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HackerBox #90 – Modem explores FM radio applications

Apr 30, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 385 views

This month’s HackerBox provides a learning kit based on Arduino Nano boards and various breakout modules used for implementing user-friendly FM radio projects.  

The new HackerBox includes two standard Arduino Nano boards based on the 8-bit Atmel microcontroller (up to 16MHz) with 2KB SRAM and 1KB EEPROM.

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FM + RDS Receiver System (left) and Si4703 block diagram (right)
(click images to enlarge)

The learning kit includes a FM receiver PCB and a FM transmitter PCB that accommodates all the breakout modules provided. The FM receiver board allows the Arduino Nano to interface with the radio receiver module based on the Skyworks Si4703 tuner chip (76-108MHz FM band support).

     
FM + RDS Transmitter System (left) and Si4713 block diagram (right)
(click images to enlarge)

On the other hand, the FM Transmitter custom board integrates the DFPlayer (DFRobot) which is a mini MP3 player with a 24-bit DAC output that supports multiple sampling rates (up to 48KHz) and max support of 32GB. This PCB also holds a breakout module based on the FM radio transmitter Si4713 with similar band support (76–108 MHz).

According to the tutorial, the “MP3 player module is capable of decoding MP3 files stored on a microSD flash card or stored on a USB flash drive placed in the connected USB breakout module.”

The company created an Instructables page that provides some information about the theory involved in this project and firmware documentation for the Arduino Uno boards and the breakout modules.

Additionally, users can refer to the video above for assembly instructions. 


HackerBox #90 – Modem
(click image to enlarge)

HackerBox #90-Modem components:

  • I/O Interfaces:
  • Other Components:
    • FM Receiver PCB
    • FM Transmitter PCB
  • USB:
    • 1x USB-A socket breakout

Further information

The HackerBox #90 Modem standard price is $59.00 while monthly subscription cost $44.00. The product can also be shipped outside of the U.S, but customers are required to pay for international shipping.

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