Our RedBoards are great. But don't they sometimes seem a little BIG?!
Enter smôl, a new range of boards which are both small in size and small on current draw. It's a smôl world!
Is your project linked to environmental protection, awareness or study, or to protecting human life? Perhaps you are developing a wildlife tracker, ocean buoy, environmental monitoring system or need to transfer emergency medical information? Do you need to be able to transmit and receive data anywhere? If so, this is the smôl product for you! Our smôl ARTIC R2 allows you to send and receive short bursts of data via the ARGOS satellite network, anywhere on Earth including the Polar regions.
The ARGOS system has been around for quite a while. It was created in 1978 by the French Space Agency (CNES), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), originally as a scientific tool for collecting and relaying meteorological and oceanographic data around the world. Today, ARGOS is revolutionising satellite communication, adding a constellation of 25 nanosatellites to complement the 7 traditional satellites carrying ARGOS instrumentation. The first of these, ANGELS, is already in operation and SparkFun were among the first users to transmit data to ANGELS in October 2020. When the constellation is complete, there will be a maximum of 10-15 minutes between satellite passes.
The smôl ARTIC R2 has been tested and certified by Kinéis. Compared to other satellite communication systems, the smôl ARTIC R2 has a much lower current draw and will work with a very simple, very lightweight quarter-wave wire antenna. The ARTIC R2 chipset on our board operates from 3.3V and the on-board flash memory enables fast boot times. If you don’t need the full transmit power, or want to conserve your battery life, you can transmit at reduced power too thanks to opto-isolated gain control.
Our Arduino Library makes it really easy to get up and running with ARGOS. We’ve provided a full set of examples which will let you: configure the ARTIC R2 chipset; predict the next satellite pass; receive allcast and individually-coded messages; transmit messages using ARGOS 2, 3 and 4 encoding. There are dedicated examples for the smôl ARTIC R2.
smôl is an ecosystem of miniature processor boards, peripheral boards, power boards and accessories. Designed to be both physically small and to have the smallest possible current draw, smôl is the perfect choice for applications like wildlife tracking or discrete long-term monitoring. smôl boards are designed to stack one on top of the other, using 16-way 0.5mm-pitch Flexible Printed Circuits (FPCs) to provide the interconnect from one board to the next. Looking for a really compact solution for your next project? This is it!
We will be adding new smôl boards over the coming months. Don't see the board you need for your application? Reach out to us via the SparkX Forum and tell us which board(s) we should add next!
smôl ARTIC R2 Documentation:
Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.
Skill Level: Competent - You might need to break out the power tools. Nothing beyond a power drill or rotary tool should be required, but you might have a hard time with just a screwdriver and hammer. Cutting holes into plastic or metal might be required.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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