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Automation Kit packs RPI2040 chip and supports 5Km LoRa

Aug 11, 2022 — by Giorgio Mendoza 651 views

Yesterday, SB Components Ltd launched an Automation Kit platform based on the Raspberry Pi Pico with Long Range support. This LoRa based platform can be used in embedded applications that require long-range connectivity and low power such as smart agricultural apps, smart homes, etc.

The Automation Kit Platform consists of four products, an 4-channel relay board based on Lora and RP2040 MCU, an 8-channel relay board based on LoRa and RP2040 MCU, an USB Dongle based on LoRa and RP2040 MCU and a Raspberry Pi HAT based on LoRa. 

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4-Channel Relay Board
(click image to enlarge)

4-Channel Relay Board based on LoRa & RP2040 MCU: This product is suggested to be used in industrial or residential settings. The device includes a remote power switch which allows it to regulate power external devices/appliances remotely (i.e. lights, pumps, security systems, etc.). This product comes with an integrated USB TO UART converter, Voltage Level Translator, SMA Antenna connector (433/868/915 MHz frequency band), an IPEX antenna connector and LoRa Spread Spectrum Modulation technology with auto multi-level repeating. 

Specifications:

  • Connectivity:
    • USB LoRa & USB RP2040
  • Frequency:
    • 433, 868, 915 MHz
  • Power:
    • 22dBm
  • Distance:
    • 5KM
  • Interface:
    • UART
  • Relays:
    • 4-channel opto-isolated relays
    • AC-10A/250V & DC 10A


8-Channel Relay Board and LoRa network example
(click image to enlarge)

8-Channel Relay Board based on LoRa & RP2040 MCU: This product is very similar to the previous one, except “it uses a MicroUSB port to upload code, connect to the LoRa network, plug the Remote Power Switch into a power outlet, and plug appliances into the remote power switch.” 

Specifications:

  • Connectivity:
    • USB LoRa & USB RP2040
  • Frequency:
    • 433, 868, 915 MHz
  • Power:
    • 22dBm
  • Distance:
    • 5KM
  • Interface:
    • UART
  • Relays:
    • 8-channel opto-isolated relays
    • AC-10A/250V & DC 10A

 
USB Dongle demo and device (right)USB Dongle based on LoRa
(click images to enlarge)

USB Dongle based on LoRa & RP2040 MCU: This open-source USB dongle which can be connected to the LoRa network from any computer or smart device. The product is Linux compatible and it can be interfaced with other embedded devices (i.e. BeagleBone, Raspberry Pi, etc.).

The company also mentioned “You don’t have to utilize your Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins as it connects via USB. IoT integrators may use the device to test and set up networks without having to carry around a development board, cable, adapters, and other components.”

Specifications:

  • Connectivity:
    • USB LoRa & USB RP2040
  • Display:
    • 1.14” LCD
  • Frequency:
    • 433, 868, 915 MHz
  • Power:
    • 22dBm
  • Distance:
    • 5KM
  • Interface:
    • UART
  • Power Level Translator:
    • 74HC125V

 
RPi LoRa HAT demo (left) RPi LoRa HAT board (right) and Automation Kit Platform (bottom)
(click images to enlarge)

Raspberry Pi HAT based on LoRa: The last product is a low-power data transmission module and it offers similar features as the first product without the relays. The RPI HAT includes an onboard USB to UART converter, Voltage Level Translator, SMA antenna connector, IPEX antenna connector, LoRa Spread Spectrum Modulation technology with auto multi-level repeating.

Specifications:

  • Connectivity:
    • USB LoRa & USB RP2040
  • Frequency:
    • 433, 868, 915 MHz
  • Power:
    • 22dBm
  • Distance:
    • 5KM
  • Interface:
    • UART
  • Relays:
    • 4-channel opto-isolated relays
    • AC-10A/250V & DC 10A

Additionally, the LoRa modules include data encryption/decryption algorithms, support for different data packets and support for different packet length settings. 

Further information

The Automation Platform is available via Kickstarter and it already has passed its funding goal. The Raspberry Pi Hat based on LoRa starts at €25, the USB dongle based on LoRa sells for €30. The 4-channel relay board and the 8-channel relay board are available for €41 and €49 respectively. The product page also includes additional combos for extra money. See the Kickstarter page for additional details.

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