Finally it’s here, the high power version of the RFM69W FSK transceiver is now available in the store!
This is a relatively new transceiver from HopeRF, suggested replacement for RFM12B, RFM22B going forward. Some rumors have gone around that those transceivers might be phased out, but HopeRF has told me there are no such plans, however they do “recommend the RFM69 in place of RFM12B/RFM22B for new designs”.
Based on my range tests, and on some feedback, these might be an ideal RF platform for RC controlled drones, even the RFM69W should give you a pretty long range, especially in open air.
The RFM69HW is a 20dBm output power transceiver. In my open-air range tests I ran out of space at around 370m with this one. So potentially these will go significantly farther. The tests were done with my Gateway/Node example sketches, at 55.5kbps air bitrate, 50khz frequency deviation. If someone has better results with other settings please let me know.
They are powerful but will need more current to work, 130mA in transmit mode (for a short few milliseconds while the packet is modulated/transmitted), and the same 16mA in receive mode. So far the Moteinos in their current configuration seem to handle the high current spikes just fine.
HopeRF has suggested that 868Mhz units can be replaced with 915Mhz units that are loaded with 868Mhz settings. I have verified this myself with range tests and I don’t see any significant difference when using 915Mhz units at 868Mhz. Hence if you need 868Mhz units please get 915Mhz units and initialize them with settings for 868Mhz.