A shiny new life for an old Lenco internet radio

Some months ago my Lenco internet radio wasn’t usable anymore since the original software seemed to get faulty over time and further the manufacturer dropped support completely. Nethertheless I liked the sound quality of the radio and it was really easy to use (compared to a bluetooth box, a smartphone and an unhandy radio app).

So I throw the old hardware away and figured out, together with St, how to wire the display, the keypad matrix and the speakers to the Raspberry PI. To my surprise, this is easier than I thought :)

Raspberry PI wired to the control pcb of the radio

Additional hardware requirements for the project are a wifi antenna, an external usb audio dongle (internal audio quality is really bad on the old RaspberryPI) and a small digital amplifier chip. I used to different power supplies for the amplifier and the PI to avoid noisy cracking on the sound output (common ground problem).

Wiring to the HD44780 display and the keypad matrix

Fortunately there are enough free GPIO pins available to wire the HD44780 display and the keypad matrix to the PI. One can find plenty of documentation and tutorials, for the display, the corresponding RPLCD library and also useful modules to manage the keypad.

The complete source code can be found on our Gitlab instance, but don’t expect some sophisticated python program. It is really simple but atleast works fine so far :) Here’s a demo video:

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