About this project
[ Interested in this project? More information at quilix.com/wipi ]
I love Arduino... it has ADC, a ton of shields, a plethora of documented projects, and a gigantic community.
A few months ago I found the Raspberry Pi. It's a tiny computer that can run an operating system, web server, file server... it's amazing! You can write programs for it in C, Java, Python, NodeJS, and many other languages.
Which one am I going to use in my next project? Well... how about both of them!
The solution is comprised of two parts - a dongle...
...that operates at 3.3v and is friendly to the Raspberry Pi's 140 milliamp peripheral cap. Just install the FTDI drivers on your favorite Pi-distro, plug the dongle in, and you're good to go!
Don't have a Raspberry Pi? No problem... the USB dongle can be used in a laptop, desktop, netbook, etc. running Linux, Windows, or Mac OS.
The other half of the solution is an Arduino compatible shield that will work in your Duemilanove, Uno, Leonardo, Mega, or Due footprint.
The foundation of this solution is the easyRadio module from Low Power Radio Solutions; it's a rock-solid US/European certified component. Pump data in one radio and it comes out the other... it's that easy.
Create wireless projects, mesh networks, remote controls, gather telemetry at a distance - it's only a serial port away!
What about the production plan?
Well... I've already worked out all the bugs and released the designs as Open Source Hardware; no surprises here. The trouble is - producing these in small quantities is expensive. If we hit the project funding goal, we can achieve a 50% savings in component cost and open a new chapter in Raspberry Pi project possibilities.
PCBs, fabrication, and testing will be done in the US. If everything goes well, your rewards will arrive in time to place them under the Christmas tree.
Risks and challenges
Managing PCB orders, large quantities of components, and coordinating assembly can be challenging - I've learned a lot over the last decade.
For starters, I don't consider a design 'stable' until I have production quality units in my hands and have run them through the ringer. Check!
I always have a primary and secondary source for PCBs; quotes from two sources help reduce delays. Check!
Component selection and supply can be problematic - which is why I use common / easily sourced components in my designs. If component supply does become a problem - substitutions are good to go. Check!
Assembly, testing, and packaging takes time... communication is the key!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
No... the radio modules communicate over 868/915 Mhz. You can read up more on the easyRadio transceiver modules here:
That's a tough question... since the range of any 'radio' can be affected by environmental conditions, configuration, antennas, and data rates. In reasonable conditions - 300 feet isn't going to be a problem. With optimal conditions, line of sight, and sensitive antennas... much, much further. ;-)
Yes. The easyRadio transceiver is an amazing component... you have full control over channels, data rates, power, and encryption.
Indeed they are! They are all my design... but in retail channels - they are almost twice the price. Which is why I'm doing this Kickstarter - price drops significantly with quantity! This is a one-time deal. When it's over, you'll have to order from Farnell/Element 14, CPC, Saelig, or LPRS.
So... if you can't wait and you're willing to spend the extra money - you can get them now!
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