Internet radio tuner ^_^

June 3, 2014 1:19 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

So, one day I was listening to ASOT on DI Trance with WebTunes.
It was almost 4 AM, so I had to go, and I thought: “Oh how awesome it would be to listen to web streams without keeping the computer on!”
Looking at the internet radio receiver prices (like the one from the Denon’s 520 series, from which I already have a CD and an amp) left me quite shocked with what they ask for such a simple device.
Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 12.17.52

While I was thinking of what kind of a quick job I could find to get one of these, a failed Humax satellite receiver lying under my desk caught my sight.
And so I thought: “Jeah, this must do just fine!”

And so, I moved on to build it…

When I opened it up, I saw 2 card holder boards, one mainboard and one PSU board. Sadly, I started throwing them away right before taking any photos.
The mainboard was failing, the card holders weren’t of any use to my project so I’ve thrown them into my parts box. The PSU had a 5v output, but the Raspberry Pi refused to start from that, either it needed more load or just couldn’t put out enough amps. I ended up just using a USB charger as a PSU.

During the disassembly process I noticed the front panel board has some kind of controller on it. It turned out to be an awesome chip by Philips, the SAA1064 LED display driver. Also there was an IR photodiode, 3 LEDs and 4 buttons.
Since I was too lazy to wire up a 2-line LCD properly anyway, I thought that would be perfect for my radio!
So, I took out my tools and started reverse-engineering the cables going from that board.

After all it turned out to be this pinout:
(looking at the front panel PCB from the soldering side)

  1. GND
  2. SDA (i2c to the display)
  3. SCL (i2c to the display)
  4. Power button (GND when pushed, no pull-up present)
  5. TV/Radio button
  6. Video LED enable (connected via a transistor on board)
  7. Power LED enable
  8. IR Sensor (generic TSOP or alike, 5V level)
  9. +5Vcc
  10. [Unknown]
  11. Audio LED enable
  12. Down button
  13. Up button

I couldn’t help doing that to test this pinout:

So I wired them up to my Raspberry Pi that was lying around for ages, too.



Yeah, the case is a bit oversized for the thing lol.

Wrote this set of codes (that’s quite a lot but I did it in 45 minutes), make all necessary folders and patches, reboot and sure enough it does work!

The most important feature

The most important feature

I was like ‘AWW YEAH!’

It looks very awesome in the rack with other Hi-Fi devices.


(try to find the tape from a couple of posts earlier on the picture lol)

However I didn’t bother with making proper ports and just routed the power, audio, video (for debug) and Ethernet cables through respective sized holes in the back plate of the case.

Well, that’s how I made a cheap and easy Internet-radio receiver.

Video coming soon!

Thanks for reading :)



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