I'm using a PAM8302 amplifier with a Raspberry Pi Zero W and it's working great. However, I'd like to start the amp muted and then unmute it from a Python script. Per documentation, PAM8302 goes into shutdown when the shutdown pin is connected to ground and I verified that by connecting it to RPi's ground. I tried connecting the shutdown pin to a GPIO pin that starts low and one that starts high (measured ~0V and 3.3V respectively), and neither mutes the amp. If I hook it up to ground it mutes, but I can't unmute it, since ground pins aren't controllable. Is there a way I can have programmatic control over the mute function? The only way I can think of is using a relay, but I'd rather avoid it if at all possible.


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  • GPIO pin that starts low .... are you sure that it starts low? – jsotola Feb 2 at 21:41
  • I measured the voltage between the pin and ground and it was hovering around 0.3mv – Nik I. Feb 3 at 17:54
  • that measurement is taken with the PAM8302 connected? – jsotola Feb 3 at 19:04

All GPIO pins start as inputs by default. This is normal for most similar devices.

NONE start as outputs, low or high, although the input pins may have a pull-up or pull-down.

The Device Tree can be used to change pin assignments shortly after boot. This is often used to enable the serial interface etc.

To configure a pin as output you need an appropriate Device Tree overlay.

The gpio config can be used to set the configuring pins at "boot" time - actually some short time after boot.

  • Thank you!! I'll give it a go and report the result. – Nik I. Feb 3 at 17:54
  • It worked!! I edited /boot/config.txt and added gpio=26=op,dl where 26 is the GPIO pin connected to the amp's shutdown pin. It mutes it in less than a second after power is supplied to the board. Thank you for your help! – Nik I. Feb 5 at 1:41

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