- Radio shack perf board – Catalog #: 276-148
- Arduino Fio – Arduino board, with XBee socket and built-in battery charger
- SHT15 – Temperature and humidity sensor, on a break-out board
- SCP1000 – Pressure and temperature sensor, on a break-out board
- 22GA wire
- XBee – Easy to use, and affordable wireless boards. I use both the low-power and the extended range versions, with chip antennas, and with wire antennas. You can mix-and-match to match your transmission distance needs.
- Solar panel. Still looking for the optimal size for my location. This one generates more power than I need.
- 2000mAh LiPoly battery – With my current power-saving code, and 10 minute transmission settings, I’m getting around 200 hours of power from a fully charged battery.
The solar/LiPoly combination is overkill for this setup, but since I’ll be adding wind/rain sensors to the next iteration, I’m going to stay with the overrated solar cell/battery combination. You could easily get by with a 1000mAh battery and/or a smaller solar cell. I’ve tried both, and got acceptable performance in an area with good sun.
First, I put a jumper between DTR for the XBee and Arduino pin #4, which I use to put the XBee into sleep mode between transmissions. Since the sensor pack only transmits data, it only needs to be powered up when it sends a data packet.
I also soldered headers onto all the Arduino pins, since I’ll be using more of them in future sensor pack versions. For the basic version, only pins 4-7 (SHT15) and 10-13 (SCP1000 via the SPI library) are being used.
Now for the ugly part. Using a small project board, I soldered female headers in for the sensor break-out boards and the Arduino (I only soldered a header for one side of the Arduino, since the other side is currently unused).
Finally, I routed the wires to the appropriate destinations on the Arduino header. It’s a little extra ugly, because I screwed up and reversed the pins for a header, then had to remove and re-solder the wires.