FS1000A and XY-MK-5V 433MHz Arduino compatible RF modules are quite popular. Mainly because they are cheap and people think they are easy to use. OK, they are quite easy to use, but for a price (which is quite big by the way). Today, let's take a look at this RF transmitter and receiver pair and connect them to signal generator and an oscilloscope and find out!
Two months ago, when I published first FS1000A and XY-MK-5V range test, I was little surprised that I was able to reach 315 meters of stable connection. And I was almost sure, that they can do more.
Having some free time during my summer vacation, I've left transmitter on a towel and took a walk with a receiver. In a surroundings just like that:
Results? 332 meters with a FS1000A powered with 7.4V and 1000bps over-the-air data speed.
For the second time, I'm sure I can pull more from this setup. This time, there were two problems:
- Transmitter was low on the ground
- Other people on the beach blocked line of sight much faster than I expected
So, expect third attempt…
While FS1000A and XY-MK-5V 433MHz radio modules might not be the best choice in terms of quality, or reliability or distance (although few hundred meters in open space are doable), they have one very important trait: they are extremely easy to use. No complicated wiring, no advanced programming. If you want to send some data, just connect data lines, supply voltage and write few lines of code. Super simple!
Please remember, without antennas and in the radio-noise rich environment, the range might be limited. Very, very limited. Even to just a few centimeters. So keep that in mind!
Very often, where you go cheap, there is a price to pay. Exactly like with cheap 433MHz transmitter-receiver pair of FS1000A and XY-MK-5V. You rather do not expect much for $1, right?
When playing with them in a middle of a big city (Berlin), few meters of the range was all those modules were able to archive. Too many interferences from other devices. But what about open space in a middle of nowhere? I've decided to test that, and this is what I came up with:
If the video was too long: 315m apart, no direct line of sight between transmitter and receiver and still stable data flow! It would be more, but nature was against me and I just was not able to go further. I did not expect that much range from those two…On the one side, 315m for super cheap FS1000A and XY-MK-5V is a reasonable range. On the other, it's pretty close, right?
One of the cheapest (but not the best) solutions for DIY wireless data transmission between different devices (Arduino and other microcontrollers) is a pair of 433MHz modules: FS1000A and XY-MK-5V. A set of them (you will need one transmitter and one receiver) costs about $1. Pretty cheap, right?
Of course, there is a price to pay. Those modules are as simple as possible. They do not offer anything like error correction, RSSI, frequency hopping, or even two-directional transmission. They offer only basic functionality: receiver reports digital ONE when the transmitter detects ONE on the input (if in range, of course). Everything above that has to be done in the software. Continue reading FS1000A and XY-MK-5V 433MHz RF modules: overview
FS1000A and XY-MK-5V 433MHz RF modules are very often first choice for cheap and dirty Do It Yourself wireless communication. Pair of those , allowing one way radio communication, const less than 3 dollars or euros. So they are really cheap. Limited range and transmission speed limits their real life usage, but simple assembly and extremely easy programming are additional advantage over more complex solutions. Specially in Arduino world, with VirtualWire library. I will not write about it right now, there is enough on the internet already.