The internet hosts lots and lots of online radiostreams, most of them with a certain theme, ranging from old time classics to Tibetian riverdancing. I must admit that I love to listen to them while I'm building stuff, as I can choose the music I like without listening to the same cd's over and over again.

The only problem is that I always needed to have a computer neaby to get an internet connection. So I looked around to buy one, but they are quite expensive and besides that, it is a lot more fun to make your own.

As I had no clue at all about how to do the wifi and internet part of the project, I searched the net for clues and I stumbled upon www.mightyohm.com. This site belongs to Jeff Keyzer and he has an excellent step by step tutorial on it for hacking a wifi router into a wifi radio. If you follow his instructions, you will end up with a working radio but I decided to build my own graphical interface for it and my own case.

I really wanted this project to look as nice as possible, so I invested a lot of time in designing and building the case. I hope that this build is awesome enough to have a chance in the lasercutter contest or the makerbot contest as I would love to have one of these machines. They would allow me to make even nicer looking and more intricate cases and parts and I wouldn't have to bother my friends to mill parts for me ;) ( in fact I might be able to help them out then).

I would like to thank Jeff Keyzer for helping me with setting up the router correctly, Izaak for helping me with out with the CNC part and my wife for helping me with the veneer.

Step 1: What do we need for this project?

As you can imagine, we'll need a lot for this project.

First of all, we'll need an ASUS WL-520gu wireless router. This router will handle the internet connection and also play the music.

Secondly, we'll need a RS232 to usb converter (3,3V version). We will need that to hack the router. I used a couple of xbees to do this as they are 3,3V and a few wires less on my desk is always handy. If you don't have those you can buy converter cables all over the net (here for instance).

We'll also need a USB sounddevice. I used a creative SB0270 external soundcard that I had lying around for years but you can buy very cheap small thingies everywhere. If you're not sure whether the sounddevice you have will work, then you can go to the forum on www.mightyohm.com. There is a list there with working devices.


There are 2 options to make the sound audible. You can either use an external amplifier or you can use an internal one. I actually combined the 2 options. I used a kit (K-VOTI-003 on www.voti.nl) for the internal amplifier but I also added audio output (stereo cinch) on the back for an external amplifier. Ofcourse you can build you own amplifier too but I was a bit short in time
If you use an internal amplifier, then you will need some speakers too.

I also added a headphone connector to the front.


For the interface we'll need:
  • A graphical LCD: I used a monochrome 240*128 LCD (LCD-21 on www.voti.nl)
  • An ATmega16 or 32: The size is depending on the amout of graphics you want to display. I used an smd version but ofcourse you can make your project with thru-hole components.
  • A DS1307 Real Time Clock
  • Battery holder + 3V battery: CR2032 in my case
  • A 32.768kHz quartz crystal
  • A rotary encoder: I used an alps encoder with pushbutton
  • A 10K potentiometer
  • A bunch of resistors: 3 x 1K5, 2 x 4K7, 4 x 10K
  • BSS138: 2 x for the level converter
  • Some male and female headerpins
  • A connector for your programmer
  • 3 double switches
  • 5 led's

The Case

For the case we'll need a lot of 18mm MDF and some real wood veneer.
The front and the backpannel are made of alucobond which is a sheet of poylethylene sandwitched between two 0.8mm layers of aluminium.

We'll also need 5 holders for the LED's and a powerconnector.

