Whole Home Audio Rig

So a while back (let’s not talk about how long ago) I found the site of HazyMat

Multi-zone audio: a discussion of the options

He seemed to have found a great solution for doing some work on whole home audio.  This is something I have been trying to find a good solution for myself.

I decided to test this out myself using the XAP 800.  xap800_l

 

 

 

maxresdefaultI picked this thing up on ebay for $24 bucks.  So I did some testing and was able to do some audio routing via serial port which means I can use Openhab to control the audio matrix.  Not the same matrix.  But as I have shown before, the connectors might be a pain in the butt to try to wire everything up.

ClearOne XAP-800 Professional Audio Conferencing System Pic 4

Screw down terminals are great but not convenient if you have it mounted in a rack.  Which is what I wanted to do with mine.

So how do we make this better?  A patch panel!!!
19-inch_rackmount_Ethernet_switches_and_patch_panels

So I started looking around.  I could do a keystone jack patch panel.  But then doing rca keystone jacks were going to be way more expensive than I wanted to spend.  $24 bucks for the audio rig and Im looking at $100 bucks for the patch panel….. NOPE!

So here is what I decided to do.  Use a 2u blank rack plate.  Like this one.  72621Buddy 069of mine had one laying around.  So far $0.  I know what you are thinking.  “Hey genius you don’t have any holes…..”

 

I know.  I got it.  Relax.  I busted out the blue painters tape and made some markings for the holes.  IMG_0678

 

Now off to the drill press.  Few drillings later we have swiss cheese!!

IMG_0679Had a super cheap pack of RCA jacks show up.

81DOZmuhh9L._SL1500_
Initially I was planning on doing all my cable management through the middle, so I had red on top and black on the bottom.  But then because I had the top and IMG_0687bottom row offset from each other it didn’t make sense.  So I ended up swapping them around.  I then soldered speaker wire to the back of each jack.  It took a while, but it was worth it.  Wired up to the screw terminals I now had a nice pretty panel.

IMG_0937

 

So I wanted to get things labelled up.  But my label maker is junk.  The sticky tape just falls off.  So I could paint.  But then it looks messy.  So then it hit me.  Vinyl!!!

I was able to pick up a craft cutter for super cheap (<$35) and designed up some labels, ordered some white vinyl.

CUT!!!

IMG_0939A little transfer paper and a crooked eye and I now have some much nicer labels.

IMG_0943

 

Now it’s all mounted up in my rack nice and pretty.  I have my main computer in my office routed through the device as an input source, and then my main speakers as an output.  Then a media center raspberry pi routed as another input.  It’s now mixed with the audio from my main computer.  Both computers using the same speakers.

 

2 thoughts on “Whole Home Audio Rig”

  1. Cool write up on the hardware… now for some info about your software setup on this thing. What are you using to control it?

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