SOCORAD32 ESP32 walkie-talkie board also supports data communication (Crowdfunding)

SOCORAD32, aka ESP32 Software Controlled Radio, is a hackable, open-source hardware ESP32-based amateur radio board for walkie-talkie and data communication applications.

The board comes with an ESP32 module with WiFi 4 and Bluetooth connectivity, an RDA Microelectronics RDA1846 RF IC used in many commercial walkie-talkies and offering a range up of to 5 km, a small display, a speaker, and a 18650 battery holder.

SOCORAD32 specifications:

  • Microcontroller module – ESP32-WROOVER-32E with ESP32 dual-core microcontroller, 4MB flash, 2.4 GHz WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, built-in PCB antenna
  • Walkie-talkie chip – RDA1846 single-chip transceiver for Walkie-Talkie applications (See datasheet and programming guide for details)
    • Frequency Range: ISM 400 – 470 MHz
    • Frequency Step: 5 K / 6.25 K / 12.5 K / 25 K
    • RF Output Power: 2 W / 0.5 W (+5 KM @ 2 W) set to what the local law permits
    • RF Input Sensitivity: -122 dBm
    • Voice Scrambling: 8 type
    • Voice Compression & Expansion
    • SMS Exchange: Send and receive SMS (or, for IoT, send and receive data)
    • CTCSS (38 group) + CDCSS (83 group)
    • Automatic Tail Elimination – Eliminates the squelch burst often heard at the end of transmission as the PTT is released
    • Volume: Adjustable speaker output (1-8)
    • Squelch level adjustable (0-9)
    • MIC sensitivity level adjustable (1-8)
    • Sleep mode: 0.1μA
    • External antenna
  • Display – OLED display
  • Audio – Speaker, built-in microphone
  • USB – Micro USB port for control, programming, and charging
  • Expansion – 12-pin ESP32 I/O header
  • Misc – 2x Volume/Channel buttons, Enable and Reset buttons, and 2x LEDs
  • Battery – 16850 battery holder

The SOCORAD32 can be controlled through AT commands to configure the audio volume, tone squelching, CTCSS, CDSS codes, and more. Here are some examples:

To turn on voice-operated exchange (VOX) where X is the sensitivity level (1-8).

To control speaker volume where X is the loudness level (1-8).

To change communication parameters where RFV = receive frequency, TFV = transmit frequency, RXCT = CTCSS/CDCSS coding, TXCT = CTCSS/CDCSS transmit coding, Flag = busy locking/band setting (narrow or wide), and Flag1 = transmit power settings high (2 W) or low (0.5 W). Example:

You’ll find the AT command set and some basic code (Arduino sketch to set the ESP32 as a Bluetooth serial device) on GitHub. Besides walkie-talkie applications, the SOCORAD32 board could be used as an Intercom, a Pager, a voice-activated audio monitor, and for long-range IoT applications, as well as amateur radio experimentation.

Made by Mord Technologies in Nigeria, the SOCORAD32 board has just launched on Crowd Supply with a $5,600 funding goal that’s almost reached. There’s a single reward with the SOCORAD32 controller offered with a speaker and an antenna with a pledge of $80 plus $8 for shipping to the US and $18 to the rest of the world. You’d just need a 18650 battery to get started, and you’ll probably want to get two boards although the SOCORAD32 can be programmed to be compatible with commercial walkie-talkies.

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5 Replies to “SOCORAD32 ESP32 walkie-talkie board also supports data communication (Crowdfunding)”

  1. They claim openness, but so far, the github only contains one “.ino” file. No schematic, no pcb, ..
    Not impressed..

    1. Hi Mordecai

      Could you please contact me for more improvement and business on your device. I am glad that something creative/innovative came out of Nigeria. The future is bright!

  2. Can it be configured to do text to voice? I’m thinking of using it to perform as a voice pager for textual data. “System 4 is down” as an example.

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