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VERY simple CV control FM radio - now w/ Schematic, video
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author VERY simple CV control FM radio - now w/ Schematic, video

Tombola

Scroll down or click for schematic/details

Inspired by this quote from Don Buchla, I've been trying to build the simplest possible CV controlled radio:

Quote:
"My studio at that time was ten feet wide and I worked out. on the sidewalk . It was so crowded in there we hauled the workbench out on the sidewalk on good days and set up my oscilloscope and worked out there. Cage came by and for voltage control I had hooked up my keyboard to an FM module that I'd built, a little module that was an FM receiver and I could play stations on it because I had one of the first varactor tuned FMs . Cage, as you can imagine was, just enormously interested in the fact that I could tune each key to a station and then proceeded to play the radio" (source)


Here's the prototype, built around the board from this FM radio kit. It doesn't need any vactrol, it takes CV directly. (The idea to use a Franzis kit came from this video)



Some better audio:

Just the radio output:
[s]http://soundcloud.com/musicthing/prototype-radio-sequencer[/s]
http://soundcloud.com/musicthing/prototype-radio-sequencer

In context, radio sequenced by Pressure Points, with some filtering and spring reverb
Another recording: [s]http://soundcloud.com/musicthing/radio-sequencer-2[/s]
http://soundcloud.com/musicthing/radio-sequencer-2


Neutron7

That's very cool, but the content is FM is kind of boring humans talking and playing music.

I would love to have a VC short wave, short wave is full of all sorts of bleeps and buzzes, rather than crappy pop music smile


Tombola

Guess it depends where you live - in London there are tonnes of strange pirate stations - you're flipping between speech and dub step and classical. Haven't yet found a simple enough SW circuit...


BananaPlug

You can get a simple SW kit but the problem is you need a really long antenna wire, probably outside, or you won't get much. I decided it wasn't practical but I do wonder about the amplified antennas.


Neutron7

I like that last one. so there is none of that old "waiting for it to lock" bs when you slide past a station?


Bricks

tasty


Tombola

Neutron7 wrote:
I like that last one. so there is none of that old "waiting for it to lock" bs when you slide past a station?


No, it's very fast - there's a kind of little puff of white noise between each station - if you modulate the voltage at audio rates, you get audio, although I haven't found it that interesting yet. There's a mute system in the circuit, which kills the signal when no station is present. I'm going to make that switchable.


Jarno

I saw the other thread, and immediately went ahead and order the Conrad kit, they have the Franzis kit as well, but that's 5 euro's more expensive.

They do have SW kits, but if you look in the building manual, they use a variable cap for tuning, not easily sequenced.

I am going to use this Madbean DigDug, since I already had it in my projects box, using a vactrol to generate the control voltage.


Paradigm X

BananaPlug wrote:
You can get a simple SW kit but the problem is you need a really long antenna wire, probably outside, or you won't get much. I decided it wasn't practical but I do wonder about the amplified antennas.


Can you use a tv aerial out of interest? I have a tv aerial and a socket in my studio room, but i dont have a tv ... its a standard coaxial input. That would be kinda cool ! (edit for SW or FM ...) smile

Cheers

Ben


beautyofdecay_

With a TV aerial you will probably be able to receive FM stations although TV antenna's are usually designed for higher frequencies.
For SW it is definitely not suited but you might receive the strongest stations.

If you have a SW receiver you can also try to put a simple wire (10-15m long) inside the house. This works rather well, depending on your local situation of course.

An active (amplified) antenna is also an option for receiving SW transmissions and has the advantage of being very small and can also be used inside the house.
A long wire antenna outside the house is the best way to go however wink


limpmeat

I like this idea, it would make for an interesting noise source. especially if you could get shortwave


negativspace

I love the idea, same goes for the ADDAC offering. But it's the AM bands that are full of sweet noise textures... surely that can't be too hard to do, can it?


Paradigm X

beautyofdecay_ wrote:
With a TV aerial you will probably be able to receive FM stations although TV antenna's are usually designed for higher frequencies.
For SW it is definitely not suited but you might receive the strongest stations.

If you have a SW receiver you can also try to put a simple wire (10-15m long) inside the house. This works rather well, depending on your local situation of course.

An active (amplified) antenna is also an option for receiving SW transmissions and has the advantage of being very small and can also be used inside the house.
A long wire antenna outside the house is the best way to go however wink


Thanks!

Ive got ~100m of this super crap shielded cable i bought by mistake... guess the shielded part means its completely unsuitable (?)

Ill never get rid of it cry

Cheers


beautyofdecay_

Not at all! Just solder the core and the shielding together or just use the shielding and you have a nice wire antenna wink

BTW: The ideal wire antenna length (in meters) for a given frequency is (approximately) 300 / f (in MHz), where f is the frequency you want to listen to.
So if you want to listen to the bleeps and bloops at 14 MHz, the ideal wire antenna would be aprox. 21 meters long.
If you need it to be shorter use half or a quarter of the calculated length.

But, truth to be said, on shortwave you will get pretty decent results for this application with any wire length of a couple of meters and longer.


oootini

very cool concept! sounds mega in your second clip all up in the mix. great work.


Tombola

So - has anyone found a shortwave radio schematic/kit that uses a varactor for voltage control?

The Franzis shortwave radio kit definitely has a rotary variable capacitor
http://www.conrad.com/Franzis-Retro-Shortwave-Radio.htm?websale7=conra d-int&pi=191326

http://www.produktinfo.conrad.com/datenblaetter/175000-199999/191326-a s-01-de-FRANZIS_RETRO_KURZWELLENRADIO.pdf

The Ramsey SR-2C cost £45, has varactor tuning
http://www.wsplc.com/acatalog/Kits_Ramsey.html

Anything cheaper out there?


emdot_ambient

I'm in the SW camp, too.

And I've had several portable SW radios that got wonderful reception just using normal boom box style antennas. I never ran wire antennas and could get S. America, Europe, Russian, Japanese...better at night than in the day...

Anyway, I wouldn't be looking for the voice/music signals so much as the strange sideband noises, satellite and morse code signals. Those things are total strange noise generators. Wish I had one still sad banana


jenamu6

No idea but might this be something?

http://www.prismnet.com/~nielw/tentec1054/tentec1054.htm


Tombola

Pro tip: Don't accidentally connect the +12v rail directly to pin 1 on the chip.

Sigh.

Back to the Conrad website...


bbow73

Tombola wrote:
Pro tip: Don't accidentally connect the +12v rail directly to pin 1 on the chip.

Sigh.

Back to the Conrad website...


don't give up!
I have a fist full of money waiting for you to finish this.


krz

bbow73 wrote:

don't give up!
I have a fist full of money waiting for you to finish this.


I have been thinking about this idea for awhile
-after seeing Cevin Key trigger or gate a radio
signal with a drum pad (simmons?) in their studio
in the 90's. I'd be happy if I could just re-trigger a
handful of different freq. stations. On the "bare"
Soundcloud clip at about 2:52 it sounds quite good
with the rhythm of it all with the static "downbeat".
Alas I lack the E. Eng skills. sad banana
So good luck widdit!


dan_k

I remember he had a rack of car cassette decks with tapes running in them with gates that were opened by drum pads.

That was pretty cool, constantly morphing drum textures.


bbow73

I saw this post which made me search muff's again:

http://nomeist.com/voltage-controlled-fm-radio-cv-radio/274/comment-pa ge-1#comment-1661


Paradigm X

beautyofdecay_ wrote:
Not at all! Just solder the core and the shielding together or just use the shielding and you have a nice wire antenna wink

BTW: The ideal wire antenna length (in meters) for a given frequency is (approximately) 300 / f (in MHz), where f is the frequency you want to listen to.
So if you want to listen to the bleeps and bloops at 14 MHz, the ideal wire antenna would be aprox. 21 meters long.
If you need it to be shorter use half or a quarter of the calculated length.

But, truth to be said, on shortwave you will get pretty decent results for this application with any wire length of a couple of meters and longer.


Sorry, missed this post originally, thanks very much, might give it a go! Cheers


dmitri

Man that sounds cool !!! Rockin' Banana! It's motherfucking bacon yo


RealDudes

Tombola, you've made some of the most beginner friendly and genuinely satisfying contributions to the community. I really appreciate you sharing your wonderful gizmos with us.
thumbs up


hbbk

great another FM module, but please add AM too, pliiizzz... we're not worthy


Tombola

Thanks RealDudes


jenamu6

Could you please explain what you did exactly?

Where did you put in the CV?
Did you use a resistor to temper the cv?

The kits are only 14 euro here......I think I just found a nice module for my bugbrand blinds.

they also have all kinds of am francis kits even shortwave.


Tombola



Finished my CV-controlled radio project.

I'm really happy with how it came out - I know everyone says 'can we have AM' and 'I want shortwave to browse numbers stations' but I like something that mixes up music. Particularly living in South London, there are loads of strong weird pirate stations around, and this is a fantastic source of randomness in the modular.

In the video, there is one bit where I'm using a numeric keypad - this is a CGS10 Mini Keyboard that puts out 1v/octave voltages - even that locks on to 6-7 stations in the 16 keys.

It's built around a Franzis FM Radio kit from Conrad. The interesting thing about that kit is that it's tuned by a varactor / varicap / tuning diode, which makes voltage control really easy. It's a very simple board - a SMD FM tuner on-a-chip and a few other components.


Untitled by Tom.Whitwell, on Flickr

The rest of the circuit is one TL074 quad op amp. Two amps mix the CV, two amps boost the radio output to modular levels after removing the big DC offsets the radio module produces with a cap/resistor. That's really it. The kit comes with a little mini telescopic aerial, which is now uhu-glued to the back of my case:


radiomodule by Tom.Whitwell, on Flickr



Thanks to iopop and daverj in this thread about mixing CV signals, to Jean-Louise on electro music for discovering the Franzis module and to Don Buchla for having the idea in the first place.


jenamu6

Thanks mate.

Too difficult for me, I'm afraid


numan7

nice work, tombola! i think i'll try building a couple of these sometime soon...

cheers


Navs

The clip on Matrixsynth is excellent, Tombola applause

What are the other modules (not the numeric keypad), some sort of sequential switch?


asterisk

nice work! i love the little sequencer bits around 0:16.

seems cool to create sequenced loops where the sounds of each step change as the radio stations change.


Kendall Station

The Ten-Tecs are pretty good. Also I've done well even in the city with my Sony handheld and 3 ft antenna. Could be done easily.

And yet I wonder, reading this, since everyone's so down on FM radio saying it suck (which it does here in the US), why not do something to change it?

Find an FM transmitter kit (there are many) and turn into a module (which could be done) that you plug in audio from your modular. It could then spit out your wiggle out a couple thousand feet 1000 ft on the FM band of your choice.

Better yet, put a really slow LFO on the tuning and sweep the spectrum so everyone gets about a 2-second taste of what you're twiddling up?

Just an idea / mobile modular pirate radio.


Tombola

Love the mobile pirate radio with LFO idea!

In London, ResonanceFM is more or less the same as random modular connected to broadcast transmitter ;-)


Tombola

Navs wrote:
The clip on Matrixsynth is excellent, Tombola applause

What are the other modules (not the numeric keypad), some sort of sequential switch?


Thanks Navs - very kind coming from you!

That module is this:

DIY Eurorack CV/Gate Sequencer by Tom.Whitwell, on Flickr

It's a Verbos Baby 10 sequencer - in the video, the gate out patched to reset. It's one unit just using two panels because that's what I had...


CJ Miller

I am part of the "shortwave" chorus! Unfortunately, where I live FM is a wasteland of bad pop music. But FM does sound great, so when there are decent stations it is a joy.

I did a google search for "varactor shortwave" and quickly found this kit, which has apparently earned some excellent reviews:

http://www.radioaficion.com/HamNews/articles/5765-sr2c-shortwave-recei ver-kit.html

I don't know if it is compatible with Tombola's interesting circuit, but it should be fun to play with.


Jarno

Think I found this one as well, not very cheap though (40-60USD excl. ship), so I am going the Franzis FM kit route as well (plenty of FM in our area).

Edit:
and there's another one which is even better, switchable bands and all.


Tombola

Just make sure it has the varactor 'diode' tuning - otherwise it won't work. Most of the Franzis kits have a big rotary variable capacitor inside

EDIT - sorry Jarno, I can see from your earlier post that you already know that. Have you found a AM/FM kit with a varactor?


qu.one

Need to build one of these.

*Any chance for a dummies, non schematic style version as a build reference? Something a la CGS?


Tombola

qu.one wrote:
Need to build one of these.

*Any chance for a dummies, non schematic style version as a build reference? Something a la CGS?


Yes, that should be possible - I'll see if I can do one this weekend.

The actual circuit, excluding pots/switches/panel/power header, it's something like 17 components (all very common) plus the Franzis board.


lms.ktp

Love this idea! Could you please tell me, why you leave the space for the transistors empty?


Tombola

lms.ktp wrote:
Love this idea! Could you please tell me, why you leave the space for the transistors empty?


The board from Franzis includes an on-board amp to drive a little speaker. When I built it, it gave a strange output - heavy DC bias that seemed to change with each station tuned. I don't really understand transistors, so I just took the feed from PT_1, which is the output going into the volume pot before the on board amp, and ran it through a cap to remove the bias, then into an op-amp inverting amplifier.

You don't see the transistors in this build because I had to get a second board. I blew up the TDA7088 chip by accidentally applying 12v to pin 1 while trying to get the mute control working, which defeats the built-in mute circuit that silences the output on weak stations.


qu.one

Tombola wrote:
qu.one wrote:
Need to build one of these.

*Any chance for a dummies, non schematic style version as a build reference? Something a la CGS?


Yes, that should be possible - I'll see if I can do one this weekend.

The actual circuit, excluding pots/switches/panel/power header, it's something like 17 components (all very common) plus the Franzis board.


super awesome as circuit diagrams are like reading sanskrit for me applause


lms.ktp

Tombola wrote:
The board from Franzis includes an on-board amp to drive a little speaker. When I built it, it gave a strange output - heavy DC bias that seemed to change with each station tuned. I don't really understand transistors, so I just took the feed from PT_1, which is the output going into the volume pot before the on board amp, and ran it through a cap to remove the bias, then into an op-amp inverting amplifier.

You don't see the transistors in this build because I had to get a second board. I blew up the TDA7088 chip by accidentally applying 12v to pin 1 while trying to get the mute control working, which defeats the built-in mute circuit that silences the output on weak stations.


Thank you very much smile I think at the weekend I'm going to build the module... SlayerBadger!


Paradigm X

Wow, awesome stuff. applause

Searching, i also found this velleman kit (LINK to pdf datasheet)

which appears (could be totally wrong) to use a variable resistor wired as a voltage divider, to tune AM and FM ! hence (ditto!) would be easy to add CV (triple ditto!)

Any thoughts?

Im up for trying it in a month or two once im less skint and have cleared backlog a little.rapid sell the kits for £12.53

Nice one.


Tombola

Paradigm X wrote:

Searching, i also found this velleman kit (LINK to pdf datasheet)

which appears (could be totally wrong) to use a variable resistor wired as a voltage divider, to tune AM and FM ! hence (ditto!) would be easy to add CV (triple ditto!)


That does look promising - although it seems to be described as an FM radio - I can't see an FM/AM switch. Very mysterious schematic, with that black box 'FM Frontend' component... Runs on 12v, with an 8 volt converter

Surely this is the core of a project for someone wanting *real* random triggers... http://www.velleman.eu/products/view/?id=398548


Tombola

Paradigm X wrote:

Searching, i also found this velleman kit (LINK to pdf datasheet)

which appears (could be totally wrong) to use a variable resistor wired as a voltage divider, to tune AM and FM ! hence (ditto!) would be easy to add CV (triple ditto!)


That does look promising - although it seems to be described as an FM radio - I can't see an FM/AM switch. Very mysterious schematic, with that black box 'FM Frontend' component... Runs on 12v, with an 8 volt converter

Surely this is the core of a project for someone wanting *real* random triggers... http://www.velleman.eu/products/view/?id=398548


Jarno

Tombola wrote:
Just make sure it has the varactor 'diode' tuning - otherwise it won't work. Most of the Franzis kits have a big rotary variable capacitor inside

EDIT - sorry Jarno, I can see from your earlier post that you already know that. Have you found a AM/FM kit with a varactor?


No, not AM just a few bands of shortwave, it's actually this kit TenTec 1054 which may have been mentioned earlier in this thread, not sure how I found it.
You can get it here: TenTec 1054


Paradigm X

hmm, i thnk youre righht, rapid says

"Tune in to your favourite AM/FM radio stations"

must be a typo. :(


CJ Miller

Jarno wrote:
No, not AM just a few bands of shortwave, it's actually this kit TenTec 1054 which may have been mentioned earlier in this thread, not sure how I found it.
You can get it here: TenTec 1054


Thanks for the link, these Ten-Tec look great


Tombola

Here's a more musical / in context recording I did last night - all the voice samples from local pirate African stations (I <3 London) and the big wooshing running through is the module being tuned by the stepped random out from a Wogglebug, then bandpass filtered in RS110 and a bit of spring reverb. Drums from Ableton, some guitar and Hohner Pianet

[s]http://soundcloud.com/musicthing/wild-speaker[/s]
http://soundcloud.com/musicthing/wild-speaker


Kendall Station

God I wish we had decent Pirate radio here. TBH my inkling toward AM isn't the blips and bloops (already got noise and ring mod in my kit) but the crazy christian stations you get here esp. on shortwave.


Tombola

If tuning didn't always seem to be so slow, I'd suggest a Wifi Internet Radio module - then you could literally run anything into the modular.

Could a simple module load and 'hold' a number of streams, and allow fast switching between them?

Maybe this could do it: http://www.raspberrypi.org/


Monobass

I miss london Pirate stations.

I've been thinking about the potential of the raspberry Pi too... I wonder how noisy the audio output will be. Other option is a DAC on the audio section of the HDMI output.


poladark

Monobass wrote:
I've been thinking about the potential of the raspberry Pi too... I wonder how noisy the audio output will be. Other option is a DAC on the audio section of the HDMI output.

Sorry for being OT but the Raspberry Pi seems to be able to fit well behind a eurorack panel (except for the lack of mounting screws). I've been thinking along these lines as well, ever since i started reading about the ADDAC VCC module. Having a complete personal computer in eurorack would be... insane.

It's strange that none of the bigger module manufacturers have had an analogue radio module yet. I love the idea!


krz

[quote="dan_k"]I remember he had a rack of car cassette decks with tapes running in them with gates that were opened by drum pads.

That was pretty cool, constantly morphing drum textures.[/quote]

Was that with the car decks in the 80's? I heard/saw the radio trigs
in the late 90's at subconcious studios (when it was still in Van)
Helped pack 4 move to Cal. Still have old puppy Atari 1040.
Big woop.


JP

CJ Miller wrote:
I am part of the "shortwave" chorus! Unfortunately, where I live FM is a wasteland of bad pop music. But FM does sound great, so when there are decent stations it is a joy.

I did a google search for "varactor shortwave" and quickly found this kit, which has apparently earned some excellent reviews:

http://www.radioaficion.com/HamNews/articles/5765-sr2c-shortwave-recei ver-kit.html

I don't know if it is compatible with Tombola's interesting circuit, but it should be fun to play with.


That's the SW sister to the FM version I used over here.

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24364&start=80

It's still sat on my bench (work got in the way). But I'm going to take a look at it again this weekend.

Wish someone would just put together an all in one pcb kit for cv control of FM/SW/etc. I'd pay good money for a decent constructed module or kit.


krz

[quote="Monobass"]I miss london Pirate stations.
[/quote]

2015 I hear, is the year when all analogue radio stations will
cease broadcasting in the UK.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/jun/16/digital-britain-analo gue-radio-switchoff?cat=technology&type=article


lms.ktp

Hey, finally finished my radio and I love playing with it SlayerBadger! nice random factor for my rack. Now I got the problem, that its kind of hard to trim the frequence, the part were you rly here the radio is very small :( Do you hace any tips for me?


fluxmonkey

i just attenuate the cv voltage way down, like by a factor of 10 or more. ton o' fun but perfiddly... at first i thought i'd be able to jump from station to station via a keyboard, never got there but the random factor is just as good if not better...


bbow73

Hey, I tried to order that radio kit and this is what I got:

Quote:
Dear Mr. Bowhay,

thank you very much for your email.

We have canceled your order.

Unfortunately,since 1991 we do not dispatch our articles to the U.S.A. or to Canada. This decision is due to high transport- and insurance costs and to possible problems concerning the product liability.

Perhaps you have the possiblility to order via a friend of yours who does not live in America or Canada. Delivering our articles within Germany or to any other country except the U.S. and Canada is no problem.

We would be pleased to serve you this way.


Can anyone help me out?


krz

Do you want shipping to Canada or the US?


bbow73

krz wrote:
Do you want shipping to Canada or the US?


I'm in the U.S.


krz

http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/

No experience with 'em but lots of kits.

Looking for an Asian kit co. link. :(
Canakits doesn't look like they do
much afa receivers anymore.
I could only find transmitters.


bbow73

Ramsey has a few kits but I think we specifically need the Franzis kit because it has the varactor tuner necessary for the responding to VC control.

So... can anyone not in the the US or Canada order one for me?

Or better yet (since I don't know anything about electronics or own any electronics gear), anyone want to PM me with their price to put one of these together for me?


fluxmonkey

from the ramsey website:

Quote:
Perfect for Out-Of-Band Tuning!

    Standard FM receiver with a wider tuning range of 70-110 MHz

    Ideal for tuning-in FM wireless mics, phone bugs, SCA programming, or just normal FM broadcasts

    Excellent reception with 1uV sensitivity

    Demodulated audio output for driving our SCA-1 Decoder


Ideal for standard FM broadcast band as well as large portions on each side, making it great for bug monitoring or detection and receiving SCA broadcasts. Features one microvolt sensitivity, 10.7 MHz IF, 250 mW audio output, varactor diode tuning, IC FM detector chip, demod output to drive our SCA-1 decoder and operates on 9 VDC battery (not included).



bbow73

SWEET!
thx man


Tombola

Some interesting products on Sparkfun:

http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10906
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10342

Features:

Worldwide FM band support (64-108 MHz)
Worldwide AM band support (520-1710 kHz)
SW band support (2.3-26.1 MHz)
LW band support (153-279 kHz)
Digital FM stereo decoder
RDS/RBDS processor

Digitally tuned, I think - but shouldn't be too hard to build an Arduino sketch to convert voltage to tuning, or maybe to do some interesting work - i.e triggerable sequences of available stations.

I just ordered one, will let you know.


continuum

I'm guessing you ordered the Arduino shield version?


Tombola

Got one of each - Shield for experimentation, but more maybe build the breakout into a module.

Seems the Buchla 272e is digitally digitally tuned in the same way


krz

Thanks for finding one at Ramsey fluxmonkey!


delayed

any luck with the Ramsey kit or the sparkfun kit?


Tombola

Sorry, have the sparkfun/arduino kit but am deep in something else at the moment...


freeyerheel

i wonder if anyone has done one with tubes? scratch scratch


hexinverter

What a cool idea!

Just make your own shortwave radio from a schematic. It's pointless buying kits for $45 or whatever to resell if you're planning on making this into a kit/project for people, as 80% of a kits cost is paying someone to bag it up for you.

I should know, because I spend most of my time on hexinverter.net stuff doing repetitive bagging and sorting of kit components! Dead Banana


themanthatwasused

Bump on this, as I have been entertaining the idea.
Has anyone tried a shortwave radio on this?
Tom great looking module anyway.
I am turning into a fanboy it seems, as I have the turing machine in my backlog waiting for me to solder and put behind a panel.


audioCTRL

for X-mas I've build myself a voltage controlled radio.
Behind the shiny black front panel...

- it's a complete mess...

- but it works! Shuffling the FM band fucking up the seasonal music is a laugh hihi ... THANKS TOM!


Kingnimrod

Been looking at this project myself, and found this shortwave kit with the right type of tuner:

http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/cgi-bin/commerce.exe?preadd=action&ke y=SR2C

Wondering if this could be ganged up in the same unit with fm without causing too much interference.


mmelnick

audioCTRL wrote:
for X-mas I've build myself a voltage controlled radio.
Behind the shiny black front panel...

- it's a complete mess...

- but it works! Shuffling the FM band fucking up the seasonal music is a laugh hihi ... THANKS TOM!


I would buy this right away if you made more


bbow73

anyone know if this would work for an AM module?

http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/cgi-bin/commerce.exe?preadd=action&ke y=HR-SERIES


Kingnimrod

doesn't look like it has the correct tuning diode


Jarno

Put this together yesterday evening, and finished it tonight, lots of fun!

Managed to put in an LM317 regulator backwards, so that created some smoke, didn't hurt the opamps or tuner though.

Also had +12v on the top of the tuning pot, and that didn't hurt it either.

Works like a charm, tuning is a bit fiddly, and it needs a better antenna (at least overhere).

Fantastic project, thanks Tom!

Cut a panel at work tomorrow, and bolt it in the rack, did a buchlaesque layout (model 272/4 hihi ).


Jarno

Adjusting it is remarkably "set-and-forget". The stations are in a certain range, so you set the lower limit with the tuning knob (and no cv), apply max cv and open up the cv attenuator until you reach the last station. The chance of hitting a random station is pretty good that way.


qfactor

Is there anyone selling this in kit form here? Sounds brilliant but I don't have the experience to source out and make my own PCB nor euro front panel and parts, being a noob in this area.
help


Jarno

Well, the radio itself is a kit, the remaining circuit is usually done on perfboard, no pcb needed. But you will need to source the components.
I could be prodded to do a pcb for this, if there's some more interest.


oisin

nice to come across the project - will definitely be trying it out when i find the time.

it looks like there are some radio kits (advent calendar version) on sale now at conrad - think these are the same thing?

http://www.conrad.de/ce/de/product/192407/Franzis-Verlag-UKW-Retro-Rad io-Adventskalender/?ref=detview1&rtl=reco_detail_bottom&rb=2#


delayed

which radio kit did you use?


mmelnick wrote:
audioCTRL wrote:
for X-mas I've build myself a voltage controlled radio.
Behind the shiny black front panel...

- it's a complete mess...

- but it works! Shuffling the FM band fucking up the seasonal music is a laugh hihi ... THANKS TOM!


I would buy this right away if you made more



Tombola

oisin wrote:
nice to come across the project - will definitely be trying it out when i find the time.

it looks like there are some radio kits (advent calendar version) on sale now at conrad - think these are the same thing?

http://www.conrad.de/ce/de/product/192407/Franzis-Verlag-UKW-Retro-Rad io-Adventskalender/?ref=detview1&rtl=reco_detail_bottom&rb=2#


That *looks* at first glance like a possibly useful kit -
- Good because it doesn't include the amplifier section, which isn't really helpful for the Euro build
- Bad because it looks like tuning is by scan buttons, rather than the potentiometer. I suspect you could make it work by comparing that schematic with the TDA7088 datasheet and hacking accordingly.

But - on the face of it - it looks like a TDA7088 on a breakout board for €10, which is really good news.


Jarno

On the "original" franziskit were also some pads for buttons to do scan type tuning, so perhaps this one lends itself to voltage control as well?

Was googling for programmable C IC's, found some but I am not quite sure how much capacitance is needed, and it is likely that there will be some stepping in the tuning. Also, some kind of digital interface is needed, sounds like not as straightforward anymore.


Gripp

A little bit of a necrobump but not much.

Tombola, did you manage to get the mute disable feature working?
I see a switch in the pictures.
Was it something like tying pin 1 to the 3.3V supply via a say 10k resistor?

I'm seriously eying the Conrad kit.

Also, did you just use a standard regulator to get 3.3V directly from+12V or something more fancy for power?

Oh, this schem could be a starting point for CV-AM


Obsolete components but I think one can still get them quite cheap.

Cheers!


delayed

a layout and BOM would be nice for one of these instead of a $40+ kit that is not made to go behind a panel.


wavehead

really hope someone finds a good way to do AM and/or SW for this application because its a million times more useful for the modular.


stimresp

wavehead wrote:
really hope someone finds a good way to do AM and/or SW for this application because its a million times more useful for the modular.


+1


nathanxl

stimresp wrote:
wavehead wrote:
really hope someone finds a good way to do AM and/or SW for this application because its a million times more useful for the modular.


+1


+1


Jarno

It's depending on your location of course, but the CV-FM IS a lot of fun, so I don't agree to the million times comment.
The more the merrier however, so if someone does get it to work that would be extra colour to add to the modular.

But if it's SW or AM you really want, get it done. Maybe add a stepper to the variable cap? Mr. Green


mmelnick

I wish there was a kit/pcb for this. I am not good enough to make one but I want it woah


qfactor

mmelnick wrote:
I wish there was a kit/pcb for this. I am not good enough to make one but I want it woah


My sentiments exactly too! Dancing Star


Tombola

Gripp wrote:
A little bit of a necrobump but not much.

Tombola, did you manage to get the mute disable feature working?
I see a switch in the pictures.
Was it something like tying pin 1 to the 3.3V supply via a say 10k resistor?

I'm seriously eying the Conrad kit.

Also, did you just use a standard regulator to get 3.3V directly from+12V or something more fancy for power?



Yes, the Mute/disable works, I think from memory as you describe, was very simple. And yes, I used a standard regulator for power.

Generally, it would be really nice to remake this as a PCB and a kit, but it seems to be pretty obsolete technology - I don't know if it's even possible to buy a am/fm/sw radio that isn't digitally tuned, and at least in the UK there is a lot of money behind the switchover to DAB digital radio.

I'd like to improve my circuit, because it is pretty brash/harsh, would like something slightly more hifi.

If you look at Mouser, there are a few radio-on-a-chip devices available, but they all seem to be digitally controlled - like this one from Sparkfun:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11737

The market for these chips is car stereos, which are powered by a microcontroller handling the screen and bluetooth etc, and tiny pound-shop portable radios that just have scan buttons.

I imagine it would be easy enough to control one of these digital chips from an Arduino.

I'd imagine running a setup that scans through the available stations in whatever band, remembers all their positions, then maps them across CV to allow cv station selection.

I don't know what chip is inside the Buchla 272e http://www.buchla.com/model_272e.html but I assume it's something similar.

If someone does manage to find a suitable analog radio chip that is reasonably available, I'd be happy to collaborate on doing a PCB and yes, AM/SW would be nice, although then you may need a bunch of specialist components like a ferrite antenna.


Gripp

Thanks thumbs up

Regarding AM, the schematic I posted is among the most simple radio circuits there is. A so called TRF (I cheated and did some reading) tuned radio frequency. Basically the only thing really selecting the frequency is the passive filter in the front (and antenna). It won't most likely sound any good in the traditional sense and for all of us wanting noise, we must be careful what we wish for.
Think about how radio-noisy the near modular envrionment is for a while.
How fun will it be getting the same noise all the time, the noise profile of our cases.

I will probably tinker with this any way just because it is simple and varactor based. But will guide my efforts to clean power, thorough shielding and the antenna, which will not be a ferrite inside but an external solution with shielded cable. There seems to be a number of chips very similar to LMF501T such as MK484 which looks more obtainable.

But first, the Conrad kit!


dragulasbruder

^keep us posted!


stevenclements

qfactor wrote:
mmelnick wrote:
I wish there was a kit/pcb for this. I am not good enough to make one but I want it woah


My sentiments exactly too! Dancing Star


Can a Kit for this happen?

I would be on board completely!

headbang


Tombola

I have no plans to do a kit / pcb for this at the moment- the crucial radio chip seems hard to find and definitely not available in through-hole


sebiiksbcs

Sorry if I overlooked something, but the Franzis kit is mono, isn't it?

Does it only receive a 'left' channel then, or the mono sum? Or am I totally confusing something here?


Glitch Militia

This kit from velleman also uses a potentiometer for tuning the frequency. http://www.vellemanusa.com/products/view/?country=us&lang=enu&id=35128 0


Tombola

The relevant kit for this now seems to be easily available in the UK via amazon under the Haynes brand

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00GHO0D4G/

And they've updated the documentation in a more DIY-friendly way: http://eight-innovation.com/dir/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Haynes-Retr o-Radio-Instruction-Book-9July13.pdf


wednesdayayay

it says in the build instructions that if you turn the volume down far enough you will start to hear a distortion has anyone tried amplifying this offboard?


Dogue

An eBay seller from China has a similar kit:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/9088-FM-Tuner-Radio-Electronic-DIY-Components- Kit-/200933874096?pt=US_Ham_Radio_Receivers&hash=item2ec89799b0

Also, here's the schematic for the kit Tombola mentioned:




okelk

Does anybody use the TDA7088 on 5v?

If so? which value resistors did you use on the tuning pot?

If you power it from 3v, which regulator did you use?


leafcutter

These little fellas look like excellent canditates for experimentation: http://www.ebay.com/itm/290998507209?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid= p3984.m1439.l2649

You'd need an arduino or possibly an atTiny to control it but they spit out interesting stuff like:

Stereo/mono status
Signal Strength

they have stereo output which can be forced mono/stereo and cost £0.99!

I've ordered a couple to play with.


Throw

@Leafcutter
Well spotted, thanks for the link.
I've been meaning to build a MIDI controllable radio reciever for a while.
I'd be very interested to see how you cook it up with Arduino.

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