I am working on a bunch of projects using Arduino's to collect environmental data and controlling it.
My biggest problem is connectivity at this stage. The distances between sensors and output devices
range from between 1 meter(3 feet) to +50 meters (+160 feet.). Number of devices also range from
5-20 per project.(Cost and electrically noisy environments(Factory Machines) are also factors)
My questions are:
- Am I in the right direction looking at RS485 for connectivity?
- What affordable and easy to implement options are available?
- Should I consider designing an easy/affordable solution? Would this be useful to other people or am I reinventing the wheel?
I have looked a the following options:https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10124?
- Good option but it does not offer termination options. (Can only link 2 nodes.)http://arduino-direct.com/sunshop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=323
- Very cheap,little documentation and not sure about number of nodes.http://www.emartee.com/product/42231/RS485%20Module%20%20Make%20Your%20Arduino%20Talk%20With%20Each%20Other
- Best option I could find. Has termination options,code. Using RJ45 connectors like the Sparkfun option would have been better,because finding twisted-pare network cables are easier to find.
I have looked at wireless options but as the sensors all need continuous power they will all need some kind of wire to power. Interference is also going to be an issue and because these projects will end-up as production systems it will need to be very robust.
Any help/input will be appreciated.