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Digi module blocks interference

Steve Rogerson
August 17, 2017

Digi has launched the XBee SX 868 surface mount radio communications module with interference blocking for noisy wireless environments. Deployable in several regions throughout the world and with pre-certification for EU countries, the module offers long-range, low-data rate connectivity for industrial IoT applications such as agriculture, heavy equipment, transportation, energy and utilities.
The module, measuring about 22 by 34mm, operates in the 863 to 870MHz frequency band (K, L, M, N, Q/R) and combines tuned surface acoustic wave (SAW) filtering as well as intelligent listen before talk and adaptive frequency agility (LBT-AFA) technology to avoid connectivity issues caused by external radio interference.
The patented frequency scan occurs automatically without performance impact by listening to the radio environment before any transmission starts, automatically shifting to a new channel when an interference source is detected.
The module provides software-selectable data rates up to 80kbit/s, 128bit AES encryption for data privacy, point-to-point and point-to-multipoint communications, repeater mode, and the patented DigiMesh protocol option with features such as self-healing network configurations, sleeping routers and high-density mesh network configurations. DigiMesh lets nodes both route data and enter low-power states, optimising the power profile of the entire mesh network.
Digi’s RF management and configuration tool XCTU simplifies development and deployment of wireless networks based on XBee technology, including robust and scalable over-the-air firmware update capabilities.
“The Digi XBee SX 868 sub-GHz radio module delivers continued innovation of a proven technology and strong security in a small, low profile form factor,” said Mike Rohrmoser, senior director at Digi. “It provides sub 2µA sleep modes, excellent receive sensitivity, and exceptional performance with a theoretical line-of-sight range of up to 14.5 km using standard antennas. The module’s advanced immunity in challenging wireless environments, including problematic interference issues caused by public cellular networks, makes it the ideal choice for industrial IoT applications demanding reliable communications at all times.”
The module is available in a variant containing an on-module standard U.FL antenna connector, as well as a variant containing a surface mount antenna pad for high-vibration or customised applications. Development kits, such as the one in the picture, are available.