Control an Amplifier With a SqueezeBox

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

If you`ve got a Squeezebox then you`ve probably got an amplifer to go with it. Having to get up and turn the amp on and off when you need it is just far too tedious (especially if your Squeezebox is hidden away in a cupboard or something), so we need a gadget that can turn the amp on when the Squeezebox turns off, and turns the amp off again whenit turns off. Sounds pretty simple,

Control an Amplifier With a SqueezeBox
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

right There are a few other attempts to do this around the Internet. There`s a server module called PowerCenter that can send commands via a serial port to and X10 sender. The X10 signals then control plug-in X10 modules on the amplifer power cord. This sort of approach works well, but needs quite a bit of X10 hardware to make it work. There`s a DIY hardware hack that uses a sensor on the front panel LED of a Duet Receiver to detect if the player is on or off. This particular hack uses power from inside the Receiver, and of course only works with a Duet. As it happens, my particular concern is with a Duet, but I`d rather not have to crack open the case and fit some dangling wires out of it. So with all that in mind, this project uses the Squeezebox`s power supply for it`s power source, and passes that power on to the player (it should work with most of the modern Squeezebox models too - not quite with the Squeezebox 1 though - see below). It uses the Toslink (SPDIF) optical output of the Squeezebox as the means of detecting the players state, and it uses a mains relay to switch the amp on and off. It`s possible to use the Squeezebox`s coaxial digital output if you don`t want to use the optical, or it could have an "optical pass through" if you still want to use the optical output. The actual electronics can control two relays (the second isn`t used in the pictures below though). The idea is that you can use one relay to...

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