TL;DR: Data over ham radio using LoRa published to github
Quite some time ago, Travis Goodspeed (KK4VCZ) released code and notes on github describing LoRaHam - using LoRa radios on amateur frequencies with a simple and open protocol for exchanging small amounts of data. By using very low-cost boards and simple code, data packets can be transmitted between a network of nodes & bridged to the internet in the same way that APRS is today.
At the time, I thought this was a pretty nifty idea, and purchased a pair of boards to experiment. With a random length jumper wire soldered into a board and a battery banded on, I did a few experiments around our Brooklyn neighborhood. Fast forward about five years, and I came across the boards having moved into the suburbs where I have actual access to a roof and much more ability to experiment with longer-range communication.
Since then, I’ve built out a small collection of different nodes including multiple solar powered digipeaters, internet bridges, logging systems, foxhunt RDF transmitters, weather data collectors, and a bunch more. These are all based on Travis’ original spec and code.
I’m slowly releasing various pieces of this to my github (github.com/deanjerkovich/loraham) so others can tinker and experiment with this idea.
I see LoRaHam as an incredibly inexpensive and accessible way for everyone to be able to communicate across large distances with very low-power devices with no reliance on centralized infrastructure like ISPs or cellular networks. And for folks like myself who tend to be somewhat voice-mode shy, a way to endlessly experiment with the magic of radio wave propagation beyond typical amateur radio modes.