<p>Everything went well until I plug the usb soundcard... just burn the sound card.</p><p>I try again and burn another soundcard. </p><p>Can anyone help me before the store run out of soundcards?</p>
Burning the soundcard means that somehow + and gnd might be swapped. Have you plugged it in toe the onboard usb connector or have you desoldered the connector and soldered wires directly to it?<br><br>Just a note on the side: these days, its easier to use a raspberry pi as basis for a wifi radio. It has an onboard soundcard and is quite easy to control via a pc or mobile device.<br><br>
<p>Solved: wrong router power source (12v)</p>
<p>I've made one from a salvaged satellite receiver (SSR). It has a web interface and a remote control. I've used the SSR's power supply and front panel to display current date and time and other informations such as currency, precious metal quotations etc. I've posted all the detail on my blog machiuka.blogspot.ro and on my youtube channel - machiuka.</p>
I would like to use your control board to drive Digole 128x64Dots Serial/Parallel LCD with ST7920 LCD controller/driver IC. Can you help me to connect it. I need an correspondence table: which pin from the ATMEGA control board to which pin of the LCD module must connect. I suppose that also some re-definitions for the controller pins must be done in the program code. Thank you for the support<br> Regards<br> Milen<br> <br> P.S. A link to the datasheet : <a href="http://www.digole.com/images/file/Digole_12864_LCD.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://www.digole.com/images/file/Digole_12864_LCD.pdf</a>
I am not shure whether those LCDs are compatible. <br>I am guessing that your display is more intented to display characters and not graphics. Also the amount of pixels is different so you will have to rewrite the code to design your own grafics which fit your display. <br> <br>Anyhow: you have to drive your lcd in parallel mode. <br> <br>D0 to D7 can be connected to the same pins <br>WR is RW in your case <br>Can't remeber what RS was <br>CE = E in your case <br> <br>If you have an atmega with multiple serial connections you can also use 2 lines for the serial communication and them you don't have to mess wit all teh wires <br>
Schematic is hard to read
Even when you look at it full size?? Click the i in the upper left corner and then select the full size.
Can you provide the Eagle files (schematics and board) for download?
I added them to the appropriate step.
i want to build WIR too,,<br>but i have a question<br>to make WIR, should i build my own server?, or i can use server which built by anyone...maybe like directly access shoutcast.com
You can use the radiostations from shoutcast. Or any other server if you like.
thx for fast respon<br>another question..hehe<br>i dont undertstand what the mpd is it?<br>the mpd is installed on wireless router or on pc?<br>
it is installed on the wireless router.
Fabulous project! I'm always looking for hobby projects to run in my high school, and this is way cool. Question: does the choice of router matter? I have a few discarded ones laying around that are doing nothing.
The choice for the router is rather specific. It has to have a USB port and you have to be able to talk to it via a rs232 connection. The forum on mightyohm.com has a list of all possible routers.
This might sound like a stupid question but can I make my powered speakers run on wifi. What I mean is transmit sound so I havn't got leads running every where as I run a <a href="http://www.weddingspartiesanything.com.au/">wedding dj business in Melbourne</a>. I don't know if this is possible.
They have bluetooth speakers you should look into, but seeing as your a dj note you will get diminished sound quality any way that you go on wireless sound transmission.
There are indeed a lot of off-the-shelf solutions but as you say, they are not always good for the sound quality.
You could also use the Nokia 6100 Graphic LCD, You would be able to acheive a better, higher resolution and a colorful UI!<br><br>Kudos on the build, well done
Wow, Great Idea! And to think, I just use an old outdated laptop, Makes me want to try build some laptop component radio combo set? Once again, Great work, It looks very well done!
this is a really cool stuff, never thought about wifi radio, but now I probably will try to build it
I know this sounds really dumb, but what's the quartz crystal for?
A quartz crystal pulses when you add electricity to it. The DS1307 counts the pulses and calculates time that way.
I'm wondering if instead of adding a usb or card reader like Ugifer said, wouldn't it be possible to stream music from your wifi phone or ipod through the router? Hate all those stink radio clocks and stereos you can buy that have the ipod plug!<br>This rocks.
really cool and i relly like your conceptual speakers design
WOW! Very nicely done in all respects! <br><br>I'm the one who built the case for Jeff's radio and I can appreciate the amount of work that goes into building a case like what you built. Very very nicely done!<br><br>-Tony
Thanks a lot Tony, <br> <br> <br>It is great to get positive feedback from the guy that build the original one! <br> <br> <br>Jan
I love the design! Great job!
Kinda random question: I'm about to buy a soldering iron and wondering what to buy. I know its a weird place to ask but I saw your orange handled one in the background and wondered what kind you prefer.
I have an old one from Weller and a new Velleman and I am pretty pleased with both of them.
Awesome. Thanks so much.
This is the most incredible project - beautiful design, professional-looking execution, clever use of cheap materials, CNC!, all it needs is a jacob's ladder on top and to be able to bake cookies and you have achieved every instructable all rolled into one!<br><br>A thought regarding further expansion (as if it didn't do enough already); How about a USB port or SD card reader so that it could play music from an external source also? A SNTP sync-ed clock on the display is also handy on nearly anything and you might make that the display when it's on but not playing.<br><br>This really is a top project. Thanks.
Awesome Job btw!
In brandbagshop.net today, bought a beautiful brand bags.Good quality and cheaper prices.
This is brilliant. I nicely designed case, a good interface and it sounds great, can't wait to make one of my own!
Wait a second! You can't mention something unique and interesting like &quot;Tibetian Riverdancing&quot; without giving us a link!
Euuhhhhhh........<br><br>Try google?!<br><br>:P
Congratulations for this beautiful object.<br>The case is outstanding for its design, crafting and finishing quality.<br>The particular assembling imposes a large waste of MDF, but it is really worth!<br>The instructable is very well illustrated and explained.<br>
it is a waste of MDF indeed bt I got it for free (hehehe) and you sometimes have to be a bit wastefull to make something nicelooking.
Beautiful job. I also follow Jeff's blog -it's awesome.
This is awesome. You did an excellent job on the whole thing, but the case is super slick. As far as I'm concerned, the contest can end now...you win!!!

About This Instructable


381 favorites


Bio: I'm mainly interested in music, food and electronics but I like to read and learn about a lot more than that.
More by janw: Extra hot sriracha sauce (Mme Jeanette) Build a Nest Box for Bumblebees Build a brick bee hotel.
Add instructable to: