I’m working on a project to tow myself into waves with a drone craft (a modified eFoil board) and I’m trying to decide on the best radio/dev board to use. The distance of separation between transmitter and receiver is not huge and I’ll only be transmitting low rates of data–basically GPS location and an initial “come get me” signal from the beacon the rider carries. I’m considering using Heltec LoRa 32 boards. Are you aware of anything that might be prefereable. I have experience with xBee boards, though not recently. I don’t plan on any commercial aspects, this is just for me, so I prefer to use something as integrated as possible to forestall the need to design a PCB. I note that some of the Heltec boards have connections for a GPS antenna, but I haven’t found any explanation of whether that means all the GPS radio and processing requirements are on the boards. I realize this is a big ask, I’ll share whatever development I do on this project with you, it seems the underlying capability–having a drone of any type navigate to a beacon when called–would be something of interest to Random Nerds.
While I’m at it, I credit you folks with my renewed interest in digital electronics. I’ve built versions of many of your projects, including a wireless MQQT-based control system for the 1978 GMC motorhome I’m restomodding and I enjoy my subscription to RNT a great deal. Your detailed tutorials have made it much easier for me to create systems I can use. Thank you so much.
Incidentally, I did read your LoRa/ESP32 article–very useful, in fact it’s why I started looking at TTGo and Haltec boards–but as I mentioned, I’m hoping to find a dev module that is more integrated.
Update: some additional research revealed the ESP32-based T-Beam by Xinyuan LilyGO which looks ideal. The code examples look fairly straightforward. the module has on-board GPS and includes a reasonable-looking LoRa antenna.
Yes, that board incorporates GPS and Lora on a single board. Seems ideal for what you want to do.
I haven’t experimented with that board, so I don’t have an idea if it works well or not or about the communication range.
After experimenting, if you could share your experience with the board, it would be great. People are mainly interested in the communication range.
Thanks for the prompt reply, I have several versions of the board on the way to me. I plan to set up some simple testing of communication distance and accuracy/error correction. I’ll share the results.