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Add-on brings the Raspberry Pi into the sub-1GHz RF world

Sep 28, 2017 — by Eric Brown — 2,180 views
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Amber Wireless unveiled a 868MHz “Amber Pi” wireless RF add-on board for the Raspberry Pi with multiple sensors and a breadboard for prototyping your own.

Germany-based Amber Wireless has jumped into the Raspberry Pi add-on market with an “Amber Pi” sub-1GHz RF radio. Designed for the Raspberry Pi 3, the board provides an RF dongle and the company’s sub-1GHz AMB8826 module, as well as temperature, humidity, air pressure, and motion sensors. The combination provides a remote, low-power, battery powered, wireless IoT station for applications including remote surveillance and control, weather stations, industrial automation with serial cable connections or sensor networks, and even remote control of a model airplane.



Amber Pi with its four sensor add-ons at bottom
(click images to enlarge)

The Amber Pi can be used as an evaluation board for the company’s proprietary, 868MHz AMB8826 module, which has a range of 2000 meters. The module is based on the Texas Instruments CC1310 SimpleLink Sub-1GHz MCU, and supports a “flooding mesh” mode as well as a long-range, low-power mode.


Amber Pi detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The Amber Pi is further equipped with 2x I2C and 2x SPI interfaces that plug into four available add-on cards. Three provide discrete functions — humidity/temperature, pressure/barometer, and 3-axis accelerometer — while a fourth “Proto SPI” card is a mini breadboard for prototyping customer sensors. Other components, which are sourced from Würth Elektronik, include a capacitor, Ferrite, and various headers, switches, sockets, jumpers, and LEDs. There’s also an “AMB1981” dipole antenna with SMA connector,.


Amber Pi sensor add-ons (l to r): LIS2DW12 (accelerometer), LPS22HB (barometer), and HTS221 (humidity/temperature)
(click image to enlarge)

The RF dongle can be plugged into any laptop computer for remote communications with the Amber Pi. The board ships with an SDK that includes an Amber Pi driver, written in C, as well as various functions and examples.


Proto SPI (left) and RF dongle
(click images to enlarge)

 
Further information

The Amber Pi will be available in October. No pricing was provided by Amber Wireless. More information may be found on the Amber Pi product page.
 

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