Why spend the apocalypse in darkness when you could send Pi-powered telegrams to a friend? Bobricius and ARMACHAT recently revealed the Raspberry Pi PICOmputer, a doomsday communicator that uses long-distance radio to send and receive 80-character messages.
The small, battery-powered PICOmputer is the latest in ARMACHAT’s line of long-range radio messaging devices, complete with a QWERTY keyboard and a 240 x 240 IPS LCD display. It can send, receive, and save messages, sort of like a digitized version of the telegram. Interestingly, the PICOmputer can resend messages that weren’t successfully delivered, and it features a breakout board for quick modifications and plug-ins.
— bobricius (@bobricius) March 2, 2021
ARMACHAT is U.K.-based and works on the 868MHz band. Of course, the desired frequency changes, depending on your country’s laws and regulations. In the U.S., the ARMACHAT team suggests switching to the 915MHz band to accommodate federal law. People in other countries should use The Things Network’s LoRaWAN Frequency Plan datasheet to find the appropriate frequency for their location.
The PICOmputer isn’t on sale yet, but it should cost somewhere between $100 and $200, judging by the price of other ARMACHAT hardware. If you want to prepare for a doomsday scenario with a cool radio messenger, go grab an ARMACHAT communicator from the group’s website. Bear in mind that these aren’t toys—the ARMACHAT website says that its hardware is “FOR ADVANCED USER !!! NOT FOR BEGINNERS !!!” and any radio hardware could get you into trouble with the FCC if you don’t know what you’re doing.