BB1 User Guide
Getting StartedThe Brennan works from batteries or external power.
Insert batteries and/or connect AC adaptor to power input then plug the AC adaptor into mains.
Press the power button to start.
To turn off press the power button once and again to confirm.
You can hold the power button to force a reset if necessary.
Use the power button to turn off. Don't just pull the USB power lead or turn off at the wall - you will lose any recent settings and may corrupt the SD card.
The USB connector is for USB devices like USB memory sticks and hard disks, USB keyboards, USB hubs, USB Ethernet adaptors and USB CD/DVD drives. (Some drives may need a powered hub to supply enough current).
|1,2,3||Preset buttons - you can assign an internet radio station or playlist to these buttons. The brennan will play that station or playlist when you press the button. A playlist is a list of music tracks and/or videos.|
|Back||This button plays the previous track when playing music. It is used to go back when using the menu and to delete the last character when entering text. Holding this button can be used to exit the menu system.|
|Start or stop playing music or video.|
|Next||Plays the next track or video when playing. This button is used in some menus to progress to the next step. If you press next when the brennan is idle it will play all your music at random.|
|Knob||The knob adjusts the volume and you can push it to get into the menus and select items.|
The Menu System
The brennan has a menu system to let you find and play music and videos. The menu is also used for things like setting up Wifi and loading music from USB.
Get into the menu by pushing the volume knob. Turn to select an item. Push again to choose that item.
Explore the menu system to see how it works. Remember the back button will take you back and holding the back button will exit the menu system
Setting Up Wifi
You don’t need to connect to Wifi to play music and videos but you need Wifi for some functions like internet radio, the web UI, loading Youtube videos, getting the time and transferring music from a computer.
To set up Wifi you will need to know the name of the network you want to attach to - this is called the SSID. You also need the password. This is a string of letters and/or numbers that is often found on a label on your wireless router.
You only have to do this once.
- Push the knob to get into the menu
- Select Settings and push knob
- Select Setup Wifi and push - the brennan will briefly scan for available networks
- Select your SSID and push
- Enter the password letter by letter. Capitals are available lower down. Push the knob to add a letter. Press back to delete the last letter. Press next when done. You can abandon the procedure without making any changes by holding back.
- the brennan will attempt to connect to the network
After the brennan connects it displays what is known as an IP address on the idle screen.
The Web UI
The Brennan can be controlled from a web browser on the same wifi network. The browser can be on a computer, tablet or mobile phone. This is called the Web UI.
You don’t need the web UI for basic playing - but you will need it for several functions like finding radio stations, setting presets, creating Playlists, ripping CDs - you can think of the web UI as a super remote control.
To start the web UI type the IP Address into the Address bar of the browser.
Setting Up a Radio Preset
There are two ways to find an internet radio station on the Web UI - Search by name and
Find the vTuner (or internet radio) tab on the Web UI
Type part of the name into the Search panel then click on the search icon.
Or click on a region and drill down until you find a station - back takes you back up.
Station names have a play icon on the left and a menu icon (three dots) on the right
Check its the station you want by playing it then click on the menu icon to assign that station to a preset.
Presets 1 to 3 correspond to the buttons. Higher presets can be played from the menu.
Find and Play a Youtube
Find the Youtube tab on the Web UI.
Type part of a name into the search panel and click on the search icon
The brennan will display matching videos in the web UI
Click on a video to play it.
The brennan will save the video to memory as it plays. You can find saved videos using the search panel on the web UI.
Loading Music from USB from the front Panel
Insert USB memory or USB hard disk into USB port
Select Browse USB on the main menu
Navigate to the folder or file you want to load and press Next
You can abort loading by holding the play stop button.
NB It is also possible to load from USB using the Web UI.
The Brennan will play music sent from your mobile phone via Bluetooth
The connection and playback is controlled from the phone. Phone’s vary but the sequence is typically like this.
- Open the Bluetooth dialog on the phone and enable Bluetooth
- Search for Brennan bb1 in available devices
- Pair and connect to the Brennan
- Play music on your phone
You can reset the Brennan Bluetooth with Settings->Maintenance->Reset Bluetooth.
Once your Brennan is attached to Wifi you can upgrade to the latest software with Settings->Maintenance->Web Upgrade. The website will give details of any bug fixes or new features in the latest software.
Headphones and USB DAC
You can use the bb1 USB port to drive headphones or your amplifier by using a USB DAC.
These range in price from around £5 for a generic dongles - through tens of pounds for higher quality dedicated headphone amps. (Through to thousands of pounds for high end DACs).
You should attach your USB DAC with the bb1 turned off.
- Get the latest software and drivers - only do this once.
- Use Settings->Web Upgrade to get the latest software - if you haven’t already done so. You may need to turn off and on manually the first time.
- In Settings->Maintenance look for an entry about the DAC Driver - select that and turn off and on manually
- When bb1 restarts - In the main menu you will see an entry to turn headphones on/off. This is only shown if a DAC is plugged in
Here are links to a few DACs we have tested recently.
Fiio E10K £61.90
Here is a link to an Ethernet adaptor that works with bb1
Ugreen USB Ethernet adaptor £9.99
Here are some CD mechanisms that work
Duronic £9.99 bit slow but works without extra power.
Rioddas £16.99 about twice as fast - but needs a powered hub like this.
These USB devices do NOT work with bb1 (at the moment)
TechRise USB DAC
DAC Magic XS DAC
Cable Matters Ethernet Adaptor
How to upgrade the SD card
Most owners won't want to do this but for hobbyists here are instructions.
You can find a BB1 SD card image here. It contains quite old software so do a web upgrade once you have connected to Wifi. You can find instructions for flashing an SD card on this page. These are instructions for B2 - you just use a different image file on BB1.
Baby Brennan Capacity
The number of tracks that a bb1 can hold depends on the amount of memory but also on the kind of compression - mp3, flac, aac or wav (no compression). For mp3 (and aac) it also depends on something called the bitrate. Track lengths vary so manufacturers often assume a three minute average for sake of comparisons.
|BB1 Capacity in tracks|
|128k MP3||256k MP3||FLAC||WAV|
We recommend using rechargeable batteries - we found that Amazon Basics rechargeable AAs lasted 7.5 hours against Duracell Ultra (not rechargeable) 9 hours in the same test. the Brennan will not charge them - you will need a battery charger - often sold with batteries if you don't have one.
Transferring Music from B2 or JB7
The easiest way to transfer music is to plug your B2/JB7 backup disk into BB1 and use the Browse USB function. In fact BB1 will play the music directly from the backup disk - so there is no need to transfer.
Martin designed BB1 so you can prise off the front and replace the SD card. Its a bit fiddly and you will need to copy the operating system on the SD but it helps make your BB1 future proof. We will provide instructions in due course.
The BB1 software is evolving. Many great ideas have come from customers registering. New features will be freely available through a web upgrade. Developments in the pipeline include support for USB headphone DAC (done) and Bluetooth output.
- Make sure Hotspot is turned off
- Double check the password (early bb1s reported success even with incorrect password).
- Turn wifi router off and on and restart bb1
- If Hotspot is off but IP address shows 10.0.0.1 you need to use Setup Wifi to pick a network and enter the password