Link maker

Raging Bits Symple Link Radio aims to bridge the gap between Wi-Fi and LoRa for home automation

The pseudonymous British manufacturer “Raging Bits” has designed a family of experimental cards designed for wireless home automation based on a star topology: Symple Link Radio.

Symple Link Radio [is] a private hub-and-spoke network for smart home automation,” says Raging Bits. “[It is a] star configuration radio network based on low power free devices over ISM [Industrial, Scientific, Medical] 433 bands up to more than half [a] link distance in miles in LOS [Line-of-Sight]. These links will bring 1×UART, 1×I2C and 4×IO [Inputs/Outputs] in the peripheral device, entirely controlled by the central device.”

Designed, according to its creator, to speed up development – although still unlicensed and uncertified – the Symple Link Radio range is split in two. The central module provides central connectivity, with one or more peripheral modules connected via a 433 MHz link – communicating either when polled directly or when an event is detected on the UART bus or an input.

“This network is intended to bridge the gap between Wi-Fi and LoRa,” says Raging Bits. “LoRa has a huge price overhead at the gateway point as well as the nodes have little payload and scarce capacity for adequate online data protection, [but] the Symple Link device will only connect to its central device. When Wi-Fi doesn’t reach the end of the yard for a light switch, serial port-based sensor, or I2C IO extender, the Symple Link will make it.”

Mods are on sale on the Raging Bits Tindie Store now at $20 each; at the time of writing only 433 MHz variants were available, making them unsuitable for use in North America, with no word on a 915 MHz equivalent.