Pandora's Box - An Internet Radio player made with a Raspberry Pi!

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Picture of Pandora's Box - An Internet Radio player made with a Raspberry Pi!
Plug in this internet radio player and listen to your favorite stations on Pandora Radio. Six pushbuttons control the music, while an LCD gives feedback on the song, artist, and other useful information. All of this is housed in a custom acrylic case with access to the Raspberry Pi's ports.

Special thanks to LVL1 Hackerspace ( for use of their laser cutter!

Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
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Step 1: Parts List

In order to build the system, you will need several things. The main piece is a Raspberry Pi Model B with a 5V, 1A power supply. This Instructable is based on a Revision 2 board, but will work on earlier boards with minimal changes. 

Next, you will need an SD card with a Raspbian Wheezy image. Instructions for this process found at:

Electrical hardware needed:
1) Solderless breadboard (and wire)
2) Serial LCD module (3.3V module from Sparkfun was used:
3) Ethernet Cable
4) USB Keyboard and mouse (necessary for setup, not the final product)
5) Pushbuttons (6) -  "Normally Open" type with threaded mounts
6) 3.3V Regulator (LM1117T-3.3 from Texas Instruments in the TO-220 package type used here)
7) Resistors: (7) ~10kOhm, (6) 1 kOhm
8) Capacitors: (2) 10 uF tantalum (as recommended by TI for 3.3V regulator
9) Pi T-Cobbler from Adafruit (not necessary, but makes GPIO access much easier)
10) Auxiliary audio cable

Other equipment needed:
1) Soldering Iron and solder (for the T-Cobbler breakout board)
2) 1-Minute Epoxy (for the acrylic case)
3) Acrylic (and a means of cutting it)
4) Nylon Standoffs and Screws
5) Velcro strips (with sticky sides)

The acrylic used in this project was 0.08" thick and can be found at Lowe's in 8"x10" sheets. This was great for cutting with a laser-cutter. Other thicknesses can probably be used - this will be left up to your discretion (and experience).

The standoffs used were a combination of (3/8"  - hex -  1.25" -  4-40 thread) and (3/8" - hex - 0.375" - 4-40 thread) nylon male/female standoffs. 4-40 fillister flat head nylon screws were used with these standoffs.

Although this Instructable includes directions for the custom case, this is probably the trickiest part of the design. Familiarity with a laser-cutter is necessary, since every laser cutter and design software package is different.
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gbovee2 years ago
Can someone explain to me the point of using 5v and a regulator to get to 3.3v when there is a 3.3v supply from the pi. I am fairly new to this stuff and am just trying to learn. Thanks.
NickD4 gbovee17 days ago


Ayy (author)  gbovee2 years ago
That's a really good question. The answer has to do with the current limit on the Raspberry Pi's 3.3V line. According to the link below, the 3.3V line can output up to 50 milliamps current. Meanwhile, the 3.3V LCD module I used can draw up to 60 mA.

While LCD may never draw that full 60 mA, it has the potential to cause issues. Since the 5V supply can supply over 300 mA (when using a 1A power supply), I chose to add the 3.3V regulator.  

RPi electrical specs:
gl0rious2 years ago
Could i get an estimate of the cost? i really would like to do this project, and i am a beginner..
Ayy (author)  gl0rious2 years ago
This depends on what equipment you already have. For example, I already had soldering equipment, drill and tap set, standoffs, SD card, and resistors. I'll give some prices for the bigger items:

Raspberry Pi: $35 + shipping
Power Supply: $8 + shipping
T-Cobbler: $8 + shipping
Serial LCD Monitor: $25 + shipping
Buttons: $7
Acrylic Sheets: $8
Epoxy: $5
Capacitors: $2
Velcro: $5

The small things tended to add up quickly - like the bits I had to get from Radioshack and Lowes (buttons, capacitors, velcro, etc). I probably could have gotten some things much cheaper online, but I didn't have the patience to wait for the velcro to ship. All the parts were around $110 with shipping - but since I plan on reusing most of the stuff for future projects, the cost felt reasonable.

Hope that helps.
akcook Ayy2 years ago
gl0rious Ayy2 years ago
thats very helpful thanks
Ayy (author) 2 years ago
Note: On the box plans, the center piece has an issue with the spacing of the raspberry pi's holes. If you are making the same box, double check the holes (I don't have the original files to correct the images...)
reterpoca1 month ago

The apt-get version of pianobar is out of date I believe, which is the reason it doesn't work. You'll have to install from github

neodnoc made it!2 months ago

Pretty neat project. I added an Adafruit 20W stereo amp and a couple scavenged speakers from an old iHome iPod dock that died. Now I just need a case.


yieldlymph4 months ago


amerigoh7 months ago

Question for a beginner :

Can someone tell me if this lcd module could work instead of the Sparkfun :

paverphalange8 months ago

Its magnificent

motherprune9 months ago

Its sweet

cobbledbeard9 months ago

Its cooler

mousepaper9 months ago

Extremely good

Its splendid :)



amazedgreen9 months ago


fastbobble9 months ago

Thats impressive

gorgeddamp9 months ago

Very good

clearedeager9 months ago

Its awe-inspiring :)

illrings10 months ago

Its stunning :)

airbugger10 months ago

Could i get an estimate of the cost?

Thats trendy...

headlymph10 months ago


thatsawesome6410 months ago

could you connect this to iheartradio or spotify?

tealrink10 months ago


grousebandit10 months ago

Its cooler

harechubby11 months ago


jiffymanager11 months ago


mike-house11 months ago

So everything works but when the script runs to watch the GPIO pins it peaks the cpu to 100%. This wouldn't be a problem I guess but it causes a pause from then I push a button to getting the pi to respond.

calmlunch11 months ago


spewlocks11 months ago


clapfilk11 months ago



spongeraffle11 months ago

Its magnificent :)

lack3r12 months ago

Hi guys. This is actually a great post. However, Pandora cannot be used outside US :(. Is there a way to do the same project but with another online radio provider, let's say TuneIn? Because this cannot be used outside US...

workexaminer12 months ago

Its cooler :)

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