Let's Make Robots!

long range Xbee module

Did anyone ever try long range remote Arduino via XBee or other remote device? Like this:

XTend OEM RF Modules

or this:

XBee-PRO DigiMesh 900 Mesh RF Modules

If so, Are they able to send camera signal via xbee?


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I am using the xBee 900 Pro. To get the long range out of it, you have to use high gain antennas. Even then, you want short packets and a good recovery/retry scheme. Real time video and small packets requiring acknowledgement usually don't belong in the same conversations. My thoughts are that you will need to do a lot of interpretation at the remote end.

Flokos - I messed my regulated Explorers up also. I am a software guy and I misunderstood the directions about shorting the DIN diode and shorted the DIN LED instead. Fortunately someone helped me fix that. The next time around, I bought the Ardafruit xBee adapter kits. they have a really low component count, all full size through hole, so don't let the "kit" part scare you; they take only a few minutes to put together. They work really well. I am about to order a Fio to try next. A Pro Mini on the back of the regulated Explorer is a nice small way to do this, but that diode problem is a concern.

That sounds not good for video transmitting. So, you mean the signal might lost when distance is too far huh. Any suggestion or ideas when the device is outta visual range and anyway to monitor it?

I would send stills on an interval. That interval would be determined by a success rate. I would not retry sending the old still, just send a new still on every attempt. If all sends are failing, degrade the quality of the stills to make the packets smaller. It's hard to explain, but when the signal degrades it tends to be good in bursts then bad in longer bursts. So if only 30% of you characters are being received correctly, maybe 20% are all in a row.  I have found 9600 baud to be a good rate in my tests. Going lower actually increases my error rate because it takes so long to transmit a package that the likelihood of an error increases too much. Going higher seems to limit the distance at which I even get short packets. YMMV, of course.

Minimizing the color depth and resolution will obviously bump up the max frames per second (fps), which you should be able to calculate by 156 kbps / (bits per frame).  If I am not mistaken you would get less than 2 fps using 4-bit color with 320 x 240 bit resolution.  This would also imply the control data is very lean.  You will probably want something capable of much greater throughput.

You need 2 identical xBees to make a wireless link. The xBees can be configured as a 2 way wireless serial link. You can connect a serial camera to one xBee and get the image on the computer from the receiving xBee. But you need another pair to send commands to your Arduino, because you can't connect 2 devices in parallel. You can use some tricks to make this work with only one xBee pair, but it's hard even for someone with experience using serial devices.

I have bought 2 of those 900's but I dont know how to make them work , I mean the pc side works well but I cant make communicate with arduino(I destroyed the xbee xplorer regulated board in my attempt to solder some thing on it).

Seems those 900's can go 6 miles --That's a lot. In terms of sending video, that's gunna be a lot of data to going through... I have not seen it done yet.

XTend OEM RF Modules is even up to 40 miles that I don't think anyone could remote the robots in that range visiually. I had never seen anyone done that except those NASA or military UAVs.

I am not sure if following idea works either, say if I have a regular Xbee Pro as reciever and I have that 900's in remote device. Am I still able to communicate inbetween or I need to have two 900's in both side? Anyone?