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Topic: Receiving remote signals in an extreme low power environment (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


Hi, I'm working on a project to attach a kind of locator alarm to a bicycle using an arduino uno as a prototype board.

Essentially I have a remote with a button on it, I press the button, and some buzzers and lights go off on the arduino module on the bicycle.

Right now the biggest problem with the project is that power consumption and management is a damn nightmare. For power-consumption testing I used an empty board with an atemega 328 that can be woken with a hardware interrupt. Thankfully it sips current at less than 0.1mA when sleeping so it's not much of an issue.

The radio receiver however, is a completely different can of worms. The best receiver I could find sucks up about 5mA of current, which with a 3000mA/h battery setup would run out of power in a mere 30 days.

An alternative is to use IR instead of radio for the signal. The IR receiver sips about 0.3mA of current which is great, except I've never worked with IR in outside conditions so I'm not exactly sure of how reliable it would be compared to radio, especially at a range of 5-10 meters.

Anyone think they could provide some input on where I should go with this?


The specs for the Nordic nRF24L01 transceiver says "22 microAmps in standby-1"
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One trick you can use to minimise receiver consumption is to pulse the power to the receiver
on and off , where for example the receiver is on for 1 second in every 10.
This cuts the receivers power by 90% but requires that the transmitter has to transmit for
at least 10 seconds to ensure that the receiver in on during the transmission.
Otherwise its fairly hard as receivers have to draw power to operate, and most of the power is
the oscillators which usually run at high frequencies.

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