RDA5807 and RF Fun!

I have always been told that as an electronics dude I have to be part of some amateur radio club and communicate with others alike the whole day and night or at least build radio receivers for commercial stations… Well, this has never been my thing, but since everyone wanted it so much, here we go … Mind you, I don’t have enough interest in it, but well … I have free AliDuino board, I have noticed RDA5807 for like 5 bucks in our local electronics store … I have my favorite radio show, which is on air 1h per week and this X-hour happens to be tomorrow (at the time of writing it was tomorrow, but then life happened and I haven’t published this post on the same day, so it the show was on air today (at a time of publishing)) <– note two brackets. That is called being an engineer! You always do this bullshit … So, well … Fuck it all!

Yeah, the first thing is that for some reason, RDA comes in this weird package, that nobody really wants to solder, but manufacturers feel the other way around … So, let’s get some pins to it…

And this is why I hate cats … A bloody cat hair all over the pins on the left hand side ruining the whole picture of the shittiest soldering that I have done in my life…

And then getting it all on the shieldboard … together with the arduino and all other crap that we might need. I first thought that I wanna do the breadboard design before soldering it all together, but then I’ve decided that prototyping is a waste of time (well, actually have a couple of urgent things to do for my customers, thus quite limited in time), so straight to the shield, no mercy!

and yes, to the messy breadboard bin for another hour while I’m working on other stuff…

Don’t really know why, but I prefer to mount wiring on top, while building on shield board or similar. Perhaps makes it a bit easier to troubleshoot connections. Now the basic I2C connections are done, time to see if it will operate without any extra pullups… Let’s get coding …

Again, fucken cat hair all over the place … for fuck sake!

Aaaaand … guess what? Right! The Chinduino board was faulty, I don’t have any desire to troubleshoot 1 dollar board for 30 minutes, so we are REBUILDING! Now with the proper prototype style in mind!

Check the RDA side soldering! That is a masterpiece!

Quick upload of the software that I have proudly stolen from: https://github.com/lucsmall/Arduino-RDA5807M and we are in business! It kinda looks like it is talking on I2C, but I’m not exactly sure … Let’s see … Need to add the tuning part, some coupling and connect it to antena & amp …

Added a piece of twisted pair cable (as long as it was when I took a pair out of the old ethernet cord, perhaps 3-4m), connected output to my AMP, loaded quick sketch that I have found on google … and hey! The Chinese magic! It worked!

So, as a result, I was able to listen to my fav radio show without too much noise in the background (yes, the signal is rather low at our area). But I feel that I might benefit from coupling caps on output and perhaps some filter/amplifier for the antenna. Quite a number of things seem to cause disturbances, especially my chinese-magic soldering iron & even external (indoor, but external) 4G antennas.

So, perhaps in one of the next posts I can talk about adding all missing analog goodies to it and, of cause, the AudioAMP circuit is coming. But, as for now, back to the digital world hacking! Routers won’t hack themselves!

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