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Topic: a wireless arduino solution that just works? (Read 2901 times) previous topic - next topic



It still bothers me that noone in the arduino community have integrated wireless communication with the arduinos, so that you for example can buy a wireless arduino with all the necessary parts and a corresponding receiver unit, and then just copy/paste the code to make it all work. Wireless technology has been around for a while ...

Yes, I am one of those people who would rather like to pay for it instead of hacking other people's code and soldering random bits and pieces together. I thought that arduino made it easier, but not really on the wireless front, where there still is a jungle of questionable solutions.

I have attached a zip file with something that looks like a radio sender attached to an arduino and a receiver arduino with the same radio sender. There is also some corresponding code for both arduino and pure data and max msp. DONT try to use it, because it doesn't quite work. With multiple devices hooked up at the same time and a desired update rate of 10 ms the incoming sensor data stalls every x amount of seconds.

If any of you have a better solution than the one I posted, please let me know!

For my project I would like to do the following:

- use 4 sensor inputs on each wireless arduino
- make up to 5 wireless arduinos send (and possibly receive) data at the same time
- receive data from each arduino at an update rate of 10-20 ms
- possibly also send on/off data from the computer to each wireless arduino to turn on/off an LED

Any ideas what to buy and how to write the corresponding code? Anyone who have walked through this mysterious jungle before, who can save me out of the wilderness?

Thanks ahead,


Xbees may have the completeness factor you are looking for and enough networking capability to handle the competing transmitters you desire.
There are shields that adapt Arduino levels to 3.3 for the Xbees.
And you can find boards that have Xbee sockets built in, I did this one a while ago as an example:
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.


OP, by looking at the "source code" in your zip file, I discovered you are trying to use the RFM12.

Would have been nice if you had posted what you're actually trying to use!

Unfortunately, you've chosen the one RF module that is about the worst to try and get going initially. There are multiple libraries, and the jeenode libraries and examples in particular are full of bugs. I could not get them to work.

Take a look at the lowpower labs website and RFM12 library for better work. There have also been MANY threads in this section about RFM12.

But, yeah, I also find I have to basically debug about 95% of "3rd party" libraries, and not just in the RF domain either. Big big big PITN. However, most of the official libraries [included in the Arduino IDE] work a little better out of the box.


Hi all,

I see that I am not the only one having problems. Wasn't it the idea with arduino that it should be easier for designers to use the arduinos - almost plug and play? Well, isn't it time to go wireless?

... anyone developing anything wireless within the arduino framework and prototyping board family? Otherwise I may switch to other hardware solutions than the arduino.

Crossroads, I was wondering if you could share a bit more details about your Xbee project? Unfortunately I do not have an engineering background, but I have learned to understand bits and pieces of code, so if there is a detailed description how to build it, which parts, how to hook up to the computer and with which code, then I can make progress.

Thank you all for suggestions and help!


My board integrated the basics of this card
you could add a couple of these to some arduinos and go from there with the appropriate xbee's:

I've not done any wireless networking myself, you'll have to read up on them and figure that out, or see if others here will join the conversation.

Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.


There are Several solutions that haven't been mentioned here, Yet..
XBee is certainly one quick way to go but when I looked last (a year ago) they were still well over $50.00/Pr there are Bluetooth modules for as little as $15.00/Pr (Inhaos LC1000) there are the HC05/06 modules that are $9.00 $10.00 Ea and then there are Jeenodes... Difficult for me at least until I used the Low Power Labs software. It works well on the Jeenodes But the Jeenodes leave a little something to be desired. 4 unique Digital pins, 4 unique analog pins an FTDI port for programming and a SPI connector seem to me restrictive and there are the connectors. Mr Whippler likes DIN rails to mount his Jeenodes.. and they don't lend themselves to experimentation as well as other solutions do..
There are also the Moteino boards wired for an RFM12B and with an onboard SMT 328P processor. All the I/O on the processor except possibly A6 and A7 which aren't available on a 28 pin 328 is available at the edge of the PCB..
I breadboarded the equivalent of the Motine with DIP 328's and LCD's instead of serial terminals in Arduino/windows and had good success after I replaced a bricked radio and 328 I destroyed by not properly wiring an FTDI friend properly.
With 2 bare chips and 2 radio's my test hardware worked with the low power labs software first time. I've not done a lot with nRF24XX. I got the examples provided by Maniacbug but little more.

--> WA7EMS <--
"The solution of every problem is another problem." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I do answer technical questions PM'd to me with whatever is in my clipboard


The advantage of the Xbees is their networking capability, which should provide means for the multiple transmitters to resolve themselves.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.


There is an easier solution, the tplink small square routers when in client mode and an ethernet cable will give you wifi access!

All you need is a wiznet shield and off it goes.....


Hi all,

Thank you for the suggestions so far. I am going to look into them. I am not an engineer, so I am really looking for a step-by-step solution, where things will actually work in the end. If any of these match that criteria, then I will post what works for me, so that other non-engineers can benefit from this.

It is the CONTENT, not the technology that should be in focus when designing wireless interaction for people! And I just want to get to the content sooner than later, because there is only so many hours in the day and so many days in a life ;-)


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