The Vast Electronics V-FMT212R is a USB-based FM transmitter from Vast Electronics. It uses a Texas Instruments USB Stereo Audio Interface which has linux support, so can be controlled using the Pi.
FalconPiPlayer supports the VastFMT for both audio output as well as RDS data.
The Audio is a generic USB audio device supported by Alsa, so is natively supported by a Raspberry Pi and FPP.
The RDS data is controlled through an FPP plugin written specifically for the VastFMT.
The lastest FPP image. Look for the latest sticky post here:
In order to use the VastFMT, you must also use a powered USB hub. One tested and known to work:
Deprecated information: Note that with newer versions of the VastFMT plugin, you do not need to do this. You can take a brand-new VastFMT, plug it into the Pi and you can configure your frequency, transmit power, etc. Before you can use your VastFMT with FPP you must set up your transmitter using the software provided by Vast and save the configuration to EEPROM. You should configure the power level, transmit frequency, transmit upon power-on, and any other non-RDS options you wish and then save those settings to the EEPROM of the VastFMT. Please verify that the VastFMT will power on and begin transmitting before going forward.
Using your VastFMT with FPP
To get audio going out of your VastFMT instead of the 3.5mm audio jack, follow these steps:
- Boot your Pi with the VastFMT plugged into a USB port
- Navigate to FPP's "FPP Settings" page under "Status/Control"
- Select "Transmitter" (Note that newer models of VastFMT transmitters may show up as "Electronics") in the "Audio Output Device" selection box. If "Transmitter" and "Electronics" are not options, the VastFMT wasn't detected by the Pi and you should either try re-plugging it into the USB port and reloading the "FPP Settings" page, or rebooting the Pi.
- Once you have selected the VastFMT from the drop-down, the Pi will configure the audio to be sent to the VastFMT. If a playlist is already in progress, the next song *should* start playing via the transmitter, however sometimes FPPD will need to be restarted.
NOTE: If you boot your Pi without the VastFMT plugged in, the audio will automatically be reset back to the 3.5mm audio jack until you run the steps listed here again.
In order to get RDS data working, you must install the Vast V-FMT212R plugin. This plugin uses FPP's plugin system to take the artist and title parsed from your media's metadata tags and output them via RDS. It utilizes RT to set the characters displayed on RDS capable FM receivers and additionally RT+ tags to set the artist and title fields appropriately.
- Navigate to FPP's "Plugins" page under "Content Setup"
- Click the "down arrow" to the right of "Vast V-FMT212R" which installs the plugin. You'll know it was successful if the "down arrow" icon changes to a trash can (for removal) and the "Output Setup" drop-down menu gains a new "Vast FMT212" entry.
Once the plugin is successfully installed any Artist/Title tags parsed from your media should be sent at the beginning of each song's playback to your VastFMT.
For some additional details on the plugin you can navigate to "Vast FMT212" page under the "Output Setup" menu which will detail the latest code you are running as well as tell you if the VastFMT was detected.
0.3.0 Beta_1 Notes
NOTE: These steps do NOT apply to v0.3.0 the newer Beta_2 image. All required files are present on that image to support this plugin and the VastFMT fully.
The 0.3.0 Beta_1 NOOBS image didn't have all of the required files. In order to get the VastFMT plugin working you need to run the following script: audio_files.sh
- Download the script to your local machine.
- Upload the script to your Pi on the "File Manager" page.
- Add an event (Event ID Major/Minor don't matter, just select any).
- Set new event to run the "create_audio_files.sh" script.
- Save your new event.
- Highlight the new event.
- Click "Trigger Event".
- Remove the event and script from your Pi. Future images will include the necessary files.