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Wirelessly connecting microcontrollers?

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quokkas361

New Member
Hi,

I think i've bitten off more than i can chew in my current project, but that's ok because it can be an on going project to keep me out of trouble. I'm new to microcontrollers and know next to nothing about RF/wireless. What I'm trying to do is automate a collection of model cars i have, my plan being to put a microcontroller (most likely a pic) in each car and have them wirelessly recieve instructions about where to drive, what lights to use, etc, from a central unit (another microcontroller). I'm after some sort of star topology network.
The range only has to be around 5meters max.
I think the data rate would be fairly low.
I'd prefer to steer clear of infrared for reliability reasons.
Space is an issue so the chip/components would have to be smd
Price is also an issue (i'm a student)

I've searchd through many websites and i quite like the sound of microchip's MRF49XA, datasheet: http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/70590b.pdf , but correct me if i'm wrong it sounds like it only works for connecting 2 microcontrollers not a network.

Any help on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Michael
 

DirtyLude

Well-Known Member
Do the cars have to send data back? If they don't this is super simple. You can just use cheap RF modules transmit to all cars, but put an address (car number) at the beginning of each command transmission. Cars ignore commands that aren't for them. If they do have to transmit back and time isn't a factor, the master can just poll each car for information to avoid conflicting signals.

The MRF49XA is a transceiver chip. If you do not have RF experience, do not touch. Stick to the premade modules.
 

bobledoux

Member
Look at Sparkfun.com. They have various nRFxxxx modules that even include antennas. Each unit is a transceiver with a 40 bit address.
 

HotSolder

New Member
Hello,

I would look at Nordics range of wireless IC's. They are cheap, readily available, very low power and there are lots of examples on how to use them. The nRF24L01 and nRF24AP1 might be usful. Arguably the nRF24AP1 might be a bit simpler to use, but its higher power, and data through put is lower.

Regards

Iain
 

solarwind

New Member
Hi,

I think i've bitten off more than i can chew in my current project, but that's ok because it can be an on going project to keep me out of trouble. I'm new to microcontrollers and know next to nothing about RF/wireless. What I'm trying to do is automate a collection of model cars i have, my plan being to put a microcontroller (most likely a pic) in each car and have them wirelessly recieve instructions about where to drive, what lights to use, etc, from a central unit (another microcontroller). I'm after some sort of star topology network.
The range only has to be around 5meters max.
I think the data rate would be fairly low.
I'd prefer to steer clear of infrared for reliability reasons.
Space is an issue so the chip/components would have to be smd
Price is also an issue (i'm a student)

I've searchd through many websites and i quite like the sound of microchip's MRF49XA, datasheet: http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/70590b.pdf , but correct me if i'm wrong it sounds like it only works for connecting 2 microcontrollers not a network.

Any help on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Michael
I would use futurlec's (Radio Control Modules) wireless tranceivers (under $10 each).

A single master, multi slave network is easy to impliment. For multi master networks, see my blog: solar-blogg
 

quokkas361

New Member
Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, you've given me a direction in which to focus my search.

Do the cars have to send data back?
umm.. well i'm yet to completely get my head around how it's going to work. At this stage probably yes, the cars are going to have to somehow tell the central unit their exact position so it can give them further instructions. Though the other option may be to have some kind of detection system under the road which is able to tell the central unit where the cars are located.

I've looked into Nordic's products which seem like they may fit my needs. I noticed that some come built in with a 8051 microcontroller, this gave me the idea that maybe it would be simpler to use one of these instead of a pic microcontroller in junction with a RF chip/module. How do the 8051s compare to Pics? are they as easy to learn/use?

Thanks again
Michael
 

MessUpMymind

New Member
I noticed that some come built in with a 8051 microcontroller, this gave me the idea that maybe it would be simpler to use one of these instead of a pic microcontroller in junction with a RF chip/module. How do the 8051s compare to Pics? are they as easy to learn/use?
is same again ur decisions actually , from what i experience previously between pic and 8051 , mid-range pic like 877 is just havin 35 instructions set wherelse there's 2-3 times more goes to 8051..

in that case if you are not good at memorizing instructions and dont like to flip through always all those instructions set maybe you can choose 877, bear in mind that when come to lesser instructions it will most likely take longer coding lines and you need to manipulate it well just between those 35 instructions (this is the case in assembly language).
 
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