How to misuse a Radio to play all the stations simultaneously.

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/12/15/how-to-misuse-a-radio-to-play-all-the-stations-simultaneously.html

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Ooh, yes. One of my favorite things was to tag along to the stereo shop with dad, for the acoustically treated dim ambience illuminated by the soft glow from the tuner and meter windows in this-must-be-what-the-future-looks-like colors, the fit and feel of the knobs an switches, with Steely Dan playing (it was always Steely Dan playing).

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When I trained for my FCC broadcast technician and engineer licences, I was told this was a bad thing. But the effect can be easily approximated, with no need for rewiring or money, by entering an electronics retail shop and tuning all receivers to unique frequencies. Have a friend video you doing this as “performance art” – especially the bit where store security comes for you.

BTW my aunt lived near a 50kw AM transmitter and listened to KFI on her fillings. No other strong signals were nearby so no crosstalk. Whew.

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This is a fun misuse of electronics to subvert the advertising monster.

It’s possible to buy a really cheap FM radio and tap a wire onto the tuning voltage pin of the TDA7000 chip to achieve this result, since the ARRADIO synth module he’s using is long out of stock.

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This is how I misuse radios…

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All graphite and glitter…


If only.
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Is the furry assistant integral to the process? Is this a Cat’s Whisker Radio?

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Nice! I need to finish building my Arradio. Got given the PCBs a while back but it took me ages to find the FM radio module which is needed. Finally found suitably cheap on ebay in some ‘retro radio’ educational kit

Also have this which is fun and dirt cheap but not cv-controllable. (and has a little noise/interference from the LED display it seems) I was actually planning to build one when I saw these 12v radio modules on banggood but Tesseract beat me to it so I just brought theirs https://www.tesseractmodular.com/eurorack-modules/low-coast

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Ha, I absolutely love the low-budget look of that! Looks like it was pulled right out of a 1985 Honda Civic car console, and I mean that in the best way. It looks like they have custom tesseract PCB on the back, probably for the adapter component. The USB switch is actually very useful for adding a lamp. There’s single modules that offer just a USB; e.g.

or

Unrelated but cosmetically similar, I have a modified $30 Lepai amplifier (cheap ones made for cars) with an improved power supply and some other components that beats out most hifi stereos. It’s clean enough to power paradigm monitors and is just wonderful in its size. Lepai amps are awesome. Here’s a version of what you can do with them:

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Yes they made a custom PCB to shift the radio board’s levels to eurorack ones basically. I had some odd issues with it not playing well with a couple of modules but I sorted it by putting capacitors on the outputs, I think it didn’t like being connected to DC-coupled things

I am very into the ‘found eurorack’ idea, there’s that karaoke echo thing people make and I’ve got my eye on a few interesting looking 12v-compatible circuits from the usual Chinese sources.

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Did having the radio in the case cause noise issues? I was watching one of the youtubers, maybe mylarmelodies discuss their use of radio in live sets and they gave up having the radio in the case and just used a cheap portable radio with a long cable so they could keep it away from the audio gear.

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Aja was pretty much the hi-fi boutique store go-to when demoing systems. And they always sat you in just the right spot.

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Kitty thought his hooman was engaging with the competition; dropped in for declaration and reinforcement of his ownership of said hooman.

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Hard to tell… my ‘case’ is a cardboard box and half my modules are weird homemade stuff and my PSUs are cheap/diy. I was troubleshooting really odd interference problems for ages only to discover they were all caused by some £3 function generator kit circuit I’d made into a rough and ready module, which was leaking some signal into the power lines. :smiley: On non-tuned stations the radio module does definitely pick up some hum and digital noise from my other gear but stations are mostly pretty clear. I make Noise music so none of this is a massive problem for me anyway :slight_smile:

Radio modules are in general non-ideal for interference reasons tho, and also in that if you play live, you are probably doing so in some kind of underground or concrete room full of wires + electronics + thus may not pick up much

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Ah very cool. Yes, in general I assumed someone using radio should be expecting some noise but there is noise that you want and noise that you don’t want. :slight_smile:

After thinking about it for years I started building a system about a month ago. I don’t have any electrical engineer skills so nothing DYI at this point. But after several purchases I am appreciating the DYI approach more and more. :money_with_wings: :joy: :money_with_wings:

In my estimating I completely forgot to add taxes and shipping costs. I just eye balled on modular grid the MSRP.

So I vacillate between enjoying the process and having little panic attacks “what have I done!”

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