Sensor Data Over the Airwaves

Sensor Data Over the Airwaves

So, after my first dalliances with Arduino, I started looking into ways of connecting it to a network. Obviously there was the ethernet option, but I hoped there would be another way, one tat didn’t involve wires. I stumbled upon Xbee(Zigbee) technology, which got me really excited. This was fairly short lived as I soon realised it was a proprietary standard only based on WiFi, but not compatible with it.Then I found the WiFly devices from Roving Networks. They seemed to be the ideal solution. I could buy these devices to hook up to Arduinos around the house, sending data back to a central point over my existing WiFi network.

I did a load of reading of various blogs and forums all over the place, and found snippets of information, but nothing that specifically addressed what I was looking to do. I spent a while skimming the data sheet and manual from Roving Networks, and gradually it started to make sense. The RN-XV is essentially a very simple device. It seemed to me the only major concession was that you had to communicate with it in a very simple fashion. Which is fine by me. It’s proper old-school single line commands using a very specific syntax into a terminal window, and not forgetting to type ‘save’ when you’re finished! Otherwise you lose any changes you’ve just made.

Anyway, so after realising that the RN-XV would very likely be the ideal companion to the Arduino, I started really reading the Roving Networks manual. I didn’t believe it when I read that it could automatically, and autonomously, read it’s analogue inputs, connect to a network and make a web request (with the sensor data encoded in the GET variable), and then go to sleep.
So I bought one. And it turns out it can.

So I began building a prototype…