As elegant and easy-to-use as our Anaren Integrated Radio (AIR) modules are, we know from experience that our customers appreciate a "full circle" of support to help deploy our AIR modules in an end application.

That's why we've introduced our AIR Support solution to support you with honest advice, development tools, and truly useful information at every step of the way: from the Development stage, to the Applications stage, all the way through the Production stage.

Simply choose from a category below to learn more.

AIR FAQ

There is a no ‘single’ / simple answer to this question, as the result varies based on the following parameters:

  • Country / Geographical Region of operation
  • Data rate needed for communication
  • Battery life
  • Range of operation (aka: choice of carrier frequency)

Here are the some choices/examples you will need to consider relative to the above parameters:
 

Country/region of operation (some common examples)

N  America (US/Canada)

315 / 915MHz / 2.4 GHz

Europe (incl UK)         

433 / 868MHz / 2.4 GHz

Japan

426 MHz / 2.4 GHz

 

Highest data rate needed for communication (some common examples)

Video-streaming

WLAN / Wi-Fi

Audio or data @ 1 Mbps

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

Low Bandwidth Star network with repeaters

SimpliciTI from Texas Instruments

P2P and P2Multipoint Bidirectional WUART

AIR Stacks from Anaren/AIR

Low data mesh network

ZigBee®/802.15.4

 

Longest battery life (some common examples)

For SimpliciTI-based applications

alkaline or coin cell

For ZigBee®/802.15.4 applications

alkaline or Li-Ion

For Bluetooth® applications

Li-Ion

For WLAN/WiFi applications

Li-Ion or line powered

 

Longest range (approx. / radio only -- no range extender)

SimpliciTI

approx. 300 ft.

AIR Stacks from Anaren/AIR

approx. 300 ft.

WLAN

approx. 150 ft.

Zigbee® / 802.15.4

approx. 100 ft.

BLE

approx. 50 ft.

 

The specifics of each application are unique and influenced by a wide range variables (e.g.: transmission range, physical obstacles/barriers, power levels, duties assigned to nodes within the network, data transmission frequency and type, etc.) – but, in general, there are four general network types:

A “proprietary RF” application is any RF application wherein the wireless protocol being used is specific (or "proprietaryto") to a given company or organization, as opposed to being based on a commonly accepted and utilized wireless standard/protocol such as WiFi, ZigBee, Bluetooth, ANT,  6loWPAN, or any number of IEEE-articulated standards.

 

If, for example, a manufacturer of factory equipment wishes to develop a wireless communications protocol that enables peices of equipment within its network to communicate amongst themselves -- without concern for or connection to wireless protocols like WiFi or ZigBee that may also be available/running in the environment -- this would be considered a "Proprietary RF" application.

 

Advantages of this approach include increased flexibility (an OEM can use as simple, or as complex, a protocol as is required to operate its own network). As well as complete ownership of its proprietary RF protocol, thereby eliminating licensing fees and royalty payments that may result from utilizing a broader, well-established standard (some of which are owned and promoted by 3rd parties themselves).

 

Those OEMs opting for the "proprietary RF" approach may conversely lose opportunities associated with marketing end-products that do not comply with established, industry-wide standards. And companies/organizations planning to go the proprietary RF route can expect to take on some costs associated with managing RF functionality in house.

The AIR modules are indeed compatible with the EZ430 Chronos development tool.


The Chronos watch (433/868/915) is based on the CC430 chip from TI, which is basically a CC1101 and MSP430 combined together. Since our A1101R0x AIR modules are all based on the CC1101, as well, they can readily communicate with each other.


Also, if you wish to communicate with the Chronos watch and use Anaren's RF certification, simply select one of the certified settings from Anaren and make the appropriate changes to the RF settings of the Chronos watch: this should takes between 15 - 20 minutes of work (and play!) with TI's Smart RF studio software.

The short answer is "yes."

 

For one example, see this article from Nuts & Volts magazine featuring the PIC microcontroller and the Anaren module. Though there may be references to the A2500, (our 2.4 GHz module), the A1101R09 is footprint compatible and has the same registers: the only difference between the two being their operating frequencies (former being 2.4Ghz, while the latter is 900MHz.

We are sometimes asked whether the use of our A110LR09c module (which is certified for use in the US at 915 MHz and the EU at 868 MHz) means a customer has to buy separate antennas (66089-09xx and 66089-08xx) for the two different frequencies -- or if a single antenna can be used if it is tuned to the center of the band.

Anaren does have the 66089-89xx antenna that is tuned to the center of the 868-915 MHz bands. When using the A110LR09C, we recommend that either the 66089-8906 or 66089-8930 antennas must be used (if purchased from Anaren). This is because the -89xx antennas were used during certification, and are centered in performance between the 868 and 915MHz bands. 

The A1101R09X and A110LR09X modules are based on the CC1101 and CC110L (value line - Low cost version of the CC1101) respectively. While the A1101R09X is designed for use exclusively in the US at 902-928 MHz band, the A110LR09C version is dual band (both 915 and 868MHz) -- which means it can be used in both US and Europe markets...i.e. it can operate at  868MHz as well as the US 902-928 MHz and has been certified in both the regions (FCC/IC/EU).

 

Also, the A110LR09X is offered by TI at a lower price-point when compared to the A1101R09X, with the following features removed from the A110LR09X relative to the to the A1101R09X version:

  • Forward error correction (FEC) and interleaving
  • Wake-on-Radio (WOR) and RCOSC (no RX time-outs possible)
  • Data Whitening
  • Preamble quality threshold (PQT) indication (used to gate sync word detection)
  • Link quality (LQI) [Received signal strength (RSSI) is supported in Value Line parts]
  • Temp sensor
  • PA ramping and shaping
  • MSK and ASK modulation (OOK modulation is supported in Value Line parts)
  • No pin control for strobe commands (SPI strobe commands need to be used)
  • ATEST register         

With TI's Purepath 1.4, a single 85XX master can transmit to four 85xx slaves. This configuration can result in lot of 'drop outs.' This is because the Purepath audio module uses time slicing when communicating with more than a single slave. (When you have more than 1 slave, reducing the timeslot per slave will eliminate any audible dropouts in the audio.) The default settings as provided in the Purepath Configurator is as follows:



Master-> Advanced Options-> Time Slot Period-> Automatic Selection

Slave-> Advanced Options-> Time Slot Period-> 5750us


Change the time slot settings as provided:

Master-> Advanced Options-> Time Slot Period-> 3500us

Slave-> Advanced Options-> Time Slot Period-> 3500us

 

Here is a screen shot for your reference:

 

We're asked variations of this question quite often: "I have successfully created my application using the AIR modules and I am ready to put them in production and ship. Can you advise what steps I need to follow so that I comply with the regulations – or any other additional testing or labeling requirements?"

Compliance testing and regulatory testing differs from country to country, but all areas include some mandatory regulatory compliance testing, which OEMs must perform and pass before offering their products to the marketplace. Using precertified modules helps eliminate majority of the testing cost but does require OEMs to conduct a few additional tests and meet the labeling requirement which can be found below.

 

Labeling requirements:

The OEMs must disclose that the end product contains a certified module and provide the appropriate label on the outside of the product enclosure. The labeling requirements for all the Air modules have been well defined in the user manual for the corresponding Air module and the users are recommend to follow the instructions as specified in the user manual.

 

Additional testing:

Testing for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is a mandatory requirement for any globally launched electrical or electronic product. All electrical equipment shall not interfere with other devices and shall be able to function properly in the presence of most electromagnetic disturbances. EMC testing applies to all electrical devices or appliances in all industries, product type or communications means. Each country or region has their own EMC requirements that must be met in order to receive an approval to be sold in the respective market.

 

ETSI:

Please follow the guidelines as published in our ETSI certification guide.

 

FCC/IC:

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC): Also known as “Unintentional Radiator” tests. Confirms the Radio Module does not radiate outside of the intended operating band, thereby causing interference to other devices. Required for all products (with or without radio module), to ensure the final design is compliant. Two main types of testing:

 

  1. Radiated Emissions: Required for both battery and AC Mains powered products. Testing can typically be completed in one (1) day.
  2. Conducted Emissions: Conducted emission testing is required for devices connected to a AC mains and looks for “noise” being pushed to the power grid from your product. Testing can typically be completed in 1-2 days.


Immunity: Confirms the End product containing the pre-certified module stays within specifications when influenced by external RF energy. As with Electromagnetic Compatibility, testing is required for all products.

 

Since the actual specifications vary depending upon end-user product type, we recommend that our customers contact a qualified testing laboratory for further information or email at air@anaren.com for the same.

If your intent is to use multiple regulatory-compliant radios on one board -- and you are unsure if you must undergo additional certification tests in order to use them together -- please refer to FCC Knowledge Base 996369. Section V of this document discusses the rules that apply when combining multiple modular transmitters.  You may also wish to contact your certification lab to ask for further clarification/advice.

