My Zynthian

My take on bulding a Zynthian, using parts I have available

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The Zynthian is a great, community driven, open Synthesiser platform. Read all about it here :
I wanted to build one for some time now, and so I collected some stuff in the past few years that could be useful. But I never actually checked if it could all come together, but now is the moment.

This project will be based on parts I already have. Some of it was bought more than two years ago, so it may not even be available anymore.


This is the PiShow 2.8 from Seeed. It's current status is 'Out Of Stock', so this might not be available ever.

The pHAT-DAC from Pimoroni:
This one is 'Discontinued', so it will definitely not be available anymore. Fortunately the internet does not forget antything, so its still easy to find info like connection details :

Raspberry Pi 3 A+
Well, at least the Raspberry Pi 3A+ is still there, and widely available.

  • Startup and getting the screen to work

    Cees Meijer01/17/2021 at 13:28 0 comments

    After downloading the latest image of the Zynthian OS and writing it to the SD card (Details are here: ), it is time to start it up. As the Zynthian website warns: this image is pre configured for use with the official Zynthian kits, so if you want to use it in different setup, first go to the web-interface to configure it.

    But that's a bit of a problem when using a RPi3A+. I cannot connect it throug an ethernet cable as suggested, and it will not automatially connect to my wireless network, since the WiFi parameters are not set. (according to the guide you can set these through the interface. Which I do not have yet)

    To solve this, find the file 'zynthianos-wpa-supplicant.txt' which is in the root of the SD card. Here you can add the wifi settings for your network. Make sure the 'country parameter is also set correct.

    ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
        psk="My Password"

    This only works the first time! If you change something in the WEB-Config, and reboot you will notice that zynthian will not return.

    So the first thing to do after entering the WEB interface is to add your WiFi paramters, but now through the interface:

    The first time you open this, the Networks will be empty. Add your network, and set mode to 'On'. Now it can be re-booted, and automatically connects to WiFi.

    With that out of the way, it's time to try and connect the screen. Which fails. The PiShow obvously needs drivers that are not compatible with any of the built-in Zynthian options. There is no preset that will even show a hint of an image. So I gave up, and decided to go for the same screen as I just used in my RetroPie handheld : the 5" Elecrow HDMI screen. After all, it's only 32 Euro, so why spend all day in getting a (smaller) screen to work ? 

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