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EDM Audio FPP Plugin - RDS Expectations?

Started by JonD, June 15, 2022, 09:13:54 AM

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JonD

I have not been able to find any detailed information on what can be done with this feature.  Looks like the feature is 7-8 years old and I am not even sure if it is still a valid plugin?  I am interested in displaying our voting website on vehicle radio displays.  I have not purchased a RDS transmitter at this point, but was looking at the EDM Design model as it appears to be one of the best support models.

Is anyone using RDS to display website information or aware of a good link that details all the options available?

JonD

Looking at RDS specifications it appears I should be able to display the website using "radio text" fields?  The plugin programming appears to just be updating the song info to a file.  I am not seeing any data fields to enter in website info into the plugin.  My best guess is the EDM Audio FPP Plug-in is not going to display my voting website info and is only used to update the current song name.

Wondering if another application could be used to configure the static information, and then only update the song information with the FPP plugin?  If that is even possible... would the static data stay after a power cycle?   

Santacarl

Quote from: JonD on June 15, 2022, 07:40:46 PMWondering if another application could be used to configure the static information, and then only update the song information with the FPP plugin?  If that is even possible... would the static data stay after a power cycle? 
Hi Jon.

I've been using the EDM transmitter for several years to display both my Radio station info AND song metadata with RDS.....  I use TinyRDS software to upload to the EDM transmitter.  The TinyRDS has a 'user manual' that explains how and where to enter all the information but it's a bit confusing.  BUT when you buy the EDM transmitter they have an assembly/instruction manual that walks you through with pictures how to configure with TinyRDS.

I tried to attach that to this post but it won't let me.  If you want to PM an Email address I'll send it via an attachment.  It's a little of a meg in size but I found it invaluable in the setup procedure.

You might try this link for the software: http://pira.cz/rds/TinyRDS_Setup.exe


JonD

Quote from: Santacarl on June 29, 2022, 10:03:36 PMI've been using the EDM transmitter for several years to display both my Radio station info AND song metadata with RDS.....  I use TinyRDS software to upload to the EDM transmitter.  The TinyRDS has a 'user manual' that explains how and where to enter all the information but it's a bit confusing.  BUT when you buy the EDM transmitter they have an assembly/instruction manual that walks you through with pictures how to configure with TinyRDS.

I tried to attach that to this post but it won't let me.  If you want to PM an Email address I'll send it via an attachment.  It's a little of a meg in size but I found it invaluable in the setup procedure.

You might try this link for the software: http://pira.cz/rds/TinyRDS_Setup.exe
Thanks for the info.  I am hoping to program the website info into the EDM using the TinyRDS software, and then use the Falcon FPP EDM Audio Plugin to update the song information.  EDM seemed to think it might be possible provided the plug-in did not overwrite the radio text area.  I think I already have the TinyRDS information you have mentioned, but appreciate the offer.

Last year we used the Remote Falcon Plug-In to allow people to vote for songs.  We created a 10-15 second sequence that displayed the website info, but it was kind of a challenge to place in the playlist.  If users were voting vs not voting it would sometimes play a couple of times in a row under the right conditions.   I thought if we could advertise the voting website on the RDS we could run the website ad less often, and if they missed the url would not have to wait two or three songs to have the ad re-appear.

I did buy the EDM, but it has not arrived yet.  The documentation on how to connect the RDS to the Raspberry PI is all over the place.  I have seen at least 5 different wiring diagrams and not sure which one to use.   I think I will cut a USB cable and connect to the GPIO ports of the PI versus soldering to the RDS chip.  Wish me luck!

Santacarl

#4
Quote from: JonD on June 30, 2022, 10:59:27 AMI think I will cut a USB cable and connect to the GPIO ports of the PI versus soldering to the RDS chip.  Wish me luck!
Yeah....I cut a cable to get it to work.  I ended up using the Green wire going to Pin 16 (GPIO 23) on the FPP and white wire to Pin 18 (GPIO 24) on the FPP.  I found through a long drawn out trial and error period to NOT place a ground connecting the FPP to the transmitter.  It simply would not work.  So it just uses the 2 wire Data(+) and Data(-).  I've tested and used it both a Pi 3 and 4 and it works equally well on either.

As to entering a message I found that I could use the TinyRDS tab labeled Dynamic PS and get any message I wanted to crawl on the matrix in the display.  The Default PS in the Program tab I just use to place the name of my station.  It only allows 8 characters if memory serves.

