Freakduino 900MHz Long Range

The Freakduino 900 MHz Long Range board is a variant of the classic wireless Arduino-compatible board, Freakduino, by FreakLabs. The 900 MHz Long Range 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.

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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 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.

Wireless Range

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 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. 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!


Range testing the Freakduino in rice fields

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 the Himalayas.
Monitoring water levels in storage tanks 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, you can find it at the FreakLabs online shop here:

Freakduino 900 MHz Long Range Link