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Applications of Raspberry Pi


In this unit, I will use raspberry pi to create a FM transmitter

radio. Raspberry Pi has the ability to actually turn into a radio
transmitter. To turn the Pi into a legitimate transmitter, I can use code
to transmit FM sounds to a certain station. Besides using the Pi as a
tool to transmit sounds to an FM station, I will create a sound file to
transmit through the FM waves via Raspberry Pi. The reason why I
chose this application of raspberry pi is because Im interested in how
we, as regular civilians, can use diverse applications such as raspberry
pi, to communicate with others without the use of common
technological devices through sound (i.e. radios). I am interested in
seeing how we can substitute the raspberry pi for the basic radio audio
communication device that has been around for years and is used
almost daily. Raspberry Pi is an easy and different way for me to
communicate with others in my community without the use of Radios.
I can use the idea of radios as basis for the creation of raspberry pi into
an audio communication device. I would like to turn the Raspberry Pi
into an FM transmitter radio. With turning a raspberry pi into an FM
radio we have the ability to explore multiple substitutes for radios and
common audio communicators. We will be inspired by the diversity of
the raspberry pi and create new methods of communication in our
Topics being
to create
Raspberry Pi
FM radio
between FM
and AM

How will I
gather the

The Relevancy of
this topic in
comparison to

will be

I need to know the

important aspects of
FM radio. I can
achieve this by
finding websites that
compare and contrast
FM and AM and find
the significant
differences. This will
show me also what is
most significant in FM


How radios
messages and


n devices that
use the
blueprint of
radio as basis
for their
n abilities


How raspberry
pi can actually
transform into
an FM
Aspects of
raspberry pi
that give it
the ability to
turn to FM





I need to know how

radios transmit
messages and
communicate sounds
and music so I can
relate it back to what
the raspberry pi is
doing in comparison. I
would also like to
know whats going on
in radio so I have a
basic idea of whats
going on with the
raspberry pi
I need to know if
Radio is a common
audio communication
device so I can fulfill
my interest in seeing
if the raspberry pi can
substitute a common
audio communicator
such as the radio. By
knowing basic devices
such as a phone
implements aspects
of radio
communication inside
of it, I know radio is a
common device
I need to know how
the raspberry pi has
the ability to do such
a thing so when its
actually doing it I
know whats going on
I would like to know
what is going on with
the raspberry pi as I
am turning it into an
FM radio. If something
goes wrong I will
hopefully know how to
fix it by knowing this
I need to relate the




r 18th


similar to the
raspberry pi
FM radio


idea of audio
communication into
through the raspberry
pi back into other
applications of
raspberry pi that are
similar to it. I need to
know this to have a
better understanding
of the underlying and
important purpose of
this project

r 18th

Radio is a transfer of energy through waves. It is a method if

transferring electrical energy without the use of solid wires (wireless).
A Transmitter is used to transmit the electrical signals to a receiver,
and a receiver is the receiver of the electrical signals. Radios work by
changing sounds and signals into radio waves. Theses waves travel
through space, air, and any solid object. The receiver takes in these
waves and changes them into songs, sounds, music, and messages we
can understand.
Radio waves and Radio wave lengths are measured in Hertz. One
hertz is equal to one cycle per second (one complete wave passes a
given point in one second of time). Depending on the amount of hertz
in a radio, the signal it reaches can be extensive. This FM radio does
not have much hertz in it so it will probably go about 200 meters at the
max depending on how well I complete this creation. When you send
out a radio signal you create electromagnetic fields in the air. When
you use the electric current you excite air particles and disturb the
normal fields. These disturbances are not necessarily bad because they
create the necessary waves for transmitting signals. Other radios can
capture these waves and convert the signals and waves into songs,
sounds, and music. Antennas are the objects that catch and send out
the waves and radio receivers are the ones that change the signal to
something we can understand. The pieces of a radio and the internal
mechanisms allow a radio to decode wave and decipher the rhythm
being transmitted from a separate transmitter. This decoding and
converting of data is called modulation. Radio transmitters produce
radio waves on a range of frequencies. By changing the frequency you
change what is being communicated and transmitted through the radio
In a radio there you can either set the setting to FM or AM; these
are ways of broadcasting radio signals. Both transmit information
received in the form of electromagnetic waves. AM and FM differ in the
way in which they interact with frequency and amplitude of the waves.

FM varies the frequency and keeps the amplitude constant, and AM

varies the amplitude of the signal (depending on info being sent) and
keeps the frequency constant. Their difference is actually stated in
their names: AM=amplitude modulation, FM=frequency modulation.
There are other differences between these two setting but this the
main, most important, one.
Today radio is used quite a lot. Although most people know radio
as something that plays music rather than a communication device,
the basic idea and blueprint of radio is implemented in many of our
other communication devices. A lot of these audio communication
devices need radio waves to operate. Some examples are: cordless
phones, cell phones, satellite communications, television broadcasts,
etc. Although these common technological audio devices are not
technically radios, they are based off of the basic blueprint of radios.
Making radios and their communication purpose: common, and
something we use almost daily.
Although doing this project seems complicated, its really quite
simple. A large majority of the project is installing software into the
raspberry pi. The downloaded software will allow me to modulate audio
samples (definition explained previously) so that the sound coming out
of the radio is intelligible. The program does this by use of PWM
(modulation process). As you are downloading software, a program
being inputted is pifm. This pifm gives the raspberry pi the ability to at
as an FM radio. You cannot create the FM radio without this program.
While creating this FM radio, you need a pin to broadcast your station
out of. This pin is GPIO pin 4. The reason why you need this is because
you must attach your antenna to something is able to transmit sound.
The software downloaded does many things: it downloads pifm, it gives
you administrative power, it allows you to input you desired
song/sound to be played, etc. With this information I will have an
easier time finding out what is happening while turning the raspberry
pi into an FM radio and hopefully solve problems that arise while
completing this task.
One project that is similar to this one in its procedure and
purpose is: the creation of a wireless extender. This requires similar
materials and also implements important ideas of wireless connection
into its creation, which is also what the Raspberry pi FM radio does as
well. Also, both of these projects teach us the background info on
wireless networking and communication. Another project similar to
this one is the creation of a raspberry pi smartphone. Although this is
about 10x more complex than the FM radio, it still requires the same
basic idea of wireless connection. It has an antenna that exports and
takes in signals, and has the basic purpose of connection and audio
communication. This project requires a lot more materials and is
definitely more complex than the FM radio but it still relates back to
the ide of audio communication through the raspberry pi. Another

project that is simialir to the creation of transmitter radios is the

creation of walkie talkies. Walkie talkies are basically the same as
transmitter radios but they work as a transmitter and a receiver of
signals. Both of these projects (radio and walkie talkie) teach us
wireless networking and communication through sounds and audio
signals. The walkie talkie also has channels in which you can tune into
to, to listen to the signal and also send out signals to the person that
are sending out the signals you hear. The creation of the walkie talkie
is the same as the creation of the radio transmitter except for the fact
that the walkie talkies contain receiver mechanisms as well as
transmitter mechanisms. Walkie talkies also have instant recievers and
transmitters. In contrast the transmitter radio, walkie talkies are able
to instantly broadcast sounds and signals. The Raspberry pi radio must
sound files before transmitting them. It is not instant like the walkie
talkies are.
On the instructables website I have decided to follow the
instructions step by step because all of the materials and resources in
the instructions are exactly the same. Also the purpose of the project is
exactly the same as my own. I will copy this project step by step
because most of the requirements are the same.
I do not know for sure what I will be transmitting and
broadcasting but it will be one a sound file

1. Raspberry pi
2. USB power supply
3. Antenna
4. Working monitor
5. Micro USB cable
6. 2 GB SD card with Raspbian
7. Saved sound file to transmit through radio
8. Working FM radio (sends out 76-90 Megahertz)
9. A set FM frequency
1. Internet connection to download software
2. Radio must have FM setting.
3. Must be able to transmit a signal at least 10 meters
4. Sound must be clearly identified/recognized when testing a
5. Sound must last for at least 2 minutes on a radio without
breaking off
6. Sound must play on a .wav file, not an .mp3 or .mp4 file

7. Sound must be heard on a station frequency between 87.1 and

108. 1
8. Sound/song must be transferred to an FTP server
9. Sound on radio must have minimal cracks, pops, fade-outs, fuzzy
sounds, etc. to recognize set sound.
Must use GPIO pin 4