I'm working on a project that will require two arduinos to be able to relay information to each other from long distances (up to about 10 miles or around 16 km). WiFi won't be guaranteed to be available to either arduino as this is a wilderness application.

What are my options for long range wireless communication? I haven't decided on an arduino model yet so if one particular model would be best for this application let me know.

  • Lower frequencies tend to have larger ranges. I'd also suggest looking into DIY directional antennas. – Gerben May 15 '15 at 12:33

Your range of options depends strongly on what your budget is, what country you are in, whether you are a licensed radio operator, whether cell service is available, etc.

If you aren't licensed:

In the USA, unlicensed (or lightly licensed) radio options include GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service), FRS (Family Radio Service) and CB (Citizens band radio). GMRS and FRS range typically is at most a few miles – ten miles is too much to hope for. CB range would be ok but CB radios often are fairly large and antennas would be large, eg nine feet long. I don't know whether it is legal to transmit digital data over GMRS/FRS/CB radio.

If you are licensed:

2-meter band radio might be a good choice. Frequencies are 144 MHz to 148 MHz in the Americas and Asia, or 144 MHz to 146 MHz elsewhere. Per wikipedia,

The license privileges of amateur radio operators include the use of frequencies within this band for telecommunication, usually conducted locally within a range of about 100 miles (160 km).

If cell service is available:

Consider a GSM shield, eg the Arduino GSM Shield.

To access the cell network you would need to buy a SIM card for each GSM shield.

GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) on GSM provides data rates between 10 and 240 kbs. Other GSM protocols may be faster or slower. Data rates depend also on whether 3G service is available or only 2G.

  • Do you know any CB shields? Any approach you could recommend to me? I have two old President CB radios. I could manually connect to the input and output audio (i.e. mic and speaker) and build something. Are there any ready to use devices to convert digital sounds to useful binary data? – Socrates Nov 15 '18 at 2:47
  • @Socrates, I don't have any info about interfacing to CB radios. Re "digital sounds to useful binary data", that's the function of an audio modem; modem chips probably are available, but also see (eg) SoftModem on github – James Waldby - jwpat7 Dec 6 '18 at 0:05

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