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An ultra card for the Raspberry Pi where you guide live redesigns. 192kHz input/output and digital output + 2 mics. Pro balanced io
An ultra card for the Raspberry Pi where you guide live redesigns. 192kHz input/output and digital output + 2 mics. Pro balanced io
194 backers pledged AU$ 12,210 to help bring this project to life.

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Audio Injector Ultra 2 sound card

AU$ 12,210

194

This is an ultra high quality ultrasound card. It gives high fidelity input and output audio. It also features digital output (S/PDIF) and dual microphones.

The Ultra 2 sound card stack. The sound card (bottom), the pre-amp (middle) and the Balanced IO board (top).
The Ultra 2 sound card stack. The sound card (bottom), the pre-amp (middle) and the Balanced IO board (top).

This ultra sound card provides stereo analogue output and input. The output can also be sent using the optical SPDIF connector. It has two input microphones. It comes as a three layer stack of boards. The first board is the base sound card. The second board is a balanced pre-amplifier. The third board is a passive input/output connector board.

Premium specifications

The sound card is ultra because it uses premium components to ensure a low noise floor, low jitter and low harmonic distortion. It also provides optional balanced signal drivers and receivers.

 Ultrasound

The sound card is ultrasound because it can output/input analogue frequencies extending up to the untrasonic frequencies. Such high frequencies require a digital 192 kHz sample rate.

The core Audio Injector Ultra 2 sound card. This is an example of how the core sound card will arrive.
The core Audio Injector Ultra 2 sound card. This is an example of how the core sound card will arrive.

Line drivers

The balanced preamp board steps the signal levels up to professional line levels of more then 10 V peak to peak. The outputs use balanced line drivers so that no matter whether you are driving RCA cables or XLR/TRS lines, you will have crystal clear ground loop free audio.

The AC coupled balanced preamp board. This board amplifies the sound card's signal to professional levels. It hosts the two microphones. The preamp and the accessories will also be delivered.
The AC coupled balanced preamp board. This board amplifies the sound card's signal to professional levels. It hosts the two microphones. The preamp and the accessories will also be delivered.

DC capable

The base sound card supports DC capable inputs and outputs. This allows modular synth designers to build interface boards to control their rigs.

The IO boards. Supporting TRS, RCA and they also support Neutrik male and female XLR sockets (by providing footprints). These boards and accessories will also be delivered - enough to build yourself both the balanced and RCA IO boards.
The IO boards. Supporting TRS, RCA and they also support Neutrik male and female XLR sockets (by providing footprints). These boards and accessories will also be delivered - enough to build yourself both the balanced and RCA IO boards.

We need your input

Please drop comments on our campaign and feel free to visit our support/discussion forum. We are really keen to get your ideas on how to make this product more suitable for your needs. We are currently in phase 2 of the design process where we are focusing on connectors.

We have already integrated a large amount of your feedback and suggestions - please keep it coming !

Previous Kickstarter Projects : 

 The audio injector pi sound card : successful and shipped

The audio injector octo sound card for the Pi : successful and shipped

The audio injector zero sound card for the Pi : successful and shipped

The PCB quick connect clip : successful and shipped

The IO breakout boards are XLR capable. They already have Neutrik footprints ready for you to solder your own XLR connectors onto the PCBs.
The IO breakout boards are XLR capable. They already have Neutrik footprints ready for you to solder your own XLR connectors onto the PCBs.

Each package contains :

Each pacakge contains the following items;

  • 1x Base sound card
  • 1x Middle balanced preamp board
  • 2x Top IO boards
  • All of the required connectors to connect the boards together, which include 0.1" headers, RCA sockets, TRS sockets and plastic spacers for securing the boards

If you pledge for more then one package, you receive all of the above in each pacakge.

You will need to supply your own 40 pin Pi connector.

An older prototype example of the RCA IO board on the top deck. You can produce your own IO boards and PCB templates will be provided.
An older prototype example of the RCA IO board on the top deck. You can produce your own IO boards and PCB templates will be provided.

