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data loggers Environmental

November 12, 2019

Maker Buoy utilises RockBLOCK for communications

Rock Seven (now trading as Ground Control) Partner Maker Buoy has developed a new populated board to get people up and running using the RockBLOCK 9602 and RockBLOCK 9603 quickly for offshore buoy telemetry applications.

The Maker Buoy is a solar-powered, Arduino-based research buoy which measures ocean drift and sea temperature, and carries a RockBLOCK 9603 for communication via the Iridium satellite network. The unit can be built by hobbyists, researchers and organisations, and the data shared to further our understanding of our oceans.

The new populated board was made in response to customers wanting a time-saving and customizable board for maritime and land uses. The board has been made to be flexible with a variety of connections for I2C, serial and 1-wire sensors, all centred around a MOSFET-controlled connection to a RockBLOCK. There’s also an optional pad on the back to allow use of the RockBLOCK sleep pin.

Maker Buoy creator Wayne Pavalko said: “This board provides an easy way to get up and running with your RockBLOCK. Install a Feather M0, and you can be sending and receiving Iridium SBD messages from land or sea in minutes.”
Rock Seven CEO Nick Farrell said: “It’s great to see the next stage of development for Maker Buoy products as a result of customer demand. It’s always fascinating to see what our customers and partners are doing with our RockBLOCK products – Maker Buoy is a superb example of where adding two-way Iridium sat-comms to remote devices creates real value.”

The populated board includes an I2C header, watchdog timer, status LED, and flashing strobe circuitry and can be bought for $45 with domestic US shipping of $7.50, or international at $15. Purchase the board by emailing or find out more on the Maker Buoy website.

Get in touch

Get in touch with us and find out if the RockBLOCK 9603 is the right device for your needs. Either complete our online form, or call us to be connected directly with one of our expert team. Call +44 (0) 1452 751940 (Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania) or +1.805.783.4600 (North and South America).

With over 20 years experience in satellite tracking we have the knowledge and experience to ensure you are equipped with everything you need to make the right choice.