After being inspired by the NFC tech in his Google Nexus 5, maker Lukas Vierhaus began work on a Raspberry Pi radio that could connect his daughter to family that was scattered around Germany.
Vierhaus then encouraged grandparents and other family members to record themselves reading fairy tales and other short stories, and started work on a simple radio for his two-year-old child.
The finished product, which you can listen to in the video below, features only a single volume knob, a pair of speakers and a slot for the NFC tags to play the requested audio.
The tags themselves are laminated between two pieces of paper featuring cover art to easily identify what audio they will play. Once inserted into the radio the media will load from the internal SD card (in the case of the custom recordings) or it will stream from Google Music.
To improve that secondary functionality, there’s also a USB wifi adaptor to help it keep a constant connection to the internet. A USB sound card is also suggested for improved audio.
Right now the radio has no internal battery and needs to be plugged into a wall.
Like many of the past DIY radios we’ve featured in the past, the enclosure here is 3D printed.
Vierhaus tells us that the modelling was done in Tinkercad over the course of about 30 to 50 hours as he’s so new to the software and 3D printing in general.
After around 14 hours of printing there was some sanding to smooth it out a bit, but Vierhaus admits it’s still a bit rough.
The finished radio has no paint as specific filament colours were chosen to give it a very toy-like look.
If you’d like to print one, the files are free to download from Thingiverse. This version is 19 X 5.25 X 13.8 centimetres and comfortably fits the required electronics.
The project is a heavily modified version of the Speaky airplay speaker, which can also be found on Thingiverse. The Speaky does lack NFC functionality, but has a lot of supporting documentation to make your own.