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TUTORIAL Raspberry Pi 3 Mediacenter + Hyperion Ambilight + NO soldering

Discussion in 'Official DIY Tutorials' started by Brindosch, 10 May 2016.

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  1. Brindosch

    Brindosch Active Member

    RPi1/Zero, RPi2, RPi3, +nodeMCU/ESP8266
    Hyperion-Tutorial-BLACK - 120px.png

    You own a TV? You saw videos on Youtube with Hyperion and you liked it?
    At this official Hyperion tutorial (the only one that is really up2date!) i will show you how you build such a system for your own TV!
    As a little challenge here, we build one without soldering! To provide a way for all people that can´t or are not familiar with soldering.
    Everything is well documented and explaind with pictures as addition, to keep it as simple as possible.

    This Tutorial is also available in german: https://hyperion-project.org/threads/raspberry-pi-3-mediacenter-hyperion-ambilight-ohne-löten.112/

    As a electric professional, i care about your health!
    This tutorial was written in mind that no professional persons are following these instructions! It is impossible to get a 230V electrical shock! Electricity is nothing to toy with!

    Target of this tutorial:

    • Raspberry Pi 3 based Mediacenter (Kodi)
    • Construct and attach a led based ambilight to your TV
    • Setting up Hyperion to control your ambilight
    • Optional: Include HDMI sources as addition under construction
    • Optional: Include SCART (TV (DVB-C/T/S)) under construction
    • WARNING: It is not recommended to use more than around 100 LEDs, you will run into power issue, cause the connectors are at their limit. In this case solder the corners! Everything other keeps the same.
    Estimated "building" time: 1-2 hours
    Experienced users: 20-30 minutes
    Price: around 190€

    We need some hardware, connectors and some tools that should be available for every person.
    Short overview:

    Mediacenter (and Hyperion driving station)
    • Raspberry Pi 3: The third revision of Raspberry Pi provides 30% more speed against Pi2 and 100% against Pi1. Also WLAN and Bluetooth is on board by default - no longer mess around with wlan-usb sticks. Keep in mind that you can´t passthrough HD soundformats like DTS-HD. Just the DTS stream is used. Also no 3D-MVC support.
    • microSD card: We need something to write once our mediacenter software on. You don´t need much space, 1/2GB are enough, but the hassle here is: You need a fast card! It is not recommended to use older cards. Your mediacenter could be slow as hell, if you use a old card. Buy one with at least 16GB storage and located at the middle speed class.
    • Raspberry Pi Case: A case to mount the Raspberry Pi secured and easy onto your TV - backside
    • Raspberry Pi power supply: You could use any power supply with 5V and (at least recommended) 2 ampere and a microUSB plug at the end.
    • HDMI cable: Connect your Pi with your TV

    Ambilight components
    Led stripes and some connectors
    • LED stripe: We need a special led stripe. I recommend the APA102 strip, very robust and you don´t need much time for the color calibration
    • Power supply: The leds consumes much power, too much for a Pi. So we need a second power supply.
    • Connectors: To connet the stripe parts with each other and to supply the power. Additional to wire up tha data cables from the Raspberry PI GPIO

    Misc components
    Optional parts, but recommended
    • hook and loop fastener (velcro): To mount your Pi at the end onto your TV backside. I hate cables hanging around. Also it degrades a little bit the ambilight effect.
    • Master/Slave socket: For a decent mediacenter/ambilight on/off method i recommend this. Plug your TV into the master slot and all devices that should be powered on at the slave sockets (if you power on the master, all slaves will be turned on)

    • A microSD cardreader, to install the mediacenter software
    • crosstip screwdriver or slot screwdriver
    • side cutter or shear (better: a cable stripper)
    • a little bit tape is helpful
    Last edited: 9 June 2016
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  2. Brindosch

    Brindosch Active Member

    RPi1/Zero, RPi2, RPi3, +nodeMCU/ESP8266
    Buy the hardware
    Due to the point this is a international site we try to deliver as much links as possible. In case the linked product is no longer available i attached search phrases for amazon like -> (WS2801 DC 5V 5m) in brackets behind the component.
    Additional i attached pictures, you can´t buy the wrong components :)

    Information: All links are modified with our ebay/amazon referal ID.
    Result: If you use these links and buy the components, a little revenue based on the amount of your payment will be transferd to our project account. So you help us to cover the costs and further hardware development! The price is always the same!

