Xbee Pro long range made affordable until end of February 2009

Looking for telemetry transmission hardware, I came across following offer made by Digi (ex-MaxStream):

XBee-PRO 868 OEM Development Kit w/ 2 XBee-PRO modules

Apparently, the kit is available for a promotional price of only 99 USD until end of February 2009.

The package contains following:
(1) XBee-PRO 868 w/ RPSMA Connector
(1) XBee-PRO 868 w/ Wire Whip antenna
(1) RS-232 Development Boards
(1) USB Development Board
(1) RS-232 serial Cable
(1) USB Cable
(1) 868 MHz RPSMA Antenna
(1) Power Adapter
(1) 9V Battery & Clip
Various Adapters

This 868 MHz short range device has software selectable transmission power (1 mW (0 dBm) to 315 mW (+25 dBm)).
RF data rate is 24 Kbps (10% of duty cycle).
Incredible Outdoor/RF Line-of-Sight Range up to 25 miles (40 km) with dipole antenna.
Serial data rate of 1.2 Kbps to 230.4 Kbps.
It needs 3.0 – 3.6 VDC power supply and transmitter burns 500 mA typical at 3.3V (800 mA max), receiver only 65 mA typical.

Apparently, for the moment it is ETSI approved for Europe (without special license), but no FCC approval yet for the US.

I think of it as a must have... Can't wait for the Swiss reseller to send me my quote to confirm my order.

More infos on Digi web site.

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does the TechFX work with the 868 as I read on their website that that was part of a future package?

Not sure if XBee 868 works out of the box with TechFX, but the source is provided so I can rewrite it if needed. I mentioned I was going to use it to drex@thesiliconhorizon and he did not say anything about it not working. I think it has just not been tested yet, but I'll see once I actually get the gear - it is still in the mail now.
I'm a programmer and have done firmware rewrites like this before. I will need to do quite a bit of programming to add the features I want both to the firmware of the TechFX as well as the GCS software.
OK I understand. On their website they said the system was being updated to work with the 868 as well as some other features. I wasn't sure if this was purely a software upgrade or also the hardware - I have placed a message on their forum to try and find out.

Let me know how you get on...
I'm interested into what everyone thinks they can pack into a single 24 Kbps data connection. Can I get all my realtime flight data back to ground (ie, alt, speed, IMU info, GPS info) with a 3KBps data rate?
@Matt: well that depends mostly on the required update rate, but provided it is low enough the simple answer is yes. It of course also depends how you send it, 3KBps = 3Kbit or 375 8 bit characters per second traffic(if the 3KBit still is affected by overhead this will be less), which to me sounds like quite a lot to send telemetry and IMU data in. But it also depends on exactly what IMU data and other data you want to send and how much detail you want in it.

I will be sending servo position commands for up to 8 channels, plus some other command data, and getting back attitude,altitude, speed, program feedback and IMU feedback, GPS data etc...
But most of it does not need to be updated very fast, and some will be more temporary and shift to and from the XBee channel.
Thats pretty much what I had figured - Some rough math in my head seemed like I would only need about 150 or so 8bit chars/sec to do what I needed. Anyways - thats all I really needed to know to get the motivation to put a order in for one of these XBees thanks alot!
I do not know if people of DIYdrones operate in Switzerland or Liechenstein, but here is the technical approval of the Xbee Pro 868 for those two countries:
I'm having trouble finding a distributor that would get this to Australia for a reasonable price.
Would anyone in the US be willing to forward this to me in Australia? I would cover delivery expenses of course.
geez, if i had the money...stupid school!!!
Ugh apparently no dealer in the netherlands, so no XBee 868 package for me :-( so I will get the 2.4GHz one from sparkfun to at least test with I guess since my project relies on a XBee modem.
My TechFX with 6dof IMU has just arrived so...
Check out the Digi Europe online store. They sell the development kit for 89 Euro (+handling and shipping) and you can purchase with a major credit card. In the store, type "xbee 868" in the search box.
yes, the online europa store has the kit but they donot ship everywhere. i am in Turkey and they are not shipping to Turkey... :( i asked for a special shipping quote but they didnot respond until now... can anyone of our friends in USA do us a favor and organize this shipment? we can send money and he can order and forward a shipment to us... just for help... this kit is a real bargain and we donot want to miss this opportunity...

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