I know I need to get two Arduinos: one sitting in the far-away room (transmitter Arduino) and another attached to my laptop via USB cable (receiver Arduino), and each Arduino needs a wireless communication shield to act as transmitter + receiver shields. Is that the right idea?
Ultimately, I want 4 different arduinos wirelessly transmititng data to the arduino connected to my laptop
preferably displaying textual data (ex: "total# of cycles") on the 4 serial monitors.
Should I get AT or API type Zigbee modules?
To connect to laptop, all I need is a Zigbee + Zigbee shield + FTDI cable, right?
And this ZIgbee connected directly to my laptop gets the data output from all 4 other Zigbees and will be able to selectively transmit commands to any of the 4 other Zigbees.
If I understand this correctly, then the only 3 items I need to make a coordinator Xbee to attach directly to my laptop are these 3 items
The other easier option is to get a Zigbee stick
What is the range of the USB Xbee explorers?
Is there a max limit of the # of Zigbees these explorers can talk to?
Both are the same price so I was thinking of getting 1 Xbee explorer USB, since the dongle USB is the in the wrong orientation for my laptop and thus won't fit.
Which way is best to connect from Arduino+motor shield to the Xbee?
If I were to get a wireless shield for the Xbee, what are the pros or cons of getting a shield from Sparkfun or from Arduino?
There should be no pin conflicts for both these shields, is that right?
The Xbee shield only uses TX, RX, 5V power, and GND pins on the Arduino.
Does the order of the shields matter?
Do I need any extra software for getting the Xbees to talk to each other?
Will the code still be the same for the SparkFun version of the Xbee shield?