Sample Project

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First of all:

Exploration of your radio this way will void the warranty. Neither do it (i. e. the hardware modification), if you are an electronics newbie or don't have the appropriate tools and skills. An internet radio (or some other 'high density' printed circuit board) ain't the battlefield for soldering irons like flame throwers - with respect to the small component sizes and narrow contact spacings - nor a dedicated object for the art of poker work. Ask a radio or television technician instead, if you should get that infected...

The background:

It's the merits of the Sharpfin project and the 'petite' offer from Avox, that I've finally bought a Reciva based radio - and not a Penbex or Frontier Silicon one, or the even more intuitive Logitech Squeezebox Radio instead. From the very beginning I wanted to have a chance to know what's going on in the box. Last but not least, the pictures of the Petite's innards, contributed by Reciva forum member Zeewier ( [1] ), convinced me to buy this one.

A second set of pictures (same thread) promised to make it possible to ignore my screwdriver-mania (for a certain period of time) and act like a normal internet radio customer. Moreover, I just hadn't read all that Reciva stuff from the depths of the WWW. But soon I would have to take the potential risk of sharpfinning my box, necessary anyway to find out more and for a better idea of the options.

However, really playing around with the configs and potentially bricking the radio obviously demanded some extra precautions. As I didn't succeed in persuading myself to spend 38 € for grabbing a Revo pico from display without wall wart and for certain with dead batteries, I had to look or wait for alternatives...

So another thread in the Reciva forum hit the spot 'just-in-time': [2]. Stevegb and Dogmatix (with an anticipation by Drgeoff) worked out all the things necessary, to allow debricking of the Barracuda in situ (without swapping it to a different radio) by changing the radio's hardware ID (product code). Or, perhaps even better, leaving the radio's original configuration untouched and tailoring a second one, meeting some personal needs - or just out of sheer curiosity.

And now, better still, that second personality can be achieved with some kind of mimicry. The radio gets a second set of config and lircd files (lircd = configuration of the remote control) without changing its 'outside' product code and with that its dynamic features ('Personal Radio' stuff in particular). Or the hard core experimenter may split its personality into separate hardware and software fractions - to have a look how it 'feels' to have a Livio or a NPR for instance. I'll come back to that later.

But the final impetus to start the adventure was given by a One-For-All universal remote as a bargain offer, providing an addition of eight buttons, shifting, changing and some free coding of buttons and a macro capability. That seemed to be a good starting point to upgrade the radio, to put some of the options mentioned at the Sharpfin sites within easy reach without sacrificing others. Additionally the URC3940 (Slim Line 4) has a JP1 connector, which will allow further explorations and tinkering... (Didn't I touch upon the '130-in-one Electronics Lab Kit' character of the project?)


1) The Universal Remote