In order for an OEM to market and allow end-users to operate their wireless devices, OEMs must first ensure that its device(s) are fully compliant with and/or certified to the applicable regional transmission regulations/standards (e.g. FCC, IC, ETSI). At the topmost level, here are the most common certifications required, depending on the country of use:

Unlicensed ISM/SRD bands

  • USA/Canada:
    • 260 – 470 MHz (FCC Part 15.231; 15.205)
    • 902 – 928 MHz (FCC Part 15.247; 15.249)
    • 2400 – 2483.5 MHz (FCC Part 15.247; 15.249)
  • Europe:
    • 433.050 – 434.790 MHz (ETSI EN 300 220)
    • 863.0 – 870.0 MHz (ETSI EN 300 220)
    • 2400 – 2483.5 MHz (ETSI EN 300 440 or ETSI EN 300 328)
  • Japan:
    • 315 MHz (Ultra low power applications)
    • 426-430, 449, 469 MHz (ARIB STD-T67)
    • 2400 – 2483.5 MHz (ARIB STD-T66)
    • 2471 – 2497 MHz (ARIB RCR STD-33)

ISM = Industrial, Scientific and Medical

SRD = Short Range Devices

We have also created a video to help you better understand certification in general -- as well as touching on the time- and cost-saving advantages of using pre-certified AIR modules in particular.

 

Air for Proprietary RF

Development

  • TI Low-Power RF Chips in Anaren Integrated Radio Modules
    • CC1101 Low-Power Sub-1GHz RF Transceiver web page
    • CC2500 Low-Power 2.4 GHz RF Transceiver web page
    • CC8520 PurePath Wireless 2.4GHZ RF System-on-Chip for Digital Audio Streaming web page
  • TI Low-Cost MSP-430-based Development Kits for LPRF Radios (use -EZ4x Target Boards from Anaren)
    Note: Anaren makes Axxxxxxx-EZ4z Target Boards for 433MHz, 868MHz, 915MHz, and 2.4GHz radios that work with this kit.
    • EZ430-RF2500 Wireless Development Kit web page
  • TI Full Functionality Development Kits for LPRF Radios (use -EMx Modules from Anaren)
    Note: Anaren makes Axxxxxxx-EM Evaluation Modules for 433MHz, 868MHz, 915MHz, and 2.4GHz radios that work with this kit.
    • CC1101 433 MHz Wireless Development Kit (pn CC1101DK433) web page
    • CC1101 868-915 MHz Wireless Development Kit (pn CC1101DK868-915) web page
    • CC2500 Wireless Development Kit (pn CC2500-CC2550DK) web page
    • CC8520 Development Kit (pn CC85XXDK) web page
  • TI Software for Low-Power RF Chips
  • Development Software for TI Microcontrollers
    • Code Composer Studio Integrated Development Environment web page
    • IAR Embedded Workbench for MSP-430 web page
    • PurePath Wireless Configurator for CC8520 web page
    • Elprotronic FET Pro430 Flash Programmer for TI's MSP-430 web page

Air for Zigbee

Development

 

The CC2530 BoosterPack kit (A2530E24A-LPZ) features our A2530E24AZ1 AIR module (w/ range extender and integral antenna). Available through our authorized AIR distributors (suggested price under $100), the kit works with Texas Instruments' MSP430 or Tiva-C LaunchPad and enables you to develop a simple ZigBee wireless network right ‘out of the box. (Download A2530x24x-LPZ User's Manual.) (Click here to view video walk through of this kit's Quick Start Guide; click here to download a Zip file of the kit's CD contents.)

 

Includes three A2530E24A AIR Module BoosterPacks, for connection to TI’s MSP430 or Tiva-C LaunchPad development tool (not included)

 

Each BoosterPack includes an on-board MSP430G2553IN20 Value Line microprocessor, pre-flashed with Anaren’s AIR-ZNP firmware (based on TI’s Z-Stack for the ZigBee Standard); this firmware approach includes a simple API and more than 30 code examples, for a much-reduced development time.

 

For Tiva-C operation, simply remove the MSP430 MCUs, and load the Tiva-C firmware via USB from the included CD. CD contains all the software, MSP430 & Tiva-C drivers, application notes, Quick Start Guide, and more to get started. Includes one 2xAA Battery Holder for remote operation

Application

 

AIR Zigbee Wiki

This online resource offers a wealth of information on our ZigBee-focused AIR modules, our AIR-ZNP firmware solution (including over 30 free code examples to get you started on your custom ZigBee application)!, and the ZigBee standard in general.