Project for company, sensor, arduino, Xbee, excel, advises

Hi all

As the title said, I must develop this project for a company and this is the idea:
To use a magnetic sensor from a pneumatic cylinder to capture the signal with arduino and send it to a PC by using XBee. In the PC we can store and see the data, especially on microsoft excel.

Sensor---->arduino+XBee---->DATA---->XBee+arduino---->PC+excel

Now, I have some questions, for example, Do I need to use the second arduino?, it seems I must use it without the microcontroller, so I would like to know if it is necessary to use it. Maybe I just need to use XBee explorer USB and connect it to pc directly, can I?

Another question, What shield I must use in the first arduino-XBee step?. I have found some info and they always work with Libelium's shield (the one with jumpers), however that shield is not on sale on my country's stores, and they have more kind of shields, also without stock, Do I have another chance?, I was looking for some info and It seems I can connect arduino directly with XBee just by connecting the correct pins, is that truth?

The last thing, is it possible to create an opposite multicast network?, I mean, using 1 XBee to receive data from more XBees, you know, to check more machines.

  • Programs that I will use:
    Coolterm to configure XBee
    Arduino (Development Environment) to program arduino
    X-CTU to see the communication between XBees
    RealTerm to take data from XBee and send it to excel.

If someone has more ideas, please, share them with me. I am new on this :frowning:

I hope someone can help me
I appreciate

Regards
SteelRonin

You know that xbees are just serial modems right ? In other words , you know how you are going to convert your sensor data to serial and back to integer data ? (or float, since you didn't say what the sensor was , I don't know why you would leave that out.
I don't know if an xbee receiver can receive from more than one sender. Someone else will have to address that question.

Actually, I am going to use a detector instead of a sensor. The detector is a magnetic detector used on pneumatic cylinder. Those detectors are "on" when the cylinder reach a position, and they are "off" when the cylinder moves out of that position. So, I can have a digital signal, 1 = on, 0 = off. The arduino is supposed to deal with the data before sending to Xbee. Am I missing something?, can you explain me more about what you said?, I am confused now. I will try to find more info to clear my mind.

ty for ur answer btw.

regards
SteelRonin

raschemmel:
You know that xbees are just serial modems right ?

They are a good bit more than that, especially in API mode.

I don't know if an xbee receiver can receive from more than one sender.

Yes, absolutely.

I understand Xbees can operate stand-alone. Therefore you just need one Arduino with an Xbee to poll many and export the results, which I assume will be via the USB cable.

You can send the data direct to Excel using PLX-DAQ. This a freebie macro that effectively makes Excel into a terminal, thereby giving you access to all the Excel features, including real-time graphs and time-stamping.

You may want to include a clock and SD card on the Arduino for backup.

I wonder if you can just have the destination address of all xbee sensor nodes set to the one xbee attached to PC. Then all information will be received on your PC. Have arduino send [NODE_name][data] instead of just data so you can sort it out on the PC side.

Where is your country? You should update your profile.

You know that xbees are just serial modems right ?

They are a good bit more than that, especially in API mode.

Nick_Pyner:
I understand Xbees can operate stand-alone. Therefore you just need one Arduino with an Xbee to poll many and export the results, which I assume will be via the USB cable.

You can send the data direct to Excel using PLX-DAQ. This a freebie macro that effectively makes Excel into a terminal, thereby giving you access to all the Excel features, including real-time graphs and time-stamping.

You may want to include a clock and SD card on the Arduino for backup.

So, the arduino with xbee that u said, is the receiver or the transmitter? Should I need 2 arduinos then?
Yes I included a clock and I will check the SD card

ty for your answers

SteelRonin:
Should I need 2 arduinos then?

No, I was thinking in terms of only one, which serves as a reception point and it passes the data to a PC via cable.

I don't know anything about XBees and only bought in to this thread because I'm a PLX-DAQ fan, but I'm now inclined to think you don't need any Arduinos, the PC does it all. I therefore submit you should carefully research XBees with this in mind.

Nick_Pyner:
No, I was thinking in terms of only one, which serves as a reception point and it passes the data to a PC via cable.

I don't know anything about XBees and only bought in to this thread because I'm a PLX-DAQ fan, but I'm now inclined to think you don't need any Arduinos, the PC does it all. I therefore submit you should carefully research XBees with this in mind.

I see, but do I need an arduino for the first step?, arduino + Xbee as a transmitter (arduino, to program the operation turns of the machine, and to send data according to operation turns).

And the arduino in the reception step that you said, I believe I can use an XBee with an Xbee explorer USB (no arduino), but I am not sure since this is my first time trying to do this :frowning:

ty for ur answers dude :slight_smile:

SteelRonin:
but do I need an arduino for the first step?, arduino + Xbee as a transmitter (arduino, to program the operation turns of the machine, and to send data according to operation turns).

I'm afraid I can't comment, as I don't know anything about XBees,. But this gets personal, so I'll tell you something else - I don't know anything about programming a PC for this sort of thing either. Therefore, while I think the whole thing could be done with a PC, I actually have an Arduino in my hand, so I would use it, simply because it is easier.

This would be in the manner as first described, one Arduino does the organising of the Xbees, also local backup, and passes the data direct to Excel on the PC.

On reflection, I think I could do this on the PC with JBasic, but I think I would still go for using an Arduino