Overview

If you're building a Raspberry Pi project and need to send data back-and-forth, the WiFi module built into newer Pi's should be fine for most cases.

However, WiFi does not have a long range and also requires both investment (through your ISP) and setup (routers, access points, network security schemes).

If you're deploying your project somewhere more remotely, without WiFi or a strong cellular network, like a farm, you'll need another option. Something that can be deployed quickly with no overhead setup and that will transmit/receive over a long distance.

pi_a___b___2__3_800px-Wayne_county_ky_farmland.jpg
The original uploader was Rwmcfa1 at English Wikipedia., Wayne county ky farmland, CC BY-SA 3.0

By sacrificing transmit speed and the amount of data which you're able to send, packet radios can transmit much farther than Bluetooth Low-Energy and WiFi.

This makes using a radio perfect for scenarios where your project would need to periodically transmit sensor and/or device data (such as the Pi's battery life) over a long distance. The RFM69 module can transmit up to 50m and the RFM9x module can send packets up to 2km over LoRa and even further using LoRaWAN!

Parts

Raspberry Pi 3 - Model B+ - 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 with 1GB RAM

PRODUCT ID: 3775
The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is the most popular Raspberry Pi computer made, and the Pi Foundation knows you can always make a good thing better! And what could make the Pi 3...
$35.00
IN STOCK

Raspberry Pi Zero - Version 1.3

PRODUCT ID: 2885
At first glance, the Pi Zero isn't much.  It just looks like a slimmed down version of the Raspberry Pi we know and love.  But when we started to think of the...
$5.00
IN STOCK

All-in-One

The Adafruit LoRa Radio Bonnet for Raspberry Pi sets you up with a RFM95W Radio Module, a 128x32 OLED display and three push-buttons for LoRa and LoRaWAN experiments.

Adafruit LoRa Radio Bonnet with OLED - RFM95W @ 915MHz

PRODUCT ID: 4074
The latest Raspberry Pi computers come with WiFi and Bluetooth, and now you can add even more radio options with the Adafruit Radio Bonnets! Upgrade your Raspberry Pi with a LoRa /...
$32.50
OUT OF STOCK

There's also a 433MHz version which uses the amateur or license-free ISM band (ITU "Europe" license-free ISM or ITU "American" amateur with limitations).

Adafruit LoRa Radio Bonnet RFM96W @ 433MHz

PRODUCT ID: 4075
The latest Raspberry Pi computers come with WiFi and Bluetooth, and now you can add even more radio options with the Adafruit Radio Bonnets! Upgrade your Raspberry Pi with a LoRa /...
$32.50
OUT OF STOCK

Breadboard Parts

You'll need a way to access the GPIO (pins) from the Raspberry Pi. The T-Cobbler plus is a plug-and-play breakout which works with almost every new Raspberry Pi variation. 

Assembled Pi T-Cobbler Plus - GPIO Breakout

PRODUCT ID: 2028
This is the assembled version of the Pi T-Cobbler Plus.  It only works with the Raspberry Pi Model Zero, A+, B+, Pi 2,Pi 3! (Any Pi with 2x20 connector)
$7.95
IN STOCK

The Pi setup used for this guide is operated as a headless Pi. This means that no monitor is plugged into the Pi and we control it over SSH. We'll add a small display to monitor and interact with the code.

Monochrome 128x32 I2C OLED graphic display

PRODUCT ID: 931
These displays are small, only about 1" diagonal, but very readable due to the high contrast of an OLED display. This display is made of 128x32 individual white OLED pixels, each...
$17.50
IN STOCK

Sending Data using LoRa

The RFM9x LoRa comes in two different frequencies - 868/915MHz and 433MHz. It can broadcast over LoRa (longer range than the RFM69HCW) and LoRaWAN (even longer range to gateways). 

Adafruit RFM95W LoRa Radio Transceiver Breakout - 868 or 915 MHz

PRODUCT ID: 3072
"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat.  You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles.  Do you understand this? And...
$19.95
IN STOCK

There's also a 433MHz version which uses the amateur or license-free ISM band (ITU "Europe" license-free ISM or ITU "American" amateur with limitations).

1 x LoRa Breakout RFM96W
LoRa Radio Module - 433MHz Version

Materials

If you don't have these parts already, grab them from the Adafruit store:

1 x Tactile Switch Buttons
10-pack of medium-sized momentary switches
1 x Power Supply w/MicroUSB
5V 2.5A Switching Power Supply
1 x 8GB MicroSD
8GB MicroSD with NooBs 2.9
1 x Full sized breadboard
This is a 'full-size' breadboard, 830 tie points. Good for small and medium projects.
1 x Breadboarding wire bundle
75 flexible stranded core wires with stiff ends molded
This guide was first published on Jan 18, 2019. It was last updated on Jan 18, 2019. This page (Overview) was last updated on Apr 24, 2019.