If after months spent trapped at home you’re on the brink of exhausting both Spotify and Apple Music’s extensive collections, Jude Pullen has designed and built a unique alternative for finding new music: an interactive globe that lets you target and stream radio stations from all over the world.
Pullen, who previously worked at companies like Dyson and Lego, created the RadioGlobe to help celebrate the tenth anniversary of the DesignSpark community, which helps bring together makers, engineers, and designers to help facilitate their creations. Starting with a cheap 20-centimeter desk globe found on Amazon, Pullen designed custom electronics and 3D printed parts and combined them with other readily available components, including rotary encoders, an LCD display, and a Raspberry Pi, to create the interactive piece that can currently locate and stream over 2,000 radio stations.
The RadioGlobe project is completely open-source, and you can head over to the DesignSparks Github repository to grab all the files and plans you’d need to build one yourself. Pullen documented the design and build of the RadioGlobe in a series of blog and video posts you can follow here, but if you’re seriously interested in tackling a project like this yourself, they’ve also created a detailed step-by-step Instructables tutorial including links to all the parts and tools you’ll need to build it—as well as a 3D printer.
Before you start, it’s probably not a bad idea to scroll through the very long Instructables tutorial so you can get an idea of what lies ahead of you. Intricate wiring and soldering are required, as well as some fairly advanced building and assembly techniques to put all of the many 3D printed parts together. It’s not exactly something you’re going to throw together in an afternoon, but if you successfully slog through the build it could help you discover new music you wouldn’t otherwise have access to, and give you a chance to experience annoying morning host banter from all over the world.