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Cheap RX/TX via Fake X-bee? (X-bee footprint devices)

Hello, hello.

I am looking for a new, cheaper RX/TX system to carry. I would love it if I could find a cheap, solid device that shares the footprint and pinout of an X-bee. There are a few out there that I have found, but I cannot find any review etc. to help me determine if they are crap or not.

Does anyone use such a device? What is it and do you like it?

 

...And if we forget about the X-bee footprint/pinout issue for a sec, are there any RX/TX systems that folks are using that they particularly like?

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I asked what he used and he said RN-XV wifi board.

https://solarbotics.com/product/30025/

nRF24L01 modules use the SPI bus and not serial. Need a lot more pins then an Xbee module and are a bit more difficult to write code for. But even I can get them to work so it's not that hard :) 

Duh on my part. What about a special board that only plugs into pins 1 through 10 on the xbee layout? Power, ground, and tx/rx all get broken out there. Add a small microcontroller that does the conversion from tx/rx to SPI, and, plug in an nrf24L01+ radio.

The radios are a couple dollars each. A 14 pin micro shouldn't cost more than a couple dollars. Write the program, make the boards, and for maybe $8 to $10 you have something that will plug in where an xbee does.

nrf24L01+ radios. They are very inexpensive. I have 6 waiting on me to get some kind of uC up and running, so I can test them out myself.