Learn about the hardware

The hardware for disaster.radio is as open as possible. The heart of the device is the WiFi and BLE-enabled ESP32 microcontroller and LoRa tranceiver.

Espressif ESP32

A system-on-chip (SOC) microcontroller with built-in WiFi capabilities. This provides WiFi access in the node's immeadiate vicinity, allowing most modern device to connect to the disaster.radio network. ESP32 development boards are very affordable and can be found for as low as ~$11.


A long-range, low-bandwith radio transceiver, the LoRa SX1276 chip and its chirp-like modulation scheme provide the node-to-node links for the disaster.radio network.


Powered by a solar panel and a battery, disaster.radio nodes are capable of functioning in most moderately sunny locations.


We are in the process of designing a custom PCB prototype, the schematics and layout are open source and could be re-printed by anyone with the necessary knowledge and means.


The enclosure for the disaster.radio is designed to be vaccum-formed or 3d printed. The STLs of the enclosure design can be found on our github.

Development boards

We support a number of off-the-shelf ESP32 development boards for testing or building your own node from parts. See our list of supported boards on our wiki.

You can buy a preflashed board from hardware manufacturer LILYGO, TTGO Disaster-Radio LoRa32 V2.1. One dollar of every LILYGO board sold goes to supporting our development. We are not able to offer support for these devices beyond the firmware, and offer no guarantees to their suitability for any particular purpose.

Suggested parts

It is possible to build a disaster radio node from parts right now. Take a look at our suggested list of parts from Ali Express to get started.

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