What do HopeRF modules cost?

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at sharism.cc
Sat May 8 21:42:18 EDT 2010


Ron,

> Can someone tell us prices for HopeRF modules? [1]

We bought 40 RFM-12B modules for 2.50 USD each. There are three types of
thicknesses, the thinner the more expensive (I think they said the thinner
crystal is more expensive). We bought the thinnest one, the next thicker
one would have been 2.20 USD, the thickest I don't know.
I would think if we buy 1000 or so price would be lower.

Thanks for pointing out HopeRF, it is a really solid, quality company.
Privately owned, they started 12 years ago or so, first producing
test and calibration equipment, then slowly working their way up to
pressure and other sensors, finally analog IC design for RF. They also
sell their own weather stations, where you have their pressure sensor
and other sensors on the roof, then an RF connection to a device on
your night table.
I feel very good about this company long-term, and can encourage others
to do business with them too.

So if others are hacking on their modules, and some free software is
produced - great!
What interests me the most right now about these modules is:

*) can 3 or more parties talk to each other? What about 100 in a large
conference room?
*) are there Linux drivers, can we get a bigger protocol stack to
work over these modules? (say: can I run rsync over it?)
*) has anybody tried full-duplex real-time voice? If it works, up to
which distance does it work?
*) The modules have a built-in antenna, but an external one can also
be attached. How much does an external antenna improve performance?
*) Panthera pointed out some ways to increase throughput using some
external components. In which cases does this make sense with these
modules?

We will continue to investigate other options, of course. Like the ZigBee
thing that we already had pretty close but then it fell apart because
Spectec was scared away by the GPL. Also I believe until today the ZigBee
Alliance's position towards GPL is not clear.
Don't know about the TI 11xx chips but thanks for pointing those out as
well.
Then someone suggested NordicSemi... So much work.
I can just say that I will only do business with hardware companies that
I have personally visited, and where I have a usable work relationship
meaning that someone tries to understand what I have to say, tries to give
meaningful feedback, etc. Also they need to be aware of the copyleft/open
nature of what we do, and support it. Not with some trick up their
sleeves, but really fully with their hearts and minds.

So it takes a bit of time, but then I know what I am doing is solid, there
will be less surprises and I can sleep well :-)
Thanks for all the help on this list, I guess we are all learning. For
example I am totally fascinated about DTN now (delay tolerant networks) :-)

Every bit of feedback is very appreciated, keep it coming...
Wolfgang




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