Close
0%
0%

ARMAWATCH & ARMACHAT - long range radio messengers

Freedom of communication without borders, operators, networks, fees !
Your own network, your own rules !
Long range radio communicators

Similar projects worth following
Starting from
$16.99
bobricius has 813 orders / 58 reviews
Ships from Slovakia
It is very simple and low component count / cost device.
It called as armageddon communicator but I think it can not survive any disaster,

I making it for fun and learning communication, It is super hi tech walkie talkie,
you have much more cool smart device in you pocket with unlimited distance ;).

Finally I make small distance test, no direct view, some small kills,
between houses in village.

(Max power, Spread Factor 12)
-700m unit on garden desk
-1500m unit in window, about 4m above ground
-4300m unit in attic window, 10m above ground

  • Armachat is Winner of PCBWay 3rd PCB Design Contest 2nd place BEST DESIGN ! THANKS

Articles about project:

Searching sponsors, patrons https://www.patreon.com/bobricius

Experience freedom of communication without borders
operators
networks
fees !!!

Create your own network, your own rules !!!

Hackaday prize 2020 entry video:

QUICK OPERATION VIDEO preview:


ARMAWATCH

ARMACHAT


Hardware features UPDATED !!!:

  • Only single chip SAMD21E18, more easy to solder in TQFP32
  • QWERTY keyboard - 30 keys (5x6 matrix)
  • 18650 li-on battery (Fusion)
  • LCD on HW SPI:
    - FUSION: 1.8 TFT LCD display 128x160 ST7735 or 240x240 IPS ST7789
    - WATCH:  0.96 IPS LCD display 80x160 ST7735 
  • RFM95 long range radio module - 3 freq. by your country - IRQ / wake up
  • Beeper
  • Battery charging
  • DS3131 RTC with CR1220 battery backup
  • GPS support
  • Environmental sensors possibility
  • unique PCB USB-C or micro USB
  • native HW USB for next features like, modem, sniffer ....
  • EXPANSION port I2C, UART (GPS, RTC, Environmental sensors)

Working software features:

  • Send message ... compose and send message to specified recipient or broadcast 
  • Receive message ... message is received on background and stored in memory.
  • Message editor ... write message about +/- 80 characters long ...  80 is now best readable on full display ....
  • Message memory ... all send/received messages are stored in memory
  • Display memory ... display memory content
  • RTC .... display time
  • Battery ... display battery voltage
  • Config ... user radio configuration spread factor / power
  • time set
  • check message delivery confirmation
  • contact list display and check online contacts
  • select recipient or broadcast
  • sort from memory by contact
  • BEST working feature - resend undelivered messages if delivery fail, message is stored with "undelivered" attribute. Every station at power on broadcast "Ready receive status", then if any near station receive this broadcast and have undelivered message automatically try send this messages,  if then receive confirmation mark messages in memory as DELIVERED :)
    All this features uses only 20% flash memory !!!
    there is lot free space for next updates

 TODO software features:

  • add message encryption
  • Message forward (meshDisaster.radio - LoRaLayer2
  • make it compatible with disaster.radio mega super cool project !!!
  • add some USB link features like work as usb modem, send receive/message from PC terminal
  • GPS position parse

Some screenshots:

STEM Learning:

What you can learn on this board?

  • modern architecture based on M0 arduino zero compatible, with lot memory and native USB
  • QWERTY keyboard matrix reading
  • complex input/output HID processing read keyboard data,
  • create and display graphics, save data to flash, send results over radio or usb
  • radio communication with world best, most advanced long range radio technology
  • work with I2C sensors or process GPS data
  • learn lot about network architecture, packets, communication, addresing, delivery confirmation
  • RTC clock and alarms
  • power management, sleep, wake by alarm, wake on receive

( all this things I learning now on this project)

Production and marketing plans:

Hardware is very simple and easy to solder by hand (in pocket version with SAMD21E18), low active component count make it very attractive as learn to solder kit. Unfortunately SAMD21 come without bootloader, this is little problem because SAMD need special tools to burn bootloaders, I have no experience how much is complicated burn bootloader in factory on bare unsoldered chip. I suggesting sell this as semi populated board > PCBA all active components except buttons and radio module (Unsoldered radio module give small advantage...

