Raspberry Pi Pico’s RP2040 has Long-Range Radio
A new Challenger enters the father of Pico’s world.
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(Image credit: Invector Labs)
(Image credit: Invector Labs)
With a range of 15 miles when you are in the line of sight, the RFM95W radio transceiver from Hope RF gives it a little more communication distance than Wi-Fi when it’s using LoRa mode. This can also transmit data at 37.5kbps. It is attached to the SoC RP2040 through the SPI channel of the GPIO and has an antenna attached via the U.FL connector. If you want to in power, the bandwidth increases to 250kbps with FSK.
The brand new Challenger board, which is compatible with Adafruit Feather format and CircuitPython and MicroPython, is still running the RP2040 model of the original Challenger; however, it loses the Wi-Fi capability entirely in favor of the more extensive system. The impressively long range is due to an incredibly sensitive crystal and an integrated power amplifier with +20dBm. Since LoRa exchanges transmission speed for range, you won’t receive the greatest quality of bandwidth over the longest distances. The typical LoRa device can reach up to 3 miles within urban environments and 10 miles in rural regions with the line of sight.
In addition, the Wi-Fi version is a 2.0mm JST connector that can be used to recharge LiPo batteries, and the battery’s internal charger can allow charging via USB. There’s a USB Type-C port for both power and communications requirements, and the small board weighs only 0.009kg (0.317 pounds) and weighs 5.07 inches by 2.28 in size and 0.72 centimeters (1.96 x 0.89in. x 0.28 millimeters).
Thanks to CircuitPython, MicroPython, and an Arduino library designed by Earle F. Philhower, the board’s programming.
Lora is a private data transmission protocol operated by Semtech that uses radiofrequency bands with no licenses like 865–867 MHz and 2.4GHz. Adafruit is already running a device that utilizes the LoRa protocol, called RFM95W, utilized in various projects, including models of rockets and telemetry.
Its Challenger RP2040 LoRa is available at Invector Labs Store. Invector Labs Store, but was not in inventory at the moment of writing. Other board variants include one with LTE and another with no wireless capabilities; however, it still retains its LiPo charging circuit for batteries.
Aizaz was the first person to get a byline on his blog on technology from his home in Bannu in 2017. Then, he went on to a career in breaking things professionally at my electric sparks which is where he eventually took over the kit as a hardware editor. Today, as the senior editor of hardware for my electric sparks, he spends time reporting about the most recent developments in the hardware industry and technology. If he’s not reporting on hardware or electronics, you’ll see him trying to be as remote from the world of technology as possible through camping in the wild.