Searching for: Volume control button that connects with Arylic Up2Stream

I am looking for a physical volume control button, to control the volume in the Arylic eco system. Preferably a round button, non-wired (battery operated), with controls for:

  • Volume - step less volume control by turning the round button.
  • Play/pause - by pushing the button.
  • Next/preceeding song - by pushing the round button on the right or left side.

The IKEA volume control for its IKEA/Sonos speakers is a great example.

I have no intention to use the DIY volume board by Arylic, as I need several of these buttons, and do not want to have too much custom building work.

Question
Anyone who knows a good product that is able to communicate with the Arylic products?

Ernst, No rocket science involved :slight_smile:

Sure the collective powers of the Arylic Forum will find a nice solution :pray:

Ernst,

I am not sure if there is anything commercial that will do the job. The Ikea knob needs a Gateway device to tie all the Ikea Hardware together.

One approach will be to use a rotary encoder and ESP8266 or ESP32 Board. This will connect to the WLAN and with a bit of Arduino code you could have a TCP/IP Socket Communication with the Arylic Device.

If you are feeling really adventurous you could include a little OLED screen :slight_smile:

Hope this helps, Kevin

P.S. I might even give it a go myself one day . I just still haven’t finished all my other projects yet :roll_eyes: So it might not be soon unless I have a client or Application for it.

@NWT.Stuff

Thnx Kevin, yep the IKEA knob needs a Gateway. But if I would have a ready-to-use wireless knob with the Up2Stream Mini via a Gateway … I would be happy.

Thanks also for the suggestion on the ESP. I have thought about that, but it’s not my first choice. I would need several of them and for that reason I do not prefer to have custom build projects for wireless knobs each time.

I do see an alternative in another ready to use product: Spotify Car Thing. It is a ready-to-use remote with volume knob. It even has a touch screen and interesting functions. As it connects via your smartphone, it is possible to use Car Thing for my two main purposes:

  • A wireless volume knob in combination with the Up2Stream Mini.
  • Voice command for audio streaming to the Up2Stream Mini.

There are some limitations though:

  • It only supports Spotify.
  • It has no battery, so it has to be wired for power.
  • It is (not yet) released in my home country (NL).
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Ernst @KolfMAKER

It seems to me that the best solution would be an NEW Arylic Accessory. It imagine there will be a Market for this :thinking:

Frank @zpl1025 What are you thoughts on this ?

Regards, Kevin

IMHO Gateways are additional hardware that don’t add any value. If you stick to TCP/IP communications then you already have a Gateway in your home = Home Router.

The Gateways Hive, Sonos, Nest etc etc. are just translating RF Control, Zigbee, Z-Wave, MQTT to TCP/IP. It introduces another point of failure.

The Marketing Teams call it a Hub, Gateway, Smart Hub etc. etc. but it is nothing more than a protocol bridge. This is something that is seriously frowned upon and generally banned from Industrial Automation. Anyway no hard advice here just food for thought :thinking:

In any case there will be many houses in the World with multiple Smart Hubs which seems pretty wasteful to me :slight_smile:

Regards, Kevin

I completely get what you mean Kevin. Many manufacturers sell their own gateway, it is of course also their earning model.

My issue is that I am looking for an out-of-the-box & ready-to-use volume know. I have several of my speakers projects at family, friends, etc. homes. Several of them would like to have a wireless volume know, but it takes too much time for me to build a number of volume knobs as custom project.

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Ernst,

The best way I still think is an Arylic Accessory. However I can make this sort of “custom project” quickly for you if you want. However it will look like a circuit board with a Rotary Encoder stuck on top of it. I don’t have the means to make a button look good (or probably more accurately that side doesn’t interest me :joy:)

I’ll build you a bare bones prototype and send it to you :innocent:

Regards, Kevin

Ernst, It’s a start. Let me know what you thing.

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Kevin,

I am not Ernst but that is looking like a good initial spec. I am currently pulling together some volume and control buttons and looking at using a discrete switch joystick for the controls but it would be most like wired so just based on the ADC keyboard. It is surprisingly cheap to get a board made and iterate through design right now.

