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?
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
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.