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Add Radio support to your desktop

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25 Jan 2003
Use WiNRADiO card to add radio support to your desktop computer

Sample Image - WiNRADiO.jpg


WiNRADiO WR-1000i is a wide-band communication reciever on a PC card. I use it for monitoring various amature radio channels and sometimes record it for further usage. Assume that you can control a reciever, set your desired channel by giving it's frequency to reciever and if you want record it. By using WiNRADiO capabilities, you can determine when level of signal (signal strength) is more than a constant value. On the other hand you can search (sweep) a frequency bandwidth and report active channels.

Because of this sophisticated features, I wrote a simple program to show how you can control a radio receiver. Before you compile this demo, you must install WiNRADiO driver. After installing the driver, compile and run demo program.

Note: You must have WiNRADiO card to see exact results. For further information about WiNRADiO, click here. Figure 2, shows WiNRADiO 1500 series card.

WiNRADiO 1500 series ISA card
Figure 2

How the program works

For simplicity, I created a class to call WiNRADiO APIs. Everything is handled by this class: CWiNRADiO. To start, add WiNRADiO.h and WiNRADiO.cpp to your project. Then include WiNRADiO.h header file at top of your dialog definition or main header file. Define a member variable with variable type: CWiNRADiO

For example:

CWiNRADiO m_Radio;

By using CWiNRADiO class, you can control your receiver.

A closer look at CWiNRADiO

Note: Most of the function documentation is taken from WiNRADiO SDK document.

Below are the member functions of CWiNRADiO class:

int OpenRadioDevice(int iDeviceNum);

Description: Opens a radio device to allow you to control the device using the other functions


iDeviceNum: Radio device number that you would like to open from 1 to 255. If zero is specified, it will open the next available device. Serial devices (WR-xx00e) cannot be explicitly specified, but can only be opened with zero.

Return Value: Returns a handle to a device that has to be used to call all the other functions (hRadio). If zero is returned, no devices were available to open or the specified device doesn't exist.

Remarks: If you would like to have more than one application use the same device, you will have to close the device when you have finished using it to allow other applications to access the device. For Win32 applications, multiple threads can access the same device at any time.

BOOL CloseRadioDevice();

Description: Closes a radio device that was previously opened, and allows another program to access the radio device.

Return Value: If the function succeeds, the return value is TRUE, otherwise the return value is FALSE.

LPSTR GetModeString(int iMode, LPSTR lpBuffer, int cbMaxLen);

Description: The GetModeString function retrieves a text string describing a mode (and optionally bandwidth).


iMode: The mode and optional bandwidth to get the string for. See SetMode for valid values.

lpBuffer: Points to a buffer that will receive the mode string.

cbMaxLen: Specifies the maximum number of characters to copy to the buffer. The mode string is truncated if it is longer than the number of characters specified in cbMaxLen.

Return Value: Returns a pointer to lpBuffer if the function is successful. Otherwise, it is NULL.

BOOL GetPower();

Description: The GetPower function returns whether the receiver's power is on or off.

Return Value: Returns TRUE if the receiver's power is on, otherwise it returns FALSE if it is off.

BOOL SetPower(BOOL bPower=TRUE);

Description: The SetPower function switches the device's power on or off. This function can be used to power down WiNRADiO in portable applications to conserve battery power.


bPower: If TRUE, the radio's power is on, otherwise if FALSE, the radio's power is off.

Return Value: If the function succeeds, the return value is TRUE. If the function fails, the return value is FALSE.

BOOL GetMute();

Description: The GetMute function returns the status of the mute control on the audio output.

Return Value: GetMute returns TRUE if audio muting is on, otherwise it returns FALSE if it is off.

BOOL SetMute(BOOL bMute);

Description: The SetMute function controls whether the audio output is muted or not.


bMute: If TRUE, the audio mute is on, otherwise if FALSE, the audio mute is off.

Return Value: If the function succeeds, the return value is TRUE. If the function fails, the return value is FALSE.

int GetMode();

Description: The GetMode function retrieves the reception mode the receiver is in.

Return Value: The current receiver mode if successful, otherwise, -1 is returned. See SetMode for the possible mode return values.