It will also scroll a message pulled from the meta data on a song so you could potentially use a background song and doctor the meta data to the message you want to show by enabling the radio button in the Radio Text tab and entering the phrase "Title Track" (which is the title where song title resides in meta data for a tune) in the first line.  Only problem is it delays a bit before that message will be pulled and scroll so while it works great for a song title on a normal length song it wouldn't work so well on a short announcement.

One last word from experience.  The 'cord' you use to connect your computer with the EDM transmitter to initially load it with information is sensitive.  I went through 2 before I found one that was capable of BOTH send and receive....that's a HUGH BIG deal.....  Many cables send but won't receive....so if you run into an issue communicating with the EDM it's likely going to be that connection....

Good luck.  You'll probably have to tweak and test quite a bit to find a combination that works the way you want.  It took me a couple of days of testing to figure out the right combination.   The whole RDS 'thingy' is a bit 'clunky' to use but works fairly well once you make it 'happy'....

JonD

Quote from: Santacarl on June 30, 2022, 02:10:11 PMI ended up using the Green wire going to Pin 16 (GPIO 23) on the FPP and white wire to Pin 18 (GPIO 24) on the FPP.  I found through a long drawn out trial and error period to NOT place a ground connecting the FPP to the transmitter.  It simply would not work.  So it just uses the 2 wire Data(+) and Data(-).  I've tested and used it both a Pi 3 and 4 and it works equally well on either.
Thanks for the pin out information  All the documentation I found just mentions to use the green and white wires, but none of them suggested which color went on which pin.  I figured I had a 50/50 chance to get it right, but is always nice to have the correct order.

Quote from: Santacarl on June 30, 2022, 02:10:11 PMOnly problem is it delays a bit before that message will be pulled and scroll so while it works great for a song title on a normal length song it wouldn't work so well on a short announcement.
That would be okay.  I would have the url scrolling in the matrix screens during the announcement. Seems like normal radio stations sometimes will scroll their tag line every so often.  I was hoping to use that feature to scroll the website url instead.  I thought the url in the RDS might give them something to do while they wait in line to get in front if the house.  I figured worse case I could overwrite the embedded song titles on the mp3 and replace the artist name with the url.  I am looking forward to playing.

JonD

#6
The EDM was sent slow boat and finally arrived the other day.  It connected right up, but having an issue.

The EDM Plugin directions state "When you create your MP3 and OGG files, make sure you tag them with Artist and Title fields.", but the plugin only plays the "title" field.  The only way I can display the artist is to add it to the song title.  It works, but is not the prettiest.  Is there a trick to make the artist field work?


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JonD

I will share some pictures in case it might help someone else in the future. 

You first need to program the EDM and store the power up settings.  Download MiniRDS.  Connect the provided serial to mini USB cable to the EDM.  You want to store the Station ID on the EDM (Max 8 Characters).  The FPP Plug-in will change the station name, but it does not save it to memory and it will be lost if the EDM power cycles.  Adding the station id name and pressing the store button will save it into memory.

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Dynamic PS will play a message where the station is name is displayed.  The message can be configured to play at various times.  Word Alignment seemed to be the most compatible.  I have found that the "scrolling text" option does not work on all radios.  If you add a message here and save it to memory it will return after a power cycle.  Since the FPP plugin does not overwrite this information, it can be used to display an additional message.  It can be disabled if you prefer.

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The Radiotext feature is how the FPP EDM Plugin sends song information to the radio.  It MUST be enabled or the plugin will not work.  I entered my website url so there is something there when the FPP powers on.  Anything you enter will be lost once the FPP Plugin starts displaying song information.  Just enter something that looks nice before the show starts. 
 
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Once the settings have been sent and stored you are ready to disconnect the serial to usb EDM cable and connect the EDM to your Pi.

I used a Tripp Lite USB 2.0 to USB Motherboard 4-Pin IDC Header Cable 6-Inch (U024-06N-IDC).  The red wire should not be plugged in to ground pin20 so I cut it out with wire cutters.  With the red wire removed you can attach it to the Pi4.  (Black=Pin14, Green=Pin16, and White=Pin18)

Once the header cable is installed you may use a standard Mini USB cable to connect to the EDM Transmitter.

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FPP EDM Plug-in information is sent at the beginning of each song.  Once you connect the mini usb cable from the Pi to the EDM, your song info might not display right away.  You may need to wait for the next song to start playing.

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