    Link completion is onging!
    1. Raspberry Pi 3

    2. microSD card (16 GB SanDisk Extreme microSD)

    • As written at the introduction, we need good read (4k!) values i could recommend a SanDisk Extreme 16gb microSD or a SanDisk Ultra
    • Link USA: Amazon.com UK: Amazon.co.uk DE:Amazon.de ES: IT: FR:

    3. Raspberry Pi 3 case

    • You could use any case you want, make sure there is a extract (enough space) for the GPIO cables! A completely closed case may not work for our intention.
    • RaspberryPi 2 cases should be also compatible. From Pi2 to Pi3 there was no layout change.

    4. Raspberry Pi power supply (power supply dc 5V 2A microUSB)
    • You need a power source for your Pi with 5V and at least 2A with a microUSB plug.
    • I recommend a cable length of around 1-1,5m. Enough wire to plug it into a socket.
    5. HDMI cable (hdmi cable)
    • Of course a HDMI cable. Length should be enough to reach your hdmi port on the TV and the Pi (at your TV stand)

    6. LED stripe (APA102 30leds/m RGB 5m) (WS2801 RGB DC 5V 5m) (USA: 16.4Ft)

    • I recommend to use APA102 LEDs, they have some physical and color calibration benefits (good balanced chips).
    • Attention: In case you can´t find APA102 leds, you could also use WS2801 leds for this - just some more calibration work!
    • Attention: Make sure you buy NOT a single color stripe!
    • Attention: If you use more then 32leds/m we run into power issues and the strip is more then 10mm width (which is not compatible with our connectors)
    • Hint: You need for a 50" TV around 3 meters of a led stripe
    • Attention: This solution has a limit of around 100LEDs, cause the connectors are not capable to handle the power delivery!
    7. Power supply for led stripe (power supply dc 5V 10A)
    • A power supply (5v 10A) with 5,5/2,1mm male plug is used in this tutorial.
    • Please don´t use a lower ampere value then 10A to be sure you have enough power!
    8. Connector: push pins / screw terminal block (screw terminal barrier block)
    • To connect all wires with each other
    • As another connection method: screw terminal barrier block
    9. Connector: led power supply -> push pins (DC power plug female (5,5x2,1mm))
    IMGP0281.JPG IMGP0284.JPG
    10. Connector: push pins -> led stripe (4 pin JST)
    • The 4pin JST connector will establish a connection to our led stripe without a big hassle
    • Length: ca 10cm / 15cm
    • Check the plug, there is a male and female version available

    11. Connector: push pins -> Raspberry PI GPIO (Jumper cable female)
    • GPIO Jumper cable FEMALE will establish a connection to the Raspberry Pi GPIO without a big hassle
    • You could buy female-female or female-male
    • We need just 3 of these cables! The color doesn´t matter
    12. Connector: led stripe -> led stripe (led stripe connector)
    • These connectors are to get a connection between each led strip part, a ready to use clip with 4 wires and suitable for a stripe width of 10mm. Length:10cm or 15cm.
    • You need 5 of these connectors
    13. Wire: single wire 1,0mm² (17 AWG)

    • A wire to connect the led power supply with led stripe you don´t need more than around 30cm.
      • Link: USA: UK: DE:ebay.de ES: IT: FR:
    14. hook and loop fastener (velcro)

    • To mount the Pi at the TV and the push pins on your Pi
    • At least length of 15cm, i recommend one with glue at the backside, also you need both parts of this to work!
    • Sidenote: My glue was not that good. i used hot-glue/better glue which really worked for me. Sure in case you will find a solution :)
    • Hint: This also offers a great cable management for your TV!
    15. Master/Slave socket (optional)

    • To power on and off your Pi and ambilight with your TV

    Some tools are necessary, a screwdriver, shear and better additional a cable stripper. You could also use a side cutter to remove the isolation of the wires/cut the led strip.


    shear and/or side cutter and/or a professional cable stripper
    IMGP0445.JPG IMGP0263.JPG IMGP0260.JPG

    a little bit tape (easy to remove) may be handy
    Last edited: 30 May 2016
  3. Brindosch

    Brindosch Active Member

    RPi1/Zero, RPi2, RPi3, +nodeMCU/ESP8266
    Build the ambilight
    After we have all components available we start with some preperations

    It is recommended to lay down your TV with the frontside onto your bed or maybe better on a table!
    I placed a cover in between table and TV to prevent scratches at the TV frame/table.

