When you stream a TikTok video, send a Facebook messages to your love ones, or listen to your favorite music on Youtube, something magical happens, the video, images just appear on your phone or laptop out of thin air, isn’t it magical?
Still, many of us take it for granted and never think about how the content gets from where it starts to where we are. If you can connect to Wi-Fi and your device works, that’s all we need, right? Who cares about it technically of how it works anyway, Pfff, who got time for that!
But today, we’re moving past that level of indifference and diving into the fascinating world of radio signals, which are the invisible bloodstream of our digital lives. If you know these basic things, you’ll be better able to understand how the world you are living in now work better. Think about next time that you explain the whole Wifi and 4G thing to a 10-year-old son or daughter of your when she/he ask and you can’t just say it’s magic, right?
How radio waves work?
A radio wave is essentially energy moving in a wave pattern through space around us. Visualize dropping a rock into a calm pond. The waves that spread out from the point of impact are like radio waves that come out of a transmitter (the wave sender). And just like the waves eventually reach the border, radio waves eventually reach a receiver, which starts the process of sending a message.
A Very Brief Look at How Radio Transmissions Work
The receiver is a very important part of the radio. It accepts the incoming radio waves and turns them into sounds that we can understand. There are 2 kind of radio channel FM and AM. Do you remember what AM and FM stand for? They show different ways to change the radio signal so that it can carry information. AM (Amplitude Modulation) changes how strong the signal is, while FM (Frequency Modulation) changes how often the signal is sent, more information here if you are interested in learning about the different between AM and FM.
Radio waves are just one type of electromagnetic wave. Light and infrared are other types of electromagnetic waves. Each one has a different wavelength and frequency, which makes it good for a different job. Your signals for Wi-Fi and 4G ????? They are also radio waves, but they work at different frequencies so they don’t interfere with each other.
Build your own radio
Now is the time to get your hands dirty by making your own radio receiver or just simply a radio, the kind that your grandpa used to listen to. Maybe some of you still listen to the radio, if you do, please drop a comment in this blog, I will contact you 100%.
Making your own radio could be a fun project for people who like to learn about new (old) things. And since you can buy DIY kits on sites like Lazada and Shopee, it’s as easy as it is fun to do. But before you start, you should know that you will need a basic set of tools and some soldering skills to get through this DIY project.
Here is the list of things you will need to build a radio:
- Soldering iron
- Solder lead
- Screw driver
- Face mask – so that you don’t inhale the lead smoke when soldering
- A Radio DIY kit with all the components
- Wifi and phone – So you can go on youtube for walkthrough tutorial video in case got stuck
You can find a lot of options on Shopee by searching for terms like “DIY Electronics,” “Radio DIY,” or “Radio Kit DIY.” Even though there are so many options, I’ve chosen a few that I think are good below.
Options for a DIY Radio kits on shopee
Note: These kits will come with an instruction manual, please make sure to ask your seller to include the instruction, if it comes with no paperwork then you can look for the model on youtube, surely there will be someone has a tutorial video for it.
This is an example of an instruction document that comes with the kit.
If you are new to electronic I recommend to get started with a very basic kit so less thing can go wrong when you assemble it, the kit I have in the tiktok video below was a mistake because I messed up the digital clock part of it when assembling, only the radio part is working, the clock part is just there for fun and doesn’t work T.T T.T.
You can’t say enough about how important the radio is for communication. Radio technology has a big effect on our daily lives, whether it’s AM/FM stations, Wi-Fi, or 4G. By making your own radio, you not only get a fun do-it-yourself project, but you also learn about the world of radio waves that you can’t see.
Lastly, the tiktok video about my DIY radio, enjoy! Follow my tiktok for more projects like this!
Tell me about your difficulties and concerns when shopping or working on this DIY project in the comment! I’ll help you as much as I can.