ESP32 Internet Radio project with A 3.5″ Nextion Display

ESP32 Internet Radio project with A 3.5″ Nextion Display


Dear friends welcome to another project video! Today we are going to build an Internet Radio
device with a big 3.5” display using an inexpensive ESP32 board. Believe it or not, we can now build an Internet
Radio in less than 10 minutes and with less than 30$. There is a lot to cover so, let’s get started! Hello, guys, I am Nick and welcome to educ8s.tv
a channel that is all about DIY electronics projects. In this channel, I share everything about
the projects I build to help you develop similar projects or inspire you to start making things
because it is easy, fun and creative. Subscribe to the channel now if you do not
want to miss any future video. A few months ago, I completed this FM Radio
project which works great and looks even better in my opinion. If you want to see how I built this project
you can click on the card here. The problem is that, although this radio looks
cool it is not practical because I live in a small town in southern Greece and the big
Greek radio stations I prefer to listen to, do not have transmitters around here. So, I listen to my favorite radios online
on my laptop or tablet pc which is also not so practical. So, today I am going to build an Internet
radio device in order to be able to listen to my favorite radio stations from all over
the world! As you can see, a first version of the project
is ready on a breadboard. Let’s power it up. As you can see the project connects to the
Internet and then streams music from predefined Radio Stations. Let’s listen to it for a few seconds.…………..I
have tuned in to the Real FM radio station from Athens and by using these buttons we
can change the Radio Station we are listening to. I have saved my favorite radio stations to
the memory of the ESP32 so I can access them easily. With this potentiometer, I can change the
volume of the speaker. I display the Name of the Radio Station we
are listening to on a big 3.5” display with a retro User Interface. The project works fine and it is very easy
to build. You can build the same project in less than
10 minutes but you need to have some experience. If this is your first project, consider building
a simpler one first, to gain some experience. Check my channel for simple project ideas
and when you are more comfortable with the Arduino the electronics come back to build
this cool project. Let’s now start building our own Internet
Radio. We are going to need the following parts:
• An ESP32 board • A VS1053 Decoder module
• A 3.5” Nextion display • A PAM8403 amplifier module
• One or Two 3W speakers • Two push buttons
• A Breadboard • Some wires
The total cost of the project is around 40$ but if you don’t use a display the cost
of the project is around 20$. Amazing stuff. We can build our own Internet radio with just
20$! You can find links to all the parts I use
in the description of the video below. The heart of the project is, of course, the
powerful ESP32 board which offers Wi-Fi connectivity and a lot of memory. As you can see from the specs, the ESP32 is
a beast and it costs around 7$! The ESP32 board connects to the Internet and
then it receives MP3 data from the radio station we are listening to. The MP3 data is then sent to the MP3 decoder
module using the SPI interface. This module uses the VS1053 IC. This IC is a dedicated hardware MP3 decoder. It gets the MP3 data from the ESP32 and converts
it really fast into an audio signal. The audio signal that it outputs at this audio
jack is weak, so we need to amplify it. That’s why I am using a PAM8403 audio amplifier
to amplify the audio signal and then send it to a speaker. I have also connected two buttons to the ESP32
just to change the MP3 Stream we are getting data from and a Nextion display to display
the Radio station we are listening to. I chose to use a Nextion display for this
project since it is very easy to use. We only need to connect one wire to control
it. The Nextion displays are new kind of displays. They have their own ARM processor at the back
which is responsible for driving the display and creating the graphical user interface. So, we can use them with any microcontroller
and achieve spectacular results. I have prepared a detailed review of this
Nextion display which explains in depth how they work, how to use them and their drawbacks. You can watch it by clicking on this card. All we have to do now is to connect all the
parts together according to this schematic diagram. You can find a link to it in the description
of the video below. The connection is straightforward. There is one thing to note though. The MP3 decoder module outputs a Stereo Signal
but I am using only one audio channel in this project. In order to get the audio signal, I connected
an audio cable to the audio jack of the module, and cut it to reveal four wires inside. I connected two of the wires. One of them is the GND and the other one is
the audio signal of one of the two audio channels. If you wish you can connect both channels
to the amplifier module and drive two speakers. To send data to the display, we only need
to connect one wire to the TX0 pin of the ESP32. After connecting the parts, we have to load
the code to the ESP32, and we have to load the GUI to the Nextion display. To load the GUI to the Nextion display, copy
the InternetRadio.tft file I am going to share with you to an empty SD card. Put the SD card into the SD card slot at the
back of the display. Then power up the display, and the GUI will
be loaded. Then remove the SD card and connect the power
again. After successfully loading the code, let’s
power up the project. It displays the text “Connecting…” for
a few seconds on the display. After connecting to the internet the project
connects to a predefined radio station. The hardware is working as expected but now
let’s see the software side of the project. First of all, let me show you something. The code of the project is less than 140 lines
of code. Think about it, we can build an Internet Radio
with a 3.5” Display with 140 lines of code, this is amazing. We can achieve all this using various libraries
of course which contain thousands of lines of code. This is the power of Arduino and the Open
source community. It makes things easy for makers. In this project, I am using the VS1053 library
for the ESP32 board. At first, we have to define the SSID and the
Password of the Wi-Fi network. Next, we have to save some Radio Stations
here. We need the host URL, the path where the stream
is located and the port we need to use. We save all this info into these variables. I have included 4 radio stations in this example. In the setup function we attach interrupts
to the buttons, we initialize the MP3 decoder module and we connect to the Wi-Fi. In the loop function, first of all, we check
if the user has selected a different radio station than the one we are getting data from. If so, we connect to the new radio station
else we get data from the stream and send them to the MP3 Decoder module. That’s all! When the user presses a button, an interrupt
happens, and changes the value of a variable which tells which stream to connect to. To update the display, we simply send some
commands to the serial port. Now let’s take a look at the Nextion Display
GUI. The Nextion GUI consists of a background picture
and a picture which displays the name of the Radio Station. The ESP32 board send commands to change the
name of the radio station from the embedded images. It is very easy. Please watch the Nextion display tutorial
I have prepared some time ago for more information. You can quickly design your own GUI if you
wish and display more things on it. As always you can find the code of the project
in a link in the description of the video. This project is very simple. I wanted a simple Internet Radio project skeleton
to work with. Now that a first version of the project is
ready we can add many features to it to improve it. First of all, I need to design an enclosure
to house all the electronics. In this book about the Most Beautiful Radios
ever made there are very cool radios to choose from as an enclosure for this project. I think I am going to build an enclosure around
this spectacular Art Deco radio. What do you think, do you like the looks of
this radio or do you prefer something more modern? Do you have any other enclosure ideas? Also, do you like this Internet Radio project
and what features do think we need to add to it to make it more useful? I would love to read your thoughts and Ideas
so, please post them in the comments section below. If this is your first time here, I would love
to have you subscribed. In this channel, I post videos about DIY projects
twice a month. I love making things, and I believe that anyone
can make things, anyone can become a maker. That’s why I created this channel, to share
my knowledge with the community and learn from the community. I hope you will join us. I will see you in the next video!