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Leave your wires behind with RADiuS - an Open Hardware Arduino-compatible shield for the Easy Radio Advanced RF Module.

What is the RADiuS? It's an Open Hardware Arduino-compatible shield for the Easy Radio Advanced RF Module.

If you visit SparkFunAdafruit Industries, or the Seeed Studio website... you'll see that they all offer a plethora of Bluetooth, Nordic, ZigBee, and other RF products.

...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.

PCB components.

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...

http://quilix.com/radius

FAQ

  • 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:

    http://bit.ly/wTr9xi

    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.

    Last updated:
  • 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:

    http://quilix.com/radius/bom

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

    Last updated:
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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    8 backers

    Your name on the 'RADiuS Backer Hall of Fame.' Every dollar counts!

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  • Pledge $6 or more
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    5 backers

    'RADiuS Etch Kit' - comprised of vinyl, transfer paper, 2 1/2 X 3 inch copper clad, and instructions to etch two RADiuS shields. You'll need to provide your own etchant and components.

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  • Pledge $9 or more
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    2 backers

    If you don't feel up to soldering your own shield... I'll do one for you. This reward is for assembly / soldering of _one_ RADiuS shield. The shield will come assembled, fully tested, and with the pins protected in foam. ( my wife told me to add this reward ) ;-)

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    4 backers

    1 unpopulated RADiuS PCBoard with a bill of materials. You'll need to order all the components on your own. I've used common / inexpensive components to make sure you'll have no problem finding necessary parts.

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    4 backers

    2 unpopulated RADiuS PCBoards with a bill of materials. Again, you'll need to order all the components on your own.

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  • Pledge $35 or more
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    1 backer

    1 unpopulated RADiuS PCBoard with a complete set of components to populate the board ( minus the Easy Radio ). If you would like to try your hand at soldering some 1206 SMT components... this reward is for you! This reward includes a wire/spring antenna.

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  • Pledge $55 or more
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    2 backers

    Everything from the $35 reward... plus a breadboard, through-hole components, and all the jumper wires needed to complete a proto-version of the shield. This reward includes one wire/spring antenna ( no Easy Radio modules ).

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    2 unpopulated RADiuS PCBoards with a complete set of components to populate the boards ( minus the Easy Radios ). This reward includes two wire/spring antennas.

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    2 Easy Radio Advanced modules + a circuit diagram to connect things up. You'll have to provide your own components to hook things up - including antennas.

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  • Pledge $95 or more
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    0 backers

    2 Easy Radio Advanced modules, 2 breadboards, 2 sets of through-hole components, a circuit diagram to connect things up, and 2 wire/spring antennas.

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  • Pledge $115 or more
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    0 backers

    1 unpopulated RADiuS PCBoard with a complete set of components to populate the board. 1 breadboard, through-hole components, and all the jumper wires needed to complete a proto-version of the shield. This reward includes 1 1/4 wave antenna and 1 wire/spring antenna + 2 Easy Radio Advanced modules.

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  • Pledge $135 or more
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    2 unpopulated RADiuS PCBoards with a complete set of components to populate the boards, 2 1/4 wave antennas and 2 Easy Radio Advanced modules. You still need to assemble all the goodies.

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  • Pledge $155 or more
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    2 backers

    This reward is the same as the $135 reward but I'll assemble / test the shields for you. Yay!

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  • Pledge $175 or more
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    0 backers

    Take the $155 reward and add 1 SparkFun FT232RL breakout. With it, you'll be able to drive the RADiuS from your desktop or laptop!

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    2 assembled / tested shields, 2 Easy Radio Advanced modules, 2 Arduino UNOs loaded with a simple communication app, 1 SparkFun FT232RL breakout... and you'll get your reward first!

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    You get the $250 reward... and I'll develop a custom application of your description and load it on your UNOs. You'll need to keep development time within 20 hours. I'll work with you on the specification.

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Funding period

- (30 days)