Nice Xbee project! Jer writes -
Last month, I built NewsAlarm - a modified smoke alarm wired into the NYTimes NewsWire API. It can be configured to sound in response to any keyword or keywords coming over the wire at a specific frequency; for example, you might set it to alarm when 50% of the headlines coming in contain the words ’space aliens’ or if 10% of the headlines include the word ‘evil robots’. It’s a pretty ridiculous device, meant to embody the equally ridiculous alarmism (pun intended) that permeates mainstream media.
The orginal NewsAlarm was hard-wired to the computer via an Arduino. It worked quite well, but it’s not very convenient – it can only get as far away from the computer as the wires allow, which is only about 5 feet. I wanted the device to be able to be a long way away from the computer processing the NewsWire data, and I also wanted one computer to be able to trigger multiple NewsAlarms. So, I looked into ways that I could connect the devices and the computers wirelessly.
The solution turned out to be the XBee – a cute little device that allows signals to be sent via 802.15.4 wireless. XBees are small, cheap, and can be combined to create simple mesh networks. Perfect! For the wireless NewsAlarm, 2 Xbees act as a transmitter and a receiver. A very simple serial signal is transferred from one XBee to the other when the alarm is triggered. Our system uses two arduinos right now, though it could be re-configured to use one and an FTDI cable.
Arduino 0016 now available! Cool new feature – copy as HTML!
From the software page: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software
[documentation / examples]
- New communication examples (w/ corresponding Processing and Max/MSP code) by Tom Igoe.
[core / libraries]
- Adding support for the Arduino Pro and Pro Mini 3.3V / 8 MHz w/ ATmega328.
- Adding support for the LilyPad Arduino w/ ATmega328.
- Adding write(str) and write(buf, size) methods to Print, Serial, and the Ethernet library Client and Server classes. This allows for more efficient (fewer packet) Ethernet communication. (Thanks to mikalhart.)
- Improvements to the way the Ethernet library Client class connects and disconnects. Should reduce or eliminate failed connections and long timeouts. (Thanks to Bruce Luckcuck.)
- Optimizing the timer0 overflow interrupt handler (used for millis() and micros()). Thanks to westfw and mikalhart.
- Fixing bug that limited the bit() macro to 15 bits. Thanks to Paul Badger.
- Adding ARDUINO version constant (thanks to prodding from mikalhart).
- Ordering the items in the Tools > Board menu.
- Adding “Copy as HTML” command to the Tools menu.
- Eliminating (maybe) the occasional “Couldn’t determine program size” errors. Thanks to the Clever Monkey.
- Moving selection of Linux look-and-feel into the arduino script so it can be changed by users. Thanks to Eberhard Fahle.
- Adding automatic dependency generation to the Makefile. (Lars Immisch)