Tune in to radio stations from around the world

RS Components Pty Ltd

Wednesday, 23 September, 2020


Tune in to radio stations from around the world

RS Components, a trading brand of Electrocomponents, has released RadioGlobe — an open-source DesignSpark engineering project that features a real globe as its user interface. By turning the globe, users can tune in to internet radio stations from around the world.

Designed and released in collaboration with British technologist and inventor Jude Pullen, the RadioGlobe project was commissioned to celebrate the 10th anniversary of DesignSpark and the release of the latest DesignSpark Mechanical Version 5.0 software, with the goal of enabling human connection through technology. DesignSpark is an online design community and resource centre for makers, students and design engineers, launched in 2010 to provide design engineers and students around the globe with a comprehensive range of free-of-charge software design tools, technical data and development resources.

“The idea behind RadioGlobe came from RS Components’ roots in supplying spare parts to radio repair shops, which led me to think about how we could make the radio experience more modern in a hyper-connected world using both physical components and digital technology,” Pullen said. “I think that DesignSpark and other maker communities will love this project, as it is open source and will therefore evolve with a truly global input of creativity and talent.”

Pullen and his extended engineering team designed RadioGlobe using RS’s free-to-download DesignSpark Mechanical and DesignSpark PCB software and used 3D printing technology for the construction. A Raspberry Pi 4 module interfacing to two high-precision rotary encoders track the longitude and latitude of locators positioned over the globe. This enables the Raspberry Pi to tune in to an internet radio station transmitting from any global position. Music fans simply hover on a location to select any of the thousands of music radio stations available globally.

As an open-source project, the DesignSpark RadioGlobe is available for anyone to re-create and re-model. All of the CAD files and code are available on the DesignSpark website and GitHub in various formats, along with a bill of materials listing all the products required for the build. A step-by-step tutorial guide is also provided.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Sergey Nivens

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