OT: RF Engine Collection for Arduino

First, I'm sorry if this is Off Topic and potentially Spam.

Background: I use Synapse Rf Engines for Remote Data collection and then feed that into my arduino house control center. With that being said, does anyone want to get involved? For ideas, development, beta testing, or anything else.

This is the current board layout. I'm sure it will changed soon. Currently the board uses a DS2764 for LIPO protection, a MCP73861 for LIPO charging, and a PCF2129A for TCXO RTC. It also has place for an RF100/RF200/RF300 for wireless communications. These pieces have all been tested individually and the next step is to put them all together.

The idea is to keep this Radio unit running by charging a lipo battery from a solar panel or other power source. We are trying to keep this board generic and allow application specific add-on boards to be stacked on. There will also be a future board with an atmega already onboard.

Why Synapse RF Engines instead of XBees? Synapse claims 3 miles Line of Sight range. (I have not verified) The RF Engines can be programmed to act on their own or in a group. They can also do Wireless serial like the Xbee. (The RF Engines have two UARTs!) Personally, I uses these to calculate the values from the sensors and transmit that value to the arduino. Instead of having the arduino take the raw reading and figure out what to do with each value.

Again, if this is something that interest you, or you would like to see something added, please let me know.

Q1: is it a commercial product? (then it might be spam)

Q2: do you intend to develop it as open source hardware - so share the schematics and so. You still could provide kits/complete modules commercially, but people are able to redo /modify your design.

If I understand correctly these are nodes to be used in the field.

Q3: Is there also a shield planned that is Arduino compatible. preferably with a jumper or so to select which pin to use as serialport - so it can be used with NefSoftSerial?

Q4: It would be great if you could share “experimental real life” data about range, line of sight, bandwidth etc as this might trigger people to get involved.

Q5: are these usable with no line of sight? e.g. monitoring a solar array on a roof or as nodes for intrusion detection or …

As I am no hardware-man I better not get involved in the design :slight_smile:



A1: No not a commercial product. This is something I’m making for my self and will make available if anyone would like one.

A2: Yes all schematics and code are online. I was waiting for interest before posting the URL.

A3: If there is interest, then sure. As it is right now, I have already made a simple breakout board for these. The Breakout board has a spot to connect an FTDI cable or plug into an Arduino that has the FTDI off board. Jumper cables could also be used to connect to arduino. http://www.jcwoltz.com/2010/10/synapse-breakout-boards-available-for-sale/

A4: Will do in the future

A5: Yes, the rf engines are usable without line of sight.

will make available if anyone would like one.


I was waiting for interest before posting the URL.

Chicken egg :) Posting an URL to the schematics draws interest by definition!

wrt the pictures on your site, good resolution but try to prevent reflection of the lamp or flash - snap from a slightly different angle if possible.

Q: Do you have a typenumber and datasheet URL of the RF engines?