Advice on hardware needed

Good evening,

I’ve been stuck with airplay in combination with roon and my Cambridge Audio 851N for a long time now. I’ve tried almost everything to get roon working to it’s full potential and while still using the lovely display of my streamer. Nothing has worked sadly.

I’m ready to go another way…and enthusiastic about it.

I want to use a raspberry pi (latest model) with ropieee and a 7 inch touchscreen. But I’m wondering what’s the best set-up? Connect the pi to my USB input? Or use a HAT and connect it through spdif?

I’ve read about the USB problems with the Cambridge CXN, but I’ve had no issues with a Sonore MicroRendu in the past connected to the USB of my unit and I’m guessing that the rendu is also Linux based? So am I correct to assume that problem is off the table for me?

Leaves the question which input to use. Any advice would be welcome.

If I go the route of a rpi with HAT and touchscreen, are there any recommendations to be made for a nice case for it all in one unit? Will I need two power supplies? I can find a lot of cases for just the screen with a rpi but not at all sure of the compete combination.

Thanks in advance,


What I’d suggest is buy the Raspberry Pi and try with USB. If this works to your satisfaction, stick with it. If not, buy an Allo DigiOne and use SPDIF.

That’s pretty much what I did … and I use Ropieee too. Regarding the display, my preference is to have one RPi for the transport and another for the display. Getting a suitable case for RPi, hat and display may be a challenge (see link below) and it may be cheaper to have two units.

Thanks Martin,

Didn’t realize I could just use two rpi’s. For my curiosity: How exactly does this work? How is the second unit -for display only- aware of what’s going on? Not sure I understand :slight_smile:

Each Raspberry Pi running Ropieee will download and install Roon Bridge. This software connects each device to your Roon Core; both may be used as a network player (Output), but the one with the display will also give you basic controls for the selected zone.

RAAT, the network protocol used by Roon, provides communication between Core and Control and ensures all devices are synchronised in real-time. What you see on the RPi display is essentially the same as you would see on an iPad albeit it’s not feature-rich and only offers playback controls plus details of what’s playing.

A single pi with 7" screen and digione hat works just fine for me (not into a cambridge streamer though but that shouldn’t make a difference)