Software apps and online services
Hand tools and fabrication machines
Internet radio (also web radio, net radio, streaming radio, e-radio, IP radio, online radio) is a digital audio service transmitted via the Internet. It can either be used as a stand-alone device running through the Internet, or as a software running through a PC.
This time I will show you how to make a stand-alone Internet Radio, which in terms of characteristics, stability, and functions is comparable and even better than commercial devices of this type, and yet the price for making it is many times lower. The device contains a large color TFT display with a Touchscreen through which all controls are performed, so there is no need for additional buttons. It also has a large-digit clock with advanced alarm settings, as well as an MP3 player that can play standalone tracks and playlists. Otherwise, all credits for this wonderful device go to "schreibfaul1" who is the creator of the code that is published on his GitHub: "https://github.com/schreibfaul1/ESP32-MiniWebRadio".
The device consists of only a few components:
- Esp32 Dev module (in my case cheep ESP32 Vroom 32D from Aliexpress)
- ILI9341 TFT display with Touchscreen
- VS1053 Audio decoder module
- SD card
- and optinnaly small speaker boxes with D-class audio amplifier board
If you want to make a PCB for this project, or for any other electronic project, PCBway is a great choice for you. PCBway is one of the most experienced PCB manufacturing company in China in field of PCB prototype and fabrication. They have a large online community where you can find a Open Source projects, and you can also share your project there. From my personal experience I can tell you that on this community you can find many useful projects.
We can connect headphones directly to the VS1053 module output. The ground terminal of VS1053 is not connected to the negative pole of the circuit, so if you want to connect an PAM8403 D-class amplifier, as in this particular case, you should use the different Power supply for Amplifier, or make small modification on amplifierd Board presented in the schematic diagram below.
As the author mentions, the biggest problem during construction was the detection of the SD card by the microcontroller. After many unsuccessful attempts with different SD cards, I succeeded with a "Platinet" brand SD card with a capacity of 4GB, where I connected a pull-up resistor with a value of 10 kilohms to the D0 pin of SD card.
Other features of this radio are as follows:
- Can handle max 999 stations
- IR remote control is optional
- Obtains time from NTP
- Can used as alarmclock, has sleeptimer
- Speech the time every hour in radiomode
- If the display has a Backlight-pin You can change the brightness
- supports the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic character sets
- Community Radio Browser is integrated as a search engine
- Channel lists can be exported or imported in Excel format (for data backup).
It is definitely recommended to install the microcontroller through "PlatformIO" IDE, and the installation method is briefly described with the following images:
Immediately after switching on, the big logo appears on the screen, and in the background the device connects to the WiFi network. After a few seconds, the first Internet radio station is activated.
We can read many informations on the display:
- Name and logo of the station
- The currently playing song
- The volume value
- Station number
- and Current IP Adress
If you touch the top half of the daisplay:
- volume +
- volume -
- volume bar
- station + and
- station -
If you touch the top half of the display again:
- Audio player (mp3)
- and Sleep timer
Audio MP3 player
It can play individual songs or playlists
- We have audio file name
- first audio file
- next audio file
- Play selected file
- here we have big digit clock In which the exact time is set automatically via the Internet
- when we touch the top half of the clock with this button we can set alarm for every day of the week
- also it have a sleep timer
In addition, you can view the screen layouts of all functions:
The device in general works surprisingly fast because the images are downloaded directly from the SD card, instead of being drawn using the microcontroller, which is another genius idea of the author. So we can very quickly and easily change the backgrounds, the style of the numbers, insert logos and other characters without changing a single line of code. Also very simple is the method of entering new Internet stations in the "Stations.csv" file, as well as the method of backing up and restoring them. And as if this was not enough, the device can be controlled through a beautiful web interface with many more options as well as "Community Radio Browser" as a search engine. The screen shows the local IP address of the device, which we need to enter in any web browser.
And finally, the whole device is embedded in a suitable box made of PVC material with a thickness of 3mm and 5mm, and coated with colored self-adhesive wallpaper.