SOCORAD32, aka the ESP32 Software Controlled Radio, is a professional-quality, hackable walkie-talkie for amateur-radio exploration, voice communication, and data transfer using simple AT commands. Just add a speaker, connect a battery, and you’ll have a fully functional walkie talkie radio. With its dedicated push-to-talk (PTT) button, SOCORAD32 can be used straight out of the box without touching a single line of code!
Unlike complicated SDRs, SOCORAD32 is tailored to amateur-radio applications and optimized for simplicity. Using basic AT commands, you can configure audio volume, tone squelching, CTCSS, CDSS codes, etc. SOCORAD32’s frequency range covers the license-free bands for most countries.
SOCORAD32 also features all of the operations of a standard walkie-talkie. It employs a proprietary RF design featuring the RDA1846 IC. This same IC is used in commercial walkie talkies such as Baofeng, Motorola, and Hytera. Because of this, SOCORAD32 can communicate with commercial walkie talkies when configured to do so. So how is SOCORAD32 different from such a commercial walkie talkie? It includes built-in functions, features, and high-level configurability that make it perfect for exploration.
SOCORAD32 can send and receive data, which means you can use it to exchange texts or to explore the amateur-radio frequencies set aside for IoT applications. Received text can be read via the onboard OLED screen or on a bluetooth-connected mobile device. Best of all, it’s fully open source and hackable. If you want to explore the intricacies amateur radio, build a portable transceiver, or poke around with long-distance audio- and data-communication protocols similar to LoRa, this device not only allows you to do so, it makes doing so easy and fun! Its frequency range covers the license-free bands in most countries, we’ve added an 18650 battery holder and a charger to the design, and we’ll be publishing design files for an enclosure soon!
Thanks to the ESP32 module’s Bluetooth functionality, you can configure all settings through a connected mobile device—via the serial Bluetooth app of your choice—rather than using the dedicated buttons. And the ESP32’s onboard memory allows you to store as many channels as you could possibly need. Advanced users can even tinker with the RF module and optimize the power amplifier, the antenna, the filter, the matching circuit, etc.
Xis the sensitivity level (1-8).
Xis the loudness level (1-8).
AT+DMOGRP=RFV, TFV, RXCT, TXCT, Flag, Flag1, where
RFV= receive frequency,
TFV= transmit frequency,
RXCT= CTCSS/CDCSS coding,
TXCT= CTCSS/CDCSS transmit coding,
Flag= busy locking/band setting (narrow or wide), and
Flag1= transmit power settings high (2 W) or low (0.5 W).
AT+DMOGRP=450.02500, 450.02500, 7006, 7006, 0, 0
|SOCORAD32||Typical commercial walkie-talkie|
|Open Source||HW + SW||No|
|Text from phone||Yes||No|
|Function Expansion||Yes, via GPIOs||No|
|Battery Capacity||Customizable & Swappable||Fixed|
|GPS||External via GPIO||Few|
The following images shows the simplicity of sending texts
SOCORAD32 is appropriate for a wide range of project, including:
All documentation and project files are available in our GitHub repository. To maintain cohesion and organization, we will be using this repo for all things SOCORAD, including forum discussions, questions, support, collaboration, etc.
We are working with PCBWay, which is a trusted manufacturing partner. In addition to sponsoring our prototype, they have been handling our prototype production and test runs. We have worked with them for a while and we fully trust their ability and the quality of their work. They will also handle packaging and other logistical tasks to quicken delivery. They are ready to manufacture, test, and coordinate the whole production process. They also understand our components and how to properly handle them. All units will be tested right at their factory before shipping.
All orders will be shipped by Crowd Supply’s fulfillment partner, Mouser Electronics, so rest assured that your product is in good hands. Once manufacturing is complete and SOCORAD32 modules have been assembled, flashed, and tested, we’ll make a bulk shipment to Mouser Electronics, who will handle distribution to backers worldwide. You can learn more about Crowd Supply’s fulfillment service under Ordering, Paying, and Shipping in their guide.
Hardware design is a tricky process and there are many potential pitfalls that could lead to a delay in production. However, we have extensive experience in hardware and software design, and have delivered products to customers all over the world. We have already built and tested 10 units, and the SOCORAD32 hardware has completed its revision process. We also have a very good relationship with our CM, who will help us make the manufacturing process as smooth as possible.
The semiconductor crisis has made hardware manufacturing a lot more complex, with certain ICs being nearly impossible to get hold of for the foreseeable future. One missing chip can be enough to stall an entire production. To mitigate this risk, we have secured all the key components necessary for our initial production run. This includes the RF module and the ESP32 module. Thankfully, with a bit of patience, we have been able to acquire a decent quantity of these components, meaning we will be ready to press go on the final production run before the end of the campaign.
"[T]he SOCORAD32 offer[s] a hackable, open source, ESP32 amateur radio board with walkie-talkie functionality and data communication. The board has been created to provide a professional grade ESP32 Software Controlled Radio."
"Offering a hackable open-source, this amateur radio-tailored device features all of the operations of a standard walkie-talkie. ... straight out of the box"
"SOCORAD32, aka the ESP32 Software Controlled Radio, is a professional hackable walkie-talkie for amateur radio exploration, voice and data communication by using simple AT commands."
Produced by Mord Technologies in Lagos, Nigeria.
Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.
One SOCORAD32 controller with speaker and antenna included (18650 battery with raised positive terminal required)