Parts Bin Bonanza Leads to Arduino FM Radio

Trolling eBay for parts can be bad for your wallet and your parts bin. Yes, it’s nice to be well stocked, but eventually you get to critical mass and things start to take on a life of their own.

This unconventional Arduino-based FM receiver is the result of one such inventory overflow, and even though it may take the long way around to listening to NPR, [Kevin Darrah]’s build has some great tips in it for other projects. Still in the mess-o-wires phase, the radio is centered around an ATmega328 talking to a TEA5767 FM radio module over I²C. Tuning is accomplished by a 10-turn vernier pot with an analog meter for frequency display. A 15-Watt amp drives a pair of speakers, but [Kevin] ran into some quality control issues with the amp and tuner modules that required a little extra soldering as a workaround. The longish video below offers a complete tutorial on the hardware and software and shows the radio in action.

We like the unconventional UI for this one, but a more traditional tuning method using the same guts is also possible, as this retro-radio refit shows.

15 thoughts on “Parts Bin Bonanza Leads to Arduino FM Radio

      1. That’s a really tough question. To paraphrase a wise woman, I find truth to be in the eye of the beholder.

        On my way to work, I listen to NPR. On my way home, I listen to PatriotXM. My RSS feed includes BBC, USA Today, CNN, and Fox. Above all, I don’t take anything as truth until after the edit wars on Wikipedia die down.

        I figure if every source agrees on something, that’s probably true. Everything else is commentary.

  1. Not having watched the video (usually such low volume as to be not worth it) I wonder why any micro, except for the other controls. I love the idea of tuning a VCO with a 10 turn pot. Get a big meter and redo the label, go with the prewar look. My first foray into FMDX was with a RCA 8 track and phono radio. It had a air gap plate tuning cap for the AM but a regular pot attached to the tuning cap for FM. The FM tuner was good but tuned by a 1/2 turn pot and dial string knob. When I chucked the AM and the rest and hooked up the FM tuning module to a 10 turn pot with a turns counting dial, I had my first really good FM radio. I could count and determine the exact frequency of each station before digital readout or tuning. It had a meter but for signal strength, which by the dial and meter one could tune into a given station without hearing it. The whole dial 100 presets plus the old TV channel 6 audio. Analog!

  2. Nice beta version, I hope he has the time to implement the ideas he has to improve it. Perhaps throw in an ESP so it can also stream stuff off the web or announce things pushed from a server, such as the time, reminders or the weather etc.?

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