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Components on the Circuit Board

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:34 am
by jeremy
The schematic is coming along nicely. Here's a bit of info about what it looks like today:

Microcontroller / Processor:

Radio Transceiver:

RF Power Amplifier / Low-Noise Amplifier:

As a user of Arduino boards, and as a long-time developer on Atmel processors, I really like the ATMEGA processor family, but now that I've gotten in to the ATXMEGA family, I'm even more impressed. There are a lot of great features in this processor that we'll be able to use for the radio module. It lets us route hardware events around the chip, allowing something to trigger something else without the need for any software intervention.

The radio transceiver chip has some features to help keep the processor load down, including automatic handling of 802.15.4 acknowledge packets. The diversity antenna control should also improve the operating range of the device without requiring extra transmit power.

Finally, the RF power amplifier will let the module transmit at pretty high RF power (subject to whatever limits we run into during FCC testing).

And really finally, the board has antenna options: two built-in PCB antennas provide the lowest-cost diversity antenna solution, one or two optional RF connectors can be utilized if you want to use an external antenna - or two for spatial diversity, two monopole antennas mounted directly to the module.