easySwitchBox is a LoRa Wall Switch Powered by Coin Cell Batteries and Arduino (Crowdfunding)

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easySwitchBox is a simple actuator that does one basic thing – To send an on/off signals that can be used to control anything wirelessly. Whatever you intend on doing with the signal sent is left to you.

easySwitchBox is the brainchild of easySensors, the Belarus based creators of DIY Arduino focused hardware products. easySwtichBox combines an Arduino based chip and a LoRa radio to be able to send a signal for long-range distances.

On the surface, easySwitchBox looks like another wall switch you have seen around, but there is more to it. Powered by the famous Atmega 328P microcontroller, easySwitchBox is more than a wall switch, and you can reprogram it to be an intelligent one indeed or anything else you want.

easySwitchBox

The power supply comes from two attached coin cell battery, making it possible to move the device around and not be confined by location or space.

easySwitchBox is Arduino IDE Compatible, and you can re-upload a new code to the chip using the UART Tx and Rx pins and a compatible FTDI board. The device comes with an On-board Atmel/Microchip ATSHA204A crypto-authentication chip enabling support for secured handshakes.

The device is capable of Long Range communication of up to 2KM thanks to the attached RFM95/RFM69 radios. RFM95 has miles of coverage. RFM69 is excellent for indoor use (for example RFM69CW can quickly cover a sizeable 5-story building). The easySwitchBox Radio Transceiver comes in three options:

Battery Life (based on 20 presses a day) Distance
SwitchBox RFM95 LoRa 0.5-4 years depending on modem configuration* up to 1000-2000 m
SwitchBox RFM69 HCW 1-2 years up to 650 m
SwitchBox RFM69 CW 4-5 years up to 350 m
easySwtichBox Nano Shield
Nano Shield

For you to be able to receive the signal from the easySwitchBox device, you need a compatible RFM69/RFM95 receiving end. A nano radio shield is available that allows you to easily received signals from the easySwtichBox.

Features & Specifications

  • IDE Control: Fully compatible with the Arduino IDE
    • Enumerates as an Arduino Pro Mini @ 8 MHz
    • Compatible with all RFM 69 \ 95 compatible open source libraries available
  • Radio Transceivers: Three transceiver options are available
    • HopeRF RFM95 LoRa 433/868/915 MHz (long-range version)
    • HopeRF RFM69-HCW 433/868/915 MHz (mid-range version)
    • HopeRF RFM69-CW 433/868/915 MHz (low power consumption version)
  • Security: On-board Atmel/Microchip ATSHA204A crypto-authentication chip
    • Provides secured handshakes
  • Antennas: Tuned PCB antenna options that are soldered to the mainboard
    • 915 MHz – United States, Canada, Australia
    • 868 MHz – Europe
    • 433 MHz – Europe
  • Interface: Long-run soft-touch buttons similar to high-quality home switches
    • Each button has a built-in LED for message delivery confirmation
  • Power: Utilizes two CR2032 coin cell batteries
    • On-board coin cell holders
    • Reverse polarity protection
    • High-efficiency power converter
    • Batteries can last as long as two years with daily use
  • Mounting: Two options are provided for mounting
    • Pre-applied adhesive tape on the back
    • Screws through holes in the backplate
  • Open Source Hardware: For all your hacking desires

easySwitchBox is crowdfunded on CrowdSupply and was able to reach its goal amount already. The base kit which includes one easySwitchBox + one nano radio shield is available for pre-order for $39, the device alone costs about $31 without shipping cost. More information is available on the campaign page.

easySwitchBox is open-source in nature. The software and hardware design is available on GitHub here.

Below shows some of the product options comparisons:

 

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ChasX

It would be interesting to see how far an integrated antenna would reach compared to the large external antenna’s in the picture.

For the rest I don’t see a real use case in this. Normally the place where you put a switch is not 2 km from the location/device that is controlled with the switch. In almost any case I would think that it is a better (safer!) idea to be in close proximity of whatever you are controlling with a switch. And on the other hand, a switch is usually not placed in a remote (non wired) location whereas some of the devices that are controlled in the example video are. So the switch could be ‘anything but the controlled devices need to be LoRa controlled ergo the LoRa functionality in a SWITCH is not what the problem is in these cases..

For most applications I’d opt for using a Zigbee switch like the $10 Aqara (Xiaomi) wall switch (which you can nicely hookup to MQTT using Zigbee2Mqtt for just a couple of bucks)..