XBee vs RF

I bought an RF transmitter and receiver for wireless communication between arduinos. Can someone explain the difference between using RF modules and the XBee wireless poduct?

The RF transmitter and receiver allow one-way communication. The transmitter sends. The receiver may or may not receive the signal. The transmitter has no way of knowing if anything is receiving, and the receiver has no way of saying “Hey, I didn’t get that. Can you send it again?”.

The xbee modules take care of all of these issues. At a price. But, then, everything is a compromise. Pay more; get more.

That makes sense. What does the typical hobbyist use for wireless communication? I know it will depend on the application but I’m curious.

I’ve tried both.

Had a lot of noise on the RF transmitter/receiver pair.

Had a bunch of issues with setting up the xbees, but once I got them talking to each other, they work great.

Do you have any advice to reduce noise with the RF setup? Maybe give the transmitter more power?

The XBee is a very easy RF solution to integrate. In transparent mode, which is the mode that most people use, a pair of XBees function as an invisible wire between two UARTs, Connect the power, transmit and receive wires to the XBee and the hardware
connection is complete. In software configure the addresses. Transmission and reception
of ASCII strings is through the UART.

I have some XBee application hints and example programs at http://tinyurl.com/5rfmrz

(* jcl *)

www: http://www.wiblocks.com
twitter: http://twitter.com/wiblocks
blog: http://luciani.org

Would two of these work? http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=128&zenid=ae052c66daecf88b179009fc12cf53ff It doesn’t state the range though.

Look at digikey’s site. They make xbees in regular and pro versions. The pro version is higher cost, higher range, higher power consumption. If you can supply the power, and need the range, they are the way to go.

The xbees also come in 3 different antenna styles - chip, wire, and external. The antenna style will have a big impact on the range.

I prefer two of these http://tinyurl.com/5lnhtj :wink:
** Those are the boards that I sell **

Back to your question –
The XBee is what I suggested in my previous post.
The one in that picture has a chip antenna which has the lowest gain
but is the most rugged and smallest XBee antenna. It is the one that I
use and sell.

The range, outdoors, line-of-sight has typically been in the 200-300ft.
Maxstream (the mfg of the XBee) has some range data on their website.
Most of the data is quoted with a larger whip antenna. Unless you need
the range I would stick with the chip antenna.

(* jcl *)

www: http://www.wiblocks.com
twitter: http://twitter.com/wiblocks
blog: http://luciani.org