If you have some extra time and the proper DIY spirit — and considerable tech know-how or a willingness to undertake a crash course — then Instructables maker Univership has a project for you. With a Raspberry Pi, his detailed instructions, and a few moderately priced supplies, you can make your own 3D printed radio, or “Raspdio,” that you can program to play what and when you want it to by connecting to the internet and interfacing with a pre-programmed (by you) Google spreadsheet. You say it’s already been done? We say… You’re probably right, but why not reinvent the wheel if you can make it more interesting and you learn in the process?
What you’ll need for this project is, first and foremost, a love for the minutiae. You’ve got that? Good. You’ll also need a Raspberry Pi — an inexpensive, credit-card size computer you can plug into a TV or a monitor. You can use a standard mouse and keyboard with your tiny computer, which will cost you somewhere between $35 and $50.
In addition to your Raspberry Pi and your gumption, you will also need the following (see the Instructables and Github pages for specific recommendations from the maker):
- A wi-fi dongle
- A speaker
- A push button
- A potentiometer (a voltage divider that measures electric potential)
- An ADC
- A breadboard
You will also need a 3D printer — or you can use an online 3D printing service like Shapeways to print the necessary parts.
Univership does provide good, detailed instructions for producing this radio, which uses Music Player Daemon (mpd) “and its client mpc.” If you’re uncertain about doing the electrical work required for this project, be sure to use the suggested tutorial (linked in the step-by-step instructions). The Google spreadsheet that Univership uses is also available so you don’t need to start from scratch. You can copy his spreadsheet to your drive and go from there. He walks you through the process of configuring your Raspberry Pi, which is in and of itself a worthwhile skill to have acquired in the end.
What you end up with is a homemade streaming radio that you can program to accommodate your own quirky schedule. You say you live in your Mom’s basement and noise is an issue? Never fear! You can also program the volume, including going from quiet to really, really loud if you have trouble waking up in the morning. There’s the option of creating a “snooze”-style element so you can wake up gradually to your favorite tunes. All in all, this seems a fun project for those who want to be able to boast, “I made it myself.”
Check out the video below from Univership. Let us know what you think, or if you’ve made your own, over at the Raspdio forum thread at 3DPB.com.