I just received from Sparkfun a few RFM12B wireless modules to experiment with. They’re great little things – you get a FIFO in, a FIFO out, all the RF stuff is taken care of, and you have super flexibility with all the network layers above that. The best part is, the relatively low complexity compared to something like a ZigBee means both that there’s no extraneous fluff when your application doesn’t need it, and the cost is just right at $7/module in low quantities. But annoyingly, they can be had in a SMD module with 2mm pin pitch – not very 100mil breadboard friendly. Not wanting to deal with that. I whipped up a basic passive breakout board to have on hand. Inevitably, this will see updates as I do things like add regulators and level shifters for particular projects. For now, it just makes breadboarding easy. To get the files, head over to the Github repository at https://github.com/alexwhittemore/RFM12B-Breakout. I’ve ordered 6 from OSHPark, I’ll report back in a couple weeks how they turned out.
This board is the perfect way to interface traditional Arduinos (or other microcontrollers) to JeeNodes. While we like our JeeLink modules a lot, as an easy way to get going with wireless, this board is a quick and easy add-on to Arduinos, to leverage your current technology. The RFM12B Board is a compact breakout board for HopeRF’s RFM12B radio module, as featured on all JeeNode and JeeLink boards. If you are looking for an affordable way to add wireless communication to your Arduino (compatible) board, this is the board to get.