LILYGO T-TWR is an ESP32-S3 board with an SA868 Walkie-Talkie module

LILYGO T-TWR is an ESP32-S3 development board fitted with an SA868 Walkie-Talkie module and a UHF or VHF antenna, a speaker, a microphone, a small 0.96-inch OLED, and a 18650 battery holder, plus some I/Os for expansion.

Equipped with an ESP32-S3-WROOM-1-16NR8 module, the T-TWR offers WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, a dual-core processor with 16MB flash and 8MB PSRAM, and enables users to design their own Walkie-Talkie, while its expansion capabilities allow the control of devices.

ESP32-S3 Walkie-Talkie board
LILYGO T-TWR with VHF antenna (left) and UHF antenna (right)

LILYGO T-TWR specifications:

  • Wireless module – Espressif ESP32-S3-WROOM-1-N16R8 module with ESP32-S3 dual-core LX7 microprocessor @ up to 240 MHz with Vector extension for machine learning, 16MB FLASH, 8MB PSRAM, WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5 LE/Mesh
  • Display – 0.96-inch OLED with 128×64 resolution based on SSD1306 I2C display driver
  • SA868 Walkie-Talkie module based on RDA1846S chip
    • Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz/25 kHz
    • Sensitivity: -124 dBm
    • Support 1.6W or 1.8W mode. The latter is not recommended due to the high temperature when enabled
    • Three types:
      • UHF @ 400-480 MHz
      • VHF @ 134-174 MHz
      • “350” @ 320-400 MHz
    • SMA antenna connector for UHF/350 antenna or VHF antenna
  • Audio – Speaker and microphone
  • USB – 1x USB Type-C port for power/charging and programming
  • Expansion
    • 2x 13-pin headers with up to 16x GPIO, 10x ADC, 2x UART, 1x SPI, Touch interface, 5V (VBUS), 3.3V, and GND
    • 4-pin STEMMA QT/Qwiic connector
  • Misc
    • Boot, Reset, and user (IO3) button
    • Battery switch
    • Three-way encoder & switch
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via USB port
    • 18650 battery holder and TP4054 charging chip
  • Dimensions – 122 x 32 x 22 mm (with SMA connector)

 

LILYGO T-TWR pinout diagram

The T-TWR ESP32-S3 Walkie-Talkie board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE or PlatformIO, and LILYGO provides documentation as well as schematics (PDF), datasheets, and sample code on GitHub. Two samples are provided one using the board as an actual Walkie-Taklie, and the “at_debug” demo to control the board through AT commands over a serial interface.

LILYGO is selling the T-TWR board for $41.98 to $45.98 on Aliexpress including shipping, but not taxes (VAT). It provides an alternative to the SOCORAD32 ESP32 walkie-talkie board that is currently offered on Crowd Supply for $80.

ESP32-S3 with SA868 Walkie-Talkie module, 18650 battery holder

Share this:

Support CNX Software! Donate via cryptocurrencies, become a Patron on Patreon, or purchase goods on Amazon or Aliexpress

ROCK 5 ITX RK3588 mini-ITX motherboard
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
The comment form collects your name, email and content to allow us keep track of the comments placed on the website. Please read and accept our website Terms and Privacy Policy to post a comment.
21 Comments
oldest
newest
Cyk
Cyk
1 year ago

Not very useful, I’d say. This is just an analog transceiver module with microphone and speaker, connected to an ESP32.
What’s missing is an audio codec for the ESP32, to implement digital voice modes.
As it is, you could as well just buy a cheap Baofeng radio.

David Willmore
David Willmore
1 year ago

I’m pretty sure you have the modules labeled wrong in the picture. The shorter antenna model on the left is likely the UHF and the longer antenna module on the right is VHF.

David Willmore
David Willmore
1 year ago

I wonder if they just mislabeled it there?

Adrie
Adrie
1 year ago

No. These aren’t 1/4 wavelength antennas as wenst you might expect. Electrical behaviour for vhf will likely be 1/4, for UHF 3/4 wavelength

David Willmore
David Willmore
1 year ago

If the ESP32 is in the audio path, these could be very interesting as various voice codecs could be implemented on the ESP and a variety of modulations could be used as well. That depends a lot on how the link to the transmitter works–I’m not familiar with this module, so I don’t know how flexable it is. The price is a bit high, but I guess volume might help bring that down if these become more popular with the amateur radio crowd.

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
1 year ago

Usually the regulator only allows analog voice in those frequency bands. So I guess the esp is just for tuning, maximum maybe for selcall?

David Willmore
David Willmore
1 year ago

I only know the rules well for my country (USA) and we don’t have those limitations–neither for Amateur or professional services.

tuning, UI, selcall (CTCSS, DCS, etc.), maybe some APRS kind of functionality? An ESP32 is plenty fast to decode/encode all of that by hand.

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
1 year ago

I thought it was PMR, but yepp in the UHF ISM band you can do whatever you feel like, mode wise

David Willmore
David Willmore
1 year ago

Yes, the ‘citizens bands’ often have very strict requirements for power, antenna, modulation, etc. Makes sense. If you know what you’re doing enough to make better decisions, you should just become a professional or an amateur.

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
1 year ago

Well in fact i am holding a ham license but not very active, did a lot of commercial SATCOM and gsm stuff in the past, but currently out of RF

David Willmore
David Willmore
1 year ago

Sorry, I didn’t mean you specifically. I guess I should have formally written it as “If one knows what one is doing enough to make better decisions, one should just become a professional or an amateur”, but that sounds so incredibly pretentious. Sorry for the confusion, English is an evolving language, please don’t mind the construction debris.

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
1 year ago

Don’t worry I wasn’t offended, you can’t know my background (well now you do 😃)

Hene
Hene
1 year ago

ESP is not connected to the audio circuit. Much less useful product.

David Willmore
David Willmore
1 year ago

If that’s so, then I agree, it’s much less useful. If the ESP32 was in the audio path, I’d see a use for this as a network attached amateur radio transceiver. I’d love to be able to operate local repeaters from anywhere in my house by using whatever device I had handy that has audio in/out and wifi. I can RX easily with RTL_SDR, but TX is another matter. I know there’s a lot of simple SDR TX, but I haven’t really looked into them. Maybe I should.

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
1 year ago

Else could do codec2

Greg Daughenbaugh
Greg Daughenbaugh
1 year ago

So I have a question. Using this product could I receive textual data from Wi-Fi and send it out over the radio using analog voice? Essentially creating a notification system that since now has been over SMS?

LZ1ADJ
1 year ago

According to this schematic
https://github.com/Xinyuan-LilyGO/T-TWR/blob/master/schematic/T-TWR-Plus_Rev2.0.pdf

ESP is connected both to speaker and mic

MIC to IO18
Audio to IO1

Vac
Vac
1 year ago

It would be good if the I-PEX RF Connector was standard on all ESP boards. This would give the opportunity to increase the range of modules. Now you need to cut the antenna and solder the wire with the socket.

Soy oh
Soy oh
10 months ago

What’s missing is an audio codec for the ESP32, to implement digital voice modes.

Khadas VIM4 SBC