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AudioFox 24th November 2007 07:14 AM

Need a Radio Schematic.
Over the past few days I've been searching the internet for a decent FM Radio schematic, so far I've found tons of kits, transmitters, and those things they use to teach children about electronics (that couldn't pick up a radio station if it were coupled to the transmitter), but nothing really useful. I'm building a table radio, I have an excellent design for the cabinet but nothing to put in it. What I need is a transistor receiver covering the regular US FM band (88-108MHz) with relatively good sensitivity and selectivity, and the ability to drive one or two six inch (8 ohm) speakers. Stereo would be nice, but isn't necessary. I'd like to do this with discrete components, but ICs would be alright as long as the sensitivity and sound are good. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

pinkmouse 24th November 2007 09:37 AM

There are a couple of old threads on this already, and the general opinion from those in the know is that the specialist equipment and knowledge required to set up a tuner makes it very difficult. However, if you do find a circuit that is simple to set up, then I would be very interested.

AudioFox 25th November 2007 05:49 AM

Tuners aren't really as hard as you may think. I've been rebuilding old radios for years and have seen sets with as few as four tubes for AM or six or seven transistors for FM that can acheive relatively good fidelity with such a small speaker. The problem that I'm having so far is that all of the circuits I've found on the net are much too simple, one or two transistors, with the ability to possibly pick up one or two strong stations. The closest I've come so far is this circuit, which is interesting, but it uses an obselete IC, model TDA7000, that hasn't been manufactured for years, and none of my suppliers know of a cross-reference for it.
It doesn't have to be ultra hi-fi or super sophisticated, so a schematic from an older (1980s or so) portable could do nicely. I have a book with with about thirty or so designs for FM radios and even more for AM, if only I could find the blasted thing. :( What would be ideal would be a small tuner circuit, around four transistors or an IC, which outputs a line-level audio signal, then I could use one of the many small amplifiers I've built over the years to drive the speaker.
I have an excellent AM/FM portable from the 70s (A little rectangular thing made by GE) that plays like a champ and uses eight transistors (and lots of "fun" little trimmers to spend hours playing with). I could probably duplicate it with some effort, but I'd much rather have a schematic to go by. In any case, I hope I can find the book soon.

Nordic 25th November 2007 06:03 AM

Why not look around at a fleamarket... I picked up 2 tuners allready for less than $10, you can then transplant the innards into your new case...

AudioFox 25th November 2007 06:25 AM

I thought about it, but I enjoy torturing myself with problems like this. This is going to be a gift, and I really wanted it to be totally home made. If I get frustrated enough and can't find a proper design in the next week or so I may have to do just that. I have another nine-volt portable from the mid-60s with a damaged case that I could recap and build a power supply for, but it just seems a little too easy.

I_Forgot 25th November 2007 08:36 AM

Many mp3 players now have FM radios built in. They must be using a single IC for the receiver circuit. If you can obtain the IC you can build your own radio. The easiest/cheapest way to obtain the IC is probably to buy an mp3 player and extend the user interface to the front panel of your box and add an audio amp to drive speaker(s).


Nordic 25th November 2007 09:12 AM

that could be neat if you can incorporate the display...

These tiny $2 portable radios are crap though... I have one somewhere that drives earphones louder on its own than through a headphone amp... I assume some impendance mismatch...

poynton 25th November 2007 12:56 PM


Originally posted by AudioFox
........ obselete IC, model TDA7000, .

good luck

AMV8 25th November 2007 07:22 PM

If you want to build one the best I have found is tjhat by J L Hood. I have built two and they beasily beat the Quad FM4.

Let me know if you find it difficult to find the circuit and articles.


AudioFox 26th November 2007 06:42 AM


Originally posted by poynton
good luck

Thanks. They don't ship to the US, but I did find one
here for a small sum. What's really a shame is that I found one in an old car radio about four hours after I ordered it, but at least I'll have a spare. Apparently there were a lot of these things (link includes schematic) floating around back in the '80s and early '90s, a lot of them sold by Tandy for hobbyist use. Its a shame they don't make these any more, an entire 1.5μV sensitive superhet receiver on a single IC sounds pretty nice, no trimmers to mess with, and its tuned with a pot.

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