wireless/remote LCD or LED display
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

wireless/remote LCD or LED display

by levon on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:05 pm

Hello all,

Total newbie here, hoping for some help with parts to get.

I'd like to implement my own version of something like this:

http://blog.makezine.com/2011/06/12/iss ... -overhead/

However, I would like to be able to do the display part wirelessly. I.e., somehow I'd like to have a set of LEDs (or LCD?) that I can control remotely. So my PC would run, and send the relevant information/control signals to periodically turn on/off LEDs/LCD. The distance is only a few meters, and the data will not be highspeed and update infrequently (but the display needs to stay on, though could put other things in standby/sleep mode if possible). Oh, and I'd want the display to be powered via battery (or possibly AC, so no long USB cable) .. would this eat through batteries quickly? I could probably do with a set of 4 or 5 LEDs.

I'm thinking of getting a Arduino starter kit (either this http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoStarterKit or http://www.makershed.com/Ultimate_Ardui ... msump1.htm or http://www.adafruit.com/products/170 -- is one better than the other?). To do the wireless part I think I should get two Xbees (series 1) .. does that sound right? Do I need to get some other small boards to setup the Xbees? From some videos I've seen it seems I may have to?

Goal for wireless, cheap and easy :)

Can I do this with one UNO? Do I need anything else? Any specific information would be really helpful since I'm new to this.

Thanks for any guidance.
levon
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:56 am

Re: wireless/remote LCD or LED display

by adafruit_support_rick on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:28 pm

XBees can certainly work for this. You don't necessarily need any adapter boards to use them; the adapter boards are just a little more convenient for interfacing with other hardware.

You need to decide what you want your remote display to look like. If you only want to light up a few LEDs, then all you really need on the remote is an XBee. If you want some sort of LCD display, then you're probably going to need an Arduino or other microcontroller to actually drive the display.

Have a look at ladyada's XBee tutorial to get more of a feel for what you can do with them.

adafruit_support_rick
 
Posts: 12793
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:42 am
Location: Buffalo, NY

Re: wireless/remote LCD or LED display

by levon on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:55 pm

driverblock wrote:XBees can certainly work for this. You don't necessarily need any adapter boards to use them; the adapter boards are just a little more convenient for interfacing with other hardware.

You need to decide what you want your remote display to look like. If you only want to light up a few LEDs, then all you really need on the remote is an XBee.


Wow .. I didn't know that .. thanks for the post.

So at the receiver end I would have a small breadboard with the XBee and say 4 or 5 LEDs and that would be sufficient if I sent the appropriate signals from a UNO with a Xbee (connected to my PC)? That would be so awesome.

The LCD is not really necessary, perhaps something I might consider later.

Thanks for the XBee link, looks super-useful. If I can do the minimalist setup as described above it would be perfect.
levon
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:56 am

Re: wireless/remote LCD or LED display

by adafruit_support_rick on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:13 pm

The XBees support a mode called pin-passing, which essentially means that the remote XBee can mirror the state of the GPIO pins on the transmitter. So, theoretically, you can connect your LEDs to those and drive them remotely using pin-passing.

I haven't done this, so I can't give you a lot of detail. The tutorial talks about it. You'll probably want to research it a bit, rather than just going ahead based on my (superficial) understanding.

adafruit_support_rick
 
Posts: 12793
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:42 am
Location: Buffalo, NY

Re: wireless/remote LCD or LED display

by levon on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:18 pm

I will look into it, but thanks for giving me that idea.

Pretty exciting stuff :)
levon
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:56 am

Re: wireless/remote LCD or LED display

by adafruit_support_rick on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:28 pm

Good luck! Keep us posted!

adafruit_support_rick
 
Posts: 12793
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:42 am
Location: Buffalo, NY