This is the Adafruit Feather 32u4 Radio (RFM69HCW) 900MHz. We call these RadioFruits, our take on an microcontroller packet radio transceiver with built in USB and battery charging. Its an Adafruit Feather 32u4 with a 900 MHz radio module cooked in! Great for making wireless networks that can go further than 2.4GHz 802.15.4 and similar, are more flexible than Bluetooth LE and without the high power requirements of WiFi.
Feather is the new development board from Adafruit, and like its namesake it is thin, light, and lets you fly! We designed Feather to be a new standard for portable microcontroller cores.We have other boards in the Feather family, check’em out here.
This is the 900 MHz radio version, which can be used for either 868MHz or 915MHz transmission/reception — the exact radio frequency is determined when you load the software since it can be tuned around dynamically. We also sell a 433MHz version of the same radio chipset and if you want much longer range, check out the LoRa 900MHz Feather
At the Feather 32u4’s heart is at ATmega32u4 clocked at 8 MHz and at 3.3V logic, a chip setup we’ve had tons of experience with as it’s the same as the Flora. This chip has 32K of flash and 2K of RAM, with built in USB so not only does it have a USB-to-Serial program & debug capability built in with no need for an FTDI-like chip, it can also act like a mouse, keyboard, USB MIDI device, etc.
To make it easy to use for portable projects, we added a connector for any of our 3.7V Lithium polymer batteries and built in battery charging. You don’t need a battery, it will run just fine straight from the micro USB connector. But, if you do have a battery, you can take it on the go, then plug in the USB to recharge. The Feather will automatically switch over to USB power when its available. We also tied the battery thru a divider to an analog pin, so you can measure and monitor the battery voltage to detect when you need a recharge.
Here’s some handy specs! Like all Feather 32u4’s you get:
- Measures 2.0″ x 0.9″ x 0.28″ (51mm x 23mm x 8mm) without headers soldered in
- Light as a (large?) feather — 5.5 grams
- ATmega32u4 @ 8MHz with 3.3V logic/power
- 3.3V regulator with 500mA peak current output
- USB native support, comes with USB bootloader and serial port debugging
- You also get tons of pins — 20 GPIO pins
- Hardware Serial, hardware I2C, hardware SPI support
- 7 x PWM pins
- 10 x analog inputs
- Built in 100mA lipoly charger with charging status indicator LED
- Pin #13 red LED for general purpose blinking
- Power/enable pin
- 4 mounting holes
- Reset button
The Feather 32u4 Radio uses the extra space left over to add an RFM69HCW 433 or 868/915 MHz radio module. These radios are not good for transmitting audio or video, but they do work quite well for small data packet transmission when you ned more range than 2.4 GHz (BT, BLE, WiFi, ZigBee)
- SX1231 based module with SPI interface
- Packet radio with ready-to-go Arduino libraries
- Uses the license-free ISM band («European ISM» @ 868MHz or «American ISM» @ 915MHz)
- +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
- Range of approx. 350 meters, depending on obstructions, frequency, antenna and power output
- Create multipoint networks with individual node addresses
- Encrypted packet engine with AES-128
- Simple wire antenna or spot for uFL connector
Comes fully assembled and tested, with a USB bootloader that lets you quickly use it with the Arduino IDE. We also toss in some headers so you can solder it in and plug into a solderless breadboard. You will need to cut and solder on a small piece of wire (any solid or stranded core is fine) in order to create your antenna. Lipoly battery and USB cable not included but we do have lots of options in the shop if you’d like!
Check out our tutorial for all sorts of details, including pinouts, power management, Arduino IDE setup, antenna options, and more!
- 51mm x 23mm x 8mm / 2.0″ x 0.9″ x 0.28″
- Weight: 5.5g
- EagleCAD PCB files, Fritzing objects, datasheets and more in the tutorial!