SparkFun expLoRaBLE Hookup Guide

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Software Overview

CH340 Driver

Users will need to install the latest CH340 driver on their computer, in order for it to properly recognize the board.

How to Install CH340 Drivers

August 6, 2019

How to install CH340 drivers (if you need them) on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Arduino IDE

Note: For first-time users, who have never programmed before and are looking to use the Arduino IDE, we recommend beginning with the SparkFun Inventor's Kit (SIK), which includes a simpler board like the Arduino Uno or SparkFun RedBoard and is designed to help users get started programming with the Arduino IDE.

Most users will be familiar with the Arduino IDE and it's use. As a point of reference for professional developers who aren't aware, the Arduino IDE is an open-source development environment, written in Java, that makes it easy to write code and upload it to a supported board. For more details, feel free to check out the Arduino website.

To get started with the Arduino IDE, check out the following tutorials:

Installing an Arduino Library

How do I install a custom Arduino library? It's easy! This tutorial will go over how to install an Arduino library using the Arduino Library Manager. For libraries not linked with the Arduino IDE, we will also go over manually installing an Arduino library.

What is an Arduino?

What is this 'Arduino' thing anyway? This tutorials dives into what an Arduino is and along with Arduino projects and widgets.

Installing Arduino IDE

A step-by-step guide to installing and testing the Arduino software on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Installing Board Definitions in the Arduino IDE

How do I install a custom Arduino board/core? It's easy! This tutorial will go over how to install an Arduino board definition using the Arduino Board Manager. We will also go over manually installing third-party cores, such as the board definitions required for many of the SparkFun development boards.

Software Dependencies

  • Install the latest SparkFun Apollo3 Boards board definitions in the Arduino IDE

    Note: The installed board definitions for our Apollo3 development boards must be version 2.0.5 or later.

    board manager
    Adding the SparkFun expLoRaBLE in the Board Manager. (Click to enlarge)

    Installing Board Definitions in the Arduino IDE

    September 9, 2020

    How do I install a custom Arduino board/core? It's easy! This tutorial will go over how to install an Arduino board definition using the Arduino Board Manager. We will also go over manually installing third-party cores, such as the board definitions required for many of the SparkFun development boards.

    Note: For more instructions, users can follow this tutorial on Installing Additional Cores provided by Arduino. Users will also need the .json file for the SparkFun Ambiq Apollo3 Arduino Core:

    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/sparkfun/Arduino_Apollo3/master/package_sparkfun_apollo3_index.json

  • Install the associated Arduino libraries for the board's features:
    1. The ArduinoBLE Arduino library
    2. The RadioLib Arduino library

      Note: Currently, the RadioLib Arduino library, doesn't support the SparkFun expLoRaBLE Thing Plus. There is a pull-request to integrate support for the expLoRaBLE into the library. In the meantime, users will need to manually install the library with this .zip file.

      • Provides support for peer-to-peer RF communication
        Note: Peer-to-peer refers to direct RF communication using FSK modulation and not a mesh network LoRa integration.
    3. Our port of the basicmac code (*requires manual .zip file installation)

      Note: Currently, there isn't an Arduino library that provides a LoRa implementation, supporting the SX1262. However, we were able to modify and port the basicmac code as an Arduino library for the SparkFun expLoRaBLE. Users will need to manually install the library with this .zip file.

      The library includes modifications for the SPI pins use by the NM180100 to connect the Apollo3 MCU to the SX1262 module. Additionally, it also contains modifications to pre-configure the library to use the SX1262, the US LoRa frequency band, and defaults to a SF7 (spreading factor).


    Installing an Arduino Library

    January 11, 2013

    How do I install a custom Arduino library? It's easy! This tutorial will go over how to install an Arduino library using the Arduino Library Manager. For libraries not linked with the Arduino IDE, we will also go over manually installing an Arduino library.

The Things Network

Users will need an account on The Things Network for the example that demonstrates the LoRaWAN capabilities of the expLoRaBLE. Please, use the information in either of the following tutorials to create an account on register a node on The Things Network.

LoRaWAN with ProRF and The Things Network

July 3, 2018

Learn how to make a LoRaWAN node for your next long range IoT project and connect it to the internet with The Things Network!

SparkFun SAMD21 Pro RF Hookup Guide

October 4, 2018

Using the super blazing, nay blinding, fast SAMD21 whipping clock cycles at 48MHz and the RFM96 module to connect to the Things Network (and other Radio woodles).