Developed by Daniel deBeer, ArduRF is an ATmega328 based electronics development platform that aspires to make wireless links easier for Arduinos, while maintaining full compatibility and long range AES-128 radio link encryption.
The platform is equipped with an ATmega328 MCU, a HopeRF RFM69 radio, on-board battery charging, as well as the ability to operate from a solar panel for independence. As its creator notes, the ArduRF family is comprised of three designs: ArduRF1, ArduRF1s and PC2ArduRF1. Each of the boards are optimized for a different application environment.
The ArduRF1 is a completely Arduino-compatible board, which features the same shape, connectors and CPU as an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) and operates at 5V even when battery powered. In addition, it packs a LiPo charger and connector directly on-board, while its integrated boost converter provides 5V when operating off the battery to sustain shield compatibility.
“The ArduRF1 and its CPU operates at 5V and 16MHz — even when running from the battery. The ArduRF1 has the Arduino Uno form factor and uses the FTDI FT231 chip for the USB interface. The form factor, pinout, CPU, and 5V operation ensures that the vast majority of shields will just work. All the experience and working knowledge of Arduino’s are directly applicable. The standard IDE and examples continue to work without modification,” deBeer writes.
Meanwhile, the smaller (2.25” x 0.9”) ArduRF1s boasts the same design as its bigger sibling except for that it operates at 3.3V.
“All the pins available on an Arduino Uno are brought to connectors on the board edge. The pin pitch is 0.1″ and the width is 0.8″ making it possible to mount the board on a solderless breadboard and still have two breadboard holes on each side available for connection to other devices.”
The third is the PC2ArduRF1, the family’s smallest and lowest cost member. This board is specifically designed to wirelessly connect a PC to one or more of the other ArduRF1 units.
Each of the boards possess an off-the-shelf transceiver — which is available in three different frequency bands — to minimize risk to the project.
“It has been tested on the first and second prototype (915MHz version only to stay legal) and found to have exceptional range more than 500 meters in an open field. The data rate is adjustable up to 300kbps and the transceiver supports hardware AES encryption making the transmissions secure,” deBeer adds.
Currently seeking $9,500 on Kickstarter, the Maker says that his platform is different from previous Arduino RF crowdfunding projects. Reason being, the pick-and-place programs and reflow oven profiles have all been developed and tested, the boards work flawlessly, and most importantly, they are ready for production today.
Interested in learning more about or backing the project? Head on over to its official Kickstarter page here. If all goes to plan, shipment is expected to begin within weeks.