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Author Topic: XBee wire anitinnae VS chip antinnae  (Read 1612 times)
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i am thinking to get digi XBee pro,
wire anitinnae VS chip antinnae, which would be better.
suggestion please.
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Seattle, WA
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Need way more information than you have provided to make any recommendations here.  Is there a reason you are thinking the XBee Pro vs the XBee?  The pro will give you greater range, but it is also much more power hungry.  You also didn't mention whether you were considering series 1 or series 2.x.

There is no shortage of information regarding your question on various sites - Google is your friend.

In my case, I've got a combination of series 2 chip and wire devices and have not noticed a big difference in range between the two.  I do use Series 2 XBee Pros with RPSMA antenna as a longer-distance link between remote buildings on my property.  Pro is probably overkill.
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what are difference between series 1 and series 2 modals.
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Seattle, WA USA
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Series 1 radios are for point to point communications (can include point to multi-point).

Series 2 radios are for mesh networks.
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Sydney, Australia
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I have 2x Series 1 chip antenna models in a project of mine and am far than impressed with the range. The 2 devices are in adjacent rooms with an open door and plasterboard between the rooms - distance is no more than 10 metres, and the comms is certainly not 100%. Even standing in the way is enough to block the comms. So if you go with the chip antennas make sure you take that into account.

Just my experience... your mileage(!) may vary...


G.
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Seattle, WA USA
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Quote
The 2 devices are in adjacent rooms with an open door and plasterboard between the rooms - distance is no more than 10 metres, and the comms is certainly not 100%.
I have the same devices, except with the wire antenna. I can take one of the devices outside, so the signal has to travel through multiple walls. At distances up to 100 feet, no dropped packets.

So, the antenna type DOES make a difference.
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Yeah, I dunno how they can claim the same distance for both units. I went with the chip antenna because it's obviously less intrusive, but you pay the price. Will know better next time..


G.
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One thing--if you use the XBee shield with the antenna device, it wants to be the top shield because the antenna sticks up so far. I have a project that involves an Uno, an SD card shield, an XBee shield and a protoboard shield with various sensors on it. The shields are all stacked on each other. The proto shield has to be on top because of its thickness, so I had to bend the XBee Pro antenna down to make it fit in the middle of the sandwich--ouch. Should have gotten the chip version. --Joe
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Sydney, Australia
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Where are you Joe? Do you want to swap?? :-)


G.
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Columbus, Ohio USA
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Where are you Joe? Do you want to swap?? :-)

Updated my location, G.--pretty much at the antipode from Sydney.  smiley

Joe
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Updated my location, G.--pretty much at the antipode from Sydney.  smiley

Start digging! I'll meet you in the middle! ;-)

Cheers,
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Seattle, WA
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I have the same devices, except with the wire antenna. I can take one of the devices outside, so the signal has to travel through multiple walls. At distances up to 100 feet, no dropped packets.

So, the antenna type DOES make a difference.

I don't see much difference between the chip and wire antennas.  I don't experience dropped packets anywhere in my house with either design; house is about 2300 square feet, three floors.  Device in attic has no problems communicating with device in crawlspace.  They are series 2 devices, which may make a difference, though I may be seeing some mesh network benefits. 

I do use a pair of XBee Pros with RPSMA antennas for remote communications with one of my outbuildings, located about 800 feet from my house.  As with my other xbee installations, this configuration just worked out of the box so I haven't done a lot of research into signal strength, etc.

I have a connectPort X2 centrally located in my house which has an internal chip antenna based XB2 Pro running coordinator firmware; I believe my other bees are all running router firmware, though I could probably get away with end device FW because the installation is so small.  The ConnectPort runs custom Python code that aggregates sensor readings and transmits it to Pachube and my home automation solution.

Another potential difference - I use Arduino FIOs for most of my external sensor nodes, and they are mounted in plastic enclosures.  FIO is nice because it has LIPO charging circuitry and an XBee socket built in, so sensors end up being much smaller.

I have heard some folks complain about terrible range with certain types of enclosures (especially metal).

Rob Faludi's 'Building Wireless Sensor Networks' is actually a great resource for this topic; he covers the implications of different antenna designs in the book, and I believe on his site as well.  He also has several posts about extending battery life (plus information on expected runtimes for different battery types) on his blog.
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[quote author=pocketscience link=topic=68763.msg507912#msg507912 date=131280899Even standing in the way is enough to block the comms. So if you go with the chip antennas make sure you take that into account.
[/quote]

I think you may be radioactive smiley-razz.  That sounds really peculiar - What kind of enclosures do you have them mounted in?  What is the power source?  What type of Arduino?

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to poor radio reception.  I've only got a couple of series 1 XBees, one chip and one wire that I won at a hack-a-thon as part of an Adafruit Tweet-a-watt kit.  I just checked and I can read the device just fine when the transmitter is in my basement and the receiver is in the opposite corner of the house on the 3rd floor - that's a couple hundred feet with walls and floors in between.  The series 2 devices are not at all a factor in this case, as the series 1 and series 2 do not communicate with each other.
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The XBee (sitting in an XBee Explorer USB) in one room is in the smallest thin plastic container - the plastic is maybe 0.5mm thick. The other one is in a standard black project box (1.5mm thick maybe). It's sitting in a XBee Explorer Regulated breakout below a 16x2 LCD, but can't imagine that's much of a problem. The one in the black project box is powered from an iPod wall plug - and gives a beautiful steady 5V. The Arduino is an Ardweeny.

I do have a Wifi basestation about 1 metre below the sending XBee - which is powered from my Mac's USB - again, nice stable 5V supply. THere's only 2 other Wifi signals nearby from neighbours either side - but they are very weak and half the time I can't even see them from my Mac.

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Curious.  Do you use wifi in this same location?  Any problems with wireless in general?  Happen to live close to a radio station/TV station/transmitter?  Neighbor run a ham/shortwave kit?

Would be interesting to see if you run into similar issues with XBee 2.x devices.  Of course it's always possible that one of your bees is misbehaving smiley-sad

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