Chipcon & other RF transcievers?

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Hi everyone.

Has anyone here used Chipcon transciever parts?

I'm thinking about using the CC2500 or maybe the CC110 for a project and
wanted to find out the pro/cons for these devices.

Also, is anyone aware of a part in this class (embedded RF, SPI or UART
interface) that can do 1 Mbps?

Finally, how good do the PCB screened antennas work for indoor use, near
and around computers?  I am hoping to avoid an external antenna.

Thank you.
H.

Re: Chipcon & other RF transcievers?
H,

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We've used the CC2420 802.15.4 / Zigbee part without any major snags,
though it is important to follow their recommended PCB layout very
closely, and have some decent RF test equipment to prove the design
(frequency & power meters, vector signal generator etc.).

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802.15.4 does 250 kbit/s at 2.4 Ghz - the next step up is 802.11, but
chipset manufacturers are remarkably reluctant to sell to (or even
give datasheets to) anyone buying less than a million parts per year.
If you get past this hurdle the hardware design & testing isn't much
harder than 802.15.4; the real killer is the software complexity.

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Most 802.11 WLAN cards have PCB antennas, but you might also consider
a ceramic antenna which will have better directivity, and easier PCB
design & manufacture.

Jeremy Bentham
Iosoft Ltd.

Re: Chipcon & other RF transcievers?
Hi Jeremy,

snipped-for-privacy@iosoft.nospam.uk says...

 
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Yeah, that's exactly why I was looking for a Chipcon type device --
802.11 is a mess I don't at all want to cross into.  I'm even avoiding
Zigbee because it's more complex than what I need (point-to-point RF).

I know of a few other parts like it from guys like Atmel, Micrel, etc,
just didn't know if anyone here had used a part and found it
particularly compelling (or not).

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Did you end up doing a PCB antenna or going for a ceramic element?  

Thanks.
HW.

Re: Chipcon & other RF transcievers?
Hw,

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A lot of developers are doing this; they use the 802.15.4 data
transport, with the possibility of upgrading the software to Zigbee at
a later date (a "Zigbee Ready" device).

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We have no experience of these parts, but are very happy with our
choice of Chipcon; they're the most helpful semiconductor company I've
come across.

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Neither; the current design has antenna connectors.

Jeremy Bentham
Iosoft Ltd.

Re: Chipcon & other RF transcievers?
Hi...

You can also look at NordIc, the nRF2401, radio only chip or the nRF2E41
which
is the nRF2401 with a 8051 added.  These are very easy to use and reliable.
They
are not really suited if you want to transmit large amounts of data because
their packet
size is very limited, but they are easy to use and setup.

Good luck.
Pieter.





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Re: Chipcon & other RF transcievers?
If you are looking for a simple RF link with a roll your own protocol look
at RF Monolythics. These are simple transceivers with no embedded anything.
They call it Virtual Wire. Their TR1100 can handle 1Mbd. I use a slower
version in my current designs.
They are easy to use.
Good appnotes including PCB antenna design.
Good people to work with.
Design assistance software.
PCB gerber files.
Lots of Pros.
However, the one con for some is it is only a single channel only @
916.5Mhz. I managed to work around it.

If it looks like it has potential, here is the link
www.rfm.com

Jeff

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Re: Chipcon & other RF transcievers?
I haven't used the chipcon parts (though I have played a little with
the demo board for the Frescale part).  For 1 Mbd, you might check out
Vishay RF Waves: http://www.rfwaves.com/item.asp?categoryid99 %.

They have chips or module, are supposed to be cheap and low power.
They use a proprietary protocal, but claim to operate well in a mixed
environment with other protocals sharing the spectrum.  I haven't used
them;  I just found out about them a couple of days ago.



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