Getting Started - building a Solo

[updated in October 2017 with Soundblaster soundcards - older CLAC version is here]

Purchase components

You’ll also need a USB-ethernet adapter to set the clock (only needed rarely, so borrow one if you can). Access to a PC/laptop with a card reader is also needed.


The video is very helpful in assembling a Solo.

  1. gather all the components
  2. mount the clock module on the raspberry-pi
  3. attach the soundcard to the USB port of the raspberry-pi
  4. attach the microphone to the soundcard
  5. attach the power cord to the Raspberry Pi (do NOT attach a power supply yet)
  6. protect in the little box, and main enclosure

Prepare (flash) a memory card

Insert the memory card into the card reader of your PC, and follow the instructions to flash the SOSI (Solo Operating System Image) onto the card. Once flashed, insert the memory card into the Solo’s Raspberry Pi micro SD card socket.

Do a test recording

To turn it on: attach the power cable to the (charged) USB battery bank, and watch the Solo boot. Notice the green light stabilise (after about 50 seconds) to a “heartbeat” double-flash pattern.

Then allow it to record audio. Sing, shout, hammer. Leave it for at least ten minutes to fill up one complete audio recording file.

Then turn it off: pull the power cord from the battery (at the battery end - don’t disturb the more delicate connector on the Raspberry Pi).

Recover data from memory card

With the power disconnected, remove the memory card, and insert into the memory card reader of your PC/laptop. Follow the instructions for copying data onto your PC/laptop.

Listen and analyse

Play the audio files by double clicking on them. Analyse them with a sound editor - try Audacity.

Troubleshoot, or go on to set the clock.

If it didn’t work - look at troubleshooting. If it did work, you should now set the clock: instructions to set the clock.