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Need Guru Help Regarding Micro-Controller + Wireless

Hello !
What is the most inexpensive, yet stable robust and relatively fast micro-controller + wireless setup?

I have been asking this question to myself for way too long... Now, I'm curious of your experiences in the different flavors available..

In my specific situation talking back and forth to a computer or laptop would be the primary objective.

For the computer this is great (because often there are no needed parts - most modern computers or laptops come with bluetooth) - so that makes it cheap on the computer side $0

#1 On the micro-controller I've always been partial to BBB arduino boards $16 ...   +  BlueTooth Silver Smirf $39 @ 115K (have'nt got one)

#2 There's this do-hicky http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8255  which has already come and gone (retired) .. where have I been?

#3  I've tried 2400 RF modules with BBB - I would say "not very stable" - "FritsMayHaveSavedHisHairButThisThingIsNotThatStableNorFast".... and there is always contention with Servos (Grrr)

#4 I made a IR transciever which worked off my computers serial port and its twin for the BBB - was very slow, not that stable.. bit banging solutions always seem problematic...

#5 MSP420 $5 + CC2560 ?  @ 2.6 Ghz 

#6 MSP430F5438 Experimenter Board - $149 (too spendy .. and not even on the market yet..)

Any Ideas O' Gurus?

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2.4 Ghz (says it can ship video ... hmmm) - multi-point communication ... hmmm

$5 - wow...

Did you verify whether or not the modules from goodluckbuy have unique MACs?

The distributer did not dicern the difference between "host" and "passive" modules when I purchased them.  I ordered 6 and they randomly sent me 5 host modules and 1 passive.  Now, I see that they make the distinction and are selling them seperately. Grrr... the passive ones are more useful for me..  I'll be ordering more passive units..

You can get all the details here


I can check 2 host modules if they have different MACs, but I only have 1 passive unit.

Good stuff, I need to order some of those.

Some more updates....

  • I don't know how to look at a "hosts" address
  • it took a while to get back to where i was....
  • the name of the passive controller turned to "?" when I got distracted with other things and fire'd this up again
  • they are definately implementing a small subset of AT+ commands - so programming is hit or miss
  • and this one drove me (more) crazy !!!   They implemented some of the AT+ commands without = ... So, that AT+NAME=BLAH  will give it a name of "=BLAH"  Grrr...  anyway it took a while to figure that one out...  not sure which commands they have accessable..  I can verify that you CAN change the name if send AT+NAMEBLAH to BLAH
  • I can also verify that I have successfully connected from a rocketfish bt dongle from my computer to the passive unit at 9600.
  • Tomorrow I'll try to change baud rate to something more exciting..

Absolutely no luck regarding changing the baud rate...

Here's some of the documentation I've found (so far this is the best)

Enter to AT mode:
Way1: Supply power to module and input high level to PIN34 at the same time, the module will enter to
       AT mode with the baud rate-38400.
Way2: In the first step, supply power to module; In the second step, input high level to PIN34. Then the
       module will enter to AT mode with the baud rate-9600. Way1 is recommended.

Uh... is way2 way1 ...?!? uh... say again? ... wish my kanji was better :P

The passive (slave) units will pair with a host unit. You can make a piconet network with one host and multiple slaves to use it on a swarm. This way all slaves will communicate with a host to manage the swarm. Just clarification in case it helps.

That "sounds" good....

Unfortunately I don't have another passive unit to test with... I'll order one soon.

At the moment, I would like to see the baud rate boosted to 115K ...9600 has been the one and only possibility.

It seems very ... um ... variable as far as what AT commands are implemented and what there syntax should be..
There is near to no return information from an AT ... rarely even an OK ... which makes me believed that alot of my typing is being ignored... I feel like one of an infinite amount of monkeys blindly poking at the keyboard...  

I haven't seen any documentation on the module, I'll post a link if I am able to find.  115k baud would be much better as 9600 is on the slow side.  The RN-42 Bluetooth module has a rich AT command set and great documentation, the price has been lowered to $15/unit (at Sparkfun) on bare, unsoldered modules which makes it a bit more attractive as a low cost module.  I really like the RN module so I may stick with it for use on my projects I'm not swarming on.  Nice thing is I believe it can be configured for both master and slave configurations.  I plan to get into solder paste soldering here soon which is much more practical than using an iron on these like I have been in the past.