RadioGlobe – Spin to Search Over 2000 Web Radio Stations!

GENERIC TOOLS:I’ve suggested basic tools, such as Drills, Soldering Irons, Files, Drill Bits, etc.

To be candid, the project is certainly ‘intermediate’ to ‘high’ level in complexity, so I’m although I’m not expecting you to have a New Yankee Workshop, I am assuming you have at least a fair toolbox. But I can reassure you that this does not require anything especially exotic to make, other than 3D Printing.

Perhaps the best ‘non standard’ purchase is a set of Step Drill Bits, as these make everything so much easier.
Step Drill Bits:
Needle Files:
CSK Bits:

In case interested, these are the tools I use, but you’re welcome to use any that do a fair job:

Soldering Iron (mid-range, and well reviewed!): Hakko FX888-D:
Lightweight Drill: (5 years and going strong!)
Rotary Tool: (Psst! – it’s better than Dremel, and only a little bit more expensive!)

In case you hadn’t guessed, ‘slicing’ the world into tiny segments requires some fancy hardware! For this a used a Bourns Rotary 1024 Pulse Absolute Encoder. It’s a mouthful, but basically it slices the world into 0.3degree slithers – which is pretty tiny. So this is probably the only component you really have to go out of your way to source…

Rotary Encoder:… (order 2x).
You can of course use others, like DigiKey in the US, but you may need to do some extra work in the Code and the CAD if you don’t find this exact one.
A word on Brass inserts… Ever since my days working for Dyson, I’ve come to realise that being able to disassemble is as important as assembling a prototype. If one uses a lot of glue, it can be a nightmare trying to ‘undo’ this step. Also, the project was designed to be improved upon, so you may well make adjustments and this means you’re changing a minimum of parts.

If you’d prefer to simply use screws and assume a ‘assemble once’ approach, my suggestion would be to reduce the holes, either in the CAD, or by plugging the holes with 4mm rod, and making a pilot hole.

M3 Brass Inserts:… (essential)
M4 Brass Inserts:… (optional)

The Globe is of course a pretty important component to get right: I’ve used a 20cm diameter Globe from here: I’m sure others will be close enough, so long as the size is the same.(I suspect others of the same dimension can be fitted just as easily at the axes, especially fi you have a 3D printer.)Raspberry Pi 4BI worked with the latest model Pi, but I’ve had it on good authority that RadiGlobe runs on older RasPis.*…

The only thing to note if that the CAD parts are designed for the Model 4, so you’d need to do some minor tweaks to fit the power supply (Model 3 is Micro USB and Model 4 is now USB-C). No biggie, but FYI.

*Update: Just tested it on RasPi3B+ = works fine!


Much of these can be purchased in electronics stores, or are readily available online. Links are provided for reference.

M3 x 6mm (Hex Head) Bolts: (Link) and M3 x 4mm (CSK Pozi Head) bolt: (Link) Suggest 50x pack of each.

LCD Screen: (see image)

Buttons: (3x).Generic momentary 12x12x9mm type. (see image)

Jog Wheel:…

Protoboards for Raspberry Pi:

(If you’d like to save a bit of money you can simply solder the PCBs up yourself as I have done initially, or you can download the gerber files and send away to be made). LINK to gerber files.

RGB LED (Common Cathode): (I’d suggest a box set is more cost effective).

20cm Jumper Cables: Also purchase 30cm Jumper Cables (or be ok with splicing 2 together to make 30cm long). (see image)

Header Pins – 90 degree:

4mm Steel Rod:…

3.17mm to 4mm Coupling: (This is to connect the steel rod, above, to the Rotary Encoder).*
4mm Coupling Flange: (This connect the 4mm rod to the globe).*

*If you wanted to be very economical, one could 3D print these (and use grub screws), but I think it would be a false economy as it will likely wear loose over time. You call.

TIP: Couplings are often available in ‘RC Stores’, as they are used to make planes, and RC cars, etc.

3D PRINTER:Other models are available, but for a quick google, you’ll find that at the time of writing this, the Ender 3 is just a terrific all rounder, and very cheap at $200 / £200. It really is hard to argue with this price as a way to get into 3D printing, and as a heads up, you’d need a bed size of at least 230x230mm to do this project (or you have to build some parts in pieces if you prefer). Ultimakers, Lulzbots and MakerBots, etc. will also work.

Recommended: Ender 3:

In addition, some useful ‘modifications’ you may want to consider:
Nozzles: (having a larger nozzle means you can print faster. I actually did much of the ‘big’ parts at 1mm, as I was iterating fast, but one day, I’ll make it super accurate at a 0.4mm nozzle…perhaps!)
I used Eryone 1.75mm(dia) PLA: but of course others are available.
You can easily build this with 1kg spool, probably 0.5 or 0.75kg will also be fine.


This project has been done for the DesignSpark community, which is owned by RS Components, so some items listed are sourced from their website. However, where possible (or when ‘Generic’ is more globally available), Amazon or eBay has been listed to illustrate alternatives are available, to be in the spirit of helping makers keep costs low. Although RS has been the ‘go to’ for specialist components like the Rotary Encoders, please do use your own judgement if deviating from these, as code/interfaces/power/etc. may differ. This is a by definition a V1.0 prototype, and is also continually evolving. Thanks for being a part of this Open Source adventure and sharing ideas and improvements!

Please be aware that these stations have not been vetted. They have been compiled by an algorithm, not hand-picked by a human. So it’s unlikely, but not impossible that some might not be suitable for kids, or even as an adult they might not to be your taste. Also worth bearing in mind that the timezones do of course allow one to access a ‘late night’ talk show where there may be some cuss words, etc. I suspect most people smart enough to make this will be smart enough to figure this out and supervise their kids accordingly. But just a heads up for schools, etc. If you think something is totally off, do let us know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed