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Step-by-Step Guide to Building the FM Radio Receiver HEX 3653 Chip Kit

UPDATE: Thank you Mr. Peter Todd Decker and Mr. Gord G Rabjohn for pointing out that I had incorrectly identified the piezoelectric tuning crystal which vibrates at about 32kHz and provides a "clock" to the FM receiver. The antenna is in fact the auxiliary cord (headphones) plugged into the radio, unless an external antenna is attached. I will update the guide in the future to correct this error.

The HEX 3653 Radio Chip Kit is a great way to dive in to circuits and soldering. Unfortunately, the guides that are presently available are very limited and do not do a good job of clearly explaining to beginners how to assemble the radio, and very little information exists about how the radio actually works. This in-depth guide walks through how to turn a pile of components into a foundation of knowledge about soldering, radio, and a to top it off a working FM radio of your very own! Topics covered include:

  • Circuit Diagrams

  • Components

  • Soldering Techniques

  • Assembly (step-by-step)

  • Radio Operation and Troubleshooting

  • What is Radio? Including how this radio works!

  • Extensive Reference List

Download the guide here.

If you just want a quick reference, a color-coded circuit diagram is below:

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