Sat, 02 Nov 2019

My Kitchen Radio

I grew up with my parents having a transistor radio in the kitchen. It was usually playing news or sports or my Dad’s favorite jazz station. I always liked the idea of having one in the kitchen, to accompany meal prep, cleanup, dishwashing, etc.

Raspberry Pi 3b

A few years ago, I decided what I really wanted in the kitchen, though, was a streaming radio / remote speaker. I realize I could have gone with a smart speaker or a simple Bluetooth speaker, but I really wanted something flexible, and I liked the idea of building a DIY radio with off-the-shelf parts.

It was pretty easy to build a Raspberry Pi system and get Volumio running on it. In addition to supporting playback of local media, Volumio also supports web radio and can work as an AirPlay remote speaker.

I added a USB laptop speaker with a built in DAC, similar to this one (it fits perfectly on the counter ledge, hidden behind a small plant) and I was ready to go.

small speaker

Quite often, I’ll want to stream audio from my phone, when streaming an EPL match, for example. This is pretty straightforward — I just need to switch my audio output to my fancy kicthen radio.

NFC card

Thankfully, IOS 13 adds some nice automation options that make this as simple as can be. I keep a credit card-sized NFC-enabled card in the little nook where the radio lives. Now, all I need to do is wave my phone past the card and the audio output is redirected to the kitchen radio. This triggers a Shortcuts automation so that I con’t even need to unlock my phone or go fiddling with audio settings.

:: 14:35
:: /tech/gadgets | [+]
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For the fashion of Minas Tirith was such that it was built on seven levels,
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— J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Return of the King”

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