Pirate Radio /phat-beat

Can someone help, please ?
Got my Pirate radio running but no VU lights at all.
Raspberry lite.
Curl Download says all is ok.
No blinkin’ lights !!! - at all.
Be glad to hear advice, as it’s driving me nuts !!


Jessie or Stretch? I think if it’s Stretch you have to do some other stuff.

Thanks for reply.



You ran curl https://get.pimoroni.com/vlcradio | bash
If yes, it should be working?


sudo nano /etc/pulse/default.pa

And right under the line that reads ### Automatically load driver modules depending on the hardware available


load-module module-alsa-sink device=pivumeter
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Yes, I did run that. It said all was ok.
It’s weird. Maybe my dodgy soldering !!!

I’d double check it to make sure you didn’t bridge (short) two pads together or something. Post a screen shot of it if you can. The pHat Beat used i2s, I’m not sure which pins get the VU meter data? If its the same pins that the sound data goes over on its not a soldering issue.

Pin Out is here, https://pinout.xyz/pinout/phat_beat#

OK, will check. Many thanks.
Noticed one of the switches on the Phat Beat was loose and it’s come off
the board now so will have to get my heat gun fired up and see if I can
solder it back.

Mine is in a repurposed wooden sub woofer box. I wired up my own easier to use buttons. I used mini arcade buttons mounted in the top of my case.

Thanks for advice.
OK, have soldered up a new phat-beat board and connected it.
Result still the same. No VU leds. Plays ok.
On power up, all leds flash green, turn off then nothing.
Guessing this is a software problem now.
Any ideas would be much appreciated.

I’d do up a fresh image of Raspbian, and run the one line installer for the pHat Beat again. Maybe use Jessie instead of Stretch. I’m still on Jessie on my Pirate radio setup.

Ok, thanks.
I used Jessie Lite not Stretch anyway.
Have run the pHat installer twice.
It’s becoming a royal pain in the ass.
But, hey ho.
I have some way to go, before I bin the thing.

I used the full Jessie, I just find it easier to set things up like WIFI. Then when I’m all done I set it to boot to command line instead of the desktop.

Bummer its not working. @gadgetoid may have a test scrip you could run. Did you try what he posted earlier?

Okey dokey,

Re-formatted the SD card, loaded Raspberry Lite, got it on the internet.
Ran the curl download - all ok.
Everything looking good.
Raspberry Pi has blown it’s mind, hot and gone.
It’s not my soldering, as it was working before.
So, I’ll keep the loudspeaker and the SD card, the rest I will bin.
I’ve chucked too much money at this thing now. I could have bought a
production model.
It’s the last time I try the Pi.
Never had this crap with the Arduino.

Sorry to hear that. I’ve had as near as I can remember 2 bits of hardware fail on me. One SI1145 breakout that Adafruit replaced with no fuss. And some adapters or something I bought hear that they refunded with no fuss.

I have 9 or so Pi’s on the go here at the moment. I had a few others that I passed on to a new home. All my issues have been with software, or the lack of it. Adafruit seem to be Arduino geared with the Pi an after thought. Sensor wise anyway. A lot of their addons don’t have python libraries for them. While Pimoroni is Pi orientated. I’ve had good luck with their stuff. Lucks probably not the right word to use but its to early in the day and I haven’t got my first cup of Java in me yet.

I have yet to try out an Arduino, I’ve thought about it, just never pulled the trigger.

How long have you had your PI and pHat beat, maybe you can get a refund? There is a contact us link on the Pimoroni main page that you can use to e-mail tech support. Put a link to this thread in the e-mail, if you go that route.

Thanks alpha,
Kind of you to keep in touch.
Well, it’s been a learning experience, to say the least !!
Never had a board start cooking before, after a software download.
I think I will cut my losses and move on.
Shame really. I was up half the night configuring the beast and then it goes and burns !!
Ha, funny really.
I don’t want a refund. I’ll never deal with this lot again.
We live and learn, my friend.
Best wishes,
and signing out.

Ahoy @Jhon

This isn’t the sort of experience we strive for :(

Unfortunately the Pi is quite considerably more complex than Arduino, and there are more ways it can go wrong. Spontaneous combustion from installing software is a new one to me, however!

I have made some tweaks to the install script recently which should fix the VU lights issue when it’s installed on a fresh Jessie Lite image- although it seems some people are still having trouble. Solving this is a going concern for me!

If you change your mind, and would like to have another crack at getting it up and running please let me know. I’ll be happy to walk you through the process.

Thanks for response gadgetoid,
It’s weird. It’s the pi zero that fried, not sure about the phat beat, as they were plugged together when I fired (excuse pun) up after running (successfully) curl.
But of the two phat-beats I had, switches fell off.
One had a loose on/off and the other the ‘up’ volume control, both came off.
Maybe worth having a word with the manufacturer about switch soldering.
It’s odd about what happened. I had the devices powered using the psu supplied by yourselves, zero (and beat) plugged into HDMI on my TV for programming.
All went well, transferred the radio to table, plugged in psu and hey-ho ‘magic smoke’.
The only thing I can think of is that maybe I hadn’t engaged the header properly into the socket - yet no probs when it was connected to TV.
Anyway, have bought another Zero W so will have a last crack at it.
I was wondering if I can just bridge the on/off pcb holes on the phat-beat as I draw the line at smd repairs !!
Regards, jhon.

We are the manufacturer! This is a problem we had with early units, which we believe was fixed quite some time ago. The switches on my green prototype are, at least, very solid!

Where/when did you obtain your pHAT BEATs?

First one from yourselves and second one from eBay supplier coolcomponentsuk as you were out of stock.