Iphone/Ipad for use with toneboard

Anyway to get an Ipad or Iphone to power this? I have an older Ipad I would like to use with this so it still has an 3.5mm headphone port. I adapted that to a USB C cord but its not enough to power the toneboard. Is there a way to do this without giving the board its own power source?

Hi Aaron,

The Tone Board is designed to receive audio-files as “USB data” over a USB-C cable. It is not an amplifier that receives analog audio from a 3.5mm jack. It therefore won’t work with an older iPad, as that does not have a USB-C port, nor the drivers needed to interface with the Tone Board’s XMOS chip.

You Jun
Khadas Team

Will it work with the newer lightning port?

I don’t know, we don’t have a lightning to USB-C converter here. However, I did once plug it into my iPad:

iPad — USB-C to USB-2.0 Converter — USB 2.0 to USB-C Cable — Tone Board

The power light came on, however the iPad did not recognise it as a USB-audio device. :slight_smile:

iPad Pro 11 and latest 12.9" with USB-C have issues recognising any USB DAC’s Apple is aware/looking at this so I am told

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Yea I did read an article on the JDS website regarding DACs + iDevices…only specific DACs qualify, and even then Apple nerfed it in 2017, by adjusting the “maximum peripheral power usage” setting.

Apple has never been a very friendly playmate in the sandbox. I’m waiting for iOS 13, so that I can finally plug a USB-C thumbdrive into my iPad Pro…

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Here’s the JDS Labs link -

You can avoid this problem by supplying external power to the DAC, thus offloading an otherwise heavy current drain from the iPad. In most cases (except the case of Lightning to USB3 Camera Adapter - see later notes) this is achieved by connecting your DAC via a powered USB hub.

Then the minimum requirement for an operating system which supports external DACs is iOS7 - so, in theory, if you update the operating system on your iPad, even as far back as the iPad 2 (from 2011) should work. Then to physically connect to your iPad;

i) for 30-pin connector models - require the offical Apple Camera Connection Kit - part number MC531ZM.

ii) for Lightning connector models - require the official Apple Lightning-to-USB Camera Adapter, of which there are 3 different models:

  • part no. MD821ZM/A, then superceded by part no. MD821AM/A (USB2.0)
  • part no. MK0W2AM/A (USB3) - this adapter will accept external power from the Lightning connector of an Apple power adapter - so in this case you don’t need a powered USB hub.

iii) for USB-C models (iPad Pro 3rd gen) - should be able to connect directly to your USB hub, although apparently there are some operating system bugs at this present time.

Regarding compatiblity - the XMOS USB interface, as used in the Khadas Tone Board, is definitely supported by iOS, and confirmed working with several XMOS-based DAC’s. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee compatibility, but it’s a promising indicator.

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And after all of that detailed information I provided, I have to say that I personally dislike the idea of a direct DAC connection from an iPad !!
This concept means that your nice visual display (the iPad) is physically tethered to the music playback equipment, which is limiting and inconvenient in my opinion, and certainly old fashioned!

If you want an in-home (or around-home) music playback system, and don’t need to be totally portable, I believe it’s far more elegant to use a streaming endpoint such as a Raspberry Pi, or even an AirPort Express, then use your iPad as a client-controller via wifi.

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Yeap, you can install #Volumio. :slight_smile: