I have always been fond of internet radio as I listen to it 24/7. The best part about internet radio is that you can listen to new music everyday, you don’t have to be listening to the same MP3s all over again.
For those of you with some circuit modding/hacking skills, you might want to try making your own internet radio with your old WiFi routers. Most routers can nowadays be hacked with an open-source linux like OpenWRT, DD-WRT, and more. Free source code is provided here so I don’t see how wrong you can go if you follow the directions carefully.
In this fabulous example, the author goes into details on how he made an internet radio with all the bell and whistles including a VFD LCD, Atmega8 microcontroller to control the router commands, and much more. Of course, I believe you can do everything alone with just the router but the LCD part must be where the Atmega8 microcontroller is needed, to handle the graphic drivers, which can be pain if you try it in linux.
I really want one of these!
First things first, I had to collect all the parts I wanted to fit into the radio. There would be the Asus WL-520gu router, the USB audio adapter, the vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) I recently found on ebay, various knobs/buttons, and some sort of processor board to pull everything together. For small projects like this, my trusty ATmega8 has never let me down, so I felt it was up to the task. Shown below is a board I’d designed for an LCD serial backpack, but repurposed for this project. I don’t have a formal schematic for it handy, but it’s pretty simple and I’ll explain gritty details of the electrical design further below.