We're sold on Synapse units. They're generally cheaper, better, and easier to use than XBee, but they have that larger footprint that makes it harder to use with proven legacy XBee hardware. If you want to try your hand with Synapse in your XBee application, this is the unit to get!
This Synapse RF module-in-an-XBee-Pro-form-factor features OTA (Over-The-Air) speeds up to 2Mbps, maximum 1.2km (4000) range and a chip antenna for compact installation.
This particular RF module includes a user programmable (via python-based scripts), embedded ATmega128RFA1 microcontroller that can be programmed for all kinds of applications including remote sensor monitoring, remote control, or peripheral activation.
Other notable features include:
XBee Pro pin and footprint compatibility
Very high communication speeds (250kbps to 2Mbps)
Up to 1.2km (4000') foot range (line-of-sight)
Built-in Python interpreter (Who needs additional microcontroller? This one has one built-in!)
Wide low voltage TTL operating range (2.7 - 3.6V)
Ultra low power consumption mode (1.18µA. Not mA, but µA!)
15 GPIO, featuring
4 10-bit A/D inputs
4 PWM Outputs
7 Interrupt capable pins
128k flash, with 58k free for over-the-air loaded user programs
Communication options include I2C (TWI) master mode, SPI (3 & 4 wire, master mode), 1 UART
Low power capabilities (2.3uA sleep current)
Embedded ATmega128RFA1 on-board
1 UART port (pin 2, 3) for LVTTL (3.3V) serial control or transparent data
Able to be configured to wirelessly program Arduino Uno & Mega 2560
Socket-able (2mm spacing) or solder-able
SNAP, instant-on, self-healing, mesh network operating system
802.15.4 Protocol at 2.4GHz
I2C communication (Pins 9, 13)
SPI communication (Pins 18, 19, 20)
128k flash memory (56k available for user applications)
Can be used stand-alone (no additional microcontroller required)
Low power mode of 2.3uA with internal timer running
This board can do it all - break out the Synapse RF module pins, give you a USB port/FTDI chip to program, supply it with a regulated 3.3V, integrate a reset switch (for updating & erasing), and also give you mounting options.
Need a simple breakout for your Synapse modules? Use this kit for the application end of your Synapse Wireless RF networks. This kit will provide your Synapse node with 3.3V regulated power and break out all the nodal pins.
Ever want to change the species of your RF modules? Now you can evolve your XBees into Synapses! Well that doesn't really make sense but, hey, it doesn't change the fact that you can now do it with this kit!
XBee is good; Synapse is just better. More I/O, embedded python, and generally better range at comparable cost! This particular module is 2.4GHz with OTA (Over-The-Air) speeds up to 2Mbps, maximum 450M (1500') range and a chip antenna for compact installation.