In this article, we will explore a straightforward method to create an IR remote-controlled FM radio with RDS (radio data system) using the ESP-01 module. We will utilise the Arduino IDE for software development and implementation.
This time, our primary goal is to design an affordable, compact, lightweight, and portable battery-operated Remote Controlled Stereo FM Radio with RDS message display, complete with IR remote control for user-friendly operation.
Note: We attached the demo video of this Stereo FM Radio project at the end of the article.
While there are several Arduino-based FM radios utilising modules like TEA5767, RDA5807M, and Si4703, they often come with drawbacks such as bulkiness, high power consumption, and excessive cost.
For instance, implementing an FM radio with an Arduino Uno requires a significant amount of power and is not cost-effective. Even the Arduino Nano, though smaller, is relatively expensive and requires a larger number of pins for soldering.
To tackle these limitations, we have chosen the ESP-01 module, which boasts four I/O pins, making it an ideal candidate for our radio. The ESP-01 is easy to program and assemble, requiring minimal expertise.
Unlike microcontroller-based designs, which demand additional components and pricey programmers, the ESP-01’s programming can be accomplished using an inexpensive USB-to-TTL converter.
Furthermore, there are numerous well-established Arduino libraries available for FM radio, IR remote control, and LCD/OLED displays, making software development a breeze.
For I2C communication with the FM radio module, we need two I/O pins. For IR remote control we need one I/O pin. With just three I/O pins we can implement an FM radio with IR remote control along with RDS display using a I2C display (LCD or OLED).
Banking on these advantages, we can quickly develop and integrate an FM radio with shortest development time using ESP-01. Fig. 1 shows the author’s prototype of Remote Controlled Stereo FM Radio with RDS using ESP-01.
To get started, let us look at the components required to build remote-controlled stereo FM radio-