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"433" Revisited

We touched on 433-434MHz wireless data back in the July 2003 Picaxe article but here's an updated workout focusing on the dirt cheap "get you started" modules now around.

By Stan Swann

So you want to cut the cable clutter and go wireless on your project? WiFi? Bluetooth? ZigBee? Infrared? All offer very fast data speeds but have "fish hooks", not the least of which is infrared’s need for a totally unobstructed link. Or the other’s need for a computer or two!

So how about – gulp – just 2400 bps?! In an age when wireless datacomms push speed boundaries to WiFi’s "g" 54 Mega bps, such a few kilobits per second may seem downright pedestrian and akin to dial-up modems in the XT/AT ’80s!

But when crucial data items need sending, for example to unlock your car or raise the garage door, sheer speed is often incidental to module size, convenience and reliability.

Naturally, tight budgets and ease of project integration feature too. You don’t want to have to fire up a WiFi PC every time you need to open the garage door !

New cheap modules

To cater for experiments with simple-but-reliable short-range wireless control, Jaycar have recently released a budget pair of 433MHz UHF wireless data modules suiting both experienced users and even perhaps novices needing stimulating "21st century crystal sets".

Classic crystal sets of course were popular in the pre-semiconductors 1920s-50s and stimulated many a school student (yes, myself included – again) into exploring wireless mysteries when parts were costly and AM radio was king.

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