Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 28, 2012.

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Make your Arduino project wireless in minutes, with the Open Source Wireless Inventors Shield. No setup needed. 500 foot range.

Make your Arduino project wireless in minutes,
with the Wireless Inventors Shield.

The inventors shield uses a wireless pipe, which is a special wireless RF module that allows you to easily and reliably, send and receive error-free wireless data between two or more Arduino boards.

It's Long Range – distances up to 500 feet (150 meter).

It’s Error Free – built-in forward error correction and data recovery, you only ever receive cleaned and CRC verified data.

It’s Simple To Use – anything you input, is wirelessly transmitted, then cleanly outputted for you on the other end.

It’s Immune To Noise – your data inside the wireless pipe is protected from the elements outside such as interferences like WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, cordless phones, cellular phones, all types of servo and motor noise, etc.  All things which typically stop your wireless project in its tracks, are no longer an issue.

How is this different from other wireless RF Shields for Arduino?

Our Wireless Inventors Shield is complete.  No additional RF module to purchase which makes it about half the price of other wireless Shields.

This Shield will work with both Arduino and Arduino clones.

It has a substantial range improvement over Zigbee, Xbee, Bluetooth and WiFi. 

We did range testing the same way you would do range testing, in a real world, live application.  The Google maps below illustrate our wireless RF Shields results against Zigbee (the best competitor tested):

Wireless Inventors Shield for Arduino range test result (no configuration needed).

Zigbee radio module test - best configuration.  In comparison our Shield had nearly 3x more range.

Zigbee radio module test - worst configuration. In comparison our Shield had over 20x more range.

If the above Zigbee radio modules were tested in an open field, without being near any WiFi or other types of interference, they too would perform the same as our Wireless Shield in either configuration.  However this is simply unrealistic; since typical usage is in heavily populated WiFi areas.  Unless your radio device is immune to WiFi interference, it's range is going to be drastically reduced.

Our Wireless Shield had no range reduction.  It is immune to all WiFi and other 2.4 GHz noise, therefore performing consistently and reliably in typical usage scenarios.

Features:

  • It's plug & play.
  • No settings.
  • No configurations.
  • No long manuals to read.
  • No data sheets to understand.
  • No MAC addresses to deal with.
  • No need to find the right channel.
  • No complex functions to call.
  • No escape command sequences to learn.
  • No need to know anything about wireless at all.
  • 2.4 GHz worldwide compliant.
  • LEDs for TX and RX
  • Built-in antenna.
  • Compliant and approved: FCC, IC, CE, ETSI, RoHS

How do I use it?

Just plug it onto your Arduino Uno (or clone).

Here is all the code you need to know to send and receive wireless data:

           Serial.begin (9600);

           Serial.write (SendByte);

           ReceivedByte = Serial.read();

That’s it.  Yes, it really is just that simple!

What can I do with it?

You can make any Arduino project wireless instantly.  This is a clean wireless-pipe, any bytes you put in one end, you get out the other.  Since there is no protocol to adhere to, you are truly unrestricted.

What else can I do with it?

You can use a USB dongle, which allows the Arduino to wirelessly communicate with any computer or the web.

You can use multi-button keyfobs to add very cool remote control capability to your Arduino projects.

You can also use your Arduino Wireless Shield to communicate with a stand-alone breadboarding RF module that can plug into any standard solderless breadboard, giving you full range of flexibility with your project.
(Note: White solderless breadboard shown in above picture is not included in the rewards.)

Can it work in groups and multi-point networks?

Yes!  You are only limited by your creativity and your imagination.

Can it also be used in classroom environment?

Yes!  You can have multiple PRIVATE wireless pipes running independently.

What do you mean by Open Source?

The full set of code examples, schematic, PCB, Gerbers, BOM and production information for the Shield will all be published for easy use and extension by anyone.

What will the funds be used for?

The funds will be used directly for the manufacturing run of the Wireless Inventors Shield.  Here is a break down of costs involved in the manufacturing process.

  • PCB ~ $2
  • Passive components ~ $3
  • Active components ~ $10
  • Assembly Labor ~ $4
  • Test Labor and Yield: ~ $1
  • Shipping (USA) ~ $3
  • KickStarter / Amazon fees ~ $3
  • Total per unit ~ $26

Design, Functional Prototype and Testing is all done

  • Schematic design is done.
  • Engineering design review is done.
  • Layout is done.
  • Prototyping is done.
  • Antenna pattern testing is done.
  • Electronic engineering is done.
  • Electronic design reviews are done.
  • Field Range testing is done.
  • Designed for manufacturability (DFM) review is done.
  • Motor noise interference immunity testing is done.
  • WiFi interference immunity testing is done.
  • Zigbee interference immunity testing is done.
  • Bluetooth interference immunity testing is done.
  • Cordless phone interference immunity testing is done.
  • Cellular phone interference immunity testing is done.

Functional Prototype

Schematic

PCB Layout

Bill Of Materials

Our Contract Manufacturer is ready

We have already setup a very reliable, high-quality, ISO Certified, contract manufacturer in California.  They are ready to begin producing the Wireless Inventors Shield product.

