While looking around on the interwebs today for alternatives to the Digi Xbee 868 modules for use in Europe, I found this from http://www.rfsolutions.co.uk. It's specifically the Tiny Pro with external antenna that caught my eye. (The photo above is from the smd on-chip antenna version)
- High Power - Up to 500mW
- Serial Baud Rate 1.2 to 115.2Kbps
- RF Baud Rate up to 38.4Kbps
- Range up to 4KM using external antenna
From the manual for the TinyPro:
"This band is free to use but the module and the user must respect some limitations. Most of these restrictions are integrated in the conception of the module, except the duty cycle. The 869.400 to 869.650 MHz band is limited to a 10% duty cycle. This means that each module is limited to a total transmit time of 6 minutes per hour. It is the responsibility of the user to respect the duty cycle"
It looks fairly expensive, and I don't think the baud rate is as high as the Digi modules, but asking the user to enforce the duty cycle would allow us much more control. Assuming we wouldn't just ignore the DC entirely, we could allow the APM to control it rather than having to hack it as the current thinking on the digi 868's suggests.
Has anyone tried this, or have any comments on suitability? Perhaps there are other 868mhz modules out there who also have less draconian enforcement of the DutyCycle?