Pirate Radio - Phat Beat Dac doesn't appear to work

Hi Everyone!

I’ve just put together the Pirate Radio kit, I’m having a few problems getting it up and running.

I ran the standard installer for airplay using curl -sS get.pimoroni.com/airdac | bash and i can now see the raspberry pi under airplay on my iPhone however the phat beat doesn’t seem to do anything. There is no audio and no VU LEDs are lit.

I tried to run the tests to see if they shed anylight using:
bash ~/Pimoroni/phatbeat/test/test.sh

The tests start to run but theres no indicator from the phat beat that anything is happening. The tests seem to get stuck when they reach the Testing VU Meter and the tests hang there. However i never hear any test sounds in the tests it run prior to this.

I also tried execute the python test.py script and nothing seems to happen, the terminal goes to a new line and it hangs there.

I used the GPIO hammer headers, and there appear to be no contact issues between the headers and the board.

Is there anything I may have missed or could I have a faulty Phat Beat?


Hey there,

i have not tested the airdac one-line installer, only the internet radio installer using vlc.
When executing test.sh the expected behavior should be:

  • Sound left with VU meter left
  • Sound right with VU meter right
  • Pirate song playing
  • and in the end the VU meter is lit and has two different colors for the channels
    Testing VU Meter is the last line in the terminal, so that should be normal
    You exit the test, by pressing the power button on the pHat BEAT.

Unless there is something wrong with the GPIO pin order (e.g. hammer header on the wrong side) it seems like a hardware defect.

You can try to install the vlc internet radio. After each reboot all leds on the pHat should light up in a bright green color.

Kind regards.

Hi Peos,

Thanks for posting that description, now I know what I’m looking for when the tests run! Wasn’t sure if there should have been any output before!

I did try the vlc internet radio but it didn’t seem to bring it to life either.

Im going to try soldering on the GPIO headers instead of using these solderless headers. Im a little suspicious that there could just be a bad connection. If not I think you’re right, could be a hardware defect.

Fingers crossed soldering does the job!


After soldering in the GPIO headers in all is working fine. Seems there was a loose connection on the male hammer header on the PI.

So a simple fix in the end :)

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