Pi Zero Wireless Speaker

Using a Google Nest Mini (2ng Gen)

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I received a couple of free Google Nest Mini devices and this one had been sitting around for a while. I finally decided to have a look inside and found enough room for a Pi Zero.

Although I am only planning on using this as a WiFi enabled speaker; you could fit a microphone in there and run your own AI assistant, a teleconference device or as a Bluetooth speaker.
  • 1 × Google Nest Mini 2nd Generation
  • 1 × Raspberry Pi Zero W
  • 1 × 5v UBEC (eBay)
  • 1 × USB Audio Adaptor (eBay, "3D Sound")
  • 1 × LM386 Mini (eBay)

  • Next Steps​

    Marcus Berg10/17/2020 at 13:19 0 comments

    From here I will have to wait at least a few weeks for the LM386 amplifier to come in the mail (I ordered two from different stores, lets see who wins the race...). I am still having thoughts about what to do with the switch, I could use it to enable streaming audio.

    I have also considered making it power up from the switch, making the SD card read-only (overlay filesystem) and automatically start streaming whenever the pi boots up.

    I haven't looked into what software there is to drive the speaker from my phone, if anyone has a suggestion, drop a note in below. (VLC remote?)

    For now, as a bedside speaker this should work fine with quiet audio.

    Nothing is glued or stuck down, I also intend on addressing that in the final design as well.

  • Shrinking Size and Fitting it in

    Marcus Berg10/17/2020 at 12:55 0 comments

    This was the biggest step, getting it all a lot smaller and fitting in the small gap in front of the speaker.

    First was to get the strip the parts off the USB sound card, the 3.5mm jacks were the easy part and the USB jack, even though the shield was not soldered in. In the end I got it loose enough to use metal fatigue (wobble the jack back and forth) the the pins broke.

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  • Testing Phase

    Marcus Berg10/17/2020 at 12:48 0 comments

    I weighed up whether I should use 5v directly in or use the original nest mini power supply. I could easily go down to the shop, grab the right barrel jack size and go from there, but I do have a few 5v UBECs sitting around for exactly this sort of project.

    As these were cheapies off eBay, I wanted to make sire the voltage output from 14V came down to 5V OK. I'm glad I tested the voltage first, the UBEC I grabbed had 12V out, even though it was labelled 5V. Lucky save.

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  • Getting it apart

    Marcus Berg10/17/2020 at 12:37 0 comments

    I used the teardown instructions on ifixit to get the Mini apart. After getting in, I decided the strip out the main board, antennas and electronics and see what parts I had available.

    ifixit teardown guide:

    It was at this stage I decided that I could make this a speaker, eventually deciding on putting in a Pi Zero W, where the original mini circuitry was.

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