FPP:VastFMT

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Overview

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.

Requirements

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:

Prerequisites

You must also set up your VastFMT using the Vast provided software and save to EEPROM before using with the Pi. You should configure the power level, transmit frequency, transmit upon power-up, and any other non-RDS options you wish and save to EEPROM. Verify that the VastFMT will power on and begin transmitting before going forward.

Audio

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" in the "Audio Output Device" selection box. If "Transmitter" isn't one of the 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 "Transmitter" 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 sent back to the 3.5mm audio jack until you run the steps listed here again.

RDS

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.

More Information

Links

0.3.0 Beta Notes

The 0.3.0 beta 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

Steps:

  • 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