Anyone can grab a USB TV tuner card and start monitoring the radio waves. However, to get into the real meat of radio you will need your amateur radio license. Once you have that, the bandwidth really opens up … if you can afford the equipment. However, [spaceneedle] and friends drastically cut the cost while increasing the possibilities of owning a radio through the creation this amateur radio shield for the Arduino.

The HamShield is a versatile protective shield for any standard Arduino that allows it to function like a standard radio, but with a practically unlimited number of functions. Anything you can think of can be programmed for wireless use in the Arduino, including voice and packet applications. The project’s sandbox already includes things like setting up mesh networks, communicating via APRS, setting up repeaters or beacons, monitoring weather stations, and a whole host of other amateur radio applications.

HamShield works with a wide frequency range and uses only a 250 mW amplifier. The power consumption is small enough that the HamShield team operated it from a small solar panelThis makes it ideal for people in remote areas. The project is currently raising funds and has exceeded its goal on Kickstarter and appropriately branded itself as the Swiss Army of Amateur Radio. The transceiver appears to be very robust, which means that the only thing standing in the way of using this tool is simply to write the Arduino code for any project you want to do, whether it’s a project acts Police scanner or even just one Frequency counter. And if you want to participate on, You can find the project here.