head brass wood screws which would hold it
on. I countersunk the screws so the heads
would be flush with the surface of the plastic.
The bottom is just a little more complex
because in addition to the mounting screws
(which were done identically to the top), I had
to drill holes to mount the RPi. Four 4-40 by 1”
machine screws, 1/8” spacers, and nuts were
used to mount the RPi.
With all of the machining and staining
completed, I mounted the RPi onto the bottom
plastic piece, glued a color changing RGB LED
power indicator into place, mounted the power
switch, inserted the 2 GB microSD card I had
prepared previously, and then screwed the
bottom assembly onto the enclosure. I attached
four cork adhesive pads to the bottom as feet
to protect whatever surface the music player
was set upon.
Wiring was performed according to the
simple schematic shown in Figure 2. I super-glued the electrolytic capacitor to the bottom
plastic (noting polarity) and wired up the power
connections, including the modified USB cable
used for power.
With the wiring completed, I plugged an
audio cable into the USB sound module,
connected up my USB power module, and then
put the top into place and screwed it down.
Assembly was now complete and the player
was looking good.
Flipping on the power switch caused the
rainbow power indicator to light, and I could
see the RPi's power and activity indicators
flashing through the translucent plastic,
indicating the RPi was booting.
Booting the music player takes a couple of minutes.
During that time, there will be numerous clicks and pops
sent out the audio connection, so it is best to allow the
player to boot completely before turning on or turning up
your connected stereo system. I always wait until I can
access the player with a web browser before turning on
Once the player is up, you can access it by typing
“musicbox.local” or by typing the IP address your home
router assigned into your browser’s address bar. Once
connected, you should see a screen like Figure 3. By
clicking the Browse tab (Figure 4), you can navigate to
either your local music collection, your networked music
collection, select one of the many streaming sources, or
TuneIn, for example.
From the web user interface, you can control volume
and selection of what music you want to hear. You can
also control if the music should be played in a loop, and
whether songs should be played sequentially or in random
Music in the
My wife and I have a little retreat we often visit that
has no cell phone service or Internet. It does, however,
have electricity. We have a small stereo system that we
hook an iPod to that provides music for us while we are
This has worked fine, but it is somewhat inconvenient
in that we cannot control the music selection or volume
from a different room. We have since replaced the iPod
with this music player and it works great.
August 2015 45
■ Figure 3. Pi MusicBox Main Screen.
■ Figure 4. Pi MusicBox Browse Screen.