BOOL SetMode(int iMode);

Descrition: The SetMode function sets the reception mode of the radio device.


iMode: Specifies the reception mode to set the device to. Use one of these constants:


Return Value: If the function succeeds, the return value is TRUE. If the function fails, the return value is FALSE.

Remarks: To set a mode, a RMD_xxx mode must be specified and ORed with an optional RBW_xxx bandwidth value. If the bandwidth is not specified it will default to the bandwidth used for the mode. The constant is an approximate bandwidth indication, calling GetModeString will return the actual bandwidth.

The number of modes that the device supports is specified by the iNumModes field of the RADIOINFO structure that can be obtained from the GetRadioDeviceInfo function. The actual modes supported can be read from the lpSupportedModes array, the number of elements specified by iNumModes. The array specifies both the mode and bandwidths.

BOOL GetScanMode();

Description: Get scan mode of radio.

Return Value: Returns TRUE if the receiver has been set to scan mode, otherwise returns FALSE if not.

BOOL SetScanMode(BOOL bScan);

Description: The SetScanMode function controls the signal strength response of the radio receiver to a change in frequency.


bScan: TRUE to enable scan mode, FALSE to disable it.

Return Value: If the function succeeds, the return value is TRUE, otherwise the return value is FALSE.

Remarks: If the scan mode is enabled, the value returned from GetSignalStrength may be less accurate but will respond to a change in frequency a lot quicker.

The iMaxAMScanRate and iMaxFMScanRate fields of the RADIOINFO structure specify how fast the radio can scan in either mode in the number of stations per second. So a delay of 1000/iMaxXXScanRate milliseconds should be inserted between a call to SetFrequency and GetSignalStrength while scanning.

BOOL GetAttenuator();

Description: The GetAttenuator function returns the RF input attenuator setting.

Return Value: GetAttenuator returns TRUE if the RF attenuator is on, otherwise it returns FALSE if it is off.

BOOL SetAttenuator(BOOL bAtten=TRUE);

Description: The SetAttenuator function activates or deactivates the RF input attenuator. It is used to prevent overloading of the receiver with strong signals.


bAtten: If TRUE, the RF attenuator is on, otherwise if FALSE, the RF attenuator is off (more sensitive).

Return Value: If the function succeeds, the return value is TRUE. If the function fails, the return value is FALSE.

int GetVolume();

Description: The GetVolume function returns the audio output volume of the radio device.

Return Value: The current audio output volume if successful, otherwise, -1 is returned

BOOL SetVolume(int iVolume);

Description: The SetVolume function sets the audio output volume level.


iVolume: Specifies the output audio volume from the receiver.

Return Value: If the function succeeds, the return value is TRUE. If the function fails, the return value is FALSE.

Remarks: The highest volume level is specified in the iMaxVolume field of the RADIOINFO structure that can be retrieved with the GetRadioDeviceInfo function. No audio will be heard while the mute is on.

DWORD GetFrequency();

Description: The GetFrequency function retrieves the frequency the receiver is tuned to.

Return Value: The current receiver frequency in Hz.

BOOL SetFrequency(DWORD dwFreq);

Description: The SetFrequency function sets the frequency the device is to be tuned to.


dwFreq: Specifies the frequency to tune to receiver to. The first 31 bits is used to specify the frequency in Hz from 0 to 2.147 GHz. If bit 31 is set (MSB), the value in the first 31 bits is multiplied by ten, allowing the tunable frequency range to be from 0 to 21.47 GHz with a minimum resolution of 10 Hz.

Return Value: If the function succeeds, the return value is TRUE. If the function fails, the return value is FALSE.

Remarks: The lower and upper limits are specified in the dwMinFreq and dwMaxFreq fields respectively in the RADIOINFO structure that can be retrieved with the GetRadioDeviceInfo function.

DWORD GetSignalStrength();

Description: The GetSignalStrength function returns the strength of the radio signal received by the radio device.

Return Value: The low order word ranges from 0 (very weak signal) to 120 (very strong signal). This is the value used by WiNRADiO, and is approximately equal to the signal strength in dB relative to the noise floor of the receiver. The high order word is reserved for future use and should be masked out.

int GetRadioDeviceInfo(LPRADIOINFO lpInfo);

Description: The GetRadioDeviceInfo function retrieves hardware information about a radio device.


lpInfo: Address to a RADIOINFO structure that will be filled with the capabilities and other information about the radio device. This can be NULL.

