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RF Explorer 3G+ IoT for Raspberry Pi

RF Explorer 3G+ IoT uses several digital connections from the Raspberry Pi board, including the main UART (/dev/ttyAMA0) for the embedded MWSUB3G module control.

RFExplorer 3GP IOT Raspberry

ComponentDescription
RF Connector Standard SMA female, 50 ohm RF quality connector. It can be connected to antennas or RF direct signal with coaxial cable.
SW1 Switch Used to select Arduino UART0, not used in Raspberry Pi configuration
BUTTON_1 Push button used for specific MWSUB3G operational modes
JP1 Buzzer Digital output connector for custom alarm buzzer, LED, actuator or equivalent configurable device
Power LED

RED LED will light if the board is receiving correct power from the 5V Raspberry Pi source. The 5V input from Raspberry Pi is then converted to 3.3V with a dedicated LDO.

Power is protected by a resettable fuse.

Activity LED GREEN LED will show specific status and activity performed by the MWSUB3G module.
MWSUB3G Module RF advanced spectrum analyzer module.
SV1 Standard 26x2 pin Raspberry Pi female connector

 

Compatible Raspberry Pi boards

RF Explorer 3G+ for IoT module is compatible with all Raspberry Pi boards, directly supported models are listed below:

  • Raspberry Pi 1 model B+
  • Raspberry Pi 2 model B
  • Raspberry Pi 3 model B

RF Explorer 3G+ for IoT module works with Raspberry Pi 1 model A+ too, but this model lacks Ethernet connection and therefore may not suit your needs for IoT application.

RFE IOT RPI parts small

 

The RF Explorer 3G+ IoT module uses the Raspberry Pi high speed UART, and that requires certain raspbian OS changes in order to enable it for dedicated use. This is especially true in the new Raspberry Pi 3, where the UART is configured for use by the embedded bluetooth module.

In addition to that, the standard Raspbian OS distribution includes a number of games, tools and office application taking precious card space you may not need for an IoT module.

Therefore, we modified the official Raspbian OS distribution with a number of required features for easy integration with RF Explorer 3G+ IoT modules:

  • Python 3.5.2 installed
  • Mono 4 installed
  • High speed Raspberry Pi UART already configured
  • Raspberry Pi 3 image disabled Wifi and Bluetooth - they cannot be active near to a sensitive IoT spectrum analyzer module as otherwise will produce interference and false readings.
  • Optimized Raspbian distro for IoT configuration, removed games and office tools
  • Enabled SSH and FTP
  • Added some lightweight useful tools such as "mc" and "htop"
  • Designed for 8GB or larger micro-SD card

These images are designed and implemented to save you time, but you may produce your own image by manually doing required changes over any other OS distro. We officially support these images only, but will do our best to assess on other configurations as required.

Specifications

ParameterDescription
Module included 3G+ MWSUB3G advanced RF Explorer module
Frequency band coverage 15-2700 MHz
Connector Standard SMA 50 ohms
Selectable input stage Normal, LNA, 30dB Attenuator
Amplitude resolution 0.5dBm
Dynamic range -130dBm to +10dBm
Absolute Max input power +30dBm
Average noise floor level -120dBm (typical with LNA enabled)
Frequency stability and accuracy +-10ppm (typical)
Amplitude stability and accuracy +-3dBm (typical)
Amplitude and Frequency calibration All modules are factory calibrated
Frequency resolution 1Khz
Resolution bandwidth (RBW) automatic 3KHz to 600KHz
DC Voltage Level 3.3V on all pins
DC Protection Protected with resettable fuse
Power consumption 100-500mW

 

Connecting to a Raspberry Pi board

RF Explorer 3G+ IoT modules fit perfectly on a Raspberry Pi board, make sure to align pins correctly.

RFE IOT RPI side connector small

RFE IOT RPI side HDMI Small

 

Prerequisites

In order to use RF Explorer 3G+ IoT shield you need:

  • Raspberry Pi compatible board
  • RF Explorer 3G+ IoT module for Raspberry Pi
  • Ethernet and micro-USB power cable for Raspberry Pi
  • Micro-SD compatible card with at least 8GB capacity
  • RF Explorer 3G+ Raspberry Pi raspbian image
  • Updated libraries and examples download from the GITHUB site

Software Libraries

The RF Explorer 3G+ IoT libraries for Raspberry are free, open source code you can also modify for your own needs.

We produced Python 3 and .NET libraries so you can use the one which best fits your needs.

Please visit GITHUB wiki for more details and downloads.