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One RF technology B868 Tiny Radio Module ( Tiny 112 )


tiny_112This is a review of the One RF technology B868 Tiny Radio Module, which is an FM radio MODEM. It is a half duplex FSK transceiver operating in the license free 868MHz ISM band. Also described are simple RF MODEM designs for connecting to an RS232 port and to a PC USB interface.


What you get is a module which is approx 32 x 19mm, with a integrated antenna covering the board circuitry.

Around three of the module edges are gold flashed connections to the internal circuitry. The module is designed to sit into a cutout of a PCB, although for breadboarding (accepting limited RF performance) it can just be wired to.

The module has a TTL level RS232 protocol interface through which data or AT commands may be passed. The module has additional pins, four of which can be configured as digital IO and two which are Analog to digital convector inputs.

Power requirements are modest, a total of 36mA at between 3V and 5.25V being required, through two filtered power pins. This falls to 4mA when the RF link is not active, and to 0.4mA when the module is in hardware standby.

The modules have several modes of operation, which are accessed through the AT command set. Modes are as follows:

  • Normal
  • where data arriving at the module RX pin is transferred to another modules TX pin
  • Secure
  • this mode is like normal mode expect that the data is packeted up and and gets acknowledged by the receiving device. This gives more data security.
  • Addressed
  • this allows the setting up of networks of modules. Each module is given a network number ( 0- 65535 ), which allows it to communicate with other modules with the same network number. Then within a network each module is given a unique ID( 0-255). Then data can be routed to a specific module by adding the module ID as a prefix. e.g. “002= fred” will send “fred” to module 002. Received messages have the source appended to the message. e.g. “004=fred” is a message from module 004.Note that here the datasheet is wrong as it implies that the message is terminated by a <CR>. In reality the message is terminated by a programmable timeout accessed through the AT command set.
  • IO Copy
  • this mode allows the state of the IO pins to be sent from a master module to a slave module.

Techie features

Well the datasheet has all the info, but a few of the headline facts.

Range – LOS upto 300m.
For best operating range a PCB with ground plane is recommended.
Data rate – 10kbits-1
Frequency – 868MHz

Things to be aware of

Not many actually, it does what it says it does, in the main.

Data sheet is inaccurate about message termination in address modes. It is a time out, not a character which terminates a message. This can have implications for throughput in this mode.

Getting into AT mode requires the use of some software as my hand cannot type the +++ sequence fast enough. I have used Teraterm with a simple script to do this.


A top notch piece of kit, easy and quick to get operational. If you want an RF link for project and can’t be bother with all the fuss of doing it yourself this is the way to go.

rf_modemDesign Ideas

By adding a regulator, a Max232 RS232 level shifter and a few discrete components a simple RS232 to RF MODEM adapter can be made.

See circuits below.



The PSU needs to be 6V with a current rating of least 200mA.

See here to purchase a PCB or kit of parts for the project.

Using the FTDI FT232BM USB chip a simple USB to RF MODEM can be designed. See circuits below.


FTDI drivers ( here ) for the device provide either a virtual COM port interface or an API DLL for coding with VB, VC, Delphi etc. Drivers are available for a wide range of operating systems, including all the usual suspects.

See here to purchase a suitable PCB or kit of parts for the project.

Useful links

RF Solutions UK distributor
One RF Technology Module manufacturer
FTDI USB interface chip manufacturers

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