Raspberry FM : Project finale

This weekend I finally knocked out the final hardware config for me to consider the “Raspberry FM” project complete.  What is this project exactly?

  • It’s an experiment I gave myself to combine a Raspberry Pi, Makey Makey, MicroRAX, and MPlayer to create an auto-on internet radio player.
  • I called it ‘Raspberry FM’ after a combination of the Raspberry Pi, and Soma FM, my favorite internet radio station.

Pic & vid of the final result (more pics at the bottom) :

The YouTube video shows off changing the volume & station.

Previous Steps

  1. Install MPlayer, stream some music
  2. Configuring MPlayer to play nicely with the Makey Makey, and create custom MPlayer playlists
  3. Auto-login and auto-run program on Raspberry Pi startup

Final Step: Building the enclosure, putting it all together…

There are a lot of Raspberry Pi enclosures over on Thingiverse ready for printing on my Makerbot Replicator.  But I needed something to also support the Makey Makey.  I knew I could modify one of those files, but I was interested in trying a different media, my MicroRAX kit.  I’d done some mockups with it earlier (bookholder, quad-copter frame), but nothing permanent, and this seemed like the perfect use case.  And it turned out great… other than the fact I actually had to have the Raspberry Pi in another enclosure, so that it wouldn’t short-out with all the exposed metal.  Luckily I had an acrylic laser-cut case that came with my Maker Shed Raspberry Pi Starter Kit.  Had I not had that case, I probably would have printed out a minimal one.

Other things I learned is that the Makey Makey can be driven directly off the RPi’s USB port:  No external powerd USB hub needed.

The final hardware setup was thus:

  • Makey Makey connected to Raspberry Pi over USB.
  • Raspberry Pi powered via wall-wart.
  • Raspberry Pi connected to internet via Ethernet.
  • Raspberry Pi connected to stereo system over headphone-jack.
  • Whole thing wrapped up via MicroRAX.
The current on\off functionality is just pluggin\unplugging it : After it boots up, the first station in the play list fires off, and you’re good to go.

Going further…

If I was to extend this project, these are some things I’d think about:

  • Switch out the tethered Ethernet for WiFi.
  • Hook up a battery-pack and speakers:  Make it a portable boom-box.
  • Splice in a toggle-switch for on\off.
  • Have some sort of better integration with MPlayer & Python, or use some other music player entirely:  Have LED’s that represent each station in the playlist that light up showing which one your on, or even a simple LCD screen broadcasting the station name and volume level.
  • Hook up awesome fruit to the MakeyMakey to make it a fruit activated radio turner.  That one should be pretty easy 😉
Overall it was a great learning experience for me to grasp the basics of linux, the Raspberry Pi hardware, and streaming internet radio.


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    • mason
    • February 20th, 2013 9:29am

    Very cool project. I appreciate that it is something finished, functional, and not something you can buy from china for $4. Good Job!

  1. Can you provide me with a link to your MicroRAX kit via email please? Very nice.

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