Challenger RP2040 LoRa board combines Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU with RFM95W LoRa module

Invector Labs is now offering a variant of the WiFi-based Challenger RP2040 board with a LoRa radio. The Challenger RP2040 LoRa board features the Hope RF RFM95W LoRa radio transceiver module instead of the ESP8285 WiFi chip found in the original board.

Raspberry Pi RP2040 has already been used in combination with a LoRa module, notably in Rakwireless RAK11300 WisDuo LPWAN module and the “LoRa Expansion for Pico“, a baseboard for Raspberry Pi Pico equipped with a LoRa module, but it’s the first time I see the combination in a development board form factor, which as a potential bonus following Adafruit Feather form factor.

Challenger RP2040 LoRa

Challenger RP2040 LoRa board preliminary specifications:

  • MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ MCU @ 133MHz with 264KB SRAM
  • Storage – 8MB flash
  • Wireless module – Hope RF RFM95W connected via SPI channel and some GPIOs
    • 168 dB maximum link budget.
    • +20 dBm – 100 mW constant RF output vs. V supply.
    • +14 dBm high-efficiency PA.
    • Programmable bit rate up to 300 kbps.
    • Sensitivity down to -148 dBm.
    • RX current of 10.3 mA, 200 nA register retention.
    • Fully integrated synthesizer with a resolution of 61 Hz.
    • FSK, GFSK, MSK, GMSK, LoRa and OOK modulation.
    • Built-in bit synchronizer for clock recovery.
    • Preamble detection.
    • 127 dB Dynamic Range RSSI.
    • Automatic RF Sense and CAD with ultra-fast AFC.
    • Packet engine up to 256 bytes with CRC.
  • I/Os via Adafruit Feather compatible headers
    • 1x I2C, 1x SPI channel.
    • 1x UART for the user (Serial1)
    • 6x 12-bit ADC (Note: there’s only four on RP2040 MCU, and one on ESP8285…)
    • GPIOs
    • USB
    • 3V, GNS, BAT, Enable signals
  • Debugging – SWD pads
  • Misc – Neopixel RGB LED, BOOT and RESET buttons, u.FL Wi-Fi antenna connector
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via USB Type-C port
    • 2-pin LiPo battery connector plus LiPo charger circuit with 250mA charging current
  • Dimensions – 50.7 x 22.8 x 7.2 mm (Adafruit Feather form factor)
  • Weight – 9 grams

Raspberry Pi RP2040 RFM95W LoRa module

We’re being told the Challenger RP2040 LoRa is programmable with Arduino, CircuitPython, and MicroPython, but at the time of writing, no documentation is available to get started with either programming language. That may be because the board is not quite available yet, being listed on Invector Labs’ store without a price and shown as “out of stock”. [Update April 2023: The Challenger RP2040 LoRa board is sold on Tindie for $24.95 or directly on the company’s store for 224.00 Swedish Kronas.

Via Tom’s Hardware

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2 years ago

It would be a shame if this was another one of those promising products that are abandoned due to the chip shortage… Hopefully the availability of 2040 will help this one out!

2 years ago

Ugh. Comeon. All good but out of stock. What is it worth.! May be Tom can write about what is available and what is not. And also when this will come out for real.. And also how the price point is changing over these months. And when can we expect this to come out.

Khadas VIM4 SBC