Falcon V4 Audio Modules

The Falcon F16 v4 and F48 v4 controllers support playing sequences directly from them. This is really handy should you not want to use FPP or xSchedule, and have the one controller. These will take an FSEQ file and an audio file, and produce the appropriate pixel outputs, and generate the audio out a 3.5mm jack. To do this, you need to purchase the add-on audio module, worth around $21 USD (~$30 AUD at time of writing) on the Australian store.

A question was asked in relation to the audio on the F16v4, and when audio module stocks might be available. PixelController.com – the makers of the Falcon controllers – have been impacted by global component shortages, and as such, at the time of writing, their stock levels are quite flaky.

I figured ‘how hard can it be?’ – the module will be using some form of integrated circuit, as a digital to analog converter – maybe there was a way to find out the model and design my own board around it.

Below is a picture of the board from the Falcon website. The chip in the lower-right hand corner has conveniently had its markings removed.

Audio module for F16/F48 v4

This of course, didn’t stop me digging, and I happened to find a photo (somewhere- I can’t remember where), which gave me a chip identification of PCM5102A. Research shows this to be a stereo audio DAC, which connects over an i2s bus.

So off searching for this chip, and I had its data sheet. I also located these chips on breakout boards on eBay for around $10 AUD, a third of what Falcon was asking.

Would they just work? I looked at the pinout of the IC in the data sheet, and from the image above, I was able to ascertain a most of the pin identifications on the 6 pin header. These conveniently were identical to the cheap eBay module – so I purchased one.

It finally arrived (yeah, the ad said it was in Australia and shipped with AusPost – I call BS, it was direct from China) – soldered on the pin header to the 6 pins on the short side. Most of the remaining pins on the long side are the analog audio out, and other unused pins in this case.

The final moment. Plugged it in, and the power light came on! A great start. Next cab off the rank was to change the F16 into local player mode and drop in a sequence. All went well – and playback! We have audio!

The working module with the red LED and headphones connected

Crystal clear awesome audio. Must say I was very impressed with the quality of the sound. Nice rich tone, not tinny or crap.

So – in summary – yes! These modules rock. And they are compatible, and they are cheaper. I see no reason not to use them!

Note: If you do decide to use this modules, please ensure the pinout is exactly the same as my screenshot above. i.e.
1 – VIN
2 – GND
3 – LCK
4 – DIN
5 – BCK
6 – SCK

Failure to follow this pinout may damage your Falcon. I take zero responsibility if you use this advice and your Falcon blows up. What works for me may not work for you.

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