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.