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Topic: Alternative Wireless Communication and Project Guidance! (Read 726 times) previous topic - next topic

SamuelCB

Hiya everybody,

OK so i am currently working on ideas for my final year university major project and I currently have a couple of ideas, however both my ideas involve a lot of cost and I need some help.

Right, so idea 1 is to have 4 Arduino Uno's which are place in 4 rooms throughout the house. Each Arduino has wireless capabilities and a thermometer attached. Every now and again at a set time, Arduino A will read in the rooms temperature and send this data wirelessly to Arduino B. Arduino B will then read in it's room temperature and send this data along with A's data to Arduino C. Then C will sent it's reading to D along with A, B and C's. Finally D will send all the readings to a computer for analysis. Now I know it would normally work where each Arduino would just sen their data direct to the PC but this does not show networking ad-hoc skills like I must for uni.

OK that's idea 1,Idea 2 is to have 3/4 separate compartments with an Arduino sat in each, again with wireless capabilities. I will then place a random amount of black dots in each compartment and hit the "go" button. When started each Arduino will read the amount of dots placed in their compartment and then sent the result to all of the other Arduinos. Each Arduino will then gather all other results, calculate the total amount of dots and display them on a screen.

However as mentioned both ideas require wireless capability. I wanted to achieve this by having 4 Arduinos, 4 wireless xBees and the 4 boards needed to attach the 2. I have worked this out to be about £215 worth of stuff which is way too high. Therefore my questions are these, 1. Are these project ideas stupid? and 2. is there another way of the Arduinos cheaply communicating wirelessly?

Thanks in advance?

KirAsh4

Must you use XBEEs?  Why not RF modules which are cheaper?

SamuelCB

Well that's my question, is there a cheaper way of doing this? RF modules, bluetooth ect.

So will RF modules be able to achieve these tasks do you believe?

And thanks for the quick reply! :)

Arrch


So will RF modules be able to achieve these tasks do you believe?


There are other concerns that affect the feasability of wireless solutions such as distance, reliability, noise, and power that you haven't outlined. That makes it difficult to answer your question. RFM12B and nRF24L01 are two of the more popular and widely supported transceivers to use with Arduino. There are also cheap on-way communication modules that can be used as well.

SamuelCB

Right Ok thats understandable and I will try to answer those questions the best I can for both ideas.

The thermometer idea will have the Arduinos placed about 5 meters apart and will be traveling through standard house interior walls. I plan to power them via the mains power sockets so that they get all the juice they need. As for reliability and noise I am not sure. The reliability needs to be fairly good but not to a huge degree, and as for noise I guess just standard house stuff, wifi, microwave, phone etc.

Next is the dot counting idea. This time the Arduino's will be placed very close to each other, like a hand or arms length away. Again they will be powered via the mains and the noise will be the usual stuff. However the reliability needs to be greater as the answer must be correct every time.

Thanks or the Module info, I will take a look at them both!

:)

Arrch

#5
May 23, 2013, 12:00 am Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 12:03 am by Arrch Reason: 1
Here is a good website building sensor networks with the nrfs: http://maniacbug.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/getting-started-rf24/

The JeeNode is a pretty popular (and cheap device) for building small RF networks with the RFM12B module: http://jeelabs.com/products/jeenode

I have a small sensor network setup that use the RFM12Bs (which are more expensive than the nrf's, but a smaller form factor) ATTiny84 chips, and custom PCBs. The result is a node that costs less than $10, so if you want to go really cheap, it's certainly possible.

The first option seems sensible and wouldn't be too difficult to code; you just have to give each individual node its own address and when you send the data, send a "To" address as well.

KirAsh4

I have a small nRF24L01+ RF network in my house, with nodes that are roughly 10-15 meters from the master node, with walls separating them.  They talk with no problem, whether the microwave is going, or I'm on my wireless phone, or with CFLs on.  Granted, I'm just sending information every 30 seconds or so from the remote nodes to the master node (which is different than what the OP wants to do.)

SamuelCB

Quote
The JeeNode is a pretty popular (and cheap device) for building small RF networks with the RFM12B module: http://jeelabs.com/products/jeenode


Ok so does that JeeNode require an Arduino board as well as I am a little confused, or does it work on it's own? I'm just thinking that all the Arduino's are going to have to be able to send and receive meaning they will need a sender and receiver each!

And thanks KirAsh4 for the reply, you network sounds ace and I think I will only be sending data every 2 hours or so anyways!

Arrch


Quote
The JeeNode is a pretty popular (and cheap device) for building small RF networks with the RFM12B module: http://jeelabs.com/products/jeenode

Ok so does that JeeNode require an Arduino board as well as I am a little confused, or does it work on it's own?


It is (in a sense) an Arduino board. The only additional hardware you would need is a USB-to-Serial converter to program it. Looks like JeeLabs sells one, but there are plenty of others. Google "FTDI usb to serial".

Quote
I'm just thinking that all the Arduino's are going to have to be able to send and receive meaning they will need a sender and receiver each!


Or a a single transceiver, which is what the RFM12B and nRF24L01+ are.

SamuelCB

Ah right awesome, because I will only need one USB-to-serial to program them all! And right thats good as well, I didn't realise those Jee Nodes could each send and receive! They do sound like a good and affordable solution since you can get 6 for $99! But I will have to think about it as it might not be complicated enough for a third year university project :/

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