Lo-Fi ESP32-S3 board features LoRa module for low-power long-range connectivity (Crowdfunding)

Lo-Fi ESP32-S3 LoRa board

SB Components’ Lo-Fi is an ESP32-S3 board equipped with a LoRa module for low-power long-range connectivity, and the company has also introduced two LoRa USB dongles with either Type-A or Type-C connectors.

Lo-Fi specifications:

  • Wireless module
    • ESP32-S3-WROOM-1:
      • SoC – ESP32-S3 dual-core LX7 microprocessor @ up to 240 MHz with Vector extension for machine learning, WiFi 4 & Bluetooth 5 LE/Mesh
      • Memory – 8MB OSPI PSRAM
      • Storage – 8MB QSPI flash
      • PCB antenna
      • Dimensions – 25.5 x 18.0 x 3.1 mm
    • Unnamed LoRa module
      • Tx power of up to 22dBm (160mW) adjustable by software
      • Rx sensitivity of up to -138 dBm
      • ISM bands – 433MHz, 868MHz, and 915MHz
      • Range – Up to 5km range
      • Data rates – 300 bps to 62.5 kbps
      • RoHS compliance
      • External LoRa antenna
  • Display – 1.14-inch TFT display with 240×135 resolution
  • USB – 1x USB Type-C port for programming and power
  • Expansion – 2x 20-pin GPIO headers
  • Misc – 2x user buttons, onboard buzzer
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via USB-C port
    • 3.7 Lithium Ion battery
  • Dimensions – TBD

LoRa USB-A USB-C dongles

The USB dongles appear to be based on the same LoRa module and antenna as the Lo-Fi board and come with undocumented jumpers and GPIOs. As usual, SB Components will not share any code samples and resources to work with their hardware until the crowdfunding is complete. So people have to pledge for their hardware before they can check what they’ll get exactly, and will only get more details once the rewards are shipping via the company’s GitHub account.

We still know the solution allows for point-to-point communication using the Lo-Fi board and/or LoRa USB dongles or works through a LoRaWAN gateway or private/public LoRaWAN networks such as The Things Network (TTN). The ESP32-S3’s Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity could be used for provisioning or connecting to sensors or/and actuators close by and forwarding packets over LoRa/LoRaWAN to the gateway.

Lo-Fi TTN

Typical applications for the LoFi, and LoRa(WAN) in general, include IoT (Internet of Things), Smart Agriculture, environmental monitoring, asset tracking, Smart Cities, wildlife monitoring, home and industrial automation, and more. Note it’s not the first ESP32 LoRa board, as we covered a few in the past such as the TTGO ESP32/LoRa board and more recent versions, and we’ve recently written about the LILYGO T-Deck ESP32-S3 devkit with a LoRa module, keyboard, and display that sells for about the same price as the Lo-Fi board.

SB Components has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Lo-Fi board and LoRa USB dongles with a lowly 500 GPB goal, or about $634. The Lo-Fi board requires a ~$45 pledge, while the LoRa USB dongles go for around $20. Shipping adds 7 GBP to the UK and about $18 to the rest of the world with rewards expected to start shipping by November 2023.

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