Freakduino 1284P 900 MHz Long Range

Do you need to transmit data over a huge range? Are you running out of RAM on your Arduino project? Or perhaps you need a lot of RAM AND long distance wireless communications for your project? Then you might want to check out the Freakduino 1284P 900 MHz Long Range board. It’s a variant of the Freakduino board designed for projects that are hitting the limits of the constrained memory of a standard Arduino or Freakduino and requires additional range that can’t be serviced by the Freakduino 1284P. This unique board combines the wireless communications and amplification circuitry of our bestseller, the Freakduino 900 MHz Long Range board, with the additional memory resources of the Freakduino 1284P to make an amazing wireless device that can implement a whole new range of environmental monitoring applications.

The FreakLabs Freakduino 1284P 900 MHz Long Range board is designed for rapid prototyping, experimentation, and deployment of long range wireless designs at low cost. This board maintains the simplicity of the Freakduino but pairs it with a monster wireless front end that puts out 50x the power of the standard Freakduino board on the transmit side and 10x the amplification on the receive side. This board is ideal when you need to send data thousands of meters instead of tens of meters.

With 16kB of RAM and 128 kB of flash, this particular variant of the Freakduino family uses an Arduino compatible chip with 8x the RAM and 4x the flash memory of the Arduino Uno. It’s designed to be used in applications that won’t fit in the 2kB of RAM or 32 kB of flash of a standard Arduino.

Freakduino 1284P 900 MHz Long Range with bottom mounted battery holder

Freakduino family boards consume less than 200 uA from the battery in sleep mode

Power

In wireless sensor networks, the #1 feature isn’t wireless technology, it’s power. That’s where the Freakduino series of boards shines. The Freakduino 1284P 900 MHz Long Range Board comes out of the box with not one, but two battery regulator circuits which allows it to run on 2 AA batteries. For this special device, the battery circuits were doubled up to allow for the higher current needs when the device transmits.

The complete system is also power optimized so that if proper power management is used, ie: the board sleeps most of the time and just wakes up to transmit data, it can run for months to years on a single pair of batteries. Allowing for battery usage makes it one of the few Arduino boards that can be a complete standalone device with no modifications or special shields! But that’s not all. The board can also be powered by a standard DC wall plug (6V or higher) if the application has high current requirements or via the USB if it will be tethered to a computer.

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Wireless

The second most important feature in wireless sensors is range. Range needs to fit the application and when you need to transmit long distances, the choices become very limited. The Freakduino 1284P 900 MHz Long Range board is one of the most popular products on the FreakLabs site because its specifically designed for transmitting outdoors over long distances. It pairs the ease-of-use of the Arduino environment, lightweight wireless software that simply works, and a powerful wireless radio and front end amplifiers so that people could send and receive wireless sensor data quickly, easily, and far.

The front end amplifier boosts the power output 50x from 10 mW to 500 mW compared to the standard Freakduino. It also improves the receiver sensitivity by up to 10x for an amazing increase in range. Pairing the 900 MHz long range board with a high gain directional antenna allows you to transmit a few kilometers in an open field. Forget complex mesh networks or fancy wireless protocols. If you have an application where you need serious wireless range and robust reliability, simple single hop wireless connections are where it’s at. You’ll definitely want to check out this board!

Memories
Let’s face it. All of the features above won’t matter if you don’t have enough memory resources to run your application. One of the main reasons to get this board is that it has huge memories. There are many libraries that consume large quantities of RAM like the SD card library or Ethernet library. The amount of usable RAM on a standard Arduino is theoretically 2 kB but actually about 1.5 kB due to the bootloader. This goes really fast when you have a bit of application code and stringing together a few libraries. The 128 kB of flash memory allows you to implement full applications that can be feature rich. You won’t have to constrain your code size or even worry about how much flash storage you’re using. In my 10+ years or working with Arduino, I don’t think I’ve ever filled up a full 128 kB of code yet.

Case Studies

Since its initial introduction almost ten years ago, thousands of Freakduinos have been sold, powering applications in environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, garden monitoring, home safety, and scientific research. We’re also able to offer the design in multiple frequencies to suit your needs. Whether you need the international compatibility of 2.4 GHz or the increased range of 900 MHz, or even long range versions of both, we’ve got you covered. We also offer multiple antenna configurations to suit your range requirements.

Currently on its third revision, this version of the Freakduino improves on the previous designs by reducing power for longer battery life, integrating power circuitry that allows it to be battery operated, and reducing the cost.

The Freakduino has been used by organizations such as the World Bank, UNESCO, International Atomic Energy Agency, MIT Media Lab, and many more. Most importantly, it’s designed for people that value environmental monitoring, quantitative data, open source and DIY culture, and citizen science. Along with all that, there’s a no-questions-asked full refund if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.

Monitoring water levels in storage tanks in a Tibetan village in the Himalayas.

Making radiation monitors after Fukushima meltdown for Safecast
Making radiation monitors after Fukushima meltdown for Safecast

   

Freakduino 900 MHz Long Range board being tested on search and rescue drones

If you’re interested to try out the Freakduino 1284P 900 MHz Long Range Board, you can find it at the FreakLabs online shop here:

Freakduino 1284P 900 MHz Long Range Link