Wireless communication between Arduino's - What do you recommend

Good afternoon.

I discovered Arduino some months ago and started to develop a nice project around a digital slot car system.
I am now developing a “smart” hand controller providing throttle control, fuel management, car tuning and other features…based on Arduino.
I hope I posted my question in the right forum.

My question is about connecting wirelessly this hand controller with the race manager (based on Arduino Mega).
The communication should be in both ways:

  • the hand controller sends a couple of bytes ideally every 3,5 to 10 ms (car ID, speed, lights control…)
  • the hand controller receives longer messages (about 12 bytes) every 10 to 20 seconds (car position, laps done, timing…) when a lap is completed.
    There are up to 6 hand controllers to connect to the Race Manager.

I was looking at the different options used in Arduino projects (IR, Bluetooth, RF modules…) and I am a little bit lost and need some guidance to adopt the right solution (the one that will work, be as cheap as possible, and not too difficult to implement…).

What do you recommend?
Thank you.

be as cheap as possible, and not too difficult to implement

These are mutually exclusive objectives. The easier it is to implement, the more it is going to cost. The less it costs, the more difficult it will be to implement. Which is the higher priority? Money or effort?

Some other undocumented issues - speed? range? line-of-site or will there be things (including people) in the way?

Good afternoon.

Thank you for the interest.

You are right I need to be more precise about the requirements and I realize I was too fast when writing my post.

From Hand Controller to Race manager:
The car is controlled by receiving a byte every 75 ms with:

  • car ID (3 bits)
  • speed command (4 bits)
  • change line (1 bits)
    The set-up of the car (max speed, max brake, lights …) may be modified by sending a specific byte on demand.

From Race Manager to Hand Controller:
The Race manager sends each time a lap is completed (about 5 to 10s depending on the length of the circuit) the car position, the number of laps done, the lap time, the gap with car behind and the gap with car ahead: meaning more or less a total of 8 bytes.

6 Hand Controllers may talk “simultaneously” to one Race Manager, and vice versa.

There is a risk to have an obstacle between the Hand Controller and the Race Manager (one driver moving...). Despite this fact Carrera digital wireless hand controllers are using IR control for example.

The range is a maximum of 5-10m indoor.

I am ready to exchange additional effort against additional savings…



I continued the discussion in the forum Networking, Protocols, and Devices (http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,61323.0.html), that was probably a better place than here.