Q) Who should use a Faraday radio?
A) Eventually that answer is everyone. However, when the radio is first offered for sale Faraday will explicitly be intended for developers. That is, people who are familiar with Python and C programming and willing to take on a role in helping develop the future of the open source project.
Q) Why the name Faraday?
Michael Faraday was fundamental to the basis of scientific knowledge resulting in our understanding of electromagnetics. It’s only fitting to name our first product after Faraday. Our company, FaradayRF, will always keep the name.
Q) What about security?
This is amateur radio and you should never expect privacy of your transmissions, whether using Faraday or any radio. Messages originating from your station under FCC Part 97 should be expected to be received by anyone. That said, we expect to implement forms of authentication in the future. Until then, do not control anything with Faraday that is critical or has potential to harm someone. This is no different from many APRS-based products on the market to-date.
Q) Why not Software Defined Radio?
A) We love Software Defined Radio, SDR, however most tend to attribute it’s flexibility as a main advantage. FaradayRF believes that this flexibility is currently unwarranted for use in a digital infrastructure at this time. Check out the Faraday product page description of the Hardware Defined Radio to learn more about our thought process on the topic.
Q) Why use a microcontroller like the MSP430 instead of a processor like an ARM?
A) We set out from the beginning to be simple. Staying true to our core values we decided to bare metal the radio because introducing a Linux stack with an ARM device would tempt us to implement technology that is counter to the simplicity we strive for. That said, we fully intend to move towards an embedded Linux design in the future.
Q) Why did we develop our own experimental RF protocol?
A) Simplicity and education! Using solutions such as TCP/IP might be easy to implement but few people fully understand it. To most it’s a black box. FaradayRF strives to educate people in the fundamentals of digital networking and to do that we needed to implement a protocol that could easily be explained. Feel free to use the hardware as a basis for a project which implements another protocol, we opened up our software and hardware for a reason.
Q) Why not focus on digital voice?
A) Data is data! FaradayRF believes that the future of ham radio does not involve the primary activity to be communication with voice. It will exist, and it will be well supported. Our technology should be agnostic to what type of data is being transmitted.
We also have reason to believe this because conversation with highly technical peers without ham radio licenses tend to cite their lack of interest in talking in combination with displeasure towards the capability of the technology. This also applies to peers who’ve had radio licenses for years yet never used them.
Q) Why did we choose the 33cm band instead of lower bands such as 70cm and 2m?
A) Use it or lose it. Check out our network page for more information about why we are launching with 33 cm support and where we intend to expand to.
Q) Why didn’t we develop a finished product in a box and instead offer a PCB?
A) We’re a small company of two people with full-time day jobs 🚀 We also only intend Faraday to be used by radio amateurs as FCC Part 97 radios. This is because we are experimenters at heart. Eventually there could be something like a functional radio in a box, not yet.