I was just looking around for 868 MHz 500mW radios when I stumbled upon this radio --> http://www.radiocontrolli.com/en/products/transceivers-module/modul...
As it is Si1000 based then the SiK firmware should run on it as well. It would be a great alternative for European guys looking for longer range while still taking advantage of the SiK firmware. It uses the RFX1010 amplifier.
What do you think, would these modules work as a drop in replacement to 3DR radios?
Are there any good news ? I am really interested in your "second option".
I am using CISECO XRF
@Antonio Di Paola : Looks good to use. Connected to a cloverleaf antenna or to a helical with 6 or 7 dB gain should do a very nice job. I'm more comfortable with 500 mW than with 50.
To realize the benefit of higher power, you will need to make sure that the antenna is far enough of the ground so that the transmit power isn't reflected by the ground back onto the receiving stage in the radio. Otherwise the rx stage will desensitize, so though you maybe able to transmit a long way, you cannot hear the other end sending back.
This is why people can show just as good result with lower power, but better antenna arrangement.
The other advantages of lower power is that you can run for much longer from a limited power source.
It's good to remember if RF engineering, a larger number does not equate to real world better performance.
That's all true. Let's say I would like to have 30 km of range with 3DR radios and let's say my current range with dipoles is 2 km. I would need at least a 24 dB antenna on the ground side to get that kind of range. That's a very tight beam. The antenna tracker positioning accuracy needs to be pretty good. With a 500 mW radio I could get away with a ~10 dB antenna.
Any news on this module?
Sound great !! For sure your solution will be very convenient ( space and weight reduction, antenna simplification, 100% compatibility with existing MP, Droidplanner, Andropilot...and low frecquency for long range) . I really like it.
In this moment we have some problems about the upload the firmware via bootloader (3D Radiomission Planet).
We can upload the FW only via Silicon Labs emulator.
As soon as solve this problem I will call you
In Oz land using 1 Watt module fully compatible APM 2.6 modems:
Had no problem of link distance.. :-)
For those where Tx power output is limited to 500 mW the rfd-900 from rfdesign.com output power is programmable from whatever you want to 1 Watt! So no more selection of hardware depending upon output power.. You choose by programming what you want!