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05 Nov 2011, 15:18
Bob Cochran (109 posts)

I just ordered a JeeNode v6 kit and an RFM12B board from Modern Device to enable working on Chapter 5, the Tweeting Bird Feeder. I decided not to get ZigBee modules for various reasons:

  1. Form factor of ZigBees. They seem too large and bulky for my tube-style bird feeders.
  2. Cost. The JeeNode combines both the Freeduino and radio, and the RFM12B board leverages one of my existing Really Bare Bones Board at slightly less cost. Of course I have to spend the time assembling each kit.
  3. Open source. JeeNodes are open sourced.
  4. Documentation. The existing documentation for JeeNodes is great, and JeeLabs offers pages on how to construct wireless sensor networks.
05 Nov 2011, 19:14
Mike Riley (57 posts)

Do the JeeNode radios broadcast up to a range equivalent to the XBees? Same or less power consumption? I do like the fact that the JeeNodes are open sourced. Thumbs up toward your success with the JeeNodes, Bob!

05 Nov 2011, 21:48
Bob Cochran (109 posts)

From what I have read here:

I think the range is ample for my purposes. I’m not sure about power consumption. I will have to trial and error that. Ultimately I want to switch over to using Gumstix boards with wifi since these can talk to my house network and the data packets are encrypted. Someone on the street will be unlikely to successfully intercept my communications from the bird feeder to the house and perhaps change the data. My other concern is cost: the JeeNodes cost me a great deal less than one Gumstix Overo FE module plus the companion expansion board. If it turns out that a snowstorm shorts out JeeNode devices, they are no great loss to me and I can start over. Losing an Overo FE will be about $280. Additionally, the Gumstix approach can take time and patience to configure, and if I do that, I may not succeed until after your book is published. Finally, I suspect a JeeNode will be easier to weatherproof. I’d rather try the JeeNodes because I can work with those in a timeframe that lets me give you feedback before your book is really published. That is the purpose of these forums, after all.

10 Nov 2011, 05:16
Bob Cochran (109 posts)

I have received the radio kits. I will build them this weekend and begin working with the bird feeders. I also have the B2.0 (new) revision of the book with the new content.