The RockBLOCK – a low cost two-way satellite module

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Today sees the launch of the RockBLOCK, a low-cost two-way satellite messaging unit, which can be easily integrated into third party applications using either USB or serial interfaces. The RockBLOCK allows short messages to be sent and received from anywhere on Earth. Designed for educational, hobbyist and professional users alike, the unit is the ideal way to provide a way of globally communicating with projects using Raspberry Pi™, Arduino, and almost any other system with either USB or serial ports.

Rockblock Image 1 - Medium Res

It allows virtually any system with USB or serial interfaces to communicate with the rest of the world, even where there is no mobile phone coverage or other type of communication systems.

Today sees the launch of the RockBLOCK, a low-cost two-way satellite messaging unit, which can be easily integrated into third party applications using either USB or serial interfaces. The RockBLOCK allows short messages to be sent and received from anywhere on Earth.

Designed for educational, hobbyist and professional users alike, the unit is the ideal way to provide a way of globally communicating with projects using Raspberry Pi™, Arduino, and almost any other system with either USB or serial ports.

The unit combines an Iridium 9602 SBD modem, USB interface, power-handling and a high-performance Iridium antenna – it takes away all the hassle of integration with other devices and makes two-way satellite communication plug-and-play for the first time.

Two versions of the product will be available:

  • RockBLOCK ‘Naked’ (bare-board PCB version for integration)
  • RockBLOCK 'Rugged' (a ruggedized fully-waterproof encapsulated version)

Nick Farrell, Director of Rock Seven said: “We’re very excited about the RockBLOCK. It allows virtually any system with USB or serial interfaces to communicate with the rest of the world, even where there is no mobile phone coverage or other type of communication systems. We see the RockBLOCK being combined into autonomous robots, remote weather stations, oil pipeline monitoring, oceanographic research – in fact, any type of system which could benefit having two-way communication in remote areas.”

Priced from £159 (plus tax), with a fair pay-as-you-go data usage plan, the first production run of units are likely to sell out quickly – access to global two-way satellite communication has never been made so easy before, and demand is expected to be high.

More information is available on the product website at http://rockblock.rock7mobile.com and pre-orders are being taken now for shipping in October 2012.

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Nick Farrell

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