Site Owner & Radio Enthusiast
Whether you’re teaching children about electronic circuits, practicing soldering techniques, or you love radios, a DIY FM radio kit is a fun project.
But not all DIY radio kits are created equal. So, which one should you buy?
The best DIY radio kits you can buy in the US include the Elenco FM, YBYledonico FM, Vogurtime AM/FM, Elenco WEmake AM/FM, Elenco WEmake FM Radio DIY Soldering Kit with Tools, Snap Circuits FM, and the Dingdong Store FṂ.
This article will list the top 10 DIY radio kits you can find online in the USA. I will include pros and cons and unique details for each kit.
Elenco has been making educational kits for 30 years. This basic FM radio kit is excellent for beginners ages 12 and up.
It only takes a few hours to assemble a complete monophonic 88-108 MHz FM receiver with an auto-scan function, and it teaches children how to work with multiple electronic components.
The circuit board measures 3-7/16 inches (8.73 cm) by 5-9/32 inches (13.41 cm) by 1-½ inches (3.81 cm), not including the antenna mount.
Unfortunately, the kit can only be tuned via auto-scan, so finding a specific station can be difficult.
Plus, some users find it confusing to distinguish between the components.
- Practice beginner soldering skills
- Reliable manufacturer with superior customer service
- Lead-free solder included
- Soldering iron not included
- Does not include AM radio
- No LED display showing station number
- Build this kit to assemble a monophonic FM receiver (88-108mhz) with electronic auto-scan
- Will help you understand the basics of working with printed circuit boards
- Become familiar with a variety of electronic components
- Develop good soldering skills
- For 30 years Elenco has been using their strong engineering and design skills to develop reliable, affordable electronic test equipment, tools, and educational kits
This simple FM radio kit only comes in at number 2 because of its lesser-known manufacturer and few online reviews.
However, the cute design and easy instructions make it an attractive choice.
Children can practice beginner soldering skills using this kit and learn to work with various electronic components.
Although the parts are clearly identifiable, some elements may be non-standard. Overall, the kit is perfect for beginners and kids aged 12 and up.
- Great for classroom projects
- Instructional video included
- Inexpensive price tag
- Lots of extra components to expand the project
- Stands upright on its own
- Good sound quality
- Non-standard resistor color codes can be confusing
- Poor volume control
- Few online reviews
- Quality of customer service unknown
- 📻【Easy To Assemble】 This learn solder kit is very suitable for kids and electronic beginners. It would be a good starter kit for leaning/practicing basic soldering skills.
- 📻【Radio Kit】 The cute design must be a perfect soldering kit for beginners. The instructions are easy to follow, and the parts are clearly identified.
- 📻【Learn Solder】 All components are packed well in a good package. Soldering project kit aimed to improve users' electronics knowledge and soldering skills.
- 📻【Fun and Educational】 You will Learn the basics electrical and welding skills in a fun and hands-on way. It is perfect as a science soldering kit project for school.
- 📻【Customer Service】 Please contact us by email without hesitation if you have any question. We love working with our customers and provide support for all of our products.
This kit is another excellent choice with a little more complexity and style than previous ones. It’s an attractive and functional design for beginners and intermediate learners ages 12 and up.
However, it’s ranked at number 3 because of the maker’s less-than-stellar reliability and subpar customer service.
The completed radio measures 4.7 inches (12 cm) by 3.1 inches (8 cm) by 2.2 inches (5.5 cm) with an 11.8-inch (30 cm) antenna.
- Includes AM and FM
- 8Ω 0.5w speaker included
- High-quality circuit board
- The completed radio stands upright on its own
- Solder included
- Not the best customer service
- No tools included
- Very sparse instructions
- Resistor components can be confusing to beginners
- Batteries not included
- 2 Kinds of Radio Model – AM and FM. 2 mechanical and classic adjustment modes will give you more choices. Enjoy the radio stations after you done!
- A Great STEM Project - This radio kit is an electronic educational kit, it's very friendly to electronics starters and students to learn soldering or electronics knowledge. Not only you will improve the soldering skills, but also will learn more interesting things!
- No Plastic Case and Other Complicated Accessories - the whole radio kit is simple and easy to make, it is a set of very interesting and academic electronic kits. With the reasonable design, the radio could be stable standing on any flat place.
- High Quality - Fiberglass board with black oil could make it fast heat dissipation and high hardness. It also has clear markings and a big speaker. With the reasonable design, you could place the radio easily then enjoy your favorite stations.
