DIY Arduino FM Radio Project with a 3D printed Art Deco enclosure

Dear friends welcome to another Arduino project
video! I am very excited because today I am going
to show you how I built this Art Deco style FM Radio project using Arduino. It is by far the most complex project I have
ever built and also my favorite. There is a lot to cover so let’s get started! Hello, guys, I am Nick and welcome to educ8s.tv
a channel that is all about DIY electronics projects. In this channel, I share everything about
the projects I build to help you develop similar projects or inspire you to start making things
because it is easy, fun and creative. Subscribe to the channel now if you do not
want to miss any future video. Let’s see what we are going to build today! As you can see, we are going to build an Art
Deco style FM radio receiver. The design of this radio is based on this
spectacular 1935 AWA radio. I discovered this old radio while searching
online and also in this book about the most beautiful radios ever made.

I loved the design of this radio so much that
I wanted to have a similar one. So I devoted a month of my time to build my
own. As you can see, I have used a Nokia 5110 LCD
display to display the frequency that we are listening to, and I am using a rotary encoder
to change the frequency and this knob to increase or decrease the volume. I don’t know if you have noticed, but I
am using a custom Art Deco font on the LCD display. Also, if we listen to the same radio station
for over five minutes, the radio will automatically save the station to its memory so the next
time we turn on the radio, it will automatically tune in to the frequency we were using before. The radio also features a built-in Lithium
Battery and the appropriate charger so it can last on batteries for days. The sound quality of the project is pretty
good. I am using a small 3W speaker with a low power
amplifier.

Let’s listen to some music straight out
of the radio. Not bad at all in my opinion.The radio sounds good, and it looks even better. Let’s now see the parts need in order to
build this project. We are going to need a lot of parts to build
this project. If you are a beginner to Arduino, make sure
to build some simpler projects first because this is an advanced project and there are
many things that can go wrong.

So we are going to need the following parts:
• An Arduino Pro Mini • An FTDI Programmer
• An FM Radio module • A 3W Speaker
• A PAM8403 Amplifier Module • A rotary encoder
• A Nokia 5110 LCD display • A Wemos Battery Shield
• A 18650 battery and a holder for it • A switch
• A 5×7 CMs prototyping board • Some wires
• A speaker grill cloth The total cost of the project is around 22$. You can find links to all the parts I use
in the description of the video below. First of all, let’s built the electronics
of the Radio. A few months ago I built an FM radio project
on a breadboard. You can watch that video by clicking on the
card here.

I made some changes to that project and here
is the improved version of it on a breadboard. You can watch the video about the improved
version of the project by clicking on this card. I am using an Arduino Nano now, but I will
use an Arduino Pro Mini later for lower power consumption. You can find the schematic diagram of this
project in a link in the description below. If we power up the project, we can see that
a Splash Screen is displayed on the Nokia display for a few seconds and then the radio
loads the previous radio station we were listening to from its EEPROM memory. We can change the frequency from this knob
and the volume from this knob. The project is working fine. We now have to make the project smaller to
fit in the enclosure. For that, we are going to use the Arduino
Pro Mini which is very small in size and also offers lower power consumption. We are also going to use this small prototyping
board to solder some of the components on it. Before that let’s design the enclosure in
Fusion 360 a free but extremely powerful software.

Since we are going to design a complex enclosure
and we are going to use a lot of parts we first have to model each electronic part in
Fusion 360. This way we are going to be sure that every
part will fit perfectly and the enclosure is big enough to fit everything inside. It took me about a week to learn how to model
a part in Fusion 360 and then model all the parts I was going to use. Then it took me another week to design the
enclosure since I am not an experienced Fusion 360 user. I have already uploaded all the design files
to thingiverse.

You can find a link to the thingiverse page
of the project in the description below. The result, in my opinion, was worth it. The design looks fantastic, and I could arrange
all the parts inside the enclosure as I wished. This way I was certain that when I was going
to print all the enclosure parts, they would fit just fine. This way, we can reduce the trial and error
prints which result, in a lot of wasted time and filament. Another cool feature that Fusion 360 offers
is the ability to create high quality renders of your design using different materials and
see how the project will look like in reality. Cool. The render I created looked gorgeous. I couldn’t wait to see the project completed,
so I started 3D printing the enclosure files on my Wanhao I3 3D printer. I used two wood filaments from FormFutura. Coconut and Birch filament. If you follow my channel, you probably know
that I love the look and feel of wood filaments. I never had any problems while printing with
them so far. This time was different though.

