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$70 all in one mumble server and wifi

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by jtweigandt, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. jtweigandt

    jtweigandt Active Member

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    Unfortunately, until they change the firmware/software bluetooth headsets won't work with the pi :-( One guy did some very heroic investigation/programmng/trials. Bluetooth out OK bluetooth in nope... however it works with just about any usb headset. Or bluetooth with a dedicated dongle like the logitech H800 .. the difference is that the dongle presents itself as a usb device, and the bluetooth stuff is all handled pre pi in the dongle itself. Like your cordless mouse. I also can't get bluetooth wireless headsets to work with the mumble app on the phone... which was a real bummer as well.
     
  2. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Crap; really? Bummer.
     
  3. jtweigandt

    jtweigandt Active Member

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    The logitech H820 usb/wireless headset is absolutely da bomb.. 300 foot range from base. Works with the pi.
    I have gotten some used for 50 bucks a pop Normally about 100 bucks new. Total theatrical freedom for us. You run the mumble audio wizard, and it will seem like the mic is working but the
    audio isn't, until you shut down mumble, and reboot.. then all is happy from that day forward.
     
  4. jtweigandt

    jtweigandt Active Member

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    Jay Ashworth likes this.
  5. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Ah... Lennart Strikes Again.

    Will no one rid me of this troublesome programmer?
     
  6. jtweigandt

    jtweigandt Active Member

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    I just googled him He cost me 2 days of my life once. I see he was a major contributor to avahi, and various zeroconfig schemes that work like apple's bonjour. They use a domain name called .local Turns out that some ISP DNS servers expose you to a non local .local domain.. If that happens, suddenly your printers will drop out of sight, along with other network browsing mischief. 2 days of digging to see why my network worked disconnected from the internet, and would go to hell in a handbasket connected to the internet. ISP gave me an alternate DNS address once I googled and cursed enough to figure it out.
     
  7. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    I can beat that.

    I had a couple of Windows networks go Tango Uniform a few years ago, when -- without warning -- Verizon DSL's DHCP servers started supplying a domain name to the modem (and hence, my router's DHCP server and my workstations), where they never had before.

    Took me almost 2 hours to figure it out, and come up with a solution.

    Well, ok, maybe it doesn't beat 2 days... ;-)
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  8. jtweigandt

    jtweigandt Active Member

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    One more piece to the puzzle of making a pi zero into a reliable headless station. Turns out if I left the zero on a long time the OS screen blanking would evidently kick in. Then some setting would keep it from re booting
    with the GUI active. Setting higher vid memory seemed to help.. but eventually would go into no gui mode. I installed xscreensaver, which disables the native screen blanking, and then set the screensaver to none..off.. Voila. Up now for a week.. no drops. did sucessful reboots multiple times just to torture test them. Mame is going well.. up to 8 stations logged in at a time. Mostly just booth SL and SR actually active and talking The server Pi3 has yet to show any stress or problems running since this winter. Now with all the clients reliable, I"m having some great fun. I have a tablet with all their vnc logins pre entered, so we can check the status of any station from the booth... or even reboot.
     
  9. jtweigandt

    jtweigandt Active Member

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    Got through Mame and Chorus line. More real world experience. I caused myself a little grief with the repeater wifi I was using for the parking lot.. Took that out of the equation and the backbone was totally stable. I had the same ssid for both the base and the repeater, and some things were not transitioning smoothly. seperate ssid for parking works fine. I now have a very stable image for the pi zero's that I am using as stations as well. I have one thin client embedded win7 unit that will not reboot unattended without user interaction.. I have moved some of the thin clients over to raspian running from a thumb drive, and that is rock solid. The logitech h820 headsets are still the bees knees for total roaming freedom. Cell phones running mumble work well, but don't transition smoothly between wifi access points. If you work in one sphere, and don't move say from stage to parking lot, mumble on the cell phone works well. But the base Raspberry pi 3 running the mumble server/router image has been up well over 7 months now. Powered continuously with occasional reboots, power down/up, and I have not had to re flash, or repair.. IT JUST WORKS
     
    jm_in_tx likes this.
  10. benthecat

    benthecat Member

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    Since the Pi is operating headless without a keyboard or mouse and you have no easy way to power it down, I believe you could use the GPIO headers to add a power button to it that’ll tell the Pi to shutdown nicely. This would help prevent memory card corruption from an abrupt power off and could be useful in a permanent install.
     
  11. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Concerning wifi and SSIDs:

    It is the nature of consumer 802.11 wifi that it will hang on for dear life to the AP it's currently associated to, even when a closer one as a better signal, even on the same ESSID.

    This is why commercial systems like the Ubiquiti gear have a controller which runs on a utility PC -- it watches every visible client from every AP, and if one has a notably better signal on an AP it's not talking to, it *tells the current AP to drop it*.

    It will then reassociate to the one with the best signal.

    Getting that roam to happen quickly enough is the fun part. :)
     
    jm_in_tx likes this.
  12. jm_in_tx

    jm_in_tx Member

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    You absolutely can do this and the interwebs are full of examples, like this.
    I have several headless RPIs running in an escape room and my next upgrade is to add a power-loss battery backed shutdown so they will gracefully shutdown when the power goes away and then restart when power comes back. Another way to minimize the chance of SD corruption is to minimize the logging that goes on. Since my units (and the Mumble units as well) are pretty much single-function devices, the vast majority of logging the Linux does under the hood can be safely dispensed with. I've done that on all of my devices (both Pi3 and Pi0W) and in the last 8 months of sporadic power-downs I haven't had a problem (knock on wood). Unfortunately, this kind of thing is not my day job...

