These are some partly formed thoughts I’ve had recently. Now that we’re settled in the new house, I’ve been tinkering with so many things, I’m losing track of what’s going on sometimes.
I put my experiments with the RN-XV on hold while I moved house a month or two ago. I’d built a breadboard prototype that ran off two 1.5V AA batteries. It had given me a good few days of data(I’d read I might get a year or two off two AA’s), when it suddenly went quiet.
I’d assumed at the time that it was something to do with the settings I’d established: making the WiFly sleep for five minutes, then wake and post the sensor data, before going back to sleep. Clearly this was the way to get the most out of battery power. Or perhaps not, as experience was now telling me.
So now I’m in the new house, and I’ve got myself the ‘computer’ area with it’s own circuit on the consumer unit, I thought I’d try running the WiFly off the mains for a while to troubleshoot what was going wrong.
As far as I suspect, I’ve got a whole host of problems. I think some of the jumper leads on the breadboard are broken/faulty. I’m not sure how good the connections on the breadboard are, and I’ve been trying things tonight that are leading me to question the RN-XV itself.
I think I was attracted to the RN-XV initially because I hoped it could become a pretty autonomous sensor for temperature and light. I was thinking it would remove the need to have a ‘heavyweight’ microprocessor such as an Arduino, placed in each room to capture such trivial data. And, crucially, I was planning this distributed sensor system before we moved into our new house.
Since we’ve been living here, I’ve found a number of reasons to have a fully fledged Arduino (or maybe even a Raspberry Pi) in quite a few rooms for other reasons. For instance, in the living room, our Tivo box, Amp and other devices have now found themselves inside a cupboard. Clearly this isn’t a problem, there are several really decent IR repeater devices available for £40-50. But unfortunately for me, as I start reading about them I start seeing oportunities… It would be trivial to make an Arduino echo the IR commands coming in on a receiver, out through an IR LED. And then I could, eventually, remap those commands so that I could make a ‘universal entertainment system’, almost the exact mirror image of the ‘universal remote’.
Why not add a temperature sensor in there as well?
The problem I’m having is that this WiFly seems slightly temperamental. I log in, make some changes, it reboots, I reconnect and watch the data coming out of it. Then a few days later I find I can’t log in, and it’s either not starting up, connecting to the network, or just not communicating very well.
I’m sure I’m going to play with the RN-XV for various reasons, but I think I’ve just downgraded it from doing stuff that’s critical to the running of my house.