This project's funding goal was not reached on April 1, 2012.
About this project
What is the RADiuS? It's an Open Hardware Arduino-compatible shield for the Easy Radio Advanced RF Module.
...no Easy Radio? Really?
I've been using Easy Radio for a little over five years now... it's a fantastic RF / wireless solution ( I'll share the full story of how I stumbled onto it later ). All you need is power, ground, and two wires and you have reliable bi-directional communication between microcontrollers, desktops, laptops, or whatever. No frustrations over pairing, no twiddles with configurations, and it's approved for use in Europe, North America, and Asia.
I'm surprised that none of these popular DIY suppliers have caught the Easy Radio bug! To help spread the news... I've decided to share my shield design as Open Hardware... and kick-start the process here!
Here's one of my etched samples.
Some of the microcontrollers I've used the Easy Radio with.
Small projects? No problem... the Easy Radio doesn't take a lot of space ( it's hiding behind the GPS module ).
Version 1.0 of the PCB - ready to send to manufacturing.
One in the hand...
If the environment where these radios are being deployed is exceptionally 'noisy,' you should expect some loss in functional transmission distance. On the other hand, if you're out in the sticks with a good line of sight - the opposite is true.
It is possible to calculate operational maximums if you know the transmission / reception power and antenna configuration ( the equation is based on a line of sight in the vacuum of space ). Keep in mind that it's simply not feasible to include environmental factors in the calculation.
So... what can you reasonably expect? The spring / wire antenna with a stock radio configuration is probably good for about 100 - 200 feet. I've tested this configuration in my home extensively and it works great line-of-sight and through walls. There is an operational 'halo' of about 15 - 20 feet around my home.
If you move up to the 1/4 wave whip antenna, ~300 feet is par for the course. I've used easyRadio in production environments with the 1/4 wave antenna with great range and transmission speed.
If you need more than 300 feet, it is possible... and I can confirm that I've been able to get two easyRadios to communicate at 1+ mile. However... you'll probably need to move up to a dipole antenna, crank up transmission power, and reduce your bandwidth requirement ( this is true for all wireless communication devices ).
Here are some RF module comparisons for reference:
The really good news, is that the 433 / 900 mhz spectrum has grown relatively quiet as-of-late in favor of 2.4 ghz. This means less environmental interferance which gets you closer to your calculated optimum transmission distance.
PC Board manufacturing, components, shipping supplies, and maintenance on a GitHub repository ( for software samples / examples ). A breakdown on the bill of materials is available at the following link:
Yes. As mentioned above, my plan is to have a GitHub repository full of basic examples and code-bits to help you in your development efforts.
Yes, easyRadio modules on the same frequency can all 'hear' and 'talk' each other. This means that you can create complex mesh networks in software if you like. If you want to prevent crosstalk, you can always assign the modules you are using for a specific project a group ID.
- (30 days)