Progress Report (7/24/16)

For the first week of my Hacking Project, I spent most of my time researching prior projects related to my radio transmitter, in order to have an understanding of how it will function. In the post below, I documented the specific research I have done, as well as the site links for more information.


My project is based on the PiFM hack originally created by Oliver Mattos and Oskar Weigl, and revised by Ryan Grassel.  I will follow the implementation guide by MAKE (http://makezine.com/projects/raspberry-pirate-radio/), which added playback without using the command line, and enabled the handling of all the most common music file formats automatically (original work was designed to play .wav files only).

 

Furthermore, I will implement the option of using external audio sources as supposed to be limited to the music files stored on the memory card.  In order to do this, I will follow the procedure described on this video by Tony Tascioglu at TechyTony.com (https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=raspberry+pi+fm+transmitter+using+external+audio+input&qpvt=raspberry+pi+fm+transmitter+using+external+audio+input&view=detail&mid=0C56FAD6ACEB1C2599790C56FAD6ACEB1C259979&FORM=VRDGAR)

 

In order to add a new dimension to the hack by Tony, I will modify the external audio input to accept various audio sources via a switch that can be control by the user/broadcaster.

 

Other material that I found helpful when reaching how to make a FM transmitter using a Raspberry Pi include the following:

 

–          Turning the Raspberry Pi Into an FM Transmitter (http://icrobotics.co.uk/wiki/index.php/Turning_the_Raspberry_Pi_Into_an_FM_Transmitter)

–          Easily Turn Your Raspberry Pi Into a FM Transmitter (http://hackaday.com/2014/06/15/easily-turn-your-raspberry-pi-into-an-fm-transmitter/)

–          Raspberry Pi as an FM Transmitter with RDS (https://www.reddit.com/r/raspberry_pi/comments/22deva/raspberrypi_as_an_fm_transmitter_with_rds/)

–          Run Your Very Own Radio Station with the Raspberry Pi (https://www.maketecheasier.com/run-radio-station-with-raspberry-pi/)

–          Raspberry Radio FM: Transmit Voice From Microphone (http://rbpradiofm.blogspot.nl/2013/08/transmit-voice-from-microphone.html)

–          My Raspberry Pi is Now Radio-Active (http://swling.com/blog/2014/03/my-raspberry-pirate-is-now-radio-active/)

–          A Slice of Raspberry Pi – Adding an Audio Input Device (http://asliceofraspberrypi.blogspot.com/2013/02/adding-audio-input-device.html)

–          Streaming Audio to Raspberry Pi Radio (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/18308536/streaming-audio-to-raspberry-pi-radio)

–          Cirrus Logic Audio Card (https://www.element14.com/community/community/raspberry-pi/raspberry-pi-accessories/cirrus_logic_audio_card?ICID=Pi-Accessories-wolfson-audio-space)

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Timeline

The following is the expected timeline for my project, in which I should reach certain goals by these dates.

Sunday, July 24 (Week 1)

  • Compile all necessary materials.
  • Research previously work done on this project.
  • Look up additional hacks and modifications performed on the original project.

Sunday, July 31 (Week 2)

  • Hook up components and assemble FM transmitter.
  • Test proper functioning of basic FM transmitter project.

Sunday, August 7 (Week 3)

  • Perform modifications to original code in order to use external audio inputs.
  • Test proper functioning of FM transmitter using external inputs (microphone and/or portable media device)

Wednesday, August 10 (Week 4)

  • Finish blog and video with comprehensive guidelines and step-by-step procedure.

 

Materials

Before I begin to go underway with my project, here are a list of materials I will need to use in order to complete my micro FM transmitter.

  • Raspberry Pi 3 + Raspbian
  • Any piece of wire or jumper wire
  • Keyboard + mouse (USB/Bluetooth)
  • Wireless or wired network connection
  • A Display

Extra Materials for transmitting from an external audio device:

  • ADC Input Device: 3.5mm to RCA Cable
  • Microphone
  • USB sound card w/ audio adapter

An Introduction

Every since I was a young child, I was fascinated with radio and how it worked. I always wondered about what was the science behind terrestrial radio and satellite radio. It was interesting to me to wonder how I was able to get an FM radio signal from a station 100 miles away during certain times of the day. From time to time in my city, low-powered illegal radio stations would pop up on different channels. They all played a different variety of genres, including reggae, hip-hop, and electronic music. Some would last a couple of months, while other managed to operate for years without the FCC raiding and shutting them down.

When I was around 10 or 11, I explored at the possibility if I could ever start my own little radio station in the future, whether it would be a streaming internet station or a terrestrial station with a rather small radius. At the age of 19, this vision could potentially become a reality to an extent. Using the Raspberry Pi motherboard, I will create my own mini radio station, along with a microphone plug-in to speak on. I will import my music into a memory card that I will put in the board that will be broadcast through a small antenna. The specifics of the range and power usage aren’t certain yet, but I will update this blog when the materials arrive.

I am aiming for a successful project, and I will update this blog whilst simultaneously working on my station.