The project consists of 7 parts. I started printing the smaller parts first
with success. The last part, the big part of the enclosure
turned out to be more difficult to print. For some reason, the nozzle clogged every
time I tried to print it. I tried many settings, changing the speed,
the retraction, the layer height, the temperature. Nothing worked. I changed the nozzle to 0.5mm one. Still the same. The print failed constantly. I even had some power failures which made
me invest in a UPS. I was desperate, I wanted the project to move
on, and I was stuck. Then I came up with an idea. Could I resume printing a failed part after
changing the clogged nozzle? After searching online, I discovered that
it is possible. Unfortunately, I was so frustrated at that
time that I didn’t record a video of the procedure. But it worked like a charm, and finally, I
had the last part of the enclosure ready on the print bed! What a relief! The next things to do were easy, removing
the support material from the prints, sanding and polishing with wood varnish. I sanded all the parts carefully. As you can see the main enclosure part was
not printed as good as I wanted but since it was so difficult to print I had to work
with it.

Art Deco FM Radio

In order to heal the imperfections, I used
some wood putty. Since I couldn’t find a wood putty with
a color similar to my part, I mixed two color putties together to create a color close enough
to my part. I applied the wood putty to all the parts,
and I corrected all the imperfections. After the putties were dry, I sanded the parts
once more and applied wood varnish. I used walnut wood varnish for the dark parts
and oak wood varnish for the light ones. I let them dry for a day, and I was ready
to move on to the electronics.

The next step was to shrink the electronics
to fit in the enclosure. Since I had already modeled all the parts
in Fusion 360, I was certain how to do it. As you can see, each part has its specific
position in the enclosure. This is the battery charger, the switch is
right here, the battery sits right there, the Arduino Pro mini and the Radio receiver
are on the prototyping board, the amplifier module is here, the rotary encoder at the
opposite side and lastly the display and the speaker sit here. I soldered all the parts together according
to this schematic diagram. You can find a link to it in the description
of the video below. In order to solder the parts, for the first
time, I used this TS100 soldering iron.

First, I soldered the Arduino Pro Mini and
uploaded the code to it using an FTDI programmer. You can find the code of the project in the
description below. If you want to know more details about the
code, please check the previous videos of the FM Radio project. The next step was to create the power supply
for the circuit. I am going to use the wemos battery shield,
a very handy shield which can charge a 18650 battery and boost its voltage to 5V. I removed the battery connector from the shield
and soldered the wires from the 18650 battery connector. Next, I soldered the switch to the 5V output
like this. The power supply was ready. I then soldered all the other parts one after
another for a couple hours.

I didn’t use an audio cable at the audio
output of the FM radio module this time, but I soldered wires at the bottom of the board
instead. This is the ground of the audio signal, and
this is one of the two audio signals. This signal can now go to the amplifier for
amplification. I also added a 330μF capacitor to the power
rail on the prototyping board. This addition reduced the noise on the radio
signal. After all the soldering was done, I tested
the project and it worked! The new soldering iron sped up the soldering
procedure a lot since it heats up extremely fast. I had to turn on and off the soldering iron
a lot of times, so a quick warm-up soldering iron was a big time saver. The last step was to put everything together,
the enclosure parts and the electronics parts. I first glued the grill of the radio and then
I glued the grill cloth. Then I glued the display using regular glue
and the speaker using hot glue. Next, I hot glued the battery holder, the
switch and the battery charger. Then I hot glued the amplifier module to its
position, then the rotary encoder and lastly the prototyping board.

Finally, all I had to do was to glue the remaining
parts of the enclosure together. The project was ready, and I couldn’t wait
to try it. At last 6 months after its inception, the
Art Deco FM Radio project was playing some music on my desk. What a feeling! We are very lucky to live in an age that we
can build anything we want by ourselves! We have the tools and the resources to create
anything we want in a few weeks and with low cost. The end result was well worth the time and
effort I put in it. I spent many hours on this project. I learned many new things; I gained precious
experience.

I now have the skills and the confidence to
build even better projects. When I created this YouTube channel, I didn’t
even know how to solder, I didn’t know that 3D printers existed and of course, I didn’t
know how to design anything. I only knew how to program. 3 years later I am able to build projects
like this one. So, if you always wanted to make something
but you were afraid to start, follow my steps.

Start small and keep learning. Within a few years, you won’t believe your
progress. Of course, this project is not perfect. The reception is not very good with the antenna
I used. I noticed that if you connect a USB cable
to the charging port, it acts as an antenna and it improves the reception drastically. Also, even though the code of the project
supports the rotary encoder button to turn the backlight of the display on or off, I
didn’t use this feature because I accidentally hot glued the rotary encoder so that the button
can not be pressed. Of course, there are many things one can improve
on a project like this. If you build this project and make any improvements,
please share your work with the community. I would love to know your opinion about the
FM Radio project now that it is complete. Do you like how it looks? Are you going to build one? What kind of improvement are you going to
make on it? Please post your ideas in the comments section
below; I love reading your thoughts! If this is your first time here, I would love
to have you subscribed.

In this channel, I post videos about DIY projects
twice a month. I love making things, and I believe that anyone
can make things, anyone can become a maker. That’s why I created this channel, to share
my knowledge with the community and learn from the community. I hope you will join us. I will see you in the next video! [ Translating these subtitles? Add your name here! ].

As found on YouTube

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