MTMaster
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:35 pm

Raspberry PI AM/FM radio

Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:06 pm

Hi there! First of all, sorry if I posted this in the wrong place, I'm new to these forums. Also, I am very new at this kind of thing, but I want to try to do it. Let me explain the project I want to do.

Basically, I am trying to make an AM/FM radio for my dad using a raspberry pi. The reason I want to do this DIY, is because my dad wants to be able to pause and resume the radio. I could not find any radios that could do this.

So, first question, is there even a way to hook up an AM/FM receiver to a raspberry pi and interact with it using a program in the raspberry pi? I don't know if there is a way to do this. If there isn't, I could always just buy a cheap radio with a line-out and plug that into the mic port on the pi, but it would be better if I could somehow be able to tune the radio digitally and attach a character LCD showing the frequency, and showing how many seconds behind the radio is from live time (as I want to be able to pause the radio).

Second question, would it be better to use a raspberry pi 3 or a pi zero? I understand the pi zero is smaller, but also has less ports, requiring to attach more things to it. I don't care about video output, since this will just be in a project box. Audio output does matter, as I would need to attach a speaker so you can actually listen to the radio. And as I said before, I do want to attach a character LCD to it. Again, I don't really know how to do much of this, which is why I am posting this.

The way I actually want to make it be able to play and pause is using VLC. I could make a local stream in an instance of VLC then play back that stream in another instance of VLC. That way, I could pause and play the second instance of VLC which would hopefully seem like pausing and playing the radio.

Remember, I don't want to attach a video output to this, I don't want to make it seem like it is actually a computer. I just want to attach a character LCD to read the channel. I also want to attach a button for pause/play, another button for going live, 3 buttons for preset stations, a switch for AM/FM, and finally a knob for changing the frequency and a volume knob.

So to recap, I want to set up a pi so that it has a radio reciever that can recieve AM and FM stations, then VLC will stream that. I could use a knob to control the station, and preset buttons for a few set stations. Another instance of VLC will play back the stream. I could have a play/pause button, and a button that would take you live again if you were behind a few seconds because of pausing.

If you think this project idea is ridiculous, please tell me. Again, I am pretty dumb at this, but I am a quick learner. I just thought that this would be a good idea and a cool present for my dad.

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startrek.steve
Posts: 386
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:19 pm

Re: Raspberry PI AM/FM radio

Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:41 am

So you want to take an Analogue Radio input, convert to a digital format and stream that?
Sounds overly complicated,
Why not Either stream from an internet source or use a digital radio and send that straight to your output?
Steve
Pi 2 running LibreElec Krypton, Pi 2 running Wheezy Desktop, Pi 1 headless Wheezy, downloading Radio, Pi 1 running Picore headless Media Server, Pi Zero to be an Old Time Radio Project. Pi 3 testing. Pi Zero W downloading Radio shows headless.

ghans
Posts: 7882
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Location: Germany

Re: Raspberry PI AM/FM radio

Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:58 am

Search for USB Radio tuners with Linux support. It seems that FM tuners are supported by the Video4Linux framework , so you should do some research in that direction.

ghans
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klricks
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Location: Grants Pass, OR, USA
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Re: Raspberry PI AM/FM radio

Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:52 pm

MTMaster wrote:........ I could always just buy a cheap radio with a line-out and plug that into the mic port on the pi, .....
The RPi does not have a Line-in / mic port . The 3.5mm port is AV output only.
To get Line-in you would need to add a sound card of some sort.
You would need to check the specifications of the sound care to see what capture capabilities it has.
I believe there are several controllable FM modules and raw chips.
It may be difficult to find support for AM however. AM does not do well near computers and requires a large antenna.
Unless specified otherwise my response is based on the latest and fully updated RPiOS Buster w/ Desktop OS.

MTMaster
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:35 pm

Re: Raspberry PI AM/FM radio

Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:15 pm

First of all, AM support is my main priority if it's impossible to get AM and FM working.
startrek.steve wrote:So you want to take an Analogue Radio input, convert to a digital format and stream that?
Sounds overly complicated,
Why not Either stream from an internet source or use a digital radio and send that straight to your output?
Steve
Thanks Steve for your input. That's complicated, especially for my dad. He doesn't want to look up the website for each station, he wants to have a simple device. Again, this may not be the most practical project, but I want to try to do this. Also, I don't know too much about digital radios, but as long as they work with AM and I can find one that can be controlled by an rPI, then sure, I could use digital.
ghans wrote:Search for USB Radio tuners with Linux support. It seems that FM tuners are supported by the Video4Linux framework , so you should do some research in that direction.

ghans
Thanks, ghans. Again, AM support is my priority, which is kind of annoying because I can't really find any AM USB tuners.
klricks wrote:
MTMaster wrote:........ I could always just buy a cheap radio with a line-out and plug that into the mic port on the pi, .....
The RPi does not have a Line-in / mic port . The 3.5mm port is AV output only.
To get Line-in you would need to add a sound card of some sort.
You would need to check the specifications of the sound care to see what capture capabilities it has.
I believe there are several controllable FM modules and raw chips.
It may be difficult to find support for AM however. AM does not do well near computers and requires a large antenna.
Yeah, I actually found that out shortly after I posted this, so I might need to go the sound card route. Again, AM support is my main priority.

Thanks everyone for your replies! I really appreciate it

pebo
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:52 pm
Location: near Bonn, Germany

Re: Raspberry PI AM/FM radio

Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:28 am

There are some AM/FM receiver chips made by SiliconLabs like the Si4734 which are controlled via I2C. Output is audio, however. There is an inexpensive Raspberry audio in ADC board from AudioInjector.

You could use a software defined radio hardware and a software which runs on a Raspberry. E.g. QUISK.

Or, use one of these cheap USB DVBT sticks. To cover the AM bands you will need an additional downconverter (e.g. NooElec Ham It Up). Signal out is via USB. There are only a few SDR programs that run on Linux. Gqrx should do.

Peter

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rpiMike
Posts: 1432
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:38 pm
Location: Cumbria, UK

Re: Raspberry PI AM/FM radio

Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:44 am

Which AM radio stations are you wanting to receive ?

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