Small And Simple FM Radio

[gpsKlaus] built this little FM radio (translated) based on the AR1010 IC. That chip is controlled via I2C by an ATtiny45 microcontroller. His tuning implementation relies on presetting 16 stations in the firmware and selecting them with the white potentiometer.

The FM chip came on a breakout board from SparkFun. Not bad at around $15 as it includes the crystal, some caps and a few resistors, and you don’t have to try and solder to the fine pitched pads on that minuscule package. We’re a little unsure of the features included in the part as the datasheet is lacking in detail and the reference datasheet that SparkFun includes in the description is obviously for a much more full-featured chip. Still, this would be a fun thing to play around with if you’ve grown tired of blinking LEDs.

If you don’t want to let an integrated circuit do all the heavy lifting try this post for a guide on building your own radio tuner.

23 thoughts on “Small And Simple FM Radio

  1. i planed on using one of these, and a tda1515bq to make a radio for my car clubs dragster. it would be lighter than a regular stereo. never got around to programing a micro controller, or finding a good lcd.

    these are on small boards in practically every mp3 player with a radio.

  2. I’m confused why you would want a potentiometer as a way to toggle through digital presets for analog stations when you could skip the micro controller altogether and be able to receive and switch through all Fm stations with just a potentiometer?

  3. this one does look higher quality lol i could buy 15 dollar tree radios and what would i have? like 45 coils of wire, 15 leds, 15 headphone jacks.. and in a month or so, 15 broken radios

  4. @Nonya-Biz: I was going to say the same thing. Even the lowliest $5 no-brand MP3 player seems to have the exact same little green PCB inside and though its surface mount, the 10 pads are large and it’s not hard to desolder it cleanly.

    @Will: Thanks for posting the link to the programming guide. I was going to sniff the bus in an MP3 player to try and work out the commands, but this is cool.

  5. USB 2 port mini hub controller into 1) A usb sound card (either retail or a ti usb sound controller of the PCM270x or PCM290x series (freesamples!) and 2) a usb micro programmed as an serial-i2c controller (or usb-serial adapter to micro acting as serial-i2c)

    Small, relatively cheap and feature packed usb radio!

  6. I love radio hacks.

    Nowadays there’s only one FM station I’d want to listen to, so a little custom receiver just for that station might be interesting to put together.

    Hmm, optimizing for one station means one could tighten the tuning up more too.


  7. …simple FM Receiver, convert it to sub-carrier and transmit data on the sub-carrier and you have a cheap point to multipoint one way distribution architecture that could replace grinding up trees smearing them with ink and throwing them at people’s houses.

  8. You can find such boards with complete stereo I2C-controlled FM tuner in popular, cheap chineese MP3 players in form of pendrive. Sensitivity isn’t very good, but it is small, low power and convenient to control (with uC)

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