Who wants a LoRaWAN shield for the micro:bit?

Last year our friend Richard Ibbotson designed a LoRaWAN shield for the BBC micro:bit and they have been used in several experiments and projects since then, including a great project at the Museum of English Rural Life (the MERL) monitoring the impact of environmental conditions on the growth of sugar beet!

Richard’s shield is a popular conversation piece at various meetups and demonstrations. His write-up on hackaday has been read well over 11,000 times and has attracted interest from several organisations.

The shield features include:

  • LoRaWAN radio, with ceramic antenna
  • Real time clock, which can also be used for power management
  • Grove connectors for Digital I/O and I2C
  • AA battery holder and reset button
Richard’s LoraWAN shield next to a BBC micro:bit

We are planning to make a production run of the LoRaWAN shield for the micro:bit in the next few weeks, and want to figure out how many we should buy. The price per unit can be made significantly lower if we order a larger number, but obviously we don’t want to end up with a cupboard full of unsold shields!

If YOU would be interested in buying one or many LoRaWAN shields, please help us by answering this incredibly short questionnaire.

Please share this post – we need it to reach as many people as we can, because unfortunately if we don’t get enough interest we will have to drop the idea and move on.

Many thanks, and fingers crossed for a great response! Here’s a very simple example of the kind of thing you can do when you combine the micro:bit with LoRaWAN…

9 Replies to “Who wants a LoRaWAN shield for the micro:bit?”

    1. Hi Ben, I’m interested in what price people feel is about right. If everyone comes in at a tenner then we know it’s a non starter because the radio module costs us a tenner before it has even been soldered on the board! Similarly if everyone comes in at £200 then we’ll know we can order the diamante battery holders 😉

  1. I think unless you give people some vague idea what the cost is then they will all say a tenner because of the price of a micro bit.

    1. Hiya Bill, good to hear from you – it’s been a while! Several people share your view, but fortunately lots more people have put what they feel is the price range they’d be prepared to pay, which I think is more useful to me than “would you pay between x and y”. Hope that makes sense? We are meeting this weekend to discuss whether/how to take this forward, and I’ll announce any decision here, along with a summary of the survey results.

    1. Sorry to hear that, it shou;ld work on safari/ipad. You could try the direct link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KWPRCBH
      or just post the answers here, hope that is helpful, Mike.
      1. how many shields would you be interested in?
      2. how much would you expect to pay per unit?. Min, Max (euro)
      3. when would you intend to place your order? ASAP, <3mth, <6mth, other
      4. to what country would you want us to deliver shields?

  2. Very excited about this and would pay approx £20 for this hat. Might stretch to £25. Would that be OK? Is the project likely to happen? Thanks.

    1. Hi Simon,
      Unless we can find a cheaper way of making the shield I’m afraid it is on hold. There is hope though – new systems with low setup costs are coming which make small batch runs more affordable. If you are able to DIY then Richard’s design is open source.

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