Friday, 14 September 2012

Wireless Raspberry modules

We are becoming used to using the name of varies types of fruit as names for technical products in computing and telecomunications. Apple, Blackberry, Orange, Strawberry, Raspberry, etc are all well known names or terms which give an air of freshness and colour to the sector. This release relates the introduction of a unit which operates in we might call the Raspberry world!

LPRS has introduced the eRA-Connect2-PI, a USB module that provides a simple wireless bridge between two Raspberry Pi’s (Pi2Pi), or a Raspberry Pi and a PC or any other devices that supports USB serial communications. Both Linux and Windows drivers are provided to facilitate system development.

Utilising seamless easyRadio technology at 868/915MHz (ISM band), eRA-Connect2-PI provides considerably greater range and less power consumption than similar WiFi or Bluetooth modules operating in the overcrowded 2.4GHz bands. Frequency, bandwidth, power output and data rate can optionally be configured to allow multiple devices to communicate free from interference from each other and any other RF devices.

eRA-Connect2-PI incorporates an eRA900TRS wireless module which provides simple-to-use, out-of-the-box wireless serial communication as a COMport. eRA-Connect2-PI features include allowing users to change the radio bandwidth from 150kHz down to a remarkable 12.5kHz, providing narrow-band performance at a wide-band budget. Internal temperature compensation insures less than 1.5kHz frequency drift from ambient 20ºC over a range of -40ºC to +85ºC. This new feature may also be output as a temperature measurement for the end user equipment, accurate to within 1ºC.

No complex RF protocol software is required to create an instant bidirectional link. The low-consumption eRA-Connect2-PI can be powered directly from Raspberry Pi’s USB port. An integral SMA antenna connector allows for use of an off-board antenna. Transmit and Receive LEDs are provided to confirm communication operation.

Host devices can send and receive half duplex communications of up to 180 Bytes of data per packet, seamlessly delivered to other hosts within range. There is no need for complicated ‘bit balancing’ or elaborate coding schemes.

Other innovative features available on eRA modules include, a digital RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) – no need for host to handle A/D measurement, temporary channel selection allows host to scan other channels in real time, temperature compensated crystal-controlled synthesizer for frequency accuracy < +/-1kHz over full temperature range, built-in temperature measurement output, user-configurable self-coding system for interfacing to other data modules in FSK (FM) and ASK (AM).

In addition to manufacturing the highly successful easyRadio Advanced (eRA) wireless modules in the UK, the full LPRS product range now includes, narrow band long range wireless modules from CDP, the IQRF range of wireless networking components, the IQVC range of visual control panels together with antenna, wireless key fobs and a wide range of sensor products.

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