First up, the modem bundle!
The RockBLOCK 9603 allows you to send and receive short messages from anywhere on Earth with a clear view of the sky. And when we say anywhere we mean anywhere. 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 emergency communications when other networks might not be available? RockBLOCK can help you thanks to the Iridium modem that communicates with the 66 low-Earth-orbit constellation of satellites – it’s the easiest way for developers, makers, and scientists to send and receive data anywhere on Earth.
RockBLOCK 9603 is the smaller version of the standard ‘RockBLOCK‘ product. It has the same capabilities but is specifically designed to be as small and light as possible. The RockBLOCK 9603 is targeted primarily at systems integrators and product developers where space inside your enclosure is at a premium.
RockBLOCK takes its power from a 10 pin 1.25mm pitch molex connector. We stock the matching cable for quick access to the power and I/O pins. This bundle comes with a USB-to-Serial cable for quick setup, configuration and testing with any computer (or, say, a Raspberry Pi or other Linux SBC!)
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 £12.00 per month and includes access to The RockBLOCK 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 unless you do not use your account at all for 12 months. Credits are shared/pooled between all of the devices on your account
Please note: This is just the Iridium modem + FTDI USB Serial cable. There is no GPS unit (there is some very basic geo-triangulation capability, it’s only good to a few km). You will also need to purchase a monthly activation subscription and pay per message. Communicating through satellites is not free! Please check the Rock7 price-sheet for information. You can only subscribe through Rock7 – other Iridium subscriptions cannot be used without paying an unlock fee.
After you receive your RockBLOCK, please register it to begin your billing cycle – Adafruit does not provide or manage the Iridium subscription or billing.
Now for the accessory cable!
The RockBLOCK 9603 Accessory Cable is terminated with a simple 10-pin Molex-style connector at one end and male jumper wires at the other.
This accessory cable will help speed up your development time, meaning you no longer need to terminate and crimp your own connector for the RockBLOCK 9603. If you’re going to connect the RockBLOCK 9603 to anything other than your computer’s USB port, you are going to need this cable. Once attached to your RockBLOCK you will be able to incorporate it into a breadboard, development board, etc.