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Author Topic: A new,easy to use, RF Mesh Engine.  (Read 7687 times)
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The IEEE 802.15.4 specification limits packet sizes to 127 bytes.

BTW ... All docs, software, scripts, examples, projects, user Q/A can be found under Support /Synapse SNAP forum
Yeah but I gotta register to look at that...  smiley-razz

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Yeah but I gotta register to look at that...  
The same way you registered on this forum ... use any username you want ... no purchase necessary.
 smiley-wink
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Looks like they cost from $25 to $40 a piece.
Looks comparable in price but a with a 3 mile range.....

We are still waiting on Atmel for their special RF Mesh Engine
The Atmel one - 2 Meg speed @ 18 ma. max. transmit current <--- This is the cat's meow.
The RF200P81 model RF Engine is also available in June with a MSRP of $18 (USD). It uses a low cost antenna without a powered amplifier, reaching LoS distances of up to 2000 feet.
 8-) 8-) 8-)
« Last Edit: May 19, 2010, 01:37:20 pm by ArduinoAndy » Logged

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The same way you registered on this forum ... use any username you want ... no purchase necessary.

Yeah I know. I'm just lazy smiley-razz

I will go and register now smiley

Mowcius
« Last Edit: May 19, 2010, 01:07:08 pm by mowcius » Logged

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@ArduinoAndy

Thank you for your post. This is what lead me to the RF Engine. I really think other arduino users would like these. Especially if they do a side by side comparison between XBees. This biggest downside to me is they are only available at future electronics. There are too many good points and advantages to list.

Price wise:
The lowest power module is $24 right now. http://www.futureelectronics.com/en/technologies/semiconductors/wireless-rf/rf-modules-solutions/802154-zigbee/Pages/2270387-RF100P86.aspx
The amplified version with an F antenna is $35 right now. http://www.futureelectronics.com/en/technologies/semiconductors/wireless-rf/rf-modules-solutions/802154-zigbee/Pages/6691737-RF100PC6.aspx
Then the amplified version with an RP-SMA connection is $39 right now. http://www.futureelectronics.com/en/technologies/semiconductors/wireless-rf/rf-modules-solutions/802154-zigbee/Pages/7782840-RF100PD6.aspx

For comparison the xbee pro rp-sma is $44.95 at sparkfun. http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8768

I used to use an arduino/Xbee combination everywhere I needed wireless data. Now I can just put a SNAP RF Engine in some of those places without the arduino. It is nice to reprogram the RF Engines over the air.

For some reason, the arduino community does not seem very interested in the RF Engines.  They have filled a need for me. They have also  created some needs for me. I couldn't find a cheap breakout board. So I made one. It is what pushed me to learn eagle and make my first PCB. (for anyone interested http://www.jcwoltz.com/2010/10/synapse-breakout-boards-available-for-sale/)

Beyond that, I needed to run RF Engines from a rechargeable battery. I have made a PCB with another guy, Serge Sozonoff begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting, to charge LIPO batteries from a solar panel. An image:

The detail of the first batch are at:  http://www.jcwoltz.com/2010/11/pcbs-back-and-next-steps/

The details haven't been written up, but the latest board:

All these designs and more are released under a CC BY-SA at: http://code.google.com/p/jctc-electronics/source/checkout

If someone wants an arduino shield, I have started one. They could either ask to have some made, or take the design and make their own. An image:

I'm sorry for repeating some of this information. The RF Engines have allowed me to do what needs to be done quickly. I have done some basic testing and I'm able to reprogram an arduino wirelessly using RF Engines.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 02:07:12 pm by jcwoltz » Logged

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Blimey, this thread's been around a while now.

I just got my hands on some XBee-Pro ZB Modules (2 mile range) which as they have gone down in price are now very similar priced to these modules (possibly slightly cheaper now for the range), I haven't done any further comparisons yet though...

From a quick look, I think the features on the XBees still exceed these but not by a lot smiley-razz

Possibly other users would like them but until this thread, I had never heard of them. Everyone who knows anything about wireless data has heard of XBees.

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Especially if they do a side by side comparison between XBees.
Any chance you could do a comparison between these and the XBee Pro-ZB modules?

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IMHO, vendors like Dust Network, Synapse, and Greenpeak (just to name a few) are more eager to sell their products to larger cooperation. Furthermore, their modules are geared towards single chip (or single module) solution whereby the are promoting the use of the their software to configure and program. What I'm disappointed is at times, the sales guy always ask questions like how much is your consumption per year and how big is your company, etc. No doubt, the Synapse products are awesome products, I just wish that they have a wider distribution network like the XBee.  :-[
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What I'm disappointed is at times, the sales guy always ask questions like how much is your consumption per year and how big is your company, etc. No doubt, the Synapse products are awesome products, I just wish that they have a wider distribution network like the XBee.  Embarrassed

I've never dealt with Synapse Sales. Agree 100% about wanting a wider distribution network. The arduino is the perfect platform that enabled me to learn and get running quickly. The RF Engines are sort of like that for wireless. Yes, there are things about Synapse Wireless that irk me to no end. This is not the place for that.

I strongly believe that this product can and will help out arduino users in many, but not all situations. For example, in a multi-room thermostat or other home control center, some node can be a RF engine and temp sensor and motion detector. Instead of an arduino, xbee, temp sensor, and motion detector. Yes, there are many other ways to accomplish this situation. That is a very basic use of the RF Engine.

The ability to run code on the RF engine helps me. I think it can help others too. The ability to make rpc calls to other nodes or portal make complicated things possible. Portal is software you can run on your computer. An example where I use this is a node can ask portal the current time. Portal then responds and the node sets the time in a RTC.
The code I run on portal is available at: http://jctc-electronics.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/SNAPpy/JC-portalrtc.py

The code I run on a node is available at: http://jctc-electronics.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/SNAPpy/PCF2129A.py
The important piece of that is the getPortalTime(). That will call the setRFTime function on portal. Portal will then call the writeClockTime function on the node that called it with the current time.

Although these are basic examples. I am fairly new to arduino, electronics, and wireless. IMO it is more than you can do with an xbee. Yes, you can use api mode on an xbee, but the common xbees do not allow you to run code on them.
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I'm designing a wireless sensor network that will need to operate in a mesh layout.  I came across the Synapse RF engines a few weeks ago and they look like they're a really easy way to throw a bunch of nodes out and have them create a mesh automatically.  I'll need an arduino at each location anyway, so maybe it's overkill and I could go with the XBees instead.  Are the Xbee units easy to set up in a mesh for a noob like me, or should I go with the Synapse ones since they also have the Portal software and the USB snap stick which gives me a pretty good headstart?
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Is this like the XBee?
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I'm designing a wireless sensor network that will need to operate in a mesh layout.  I came across the Synapse RF engines a few weeks ago and they look like they're a really easy way to throw a bunch of nodes out and have them create a mesh automatically.  I'll need an arduino at each location anyway, so maybe it's overkill and I could go with the XBees instead.  Are the Xbee units easy to set up in a mesh for a noob like me, or should I go with the Synapse ones since they also have the Portal software and the USB snap stick which gives me a pretty good headstart?
Do some research, I can't tell you what's best for your application. The XBees are easy to set up in a mesh network and easy to configure with X-CTU but I have never used these Synapse modules.

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Is this like the XBee?
Haha  ;D
I saw that coming!
Umm, in that it's an RF wireless module which can do mesh networks etc, yes. There are differences though...

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