audio right on the device, and I wouldn't have to be concerned about the prospect of some nosey editor calling the phone I'm using to record an interview in the middle of the recording.

The other use case I have for something like this is as an audio io device for a ham radio repeater. But as far as I can tell, the designers of this device wanted another Audio output device that won't work as well as feeding HDMI audio into a decent TV or stereo system that will accept that as a source.

Funguypro (author)rusty01012016-11-07

Hello, thank you for the comment. The RCA jack isn't a standard jack it has weird colors so i just connected them the right way to the AMP running my whole house audio. The volume control controls every audio output on the board. And also, I like your ideas to use the board with.

wstewl (author)2016-11-03

I see no description or specifications about this board here or in the link provided. Did I miss that somewhere?

Clearly it outputs audio signals, but what is the source of that sound? What is the power output? Frequency response?

There are certainly much cheaper audio amplifier boards. What does this have to offer aside from fitting nicely on the Pi?

Funguypro (author)wstewl2016-11-03

Hello, sorry about this. It is an SPI audio driver for the rasperrypi. You can find more here,

smartrem (author)2016-11-03

I've got one I must use to use with Volumio, you got me the kick to start doing my project. Thanks

Funguypro (author)smartrem2016-11-03


grayl (author)2016-11-02

Alright I'll bite - what does a Supstronics X400 Expansion Board do?

LH_2000 (author)grayl2016-11-03

I'm wondering the same thing! It appears to do something with grammer and punctuation.

Funguypro (author)LH_20002016-11-03

Yes it is, it is a spi audio card

tf-Bullet (author)grayl2016-11-03

looks like some kind of a "digital audio card" for the Raspberry Pi :)

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-11-02

Cool. I hadn't heard about the supstronics board. I might have to try this out with my Raspberry Pi.

About This Instructable




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