Classic 80’s Stereo Receiver Enjoys A Second Life As RadioduinoWRT

radio2[Raffael] had an old Broken Yamaha natural sound receiver lying around. Rather than throw it out, he built himself a slick web radio. He calls it RadioduinoWRT. [Raffael] started by removing all the internals – though he kept the front panel controls.  He then added an Arduino Mega to handle the front panel controls, including a 16×2 character LCD module. The Arduino also takes commands via IR remote. An enc28j60 Ethernet module allows the Arduino to communicate with a the brains of the operation, a TL-WR703N mini router.

A micro USB hub expands the single USB port on the WR703, allowing both a USB sound card and a 4 gig USB stick to be mounted. We’d like to add that the TL-WR703 is a must in this application – the amazon link [Rafael] provides brings up the TL-WR702 as a top link. Only the TL-WR703 has a USB host connection.

The real magic is in [Raffael’s] software setup. The WR703 is running OpenWRT.  He added modules for the USB sound card, as well as expanding the file system onto the USB stick. Once that was complete [Raffael] added Music Player Daemon (MPD) and MPC, a console app to drive MPD. Lighttpd, a light web server provides an interface for the Arduino as well as a web front end to the entire radio.All this allows [Raffael] to control his radio in several ways. He can log in via any web browser on his network. He can use the front panel controls. He can use an IR remote. Since he is running MPD, any client (there are literally hundreds out there) will also drive the radio.

While a low-end USB sound card in a home stereo application does make our inner audiophile cringe a bit, the quality does seem to be pretty good. [Rafael’s] design would make it simple to swap out a higher quality USB sound card if the need arises.

19 thoughts on “Classic 80’s Stereo Receiver Enjoys A Second Life As RadioduinoWRT

  1. I have always wanted to build an HTPC using an old stainless steel style receiver set. This is really funny, the analog electronics that used to take up all that space is reduced to a 2x6in circuit board and few wall hogs and adapters…man how times have changed.

    1. What exactly do you mean by “dedicated website”? The radio delivers a website/webinterface which allows you to control the device? Or did you mean a complete website for the project? Do you feel the need of more information as given in the blog post? If so, tell me, than I’ll add them to the blog post.

      What part would you replace by WiFi? The radio itself is connected to the internet by WiFi. Do you mean I should replace the single ethernet cable between the TP-Link and the arduino and replace this by a WiFi solution?

      Thanks for your feedback! :)

    1. Using the cables you have lying around is an essential element of any “hack”

      With all that space to work with, why not?

      Besides all that, every single thing in the whole project is serving a purpose different from its intended one, truly the quintessence of hackery.

      1. Yup. For this kind of thing, I’ll put “get a shorter cable” on my low-priority shopping list. Assuming I do so, and then at some point in the future I need a longer cable for something else, I may even perform the swap. :)

        Plus chances are good by then I will have found shorter cables at a thrift store or garage sale for $0.25.

    1. There were two reasons for using ethernet.
      1) I wanted a browserbased interface. So I had to write an PHP/webbased API anyway. Why don’t reuse this for the Arduino?
      2) I wanted to use this marvelous cheap enc28j60 ethernet cards I had lying around.

  2. Cool project overall and lots of bits for me to individually learn a bit from, having not messed with the MPD or MPC stuff. I also like the variety of control options. The host mode seems like it would be fun to tinker with the ol RTL dongle and enjoy as well. Kudos Raffael

  3. I wonder how it would sound if he had kept some of the original hardware. Taking a hacksaw to the old pcb and cutting around the amplifier extra.
    Although with the amount of space his electronics don’t take up, I should imagine if they were stuck to the top of the case they would fit in without removing the old circuits. Although placement might have to be thought through, maybe with the addition of more air holes. Then it would simply be a case of patching in maybe cutting one or two traces. The IR and display would almost certainly have usable interface hardware.

  4. I just put one of those 703 WiFi devices on a modern player piano, you use it with a phone to operate the piano. You can stream Midi from PC to ivories via WiFi.
    The cheap USB audio devices I have seen give good sound out, barring ground hums. They just have terrible record in with lots of digital noise.
    Audiophiles don’t listen to streams and freeze dried sounds, much more is lost than with cheap vs. high end converters.

  5. That is nice! I myself build my server in an old Akai 70s/80s casettedeck. The analog VU-meters display network traffic and cpu load. And I must say it is very satisfying to hear and feel this *CLUNK* when you press play/stop to control mpd.

    1. That sounds awesome, Yuri! Do you have any pics/vid anywhere? I like your application of the vu meters and indeed that clunk would be most satisfying :) Keep on tinkering my friend :)

  6. Actually this sounds like a great application for a Raspberry Pi or Beagle BlackBone. They have the GPIO to replace the Arduino and all you would need is a wifi USB dongle. The pi even comes with two USB ports or you could use the built in audio. With the black you would need a hub or the Audio cape for the board.

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