Grant: DAEmod-915: Open-Source Open-Hardware 915MHz Digital Transceiver

Date: March 2022
Amount: $1,950

DAEMod-915 is a Bradley University senior capstone project whose goal is to design a digital transceiver system for experimentation in the under-utilized 915MHz band. The design includes a configurable duty cycle, support for multiple FSK/ASK modulation standards, and completely open-source hardware and software. The design is extensible and can be configured for specific use cases, such as a remote trail camera system or a modern pager system.

In the US, the 915MHz band is an Industrial, Scientific, and Medical band that covers a frequency range of 902–928 MHz. This band isn’t as widely used as 433MHz or 2.4GHz besides LoRa and old ISM products. The 915MHz band was chosen as it is an underpopulated spectrum for most devices. Additionally, this spectrum is allocated on a secondary basis to amateur radio operators. The project can help amateurs utilize 915Mhz with modern technology. Overall, this frequency range strikes a good balance between cost, range, and available spectrum. Within the market, there is a lack of available 915MHz open-source and open-hardware modules for implementing Digital radio modes. The board will be an example use case for our digital radio communication and showcase potential use cases for the project.

With ARDC’s funding, DAEMod-915 will reduce barriers to innovation in the 33cm band. With detailed documentation, this project will allow for implementation by a wide variety of amateur radio operators. The board will allow for experimentation and future development of protocols at a low cost. Once prototypes are completed, the goal would be to have this project advertised and spread awareness of completed prototypes. The students are hoping to inspire more institutions and amateur radio clubs to develop specific use cases via adapting specific hardware to expand DAEMod-915’s implementation. This will be supported through documentation, project whitepapers, and educational videos.

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