Do you want to be able to send an SMS over 20kms without using a mobile phone network? Here’s one small project you can knock up in less than a day allowing you to send an SMS over LoRa.
How does it work?
So, how can you use LoRa to send messages long distances?
I chose DFRobot’s ESP32 based FireBeetle. It’s similar to AdaFruit’s Feather, so you can use either. Whatever you choose, just make sure it has LiPo support.
The LoRa module I used was from BangGood which was the Ra-02 module from AI-Thinker. This one has a handy uFL connector for external antenna.
Then there’s the header pins that come with the FireBeetle and the strip-board or vero-board, external antenna,
Oh, and there’s also a LiPo battery.
So, I need to plan where to place all these components to make it as small as possible with the minimum amount of soldering.
Then on to mounting up temporarily on to the strip-board so I can mark out where to Dremmel.
Then on to soldering up all the signal wires, which is pretty easy as there’s no cross-overs. I could have soldered up all the other DIO lines from the LoRa module here, but since there’s plenty of spare GPIOs, I can do that later. I only need DIO0 and SPI signals.
Next I wrote up some simple Firmware using several Arduino libraries. Check out my website for details. Once I went through a whole lot of boring testing I came up with some basic firmware that I flashed to both devices.
Now bear in mind that this is a direct device to device link and it doesn’t use LoRaWAN.
I wanted to keep it as simple as possible.
Note also that it’s a pretty simple application. I plan to update the firmware to make it more robust and add features like Low Power modes, flash storage of messages and maybe a mobile app instead of using a browser.
So, stay tuned for updates on this project…
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