With the WIFI spec like you describe I am unclear on the programming on how to get the remote to communicate with the selected Arylic device (linked) but I am not a programmer by any stretch.

I almost wonder if one could either use bluetooth communication with the board’s bluetooth or if not create a board that can bluetooth pair with the remote you are proposing and plug directly into the ADC socket on the DIY boards either using the 3.3V from that board or with separate power coming from the 5v supplied to the arylic.

This board could then read the inputs from the remote and then provide the proper resistance combination to operate the audio boards.

Just a thought.

EDIT: I guess looking at some other posts and the Mini Pro you could probably use UART communication from a bluetooth transceiver to send the design commands from the remote. I do not think the mini has the UART pins exposed though.

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@NWT.Stuff

Thanks Kevin, so nice to see you approach this with enthusiasm and creativity!

Reading the functional specification, I think you mentioned all that matters. I assume that this know will control the volume for the speaker or speaker group that is active (marked with the light green box when looking in the device list of the 4Stream App. Is that correct?

The knob I am looking for woud preferably have a rechargeable battery. Because people would want to put and move such button somewhere in and through the house.

Push button: yes, for mute and un-mute. (And if possible, another kind of push for skip to next song and one song back)

In the end of course I am looking for something that works and looks nice of the shelf. But I like your initiative.

@Hydro3 @KolfMAKER Thanks for the positive feedback :+1:

I realised that :joy:

I think what is coming may answer most of your questions (for now at least :slight_smile: )

Let’s ignore that one for now. I am working on another 2 Projects that will make it clearer to define what is possible:-

  1. Voice Control with Home Assistant
  2. Contributing to API Documentation with Arylic https://developer.arylic.com/

Also I need to check if my proposal can work first. This can be addressed later.

Understood. There are a lot of enthusiasts on the forum who could package stuff much better than me. Collaboration ?

So here we go. Updated Functional Specification taking into account your feedback:-

@Hydro3 Can you list all the Control Functions you would like on your Joystick Idea ? I can very quickly say what is “possible” or “not possible” with the approach above.

Regards, Kevin

P.S. Anyway how about specifying, developing and manufacturing an ARYLIC FORUM ACCESSORY ?? :thinking: A common effort from the Forum Users with the Hardware Enthusiasts, Software Enthusiasts and “Must look Good” Enthusiasts . That would be very cool :slight_smile:

@NWT.Stuff
Thanks for the thorough response. I like where you are going with it … As with my joystick concept it seems like it would be something as you think more of the volume knob you are specifying will fit in with it.

It would be great to do something that is somewhat programmable like using that ESP32board for someone to change some functions if they wanted to especially if sending it through the UPnP/DLNA commands like you are proposing.

I think coming up with a accessory like the one proposed would be a valuable add on to both the diyboards and the more refined units that Arylic is making. I have found the boards to be very expandable and while I am not some huge integrator they fit a niche for replacing an old intercom system with 10 speakers in my house. I will have a write up on it in a few weeks when I get some control boards in from the PCB manufacturer.

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@Hydro3

Glad you understood where I am proposing to head with this. :+1:

Absolutely volume knob, joystick etc. etc. is a Digital or Analogue Input for ESP32 Platform.

OK, I think we have already established that in principal that it could be a good and worthwhile accessory.

The first step I think is for me to test the feasibility & reliability of sending UPnP/DLNA commands from ESP32 Board. I will take a simple command like Mute & Un Mute and check that I can make a Digital Input on ESP32 Board Achieve this on an Arylic Device.

I will obviously post my results on the forum. I don’t know how long it will take me (1 or 100 hours :slight_smile: ).

However in the meantime I am quite happy to encourage input on required functionality etc. If the UPnP/DLNA idea doesn’t work we have always TCP/IP & HTTPAPI to fall back on.

Regards, Kevin

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@NWT.Stuff @Hydro3

This sounds like an exciting and innovative project!

