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Freakduino Long Range Wireless Board WalkThrough - Part 2 | Print |
Written by Akiba   
Friday, 25 October 2013

In the first part of the walkthrough, we learned some basic operations and hello world type programs to get the 900 LR board up and running. In this walkthrough, we’ll be building on what we learned previously and moving on to more advanced topics like radio configuration and power management.

Adding Commands to the Command Line

In the last section of the walkthrough, part 1, I introduced the cmdArduino command line library. It allows you to make sketches interactive from the serial terminal. Now, let’s expand on that a bit and add custom commands that we can call from the command line.

First, we’re going to write the command function that we’ll be calling from the command line. The function needs to be in a specific format but otherwise, the actual functionality is left up to you. The format is as follows:

void funcName(int argCnt, char **args)
Announcements: chibiArduino v1.03 Release and New Walkthrough Tutorial Series | Print |
Written by Akiba   
Sunday, 06 October 2013

I'm happy to announce that I just released the chibiArduino library v1.03. The library functionality is very stable these days and the main changes were minor bug fixes and updates. The main change is that settings for the Freakduino long range wireless board were added and tuned. I also did a major update to the chibiArduino usage documentation which hadn't been updated since 2010. It was painful reading through it and I really need to be more disciplined about maintaining documentation, especially since the design releases will be accelerating. For a full list of the changes for the latest release, you can go to the chibiArduino project page.

I'm also starting a new tutorial series called "walkthroughs" which are designed to be board specific and get people up and running on each board quickly. The first walkthroughs will be for the Freakduino 900 MHz Long Range Wireless boards and cover basic setup/usage, radio configuration, and power management. I'll be adding walkthroughs for the 2.4 GHz and 900 MHz boards soon since they're all cover the same topics and should be fairly similar.

That's about it for the announcements. Things are busy and exciting these days. Hope you enjoy :)

Freakduino Long Range Wireless Board WalkThrough - Basic Usage | Print |
Written by Akiba   
Sunday, 06 October 2013
This is a walkthrough of the basic setup and usage of the Freakduino long range wireless boards. I originally designed the Freakduino board series and chibiArduino software stack so that it could be a simple way to setup a wireless connection without having to understand complex protocol details. This was a big drawback in many of the more advanced protocol stacks I've worked on where there was complex and detailed knowledge required just to send simple packets. I tried to be minimalistic in the design of the chibiArduino stack so that people who just wanted to do simple wireless communications could do it with many of the protocol details handled in the background.

In this walkthrough, we're going to go through a few examples to set up the boards and write simple code to start transmitting and receiving wireless data.

How to Monitor Leaky Radioactive Water Tanks | Print |
Written by Akiba   
Sunday, 25 August 2013

I just got back from my vacation in Shenzhen yesterday and was going to relax a bit until Monday when I’d start working on some new designs. When I was reading the New York Times this morning, a particular article caught my attention. Hiroko Tabuchi wrote an interesting article about the worsening crisis going on at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant.

The radioactive waste water is leaking into the ocean and the leaks seem to be getting larger. There are nearly 1000 tanks at the plant to store the radiated water which are prone to leaks. Also, there are no water level gauges in the tanks and only two men patrol the tanks every day to check for leaks. What caught my attention in the article was when it mentioned TEPCO had no reliable way to check the storage tanks for leaks. That was actually one of those “hmmm….really” moments for me.

Installing chibiArduino v1.0 | Print |
Written by Akiba   
Friday, 21 June 2013

With the latest release of chibiArduino, it's probably best to have a short tutorial on installing things. The library installation is a standard library installation, however I've gotten a lot of questions in the past about library installation. I figure it's probably best to take care of it in this tutorial. Also, there's an additional component which is optional if you're using the Freakduino, but you're really going to want if you're using one of the other boards I'll be releasing soon or rolling your own board. This is a boards.txt file which is a board description file. Inside the board description, it's possible to set #defines that allow the chibiArduino stack to identify the type of board being used and adapt itself accordingly. This allows the chibiArduino stack to be more flexible in accomodating different board configurations without having to involve the user in too much other than the board selection menu.

So let's get this tutorial underway...

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