Read more »

bootloader-ArmaBOOT.bin

Bootloader for SAMD21E18

octet-stream - 8.00 kB - 07/21/2020 at 22:15

Download

  • 1 × RFM95 or RFM95PW Radio module with Long range LoRa radio modulation
  • 1 × SAMD21E18 Arduino ZERO compatible MCU in supercool TQFP32 package
  • 1 × DS3231 Clock and Timer ICs / Real-Time Clocks - Optional
  • 1 × LM1117-3.3V Power Management ICs / Linear Voltage Regulators and LDOs
  • 1 × MCP73831 Power Management ICs / Power Supply Support

View all 8 components

  • New user interface, new protocol

    bobricius20 hours ago 0 comments

    Cleaning code ... unifying user interface, rewriting communication

    Something what is finished now

    • Switching to white background, maybe it is bad step, but why wasting light
    • New font something middle between old small/big combination
    • User name is auto updated in contact lists on remote units. 
    • Addressing and protocol adapted for future #meshtastic support.
    • Soon you can send message to #meshtastic network, they nodes forward this message  to another Armachat unit, but you can not read this message on Meshtastic app :(
    • Also working on adaptation Meshtastic mesh routing protocol for armachat (Full interconnection is little hard, but maybe in far future I want this)

    Power management

    I am searching way how to reduce consumption but I found only one way ... reduce backlit

    • MCU 20mA
    • LoRa 10mA
    • Backlit 30mA

    Total 60mA, if I switch-off lora, there is no receiving wake up.
    If MCU go to sleep, display freeze.
    Lowering backlight (no switch-off just to 10%)
    I can go to 30mA with full runtime a little readable display

    MAIN SCREEN

    ADDRESS BOOK

    TEXT EDITOR

    SETUP

  • Next distance test ... little above 4km

    bobricius09/13/2020 at 19:28 0 comments

    Today I make small bike trip to next village.
    New distance test ... above 4km.

    • 865,2Mhz 
    • LoRa SpreadFactor 12 
    • 3 dbi antenna 
    •  one unit in attic window, second in hand.
    •  No direct view, some small hills and houses

    Not reliable, I need some walking and search.

    Poll for protocol finished, Meshtastic is winner ;) Yesterday I started protocol adaptation. I am not sure if I can fully implement routing in to Armachat device but I want negotiate with Meshtastic authors about injecting packet to Meshtastic network and then forward with they nodes.

    For now I am very satisfied.  I think connection to  2km is very reliable.

    I can imagine solution with only one simple repeating node above hill or church and cover large area with lot of users.

  • Mesh protocol Meshtastic or Disaster.radio ???

    bobricius09/11/2020 at 06:11 0 comments

    I created poll about future mesh protocol implemntation.

    YOU CAN VOTE HERE>>> https://twitter.com/bobricius/status/1302689102970662913

  • Gold/Green boards with keyboard backlight

    bobricius09/07/2020 at 22:27 0 comments

    #Armachat last version with perfect 30LED keyboard backlight (10mA 0.03W). 

    PCB made in @aislerhq 
    I think I am on edge of perfection.

    Is GOLD/GREEN cool ?

  • Armachat - Distance test

    bobricius07/30/2020 at 20:11 0 comments

    Finally I get time to make small distance test, no direct view, between houses in village.
    700-1500m ... maybe more, standard RFM95 20dB output, spread factor 12, 2dB antenna

    • Unit on garden desk
    • Unit in window, about 4m above ground

  • Cyberdeck style concept.

    bobricius07/03/2020 at 10:47 2 comments

    It is waterproof box for memory cards.
    I need design separated keyboard and main board.
    Of course it is still not doomsday resistant. just for fun ;)

  • RFM95PW - High Power radio module and IPS display

    bobricius06/29/2020 at 21:10 0 comments

    Descriptions of RF LoRa Transceiver Module RFM95PW:

    RFM98PW/RFM95PW RF LoRa Transceiver module series’ design is based on the high performance LoRaTM modulation technique RF98/RF96 chip, It operate at 169/433/470MHz (RFM98PW)  and 868/915MHz(RFM95PW) ISM band , The low receive sensitivity(–136dBm) coupled with Enhanced +30dBm output power ensures extended range and improved link performance.

