Adafruit Feather form factor has become more popular in recent years with third-parties introducing Feather compatible boards such as the Giant Board (Linux capable), OrangeCrab (FPGA), or FeatherS2 (ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth), and as well as FeatherWing add-on boards.
Azerbaijan based MakerTronika Labs has launched their own Feather compatible board with LoRa connectivity: Penguino Feather 4260. The development board is powered by a RAK4260 module based on SAMR34 LoRa SiP and supports both 868 and 915 MHz bands.
Penguino Feather 4260 specifications:
- LoRa module – Rak wireless RAK4260 module with:
- SiP – Microchip ATSAMR34J18 SiP with SAML21 Arm Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz, 40 KB RAM, 256 KB Flash, Semtech SX1276
- LoRa Connectivity
- Frequency Range – 862 to 1020 MHz
- High level of accuracy and stability (32MHz TXCO)
- Max Tx Power: 20dBm; Max Sensitivity: -148dBm; Rx Current: 17mA (typical)
- Compliant with LoRaWan 1.0.2
- Power Consumption
- Low RX current of 13.6mA
- 790 nA in sleep mode
- Antenna – SMA and u.FL (IPEX) antenna connectors
- Programming and debugging
- 10-pin SWD programming header
- USB-C port for power and debugging via CH340E USB-to-UART converter IC (with solder jumpers between native USB and UART lines)
- Misc – RGB user LED, Battery Charge Status (red) and Power (blue) (w/ cut-off jumpers)
- Power Supply
- 5V via USB-C with protection/filtering circuit
- 2-pin header for Li-Po battery, onboard charging IC
- 3.3V low Iq LDO (~1 μA)
- Low-voltage battery cut-off supervisor IC (3V Vbat cutoff)
- 0.75 A resettable fuse
- Voltage divider for Vbat monitoring (w/ cut-off jumpers)
- Dimensions – 50.8 mm x 22.8 mm (Adafruit Feather form factor)
- Certifications – OSHWA #AZ000001 (First certified open-source hardware board from Azerbaijan)
Software development can be done with the Atmel Studio v7 (ASF v3, but not v4), an Arduino port for a similar board from Electronic Cats, as well as a Platform.IO port of Atmel Software Framework for SAMR34 with several examples. The board can be flashed using an ATMEL-ICE or a J-Link SWD programmer/debugger. Since the project is open-source hardware, KiCad schematics, PCB layout, Gerber files, BoM, and firmware can be found on Github under CERN-OHL-S v2 (hardware) or MIT (software) license.
There’s already a tiny RAK4260 evaluation board provided by Rak wireless, but MakerTronika Labs explains it’s not designed to be low power and relies on proprietary WisBLOCK connectors to add extra sensors, whose numbers are limited. The Penguino Feather 4260 is designed to be integrated into battery-powered IoT devices and thanks to the Adafruit Feather form factor, more add-on board (FeatherWings) are supported, and it’s easier to use with a breadboard. It should also be noted that Adafruit has already made a Feather LoRa board with Adafruit Feather M0 with RFM95 LoRa Radio sold for $34.95.
Penguino Feather 4260 LoRa board is sold for $39.95 plus shipping on Tindie with an external antenna.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.