RS Components (RS), a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, a global omni-channel solutions partner for industrial customers and suppliers with operations in Australia and New Zealand, has released RadioGlobe, an open-source DesignSpark engineering project that features a real globe as its user interface.
By turning the globe, users can tune into internet radio stations from around the world.
RadioGlobe has been designed and released in collaboration with well-known British technologist and inventor, Jude Pullen.
The project was commissioned to celebrate the 10th anniversary of DesignSpark and the release of the latest DesignSpark Mechanical Version 5.0 software, with the goal of enabling human connection through technology.
DesignSpark is an online design community and resource centre for makers, students and design engineers. It was launched in 2010 to provide design engineers and students around the globe with a comprehensive range of free-of-charge software design tools, technical data and development resources.
Jude commented: “The idea behind RadioGlobe came from RS Components’ roots in supplying spare parts to radio repair shops, which led me to think about how we could make the radio experience more modern in a hyper-connected world using both physical components and digital technology. I think that DesignSpark and other maker communities will love this project, as it is open source and will therefore evolve with a truly global input of creativity and talent.”
Jude and his extended engineering team designed RadioGlobe using RS’ free-to-download DesignSpark Mechanical and DesignSpark PCB software and used 3D printing technology for the construction.
A Raspberry Pi 4 module interfacing to two high-precision rotary encoders track the longitude and latitude of locators positioned over the globe. This enables the Raspberry Pi to tune into an internet radio station transmitting from any global position. Music fans simply hover on a location to select any of the thousands of music radio stations available globally.
The DesignSpark RadioGlobe is an open source project, available for anyone to re-create and re-model. All of the CAD files and code are available on the DesignSpark website and GitHub in various formats, along with a bill of materials listing all the products required for the build. A step-by-step tutorial guide is also provided.