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 by waltr ¦  Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:01 am ¦  Forum: Wireless/RF ¦  Topic: Xbee baud rate question ¦  Replies: 11 ¦  Views: 11150

If you want to just send Video/audio over a short range radio link you may be better with a transmitter/receiver just for that. SparkFun has this: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9189 If you need to send it digitally have you considered Blue Tooth. http://www.sparkfun.c...

 by waltr ¦  Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:04 pm ¦  Forum: SparkFun Product Questions ¦  Topic: Weather Station ¦  Replies: 4 ¦  Views: 959

I'd suggest the Lithium battery for outdoor use as NiMh capacity drops with low temperatures, Li doesn't. The technology is mature enough to have good low cost chargers.

 by waltr ¦  Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:34 am ¦  Forum: Wireless/RF ¦  Topic: XBee Pro Series 2 and DIO ¦  Replies: 19 ¦  Views: 14388

Yes, the XBee modules names make lots of confusion. This, I believe, starts on Digi Int's web site. I try to go by the modules Digi Part Number to differentiate the hardware and the Firmware version number to differentiate features. The XB24 & XBP24 modules do support ZigBee, Digi Mesh and ZNET2.5 f...

 by waltr ¦  Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:25 am ¦  Forum: Wireless/RF ¦  Topic: Wireless sensors solution ¦  Replies: 14 ¦  Views: 2121

This task would lend itself to ZigBee perfectly. Cost is not down to $20 per unit yet unless you were doing the manufacturing in very large quantities. Hardware is almost out of the box ready but the host software would need to be custom. Check the XBee kits from Digi International (they also do hav...

 by waltr ¦  Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:17 am ¦  Forum: Wireless/RF ¦  Topic: Wireless in the Woods ¦  Replies: 22 ¦  Views: 4475

I agree with the other posters that foliage greatly attenuates UHF and uWave transmissions. Otherwise ZigBee would do what you want.

There may be some 27 and 49MHz low cost, license free transmitter/receivers that would work.

 by waltr ¦  Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:05 am ¦  Forum: SparkFun Product Questions ¦  Topic: Switching LM317 circuit? ¦  Replies: 4 ¦  Views: 1042

This will be a handy item. I'd suggest either designing it to be powered from the AC mains or from a battery, not both. From AC mains use a step-down transformer with multiple outputs or more than one transformer. I don't see much need for +-3.3V so suggest outputs of +3.3V, +5V, +adjustable then +/...

 by waltr ¦  Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:30 am ¦  Forum: SparkFun Product Questions ¦  Topic: Frosted material to put in front of LEDs? ¦  Replies: 7 ¦  Views: 1479

In hobby shops that carry parts for build model train buildings are several materials. One is white, translucent sheets in different thicknesses and sizes. Light passes through but is diffused.

 by waltr ¦  Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:19 pm ¦  Forum: SparkFun Product Questions ¦  Topic: Easy driver is working - how to add solenoid? ¦  Replies: 3 ¦  Views: 951

darter, You are asking some good questions and do have the basics correct. The diode across the solenoid is to short out the reversing electric current produced by the collapsing magnetic field. If you have an old analog voltmeter you may see the needle twitch when the solenoid is turned off. Digita...

 by waltr ¦  Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:53 pm ¦  Forum: Wireless/RF ¦  Topic: Xbee to turn on a few LED's ? ¦  Replies: 9 ¦  Views: 3475

Yes, this could be easily done with XBee modules (the 900MHz units may be best). A small u-controller at the transmit may be needed to send the commands into the transmitter. On the units in the boats not much is needed. The XBee units have several Digital outputs that can be used to drive an LED sw...

 by waltr ¦  Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:43 pm ¦  Forum: SparkFun Product Questions ¦  Topic: Stepper Motor and power ¦  Replies: 8 ¦  Views: 1338

There are many sizes of stepper motors. I have some very small ones (I think they came from a floppy drive) that are about 1/2 x 1/2 inch and draw about 50mA @ 5V. I also have a couple that are 5in dia by 8 inch long and draw 15Amps @ 5V. Both are bi-polar stepper motors. To the original poster. Fir...

 by waltr ¦  Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:02 pm ¦  Forum: SparkFun Product Questions ¦  Topic: Sourcing Electric Motors ¦  Replies: 2 ¦  Views: 709

Motor selection for a project can be difficult. You first need to define the properties that are required: Speed range, min-max rpm. Torque. (high speed = low torque, high torque = low speed) Voltage available. Shaft diameter and length. Is the motor run continuous (airplane propeller) or start, acc...

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