3689478149?profile=originalHi Guys,

As you know, we are working on OpenLRS project since few years and It is an Open Source RC control system with telemetry, I2C and others. Few days before i designed this new boards. It is based on OpenLRS system but there is no 3.3v regulator, PPM or Servo outputs. It is an open Source Telemetry Module with XBee footprint.   And today prototype boards arrived and i populated it for test and passed. Now we are waiting for quality PCB production (15 days).


  • No more buffering problem of Xbee modules. Real time telemetry or control is possible.(10ms latency)
  • Longer Range, lower frequency
  • No networking stack. Everything in the code. You can write a mesh or point to point, everything is possible.
  • Arduino ProMini based boot and Open Source design
  • No Programmers or FTDI cable require. Just put it to USB to XBee adapter and load the firmware over Arduino. 
  • XBee footprint. (Serial pins only)
  • 100mW 400-470mhz RF Module with FHSS and other functions (RFM22B)
  • up to 3 miles range. (The record is 12KM with Nagoya antenna in England)
  • 3.3v design.


My Job List:

  • Open google code page for OpenBee in a few days (http://code.google.com/p/openbee/
  • Isolate the OpenLRS code's telemetry part.
  • Test it at the field.
  • Add an option for  MAVLink packages (need help!!!)
  • Find project members.
  • Add the code for simulating OpenLRS Transmitter modules. Computer based RC control is possible with OpenLRS Receivers. Joysticks or something like that.  

What are you thinking about OpenBee project?  Is it good or bad idea? 

Thanks for your comments

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  • @Sandro: Actually i didnt check USB noise. We can try and learn the affects. 
    We are in contact with HopeRF and using SiLab based modules and SiLab processors since years. RFM22B and HM-TRP using same RF core (Si4432) on the modules. RFM22B is RF core only product but HM-TRP is including a separated 8051 CPU in same plastic package(Si1000) . This is why we are using both for design and production. I think USB affects will be same for both modules.

    @Stephen, I didnt understand the question. Can you explain it? my poor English :(

    @Andrew, There is no problem for UK 459Mhz. I guess UK has the best RF regulations on the world and range is better than whole world.
    I already ported OpenLRS codes to Si1000 processors (same processor with 3DR) and working but they are not flexible like Arduino based systems. This is why i'm pushing OpenBee.  
    I'm also planning to releasing this type(below) modules. They are easy to produce and cheaper than OpenBee. And we can upload SiK firmware into the processors and MAVlink works without any problem. But this is not enough "open" hardware. SiLab very poor supporter and if you need an answer for your specific questions there is no community there. Maybe i can release them with very simple telemetry firmware and configuration software.


    @Dany, RFM22B is 0-100mW and 400-470mhz configurable modules. also you can configure 200-1000mhz but output drops dramatically. This mean you can configure it for any regulations. And HopeRF producing 315-433-868-915Mhz versions of them. We can produce any version. I will order few hundred units in this weeks, maybe i can buy some 900mhz modules too. 

  • Distributor

    Again I am afraid to ask this... but what will be the "certification" status of this device?
    We all know that I cannot sell legally the 3DR Radio as they are not certified to use in Canada and the certification process is costly. Plus as the code is open it is also an issue for certification.
    Anyhow, really would like to offer an alternative to Xbee that would be cheaper and even better. We are using 900MHz around here mostly (legally)


    • Could be a win for UK users as these can run on 459Mhz with little problems
    • Regards the code - maybe a combined effort with the 3DR telem modules? Both are 'smart' transceivers that can be mavlink aware, i.e can drop unnecessary packets when the link gets patchy etc
  • A question, what real throughput are you achieving with that sort of range and latency?

  • Cool! I designed one almost the same, but with a few extra features (broke out some extra pins, added options for rp-sma, u.fl or wire antennas, added two additional connector options to the end including 6-pin FTDI cable style pinout for use with sparkfun adapters and the like, with reversible rx-tx pins, as well as a 7pin molex picoblade connector for use with paparazzi style connectors, with added pins for hardware flow control, also provided a funny edge connector for ISP and selectable 5V or 3.3V supply with onboard regulator). However, never had the time to make the software robust....maybe if I find time I will try yours!

  • Developer

    Great one, Melih! The whole goal sounds nice.
    About the ~400MHz band:  Did you check the amount of noise coming from the USB port? I'm using a 3DR 900Mhz radio because it is better on that subject. I'm wondering if an Xbee Explorer USB or another adapter would help or make it worse (close an far from the port i.e. with or without a cable).

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