Build ZigBee network with interchangeable, low-cost, long-range modules - Embedded.com

Build ZigBee network with interchangeable, low-cost, long-range modules

MaxStream recently took the wraps off its 802.15.4/ZigBee-ready modules. The XBee family of 2.4-GHz ZigBee-ready modules lets OEMs and integrators design wireless networks that incorporate interchangeable long-range, low-cost wireless modules. The XBee module features 1 mW of output to conserve power and create a simple ZigBee solution. With a receive sensitivity of -92 dBm, the module yields a range of 300 ft. (90 m). OEMs inherit the XBee module's rigorous agency approvals that are required for wireless communication, saving money and reducing time-to-market.

The high-powered ZigBee-ready XBee-PRO module lets OEMs enhance the range of ZigBee and 802.15.4 networks while still being pin compatible with the XBee. Boasting a receive sensitivity of -100 dBm, the 100 mW (EIRP) XBee-PRO features increased receiver sensitivity and power amplifiers to dramatically boost the range of XBee-enabled products to 0.9 mi. (1.4 km). The XBee and XBee-PRO are also network compatible, so OEMs only need to integrate XBee-PRO modules in locations where they would otherwise be out of range.

Both modules feature 250-kbit/s data rates. The modules are available with three antenna options (chip antenna, wire antenna, or small RF connector). Operating in 802.15.4 mode, they're capable of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint topologies, with advanced mesh networking (ZigBee stack) upgrades available later this year. The kits include three XBee modules, two XBee-PRO modules, two interface boards (one RS-232 and one USB) and all the necessary accessories and software to begin operating an 802.15.4 network. As the ZigBee standard matures, MaxStream will make updates available. Prices start at $299. For more information visit www.maxstream.net.

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