Sub-GHz Module

Energy conservation is going to be ‘the focus’ in coming days and that is getting reflected in the amount of growth in smart meter deployments. Smart meters helps managing energy distribution and consumption very efficiently when compared to the conventional utility meters. Smart meter acts as a middleman that connects consumer energy management systems to utility companies. Consumers can make a conscious decision whether to use High current appliances in order to reduce their electricity bill.

Several wireless communication technologies are available to us like WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Sub GHz. Sub-Ghz is an ideal wireless protocol for Smart metering applications because of long range, low power consumption, low cost of deployment. In general, for long range applications like Energy meter to a DCU, Sub-GHz is a good choice. It is very easy to retrofit traditional energy meters with Sub-Ghz wireless module and upgrade the software over the air. One of the most common use of Sub-GHz module is for communication between meters and also from the meter to a Data Concentrator Unit. Sub-GHz network is a network in a free ISM band such a 865-868 MHz in India. Latest trend is the use if Sub-Ghz module to communicate with in-home appliances.

One of the major advantages of going for Sub-GHz wireless communication technology is the long range. Longer the range, cheaper the deployment cost since fewer repeaters are required. SUB-GHz RF signals can travel longer distances for a given output power and receiver sensitivity. One way to increase the range is to increase the transmit power of the signal. But this comes at the cost of high power consumption. There are several Ics that provide integrated power amplifier. But the key here is the efficiency of the power amplifier. In SANDS Sub-GHz module, Microchip’s AT86RF215M SUB-GHz chip require only 62mA to output +14 dBm in the 865 MHz frequency band.

Ultra-Low Power Consumption

A key design consideration for a wireless Smart meter is Power consumption. Low-power consumption is a must for battery operated systems especially in Internet of Things where end nodes will typically operate with battery supply. SANDS Sub-GHz module consume very low power as it uses Microchip’s AT86RF215M solution- only 30nA in Sleep mode.

All indications are that the industry is moving towards wireless solution based on IEEE 802.15.4g. This standard specifies the physical layer, which is typically supported by the wireless transceiver itself. SANDS SUB-Ghz module adopts 15.4g standard. Thus it is ideally suited for reading network of smart meters using mesh topology and hopping. SANDS SUB-Ghz module is very small in size which enables it to be fitted into any system without much fuss.

Features

  • IEEE 802.15.4g Compliant
  • Supports point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, mesh topologies
  • Supports 6LoWPAN networking topologies
  • Field configurable 6LoWPAN Network node as Root / Router
  • Standard UART port to interface with external Master serial port (like PC)
  • Options to mount Helical antenna / external antenna with SMA/MMX connector
  • Ideal for Smart metering, home automation, industrial automation and street lighting applications

Applications

  • Industrial Internet of Things
  • Smart metering
  • Home Automation
  • Industrial Automation
  • In-house Display

Technical specifications

RF
Band 865-867MHz
Supported PHYs MR-FSK, MR-OFDM, MR-O-QPSK, O-QPSK
Data Rate (kbps) Upto 2400 kbps
IEEE Compliance IEEE 802.15.4g
Range Line of Sight (LoS) – Min. 1Km
Non-LoS : Min.100m
Hardware
Port
Serial UART
Analog 1 ADC Channel
Programming Two wire JTAG
Flow control RTS & CTS
GPIO 2
Antenna MMC + SMA
Power
RF Tx Power Upto +14.5 dBm
Operating Voltage 3.3V
Peak Tx Current 62 mA
Peak Receive Current 28 mA
Network Topologies 6LoWPAN, Mesh
Mechanical
Dimensions
Interface connector 2mm pin header