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One of the original projects prototyped with HamShield was a robot that was controlled by the DTMF pad of a handheld transceiver. While it was a fun novelty, and made for a good promo video, but it wasn't entirely useful. You needed to be in visual range to operate the rover. But it was at least the start of amateur radio robotics. We have discovered over the last 5 years that our academic customers wanted to do amazing things with HamShield. They want to build satellites, rockets, landers and deploy semi autonomous rovers on simulated alien planets. It was done with great...

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One of the often hyped promises of LoRa is extremely long range. However, would it be wise to launch a weather balloon with LoRa as opposed to APRS?Nigel Houwen puts both technologies head to head in their 2019 balloon launch, reaching an altitude of 101,433 feet: 2019’s launch included a single balloon which reached 101,433 feet. The flight carried carried a number of student payloads, the 900MHz voice telemetry system, a commercial APRS tracker board, my custom IRIS board, as well as a Raspberry Pi Zero W with a Camera V2 module, and a new experimental tracker based on the LoRa...

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HamShield now works with Python on Linux. HamShieldPy is our new open source library that makes the power of HamShield available in Python. While we've been optimizing the library for Raspberry Pi users, it should work with only a few modifications for BeagleBone and other embedded Linux boards. You can use both HamShield and HamShieldMini with the new library. The HamShieldPy library, available on GitHub, already has DTMF and HandyTalkie examples so you can get started quickly. We'll be adding more examples over the coming months, and APRS functionality is slated for Summer 2019. Check out the HamShieldPy documentation for wiring information and installation instructions. You can buy a Raspberry Pi, HamShield, and HamShieldMini at...

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Getting an initialization failure? Don't worry, there is an easy fix to any code making use of the RadioHead SX1276 libraries. Before you can initialize the radio, you need to perform the reset procedure. It can be done with a very simple sequence of digitalWrite() functions. Place this piece of code before your rf95.init() statement in your setup() function: pinMode(3,OUTPUT); digitalWrite(3, LOW); delay(10); digitalWrite(3, HIGH); delay(10); And that is it!

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We have recently developed a powerful chatroom program for multiple HamShield: LoRa Editions.  You can find it on our GitHub: https://github.com/EnhancedRadioDevices/LoRaChat While lots of fun, LoRaChat has some very serious and practical applications for emergency communications, coordinating resources, and communicating long distances in very difficult conditions. LoRaChat is a great solution for non-line of sight, mobile applications. LoRaChat supports chatrooms of many devices and allows the configuration of the various radio parameters for optimizing range vs. speed.  We will be doing more development on LoRaChat, as well as integrating its chatroom function into our LARPS protocol.  

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