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Jun 14, 2009, 05:33 AM
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900Mhz dreams

Now that you're $90 bankrupt on etching, there's no need to use XBees anymore. The XBee is the weight limiting part for spin copter. U can get bare XBee chips for $3. No UART, only SPI. Indeed, you'd need your own radio for any commercially viable UAV.

For 900Mhz you'd now skip the XBeePRO 900 & build your own out of an MRF49XA & a bag of parts. 7dBm output power compared to 17dBm for the XBee. With the $200 still blown on 2.4Ghz video, upgrading at least 1 copter to 900Mhz radios is a good idea.

Weight comparison:
Bare through hole Vika 1: 3.8oz
Surface mount Vika 1 with dongles: 1oz

Mind U, extra voltage regulators R required for lighting & GPS on the SMT board.

Wish list:
2 scratch built 900Mhz modules
Switchable 900Mhz ground station mode
$20 spin copter test
Mirror lens
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