    240x240 IPS display and square buttons :)

    You can also use bigger TFT display.

    RFM95PW under module is footprint for clasic RFM95, also on board is optionall DS3231 with backup battery.

  • Received new boards

    bobricius06/03/2020 at 22:33 0 comments

    NEWS:

    • Routing new board with higher power module RFM95 design is almost ready for factory.
    • Board is little smaller as previous version (-10mm) 62mm x 77mm
    • Accepting both RFM95 and RFM95PW lora modules
    • Maybe is wearable with realy comfort keyboard and bigger display ( Armawatch killer ??? ).

  • Armawatch assembled

    bobricius06/01/2020 at 21:23 0 comments

  • ARMACHAT - Keyboard LED backlight

    bobricius06/01/2020 at 20:17 0 comments

    Not ideal but working ;)


View all 10 project logs

View all 4 instructions

Enjoy this project?

Share

Discussions

LuckyFish wrote 09/04/2020 at 06:11 point

Provide applicable to SAMD21G18 the Bootloader do? thank you

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 09/04/2020 at 06:53 point

G18 is no longer supported.

  Are you sure? yes | no

cianosweeney wrote 07/30/2020 at 23:50 point

Will any future boards have pads for GPS module? Or I can add it in a printed case

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 07/31/2020 at 20:36 point

Yes, I have one UART and RXD free for GPS, but TXD is used to control backlit, also I have one free I2C header

  Are you sure? yes | no

cianosweeney wrote 07/31/2020 at 20:51 point

OK - but not on board - separate board wired to header?

  Are you sure? yes | no

pcs35a wrote 07/03/2020 at 20:49 point

This is great! I had a similar LoRa-based, stand-alone solution in mind, but you nailed it!
Would it be possible to add a USB-Port to add a USB-Keyboard for faster typing?
Keep up the grat work!
I would buy these if they would be less than 50 € per unit

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 07/04/2020 at 13:28 point

I have no plan making something under 50E try disater.radio

  Are you sure? yes | no

pcs35a wrote 07/04/2020 at 15:18 point

Thank you for your reply! I'll definiteley keep an eye on your project nevertheless.

  Are you sure? yes | no

biały wygrywa wrote 07/03/2020 at 13:11 point

pylife are better

  Are you sure? yes | no

kwapiszon wrote 07/03/2020 at 08:48 point

I would like to AA battery, AND solar panel for emergency.
Please add translation to Polish language with ąłóŹŻŚ etc.
create a module with ethernet for routers (to expand mesh network) Expand ethernet, wifi network too.
add channels like cb-radio (9 for emergency and other for communication with more than one people)

/meybe use pylife protocol or pax from disaster.radio /

compatibility of device are important for mesh network

what band is legal in europe? 868Mhz? 443 is only for sound

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 07/03/2020 at 11:02 point

I have plan connect with microusb-OTG smartphone to enhance GSM/LTE connectivity and of course you also connect notebook as gateway to ethernet.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Daniel Dunn wrote 07/02/2020 at 19:43 point

Have you taken a look at LTO batteries?  They have only half the capacity, but they don't catch fire even if stabbed, and they can last tens of thousands of cycles.   They're 2.4v which complicates the circuits, but I think it may be worth it, especially because they can be float charged, maybe making a solar input more practical.

 Is the RTC battery backup needed?  Could that be changed to a small capacitor that could give a few seconds time to make the swap, charged through a diode?   With some RTCs, a 47uF ceramic would even be enough I think.   An SD card slot would also be pretty cool to have,  to allow for message and position datalogging, as would a small thumb wheel.

This thing seems to really have some serious top notch potential!

I've been working on my own encrypted protocol here: https://github.com/EternityForest/SG1 which may be interesting.  

It's mostly meant for sub 10uA sensors, and doesn't handle many-to-many communications well, but I think I could adapt it very easily to work on LoRa and support multiple encrypted channels.