    1. Building - Cut the stripe
    1.1 Now we have a look how long our led stripe on each side should be. I start at the bottom (TV-base).
    Make sure that you leave some space to the TV-edge (around 3-4cm - depends also where are your cut marks on the led stripe). We need it for the connectors!

    1.2 Cut the led stripe with a shear for example. Make sure you just cut at the right position! Just in between the leds it is allowed to cut.
    Attention: Keep a angle as good as possible of 90°. We need a straight cut!
    Also have a look that on each side you have the same amount of contact surface (copper)!

    IMGP0376.JPG IMGP0392.JPG IMGP0386.JPG

    1.3 The same again at the left/top/right/bottom right side
    IMGP0501.JPG IMGP0504.JPG

    1.4 If you finished it looks like this one

    2. Building - Connect your stripes with each other
    2.1 Pull the 3M protective paper on the back side a little bit back, so you could insert the led stripe into each connector.
    Attention: We could input the data "di" and clock "ci" just from the "correct" side of the stripe, if you input the data at the wrong side (input at "do" and "co") it won´t work! Check that twice!
    These pictures should explain it:

    IMGP0510.JPG IMGP0490.JPG

    2.2 Also attach the fifth connector to the last led stripe section. Now it should look like this

    3. Building - glue it!
    Now we remove the 3M protective paper completely from all stripes and stick the led stripes to the TV.

    4. Building - Preperations to wire
    4.1 Cut the end of the last connector. Cut the 2 centred wires at last connector, we don´t need it.

    4.2 Connect the JST-connector at the led strip beginning (Number 10 of the parts list)

    4.3 Remove the isolation (5-7mm), with a cable cutter or stripper, of
    • 3 GPIO cables (we need the female part)
    • both sides at your "power supply" wire (2 of these wires) (Number 13 of the parts list)
    • LED stripe beginning: all 4 wires of the connector
    • LED stripe ending: the last 2 wires here (5V and GND)

    5. Building - Connect everything
    Mount/place the Raspberry Pi 3 in your case.
    Now we need our push pin connector (Number 8 of the parts list)

    This is now the hardest step of all! Below you see a pattern, wire it up!
    Pin numbers: Picture from element14
    Push the pin during you attach the cables.
    Attention: The colors of your wires represent nothing! follow each wire to be sure you connect all GNDs, 5Vs etc.
    You have 3x 5V wires (led power supply, led stripe beginning, led stripe end)
    You have 4x GROUND wires (led power supply, led stripe beginning, led stripe end, Raspberry Pi GPIO Ground)
    You have 2x DATA(DI) wires (led stripe beginning, Raspberry Pi GPIO DATA)
    You have 2x CLOCK (CI/CK) wires (led stripe beginning, Raspberry Pi GPIO CLOCK)

    Also, i had some problems to attach that thin wires. First, i drilled them a little bit.

    Some pictures of the wiring
    IMGP0531.JPG IMGP0543.JPG IMGP0552.JPG

    6. Ready!
    IMGP0564.JPG finish.JPG finish2.JPG finish3.JPG
    As you see, i didn´t attached the stripes to my TV, because i want to extend this tutorial later :)

    Here another picture with HDMI cable (nice cable management these hook and loop fasteners)

    Now we could proceed with the software part
    Last edited: 26 August 2016
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  4. Brindosch

    Brindosch Active Member

    RPi1/Zero, RPi2, RPi3, +nodeMCU/ESP8266
    Setting up the software

    As mediacenter software i use the distribution OSMC (www.osmc.tv)
    OSMC use like the systems listed below Kodi as mediacenter.
    Note: You could use any distribution you want like OpenELEC, LibreELEC or RasPlex.

    1. Download OSMC
    Download the latest version from https://osmc.tv/download/
    Click on "Disk images"
    And download the latest Raspberry Pi 2 / 3 version. In may case it is
    The number indicates the year.month-day of release. Download always the newest.
    Now extract the "OSMC_TGT_rbp2_xxxxxxxx.img" from the "OSMC_TGT_rbp2_xxxxxxxx.img.gz"
    To perform this you need Winrar or Winzip. (on Windows)

    2. Copy to microSD-Card
    As a example i show now a solution for Windows users.
    First - insert your microSD-Card into your cardreader

    We need a program to copy the img to the sd card. I recommend: Win32DiskImger
    Download and install it.

    After you started it you will see this picture:
    1. Select the extracted .img
    2. Select the microSD-Card
    3. Click on write
    You will get a message, when it is ready.
    Now insert the microSD-Card at your Raspberry Pi.

