I’ll write up more about the parts themselves later, but I finally got boards made for Dresden Elektronik’s deRFmega128 modules, both made, and now assembled and tested. Briefly, these are a module with Atmel’s ATmega128RFA1 (a combined ATmega128 with a 802.15.4 2.4 Ghz transceiver on a single chip) with either a chip antenna, or a connector for your own antenna. These are TINY, and they also manage to pack a 1Mbit EEPROM on the module, for your own use. All for 21€
I’ve only tested a basic blinky thing so far, but it’s good to know that I can finally start doing something with these cool modules.
These modules are the same length as PJRC’s Teensy boards, but they have leads on 1.27mm pitch, not 2.54mm pitch. Lots more pins, but you’ll need some parts. For the 1.27mm socket holders, I ordered direct from Samtec.  Dresden recommends SLM Series, but I ordered SMS series. It may have been price, or availability, who knows. I ordered SMS-123-02-G-S, and the pins are really way too long on those. SMS-01-G-S would have been a better choice. Also, and I don’t know if the SLM would have been better, but I have a little bit of a hard time getting the modules into these sockets. They seem to “spring” out a little bit, to point that I initially thought I had failed to make my pcbs properly. Some of the pins weren’t making good contact. I have my modules mounted “upside down” with the silver RF can facing down. That’s the way the module leads are longest, and gold, and the only way they fit, when I was testing out the sockets and the modules. (Before the boards got here)
I’ve now found, that they will fit in nicely with the metal can UP and click into place nicely, but that’s not pin compatible with the AVR ISP header, or the power supply I put on the breakout.
So, I have some breakouts that work just fine, if you solder the part in, and probably well enough for development before your own boards, but I’m probably going to respin them :( The modules are cool, and they just came out with a pin compatible module, with an ARM7 core, instead of the ATmega128.
I still have a spare board from this revision though, if you are at all interested, I can send you one :)
Note, it already says rev3. That’s a story for another day :)
And to leave you, a picture of the different RF modules I’ve been working with here recently.
The current board files are available from https://github.com/karlp/karlnet/tree/master/experiments/dresden
The very basic blinking demo is also at github, should you really want it :)
 You can pretty much forget about getting 23pin headers from either digikey or mouser. Samtec were prompt, and had cheap enough shipping, relatively speaking. (I ordered a dozen)