Introducing Wio Tracker 1110 Dev Kit for Meshtastic, Building Open-Source, Off-Grid, Decentralized, and FREE LoRa Mesh Network

Ever wanted to join an open-source, off-grid, decentralized and FREE LoRa mesh network for reliable long-range, low-power communication? This is where the Wio Tracker 1110 Dev Kit for Meshtastic shines! This powerful development kit offers a plug-and-play user-friendly solution to build a long-range low-power Meshtastic tracker device. With native Arduino compatibility, it’s perfect for developers to custom-build reliable wireless Meshtastic LoRa Mesh networks for remote adventures like asset tracking, decentralized communication, and outdoor activities.

The Meshtastic-compatible Dev Kit includes a Wio Tracker 1110 Dev Board (based on Nordic nRF52840 for BLE, Semtech LR1110 for LoRa), a Grove Air530 GPS Module, a Grove 0.96″ OLED Display, perfect for building tracking PoCs on the Meshtastic network. So, what makes Wio Tracker 1110 Dev Kit for Meshtastic stand out? Here are some compelling reasons to consider it for building your Meshtastic project.

  • Easy Setup: Easily connect the 2 Grove Modules to the Wio Tracker 1110 Dev Board and simply flash the Meshtastic firmware for long-range, off-grid communication.
  • Real-time Positioning & Monitoring: The Grove GPS (Air530) module supports multiple satellites positioning and the onboard temperature and humidity sensors collect real-time data.
  • HMI Display: The 0.96″ OLED display for real-time data visualization and interaction.
  • Extensive Expansion Interfaces: 4 additional Grove connectors for adding more Grove sensors and modules (300+ available) .
  • Open-source Hardware and Software: Compatible with Arduino for easy development and customization.
  • Available Enclosure Reference Designs: laser-cut and 3D-printed enclosures are available for downloads.

(Everything included in the kit & Demos with assembled enclosures)

Why Meshtastic?

You might notice that we already made various versions of the Wio Tracker 1110 Dev Board available for LoRaWAN and Sidewalk (two popular protocols based on LoRa modulation). However, Meshtastic, as an emerging network protocol with LoRa as its backbone, covers a wide range of use cases thanks to its open source, decentralized, encrypted communication, and cost-effectiveness. That’s why we’re now releasing this Meshtastic version.

What is Meshtastic?

For those who are unfamiliar with Meshtastic, it’s an open-source initiative that harnesses affordable LoRa radios to establish a low-power, long-range, off-grid communication system, particularly beneficial in regions without reliable communication infrastructure. Driven entirely by the community, Meshtastic enables decentralized, encrypted communication without the need for a dedicated router or phone. It offers an impressive range, with records showing connectivity up to 254 kilometers, and excellent battery life, making it perfect for outdoor adventurers or emergency scenarios. Users can send and receive text messages within the mesh network, and optional GPS-based location services add to its functionality. Currently, Meshtastic officially supports devices with specific Micro Controller Units (MCUs), including EspressIf System ESP32Nordic nRF52, and Raspberry PI RP2040 with official firmware.

(Image source: Introduction | Meshtastic)

The technology behind Meshtastic utilizes LoRa, a widely accessible long-range radio protocol that does not require additional licenses or certifications, unlike HAM radio operations. These radios create a mesh network by rebroadcasting messages, ensuring even the furthest member of a group can stay connected. The network can support up to 100 devices concurrently, with each radio paired with a single phone for direct messaging.

LoRaWAN vs Sidewalk vs Meshtastic

Meshtastic is better suited for flexible, independent, peer-to-peer communication scenarios, while LoRaWAN is ideal for large-scale, centrally managed IoT applications. Amazon Sidewalk, on the other hand, is designed to extend the connectivity range of smart home devices using low-power, community-based networking. If you want to implement your IoT scenarios more conveniently in areas without network infrastructure or with poor network conditions, the Wio Tracker 1110 Dev Kit for Meshtastic is perfect for you.

We Need Your Voice too

Even though the Wio Tracker 1110 Dev Kit for Meshtastic offers a plug-and-play experience of building the tracking and monitoring projects on the Meshtastic Network, there are things that we want to improve, in the open-source way.

Enclosure for Robustness

Currently, our product team has made 2 different enclosures for the Kit, available for free download on our product page for you to fabricate. They are a 3D-printed version and an acrylic laser-cut version. We already got lots of inquiries from the community to include an enclosure in the kit as an accessory. Could you please take the poll below to let us know which enclosure you prefer? At the same time, if you have any suggestions to optimize the current designs, please feel free to share in the comments. Based on your voices and valuable inputs, we’ll definitely make sure they will be realized in our final accessory. Thank you!

Antennas for Your Range

Having a high-performance LoRa antenna is crucial for lots of Meshtastic use cases. Currently, we only have an onboard LoRa ceramic antenna with -0.3dBi gain (there is an IPEX interface reserved onboard for makers to hack the antenna though). We know this will be a hinder, and that’s also why we’re considering to tweak the layout design of the board to enable the IPEX interface with a SMA Female connector. This solution will enable an easy tap-in of external antennas that you like. Let us know if you’ll go for this solution. Our team will make it happen if we get 100 votes for the IPEX Interface with SMA Connector.

Easter Egg: 20% off for the First 100 Kits

Last but not least. An easter egg! The Wio Tracker 1110 Dev Kit for Meshtastic is now available for order at $39.9 at our official store Bazaar. To celebrate the launch, we’re now offering a discount for early birds to explore the Meshtastic: the first 100 kits will be available at 20% off using the coupon code Meshtastic. Seiz this opportunity to save big!

P.S. If you already have a cool project idea to build on Meshtastic, you’re now invited to join to submit your project ideas to win a FREE Wio Tracker 1110 Dev Kit for Meshtastic here. Submission deadline: July 6th, 2024. Wishing you all the best luck.

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2 thoughts on “Introducing Wio Tracker 1110 Dev Kit for Meshtastic, Building Open-Source, Off-Grid, Decentralized, and FREE LoRa Mesh Network

  1. Looks neat! Would also like to see this used with Reticulum / RNS/ RNode firmware (a similar project to Meshtastic for Lora communications with more robust networking.)

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July 2024