If you haven’t figured out by now, I’ve been keen on small network sound devices for a while, although this should be the last revision. As a carry on from this article, I’ve kept with OpenWRT but moved to a different architecture (arm -> x86) to support the thinclients I have and will be getting. In comparison the wireless router was easy to get the base image installed but Squeezeslave wasn’t. This time the base image was stupidly difficult, and Squeezeslave was a cut’n’paste job. The reason why I couldn’t use a pre-built image was because the x86 image doesn’t support booting from a USB device and it needed sound card support.
This article doesn’t cover making the image from scratch, just installing the image I created for the HP t5500 series. I did however leave 120MB of space in the boot partition, and the rootfs partition is 2GB, which leaves heaps of room to install packages and modules, etc. Although I haven’t tested the image on any other x86 compatible PC, it will most likely work to some degree if you use a common sound card and USB chipset.
The main reason for making this image and not using the DSL based one anymore was because it’s very versitile and quick to deploy. You only have to make a few changes from a web interface, and not expand, extract, change, compact, etc.
Hardware Used: HP t5510 or t5500 thinclient, USB flash drive/s (2GB, 4GB and 8GB were tested), USB keyboard, USB to serial converter (optional to console in to the client).
Unscrew the stand and side panel of the t5500 series device to remove the side panel. Remove the on-board IDE flash board, you may need pliers for the plastic retaining clip. Replace the side and stand. This is optional although recommended because you can change the GRUB option to boot from /dev/sdb2 instead of /dev/sda2.
Use USB Image Tool to restore the pre-made
HDD image (try the newer and bigger image if you have issues) to a 2GB+ USB flash drive. The image itself is setup as 2 partitions, 120MB for boot and the remainder 2GB is for the rootfs.
Once the image has been successfully written, plug it into a t5500 series thinclient. Turn on the thinclient and press F10 to enter the BIOS and change the boot order to USB only, reboot and check for errors. If the kernel fails to load, please try a different USB slot in the rear. I had to use the one behind the one next to the ethernet port, EG; Top right when looking at it from the back, and the case is vertical with the ethernet at the top.
When the boot process is finished you can press enter on the keyboard and you’ll see the standard Openwrt console screen. If you have no free supported USB keyboards you can also use a serial cable to get to the console and make changes(from memory 9600,8,n,1)
Basic Image Setup
IP address: DHCP (get from your DHCP server/router)
Default hostname: T5500-1
Change squeezeslave MAC address and squeezeslave server IP address:
Login to the web interface: http://<ip address>
System -> Startup -> Local Startup -> “/usr/bin/squeezeslave-static -R 192.168.80.1 -m00:00:00:00:00:05 &”
The default IP is 192.168.80.1 and the MAC address is 00:00:00:00:00:05.
Change the volume labels to suit your sound card (if your not using a HP t5500 or t5510).
Use Putty or any other SSH program to login to the device and type alsamixer, the labels along the bottom of the volume slide bars are the names you want to add to the start-up script, eg;
/usr/bin/amixer -q set Master 80% unmute
/usr/bin/amixer -q set Master Mono 80% unmute
/usr/bin/amixer -q set Headphone 80% unmute
/usr/bin/amixer -q set PCM 80% unmute
Confirmed this image works with the HP t5500 and t5510 thinclients.
Possible future work will involve installing airplay so you can also stream Ipod/Ipad or Itunes music to them. Because the versions of Squeezeslave I have been using take full control over the sound card, this might not be possible.