Return Value: Bit field containing the current status of the controller on the radio device (unspecified bits are reserved):

Bit Function

0 IBF: High if Read-MCU port is full

1 OBF: High if Write-MCU port is full

2 -XLD: Inverse of LD (Lock Detect) signal from radio card

5 -DSPPPRES: Low if DSP option is present

7 MCUSTAT: Low when MCU is idling (waiting for a command), high if busy or in the process of transferring data to/from PC.

Sample usage

Using this class is very simple. First include WiNRADiO.h header file then declare a member variable with variable type CWiNRADiO. Below is an example for it:

CWiNRADiO m_Radio;
m_Radio.OpenRadioDevice(1); //Open 1st Radio Device
m_Radio.SetPower(TRUE); //Turn on Radio
m_Radio.SetMode(RMD_FMW); //Wide FM
m_Radio.SetFrequency(104700000); //104.7 MHz 

if (m_Radio.GetSignalStrength() < 70)    //Level of Singal is low
    m_Radio.SetFrequency(102600000); //102.6 MHz

m_Radio.CloseRadioDevice(); //Close



This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

A. Riazi
CEO Misbah3Com
Iran (Islamic Republic of) Iran (Islamic Republic of)
I was born in Shiraz, a very beautiful famous city in Iran. I started programming when I was 12 years old with GWBASIC. Since now, I worked with various programming languages from Basic, Foxpro, C/C++, Visual Basic, Pascal to MATLAB and now Visual C++.
I graduated from Iran University of Science & Technology in Communication Eng., and now work as a system programmer for a telecommunication industry.
I wrote several programs and drivers for Synthesizers, Power Amplifiers, GPIB, GPS devices, Radio cards, Data Acqusition cards and so many related devices.
I'm author of several books like Learning C (primary and advanced), Learning Visual Basic, API application for VB, Teach Yourself Object Oriented Programming (OOP) and etc.
I'm winner of January, May, August 2003 and April 2005 best article of month competetion, my articles are:

You can see list of my articles, by clicking here

Comments and Discussions

AnswerRe: Problems regarding WinRadio Pin
marius_romanus14-Aug-06 12:30
membermarius_romanus14-Aug-06 12:30 
QuestionRe: Problems regarding WinRadio [modified] Pin
t4ure4n15-Aug-06 1:04
membert4ure4n15-Aug-06 1:04 
AnswerRe: Problems regarding WinRadio Pin
marius_romanus15-Aug-06 2:33
membermarius_romanus15-Aug-06 2:33 
QuestionRe: Problems regarding WinRadio Pin
t4ure4n16-Aug-06 11:09
membert4ure4n16-Aug-06 11:09 
AnswerRe: Problems regarding WinRadio Pin
marius_romanus17-Aug-06 11:15
membermarius_romanus17-Aug-06 11:15 
AnswerRe: Problems regarding WinRadio Pin
t4ure4n18-Aug-06 0:30
membert4ure4n18-Aug-06 0:30 
QuestionAbout WinRadio API Pin
t4ure4n4-Apr-06 5:26
membert4ure4n4-Apr-06 5:26 
AnswerRe: About WinRadio API Pin
A. Riazi4-Apr-06 7:00
professionalA. Riazi4-Apr-06 7:00 
QuestionWinradio WR1550i Pin
t4ure4n8-Mar-06 1:23
membert4ure4n8-Mar-06 1:23 
AnswerRe: Winradio WR1550i Pin
A. Riazi8-Mar-06 23:02
professionalA. Riazi8-Mar-06 23:02 
Generalmeeting with you Pin
niamanesh1-May-04 21:19
memberniamanesh1-May-04 21:19 
GeneralAdd extra functionality Pin
Abbas Riazi29-Jan-03 2:14
memberAbbas Riazi29-Jan-03 2:14 
GeneralRe: Add extra functionality Pin
bkerr2-Mar-09 16:05
memberbkerr2-Mar-09 16:05 
GeneralTrunk Radio Pin
Abbas Riazi27-Jan-03 8:37
memberAbbas Riazi27-Jan-03 8:37 

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Posted 25 Jan 2003


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