SPARK Project #3, Post #1

Computers & Mobile
SPARK Project #3, Post #1
Make+Spark_Project3.jpg

XBee Master.jpg

For my third and final SPARK project, I’m going to continue building on lessons learned from Project 1 and Project 2. I’ve found Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 to be a powerful tool, but getting started is not a trivial process. Despite a sophisticated IDE, configuring and building running systems can be challenging, especially when the hardware isn’t working as expected. So I’m going to continue where I left off with Project 2, and create the building blocks to control external devices using a serial interface.

A number of my projects have required wireless communications. I’ve tried many wireless systems, and one of my favorites is the XBee transceiver from Digi. They are easy to configure and use, and there is a wealth of example code to drive them from a wide variety of computing platforms. The high-power version can transmit over long distances, and at 250kbps, the data rate is excellent. I frequently use the devices as a simple wireless serial link, although they are very effective for point-to-multipoint and multipoint-to-point communications.

Follow my exploration of Windows Embedded CE driving xBees on the Microsoft SPARK site!

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Kipp Bradford is a technology consultant and entrepreneur with a passion for making things. He is the Senior Design Engineer and Lecturer in Engineering at Brown University, where he teaches several engineering design and entrepreneurship courses. Kipp is also on the Technical Advisory Board for Make Magazine.

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