Buzzing sound from speaker - no sound in games

Hello all,

I finished my Picade build yesterday and today I pluggen in the Pi Zero that I got with the Picade. On SD card I put latest RetroPie.

Screen works and also all the controls. But as soon as the Pi Zero boots there is a buzzing sound in speaker that will no go away unless I minimize the volume using the volume down button.

I tried the Doom and Duke Nukem port demo and I get zero sound from speakers, only the buzzing humming sound. Wiring for the speakers is correct (+ and -).

Any ideas what could be the problem?



As far as I am aware the pi zero doesn’t have audio unless you add something like the Phat DAC. This means the amplifier on the Picade board will not have an input and could pickup stray noise hence why you hear buzzing.

Any reason why you arn’t using a Pi2 or Pi3?



Buying Picade was my wish for some time now, Saw the weekend birthday discount and went with it. I got the Pi Zero for free in the package and since I do not own Pi2 or Pi3 I wanted to try it with that. If Zero has no sound then it makes sense about the noise and the no sound issue.

I have ordered Orange Pi PC some time ago and it should arrive soon. Can that device work with Picade?

Why not just get a $35 Raspberry Pi 3…It has built in bluetooth and wifi. Can’t beat that at that price.

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On the Picade, audio goes through the Picade PCB to the speakers. Typically, the connection is from the 3.5mm headphone jack on the Pi to the 3.5mm jack on the Picade PCB.

The Picade screen does not connect to the speakers, so that HDMI connection isn’t enough to output sound.

How do you have audio connected now?


Wife was not happy of me buying Picade so adding extra 40 € to the purchase is something not discussable with her. And I got the Orange Pi PC for 8 € few weeks ago on a sale.

Audio is not at all connected. I hoped it will work over HDMI. Pi Zero has no 3.5mm headphone output. Reading the specs it says that the digital audio works over HDMI. So if Picade screen does not connect to the speakers it makes sense that I have no output.

I have also updated the Picade firmware in SSH and the buzzing humming sound is gone. Even if I change volume with the keys to maximum, speaker are completly mute now.

I will test it with my Orange Pi when I get it.

About 12.1’’ screen. Where can I get the black carton border for it if I decide to purchase it?

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Bless you man. If she finds out how much the 12.1 inch screen cost good luck with that. My wife hates my picade too. It’s like my picade is a girlfriend or something. Funny how they are if you enjoy something they don’t have to do with that makes you happy. I measured and cut out the 12.1 shim out of the 8 inch one that came with the picade.

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I think that’s because by default the new firmware sets the volume to zero. I know I had to increase the volume when I did my update before I got any sound.



You could actually get audio from the HDMI, but you’d need to use an HDMI adaptor with audio broken out to a 3.5mm stereo jack. Something like this:

Although at ~£20, you’d almost be better just getting a Pi 3…

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A+ would be an option, now that they are shipping again?

It’s recommendable to strip digital audio from HDMI anyway because the Pi3 analog audio output is really horrendously poor quality. It makes AM radio sound good…

Ask her how much she spends on makeup, shoes and clothes. The cost of makeup will increase exponentially with age. Don’t try to tell them that learning and being at the cutting edge of technology will only get you better jobs and more money she can spend. I don’t know how I ever bought an Altair 8800 (w/ 256 BYTES RAM) in 1975 after a year of marriage. That got me a better job and it kept going up.

Remember a wife is there when you need her, but she is also there when you don’t. Keep your own money and buy what you want. Mine could smell something new “Japanese?” no, Korean Colour Monitor. I would still be using a TTY or binary toggle switches.

Today I got Rpi3. Installed RetroPI on it (latest) and it boots fine. I added a NES rom and it shows in emulation station. Key mapping was also no problem.

But I am facing same problem as before. Zero sound. I forced 3,5 output in all possible settings but I get zero sound. Not even a beep. Any idea what I can do?

PS: Maybe firmware upgrade crashed something. What firmware should I install for the Picade board?

“Ask her how much she spends on makeup, shoes and clothes.”

You’re not married are you, barewires?


Taking PICADE criticism without being drawn into an argument about it is an important married life skill!