Thursday, April 21, 2005

DIY: podcast shower radio

Part list:
- Sony ICF-S79V (or any battery powered shower radio)
- Creative Muvo TX FM (or any player willing to take some steam)
- Stereo-to-stereo audio coupler (~$2 bucks at the shack, 274-1555)
- Audio patch cable (stereo to help out the FM transmitter)
- Belkin Tune Cast II FM Transmitter with auto-off
- Energizer Ni-MH rechargeables and charger

Project at a glance: creative muvo mp3 player -> stereo wire -> RF transmitter -> RF input of 87.7FM -> Sony shower radio

radio_tuner_connected

Think: I acquired a Sony ICF-S79V shower radio to listen to current events because I was falling behind now that podcasts were filling my radio time. After a few morning of bouncing back and forth between presets station during commercials i was frustrated b/c that was the beauty of podcasts, no commercials. (mr curry please help establish a standard for shows so we can scrape the commercials if we so choose to.) So back to my thoughts, how do I get podcasts to work with my shower radio?

sony_shwr_radio


Create: Simple solution (and probably clear by now). What is the only way to get input into this device, RF! I had a Belkin RF transmitter that worked poorly in my car but had everything I needed for this project. I was hoping to setup the RF outside the shower but I literally have to wrap the little antenna around the transmitter. I stopped over at radioshack to get an Audio-Coupler and pulled a stereo to stereo-stereo connector from an older PC speaker system. The next challenge was power! The best solution (and i am still impressed) was good 'ol Energizer Ni-Mh rechargeable batteries and the energizer charger from buy.com. I did some research on what all the specs meant and they came up as the best for price. All this for 10~15 minutes of audio freedom. I think its worth it!

spr_full_set_scaled


Complete: This setup has been working for me for the last 4 or 5 weeks. I have a routine were i charge the 3 C batteries (+1 C battery in storage b/c you have to buy and charge them in pairs, how convenient) every 2 weeks. One issue I have had was when removing the batteries and charging it overnight I loose the presets and time on the radio. I am going to invest in standby C (regular) batteries so i can the time in the device. The RF transmitter needs to charge its 2 AAA batteries whenever it dies, haven't figured out its pattern yet. My creative muvo has 1 AAA labeled #1 and when the #2 battery is dead they both go into the charger. Sounds really silly but it works like a charm. Now to figure out if the steam will affect my devices ... time will tell.

mp3_player over_the_top

I stayed away from “plug in the outlet” components here for my safety. I do NOT recommend using A/C electricity for anything in this project ... be safe! Also when dealing with water, i am willing to sacrafice any parts used in this project so please understand what you are doing ... enjoy!

Thank you joanna for the sony radio [christmas], and the mp3 player & fm tuner [valentines].

nickc316 at gmail.com

6 comments:

John Riney said...

You can modify that TuneCast to stretch its broadcast range in a jiffy. I had to modify mine for doing pretty much the same thing you're doing - I wanted to listen to streaming radio in the shower. I wrote a little thing about it here

Internet Radio Rebroadcasting

Your Tunecast may vary, this is an article about modding a different kind -
tunecast antenna mod

With a couple extra feet of antenna wire, my transmitter can be heard down the block (!)

Enjoy!

--riney

nickc said...

i am going to try the "rebroadcasting" trick when i get home. thanks!

Anonymous said...

This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

What kind of total retard wouldn't be able to figure out that you can transmit stuff from an MP3 player to a shower radio? Furthermore, why the hell would you imply that this setup is just to listen to podcasts? Obviously it could be used with any audio from any device.

nickc said...

To Anonymous: the orignial problem stated was that i wanted to listen to the news but a larger problem arose, commercials. the solution to both issues was to listen to news podcasts, hence the name podcast shower radio. this is the sole purpose of this unit and it is what drove me to rig this up. I can go ~10 minutes without listening to music ... but I can utilize the time with some news. thanks for dropping by!

Joshua said...

Why not just get a cheap battery powered speaker, and a long audio wire? (Enough wire to leave the mp3 player outside the shower.)

No need to spend all that dough and hassle to make it wireless.

nickc said...

hey joshua ... i don't know of any battery powered speakers that are
water resistant and don't have a radio attached to it ... if you can
point me to one (DIY or store bought) then i can list it as an alternative. Placing the radio outside the shower didn't cut it because between the
exhaust fan, glass door, and the noise of the shower its tuff to listen to a show. the current setup fits my needs. thanks for the input!