Connecting a PCM5102a breakout board to a Raspberry Pi

What could i do with my two old Raspberry Pi’s i ask myself, maybe using them as some kind of network speakers for my daughter was the answer.

That was when i came across those neat little cheap audio DAC boards you can buy for cheap on ebay, aliexpress etc which really improve the sound of the Raspberry Pi. We all know the audio jack is unuseable on these devices.

So i ordered one of these boards in the country behind the great wall to see if i can save the money which i else had to spend on a Hifiberry.

If you don’t know how these devices look like here you got a photo, you can find them simply searching for pcm5102a:

What made me a little nervous was the fact that there are 11 pins to be connected. The good thing was that after a little bit of research i realized that only 5 pins are really needed, all the others are mainly connected to GND.

One short warning before i tell you how to hook the board up. If you have an old Model of the Raspberry Pi which only hat the 26pin extension port please make sure you have a v2. That can be recognized by the pads labeled P5 below the extension port. There are some important I2S on this and you have to solder Pins to it. The really first Raspberry Pi Versions didn’t had that port, so you should have to search for the pins somewhere on the PCB, which didn’t makes any sense for me.

Okay lets connect the Board.

For Raspberry Pi with 26pin P1 and 5pin P5

PCM5102a <–> RPi

VCC <–> Pin 1 (P1)

GND <–> Pin 3 (P1)




BCK <–> Pin 3 (P5)

DIN <–> Pin 6 (P5)

LCK <–> Pin 4 (P5)


XMT <–> 10k Resistor <–> 3,3V of the PCM5102A board


For Raspberry Pi with 40pin P1

PCM5102a <–> RPi

VCC <–> Pin 1

GND <–> Pin 3




BCK <–> Pin 12

DIN <–> Pin 40

LCK <–> Pin 35


XMT <–> 10k Resistor <–> 3,3V of the PCM5102A board


Just a short explanation what all of the grounded pins do.

FLT: Filter select. GND for normal latency, pull up (10k 3,3V) for low latency

DMP: de-emphasis control. Low = off, high = on

SCL: if to GND internal SCK will be generated from BCK

FMT: audio data format selection. Low for I2S (high for Left-Justified)

XMT: pulled to GND = mute, pulled high via 10k to 3,3V un-mute


Here you got a picture of my setup:

Now you can install Volumio etc on your Pi, enable I2S, select the Hifiberry DAC and play your Music.

Btw these breakout boards play nicely together with a PAM8302A Chipamp 😉

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