In an increasingly connected world with the introduction of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, technologies such as Bluetooth, ZigBee, Z-wave, and Wi-Fi have opened up wireless prototyping opportunities not only for major corporations but small businesses and hobbyists. According to Grand View Research, the global IoT market size was valued at $605.69 billion three years ago, serving the consumer, manufacturing, retail, transportation, and healthcare industries. From smart Bluetooth trackers to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled smart door locks and home automation, M2M communications are quickly forming the foundation for a host of ‘smart’ applications.
Readily accessible System-on-chip (SoC) development boards and prototyping kits with Wi-Fi, Cellular (3G/GSM), GPS, Bluetooth, ZigBee, and Z-wave connectivity along with deployment platforms such as raspberry pi offer to break down the barriers in generating homebrewed technology solutions. While the open-source software development community allows for leaps in advancements of software platforms, practical information in implementing the RF components can often be difficult to access. The connectors, cables, adapters, and antenna selections and how to arrange them are amongst some of the custom choices made in generating good transmission/reception of a signal.