- 2 AA Batteries are Needed - Finished size: 12 x 8 x 5.5 cm ( The antenna is 30 cm) Please feel free to contact us if you have any needs, we'd love to hear you!
This Elenco WEmake radio kit comes in at number 4 primarily because of its intermediate/advanced level. It is appropriate for high school-level users and up, including college-level STEM curriculum.
However, kids 12 to 14 with soldering experience could make this radio with adult support. The unique printed circuit board design matches components to corresponding symbols for easy assembly.
The kit works best with a 60-watt soldering iron and 60/40 tin/lead solder instead of the included tools.
- Reputable manufacturer with good customer service
- Includes a complete nine-lesson electronic training course
- Has two audio systems – IC and a translator
- Clear and thorough instruction manual
- Not appropriate for kids under 14 without adult support
- Some components can be easily confusing
- The copper circuitry on the printed circuit board is highly delicate and breaks easily
- Do & Learn - Soldering Required
- 56 page Training Course is divided into 9 lessons
- Audio Amp, AM Detector, AM IF, AM Amp, AM Mixer & Oscillator, FM Detector, 2 x FM IF, FM RF Stages
- Electronics training course appropriate for High School and University level curriculum
- “Superheterodyne” designed to receive standard AM and FM broadcast frequencies
Coming in at number 5, this Elenco WEmake kit is an excellent choice for intermediate to advanced learners who don’t yet have their own tools.
The kit includes a 25W soldering iron with a stand, wire cutters, safety glasses, and five feet of lead-free solder.
However, they’re not very robust and may require replacement soon.
- Monophonic 88-108 mh FM receiver with two IC Chips
- Ideal for school science labs
- Includes testing mechanisms to ensure the product is assembled correctly
- Requires a 9V battery (not included)
- Instructions could be improved upon
- No radio case
- D.I.Y. That's right do-it-yourself! build this kit to assemble a monophonic FM receiver (88-108mhz) with 2 IC Chips
- Develop an understanding of the functions of electronics, IC, and radios and modern radio functionality
- 25W soldering iron with stand - Wire cutters - safely glasses - lead free solder (99.3% tin, 0.7% Copper. 5ft @ 0.031" diameter)
- Ideal for use in labs, service shops, schools (STEM - STEAM), home and industry
- Before there was the Maker movement, there was elenco and "learn by doing". elenco strives for quality with value to make their products available for everyone.
The Snap Circuits FM radio kit is another quality project from Elenco. It ranks number 6 because of its less realistic construction.
This kit is perfect for kids aged 4 to 12 because it doesn’t require soldering. Instead, the components snap together easily like a puzzle.
It also includes three other projects: a power amplifier, an electronic kazoo, and a trombone.
- Basic electronic circuit education for kids under 12
- Simple FM radio build
- Requires zero soldering
- Clear and easy-to-follow instructions
- On the pricier side
- Does not teach basic soldering skills
- Directions for additional projects are not as clear
- Low-quality speaker
- Tune it favorite FM radio station
- Parts snap together-no soldering
- Clear and concise Illustrated Manual Included and Available Online.
- Easy to build using Easy to follow directions.
This Icstation FM radio kit comes in at number 7 because of its higher difficulty level and lack of physical instructions.
Some reviewers complain that the case assembly is a pain and that the kit requires more than the average amount of soldering.
As such, this product is best for intermediate to advanced users. However, this radio has a nice case and an advanced LED screen.
- Works well once assembled
- Fun for those who enjoy a challenge
- Includes sturdy plastic case
- Nice LED screen
- Instructions are only available online
- The case is difficult to assemble
- Extra soldering required
- Power source not included
- COOL LED LIGHT: ICSTATION DIY radio not only features the standard radio functions, but also comes equipped with 10 LED lights that add a unique twist to your listening experience. The LED lights will randomly flash different colors and pulse in sync with the beat of the music. This dynamic visual display enhances the overall ambiance and enjoyment of your radio listening experience.
- LCD1602 DISPLAY: With a high-definition LCD1602 screen, ICSTATION radio allows you to adjust the frequency and volume to your liking once assembly is complete. The buttons located below the radio enable easy customization of your listening experience. Whether you prefer a certain frequency or need to adjust the volume, this radio makes it simple and intuitive. The LCD1602 screen provides clear and detailed information. Overall, this radio is a fantastic option for anyone.
