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Home > 2019 > Do your own radio! ∏-box: streaming and local FM radio broadcasting with a raspberry pi by ∏-Node (FR)

Do your own radio! ∏-box: streaming and local FM radio broadcasting with a raspberry pi by ∏-Node (FR)

Do your own radio! ∏-box: streaming and local FM radio broadcasting with a raspberry pi by ∏-Node (FR)

The workshop aims to build a ∏box and to experiment on it : a ∏Box is a modular system of radio/streaming broadcast, composed of multiples inputs and outputs. The ∏box aims to provide a multi-functional and easy-to-use micro-FM streaming station. It has been developed within the collective ∏ The system is open source, and based on open source software / open hardware.

∏Box is based on a Micro-FM way of practising and appropriating radio, which has been introduced in the 80th by the Japanese artist and researcher Tetsuo Kogawa (1). In comparison to the traditional radio broadcasting, this micro-radio transmits FM waves on a tiny perimeter, such as a house, a block, or a small zone. Technically, local and “narrowcasting” radio is also much more easy to set up! Combining an ultra local transmission mode with internet (Ethernet, Wifi or 4G), a ∏box leverages the possibilities of transmission. This technic aims to everyone to create a mini FM transmission station aggregated online, with the help of an Icecast server.

This micro FM/streaming radio station can be used in temporary or sustainable situations, from concerts, events, or talks broadcasting, including the audio archives of it, to the transmission of the memory of a neighborhood or the medium of a collective speaking. Thanks to its modular conception, the ∏box can adapt to the needs of everyone, everywhere!

Behind the goal of understanding and appropriating a technic of radio broadcasting, this workshop will also aim to create a social space, to confront to the stakes of the public speaking, to appropriate a media, in an horizontal way, that breaks with the more well known asymmetrical relationship between multiple invisible auditors and one single distant voice on air. Here, the animators of the show and the auditors are the same, and participate to a common shared situation, following Felix Guattari’s thinking on radio (3). The FM-streaming hybridization invites also to imagine artistic forms and actions based on this combination of technologies.

The workshop will start with a demo of the ∏box and a presentation of the technical concepts, to open to a discussion on the possible uses, before to install it from scratch, step by step, on a Raspberry-pi. So everyone is able to build and personalize his tool. An Icecast server will be setup specifically for the workshop, to get the overview of technical chain of transmission.




∏-node (FR) is a collective, which regroups emblematic figures of the sound art, radio and streaming scenes. The collective was created for the CTM 2014 Radio Lab, and was one of two recipients of the “Ubiquitous Art and Sound” Open Call for works, awarded by Deutschland Radio Kultur/Klangkunst, Goethe‐Institut, ICAS – International Cities for Advanced Sound, ECAS – European Cities for Advanced Sound, and CTM Festival.


Duration: 2 days, 10 hours , 10h30-17h (with a break)

Max 12 participants

Technical needs from Participants (per participant):

Required :

1 raspberry pi 3B or 3B+ or 2B (it works with Raspberry Pi under 2B but the 3B or 3B+ version are highly recommanded)

1 power plug micro usb (5V, 2A minimum)

1 micro SD card 8Go minimum (sdhc class 10)

1 WiFi USB dongle (or 2 WiFi USB dongles if you have a version of Raspberry Pi < 3B)

1 USB sound card like : (possible to use a Zoom H4N Pro as soundcard)

to bring :

a laptop

1 headphone (mini jack)

1 radio receiver (FM band)

sound, music, record files…

in option:

for a mobile ∏Box :

– battery : 12000mAh – USB output : 5V, 2A min

– smartphone to share internet connexion through 4G

– 1 case for raspberry-pi

to bring:

– recorder (tascam, zoom + mini-jack cable) > soundcard class compliant that can replace the tinny usb soundcard

– microphone (only micros working without phantom power, in shema = mini-jack)