SOCORAD32: A hackable, open source, ESP32 amateur radio board with walkie-talkie functionality and data communication

By on August 23, 2022
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SOCORAD32, aka the ESP32 Software Controlled Radio, is a professional-grade hackable walkie-talkie for amateur radio exploration, voice, and data communication using simple AT commands. Just add a speaker and a battery and you get a fully functional walkie-talkie radio. With the onboard dedicated Push To Talk (PTT) button, SOCORAD32 can be used straight out of the box without touching a single line of code!

Unlike using complicated SDR for amateur radio operation, SOCORAD32 is an amateur radio-tailored device that makes things simpler. Using uncomplicated AT commands, users can configure the 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 is the same IC used in commercial walkie-talkies such as in Baofeng, Motorola and Hytera. Because of this, SOCORAD32 can communicate with commercial walkie-talkies with ease.

In addition to all of this, SOCORAD32 utilizes powerful ESP32 Bluetooth functionality. All SOCORAD32 settings can be adjusted via a connected mobile device using a serial Bluetooth app of any choice, while also being adjustable via the dedicated physical buttons. You can store as many channels as you would like in the onboard memory of the ESP32. SOCORAD32 can also communicate data, so you can explore the amateur radio frequencies for IoT or send texts. Texts can be read via the onboard OLED screen or via a Bluetooth connected mobile device.SOCORAD32

Beyond communication SOCORAD32 is fully open source and hackable. For high level enthusiasts the RF module can be opened and tinkered with, allowing features like upgrading the power amplifier, among other adaptations.

Overall, SOCORAD32 makes it fun and interesting to explore the intricacies of amateur radio, portable two-way radio walkie-talkies, and long distance audio or data communications similar to LoRa. All done using easy to understand AT commands and the power of the ESP32 module.

SOCORAD32 is a Walkie-Talkie, Radio, and More!

Since SOCORAD32 is so easy to use, and so multi-functional, it has a wide variety of uses. SOCORAD32 could be adapted to work as a walkie-talkie, an intercom system, a pager, an Audio monitor (voice activated) and more! You can also dive into the wide world of radio and IoT with just the press of a few buttons.

SOCORAD32 illustration

Features & Specifications

  • UART configurations:
    • 8 bit data
    • 1 bit stop
    • No parity
    • CTS/RTS
    • 9600 baut
  • Frequency Range: 400 mhz – 470 mhz (covers most allocated license-free walkie-talkie bands internationally)
  • Frequency Step: 5 K / 6.25 K / 12.5 K / 25 K
  • RF Output Power: 2 W / 0.5 W (+5 KM @ 2 W)
  • Voice Encryption (scrambling): 8 type
  • Voice Compression/Expansion
  • SMS Receive/Transmit
  • CTCSS (38 group) + CDCSS (83 group)
  • Automatic elimination tail
  • Volume adjustable (1-8)
  • SQ level adjustable (0-9)
  • MIC sensitivity level adjustable (1-8)
  • Sleep Mode (0.1 uA)

Open Source

All of our open source information is available in our public Github Repository

Open source 3D printable enclosure design files will also be provided for free.

SOCORAD front_back view

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