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Freakduino 1284P, 2.4 GHz Wireless Arduino Board, v3.0


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A Battery Operated Wireless Arduino Board w/Huge Memory
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  • 16 kB RAM
  • 128 kB Flash
  • 2.4 GHz wireless 802.15.4 radio
  • Battery regulation and operation
  • Lasts months on 2 AA batteries
  • Arduino compatible
  • JTAG debug interface

  • The FreakLabs Freakduino 1284P v3.0 board is designed for rapid prototyping, experimentation, and deployment of wireless designs at low cost. With 16kB of RAM and 128 kB of flash, this particular Freakduino uses an Arduino compatible chip with 8x the RAM and 4x the flash memory of the Arduino Uno. It's designed to be used in applications that won't fit in the 2kB of RAM or 32 kB of flash of a standard Arduino.

    One of the main reasons I designed this board was to have huge memories. There are many libraries that consume large quantities of RAM like the SD card library or Ethernet library. The amount of usable RAM on a standard Arduino is theoretically 2 kB but actually about 1.5 kB due to the bootloader. This goes really fast when you have a bit of application code and stringing together a few libraries. The 128 kB of flash memory allows you to implement full applications that can be feature rich. You won't have to constrain your code size or even worry about how much flash storage you're using. In my 10+ years or working with Arduino, I don't think I've ever filled up a full 128 kB of code yet.

    The Freakduino 1284P v3.0 is actually on it's third revision, yet it's a newly released product for FreakLabs. This design started as an internal design we would use on consulting projects. A standard Arduino is good for testing out some ideas and rapid prototyping, but if you need to implement a full system, you definitely need proper amounts of memories. 2 kB of RAM and 32 kB of flash won't cut it if you're doing pro work.

    Since then, we've gotten so many requests for this board that we finally decided to release it to the public. This board not only has the larger ATMega1284P processor, it also comes standard with battery regulation circuitry so that you can run it off AA batteries as well as tethered to a computer or a wall wart. Just like the standard Freakduino, it also comes with the 2.4 GHz radio and is completely power optimized and uses less than 200 uA in sleep mode (ie: months to years on 2 AA batteries).

    The base board has all the functionality of an Arduino-based system that includes wireless communication and is an inexpensive way to start playing with wireless Arduino smart sensor designs. It also has optional accessories such as a bottom-mounted battery case to hold two AA batteries, and a ruggedized enclosure with integrated battery case. Since the Freakduino v3.0a comes with battery regulation circuitry as standard, it's the only wireless Arduino that can run completely standalone, ie: no cables, out of the box. It doesn't need external power and it can transmit data wirelessly.

    Wireless Hardware
    The addition of an integrated wireless radio based on the IEEE 802.15.4 protocol (same radio protocol as the XBee) allows for wireless control of devices or wireless sensor data collection. Optional battery circuitry was added so that it could function as a true wireless node without any external power cables. The board is also designed to fit a ruggedized enclosure so that the design can be transported safely or deployed in an actual usage scenario without worrying about damaging the circuitry.

    Wireless Software
    The chibiArduino wireless protocol stack was designed specifically for this board. It has a simple programming interface and small memory footprint and was designed to enable Arduino users to start communicating wirelessly quickly and easily. Rather than deal with complex networking software with other wireless devices, you can start transmitting with the Freakduino using only the init, send, and receive library commands.

    Assembly Options
    Partial Kit:
    In the partial kit form, the surface mount components come pre-assembled but the connectors and other through hole components come unassembled. Some soldering will be required to assemble the board if purchased in kit form.

    Fully Assmebled and Tested:
    In fully assembled form, the boards are fully assembled and ready to use out of the box. They also undergo 12 point testing to make sure they are fully functional and should any problem occur, a replacement is sent out immediately.

    Accessory Options:
    Baseboard Only:
    The baseboard only option is the cheapest way to get started with the Arduino platform and wireless communications. Even with no antenna, it is possible to transmit over short ranges of approximately 10-25 meters. It also offers the functionality of a standard Arduino and is good for people that want an inexpensive way to try out the platform.

    2.4 GHz +2 dBi Antenna:
    This is a standard 2.4 GHz whip antenna that attaches to the antenna connector on the Freakduino board. It greatly improves the range and signal quality.

    Bottom Mount Battery Kit:
    The bottom mount battery kit allows the Freakduino to be a compact, standalone device. It includes a battery case soldered on to the bottom of the Freakduino that allows two AA batteries to be mounted on the underside of the device. It also contains 20mm spacers that go on the mounting holes of the board to keep it from resting on the batteries.

    Documentation and Tutorials
    Freakduino 1284P v3.x Hardware User Guide

    Freakduino 1284P v3.0 Schematic

    chibiArduino Source code and Documentation

    chibiArduino Library Usage Guide (pdf)

    Here's the original post that introduced the board.

    Tutorial on assembling the board and setting it up:
    Tutorial Link

    Tutorial on installing chibiArduino library:
    Tutorial Link

    Tutorial on using it as an 802.15.4 protocol analyzer. That way, it's possible to decode XBee/Zigbee or 6LoWPAN traffic:
    Tutorial Link

    Tutorial on using the Freakduino to wirelessly sequence and control lighting or motors via DMX:
    Tutorial Link

    • Shipping Weight: 0.07kg

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