rooDial a Wireless Volume Knob for Roon with Microsoft Surface Dial

Thank you Cinelinde, You are right, this was a pairing issue. I was able to get the MSD to pair by taking the steps you suggested, and using an external USB antenna.

Luckily I found Dr. CWO’s earlier post and purchased the external XEMTE BT Antenna for my RPI4. After rebooting the RPI with the Antennae already inserted, and then following the usual pairing procedure, it worked!

As a bonus, the MSD magnetically attaches to our stainless steel fridge (my wife’s suggestion) which is great as I purchased this to use in the kitchen.


ah, that‘s great. Glad it works now for you :+1:

Is there any way to chose what the Pi4 displays at the TV? At my computer there are a few options but I couldn’t find any to apply to the Pi4 display configuration on Roon settings.

Hi @raphael_vilamiu,
at first I am happy you can see the Roon logo now :+1:

In Roon in Settings/Displays you should find an entry called „Chrome“ I guess. Can‘t tell exactly as I am traveling and have no access.

There you can select what get displayed, for example the lyrics.

You can use the display if you klick on the speaker icon (right down). Above the opening volume slider you see a TV icon. Click on it and select “Chrome“ as your display and start it.

Best DrCWO
From Burunge Tented Lodge, Tazania

Hi, DrCWO. Yes, I can start the display as you described. It even starts automatically and I can select if I want to show lyrics or not.
I was just wondering if there’s any way to choose something else. For example, in my desktop and iPad, I have a lot of displaying options (see attached image).

I found a topic that seems to deal with the display optimization I mentioned:

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Cool, contacted the author, maybe include in rooExtend…

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It would be awesome if you could include it!

@DrCWO take a vacation, please! You’re someplace wonderful. Enjoy. Let us DIYers deal with our own service issues for 2 weeks, and maybe, just maybe, you can occasionally help out the paying customers. Your level of attention is wonderful - but you need a break!


Yes. What @Johnny_Ooooops said. It’s what I’ve been thinking, too. Enjoy your holidays. You have enough experienced users here to help folks out while you’re vacationing. We’ll all be here when you get back!


Thank you, be sure I will :star_struck::’ :sunny: :sunglasses:

Assigning Volume Control to Individual Zone Only Even When Grouped

Love using the MSD to control volume in the Kitchen (while MSD is magnetically stuck to Fridge)!

What happens if I would like to maintain volume control over the kitchen (only) when I add another room? At the moment it seems I have the choice to 1. Adjust the volume for the entire grouped Zone, or 2. Loose volume control over the kitchen.

This seems to depend on “Zone follows Playback” (ZFP) settings in RooDial Extension settings. If ZFP is enabled, MSD volume commands now apply all the Roon endpoints collectively as a group, once the group is created. (That is, MSD turns everything up or down together, and individual volume control for the Kitchen lost.)

Alternatively, if ZFP is disabled, and a group has been created, MSD appears to continue sending (L) (R) (P) commands to the Kitchen Zone (as viewed in Roon Extensions) with no discernible effect on playback.

Wondering if any experienced users have found away around this, or this is just the way RooDial functions?

I’ve found one potential solution to the same problem with Nuimo controller: ask @DrCWO to implement possibility to limit followed zones (or explicitly define list of zones to follow) :slight_smile:

As far as I remember that was parked on the to-do list without much chance to be implemented soon. But maybe additional interested users would raise priority of that feature request?

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That would certainly be a really handy feature with the MSD - its absence is the reason I don’t use the Zone Follows Playback feature at the moment.

It’s the way RooDial functions.

The author of RooDial is on vacation at the moment so you may not hear back from him for a few weeks. He doesn’t seem very good at actually taking vacation, so you may hear sooner :slight_smile:

@Piotr_Pekala’s suggestion is really interesting and could help but it seems like a complicated area. In my house, any given zones may be playing independently (by different people) or might be grouped. Having a single dial work correctly for both cases may be tricky. I do believe that Roon’s “group” architecture always has a primary zone to which the other zones are grouped. I wonder if another approach would be to allow the user to bind a controller to a specific zone but also indicate whether or not zones grouped with that zone should be controlled. So you’d have to start your group with the controlled zone and then group to it, but that doesn’t seem to bad. Just an alternative idea.

I’ll add that for my usage, having a controller dedicated to each commonly used area worked really well. I don’t do a lot of grouping and, when I do, I’ve never really found group volume control to be all that great (this is from years of Sonos use). But that’s just a personal experience and preference.

Then it would depend on the order in which you group zones :slight_smile:
If you added kitchen to the living room the result would be different than if you started with kitchen and grouped it with living room.

But of course let’s look for the best idea!

That’s the point of my proposal. It’s not an undesirable side effect, it’s the point.

I love the way you guys share your expertise ! Does anyone know if the SpaceMouse setup would sidestep this issue and allow for device control to remain in the Zone it was initially assigned to, even after the Zone is added to a group?

The reason why I was asking this is to avoid someone in the Kitchen turning up the volume for themselves and unknowingly also for my beloved 2 channel system in the Living Room (after it was grouped with the Kitchen).

In all likelihood, the Living Room might already be at an elevated listening level. From what I’ve read here, the simplest thing to do is to set the Max Device Limit (aka Volume Limit) in Roon for any endpoint which might potentially be grouped and controlled with the MSD. (In my case set the volume limit for the Living Room endpoint)

Is this approach reliable, or is there a possibility for the MSD to dial the volume past the Device Max Volume Limit after it has been set up in Roon?

Well, this is an extension, not core Roon software. I’d suggest you run a controlled experiment, you seem to have the edge cases worked out. No guarantees this works as you want it to, but I think different people will have different expectations. I, for one, wish I could set it up so my primary 2-channel rig could never be grouped so that there’s no inadvertent mucking about. Not sure how RooDial will intersect with volume limits on individual zones when grouped, but it’s worth a try.

I can’t imagine you’ll see different behaviors across the SpaceMouse, Surface Dial, or Nuimo given that they are all on the same codebase and have the same basic set of operations (though SpaceMouse and Nuimo can do more than the Surface Dial given their additional control capabilities).

I would only answer this question if I were absolutely confident that I knew how things worked. I wouldn’t want wrong information to lead to harm to your eardrums or equipment.

What I can tell you is that Roon supports “Comfort” and “Safety” limits. Roon might allow extensions to programmatically push volume past the upper comfort bound. You could argue for it to allow or disallow that - that just seems like someone at Roon needs to have an opinion about what the right behavior is and then implement it that way. But Safety seems like a hard boundary that an extensions shouldn’t be allowed to push past. If you test this out and find that RooExtend (in any mode whatsoever) can push volume past a device’s upper Safety boundary, then that seems like a serious Roon bug that would require attention. Your best bet, as @Johnny_Ooooops suggests, is to test it out and share why learn!