RNode - An open, free and unrestricted digital radio transceiver

I recently discovered Reticulum which is a cryptography-based network stack for building local and wide area networks with various hardware. While reading through the documentation and use cases for Reticulum, I found the RNode firmware that is particularly well suited for use with the Reticulum network, but can also be used for other purposes as well.

The RNode firmware can be installed on the T-Beam LoRa boards. I have several of these laying around, so I installed the firmware and did some testing.



My first real test was setting up IP over LoRa, using a T-Beam as a serial modem from two different devices followung the guide located here.


Basically, we connect a T-Beam to a device through USB, put the device into TNC mode, and use the tncattach program to bring up a network interface.


I connected one of the T-Beams to my laptop and another to a Raspberry Pi across the room. The Pi was not connected to any other network. It’s only network interface was the tnc connection through the T-Beam, but I was able to successfully ping the laptop from the Pi. I spun up a webserver on the Pi and was able to browse it from the laptop. The connection was slow, but stable.



This has given me some ideas on some other projects where I could use a longer range wireless connection for IP based communication.

This was just one example of using the RNode firmware. There are many other projects and capabilities including sniffing raw LoRa packets to using the RNode with other amateur radio software for packet radio or APRS. You can some of those guides here.

There is also the Sideband app, that you can use as a messenger across devices using the Reticulum network. I’ve tested it between various computers and phones as well as through the T-Beam LoRa connections. This whole ecosystem is very interesting and has given me a lot of fun ideas to experiment with.