A Very 21st Century Receiver For A Very 20th Century Band

The FM broadcast band has been with us since the middle of the 20th century, and despite many tries to unseat it, remains a decent quality way to pick up your local stations. It used to be that building an FM broadcast receiver required a bit of RF know-how, but the arrival of all-in-one receiver chips has made that part a simple enough case of including a part. That’s not to say that building a good quality FM broadcast receiver in 2024 doesn’t involve some kind of challenge though, and it’s one that [Stefan Wagner] has risen to admirably with his little unit.

Doing the RF part is an RDA5807MP single chip radio, but we’d say the center of this is the CH32V003 RISC-V microcontroller and its software. Twiddling the dial is a thing of the past, with a color display and all the computerized features you’d expect. Rounding it off in the 3D printed case is a small speaker and a Li-Po pouch cell with associated circuitry. This really is the equal of any commercially produced portable radio, and better than many.

Even with the all-in-one chips, there’s still fun in experimenting with FM the old way.

A software-defined radio system in a 3D-printed case with a 7" display and an array of knobs and switches

Hackaday Prize 2023: A Software-Defined Radio With Real Knobs And Switches

When cheap digital TV dongles enabled radio enthusiasts to set up software defined radio (SDR) systems at almost zero cost, it caused a revolution in the amateur radio world: now anyone could tune in to any frequency, with any modulation type, by just pointing and clicking in a computer program. While this undoubtably made exploring the radio waves much more accessible, we can imagine that some people miss the feeling of manipulating physical buttons on a radio while hunting for that one faint signal in a sea of noise. If you’re one of those people, you’re in luck: [Kaushlesh C.] has built a portable, self-contained SDR system with real knobs and switches, called SDR Dock 1.0. Continue reading “Hackaday Prize 2023: A Software-Defined Radio With Real Knobs And Switches”