Iridium two-way satellite communication board - easy global comms

Just a quick note to say we've just launched an Arduino board called the RockBLOCK, a low-cost two-way satellite messaging unit which can be easily integrated into Arduino projects using USB or serial interfaces. The RockBLOCK allows short messages to be sent and received from anywhere on Earth.

We're looking for interesting projects where we can give away some units - do you have a project which needs two-way comms and you're going out of mobile/cell coverage? Get in touch and let us know, and if it's interesting enough then you can have one. (note - our version of 'interesting' might be different to yours!!) :slight_smile:

Designed for educational, hobbiest and professional users alike, the unit is the ideal way to provide a way of globally communicating with projects using Arduino, and almost any other system with either USB or serial ports.

The unit combines an Iridium 9602 SBD modem, USB interface, power-handling and a high-performance Iridium antenna – it takes away all the hassle of integration with other devices and makes two-way satellite communication plug-and-play for the first time.

Easy two-way comms with autonomous robots, remote weather stations, oil pipeline monitoring, oceanographic research - especially where your projects might go out of normal methods of communication, such as mobile phone networks etc.

More info at

How about for my project of positioning remote weather stations in wilderness areas that are used by back country hikers, but are otherwise inaccessible. These locations are far from any standard communications systems. To obtain accurate weather information prior to undertaking such a strenuous and potentially dangerous trek could be life saving.

By the time you arrive in a wilderness area, it's too late to cancel your trip due to unexpected weather conditions.

Other than a system that can use sat comms to relay this vital weather information, there is no way to be aware of the conditions before you are in the midst of them.

Sounds like an ideal use of it. Please send us an email at info (at) with some more information, and we'll certainly put it on the list for consideration

I have sent you an Email. Please let me know if you like my idea?

I guide outdoorspeople with disabilities into wilderness areas in Colorado. Until now, the only alternative for me to send status reports back to our support crew was to utilize the Delorme inReach system, which I have experienced serious problems with. I have been searching the Internet for an alternative which will give me and my fellow adventurers peace of mind when traveling into rugged areas where no other means of communication are available. Thank you for your consideration!



Well - that's certainly cheaper than the last time I saw pricing for similar units. I wonder if per-minute pricing on the Iridium network has gone down any...

Is this project still in development?

I know it's a long way down the line but is your project still active?
As a new user of Arduino, I have a project tracking navigational buoys and beacons - any assistance appreciated, thanks!

Hi, am a student at Colorado School of Mines and this semester by partner and I intend on building a backcountry emergency beacon that can send and receive messages in a remote environment.

We are also going to add some diagnostics to to keep track of the users vital signs.

This shield would be ideal for the project.

If the offer is still open we would greatly appreciate the chance to work with this piece of equipment.