Global coverage from Iridium's satellite network
Our flagship RockBLOCK 9602 product utilises the Short Burst Data (SBD) element of the Iridium Satellite Network and is by far the most popular device in our SBD range. This small, robust device is used by hobbyists and scientists alike and is versatile in its uses – from meteorological sensing, through to preventing fires in remote locations
If space is at a premium in your unit, you may want to consider the RockBLOCK 9603 instead. This device has been designed especially for product developers and system integrators used to using smaller equipment for small enclosures.
How RockBLOCK Works
RockBLOCK takes its power from a standard 0.1″ pitch direct header connector, or alternatively via an FTDI to USB adaptor (to power/control from a USB port). If you’re using the PCB assembly version with a direct header, your host needs to supply a minimum of 100mA @ 5V.
At the heart of RockBLOCK is an Iridium 9602 satellite modem. The RockBLOCK hosts the 9602 and provides it with an antenna, and its power supply requirements. It exposes the modem’s serial interface via a breakout connector over serial, or USB (via a USB/serial adaptor).
- Small form factor, low power, for easy integration into IoT solutions
- Plug and play satellite communication using the Iridium satellite network
- Full 2-way communication system
- Optional SMA connector, for external antenna
- Truly Global operation, pole to pole
- Data Send: 340 bytes per message
- Data Receive: 270 bytes per message
- Available as a PCB or encapsulated product (see RockBLOCK Plus)
- Integrated antenna and power conditioning
- UART and Serial interfaces; follows AT commands for easy integration
- Data arrives via e-mail or directly to your web-service
- Manage and monitor your device and delivery network with our cloud-based platform, Cloudloop
- Powered By: Direct Header Connector, or optional FTDI USB adaptor
- Transmits Using: Iridium
- Size: RockBLOCK Mk2 Naked: 76.0 x 51.5 x 19.0mm
- Ideal For: RockBLOCK Mk2 Naked: Integration into existing devices
- Operating Temperature: -30C to +85C
- Storage Temperature: -40C to +85C
- Built in Antenna: 1621 Mhz tuned patch antenna (& optional ‘SMA’ version for external antenna)
- Weight: RockBLOCK Mk2 Naked: 67 grams
- Waterproofing: RockBLOCK Mk2 Naked is *not* waterproof. If you need a waterproof unit, look at the RockBLOCK Plus
- Voltage Required: 5V DC
- Sleep Mode: Needs a minimum of 100mA for operation, but easily put to ‘sleep’ to save power
Line rental is paid in blocks of 1 month, and allows the RockBLOCK to exchange information with the Iridium satellite network. You only pay for months in which you wish to use the RockBLOCK. No annual contract is required. Line rental costs £13.00 per month and includes access to The RockBLOCK management system for managing your devices.
Credits are used each time you transmit. 1 credit is used per tracking position or per 50 characters of message sent or received. 1 credit is also used if you check your mailbox and there are no messages waiting (A mailbox check). Credits do not expire unless you do not use your account at all for 12 months. Credits are shared/pooled between all of the devices on your account.
The RockBLOCK management system allows users to amend their account details, manage RockBLOCKs, top-up accounts, review invoice details, and set-up communication between HQ, individual devices and device groups.
Upon receiving your RockBLOCK(s), first time users will need to log on to our registration page: https://rockblock.rock7.com/Operations.
Having trouble registering?
If you are not registering new units, there’s a very high chance they have been already registered somewhere else. Contact email@example.com, mentioning your RockBLOCK serial numbers and IMEIs so that we can look into the issue.
Reach beyond cellular networks
Some ways the RockBLOCK 9602 can be used
Empowering climate resilience through satellite-enabled precision farming
Ground Control’s RockBLOCK 9602 is providing vital connectivity for Synnefa’s precision farming tools, helping farmers in Kenya gain greater yields and reduce waste, aligned with the UN’s sustainable development goals.
Finding optimum oil and gas sites with 40Geo drifting data buoys
40Geo captures geographical information from hard-to-reach areas with drifting data buoys to aid decisions about when and where to situate oil and gas operations. Using the RockBLOCK 9602, the team can extract close to real-time data under any circumstances, unaffected by location, weather or cellular coverage.
Environmental Monitoring and Reporting
A Government Agency responsible for coastal, stormwater and catchment management has assigned Ground Control customer Obscape to assist with reporting on areas such as – monitoring and reporting on catchment management, flood risk areas, storm drains and drainage ditches with the aid of the RockBLOCK.
LOHAN – High-Altitude Rocket
LOHAN is a madcap project involving using a high-altitude balloon to launch a glider to the edge of space then have it released from the balloon and navigate itself down to a designated landing spot. The unit needed a way to communicate when out of normal GPRS coverage.
Kraken – Ocean Drifter Buoy
‘Kraken’ is a project by Sutton Grammar School. The main concept behind the buoy is its primary use as an oil response system. The system is based around an oil response unit that aims to make it easier for oil companies to clean up spills quickly and effectively.
Epsom College and the Microtransat Challenge
Epsom College are competing in The Microtransat challenge and are trying to build a robot boat that can sail from England to America autonomously. It has been attempted approximately 25 times by Universities, Businesses and Individuals; however, it has never been completed.
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