Author Topic: Simple Wireless for Microcontrollers  (Read 1216 times)

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Offline tylerl

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Simple Wireless for Microcontrollers
« on: March 10, 2013, 10:18:45 pm »
Ideas for blogs dealing with RF and wireless have been proposed, but I would suggest winnowing the topic down to something a bit more manageable:

Sample problem: Dave wants to add a wireless display option for his power supply. Of course you do.
And we want to do this as simply and cheaply as possible.

Solutions worth considering:
  • Do it all from scratch; roll your own transmitter, receiver, OTA protocol, etc. not bloody likely
  • XBee, Bluetooth, etc. Simple as dirt, expensive as hell. No... just no.
  • Use a cheap SPI <-> RF module like the nRF24L01+ Dirt cheap, some assembly required. Winner!
So we pick the cheap nF24L01+. Now, how do wire this up? Particularly, we've got to attach an antenna -- do we do a trace antenna? A chip antenna? Wire?  How do you arrange your antenna with respect to your ground plane? How to you couple your antenna with your lead line? And then there's testing, efficiency, metrics... how does antenna gain work? How does that compare with transmitter power?

As you can see, the real-world engineering problems are both interesting and quickly solvable. It's simple once you understand it but black-magic before you do - that sort of material makes for great tutorial content.  You could probably even get 2 or 3 very popular videos out of this one problem set, much like Lab Power Supply design series.

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