Tag Archives: HamShield

21 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week


Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that have caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 


Buddy

robot

This adorable companion robot can improve your everyday life by protecting your home as a security guard, entertaining your kids as a playmate and structuring your schedule as a personal assistant. Blue Frog Robotics is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.

Jewelbots

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These Arduino-compatible, customizable friendship bracelets teach girls the basics of coding. Jewelbots is currently seeking $30,000 on Kickstarter.

Vortex

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This responsive robot for kids isn’t only fun to play with, but is open source and completely programmable as well. DFRobot is currently seeking $54,035 on Kickstarter.

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Blink

These LED strips will make your shoes light up in bright, colorful patterns with every step. Ultimate Celebration is currently seeking $5,000 on Kickstarter.

Smart Tracker 2

Track

This real-time GPS tracker will let you keep tabs on anything from anywhere. Smart Tracker is currently seeking $30,000 on Indiegogo.

Trakkies

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This tracking device — which comes in two different forms with varying ranges — can be attached to just about any object, warning you whenever it is left behind. Trakkies is currently seeking $112,229 on Kickstarter.

REMzen

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This intelligent mask analyzes your sleep while waking you up naturally with spectral light therapy. REMzen is currently seeking $15,000 on CrowdSupply.

Saent

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This hardware and software solution keeps you focused on the task at hand by blocking out distractions and finding your optimal work rhythm. Saent is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.

Zodiac FX

board

This board provides many of the features of an OpenFlow switch at a fraction of the cost, and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Northbound Networks is currently seeking $30,693 on Kickstarter.

Swish

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This wearable basketball app offers tips, tricks and data as you’re playing, giving you access to the insight of the best coaches and players. Onyx Motion is currently seeking $7,870 on Indiegogo.

DropAP

App

This high-performance, smart router integrates with cloud services and mobile apps to extend beyond the home. DropAP is currently seeking $45,000 on Indiegogo.

IRDuino

Dev

This open source, Arduino-compatible USB infrared receiver gives new life to old remote controls. IRDuino is currently seeking $2,000 on CrowdSupply.

Biom

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This flower pot connects to an accompanying app over Wi-Fi, transforming your plant into a “vegetal cyborg.” Biom is currently seeking $55,183 on Kickstarter.

Caruma

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This all-in-one gadget links your car to the cloud to deliver notifications and advice, log trips, and livestream dual high-definition video right to your phone. Caruma is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.

HamShield

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This shield allows your Arduino to communicate with people and things far away using powerful amateur radio bands. Maker Casey Halverson is currently seeking $25,000 on Kickstarter.

ODO

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This solar-powered, autonomous irrigation system is comprised of a controller, a gateway, sensors, sprinklers and a mobile app that can manage up to four lines at once. One Drop One Solutions is currently seeking $86,151 on Kickstarter.

EyeControl

Trae

This pair of portable glasses enables those with ALS to communicate by translating eye movements into spoken words or text. EyeControl is currently seeking $30,000 on Indiegogo.

Sensory Percussion

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This sensor clamps to the side of a drum and connects to a software program to turn your kit into an expressive controller for digital sounds. Sunhouse is currently seeking $80,000 on Kickstarter.

ePawn Arena

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This unique board interfaces with your smartphone, tablet or PC to let you use real world objects as game pieces. ePawn is currently seeking $165,652 on Kickstarter.

MOVI

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This offline speech recognizer and voice synthesizer adds voice control functionality to any Arduino project. Audeme is currently seeking $12,000 on Kickstarter.

Helmet

Helm

This family monitor comes with an interactive social community that lets you share your favorite moments publicly or with authorized users. iBaby Labs is currently seeking $15,000 on Indiegogo.

If your project is powered by Atmel MCUs and you’ve been featured on our blog, be sure to download the respective badges here for use in your ongoing marketing efforts. 

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HamShield turns an Arduino into a VHF/UHF transceiver


HamShield lets your Arduino communicate with far away people and things using amateur radio bands.


Nowadays, ham radio represents a great opportunity for Makers and engineers alike to explore the world around them. Whether it’s text messaging over APRS while backpacking or communicating with the space station as it flies overhead, one Seattle startup is on a mission to enable your Arduino to talk with people and things far away using VHF and UHF frequencies with the aptly named HamShield.

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Have you ever wanted to innovate with amateur radio but could not figure out what band to choose or which was the easiest to hack into to gain more advanced features? In an effort to simplify this, the HamShield is super easy to control. To get started, Makers can write their own Arduino sketch and turn their board into a transceiver in a matter of minutes. This allows users to build APRS trackers, transmit and interpret Morse code, race remote-controlled cars, or even transform the Arduino into a serial-controlled radio and work with a computer interface. Thanks to its accompanying Chrome app, any PC with a web browser can become a packet radio station. In other words, users can download and write new laptop applications that leverage the flexibility of the HamShield, but may require the user interface or special processing power of a laptop.

“We have also written an application that runs in any Chrome browser and can talk directly to the HamShield. This means that you can also use a low cost, low powered laptop (such as a Chromebook) to control your Ham Radio on the go,” team member Casey Halverson writes.

The HamShield Arduino library gives users the ability to control every aspect of the radio, handling all communication between the Arduino and the shield so that the only thing needed is its simple API. The team has even created ready-to-use functions for common amateur radio modes, such as Morse code, packet radio, SSTV, scanning, white space channel seeking and empty channel detection. Additionally, Audio can be accessed in one of two ways, either through the HamShield’s built-in TRRS jack or by directly interfacing with the Arduino. The HamShield employs the existing Arduino audio capability to transmit and receive packet radio data, which can be found in the library.

In terms of hardware, the HamShield is based on the Auctus 1846S radio transceiver IC, which boasts a fully integrated FM radio transceiver. With its software defined radio core, users have access to several features like sub-audio CTCSS/CDCSS modes, DTMF encoding and decoding, tail noise elimination, RSSI, squelch, VOX, volumes, and even a very powerful tone encoder and decode.

The Arduino-compatible, open source HamShield supports both voice and packet radio modes, as well as a wide range of VHF and UHF frequencies: 134-174 MHz, 200-260 MHz and 400-520 MHz. This, of course, covers three amateur bands: 2-meter (144-148 MHz), 1.25-meter (220-225 MHz) and 70-centimeter (420-450 MHz).

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What’s more, the HamShield eliminates the need for a dedicated radio or piece of equipment for each type of operating mode. The unit is compact, lightweight and fully compatible with any board that supports Uno-style shields. Due to the amount of power required, though, it must be connected to an external power supply at all times.

“Care was taken to make sure that the input voltage range was also within the output range of several different types of battery technologies, including 4xAA battery packs and 7.4 volt LiPo battery packs. The HamShield can operate between 5-30 volts DC, and is typically powered by a 12 VDC power adapter,” Halverson adds.

As a bonus, the HamShield’s power supply is also fed into VIN on the Arduino. Portable options, such as GPS trackers, hidden transmitter hunting, and laptop APRS and packet radio are now made possible.

Interested? Head over to its official Kickstarter page, where its creators have already nearly doubled its initial pledge goal. Delivery of the shields is expected to begin in October 2015.