I already have python code for gateways that let you talk to the devices via MQTT, which might be helpful here.  The low security mode that only uses 4 byte MACs only has 11 bytes of overhead, and uses full 8 byte timestamp IVs.

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 07/02/2020 at 19:58 point

RTC and battery is optional.

I am focused on samd21E18 I think I created masterpiece to fit all into TQFP32 package.

  Are you sure? yes | no

daniel.faeh wrote 06/23/2020 at 08:55 point

I love the idea. If this will be compatible with mesh or small repeaters, encryption and multiple receivers this would make a great backup communication device for a lot of people

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 07/02/2020 at 20:36 point

I have plan make it compatible with disaster.radio mesh network.

  Are you sure? yes | no

miguelmurca wrote 06/11/2020 at 22:56 point

This is probably some of the sexiest stuff I have seen.

Just saying :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Samuk wrote 06/10/2020 at 22:06 point

Would be great if this could work with https://github.com/sudomesh/disaster-radio/wiki/Protocol and be compatible with Disaster Radio nodes

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 06/10/2020 at 22:20 point

Thanks I have this plan, if I can ;) I have ordered some TTGO lora boards to test. I searching something about datagram structure to display message from armachat to disaster radio phone.

  Are you sure? yes | no

RomanS wrote 06/08/2020 at 19:53 point

is it possible to see the firmware source code?

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 06/08/2020 at 20:18 point

on github

  Are you sure? yes | no

RomanS wrote 06/07/2020 at 15:47 point

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 06/08/2020 at 06:06 point

;) I like more https://disaster.radio/

  Are you sure? yes | no

RomanS wrote 06/08/2020 at 07:36 point

yeah. it's a good project. I'm trying to provide LORA communication with my messenger through satellite, like the guy with swiss accent at youtube ) check

"#305 Transfer a LoRa message through space to my PC before 2020" video

  Are you sure? yes | no

Joshua Johnson wrote 06/05/2020 at 17:13 point

How long does the battery last?

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 06/08/2020 at 06:05 point

untested, I measured consumption now it is about 50mA, full display backlit, radio onreceive, CPU at full power, no power saving. 26mA at low backlit. You can easy calculate work time to battery capacity. I start with power saving after I finish radio communication.

  Are you sure? yes | no

sunny wrote 06/04/2020 at 00:02 point

https://hackaday.io/project/169103-low-power-esp32-handheld  this project can give you some more ideas that you can implement in terms of a gyro keyboard and mouse making it even smaller if you'd like.

Good Luck with it.

  Are you sure? yes | no

paul kaloudis wrote 06/03/2020 at 15:52 point

Any chance of selling this as a kit? I've got a hard time finding the individual parts. Also, I love the idea of a longer range version.

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 06/03/2020 at 22:29 point

Kits is my nightmare, I always forgot some part to include.

  Are you sure? yes | no

paul kaloudis wrote 06/03/2020 at 22:49 point

how about just links to the parts then?

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 06/04/2020 at 08:42 point

I am ordering from TME.EU. prepare component list next week.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dave's Dev Lab wrote 05/28/2020 at 03:30 point

man you so need to add a barcode scanner to this and beef up the case! you could sell this by the boat load!

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 05/28/2020 at 07:21 point

Thinking about but for Fusion model, there is more space, also redrawing board for 10Km range modules RFM95PW :) ... just  4 days to receive watch boards ;)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Daniel Dunn wrote 07/04/2020 at 07:13 point

Instead of a barcode scanner, why not an expansion port?

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 07/04/2020 at 13:30 point

there is already expansion port, I2C and uart

  Are you sure? yes | no

Hpag wrote 05/20/2020 at 18:05 point

I liked the watch model so much! I wonder what is it capable of besides sending and recieving text messages. I would also like to contribute on this project.

  Are you sure? yes | no

bobricius wrote 05/20/2020 at 18:13 point

Watch and Fusion model have identical circuit and software, difference is only on display dimension. Keyboard I have tested on previous Armachat POCKET and is usable.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates