RSSI Measurements Wirelessly, 2 XBees

I'm using 2 XBee modules, one receiver and one transmitter. If I got this right, in order to send signals, the transmitter needs to be connected to an explorer, which is connected to a USB port on my laptop. The transmitter is connected to an Arduino UNO via a shield. I want to read the RSS (received signal strength) value in order to compute an estimate of the distance between the transmitter and receiver. But in order to read the pin on the Arduino, it also needs to be connected to the laptop, right? And I want to measure signals with a distance of 30ft or something. How can I do that? Is there some way I can send signals wirelessly?

Reference: http://www.instructables.com/id/Getting-xBee-RSSI-value/

I guess I can use two laptops, but I'd rather not. /OP

I want to read the RSS (received signal strength) value in order to compute an estimate of the distance between the transmitter and receiver.

This simply won't work, except in very special circumstances.

The RSSI depends much more strongly on relative antenna orientation and the presence of reflecting and absorbing surfaces than it does on distance.

You should be able to do everything without a computer hooked up to the Arduino.

But RSSI won't correlate very well with distance. (CF the iPhone Vulcan Death Grip)

KeithRB: You should be able to do everything without a computer hooked up to the Arduino.

But RSSI won't correlate very well with distance. (CF the iPhone Vulcan Death Grip)

How do I get the RSSI value when the Arduino is battery powered?

The same way you do when it is USB powered. What do you think is the issue?

jremington: This simply won't work, except in very special circumstances.

The RSSI depends much more strongly on relative antenna orientation and the presence of reflecting and absorbing surfaces than it does on distance.

Thank you, this is what I've heard as well but I wanted to try. The experiment will take place in an open space with no objects or walls, but you're right, the ground might absorb/reflect.

KeithRB: The same way you do when it is USB powered. What do you think is the issue?

I'm reading the values in the serial monitor and to be able to activate the serial monitor I must have the Arduino connected by USB to my computer?

Then you need to get an LCD or something to display the values. Of course, you can blink the LED in Morse Code. 8^)

RSSI is very poor indicstor of range.

For your application it may be better to use an utrasonic range finder, or a transponder.

reggards

Allan

KeithRB: Then you need to get an LCD or something to display the values. Of course, you can blink the LED in Morse Code. 8^)

Haha, yeah ;) Well, okay, but then I can't automatically save the data, but I need to write it down myself, right? I might just use two laptops, haha. Thanks!

You can get an SD card for datalogging.

allanhurst: RSSI is very poor indicstor of range.

For your application it may be better to use an utrasonic range finder, or a transponder.

reggards

Allan

Thanks, but an ultrasonic range finder is not really what I'm looking for. I looked into transponders, but all I can find is this ping2020 which costs like $2000 (http://www.uavionix.com/products/ping2020/). If I'm gonna use a transponder, I need a small low-cost one. It's for MAVs to estimate the distance between two units to prevent collision.

I think you need to look into these: http://glcharvat.com/tincan/

KeithRB:
You can get an SD card for datalogging.

Thanks. But the Data Logging shield must use pins 10-13 and those pins are already occupied by the XBee Shield…

epaulsson: Thanks. But the Data Logging shield must use pins 10-13 and those pins are already occupied by the XBee Shield...

Sorry, they're not. Never mind!

So there is no way to transmit data when the Xbee isn't connected via USB? I could use data logging for the receiver, but I'd rather have the receiver connected to my PC in order to have instant access to the received data.