XBee Pro 900 XSC RPSMA For a Quadrocopter

Hi,

I was just wondering if anyone had any experience with this transmitter/ receiver? http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9087 They claim that it can reach up to 15 miles of range, but obviously this is not a realistic number. I did look at the pdf and it says that in urban settings it will get up to 370 meters. Does anyone have any better suggestions for a transmitter/receiver I could use. I would like to get at least a mile range (urban setting) out of the quadrocopter I am planning on building. If I do end up getting this xbee, I will probably use this patch antenna (http://www.l-com.com/item.aspx?id=22368) and this rubber duck antenna (http://www.l-com.com/item.aspx?id=22373), but will constantly have to move the patch antenna since it is directional. Anyone have any suggestions of how I could increase the range? Or does anyone know of a better transmitter/receiver?

Any suggestions are welcome, Firestork

P.S. Is my understanding correct that I can just buy two of the xbee Pro 900's and use one as a transmitter and one as a receiver?

I also plan on getting a USB Explorer to program the xbees http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8687 And this explorer to interface with the ArduPilot MEGA board (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9710) http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9132 And finally this FTDI Programming cable for programming the ArduPilot MEGA http://store.diydrones.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=TTL-232R-3V3

Do I need anything else, or is this everything? Because last time I ordered some xbees, I didnt get the explorer or compatible pins and they were basically useless.

Ok, firstly I'd be pretty confident that the modules will be powerful enough for your use. I take it you don't want to fly it through a mile of building?

What exactly do you want a mile indoor range for?

Also regarding connecting up the XBees to USB and your microcontroller, steer well clear from the sparkfun units for the high power modules. They are not really well suited for them. Series one modules, yeah sure but not XBee Pro modules.

I think the adafruit XBee adaptor is more what you are after, also, if you get two of them, you can program them both with the FTDI cable anyway.

Because last time I ordered some xbees, I didnt get the explorer or compatible pins and they were basically useless.

Which modules were they? You still have them and not want them? I might be interested in a few more.

Mowcius

Thanks for the reply mowcius,

What exactly do you want a mile indoor range for?

I have a lot of trees around my house and wasn't sure if those would interfere with the signal. I was just assuming that would be classified as an urban setting/indoors, but I guess that shouldn't be too much of a problem as I wont be flying it through the woods.

I think the adafruit XBee adaptor is more what you are after, also, if you get two of them, you can program them both with the FTDI cable anyway.

I was also looking at this adapter http://store.diydrones.com/product_p/br-0015-01.htm. Would you recommend this one (I have to order some stuff from that website anyways. I would like to order from as few places as possible so I don't need to pay so much for shipping)?

As for interfacing the xbee with the arduPilot MEGA shield do I need a pcb for the xbee to connect to the arduPilot MEGA's serial port or will the above linked adapter work from diydrones.com?

Which modules were they? You still have them and not want them? I might be interested in a few more.

After receiving them and looking at the specs I really don't have any use for them. They are the XBee 2mW Series 2.5 Wire Antenna. http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8695 If you want them you can send me a personal message and make me an offer.

Firestork

I have a lot of trees around my house and wasn't sure if those would interfere with the signal. I was just assuming that would be classified as an urban setting/indoors, but I guess that shouldn't be too much of a problem as I wont be flying it through the woods.

That's basically what I thought. The trees would interfere with the signal but so does anything - as you said, you probably won't be flying in the trees.

I was also looking at this adapter http://store.diydrones.com/product_p/br-0015-01.htm. Would you recommend this one (I have to order some stuff from that website anyways. I would like to order from as few places as possible so I don't need to pay so much for shipping)?

I'd say that's a good solution if you're ordering from there anyway. I can't find the specs on that adaptor but as it is an 'official' one, it is no doubt good for what you want.

You don't need a shield, you can use two of the modules. This is probably also better on a quadcopter as you can place the module where you want it rather than directly on top of the microcontroller.

I'll keep those modules in mind, they're not quite what I'm after but I might be interested at some point.

Mowcius