AsiaRF AWM002 Wi-Fi Module and a Tiny IoT Server Kit Get Crowdfunded for $15 and Up

VoCore Wi-Fi module selling for $15 to $20, and it’s corresponding VoCore Dock with Ethernet has been quite popular, and at the time of writing, the project has already received $40,000 in funding with 50 more days to go. But if you’d rather get something for the same price, a few months early, and an already FCC/CE certified and proven module and tiny IoT server, AsiaRF has also launched a crowdfunding campaign for their AWM002 Wi-Fi module running OpenWRT on the same Ralink RT5350 found on the VoCore. as well as AWM002 Tiny Kit which adds Ethernet and USB, and a larger board with easier access to all ports and I/Os.

AsiaRF IoT Server with AMW002 Module
AsiaRF AWM002 Tiny Kit with AMW002 Module

As a reminder, let’s go through AWM002 specifications again:

AsiaRF AWM002 Module
AsiaRF AWM002 Module
  • SoC – Mediatek/Ralink RT5350 MIPS 74KEc core @ 360 MHz dual band 802.11n Wi-Fi with data Rate up to 150Mbps, hardware NAT, QoS, TCP/UDP/IP checksum offloading.
  • System Memory – 32 MB
  • Storage – 8MB NAND flash (for firmware)
  • Security – 64/128-bits WEP, TKIP,WPA, WPA2,AES,WPS
  • Multi-modes – AP/Client
  • Antenna – 1x iPex connector (PIFA optional)
  • Transmit Power (EIRP)
    • 11n HT40 MCS7 : +14 dBm
    • 11b CCK: +20 dBm
    • 11g OFDM: +16 dBm
  • Receiver Sensitivity
    • -70dBm at HT40 MCS7
    • -78dBm at 54Mpbs
    • -90dBm at 11Mpbs
  • Headers
    • PIN I – 24-pin with access to GPIOS, 3.3V, 1.2V, GND, UART, USB, Ethernet..
    • PIN II – 16-pin with access to  I2C, I2S, PCM, Ethernet…
  • Power – +3.3V
  • Dimensions – 25x35mm
  • Certifications – FCC/CE
Large Base Board for AWM002 Module
Large Base Board for AWM002 Module

The module is already supported by OpenWRT, and provides access to various I/Os such as GPIOs, I2C, UART and so on. You could develop monitoring, communication or surveillance application, such as adding Wi-Fi to a USB printer, connecting a ZWave USB module to gather data from sensors, Wi-Fi IP Cameras, Wi-Fi speakers, adding Wi-Fi to Arduino, cloud storage servers, and so on.

AsiaRF is looking for $6,000 in funding (flexible funding Indiegogo campaign), and you can pledge as low as $15 (Early bird) for AWM002 module, after which it will be $23. The large base board without module goes for $35, and AWM002 tiny kit (pictures at the top of the post) can be had for $38. There are also perks to pledge for larger quantities, and even have your own RT5350 board being designed. Shipping is included to the US, Canada, Switzerland, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, India, and the Netherlands, and it’s $5 to the rest of the world. The campaign will complete by the end of June, and shipping is scheduled for July.

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16 Replies to “AsiaRF AWM002 Wi-Fi Module and a Tiny IoT Server Kit Get Crowdfunded for $15 and Up”

  1. Uh, this will probably hurt VoCore’s campaign. Reminds me of Arietta and CoreWind Wifig25 !

  2. @SimonL
    I think the VoCore guy did not expect such success. I may be wrong, but I feel like he works on this project as a part-time hobby. I’m sure he’s a very good engineer, but he has not done FCC/CE before, so probably has never managed manufacturing. Having said that, I trust the project will be successful.

    AsiaRF campaign seem much less risky, as the product already exists, and the company has been in this business for a while. I wonder if VoCore campaign is what triggered AsiaRF crowdfunding campaign…

    I think it’s different between Arietta and CoreWind WifiG25, as there’s clearly one company copying the other. But here, these are independent projects, although hardware is similar.

  3. @cnxsoft

    here we have VoCore copying AsiaRF 🙂
    I didnt understand VoCore to begin with, 1/4 more expensive just to get few additional I/Os.

    AsiaRF Indiegogo appears to be solely for the purpose of getting real CE and FCC certs, not just China Export.

  4. @cnxsoft The AsiaRF Indiegogo includes the needed antenna, it is shown in the photo. AsiaRF already has the needed FCC/CE approvals. That is the hard FCC to pass – intentional radiator (ie a radio).

    At the bottom I think he is referring to need to get the new dock through FCC unintentional radiator. That is a simple test that just costs a couple of hundred dollars. You have to show that you haven’t accidentally built a radio with the dock components.

  5. BTW, Vocore has made two posts that concern me. First he was unable to get the an external antenna work. That makes me think that he does not have a RF spectrum or network analyzer. His external antenna probably didn’t work because the matching circuitry on his module was wrong for the antenna he picked.

    Second he says that you need two antennas on the RT5350 for 802.11N. The RT5350 is 150Mb 1T1R the second antenna is a diversity antenna and it is optional. Compare this to the MT7620 which is 300Mb 2T2R and it needs two antennas.

    Based on these comments I suspect he is in for a lot of trouble at his FCC test.

  6. @cnxsoft The $15 level is just the module. You’ll have to figure out your own docking scheme. USB and power aren’t difficult to hook up but you will probably have trouble with the Ethernet if you don’t make a PCB.

    I suspect almost everyone who orders a bare module will end up using it as a paperweight. That’s true for both campaigns.

  7. @Jon Smirl
    I just plan to play around with Wi-Fi, not Ethernet, not USB. So I just need the power (+3.3V), which reminds me I don’t have any 3.3V power supplies. I’ll need to find a way, either buying a 3.3 power adapter, or a DC to DC converter like that? ->
    I’ll connect some external board, probably one with relays to try it out, and write about my experience.

  8. @cnxsoft that converter makes 800mA. I think that is enough but I’m not positive. Ask in a comment on the Indiegogo site.

    Many of the UART to USB modules have 3.3V power supplies built into them. They might make enough current. That might be a better way to go. You get serial console and power supply in same unit.

    You also have to mess with the 1mm pins. One scheme for doing that is to cut Dupont jumpers in half and solder them onto the pins. You can’t buy 1mm Duponts only 2mm and 2.54mm. So soldering is the only option.

  9. New update with VoCore / AsiaRF comparison, and added 100 $15 “early bird” modules –

    “AsiaRF vs Vocore comparison

    AsiaRF module is already a shipping product.
    AsiaRF module already has FCC and CE approvals.
    AsiaRF module support is already checked into OpenWRT AsiaRF will ship three months sooner than Vocore

    Compare the offerings of ten modules.
    AsiaRF – $118, 10 modules and a tiny base board Vocore – $180, 10 modules and no base board AsiaRF is 50% less for ten modules

    For five modules AsiaRF is also less and you still get the additional tiny base board.”

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