• RockBLOCK+

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    RockBLOCK+ can send and receive short messages from anywhere
    on Earth with a view of the sky.

    A waterproof and rugged version of the RockBLOCK Naked
    product, with 9-30v power input and RS-232 data link.

About RockBLOCK+

The RockBLOCK+ allows you to send and receive short messages from anywhere on Earth with a clear view of the sky. It works far beyond the reach of WiFi and GSM networks. Maybe you want to transmit weather information from mid-ocean? Or use it to control your robot in the middle of the desert? Perhaps you need to communicate in an emergency, when other networks might not be available? RockBLOCK+ can help you.

RockBLOCK+ has a built-in power regulator and can accept between 9-30v DC. At the heart of RockBLOCK is an Iridium 9602 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 RS-232.

Product Details

Powered By 3m 9-30v DC input
Built in Antenna Yes
Transmits Using Iridium
Weight 300 grams
Size 4cm high, 13cm diameter (+cable)
Waterproofing IP68 certified (submersible up to 1m indefinitely)
Ideal For External use

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Running Costs

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 £10.00 per month and includes access to The CORE management system for managing your devices.

Credits are used each time you transmit. 1 credit is used per 50 bytes (or part thereof) 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, even if you are paying no line rental. Credits are shared/pooled between all of the devices on your account

Please note, whilst our pay-as-you-go tariffs offer great flexibility for development purposes, we know they are not suitable for everyone. If you are planning a large deployment of devices (100+) and are willing to commit to airtime contracts of 12 months or more, please get in touch. We have access to various tariffs which may suit you better.

Bundle per Credit Bundle Price
100 Credits £0.11 £11.00
200 Credits £0.10 £20.00
500 Credits £0.09 £45.00
1000 Credits £0.08 £80.00
2000 Credits £0.07 £140.00
5000 Credits £0.06 £300.00
10000 Credits £0.05 £500.00
20000 Credits £0.04 £800.00

About Iridium

Iridium is the only satellite network that allows transmission of information from any point on Earth – other networks have no coverage in the polar regions, and have intermittent or no coverage in other marine and land areas.

Iridium has 66 satellites in orbit around the Earth, allowing coverage anywhere on Earth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No other satellite network has truly global coverage. Messages sent via Iridium take just seconds to reach you, via e-mail or directly to your web-service.

How to control the sleep pin

The sleep signal is internally pulled high on the RockBLOCK and RocKBLOCK+ products, so you can leave it disconnected if you want to leave the modem 'awake' all of the time.

To turn 'off' the modem, pull the line to ground.

Unit refuses to give me data using the SBDRT command

If you are using the SBDRT command, and the modem appears to 'hang' when you issue the command, it is probably due to flow control configuration. The default state for the RockBLOCK and RockBLOCK+ units has flow control turned ON in the modem. When running in 3-wire serial mode, flow control should be turned OFF, which will ensure you get responses to your requests.

Use the command AT&K0 at the start of your command sequence. This turns flow control off, and should solve the problem.


Related Case Studies

  • LOHAN
    High Altitude Rocket - The Register

    RockBlock was used as a command and control module, to enable the ground team to send commands to the high altitude rocket when out of GSM coverage

  • Kraken
    Ocean Drifter Buoy

    The pupils at Sutton Grammar School made an ocean drifter to to measure wave parameters and currents. RockBLOCK sends the data back from the middle of the ocean.

  • High Altitude Balloon
    with Arduino and GPS

    Andrew Ashe together with Mikal Hart (author of the fantastic IridiumSBD library for Arduino) has successfully tracked a balloon, and been able to recover its payload thanks to RockBLOCK.