What do you get if you cross a software defined radio (SDR) and an iconic children’s drawing toy that we are sure is a trademarked name? If you are [devnulling], you wind up with the Etch-A-SDR. The box uses an Odroid C1, a Teensy, and the ubiquitous RTL-SDR.

The knobs work well as control knobs (as you can see in the video below). When you are bored listening to the radio, you can reset the box and go into Etch-a… um, drawing mode. The knobs work like you’d expect and you can even erase the screen with a vigorous shake.

Looking at the project’s repository, it looks like the radio software is gqrx with some Python modifications. The rest of the code mixes Python, JavaScript, some shell scripts, and Arduino-style C++ (with apologies to [Elliot]).

We’ve covered a lot of RTL-SDR and SDR projects including Mac ports, sensor hacking, and spectrum analyzers. The Etch-A-SDR, though, is sure to be a conversation piece wherever it shows up. Of course, we also talked about the obligatory related clock project.

3 thoughts on “Etch-A-SDR

  1. Very nice finish, however using the teensy in this project was a little bit exagerated, I went to the source to check what was the teensy used for and I had to look into the code. It is just reading the acelerometers to check the orientation of the device.

  2. He also showed it off at the noisebridge recently:

    You can tell he is a web developer, there is javascript in this thing :o, everything is put together using modules, and etch-a-sketch game runs in a chrome BROWSER on the pee as a html5 application :o hehe

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