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How to mechanically secure RF module

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The XStream, XCite, and XBee RF modules do not have mounting holes through the PC board so we have suggested several other methods for securing the module:

  • Position the module in the housing so that the packaging provides a mechanical barrier. Our stand alone XStream radio modem, for example, has a case that is just slightly taller then the OEM module and interface board. Once the interface board and the OEM module are inserted into the aluminum enclosure, it becomes impossible for the radio to become disconnected due to the fact that the top of the case prevents it. (The stand alone radio modem is used reliably in many applications with high vibration.) This method is discouraged with XBee modules since there are conductive components located on the top of this RF module.
  • Secure the module with a nylon wire tie. If the supporting PCB can have mounting holes, then a wire tie can be placed through some mounting holes located on each side of the radio. The wire tie can then be wrapped around the module and tightened to secure the module in place.
  • In Digi XBee Adapters, a square of non-conducting foam holds the XBee in place inside of the enclosure, a similar method can be used in tight enclosures.
  • Use a shrink tube around both circuit boards to hold the radio module and the mounting board together if the whole assembly is small enough.
  • Use machined 0.1 inch receptacles which require a greater separation force such as those manufactured by Mill-Max.
Please note that soldering the module in place will void the warranty and will add significant difficulty in troubleshooting problems or communication issues.

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