RSSI- Used as a sensor

The following question was posted on element-14.

Michael asked:  “Hi Sir,   I would like to design a project that functions depending on the signal strength of a RF signal. I read about received signal strength indicator, and somehow I think this is useful info. The concept of the project is to vary the output (e.g. a transducer) depending on the signal strength of an oncoming transmitter. What IC can i use? Thanks ”

Chris Pinter responded:  ”  

Hello Michael, There are many ic’s that can do this for you.   What you want to measure is  “Receiver signal strength indicator”  or RSSI.   Most IC’s have this available as a register in the IC and can be accessed through a firmware command.

 I should mention that RSSI is not a very accurate measurement.    Environmental noise and distance between the receiver and transmitter will affect the RSSI reading.  So if you want to use it as a precision measurement RSSI is not the best choose.  

Here are a number of manufactures that provide RSSI with their IC.

http://focus.ti.com/analog/docs/rfifcomponentshome.tsp?familyId=367&contentType=4&DCMP=TIHomeTracking&HQS=Other+OT+home_p_rf_if

http://www.maxim-ic.com/http://www.rficsolutions.com/

 If you need more help with wireless development check this out.

 http://www.pinterec.ca/services/wireless-development

 Good luck,

 Chris Pinter”

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