Arduino MKR inspired MKR Windy board is equipped with STM32WL LoRa SoC

We recently wrote about MKR SharkyPro BLE, Zigbee, OpenThread development board based on STM32WB55 MCU and following Arduino MKR form factor, but it turns out Midatronics has also launched a similar-looking board with LoRa connectivity.

MKR Windy board features the company’s Windy STM32WL module with an uFL connector and following the same Arduino MKR layout.

MKR Windy boardMKR Windy specifications:

  • Wireless Module – Windy module (MDX-STWLU-R01)
    • Wireless MCU – STMicro STM32WLE5JX/STM32WL55JX Arm Cortex-M4 MCU @ 48 MHz with up to 256KB flash, 64KB SRAM
    • Connectivity
      • Semtech SX126x sub-GHz radio with LoRa, (G)FSK, (G)MSK, and BPSK modulation, 150 MHz to 960 MHz frequency range
      • RX Sensitivity: –123 dBm for 2-FSK,  -148 dBm for LoRa
    • Antenna – uFL connector for external antenna
    • Supply Voltage – 1.8 V to 3.6 V
    • Dimensions : 16 x 26 mm
    • Temperature Range – 40°C to + 85 °C
  • USB – 1x Micro USB port for power and programming
  • Expansion – 2x 14-pin headers compatible with Arduino MKR boards with USART, ADC, SPI, I2C
  • Debugging – 8-pin SWD connector
  • Misc – Reset and user buttons, user LED
  • Power Supply – 5V via Micro USB port, 2.5 to 5.5V via Vin pin,  2.0 to 5V via Vbatt pin (battery)
  • Dimensions – Approx 63 x 25 mm
STM32WL module block diagram
Windy module block diagram

There’s less information about MKR Windy board than MKD SharkPro boards, as for instance there’s no product brief/datasheet, where I can find the board block diagram, and instead, I inserted the Windy module block diagram above. Only hardware technical information about the module is available.

While SharkyPro boards can be programmed with both STMicro software tools and the Arduino IDE, Midatronics make no such claims for MKR Windy board, and instead says “the module is totally open and can be easily and quickly programmed with ST software by UART, virtual USB or with the ST-Link by SWD port”, and there’s no software documentation at this stage.

MKR Windy is likely more designed to be an evaluation platform for the Windy module, rather than being a direct competitor of the official Arduino MKR WAN 1300 board also offering LoRaWAN connectivity. Both the Windy module and board should be available now, but you’d need to request for a quote to get pricing. More information may be found on Midatronics “shop”.

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Gonzalo Fernandez
Gonzalo Fernandez
3 years ago

Why are you saying it cannot be a competitor for Arduino MKR WAN 1300? I can suppose it won’t be as popular as that one but this new board is better on every aspect. It has SX1262 LoRa chip so it consumes almost half of SX1276 (the one in MKR WAN 1300), it can output 2dBm more RF power and it has an impedance matching network for the antenna connector so it will have better range and the ST microcontroller is also a better one (Cortex M0+ vs M4). It is totally compatible with LoRaWAN and Sigfox (the same as MKR… Read more »

Gonzalo Fernandez
Gonzalo Fernandez
3 years ago

Ok I misunderstood your comment, I thought you were saying that it has lower specs than MKR WAN 1300 (because it offers LoRaWAN). Yes, it seems more focused as an evaluation platform for the Windy module (to be used on business customers) and also maybe more complex to make code for now.

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