Roberts R747 - DIY Raspberry Pi Internet Radio/streamer




Roberts R747, great radio from 1990. Fully working in very good condition. Found it on antique sale after a long hunt for something like this.

I have a spare Raspberry Pi model B V1 home as a spare and it was just catching dust for some years as I couldn't decide what to do with it.

EDIT 1: 13/12/2016 changed OS to MoOdeAudio as its prooved to deliver best sound quality and performance

EDIT: OS now changed to RuneAudio which is better maintained

Original old OS not used anymore (Than I came across this piece of software called "Pi MusicBox")

And I finally found a use for my RPi

This Pi MusicBox offers:

- Standalone Spotify, Google Music, SoundCloud music player

- Remote control it with a nice browser-interface, or with an MPD-client

- Web Radio, Internet radio

- AirTunes/AirPlay streaming

- Play music files from the SD, USB, Network.

- and much more...

So I wanted to combine the great Roberts radio, RPi and this piece of soft. Mine main goal was to keep the radio fully functional and intact. So no extra bits, no drilling, no outside wires, etc.

There is not much room inside of the radio so it wasn't an easy task and I had a few challenges. But that was the best on this little project.

So after I opened and took it apart for a first time, first I thought I would not be able to squeeze all in.

But after a while I managed to find a spot for RPi and power supply.

The RPi is fitted on double sided tape and without any casing as there was simply no room for it or for any fittings. I have managed to took apart and ordinary wall charger and used just the electronic board which is hard wired on both sides. It is soldered to the mains of the radio and than on the other sides its soldered to the RPi directly as, once again, there was no room for USB connector.

Than I had to find a way to switch between radio and AUX (RPi). The solution was pretty simple. There is a connector for external aerial. So I have split the cable from 3.5mm Jack and soldered that to this aerial (which is disconnected inside) and PCB. So this way I do not need an extra switch for switching between radio and AUX(RPi). Every time I want to switch to AUX(RPi) all I need to do is to shorten this aerial connector. The easy way to do so is just by plug in the blank coax connector which is shortened inside.

So all challenges solved.

All wired, placed, fitted inside. No visible changes from outside

Step 1: Left Side

You can see the left panel here.

From top

- 75 Ohm external aerial socket

- 5 pin AUX

- 240V

Step 2: Stream From Mine OnePlus One Android Phone

Step 3: Opened

Took all apart and was looking into it what and how to do for a first time

Step 4: AUX

3.5 Jack soldered directly onto PCB to AUX input

Step 5: RPi Wrap

Raspberry Pi

Because of the little room inside of the radio, I couldn't used any case for RPi.

So the solution was a piece of flexible plastic sheet on double sided tape and rubber bands

Step 6: RPi Pads

Little foam/rubbery pads on double sided tape

Step 7: RPi Fitted Inside

RPi fitted inside on only available space holding by double sided tape.

Really tight, there is no room left. Not really visible but the GPIO port of RPi is just about 5mm from radio transformer at the bottom

Step 8: All Fitted Inside

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    7 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Great project, love it. I have the same Roberts R747 and will try the same with a

    Raspberry Pi Zero W and Volumio 2 on it.

    I'm not really god in this electronic things, so cold you maybe describe how you made the Powersupply and the switch between Radio and AUX?




    Reply 4 years ago

    Is that an old Aiwa? that was mine second choice but I went with this Roberts, it was on top of my list


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome project! I've got something similar underway with an old ghetto blaster but a different Pi distro (volumio)

    How do you find the audio quality? When I tried direct from the Pi i got loads of pops and crackles, so i'm getting a USB soundcard.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you,

    I have tried many distros but this one suits me best.

    For 20 years radio, the sound is amazing and authentic. I have no such problems you describing with RPi analog audio output. Obviously, its not like HDMI or USB DAC but its sounds really good, its clear, warm etc


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I love this kind of stuff. Taking a gorgeous old radio and boosting it's functionality like this: WIN-WIN!

    Very nicely done!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you,

    as mentioned, it was my main goal to keep it all as it was 20 years back :D no visible changes, even inside I havent interfered much with it and can be turned back to original state in minutes without noticable marks ;)