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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been wanting to do WHA, but I just don't currently have the budget to do it all at once. In the past year I've added a 12'x24' shed/barn, a new master bath, new tile floors in the main part of the house, an emergency Septic tank and drain field replacement, new trim throughout the house, and some other additions/issues. To top that, we need to put in a new privacy fence, "she" wants a new front patio, and we need to widen the drive (During that same year I went from living alone to a family of 5! Including our new Baby). So, as you can see Money is a bit tight, but I want to start the WHA.


So when we added the new master bath, I ran wires. I even had a thread on here asking what I should run. During that, I ran a 4 conductor speaker wire (14ga was all I could get at the time on short notice), looped near where I think the keypad would go, with RG6 and cat 5 galore. Woot had some HT stuff, so I picked up a Polk stereo speaker for the master bath. I would like to install it there and have a way for my Fiance to easily play music. I do have a central utility room ( http://www.avsforum.com/t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room ) where all the wires run to.


So, is there something I can do to get this 1 room up and running and yet leave me some room to grow later? I've considered Sonos, but I'm just not sure I'm ok with the cost. They seem to be quite pricey and if I'm gonna go all out, I would rather get a full on WHA system. Maybe there is something small I could install to give me local control, yet keep the amp or whatever powers the speaker in the equipment closet?


Any suggestions would be welcome.
 

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There's people here that do this for a living.. me.. I'm just your average DIYer.


I see two options on the cheap:


1. Install a volume control with IR support. Put your source in the utility room (ie an old receiver) and wire the volume control from the "speaker out" on the receiver; wire the speakers to the volume control. Keep the remote for the receiver in the bathroom and learn to control the receiver without feedback. Changing radio station probably wouldn't be difficult. Alternatively, just run IR from the bathroom to the closet and use the receiver remote to control volume.


2. Set up a source in the utility room that can be controlled via ipad, android.. whatever. For example, set up XBMC on an old computer in the utility room. Get a small amp from Parts Express and go from the computer to the amp to the speakers. In the bathroom use an old ipad/ipod/android/whatever equipped with Yatse to control the server.


How much of a geek your better half is will probably determine whether you use option 1 or 2.


Tim
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Meili  /t/1525238/wha-baby-steps#post_24553537


I've considered Sonos, but I'm just not sure I'm ok with the cost. They seem to be quite pricey and if I'm gonna go all out, I would rather get a full on WHA system. Maybe there is something small I could install to give me local control, yet keep the amp or whatever powers the speaker in the equipment closet?

You can start with a single Sonos Connect:Amp, then expand depending on how many zones and how much flexibility you need in the future... If you decide to add more rooms, you can either add more Sonos units, or share one between rooms, or use the audio line outputs to convert the Connect:Amp into a "source" for a traditional WHA system.


The cheapest route to get similar functionality is an Apple Airport Express ($99) connected to an AudioSource AMP-100 ($99), and then an iOS mobile device to Airplay content to the setup...


All depends on what your intended source(s) are - an IR remote to select FM station presets on a stereo receiver is easy and cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The connect:amp at $500 seems a bit steep. I"m sure it's worth it, but I don't think I can justify a $500 expense at this point in time.


I also don't have any iOS devices in my house (I'm just not a fan of Apple), so the airport express is out.


I do have an old receiver I could use. I also have a zone 2 out on my current reciever. I may try that for a bit. I don't think the second zone will handle any HDMI audio, otherwise I would just have her use the Chromecast.


Thank you both for your suggestions. I have a raspberry Pi that I could perhaps use in some way (I already have XBMC on it as a test, so maybe I can keep it and just have her use Yatse).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Meili  /t/1525238/wha-baby-steps#post_24559915


I also don't have any iOS devices in my house (I'm just not a fan of Apple), so the airport express is out.

There are apps to get Airplay working on Android devices...
Quote:
I do have an old receiver I could use. I also have a zone 2 out on my current reciever. I may try that for a bit. I don't think the second zone will handle any HDMI audio, otherwise I would just have her use the Chromecast.

Any model NOT brand-spanking new certainly won't pass HDMI audio to analog zone2. Even brand new you still need to check for sure...
Quote:
Thank you both for your suggestions. I have a raspberry Pi that I could perhaps use in some way (I already have XBMC on it as a test, so maybe I can keep it and just have her use Yatse).

Control / usability is the big issue, and why the Sonos solution works - it's simple, packaged, and works... But yes, certainly not free.
 

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There are competitors to Sonos for fractions of the cost.

 

The one I use is by Logitech, but sadly end of life, is known as Squeezebox.  You can either buy one of the Logitech UE Smart Radios for sale on Amazon for $120 and use their smartphone app, or convert the firmware back to the old Squeezebox that supports syncing players when you expand out.  A cheaper route is get an ARM-powered device like a Pogoplug or RaspberryPi and use the Squeezelite software player to mimic a hardware device the Radio. I have these all over my house and garage with Powerline networking where I don't have network drops.  Or another possibility is use an old Android phone and install the Squeezeplayer app...I use this while mowing the lawn as a mobile example.

 

There are free apps and paid apps to control the music remotely. I can listen to my own mp3 and flac library, or stream local radio stations, or play even Pandora and Spotify.

 

Good luck. I considered tearing up drywall to run wires, but went the wireless route. it was MOSTLY easy and cheap, but I've invested quite a bit of sweat equity.
 
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