Physical Volume Control Knob

I run Roon from my PC on a rack with keyboard and mouse. I can control it remotely with an iPad. OK.

What I need is a relatively large physical volume knob at the PC and what I have found is a USB volume control (https://www.droking.com/usb-controller-usb-volume-audio-adjuster-pc-speakers-switch-control-module-for-adjusting-volume-of-computer-laptop?search=Volume%20control&description=true). This works fine with JRiver set for internal (DSP) volume control. There is no setting where Roon will respond to it. Is this possible?

Also, have anyone tried the Microsoft Surface Dial for this?

If Roon is in the foreground and you can configure what keystrokes your knob sends, you can use the Windows Roon hotkeys for volume up and down (ctrl-up and ctrl-down).

Otherwise, your best bet in my view is to use a separate device (I use a RPi Zero W) running a Roon extension that can control volume from configurable keys. (I think there are a few out there, but if you need mine let me know; it is a kludge but it works.) This solves the problem of needing to capture keystrokes at the system level, since you can just run it as root and the only keystrokes on that RPi are coming from the knob.

I have tried a Surface Dial and it will only control system volume, which doesn’t do any good. (Also, as far as I can tell it cannot be used with any non-Windows devices.)

@Danny has a private project using a Griffin USB knob as a volume control. I’d like to see this work with RoPieee as well as I have one in a draw, but I’m not sure how to put it together (software wise).

@mikeb Ropieee.org is your best option

Doesn’t work. The Drok sends (ctrl-+ and ctrl--) which works on JRiver but only on system volume when Roon is on top.

Nah. Too much added clutter/bother. Thanks anyway.

Hi, I’ve been developing a high-end bluetooth volume knob called Jaxcore Spin, and have been looking into more things to control with it:

https://jaxcore.com

Check it out. If there’s enough interest, I can spend some time to add support for Roon. With the Roon Javascript API it should be fairly straightforward.

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Hey, Dan.

Jaxcore Spin looks cool. “Shipping this fall”? Fall 2020? I’m currently using a Griffin Powermate knob.

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I was hoping to get it manufactured before Christmas but ran into some circuit board problems. So I have to do at least 1 more version of the board before I can start selling or maybe do a Kickstarter.

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I had an old Griffin Powermate(as others have mentioned) which was collecting dust. At the time I wanted a volume control for my PC. I ended up ripping out the guts of the Griffin knob and replacing it with an Arduino Micro Pro and a Neopixel ring for lighting. I wrote a small Arduino program to send keystrokes to the PC and also brighten/dim the lighting in a colour of my choice depending on the volume level. It worked pretty well but I ended up getting a new keyboard that had a volume wheel integrated on it so the griffin got relegated to a drawer again. I could share the code if there was any interest or if OP thinks it might work for his use case. It wasn’t too hard of a project to be honest and taught me a few things about Arduino and Neopixel. Fun stuff.

Any update on availability and/or Roon compatibility?

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No ETA quite yet but I’m still very actively working on it, both software and hardware. i haven’t started the Roon support yet, but it looks like i can add support the same way I did for Sonos. I’ve been working on a desktop program that you’ll be able to download and try out before buying the controller. The desktop app will be required to connect the spin controllers and run all the remote control software.

Please sign up on my website if you haven’t because it gives me a better idea of how many people are interested in them and I’ll send out a newsletter when the first batch is ready.

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Will it work with Roon on a Mac w/ Catalina?

Hi, yes my Spin controllers work on Mac, Windows, and Linux - I develop on a Macbook with OSX Catalina. Windows support has been a little more tricky, it requires a USB Bluetooth Dongle whereas this isn’t required for Macbooks. Roon integration hasn’t been started yet - but Sonos, Kodi, JRiver, and Foobar2000 support are all 100% complete. I’m still working on the logistics of manufacturing & selling these controllers (things have been delayed a bit due to Covid19), but if you’re interested please sign up on the website.

The software is actually largely functional on it’s own even without owning the hardware. I created a software simulation of the controller, so you can connect your software and equipment and spin a “virtual knob” in the software in a similar manner that the real devices do. So you won’t have to buy to see if it’ll work, you can just run the software and be totally sure it will work for your setup.

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Great! I signed up on your website, thx!

Interesting… have signed up
fingers crossed

Me too…for the record

I am using a 3Dconnexion Space Mouse as a volume knob for Roon. It can be configured to send VolumeDown/VolumeUp key strokes to Roon and allows for very fine grained volume control. Additionally you can use Apptivate on Mac to bring Roon to the foreground when using the Space Mouse.

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I have a space mouse for solidworks. Never considered trying it with Roon. Thanks for the tip.