Hacked Gadgets Forum

April 4, 2009

CC1101 RF Modem + 250mW Range Extender

at 5:52 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Muris over at Elektronika.ba has built a 250mW Range Extender for the CC1101 RF Modem. At first glance it does not look anything like a DIY project until you read further and realize that the surface mount components on the board were soldered using a clothes iron. Full project details are included so even if you don’t need this project you can learn some techniques from it.

"Here is my home-built, cloth iron soldered, range extender for CC1101 (included onboard) RF transceiver chip from Texas Instruments. You could say that it is a CC1101+CC2591, but for 868/920MHz band. I used MAX2233 RF amplifier from Maxim-IC. It can deliver up to +24dBm (250mW) of RF amplification with +10dBm of input. For testing I used two modems and two antennas (it figures). At the transmitting side I used monopole antenna for GSM – 900MHz, and for the receiving side I used directional yagi also for GSM. In this quick test I easily achieved over 1000 meters (or 3300 feet) of range and the test-location/terrain configuration can be seen on the map: Transmitter location, and receiver location."


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4 Responses to “CC1101 RF Modem + 250mW Range Extender”

  1. Paul Says:

    I don’t know why people are so scared of hand soldering surface mount – a good iron, a pair of fine tweezers, some sort of magnification and you’re ready to go – you do have to make sure you have room to move on the board and the chips you are soldering have the pads available for you to work on – just remember surface tension is your friend – the board above looks really easy except for a couple of tight spots in the middle

  2. vic Says:

    Hum interesting that he soldered this using only a clothes iron. Every hobbyist knows it’s tedious to drill holes for components, and once you’ve passed the psychological barrier of using SMDs, you might in fact gain a lot of time (I haven’t yet). One question though, how did he manage to solder components on both sides ?

    Anyways, make sure you check the regulations before using this device, the band it operates on is pretty complex in this regard.

  3. Muris Says:

    On the other side I had to use hot air 🙂 It was the last thing soldered on to the board.

  4. Daily Research » Shared Items - April 12, 2009 Says:

    […] CC1101 RF Modem + 250mW Range Extender […]

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