    3. Startup the Raspberry Pi 3
    Now you could attach HDMI and the micro USB power plug and let your Pi boot.
    Hint: Don´t forget also to plug in your led power supply :)

    After the initial installation (2-4 minutes) you will see the first startup wizard.
    NOTE: On newer TVs (2008+) you could use your TV remote to navigate through the menu.
    If not - you may need to enable the hdmi-cec functionality at the tv options menu. Samsung call it "Anynet+" LG="SimpLink", Philips="EasyLink", Sony="BRAVIA Link", Panasonic="VIERA Link" or "EZ Link"

    This wizard will guide you though the language and time zone setup.
    osmc select language.png osmc select timezone.png

    Hostname: "Accept" the default hostname
    osmc  hostname.png

    SSH: Just click on "Accept", SSH is already enabled by default.
    osmc accept ssh.png

    Licence: Click on "Continue"
    osmc licence.png

    Now select "Classic"
    osmc set skin.png

    And select at the newsletter "No, thanks" and close the wizard with a click on "Exit"
    osmc newsletter.png

    Now we could configure our Raspberry Pi 3 - WLAN (or you use a LAN cable instead. Just plug it in)
    Navigate to "System"
    And click on "My OSMC"
    Now navigate to the bottom to open the "Network" settings
    Now navigate to "Wireless"
    And "Enable" the wireless adapter
    Now you should see the entrys on the right
    Click on your wlan and select "Yes" to open the next dialog
    Insert your password
    Click on "Done" if you are ready.
    Now you should be connected
    Exit this menu via the "Exit" and go back to the Kodi main manu.
    Last edited: 21 May 2016
  5. Brindosch

    Brindosch Active Member

    RPi1/Zero, RPi2, RPi3, +nodeMCU/ESP8266
    Hyperion installation and configuration

    Now the very final step - which is quite short.

    Download and install the latest Java version (32bit or 64bit) for your computer you are currently sit on :)
    Download the latest HyperCon from: [email protected]

    1. Now start HyperCon with a click on the HyperCon.jar
    Note: To keep the following information as actual as possible i link now more frequent to our wiki!

    2. Installation of Hyperion
    Note: If you followed the instructions at the last post you installed OSMC as system (for notice) and SSH is already enabled!
    Follow: Installation on all systems

    3. Create a basic configuration file (hyperion.config.json)
    3.1 In HyperCon go back to the first tab "Hardware"

    3.2 Select your chip typ (in my case "APA102")

    3.3 Count your LEDs! And input the values
    -> horizontal/left/right/= input the counts
    -> bottom gap= adjust your gap here
    -> 1st LED offset= change the value until the ZERO is at your led stripe beginning
    Note: The led simulation on the right ist your FRONT TV VIEW :)

    example picture for the 1st LED offset:

    3.4 That´s it! Now we have a working basic configuration. Click at the bottom on the "Create Hyperion Configuration" button and save it at a location

    4. Upload your hyperion.config.json
    4.1 Click again on the SSH-tap and select your created hyperion.config.json with "Local Config Path"
    Afterwards, click on "Send Config"
    Hint: It may be possible that you need to click again on "Connect"

    4.2 Stop and Start Hyperion one time, Now you should see the rainbow (duration 3 seconds)

    Example picture how it should look like

    5. First basic test
    Now we need to check the RGB Byte Order!
    Click at the red/green/blue area and click on "Set Led Color"
    and check if this is for sure the right color for each of them.

    If not, you need to change the RGB Byte Order at the "Hardware" tap.
    Create again the .json with a click on "Create Hyperion Configuration" and upload it, Stop and start Hyperion again.
    And retry!

    6. Further Information
    We covered the most common problems at our FAQ: FAQ
    For a full description of HyperCon and the options follow the Guide: HyperCon Guide
    You need to calibrate the colors to get a good looking ambilight: Follow Color Calibration

    There are many instructions at the internet how you setting up Kodi as a media center station and fill it with your content, change language and so on.
    Please don´t use banned Addons and wizard, they are illegal and junk! Also all addons has access to everywhere. Be aware what you install!

    For further questions/discussion/problems/suggestions which fits this tutorial please post here:
    Discussion to this Tutorial

    I wish you much fun with your new Hyperion based ambilight
    brindosch and hyperion-team

    If you like our work and this tutorial you may help us with a small donations or you contribute to the project!
    Thank you

    No usage of text and pictures of this tutorial without our agreement.
    Last edited: 9 June 2016
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