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Haunted Radio

A creepy old radio that will turn on and play haunting sounds

and eerie audio when you enter the room.



I found an old radio in a Home Depot parking lot and I figured I could do something fun with it, so I scooped it up and brought it home.  The thing is creepy and my kids suggested that it was probably haunted, which inspired me to take it to the next level and really turn this into the thing of nightmares.


The idea would be to gut the thing entirely and then replace the internals with a Raspberry Pi, some speakers, a motion sensor, and an LED so that when someone walks into the room the radio turns on (the dial will flicker) and plays the creepiest audio I can find.  Once the audio is done the light turns off and it goes back to sleep until the next person enters the room.

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Expected Functionality

  • Sound Level Meter to measure noise levels

  • Screen to:

    • show current sound level

    • show calibration percentage

    • show adjusted min and max db levels on the display

  • 256 LED Matrix to visually display sound level

  • 4x4 membrane to:

    • calibrate

    • change color scheme

    • turn off backlight of LCD screen

    • Adjust min and max db levels on the display

  • Ability to store settings so they don't reset (EEPROM capable board)

  • Mountable on the wall

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Obviously not an all-inclusive list, but enough to give you an idea on the parts list if you had any intention of replicating something similar.

  • An old creepy radio

  • Raspberry Pi (I used a PI 3 Model B)

  • PIR Motion Sensor

  • 3W Stereo Speaker Bonnet

  • Stereo Enclosed Speaker Set - 3W 4 Ohm

  • Single white LED

  • 220Ω resistor

  • An assortment of M2.5 brass spacers and standoffs

  • A bunch of 22 AWG hook-up wire

Full code can be found here:

Things I Learned

  • This is still in "alpha".  The code is a mess, the LED flicker functionality needs some work, and I need to figure out ways to make this more customizable without needing to update code (ex: some sort of config file or something).

  • I need a 3D printer.  I didn't have any way to create mounts for all the internals, so I just relied on lots of hot glue and cardboard.

  • The speakers make an audible "pop" every time new media is played, I need to address this.

  • While I'm more comfortable writing Python code, it's really a tossup between if a Pi or an Arduino is easier to work with.  They both have their pros and cons.  For example, I love that there's an entire OS on the Raspberry Pi so I can have multiple applications built and deployed onto it ... however, the OS is also slow as it's doing so much more than just a micro-controller.


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