Manufacturing Plan

  • Place order for solderpaste stencil.
  • Place order for parts.
  • Place order for PCBs
  • Pick and place automated assembly.
  • Hand soldering labor for the connectors.
  • Build a couple test jigs.
  • Full production test.
  • Quality Control.
  • Packaging.
  • Shipping.

Production Timetable and Shipping

  • PCB Fabrication (2 weeks)
  • Order Materials (No time offset, done while waiting on PCBs.)
  • Assembly (2 weeks)
  • Test (2 days)
  • Quality Control (2 days)

Total is 5 weeks from start to shipping day.

Before we ship we will provide the advance open-source files to the project backers. 

We are located in California.  USA shipping is included.  For international shipping (outside of the USA), please add $10.

What REWARDs do I get?

In addition to playing a very important roll in the launch of this useful product, you will receive your own Wireless Shields and accessories according to your selected pledge level and be the first to enjoy the exceptional performance of this quality product.

About the Inventor

I am an electrical engineer with 30 years of experience designing, developing and manufacturing hundreds of wireless technology products.  These products were used by the aerospace, industrial, cellular and consumer industries.  My designs and products have been used by companies and organizations such as NASA, JPL, USGS, Motorola, Sikorsky Aircraft and many others.

I have recently started Open Source RF, which is focused on making high quality, creative products for the Maker, DIY and Open Source communities.

Well KickStarters, we hope you find this project as exciting as we do and join in the fun and pledge to get a pair of your own Wireless Inventors Shields.

By backing this project you are essentially ordering your own Wireless Inventors Shield for Arduino at a discounted price before it reaches the retail shelves, in addition, you are also receiving early access to all the open source files.

Thank you so much interest and participation! Your pledge is hugely appreciated!

Feel free to message us with any questions at info@OpenSourceRF.com

We would really appreciate it if you would please spread the word about this project on Facebook, Twitter and any other social media locations.

With your help, this project can get the attention we think it deserves.

Please keep in touch with us, we would like to know about all the interesting things you are doing.

We enjoy hearing from you.

Thank's Again and Happy Inventing!

It's my pleasure to be a part of the KickStarter creative community. 

This project is proudly participating in the "Kicking it Forward" program, whereby 5% of the profit from this project will be used as pledges for other Kickstarter projects, in support of the KickStarter community.
This project is proudly participating in the "Kicking it Forward" program, whereby 5% of the profit from this project will be used as pledges for other Kickstarter projects, in support of the KickStarter community.

FAQ

  • Yes you can.

    For any pledge level, just increase the amount of your pledge by the amount of extra items you would like for your reward. You can mix and match any quantity of the following items.

    Wireless Inventors Shield: $30

    1, 2 or 3 button Keyfob: $50
    USB Dongle: $75
    Stand-alone RF module for breadboarding: $20

    When the project has funded, we will contact you to ask exactly which items and quantities you would like for your reward.

    Last updated:
  • The shield UART input and output is at 5V. The on-board radio uses the 3.3V supply from the Arduino board. Also the 5V supply is used for solid 5V UART output. There are internal logic level shifters, which are ICs that produce solid logic levels so there is no issue with slew rates, ringing or having too little drive current.

    The UART output uses a 5V logic buffer so you have a full 5V swing.

    The UART input uses a 3.3V logic buffer with a 5V tolerant input.

    They are both internally resistively pulled up to maintain a proper steady state levels and keep the UART quiet when not being driven from either side so there is no noise or chatter of any kind, and no worry for false triggering which prevents glitches which might otherwise allow a UART start bit to sneak a byte through. Basically its a clean bi-directional UART driver circuit.

    Last updated:
  • Yes. There is an on-board slide-switch, that allows you to switch between the two hardware UART pins or pin 12 and 13 on the shield which allows you the option to configure a software UART there and free up the hardware UART for other uses.

    Here is a page reference from Arduino on the software UART usage option:
    http://www.arduino.cc/en/Reference/SoftwareSerial

    Also see my FAQ about using the Arduino Mega.

    Last updated:
  • Yes. All you need to do is slide the Hardware / Software UART switch to the Software position on our Wireless Shield and that will place the UART TXD and RXD pins on pin 12 and 13 which are GPIO, then simply don't use those two pins (the Mega has so many anyway). Instead jumper from those two pins over to any of the other three hardware UARTs on the Arduino Mega.

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  • 100% Absolutely YES. We offer full support via phone or by email, during and also after this project is complete. I know most people prefer email, actually it works better for us too, since more people are exposed to the email quicker in our team for fast answers. Here is the address to use: info@OpenSourceRF.com I can help you personally, or one of my support engineers will also be happy to as well. Support is always a top priority! If you would ever like to speak on the phone with me individually or any of other engineers, simply ask, we're always here for you.

    Last updated:
  • Yes you can. When you use any of these devices, they are all fully open to each other, meaning any device that transmits, all the other devices it will hear it. However, you have the options to flip the switch on the Shield that tells it to go to a private wireless-pipe mode, then simply by pressing the Learn button on the Shield you can teach up to 60 Shields, Keyfobs, stand alone breadboardsing RF Modules or USB Dongles to each other and form mini-networks which will ignore devices outside of their network, so you will not be bothered by others around you.

    Last updated:
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