Challenger RP2040 LoRa (915MHz)
The Challenger RP2040 LoRa is an Arduino/Circuitpython compatible Adafruit Feather format micro controller board based on the Raspberry Pico (RP2040) chip.
This is a spin-off from our Challenger RP2040 WiFi board but we have replaced the WiFi module with a low power LoRa radio module from Hope RF. The transceiver features a LoRa long range modem that provides ultra-long range spread spectrum communication and high interference immunity whilst minimizing current consumption.
The integrated module LoRa module, RFM95W, can achieve a sensitivity of over -148dBm utilizing a low cost crystal and bill of materials. The high sensitivity combined with the integrated +20 dBm power amplifier yields industry leading link budget making it optimal for any application requiring range or robustness. LoRa also provides significant advantages in both blocking and selectivity over conventional modulation techniques, solving the traditional design compromise between range, interference immunity and energy consumption.
The RFM95W is connected to the RP2040 via SPI channel 1 and a few GPIO’s that is required for signaling. A U.FL connector is used to attach your LoRa antenna to the board.
- 168 dB maximum link budget.
- +20 dBm – 100 mW constant RF output vs. V supply.
- +14 dBm high efficiency PA.
- Programmable bit rate up to 300 kbps.
- High sensitivity: down to -148 dBm.
- Bullet-proof front end: IIP3 = -12.5 dBm.
- Excellent blocking immunity.
- Low RX current of 10.3 mA, 200 nA register retention.
- Fully integrated synthesizer with a resolution of 61 Hz.
- FSK, GFSK, MSK, GMSK, LoRaTM and OOK modulation.
- Built-in bit synchronizer for clock recovery.
- Preamble detection.
- 127 dB Dynamic Range RSSI.
- Automatic RF Sense and CAD with ultra-fast AFC.
- Packet engine up to 256 bytes with CRC.
Supports both 868MHz and 915MHz systems by using the specific LoRa module (RFM95W-868S2, RFM95W-915S2) as required for each region.
Weight: 0.009 kg
Dimensions: 5.07 × 2.28 × 0.72 cm
LiPo battery / charger
The board is equipped with a standard 2.0mm JST connector for connecting a rechargeable LiPo battery. There is also an internal battery charger circuit that charges your battery as long as a USB cable is inserted or the VUSB connection is connected to 5V.
USB Type C
In the recent years we have noticed that we are seeing more and more USB Type C cable laying around the lab due to the fact that all new phones and accessories use them. As of yet we haven’t seen any shortage of micro USB cables but we are not getting any new ones any more and old ones do break occasionally. So we decided to go for a USB Type C connector for this board. A bonus of this is that they are quite bit more durable and you don’t have to fiddle with the cable before plugging it in.
Using the Arduino environment
ILABS teamed up with Earle F. Philhower over at his Github page to provide Arduino support for our RP2040 based boards. You can follow the instructions on Earle’s github page or you can check out our instructions here on how to install the package.
The Challenger RP2040 WiFi board is fully compatible Adafruits CircuitPython. Instruction are available on how to install the python interpreter of your choice is available on respective web site.