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Wireless options
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Wireless options

by rickm45 on Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:36 pm

Hi,

On my telescope I have an optical encoder on each axis of the mounting. I would like to go wireless. I'm planning on an arduino + wireless transceiver on each axis and the control box = 3 total. Max transmit ~ 10 ft.

What options do I have for wireless considering low cost and relatively easy to implement? Is XBee the way I should go? BT seems to be more expensive. Does it change the picture if I replace the control box with a PC?

Thanks for any help/comments,
Rick
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Re: Wireless options

by ziplock on Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:44 pm

Xbee has a longer range than bluetooth, i believe. Also, you can easily use Xbee using Ladyada's interface kit.
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Re: Wireless options

by karlgg on Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:34 am

From the way that was worded, it sounds like you're planning a radio & Arduino for each axis? I would assume one should be able to handle all three. Plus another set for the controls, of course.

So far, XBees are the only modern transceiver I've used, so I can't say there's not a better/cheaper one. But it's pretty neat, and seems to get good press and the popular vote. If you really only need one-way, those get a bit cheaper.
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Re: Wireless options

by rickm45 on Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:28 pm

There are 2 encoders on the scope and I was planning on arduino+wireless on each. After thinking about it, they are only ~3 ft apart and on the same structure (so any wires won't be wrapping around). It does make more sense to wire both encoders to one arduino/xbee and that would then communicate with a handheld control or PC. That arduino only has to track the position of each axis and report it when requested.

I thought I would need another arduino + xbee at the PC but I finally understood that I can just use the FTDI adapter and Xbee on the PC side. So I only need the arduino + Xbee on the scope and the Xbee + cable to the pc. And I just got one of the closeout eee PC's at Best Buy which is a perfect size to take into the field.

I had thought about using an arduino to create a wireless control pad but then I need to write my own planetarium software. There is so much good planetarium software out there I can save that for phase 2!

Thanks for getting me thinking, Rick
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