Progress, and New Project!

While my progress last night might not be steller, something is often better than nothing.  Many time it helps you to have many small projects completed than many projects unfinished.  I think the finished projects, no matter the size, gives you extra motivation to push through tough parts of current projects.

Yesterday I got my USB to RS232 -> FTDI cable working, with auto reset working as well. I had to flash a new ATMEGA328p last night since my last one stopped responding.  Well it responds with 0, but I’m not sure what that means.  It refuses to communicate to AVRDUDE, so I think it somehow got damaged during an upload/download sequence.  As a last test, I’ll try running it with a 16MHz processor in the RBBB, but I’m not sure if that will work.

I should have 25 more ATMEGA328’s showing up in the mail this week, as well as USBasp parts, so I will have lots to do 🙂  Yesterday I also completed 1/2 of the harness for a PS2 controller, all that is left is to crimp the pins so that they can fit nicely in the PS2 connector, and BAM, I should have a working PS2 controller using the PS2X library (bill porters).

I also got the quote back on the RFM12B’s and it is at a similar price point as the nRF24L01+ modules excluding shipping.  I think I will have to do a wireless showdown between XBee, RFM12B, nRF24L01+, and RF-2400P modules.  Maybe even serial bluetooth!  I understand that you can run multiple protocols at the same time, and that is good and all, but if I am going to standardize my projects to a particular protocol, it would be good to understand myself, what are the pros and cons between each module.

Technically, it will be a pro’s/con’s of each library + the module, since if the library is written poorly, it would effect performance.  I’m considering using 2 modules, 1 with an LCD on it.  I test in my home (with wifi, no wifi/bluetooth) and outdoors.  I enter the baud rate into the LCD one and go.  It configures the other module, then itself to the baudrate, it broadcasts 100 messages of varying length with checksum, and counts how many times the remote client asks for a retransmit (could have an LCD on it too).  The remote one could also send the number of retransmits, so we can compare (how many requests for retransmit got lost).

I would do the same test indoors and outdoors, with and without wifi/bluetooth since we are dealing with 2.4GHz modems.  Each test should be fairly quick, so I would just record the data and the module used, then continue.  Sounds like a perfect use for the $1 cases, just sit them on the ground :).  The outdoor place would be in the country, in an area pretty free from wireless interference.

I think that this project should be a pretty high priority, since to determine the best module, a good comparison should be made.  I am interested in picking the module that has the best bang for your buck, but with good performance.  If anyone wants a particular wireless module tested in this test and would be willing to send me 2 of them, feel free!

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