    Cheers,
    --Jeff
     
  13. jtweigandt

    jtweigandt Active Member

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    wahoo... serendipity. In my early experiments, I could only get the iphone app to work with my wired earbuds. The bluetooth version (2 different brands) would not work
    with the mumble app on the phone. I recently ordered some totally wireless "in the ear" from amazon. Litexim for an upcoming trip. THEY WORK WITH MUMBLE.. so I can have the phone in my pocket, and only take it out to "push to talk" also works voice activated, but that's much too annoying in the theatre during the show.. triggers with the stage sound. Unfortunately, the ones listed under litexim right now look slightly different, so it's a bit of a crap shoot. One clue is that the telephone function on these only feeds the right ear, and the others were trying to deliver stereo even for phone conversation.
     
    jm_in_tx likes this.
  14. jm_in_tx

    jm_in_tx Member

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    A couple of years ago, I resurrected/refreshed an old pushbutton cue system for a theatre I was working with at the time. I found out over the weekend that they finally broke it and there is nobody (repeat: nobody) who can fix/replace it that's currently working there. [to quote Hugh Fennyman: "Actors are ten a penny...", but technical people are rare indeed]. I mentioned the Mumble system to them and they practically wet themselves salivating over it.

    What they need is bluetooth headsets with boom mikes for backstage and the booth, and maybe only the app on the phone for the lobby/concession stand.

    I have RPis comming out of my ears, I should throw something together and see what they say. But if I do that, I'm probably on the hook for all eternity to maintain it. :-(
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  15. jtweigandt

    jtweigandt Active Member

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    The logitech 820 DECT headset will let you go about a quarter-mile line of sight and is the bees knees about 150 bucks new but I found them in groups used for 50 bucks each. On the Bluetooth side the logitech H 800 is the most comfortable and highest fidelity headset you will ever wear. They can be had on the secondary market in on eBay new in the 50 back range or about 80 bucks new. You’re only going to get your 30 feet from base with those though.

    If you need I can resend the link to the picomm image. It’s literally burn and go on an eight gig SD. I also now have a very stable 16 gig image for the belt pack/stations. You can run them on a battery pack or better set them up stationary and use with the headsets.

    In my experience so far your maintenance on the base router mumble pie three will be about zero. I burned a spare SD and taped it inside the case last fall. And have not had to touch it. If you wanted the lowest maintenance configuration, then I would set up your cluster of pi zeros near the main pi and let the DECT headsets do the heavy lifting for all your roaming. They are less prone to drop outs than trying to Roam with Wi-Fi.
     
  16. blallik

    blallik Member

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    Thanks for all the work you have done on this! I am in the process getting the hardware together to implement this system in a high school auditorium. Will each logitech 820 need its own pi zero, or can several be used from a single base station? Also, I should be able to use the school's ethernet network to place a pi zero at a remote access point, correct?


     
  17. jtweigandt

    jtweigandt Active Member

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    Both sides of the pi3 Networking are active so it can be it’s own Wi-Fi router but also bridge to a physical ethernet. You may have to do some tweaking of IP addresses. Image for the pi three is set to 192.168.0.1. For the Wi-Fi side. And it’s pretty easy to set your own fixed IP for the ethernet side. My ethernet is in the 192.16 8.1.*Range.You do have to have an individual device for each headset running a Mumble client. Doesn’t have to be a pie zero. Could be an OLd pc Thin client etc But in your environment it’s probably best to standardize, and as cheap as the pie zeros are yes kind of a no brainer. They can connect via Wi-Fi even if they’re sitting right next to your base, or they can connect via ethernet but they don’t have an ethernet port like the three. They would need an adapter for wired Cat 5. so it’s probably easiest if you have to have part of your client farm away from the base to use either a pie three, or what we do is we have a Wireless repeater that the pi zero talks to.

    I have all of my stations set up for VNC access. That way I can see status or if I need to repeat the headphone set up and calibration it can be done without having to attach a keyboard and monitor. I used fixed IP addresses throughout.

    It took me a while to get a nice stable zero client image. I have one now. Part of the problem was I created one on an eight gig card and burn it to a 16 and the system would run out of space because some of the file handling is wonky. So I have a 16 image That works now and I would only burn it to a 16 SD card. Similarly the base pay three image I believe Is an eight gig. I keep one inside the cover as a spare pre configured But have never had to use it

    I have been using the SanDisk SD cards I hear there’s some real crap out there.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  18. jtweigandt

    jtweigandt Active Member

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    Also when you go to set up and calibrate the headset first time it may look like it’s not working because for some reason you won’t hear the demo audio. You will see the VU graphic working as You test the microphone. After you make it all the way through set up wizard. You need to physically close mumble, and then reboot the pie, and it should wake up happy.

    There is also a good chance that if you power up a pie without the USB headset Attached, it may drop back to default and you might have to do the set up sequence again with the audio wizard.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  19. blallik

    blallik Member

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    Appreciate the info, just a little confused on the SD images. You have one picomm image on your drive--is that the image for the pi 3 and the pi zero, or are there two different images, and if so are you sharing both?

     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  20. jtweigandt

    jtweigandt Active Member

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    The image that is up now is for the back bone that is the all in one Wi-Fi router and mumble server host. It will run on a three or a zero. But the Wi-Fi is better on the three and the three gives you a bridge to your wired ethernet backbone. I am at the theater today and will snag the image that has been bulletproof for the station for the pie zero and upload it soon. I also have an image for a station that can be burnt to a USB thumb drive to boot up in raspian. That would let you use any old thin client or old PC you happen have sitting around as a station. So yes the server and the station images are two different things.
     
    jm_in_tx likes this.

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