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Connecting CS8416(2,4) to ES9023 (using I2S) to make a basic DAC

September 3rd, 2017


I got a CS8416 SPDIF converter to I2S card (via eBay) for one of my projects. It required only the power supply connected to and everything else was ready. Very good, especially for a bit lazy people πŸ˜‰
So, after connecting the board to VIA sound-card and dvd player SPIF outputs, I got its CS8414 synced to the source and the LCD screen showed the sampling rate πŸ™‚

CS8416 to ES9023 by I2S

As at this moment, the rest of my project was not ready yet, so I started to think how to check either the board was 100% functional.
I remembered that I had an ES9023 DAC card lying somewhere around,Β from Raspberry Pi times. Cool, let’s see it either they can work together.

Connecting CS8416 and ES9023

ES9023 chip can work with both LJ (left justified) and I2S digital stream. The card which I have came with I2S active.
CS8416 to ES9023 by I2S
Ok, everything looks obvious LRCK, SCLK, DATA, MCLK and GND pins should be connected to matching ES9023 board pins like this:
GND ---> GND

and it should work straightforward. Let’s see.

I connected the power supply to both CS8416 SPDIF and ES9023 boards and also SPDIF input to my modified VIA audio card.

Well, no sound, absolute silence… Hmm, something might be wrong … re-checking everything including the connections … good half of hour of different checks and … nothing. It’s quite strange, no errors.

After spending another 30 min, I remembered that similar situation happened to me with connecting ES9023 to Raspberry Pi and the reason for this was because “Orange : MCLK -> nc (ES9023 is in asynchronous mode)” πŸ™‚ Here you are, MCK should not be used here as well. Otherwise, you would have to change ES9023 (via eBay) mode, it’s up to you. And of course, it started to play (quite nicely!) the music after disconnected this pin MCK.

At the end

As I was thought at uni – all faults can be classified into two categories. The 1st one case occur when there is no connection in the place where it is needed and the 2nd case occur when there is a connection is in the place where it is not needed. This was 2nd case πŸ˜€

After fixing it, the result was such that we got a simple SPDIF audio DAC (via eBay). Its sound is a lot better than most of integrated (and not only) sound-cards. One step forward to non-oversampling (NOS) audio DAC and I can progress with another part of my project πŸ™‚