- PRACTICAL DIY KIT: ICSTATION soldering kit is an ideal choice for electronics enthusiasts looking to enhance their soldering skills and build a functional radio. It's designed to provide a practical and enjoyable experience while also improving your abilities. However, in the event that you encounter any issues with the product, please don't hesitate to contact us. Our team is dedicated to ensuring your satisfaction and will work with you to address any concerns or problems you may have.
- GREAT GIFTS: If you're looking to make a personalized gift for a friend or family member, a great option could be a radio DIY electronics kit. It comes with an acrylic transparent case, which not only looks beautiful but also provides protection for the delicate components inside. This means that your gift will not only be visually appealing but also durable and long-lasting.
- PARAMETER: FM: 87MHZ-108MHZ; Working voltage: 4.5V-5.5V DC(Support computer and power bank USB power supply); Length of the power cord: about 1m; Case size: 9.5cm*6.4cm*5.0cm
This radio kit is separate from the VIGURTIME kit listed above (number 3).
It ranks at number 8 because of the quality of the materials and sound. However, it has few, if positive reviews. This kit is best for intermediate users as the instruction manual is difficult to follow.
- Dual speakers
- Quality sound
- Excellent packaging
- LED indicator screen
- Instructions could be clearer
- No tuning knob
- Won’t stand on its own without battery installation
- 2 Kinds of Mode – AM and FM, give you more choices. Two IC chips, the main IC chip and related configuration of the radio kit have been fully upgraded, which means the radio effect would be much better.
- A Great STEAM Project - Complete parts kit and full color instruction manual, let you or your kids can learn how to solder, get familiar with more components, learn radio schematics, and more. Not only is it a great soldering project kit, it's also a really cool radio kit when done!
- Stereo Effects - Yes, it comes with 2 speakers (8Ω1W) and has stereo! Flick the silver knob and are you ready to enjoy some great music from the blue stereo radio kit?
- Long Antennas - 4.7"/120mm long AM magnetic rod antenna for better AM reception. At the same time, the length of the FM antenna is 13.7"/350mm, which can be retracted, changed direction, more convenient for you.
- Easy to Soldering - 16X12cm large PCB board with clear marks, clear circuit traces, high-quality components, and full-color manuals make soldering part very easy.
The Maker Focus kit ranks number 9 primarily because of its limited online reviews.
The kit is designed for beginners and contains a multi-function FM radio with a single speaker. Once completed, the radio can be hooked to an amplifier.
The kit also includes an attractive box cover, making the completed radio more portable.
- Easy video instructions
- Portable box cover design
- Can be hooked to an amplifier
- Very few online reviews
- No paper instructions
We’re not sure how this company came up with their name, but it’s pretty funny and certainly grabs our attention.
This radio kit contains a simple FM radio, similar to others on this list. It’s perfect for beginners and intermediate learners aged 12 and up. Some children may require adult supervision to identify specific components.
Once completed, the radio measures 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) by 7.1 inches (18 cm) by 1 inch (2.5 cm)
- USB cable and rechargeable battery
- Practice beginner soldering skills
- Easy assembly and clear instructions
- Low-quality speaker
- Some components are challenging to identify for children
- Rechargeable battery not included
- Limited online reviews
- Unknown quality of customer service
- 【FṂ Radio DIY Kit】: FṂ 87-108MHz, Work Voltage: DC 4.5-5.5V. Build this kit to assemble a monophonic FṂ receiver (88-108mhz) with electronic auto-scan. With a USB cable to power the rechargeable battery: You need to prepare an 18650 battery yourself.
- 【With English Installation Instructions】: This electronic kit is not a finished product, it need to be soldered by yourself. You can get detailed and clear instructions by scanning the QR code that comes with the package. If you have any questions, please contact us first for professional help.
- 【Great Soldering Science Project】: This soldering DIY kit help you understand the basics of working with printed circuit boards and become familiar with a variety of electronic components, and practice soldering skills enjoyably for you and your kids, or students, or DIYers.
- 【Easy to Assemble】: The connection that was clearly mapped and labeled on the board makes it easy to assemble. And you can refer the marks on PCB board to soldering each component. If it can't work after soldering, please contact us for support.
- 【Perfect After-Sale Service】: Please read the User Manual before installing. If any components are missing, please contact us for replacements.
There you have it! That wraps up our list of the best DIY radio kits that let you build your own radio and learn to work with various electronic components.
The best option is the Elenco Kit, developed by a company with over 30 years of experience. However, you can find many other options that fit your needs.