wireless internet

Hi, i need a wireless internet connection with my arduino. it will be placed on a UAV rc plane and need to transmit data at long range, so i think internet is the best solution. I was looking for GPRS module, but I'm ot sure they are the best solution. I can easily buy an "internet key", it's like a connectcard but is USB and support HSDPA, UMTS, GPRS, EDGE, but i can't found a hack about them. or i can use a phone as modem... I need a cheap thing becouse it's on a plane and will have hard landing ;D Have Arduino lybriries for TCP or UDP (UDP is better)?

I am not sure if this can be done cheap at all. Connecting to the internet wireless and then using it isn’t something small. ;D

I need a cheap thing becouse it's on a plane and will have hard landing

Hey, I know the feeling. I need a cheap Ferrari! You may want to check the below links for some info.

http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/ardupilot-main-page http://www.rangevideo.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=98&zenid=244b0cd77d18aed28b6cb4a7860ae237

How about AsyncLabs, something like the yellowjacket. http://asynclabs.com/store?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=24&category_id=11

Its small and light and incorporates the arduino and wifi into one tiny pcb. It shouldnt be hard to protect something that small from damage.


WiFi is NOT "long range" so it seems particularly unsuitable for your project.

Also TCP/IP is not a real time protocol which I though you would need if you are controlling a plane.

I think other responders may have missed the point given you don't mention wifi, you mention mobile internet.

Exactly how long range were you thinking?

Mobile data bands like you mention would be good for transmitting the signal over unlimmited distance, you could be on the other side of the world and there would be only a small lag.

I believe GSM/GPRS shields exist for the arduino, so googling for those would be a good start. I aren't aware of any 3G stuff out there for it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist or a solution isn't bodgable. If you're not sending much data then you're probably going to be ok with a GSM modem, but if you want to send pictures* you'll have bandwidth problems.

The trouble is, cheapo comms modules tend to be fairly empty inside, relying heavily on the computer it is connected to, which make them a poor combination with the arduino due to its limited resources. A proper shield should abstract almost everything away from the arduino leaving you a fair amount of room for whatever sketch your'e running.

I think you'd be better looking into crash protecting your arduino/whatever device you've got plugged in than finding cheapo components. Also, make your plane fly straight and level if it loses communication with you - it may hit a black spot.

I love the idea of an internet controlled plane, good luck with your project and keep us informed.

*You might struggle to do this. I recently picked up a VGA camera that does JPEG compression and sends the image over a serial connection, but they're no longer manufactured (according to sparkfun).

Also TCP/IP is not a real time protocol which I though you would need if you are controlling a plane.

It'd depend on how much automation there is on the plane. If you're telling it to ascend/descend by n feet or turn to heading n degrees tcp/ip would be fine. Landings might be a bit trickier though.

@ Richard Crowley
wifi is a protocol of wireless, but not the only; xbee, GPRS, UMTS, ecc…

TCP is not so slow on trasmission. The problem is with timeout (when packed doesn’t arrive and so on), and also steal more CPU time than UDP… infact i’ll use TCP for commands and UDP for video trasmission

@cowjam: you hit the point, also i’ve looked at some GPRS shield, but they are really expansive compared to a mobile phone!

on the italian forum they have suggested try to use AM modulation, another good idea for long distance (> 10 KM), but i’ve to consider italy have almost 100% cover of GPRS, so i can fly everywhere in any direction. (and maybe the use of AM is illegal ::slight_smile: )
The plane will be able to autofly and return to base in case of lost signal, or at least it will return until the signal is up again.
at long distance it will normally only transmit GPS coordinate and receive commands by TCP, but my brother want do some FPS with it, so it will also able to transmit video to the station by UDP.
Maybe for video serialization or maybe all comunication purpoise i’ll use another arduino

edit: on low distance plane will be commanded by standard RC 2.4 ghz transmitter

you'r right... the first post is a little confused :) i also say "it will be placed on a UAV rc plane and need to transmit data at long range, so i think internet is the best solution" well i don't need internet, but a long range wireless link, then the base will be liked to internet, so my plane will limited to a zone. But i want this zone big as possible... GPRS cover pratically all italy, but it's shield/module are very expansive, i've also to pay the connection, ant speed is 30-70 kbit/s... also every time you change antenna you have a dead time. Also this module can't use the UMTS that have transfer rate of 384 kbit/s, so is good for FPV... i'm looking for someone who hack a phone using it as modem... or other kind of communication that stay in a rc plane and cover at least 5KM

I found this module, it's say that can transmit with a max range of 2Km and is only $18. http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/2km-long-range-rf-link-kits-w-encoder-and-decoder-p-321.html?cPath=101_103