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Author Topic: Sending radio singnals with minimum battery power  (Read 703 times)
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Estonia
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I have 3 signals that I am trying to send to an Arduino wirelessly (using a simple RF transmitter / receiver pair). Right now, I have the receiver hooked up to a Micro and the transmitter hooked up to a separate Micro. This is working just fine right now but I have a slight problem.

I want to put the transmitter into a very small container and have it use as little battery power as possible, preferably without even an on-off switch. I am quite new to electronics and micro controllers so many things that exist I haven't even heard of yet. Right now it seams that the Arduino Micro isn't suited to the task since it requires a 9V battery to run properly and that is just too much for something as simple as sending a char string over RF.

What would be the best way to go about making something send an RF signal depending on the state of an on-off-on switch that fits my needs? The device shouldn't take more than a single AA battery and should last for months (depending on usage) without having to turn it off ever.
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Switzerland
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Why do you need a microcontroller at all then? Just use one of the radio remote control modules available. They are powered only if a button is hit.
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Estonia
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Why do you need a microcontroller at all then? Just use one of the radio remote control modules available. They are powered only if a button is hit.
Can you give me an example product?
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Denmark
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Just an example:

http://dx.com/p/mtdz008-rf-4-channel-wireless-remote-controller-switch-module-green-black-153740

I would not recommend dx.com if you are in a hurry
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Switzerland
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If you want to have more control you can build one yourself with an ATtiny and this module: http://shop.boxtec.ch/link-transmitter-434mhz-p-41096.html.

If you tell us more about your project we might give you more appropriate hints.
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Simplify  - 3.7V LiPo battery, no regulator, uC that runs on 8 MHz, goes into power down sleep mode in between transmissions.
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Estonia
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If you want to have more control you can build one yourself with an ATtiny and this module: http://shop.boxtec.ch/link-transmitter-434mhz-p-41096.html.

If you tell us more about your project we might give you more appropriate hints.

This is exactly what I am using at the moment (it is connected to an Micro) and it works wonderfully. I would like to keep this same component but instead of hooking it up to a Micro, have it do its thing with much less power.

What I am doing is I have a switch that has 3 positions (on-off-on) and I use the small transmitter to transmit the position of the switch to the receiver (receiver is connected to another Micro but that is just fine for this project).

@CrossRoads
What is a uC?
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Switzerland
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Quote
What is a uC?

uC = Microcontroller

Quote
What I am doing is I have a switch that has 3 positions (on-off-on) and I use the small transmitter to transmit the position of the switch to the receiver (receiver is connected to another Micro but that is just fine for this project).

And you put the microcontroller to power down sleep state between transmits and power off the radio module? How often does the switch state change?
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Estonia
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Right now I am not putting anything to sleep since I am just starting to get everything put together. I do know that the Micro would be too much for such a simple device but I dont know what else I could use.

The switch state would change roughly once every minute or so when in use. The vast majority of the time it would not be in use at all but I dont want to have to add a manual on-off switch to this device to make it simpler. The messages I am sending are just simple strings - a MD5 hash (so the receiver knows what transmitter sent the message), a int code (as a char), and a short text. An example would look like this:

8b1a9953c4611296a827abf8c47804d7-0-blink
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Why do you need a microcontroller at all then? Just use one of the radio remote control modules available. They are powered only if a button is hit.

If the end product is the goal (rather than the fun of making it) that seems like the most sensible option. There are various commercial radio and IR remote controls that can be used to switch things on and off - no need to reinvent your own.
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Estonia
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Why do you need a microcontroller at all then? Just use one of the radio remote control modules available. They are powered only if a button is hit.

If the end product is the goal (rather than the fun of making it) that seems like the most sensible option. There are various commercial radio and IR remote controls that can be used to switch things on and off - no need to reinvent your own.
Can you link me to any that would do such a simple task? Preferably it would work like a cars turn signal - meaning that when you push on the left button, it stays down until moved back into the center position manually (same for the right position). I can't seam to find anything with my googling.
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