Long Range Wireless Module: Achieving Ranges over 1Km Via BLE

2021-09-17/ By Admin

Going the Distance with Long Range Wireless Module

In previous timings, the radio transmits power played an essential role in increasing the range of BLE products. After the launch of the Bluetooth Module based on the Nordic solution, users were able to gain better communication protocol. The module supported BLE 4.2/ 5 protocol. The Bluetooth version 5 offers a long-range mode. The design of this long-range wireless module offers considerable power consumption efficiency while achieving ranges over 1Km. In these devices, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communicate through serial ports to realize transparent data transmission.

The long-range module helps extend the range of the Bluetooth connection to experience enhanced positioning. It also supports robust communication in areas where users experienced obstacles with previous wireless devices.

Transparent Signal Transmission

Besides offering transparent signal transmission in long-range RF environments, there are other applications to which long-range wireless module supports. For example:

  • These modules check sensors placed on large area premises.
  • They also control drones through remote identification systems and communication protocol. They are the perfect choice to get a robust internet connection in various industrial environments where users come across obstacles.

Initially, the purpose behind introducing the Bluetooth technology was to cover short-range data in continuous and streaming applications. The Bluetooth devices would send and receive data simultaneously.

Consumers using computer headsets, for instance, benefited a lot because of the close range between both the devices. The need was then felt to enhance the range to support UART/I2C/SPI and high receiving sensitivity. Besides indoor positioning, the devices needed to deliver good performance over a wider area of range with low power consumption.

Factors Impacting Long Range Wireless Module to Achieve Ranges Over 1 Km Via BLE

Achieving the range over 1 Km via BLE depends upon the surroundings, antennas, and radio signal performance. So, there are many factors can impact the working of the Bluetooth range.

Typically, they are:

  • The antennas
  • Physical obstacles present in the data transmission path
  • The receiver’s sensitivity
  • The transmitter’s output power

The BLE technology itself creates limitations according to the use of modulation. Since the performance of antennas and radio remain pretty static for a particular Bluetooth device, the surroundings vary a lot.

One might get a range of up to 100 meters in the outdoors, which is a rare case. In indoor Bluetooth positioning and navigation, obstacles such as concrete walls can reduce the strength of radio signals. As a result, the effective range significantly reduces.

While creating a Bluetooth device, the manufacturers have the option to give it a better range. They can also go ahead by selecting a Bluetooth chip that incorporates the best receiver sensitivity. In addition, its output power should ensure that the device should have a good antenna.

But in certain situations, the users would need data transmission over hundreds and thousands of meters via Bluetooth technology. In that very case, they use different networks to achieve a higher Bluetooth Module range.

How Long Range Wireless Module Went by Distance?

The below summary explains how this remarkable achievement was obtained.

 Bluetooth Versions
 2.14 (LE)5 (LE)
RangeUpto 100 mUpto 100 mUpto 400 m
Maximum Range (free field)Around 100 m (class 2 outdoors)Around 100 m (outdoors)Around 1000 m (outdoors)
Frequency2.402 – 2.481 GHz2.402 – 2.481 GHz2.402 – 2.481 GHz
Maximum Data Rate1-3 Mbit/s1 Mbit/s2 Mbit/s
Application Throughput0.7-2.1 Mbit/sUp to 305 kbit/sUp to 1360 kbit/s
TopologiesPoint-to-Point Scatter netPoint-to-Point Mesh NetworkPoint-to-Point Scatter net
Network StandardIEEE 802.15.1IEEE 802.15.1IEEE 802.15.1

Improvements in Version 5

There were several improvements in Version 5 of the Bluetooth specification. Also, it brought improvisation in achieving better data transmission over longer range areas. Also, all these improvements incorporated designs aimed at transforming the low energy part of the Bluetooth more flexible:

  • The ‘long range’ 125kbs or 500kbps mode allows the users to enhance range at comparatively reduced data rate cost. The improved mode also increased average current consumption.
  • The ‘high speed’ 2Mbps mode enabled the users to enhance the data rate or lower the average current consumption at the expense of a low range reduction.
  • The advertising extension feature significantly improved the data throughput up to 8 times in broadcasting applications (like beacons).
  • There was an increase in the maximum output power from +10 dBm to +20 dBm. It enabled the use of more powerful power amplifiers, thereby boosted the range further.
  • A new channel selection policy was added (CSA2). It created the possibility of the co-existence of more devices in the same environment without meddling with each other.

The designers use the technical term Coded PHY for long-range mode in Bluetooth 5 version. Due to the induction of Coded PHY, the connectivity of the Bluetooth offers 50 – 70 m long-range coverage to I Km. The extension in range requires some hardware changes in the device. To name it, Bluetooth Module designers increase the sensitivity level of the receiver end.

Sometimes, even a long-range Wi-Fi router is unable to connect the wireless tools to enhance the Wi-Fi range. Therefore, to achieve optimal results, the world-class LBS solution providers, offer high-quality R & D positioning and wireless connection technology.

Long Range

The long-range (Coded PHY, 500/125 kb/s) mode offers higher data rates and modulations with higher signal levels. In addition, with long-range PHY options, there is a greater possibility of achieving a better range in BLE. The point here is that the long-range features need both radios to incorporate Coded PHY features. The data rates referenced above comprise packet overhead, other data, and headers. The purpose is to reduce the raw data rate and effectively enhance user data range.

Summary

Wireless and communication have become an integral part of security in the modern era. Also, the users of low-cost long-range wireless modules can blanket their premises with greater WiFi coverage. The Bluetooth module installed in these wireless devices follows the Nordic solution and supports BLE protocols 4.2/5.0

The long-range wireless devices focus on achieving a range over 1Km via BLE and still offer higher power-saving boost Wi-Fi.  

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