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Start of a blog - KaRadio Project

Hello everyone !

I decided to start a blog to keep a track of my electronics stuff I want to build.

I found the KaRadio Project, that aims to build a webradio - you know, the thing, not the stream. A real object that connects to the Wi-Fi and plays your favourite radios.

Some useful links :

As I tried a first prototype, I was really amazed what the main chip, the ESP8266, was capable of. So I decided to buy second-hand stuff in flea market to build a nice little webradio.

For the moment, I have my prototype working, but most of the work lies ahead : adding control through a second microcontroller (MCU for short), adding buttons, pushing everything into a case, adding energy support... heh, I'm hyped !

Nonetheless, I will have to wait a little because my second MCU (another ESP8266) is used for some exams I still have to pass. So I'm cautious not to tamper it while it works for my exams.


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Adding some speakers, part 2

I added the audio transistors.

Before diving into this modification, I wanted to see how deteriorated the sound is when you try to link everything on the same power supply WITHOUT transistors. So I made this little video. You can hear the difference !

First, I noticed that my three little wires (on the output of the VS1053) were badly soldered and caused a short-circuit somewhere. So I removed them, and replaced them with a naked Jack plug. (I took it from a selfie stick. True story. These selfie sticks have an audio Jack plug to be able to take a shot from a button near the hand, that acts just like a button from headphones with mic. End of the story, back to business :p )

I wired the output of the VS1053 to the input of the transformers, and I wired the output of the transformers to the input of the PAM8403 (the amplifier). Since on the input and on the output, they have common ground between the two channels, I kept the common ground. You can see a rough scheme below (the "Aud…

Adding some speakers, part 1

I've got speakers, an amplifier, audio transformers, and a KaRadio.
Let's have fun with that !

So in order to connect everything, I took the plugs from the original radio and soldered them along with headers, to connect things easily.

Then I soldered headers on the amp side, easy connection. And I wired them together. I also soldered a USB cable on the power input of the amp board.

On the VS1053 side, I have a Arduino-shaped board, so I took advantage of some unused pins to wire the output speakers to 3 pins. Again, the easier, the better... Except that soldering these 3 little cables was FRIGGING HARD, they kept swinging and moving around, it was hellish. But oh well, it's done now.

Finally, I took 3 wires to link the VS1053 to the amp (it's a PAM8403). The pair ESP8266 + VS1053 has its own power supply (it's a USB battery) while the amplifier has a separate USB power supply.

Aaaaaaand it works very well :)

I tried to put the whole on the same power supply and I g…

Flashing an STM32 "Blue Pill"

Flashing this STM32 "Blue Pill" board took me 5 hours.

I finally recieved my microcontrollers. I have at disposal :
A brand new WeMos D1 Mini (it's a smallish NodeMCU)An Arduino Pro Mini (it acts just like a Leonardo, but it lacks some interesting pins sadly :(  )An STM32F103C8T6, I'll call this the Blue Pill for short. The Arduino Pro Mini has an Arduino bootloader out-of-the-box, so  I could play with it directly. It's nice ! Still, it lacks the double Serial of the original Leonardo, and most importantly, there's no A4 and A5 pins, so libraries for I2C won't work without modification.

But the Blue Pill needs more work. Basically, I followed the instructions on this site :
Since it's quite complicated, consider the following as a tutorial to set up your Blue Pill. I tried different things, the following has worked for me.

Before doing anything software-related, while reading the Blue Pill page …