How to Build a Simple Arduino-Powered Radio That Actually Works

Building a simple radio using an Arduino is a fun electronics project that allows you to listen to AM and FM radio stations. With just a few common components, you can make a radio that really works!

What You'll Need

To build an Arduino radio, you'll need:

How the Radio Works

The Arduino controls the entire radio. Here's a quick rundown of how it operates:

Breadboard Prototype

First, I'll walk through assembling the radio on a breadboard for testing:

Step 1: Connect the Arduino

Place the Arduino board on the breadboard. Connect power (5V and GND) and upload a blank Arduino sketch.

Step 2: Add the FM Module

Attach the FM radio module like the RDA5807M. Follow the pinouts in its datasheet. Typically, you connect power, ground, I2C for control, and audio out.

Step 3: Add the AM Module

Similarly, add the AM module like the TE301. Connect its power, ground, control, and audio out pins according to its datasheet.

Step 4: Connect a Speaker

Attach a small 8 ohm speaker or earbuds to the audio out pins of the modules. Make sure to verify which module to use for AM vs FM.

Step 5: Add Other Components

Optionally, attach buttons, a potentiometer, LCD display, etc. according to their pinouts. These let you control the radio.

Upload radio sketch examples from the Arduino IDE to test it out!

Building a Permanent Radio

Once the breadboard is working, I can make the radio more permanent by soldering it together on a PCB or perfboard.

Step 1: Design the Circuit

Figure out where each component and wiring connection will go. I like to draw out a circuit diagram first.

Step 2: Lay Out and Solder the Board

Place and solder all components on the PCB or perfboard according to your circuit plan.

Step 3: Add Control and Display Elements

Solder on any buttons, switches, potentiometers, and LCD display. Connect according to their pinouts.

Step 4: Construct an Enclosure

Add the circuit board to a plastic box or custom 3D printed enclosure. Drill holes for controls and mount the speaker.

Step 5: Upload Code and Enjoy!

Upload your Arduino sketch, attach power and an antenna, and enjoy listening to the radio you built!

Tips for Getting the Best Reception

To maximize the radio's reception:

With some tweaking, you can get excellent FM and AM reception from your homemade Arduino radio!


Building an Arduino-powered radio is an achievable and educational electronics project. With an Arduino, FM/AM modules, speaker and other basic components, you can create your own working radio for listening to local stations. Follow the breadboard and PCB assembly steps outlined here, and you’ll be tuning into radio stations in no time!