When it comes to functionality, maybe good to add following. Because in the end I imagine a volume-knob that is round:

  • Turning it counter clockwise/clockwise for volume up/down.
  • Pushing it (e.g. in the middle) for mute/unmute (pause/play)
  • Pushing it (e.g. on the left/right for one song back/next song)

My contribution
I have a 3D printer and design and print my own casings and parts for my proto typing projects. So for this project I offer to design and print the casing. Of course we first have to make the other steps, before I can start doing that. But anyhow …

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Yes it certainly does :slight_smile:

I will add this to our working Functional Specification.

Brilliant, thanks for the Offer. A great resource to add to our Project :+1:

I think I will add a “Packaging Unit” to the Spec which should cover this item.

I am 75% sure I can achieve something quickly with TCP/IP. It would move the Project faster and would work with most Arylic Devices. A future upgrade to UPnP/DLNA would basically extend the Market to a lot more devices and users. However the Hardware will be identical so I think I will proceed with a raw Proof of concept, Rotary Encoder, ESP32 Board with TCP/IP Command Set.

Power Unit - Looking forwards I don’t have any experience of best practice rechargeable batteries. I totally agree that a mains powered device would be very limiting. Maybe someone on the Forum could suggest some Rechargeable 5VDC rechargeable battery solutions. I think it could be good to look into this now as this will ultimately define the size of the unit. I can give a size for the MCU and the Control Unit will “sit on top” (maybe).

Just realised I have a pre conceived idea how the unit will look. :thinking: You should forget my comment and the “Packaging Unit” Team should design the product look :slightly_smiling_face:

In the “Collaborative Power of the Arylic Fourm” we trust. :star_struck:

@KolfMAKER @Hydro3

More Detailed Functional Description of the Control Unit shown below:-

@Hydro3 You can certainly start to specify what sort of Control you would like to see on the Joystick Version.

Regards, Kevin

FYI Crisp Clean Shortcuts | Hackaday

Great idea!

Agree, this is a call to anyone with experience in 5vDC battery powering. It would be great to have a small battery cell(s) and an integrated circuit for battery management. So charging via a standard 5v DC adapter, and some indication when charging is done.

  • I hope that we can have a rather small unit for battery cells, to prevent the know and casing to become too bulky.
  • And also I hope that the battery pack will have a long use before recharging is needed. (I am aware that this volume knob will use WiFi, which influences battery life).

@NTW.Stuff and @KolfMAKER

Kevin,

I was looking at a joy stick similar to the below:

I was thinking that I would like to see the following which seems like it should fit in just fine with Kolf’s idea’s. I was thinking that using the 6 functions of this type of joystick could be:

Turn encoder clockwise volume +
Turn encoder counter clockwise volume -
Push encoder straight down pause/play
Push Up cycle through presets forward … i.e. push once go to preset 1, push second time go to preset 2.
Push Down cycle through presets down … i.e. push down once step down through presets push once go to preset 4 push again go to preset 3.
Push Left skip track
Push right go to previous track.

Another option with be to put a multi direction joystick (up, down, left, right, push down) joystick switch in the middle of an annular rotary encoder such as the following:

This would allow any symbols printed or screen in the center to always be in the correct position and the outside ring could be the volume up and down.

Thanks,
Hydro3

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@Hydro3 @KolfMAKER

I’ll work both your suggestions into the DRAFT Functional Specification for Control Units and re post the updates.

FYI In the meantime I have changed my mind about the Concept Prototype. I think I will revert to UPnP/DLNA Command Set as it’s worth getting the hard work done earlier to increase flexibility on the number of devices we can control with this unit :slight_smile:

By the way all the 6 Functions that you mention can be done using UPnP/DLNA <> Arylic. The Pre-set Command is a bit weird/non standard but I know how it works so it’s just another command that works. e.g. The Preset Function would not work with Non LinkPlay Stuff. certainly not a deal changer at this stage :joy:

Regards, Kevin