ESP32 board supports 2.4Ghz LoRa with SX1280 RF transceiver


We have seen a lot of ESP32 LoRa boards with the traditional frequencies of 433 MHz, 868 MHz or 915 MHz, but I think LilyGO LoRa V1.8 (aka T3 V1.8) is the first ESP32 board that integrates a Semtech transceiver SX1280 for the 2.4 GHz LoRa standard used for global coverage, including maritime applications, and telemetry.

The ESP32 & SX1280 board also offers 26 pins for expansion, a microSD card for data storage, a 2-pin connector for batteries, a 0.96-inch OLED for information display, and comes with a 3D antenna and u.FL connector for WiFi and Bluetooth and an SMA antenna for LoRa connectivity.

LilyGO LoRa/T3 V1.8 Specifications:

  • SoC – Xtensa LX6 Espressif ESP32 dual-core processor with 2.4 GHz WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 4.2
  • Storage – 4MB SPI Flash, microSD card slot
  • Display – 0.96 inch OLED screen with 128×64 resolution (SSD1306 I2C driver)
  • Connectivity
    • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi 4 up to 150 Mbps + Bluetooth 4.2 Classic and LE with “3D antenna” soldered on PCB, u.FL connector for external antenna
    • LoRa
      • Based on Semtech SX1280 RF transceiver connected to ESP32 via SPI interface
      • 2.4 GHz LoRa radio with SMA antenna
      • Output Power – +12.5dBm
  • USB – 1 USB Type-C port for power supply and programming via CH9102 USB to TTL chip
  • Extension – 26 pin connector (unpopulated) with GPIO, ADC, VP/VN, DAC, Touch, I2C, UART, 2 pin “LoRa” and power signals (5V/3.3V/GND)
  • Miscellaneous – Reset Button, Battery On/Off Switch
  • Power source
    • 5V via USB Type-C port
    • 3.7VLiPo battery via 2 pin JST connector
  • Dimensions – 6.6 x 2.5cm; width with antenna: 7.9 cm

LilyGO T3 V1.8 Pinout

LilyGO provides Arduino sketches for 2.4 GHz LoRa, including a telemetry (ToF) demo, and receiving and transmitting samples on Github.

The LilyGO LoRa V1.8 board sells for $27.18 plus shipping on Aliexpress and comes with a 2.4GHz antenna, two headers, and a cable to connect a battery. If you do not have a 2.4 GHz LoRaWAN gateway, you will need two to experiment with the P2P connection for telemetry and/or data transmission.

LilyGO LoRa V1.8 SX1280 antenna bases

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