RFXduino: Wireless Ethernet/Internet over nRF24L01+ modules for Arduinos!

The vision of the Internet of Things (IoT) is to get all your embedded devices and projects connected to the Internet. Radio For X:duino (RFXduino) has been designed as a scalable and extensible system that makes it simple, secure, and affordable.

What is it? RFXduino provides Wifi capability for up to 255 Arduino (or compatible) devices equipped only with inexpensive nRF24L01+ modules, by sharing a single Raspberry Pi connected to your LAN as a wireless TCP/IP gateway server.

scheme

Send emails, tweets, access http and https servers, serve web pages from your Arduinos — the works! It’s a simpler, more affordable, and more powerful way to enable wireless Internet connectivity for *all* your Arduino projects!

Why not just use Wifi shields?

  • Firstly, functionality. Using a Linux powered gateway system, you get fuller and more complete Internet access (e.g. the ability to connect to secure services using https, SSL, TLS). Standard Wifi shields/Ethernet shields can’t handle public key encryption, so they can’t connect to these servers and services, which are becoming increasingly commonplace (e.g. gmail, twitter).Perhaps even more importantly, compared to using a Wifi or Ethernet shield, using a “hub” like the RPi gateway server allows for much greater independence of third-party cloud services. While you can still use all the standard cloud services to store your data, provide connectivity services, etc. if you prefer, you can also choose to do pretty much all of that on your own gateway instead. For example, suppose you store data using Thingspeak. You now have the choice of either connecting to the Thingspeak cloud service, or running the Thingspeak server software on the Raspberry Pi hub, and connect to that instead! And with many, many options available under Linux for storage/processing/serving of data, you can choose what data to keep in your “private” cloud, and what to put into the public cloud using third-party services. Using a gateway hub approach, you end up with much tighter control of your data and services, which is both more convenient and more secure.
  • Secondly, affordability. By using inexpensive nRF24L01+ modules rather than expensive Wifi shields or similar, RFXduino is designed to make Wifi access affordable for *all* your Arduino projects around your home, and to provide a platform to leverage and integrate their functionality.
  • Thirdly, power with simplicity. The RFXduino Arduino library actually simplifies coding for sketches compared to using the standard Wifi Shield/Ethernet shield libraries, by conveniently encapsulating many common functions, such as sending a tweet or an email from your Arduino. RFX allows Linux to handle the tedious stuff! And the exec() command “bridge” from Arduino to Raspberry Pi Linux opens up endless possibilities — think “Yun” on steroids!

So, how much does it cost? If you already have your own Raspberry Pi (with Ethernet port — models B, B+, or RPi 2), and you would like to use it as the gateway server, the basic “BYO” kit is ~$60. That’s a once-off cost to establish the gateway. And once you’ve got a gateway server set up, the deployment cost for each wireless LAN/Internet connected node is the small cost of adding an inexpensive nRF24L01+ module to an Arduino (or Arduino compatible) dev board. That’s the value proposition that drives the RFXduino project.

But that’s impossible! You can’t do TCP/IP over a nRf24L01+ wireless link! Certainly not trivial, but not impossible. Want to know more? Check out the technical overview, Docs, FAQs, code examples and demo projects for more details of how it works, what you can do, and how to do it.

Or, feel free to simply drop us a line if you have any specific queries using the Contacts page.

RFXduino: Simpler, more affordable, and even more powerful wireless Internet connectivity for *all* your Arduino projects!