Ultra Specifications : 

  • Direct Inputs : Unpopulated Analogue Connectors (stereo RCAs and 1/4" jacks provided)
  • Direct Outputs : Unpopulated Analogue Connectors (stereo RCAs and 1/4" jacks provided)
  • Digital Optical SPDIF (Optical transducer provided)
  • Microphone : Two high quality microphones with extended high frequency (ultrasound) response (model - SPU0410LR5H) surface mount microphones populated for you.
  • Sample rate : 192 kHz, 24 bit (32 bit bus)
  • Analogue cut freq. : 96 kHz
  • Jitter control : Low jitter clock oscillator
  • Hardware: Works with the Raspberry Pi2, Pi3 and Zero, etc.
  • Codec : cs4265 (detail here)
  • Film capacitors in the (non biased) line driver/receiver audio paths - yielding low harmonic distortion levels.
  • TI OPA1692 preamp on the base sound.
  • NJM4580E Specialised audio op-amps for the highest fideilty on the balanced preamp card.
  • Mute line driven outputs - for silence !
  • Base card breakout pins give : {5v, Rin, Lin, InGND}, {Rout, Lout, GND, Mute}
  • Balanced line drivers to omit ground loops, power up noise and external equipment noise.
  • Preamp card breakout pins give : {Rout+, Rout-, Lout+, Lout-, GND}, {Rin+, Rin-, Lin+, Lin-, GND}
  • The IO breakout board allows you to plug either balanced connectors or RCA connectors.
  • Balanced output connectors : 1/4" TRS sockets (provided and unpopulated)
  • Balanced input connectors : 1/4" TRS sockets (provided and unpopulated)
  • Unbalanced output connectors : RCA sockets (provided and unpopulated)
  • Unbalanced input connectors : RCA sockets (provided and unpopulated)
  • The ability to wire your own IO boards so you can use your own connectors (if you don't want to use those provided).
  • The ability to plug in your own preamps so you can design your own purpose built preamps and simply plug the base sound card into your products.
  • Linux driver pre-integrated into the Raspberry Pi Kernel.

Board connections :

The board connections use standard 2.54 mm headers, which are supplied. You will need to solder to connect these to the boards. There are a few 4 pin headers and a few 6 pin headers. There are also the RCA and TRS connectors.

The IO boards also include Neutrik NC3FAH and NC3MAH footprints, so if you prefer to use XLR connectors, you can solder your own on !

If you don't want to use the supplied RCA and TRS connectors, and if you don't want to supply your own Neutrik XLR connectors the why not direct wire out ? DIY wire out from the preamp board to your hardware with full functionality (you can also modify the gain of the input side of the preamp by providing your own resistors in line).

The Pi to Ultra 2 connection requires a standard 40 Pin Pi connector. This is not supplied with the board. You can purchase a quick connect clip which requires no soldering from the DIY Electronics section of our shop here. Or you can source a standard header and solder it onto the board.


Noise Floor :

The current version of the sound card has a roughly 100 dB SNR, as shown in the following image. The measurement was taken by directly looping back output to the input. A subsequent listening test confirms the very low noise floor.

SNR of around 100 dB in the current version of the sound card (measured in direct loopback)
SNR of around 100 dB in the current version of the sound card (measured in direct loopback)

Risks and challenges

This is a reasonably low risk project. We have previously had four Kickstarter projects and shipped those products on time. This sound card is already prototyped and tested - we are up to the 16th revision at the launch of this project.
Currently the functionality of the sound card has been tested and we are into phase 2 of the design where connectors are being reviewed.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 35 or more About $25

    1 Ultra sound card (around $25 USD)

    You will receive 1 audio injector ultra sound card plus any stretch goal items.

    Shipping is around $5 USD.
    Targeting delivery in September.

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    122 backers
    AU$
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 70 or more About $50

    2 Ultra sound cards (around $25 USD ea)

    You will receive 2 audio injector ultra sound cards plus any stretch goal items.

    Targeting delivery in September.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    46 backers
    AU$
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 105 or more About $75

    3 Ultra sound cards (around $25 USD ea)

    You will receive 3 audio injector ultra sound cards plus any stretch goal items.

    Targeting delivery in September.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    13 backers
    AU$
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 140 or more About $101

    4 Ultra sound cards (around $25 USD ea)

    You will receive 4 audio injector ultra sound cards plus any stretch goal items.

    Targeting delivery in September.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    9 backers
    AU$
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 175 or more About $126

    5 Ultra sound cards (around $25 USD ea)

    You will receive 5 audio injector ultra sound cards plus any stretch goal items.

    Targeting delivery in September.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    AU$
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 350 or more About $252

    10 Ultra sound cards (around $25 USD ea)

    You will receive 10 audio injector ultra sound cards plus any stretch goal items.

    Targeting delivery in September.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    AU$
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 525 or more About $377

    15 Ultra sound cards (around $25 USD ea)

    You will receive 15 audio injector ultra sound cards plus any stretch goal items.

    Targeting delivery in September.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    AU$
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 700 or more About $503

    20 Ultra sound cards (around $25 USD ea)

    You will receive 20 audio injector ultra sound cards plus any stretch goal items.

    Targeting delivery in September.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
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Funding period

- (56 days)