[islandlabs] Wireless/GPS chipset proposal

Kuczewski, John jkuczewski at bnl.gov
Thu Jan 14 23:15:11 EST 2010


Hey all,

I'm really trying not to invade on your current wireless/GPS setup with the cell phone (seeing that you already bought one), but I would like to propose using Xbee [1] or XTend [2] wireless chipsets along with buying a cheap GPS module [3]. The micro that is in the DAQ system would also be in charge in dealing with wireless/GPS chipsets as well as doing the read/writes to SD and the sensors. Of course we would still use the phone as backup in case of failure of the wireless system.

These wireless chipsets apparently very easy to work (I've been told), they use UART and take normal Hayes AT commands. We could buy the cheaper one and design (or buy maybe) a antenna to squeeze >15 miles out of it. It is all in antenna design and the sensitivity of the receiver.

Getting a GNU/Linux client working shouldn't be too hard as well. A python or some C code could talk to the wireless chipset (via serial, /dev/ttyS0) and ask the balloon where it is and plot it on a map, with altitude position. Maybe it could interface with openstreetmaps?

Anyway, thats it. Any thoughts on this?

Cheers,

John

[1] - http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9087
[2] - http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9411
[3] - http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9133 (thanks TonyB!)

P.S. Microsoft's Outlook Web Access sucks! It locked me out 2 times while writing this because of inactivity! Err!
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