The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic these days, and a lot of makers are taking advantage of the tools available now to build their own custom devices. Usually that means connecting a microcontroller development board, like an ESP8266, to a network via WiFi. But, if you’re building an IoT device, you have to ask yourself if you actually want it to connect through WiFi. If not, the 433MHz radio-equipped Antennino may be for you.
The whole “grand vision” of IoT is that everything will be connected. Anyone who has been to CES has seen that in the form of IoT toasters, refrigerators, and shower heads. The obvious problem is that you end up with a gaggle of WiFi devices that eat up your bandwidth. Antennino is one alternative that offers the same low-level microcontoller-based control of an Arduino, but with a built-in 433MHz radio and antenna packed onto an energy efficient board. It even includes an OLED screen to simplify your projects.
The 433MHz frequency is open for general use, so you don’t have to worry about restrictive FCC regulations. It was used for simple home automation, like in wireless light switches, long before IoT took over the scene. Each Antennino can act as either a gateway to the rest of your network, or as a remote module for your sensors, motors, or relays. Basically, anything you can do with an Arduino you can do with this, including programming through the Arduino IDE. The onboard RFM69 radio module even supports hardware AES cryptography to help avoid interference with other 433MHz signals.
Antennino is available now over at the Open Electronics store, with a price tag of 30€ (about $35 USD).