BH Dynamics' DynaLoRa-USB Offers an Arduino, CircuitPython Entry Point for LoRa Experimentation

At just $30, the DynaLoRa-USB is a low-cost way to get started with LoRa radio networks — and it's open hardware, too.

Electronic design firm BH Dynamics has launched a low-cost, Arduino- and CircuitPython-compatible USB radio dongle designed to get people started with LoRa networks as quickly as possible: the DynaLoRa-USB.

"DynaLoRa-USB is a low cost and open source, CircuitPython and Arduino compatible, LoRa tinkering dongle designed by and for makers," the company writes. "Our aim is to facilitate access to the hottest radio technology (LoRa) through the use of maker-friendly languages such as Python and the Arduino framework.

"With that intent, DynaLoRa-USB is a simple device that you just plug and play with! It includes a powerful SAM D21 microcontroller and a HopeRF LoRa radio module (RFM96W for 868/915 MHz), an user button, an RGB LED and an external interface to plug your favorite peripherals."

The board includes a Microchip ATSAMD21E18 microcontroller with an Arm Cortex-M0+ running at 48MHz with 32kB RAM and 256kB flash, with a CircuitPython port and Arduino core readily available, along with a 32Mb external SPI flash module for storage. The HopeRF radio module to which the controller connects offers connectivity in the 868/915 MHz spectrum — "but you can easily replace it by the 433 MHz version," the company notes.

Elsewhere on the board is a user-controllable RGB LED, a single-colour LED, a microSD card slot for data storage, a general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header with Serial Wire Debug (SWD), SERCOM, and digital to analog converter (DAC), and a USB Type-A plug for direct insertion into a host machine. A bundled antenna, meanwhile, connects to an SMA connector on the opposite end.

BH Dynamics is selling the DynaLoRa-USB via Tindie at $29.99 without or $34.99 with GPIO header attached; those who want to choose their own components can purchase the bare PCB for $4.99. Design files are available on GitHub under the CERN Open Hardware License v1.2.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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