Raspberry Pirate Radio





Introduction: Raspberry Pirate Radio

About: High school student who started the first stem club in our county.

I've been looking around on Instructables but haven't been able to find a good Raspberry Pi Radio. So, with the inspration from Make: Raspberry PiRate Radio, i have decided to make one with their program. This is the first Instructable I've made, so please bear with me. All you need is an afternoon, a raspberry Pi, a radio receiver,a few extra tools and you will soon have your very own radio.

Step 1: Getting Things Together.

Before we get started, we need to get some things. Here are the parts:

  • A Raspberry Pi
  • A SD card With no less than 4 GB (mine was a Micro SD with an adapter)
  • Wire Strippers
  • About 1' 12 AWG wire (I used 14 AWG, but 12 is better)
  • A Female pin
  • Network cable
  • Soldering Iron and Solder
  • Heat Shrink Tubing (But you can use Electrical Tape)
  • Optional: Helping Hands

You will also need a computer, a radio, and a few programs. But I'll get back to those.

**WARNING** If you want to use any of the images from NOOB's or ever want to use the raspberry pi for anyting other than a radio station, USE A DIFFERENT SD CARD. Don't use the one you've put all your time into because it will replace all data on the sd card.


Step 2: Preparing the SD Card.

First we need to download the image, here. This may take a while, so lets get the other programs. We need to download and install Win32DiskImager, and WinSCP. After the image has downloaded, unzip the file and move it to the desktop. Put the SD card into the computer. Open the diskimager and select the correct Device and file. When looking for the file, make sure to change it from *.img to *.*. Then press write, and wait. Once done, eject SD Card and put it in the Raspberry Pi.

Step 3: Put Songs on the Card.

Connect the network cable to the RPI and to your router or modem and power it on. Open WinSCP. For Host Name, put the IP Address; for both username and password use "root". Once logged-in, go to the root folder, and open a folder called "pirateradio". Drag all the songs you want into this file. After, open a file called "pirateradio.config" and change the settings to your liking. Save the changes, an close that program.

Step 4: Make the Antenna.

Solder the wire to the female pin. This is easier with a Helping Hand. You should insulate the joint with heat shrink, but I didn't have any. This needs to be plugged into GPIO4 or Pin 7.

Step 5: Listen

Reconnect the power, tune the radio to your channel, and wait. It will take about a minute for the Raspberry Pi to start broadcasting, you should hear the static go away, then, the music will start playing. It's that easy.

Please support by voting, and thanks for reading.

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    49 Discussions


    I have a Raspberry 3 and I do not get it to work. Does it work wth a Pi3?


    5 replies

    As cited in the precious comment I made, no. It only works on the Pi1 Model A

    I think that the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 are almost the same. 3 only has WiFi and Bluetooth chip diodes and moved elsewhere and has a processor with support of 64-bit instructions. The problem will probably be in the processor.

    I am also wondering if anyone got it to work. Been messing around and have no found anything to make it work. :/

    does the project works same with raspberry pi 2 modB?Please tell me as soon as possible!

    2 replies

    yes it does, this project will work on any RPi

    You are very very wrong. It does NOT work on anything other than the very old Pi 1 model A. I found out the hard way.


    2 years ago

    Whenever I try to type "root" in the username and password it says access denied. I put the IP address in and I don't think there is any problem with that so I think that's alright but still not sure. Thank you to those who reply and are able to help me fix it :)

    when i flash the new os i dont get the same file system as i get three files on is the radio file one is the program that lets it launch other things as if it where a radio station and thats it, no subdirs or config files, the problem im having is that it is playing to that frequency as i get pure silence but it wont play any of my mp3s, suggestions?

    the piradio file got corrupted the os is not working.


    2 years ago

    will this work with regular speaker wire or is the 14 AWG neccassary?

    It's the IP address of your computer. If you're running Windows, open the command prompt and type "ipconfig" without the quotation marks. Scroll down until you find "192.168.X.X" the X represents the last digits of the IP) for example

    That'sa nice project, but anyone knows if it is possible to put some text that can appear on the radio? Thanks!


    If you use an 88-108 bandpass filter between the RPi and the antenna you won't be 'as' illegal. (Available from MiniCircuits)