Arduino FM Radio Receiver Shield





Introduction: Arduino FM Radio Receiver Shield

This Instructable will show you how to build your own FM radio receiver shield to be used with an Arduino board. The radio chip we are going to be using is the AR1010 on a breakoutboard found at Sparkfun or Electrokit and there will be code to get you up and running provided later on. We are going to use an laser cutter for the shield fabrication. 

Step 1: Eagle 1

First we build up our circuit using eagle. There are many Instructables out there on how to do it such as this or this. You can download my eagle files I have been using when building this board below. Things to consider is that when you are going to be using the laser cutter for doing pcbs you have to remeber that it is one sided pcbs that is be far easiest and also that the traces has to be 15 mil or wider otherwise the laser and etching process might etch them away. 

Step 2: Eagle 2 Layout

Once you have your layout done it is time  to export it to a more laser friendly format. The first picture below is the finished pcb layout and the second is the schematic of the circuit. To get the nice monochrome laser friendly picture (pic 3 below) you have to export it from eagle as png. 

Step 3: Eagle 3 Export

1.  Select the layers that you are interest in laser cutting. I tend to only select the top layer and the pads  since there resides nearly always all the necessary information. 
2. Open the export menu
3. Select that it is an Image that u want to export
4. Select where you want to save it also remember to save it as an monochrome image for the laser to be happy. 
5. Enjoy the finished png. 

Step 4: Spraypaint

Next thing to do is to prepare the copper pcb. This can be found in many sizes and the one I have hear is 160x100x1,6 mm and is pretty standard her in Sweden. 

1/ Clean the copper from any residues, fingerprints, jelly or whatever has landed on them.
2/ Spraypaint the copper with two layers of paint as evenly as possible
3/ Let it dry

Step 5: Laser

Put the exported file into your favorite laser program, in this case Illustrator, and make sure that the size is correct and everything is looking fine. After that it is time to send it to the laser. The settings I use to etch the spraypaint away is the Marble setting on my Epilog 40 w laser. This will change depending on your laser type. 

Step 6: Etching

To etch the copper away you use acid that will eat the copper but leave it where there is paint. Create the correct mix with water and acid depending on your supplier. Mine was 0,7 dl  acid and 5 dl water. 

Step 7: Soldering

When I do Arduino shields I tend to like to put the headers first in an empty Arduino and then the shield on top of that. This aligns them nicely and makes the soldering so much easier. In this step it is just to solder all the components after the pins is in. Remember to align the AR1010 correctly. 

Step 8:

Upload this code from zeropointo found on Sparkfuns forum and it should start playing directly. The commands to control the Radio over serial is

u = volume up
d = volume down
n = sudo seek next
p = sudo seek prev
+ = station increment +2, wrap, filter
- = station deincrement -2, wrap, filter
[ = station increment no wrap, no wrap, no filter
] = station deincrement no wrap, no filter

To set the station by frequency type the freq followed by #.





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    the reception is too poor. what should i do?

    Nicely done! Keep it up.

    I have also made this 
    Simle Fm radio with easy to find parts;

    Does the arduino make you unable to build a computer? Does it keep bill gates a billionaire and chip monopoly master?

    Nice work, but your using way too much solder.

    so, how do you control the radio without having a computer attached to it? Seems like you could whack this together on a piece of perfboard without all the etching and messing about with Eagle files. Wouldn't be as pretty, but it would still work. Nice instructable, just the same. Thanks for posting, gives me ideas for future projects. DaveL

    well its may be easier but us guys who like o invent tend to make things look nice and not always take the easy "perfboard" way!

    An Arduino is a small computer. That's what the software is.


    exactly as UziMonkey is sayig below this is only to show the functions on how to create the shield. Of course you would control it from a button or a slider or anything similar and that is what Im going to do in the future also. This is a small part of my thesis where Im trying to document every step I take both for myself and to give back to the community.

    It would be trivial to add a few buttons to control the radio. There are a lot of free IO pins on the Arduino. You can either make this into a true "shield" and stack another button shield on top, or make your own shield with both buttons and the radio.