Since I first used the XBee modules from Digi International I got questions from developers how to get higher ranges. Well, the XBee 802.15.4 modules I’m currently using have a maximum range of nearly 100 m. The XBee-PRO modules that are using 63 mW (+18dBm) power output could reach up to 1 mile (~1.6 km). In Germany you have to limit the XBee-PRO modules to +10dBm because of some restrictions in the 2.4 GHz band, so you loose some meters.
Digi International now offers the XBee-PRO 868 modules which are using the 868 MHz short range device (SRD) GH3 band for Europe. With a dipole antenna you can reach 40 km, using a high gain antenna you should get a signal up to 80 km. The XBee-PRO 868 modules are pin-compatible with the XBee 802.15.4 modules which makes it very easy to choose the modules you need.
XBee-PRO 868 modules are long range embedded RF modules for European applications. Purpose-built for exceptional RF performance, XBee-PRO 868 modules are ideal for applications with challenging RF environments, such as urban deployments, or where devices are several kilometers apart. The XBee-PRO 868 features:
- 868 MHz short range device (SRD) G3 band for Europe
- Software selectable Transmit Power
- 40 km RF LOS w/ dipole antennas
- 80 km RF LOS w/ high gain antennas (TX Power reduced)
- Simple to use peer-to-peer/point-to-mulitpoint topology
- 128-bit AES encryption
By deploying this and any XBee device, OEMs are leveraging the value of the XBee product family and Digi's unsurpassed Drop-in Networking offering of gateways, adapters and network extenders. In addition, XBee users can take advantage of platform agility, the ability to rapidly change their XBee solution with minimal development.
- 868 MHz SRD G3 band
- 500 mW EIRP
- RPSMA, U.FL, or attached whip antenna options
- 24 kbps RF data rate
- Industrial (-40C to +85C) temperature rating
- ETSI Approved
I have ordered two development kits each including two modules and USB/serial boards. Digi has an offer until end of February 2008: $99 USD compared to a single module that costs already between $69 and $72 USD. The kits contains:
(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
My XBee library will support both modules, of course, and will be released this week.