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RP2040 Feather module comes with Packet Radio

Apr 4, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 688 views

The Adafruit Feather RP2040 RFM69 Packet Radio is a compact board providing up to 21x GPIOs, 1x STEMMA connector, LiPo connector and it’s compatible with Arduino/CircuitPython.

According to the product page, this new Feather module is based on the Adafruit Feather RP2040 board launched last year.

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  • RP2040 — 32-bit Dual Arm Cortex M0+ processor (up to 133MHz); 264 kB RAM; 8MB SPI Flash


RP2040 RFM69 Packet Radio bottom and top view
(click images to enlarge)

The radio module onboard seems to be Adafruit’s RFM69 900MHz breakout board that they released previously. The radio also uses the following license-free ISM bands: “European ISM” @ 868MHz, “American ISM” @ 915MHz.

Radio module specifications:

  • SX1231 based module w/ SPI interface
  • +13 to +20 dBm, up to 100 mW Power Output Capability (power output selectable in software)
  • 50mA (+13 dBm) to 150mA (+20dBm) current draw for transmissions, ~30mA during active radio listening.
  • Range of approx. 500 meters, depending on obstructions, frequency, antenna and power output
  • Create multipoint networks with individual node addresses
  • Encrypted packet engine w/ AES-128

Adafruit mentions that “these radios are not good for transmitting audio or video, but they do work quite well for small data packet transmission when you need more range than 2.4 GHz (BT, BLE, Wi-Fi, ZigBee).”


RP2040 RFM69 Packet Radio pinout
(click image to enlarge)

The new Feather board provides up to 21x GPIOs, 4x 12-bit ADC pins, 16x PWM outputs,  2x I2C, 2x SPI and 2x UART interfaces as show above. The schematics and pinout of this board can be found on the Adafruit’s GitHub repository. 

 
RP2040 RFM69 Packet Radio antennas
(click images to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Adafruit Feather RP2040 RFM69:

  • I/O Interfaces:
    • Up to 21 GPIOs
    • 1x uFL connector
  • USB:
    • 1x USB Type-C
  • Other Features:
    • 1x RGB NeoPixel
    • 1x Red LED
    • 1x STEMMA QT connector
    • 1x Reset Button, 1x Boot button 
  • Power:
    • 3.3V DC 
    • 1x LiPo charger w/ status LED
  • Mechanical:
    • 50.8 x 22.8 x 7mm
    • 6g
    • 4 mounting holes

Further information

The product page for this device is located here, but it’s not available to order yet. The Adafruit Feather RP2040 RFM69 will cost $19.95.

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