RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products, has added two wireless connectivity options to its growing portfolio of products based on the Raspberry Pi computer. The new modules are built using Wi-Fi and low power radio technology respectively and deliver wireless interface capability for applications requiring low cost, low power, small form factor solutions, such as mobile devices.
The first module provides high-speed Wi-Fi functionality compliant with the IEEE802.11b/g/n wireless protocol via a tiny adapter that plugs into the USB port on the Raspberry Pi. The adapter supports transmission rates of up to 150Mbps, which is ideal for large data transfer and three times faster than standard 11g connections. The smart adapter adjusts the transmission output according to the distance and CPU offload to achieve a reduction in power consumption of between 20% and 50% when the wireless function is idle. It can be configured using Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) to provide a simple, secure wireless network.
The second module also features a USB wireless device offering ‘plug-and-play’ connection to the Raspberry Pi, but instead uses low power RF transceiver technology to provide a bi-directional link to any device supporting serial communications, for example another Raspberry Pi. Frequency, bandwidth, power output and data rates can be configured to allow multiple devices to communicate free from interference from each other and any other RF devices. The RF technology employed enables significantly greater range (up to 300m depending on the terrain) and lower power consumption than other wireless protocols such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The host device can send and receive up to 180 Bytes of data per packet to other hosts within range, making it particularly useful for ‘sense and control’ applications. An integral SMA antenna is included. A kit variant of this product is also available, which contains dual rather than a single transceiver.