Author Topic: GCW-Radio: Frontend for fmtools  (Read 4804 times)

Iron Hand (OP)

  • Posts: 6
GCW-Radio: Frontend for fmtools
« on: November 05, 2014, 07:09:59 pm »

this is my very first entry at Dingoonity within i want to share my litte radio project for the GCW-Zero.

GCW-Radio is a pygame frontend for fm and fmscan.

You can listen to UKW frequencies between 76.0-108.0 MHz with the build in FM-Tuner in the GCW Zero.


  • -use all needed functions of the fmtools fm and fmscan over subprocess commands (see the wrapper
  • -save unlimited favorit frequencies and station names
  • -analyze the total frequency range and plot in in a diagramm, find stations manualy are easyer with this
  • -autosearch of radio stations
  • -power-save mode, consume near no CPU and switch the backlight off without disable the FM tuner, button accident save include
  • -background mode, listen to radio while you play your favorit games
  • -speaker mode, switch the output between headphone and speaker

You can find the project on:

This is include the *.opk file.

Enjoy and have fun!


  • Posts: 203
Re: GCW-Radio: Frontend for fmtools
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2014, 10:25:20 pm »
Very cool.  I've been playing around with it today, and so far it does the job pretty well.

If I may, there are a few things that I feel could be improved:

- Stop scanning:  Currently I couldn't get the scan to stop after I started it. This is kinda annoying if you end up starting the scan with too low of a setting for it to pick up anything. I ended up having to hit the small hardware reset button to get my GCW to restart after trying too power down because it was locked in the scan.

- I couldn't get the frequency analyzing bar to show up at all. Not that it's vital for usage, I just thought i should mention it.

In any case, good job and thanks for sharing this!  8)

David Knight

  • Posts: 577
Re: GCW-Radio: Frontend for fmtools
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2014, 11:45:45 pm »
Thanks and welcome!

Iron Hand (OP)

  • Posts: 6
Re: GCW-Radio: Frontend for fmtools
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2014, 06:47:26 am »
Thanks for the welcomes,

its right you can?t stop the scan process in the moment, also the current search frequenzy is not shown in realtime. This will be fixed in the next version. For now use the "Scan all station" carefully. The scan can take a long time if you chose unfavourable config values.

Remember that the option "Scan for next station" always start the scan on the current frequenzy and stops after a station is found OR if the END frequenzy is reached if no station can be found.

Die analysing diagram can calculate with the "Scan all station" option. For this you have to set the start and end frequenzy by your own.
For example: 76-108 Mhz -> scans the total band and take a very long time, addicted to the chosen stepswidth. After scanning all once the diagramm will shown like in the pics. If you chose a smaller range the diagram only render a smaller area.

I will work on for new funktions and features.

Iron Hand (OP)

  • Posts: 6
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2014, 07:16:09 pm »
A little update is done.

Now the user can abort the scanning processes.

If you have interest report me bugs please.


  • Posts: 203
Re: GCW-Radio: Frontend for fmtools
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2014, 07:32:01 pm »
Thank you Iron Hand, for the explanation and the update!  I will check it out and report any bugs I find. Cheers!

Iron Hand (OP)

  • Posts: 6
Improved user input, new scan option
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2014, 07:12:58 pm »
Faster than expected another update are following.

-The user input box for the station names are now better to use and locks a little bit better from the rendering.
-A new scan option are added, the "Get Current Quality". Now you can get the quality in % from the current tuned frequenzy. Just select the option and press button A.

BTW to cancel a active scanning process press B. The process will stop at the next chance.

@the Admins: If this is the wrong forum topic just move it

More stuff next time.

Have Fun


  • Posts: 203
Re: GCW-Radio: Frontend for fmtools
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2014, 02:04:03 am »
Thanks Iron Hand!
Been using this all day while at work.

The new input box changes are much better! Easier to use now with the colour changes.

I just wanted to report a couple bugs:

- I still can't seem to get the frequency analyzer bar to show up. I've been pressing Y, as stated in the manual, but the analyzer doesn't show up.  I'm running the latest version of GCW-Radio, as well as the latest firmware for the GCW.

- After exiting GCW-Radio, sometimes I cannot get the sound to come back after restarting the program. It seems like a re-initailization issue, because I have to restart my GCW completely for it to come back.

- Any chance of changing the volume adjustments to half the current amount per press? Right now it looks like the volume increases/decreases 10 at a time, but a finer change would be nice.  Perhaps it could be an acceleration ramp based on how long you hold up or down on the volume?

- I really like the lock-mode function, but I'm finding that I'd like to have the volume still adjustable while in locked-mode. At the moment, adjusting the volume has to be done while not in lock-mode.  I guess this is more of a personal preference, or perhaps I'm used to ipods and smartphones since they allow volume changes while locked.

Thanks a lot for your hard work, I'm really glad there is someone out there putting some use to the FM radio on this GCW! I will try to continue to give you feedback.


  • Posts: 1687
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Re: GCW-Radio: Frontend for fmtools
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2014, 10:19:15 am »
It looks pretty cool!

Iron Hand (OP)

  • Posts: 6
Update and some explanatory words
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2014, 07:31:20 pm »
Im glad to hear that people have fun with my stuff. Let me say some words again.

a.) First a little update today where people can set the volume still enable while in lock mode (this was one of the things i want too)

There are no Option Menu for today so you have to change the config file by your own when you will activate this feature:
1. Load the newest version of GCW-Radio on your GCW and start it once, than close it and take a look to the application folder find under /media/data/local/home/.pyradio there is a file named "pyradio_config"
2. Change the "volume_no_lock 0" line to "volume_no_lock 1" and save the file (in Fillzilla you must type in the whole path in the "Server:" field because the folders are normaly hidden
You can change the file in any way you like (telnet over usb and vim works great t0o)
3. Start GCW-Radio again, now you can still adjust the volume in lock mode too, it is indifferent in which menu you was befor go to lock mode

b.)There is a little issue with the FM chipset in the GCW. It is connectet to the backlight i thing. If the GCW go in the "Screen Timeout" mode than the FM chip go's down also and dont come back again even wake up the GCW. I have not find out how you can reactivate the FM after this is happen. Set your "Screen Timeout" to 0 in the settings menu or reboot the system after go to sleep. Maybe sombody have a solution for this problem

c.) The frequenz analysing works so:
1. Go to "Scan" menu
2. Select "Scan All Stations"
3. Select the Start and the End frequenzy of the range you will analyze, also the steps how fine it should scan
4. Start the Scan with "Start" button
5. After the Scan is finish the diagramm will show in the Scan and the Main menu
6. You can adjust the bar graph in the Main menu only with Y and X buttons
7. You can cancel the scan whenever you want, all frequenzies there are scanned before will show in the diagram

d.)The volume control is done over the fm tool. It increase and decrease not with the same step size and it is discrete. For example: increse volume from 0 to 10 with one button hit, next hit increase to 16.67 if you now decrease it it will set the volume to 3.33
I thing about to control the volume level more acurate ofer the alsa mixer but in a later update.

Furthermore best greatings to all

Iron Hand (OP)

  • Posts: 6
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2014, 11:57:47 am »
New update are online.

-Add setting menu, where you can set the "Volume no Look" feature and change the color design
-Update manual



  • Posts: 16
Re: GCW-Radio: Frontend for fmtools
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2015, 06:07:26 pm »
 :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)