MiniPill LoRa Form Factor

In the past month I designed different version of a PCB, all based on the original MiniPill LoRa node.

Version 2.0 Smaller and Longer to fit enclosure

After getting my HAM Radio license in March this year, I wanted to improve the sending capability of my MiniPill LoRa v1.x. So I designed a new PC with other to dimensions (18x x 45 mm) so it would fit into some projects.

I used a IPEX4 connector, a little by mistake, I wanted a IPEX1 connector, but did not choose the right component in my drawing program. After all this was no problem at all. Hot Air soldering does the trick and I have a good and very small connector on my board.

I will show you the results.

New designed PCB

I’ve done a first test with a 2.5 dB antenna on the SMI connector and at long distance it was indeed a difference of 2 dB in comparison with the line antenna. I will have to do some more tests.

This is just a 2.0 version, maybe I will remove the BME280 connector. And for sure I will add markers to the connectors. I did not put the pinnames on the silk-screen. That was a huge mistake :-(.

The size of this board is: 18 mm x 45.5 mm (the MiniPill LoRa original: 23 mm x 33 mm)

Version 3.0 Same Form Factor as ATtiny Node

Due to unable to receive downlink messages/commands The Things Network does keep sending downlink messages and congesting the radio band. I had a practical solution, but due to updates on The Things Network it does not work anymore as good as I hoped for. To replace the ATtiny84 based processor nodes I made a STM32L051 based node with the same formfactor

The size of this board is 20.5 mm x 45.5 mm

Version 2.5 a round one for fun

Just for fun and of course as challenge I made a round version for a CR2032 battery. I succeed and even a CR2450 can be used. The only challenge now is to update or find code that uses minimal power. The OTAA code I use at this moment (LMIC like) does use too much energy between uplink sending en downlink listening. Especially with the 5 seconds RX1 window.

The size of this board is 28 mm round

2 thoughts on “MiniPill LoRa Form Factor

  1. Rob

    Hoi Leo,

    Ik kwam via Gitlab bij je project terecht.
    Wat ik wil maken zijn vochtigheidssensoren in de tuin, die over LoRa de vochtigheid versturen naar een LoRa ontvanger (Esp32), die op zijn beurt alle ontvangen data naar Firebase verstuurd. Dit om een privé netwerk onafhankelijk van LoRaWAN & TTN te maken.

    Ik ben dus opzoek naar energie zuinige nodes, wat denk je zijn voor mijn toepassing de Tiny84 nodes genoeg?

    Rob

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