Frequency Hopping

As mentioned in my last entry I was toying with the idea of frequency hopping on the RF side of things, well looks like someone has implemented something similar here http://www.raccoonrezcats.com/rfmodem.html I’ll like to do something similar to this as it seems doable. 

While not able to get some “hands on” development time over the weekend, I did more reading of the HopeRF modules and these will be able to achieve the hopping, as the can programmed to any frequency in the 902-928Mhz Freq range so definately looking achievable.

If what the above links says on the site then we could (at least in theory) have a max output of 1watt if we chose to implement hopping, else we are limited to 1mW output power.

More challenges but getting there

Trying to fit the functionality into the existing ebay trigger receiver housing seems to be a royal pain in the butt, especially trying to work in with the batteries, so after a few days of PCB redesigns and juggling compments around I have put that particular design on hold and moved forward with my original PIC16F873A design, also I did not like the fact that there was 2 circuits to maintain, a transmitter and receiver, this then leads me to the next problem.  I want something easy for the end user, something similar to the Pocket Wizard Plus that is really a no brainer for the user to drive, i.e. a switch to select operation mode and channels, a 3 and 4 way slide switch respectivly, well do you think I can source any 4 way slide switches easily?  Seems I can get some 3 way easily enough, and I guess I could use a rotary switch but these are too clunky for my liking, but still an option.

Strobist Tranceiver MK1

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EBAY Trigger Receiver PCB

A couple of design changes,  main one being I could not physically fit a single design into the existing housings that would encompass the Tx and RX, the RX housing is the problem as it’s a fairly small board so that means I’ve had to change the processor so that I can physically fit everything as well as the RF onto the board, so now a single design using the PIC 16F873A now becomes 2 circuits, Tx and Rx using a PIC16F88 as the MPU.

Receiver PCB

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Strobist Trigger

Things seem to have slowed down on the forums qute a bit, I’ve also put a poll up for the project name, based on a few from the marketing topic where a number of people have put forward their suggestions, well, while the poll has been viewed a large number, only 12 people have voted so far, a bit dissapointing, obviously they didn’t like the names I’ve pulled from the forums, Oh well I know you can’t please everyone.

Anyway moving forward….I’ve been busy researching RF modules and coming up with a prototype design.  Currently I have 2 prototypes designs on the go.   One as a drop in board replacement for the Ebay Triggers based on the RFPIC, the other as a Pocket Wizard type trigger, but hackable, based on the Phillips LPC2148 ARM7 Chip.  The designs are not complete by any means.  I’m still in 2 minds about the RFPIC Design I may for go it in favour of a standard pic with an external RF module, that way I could use the same RF module in both designs.

 Ebay Trigger Replacement Preliminary Design (TX)(PDF)

 LPC2148 Based Trigger (PW Replacement) (PDF)