Feb 032006

So you have a nifty gadget you built and you want to get it wirelessly on the net or talking to your computer.

You could use:

All of these are too expensive for practical ubicomp stuff. The BlueSMiRF is the cheapest overall, but doesn’t give you IP connectivity. The cheapest IP solution is the frankensteinian concoction of a SitePlayer and pocket AP. Not exactly as plug-and-play as something like the Wi-ME.

But, what about power concerns:

BlueSMiRF 5VDC @ 48mA, can be reduced to 2mA with config tweak
Digi Connect ME 3.3VDC @ 250 mA typical
Digi Connect Wi-ME 3.3VDC @ 400 mA max
Lantronix XPort 3.3VDC @ 267 mA nominal
Lantronix WiPort 3.3VDC @ 460 mA peak (388mA avg @ max data rate)
Asus WL-330 pocket AP 5V @ 680mA
Netgear WGR-101 pocket AP ??? 5V @ 2A power supply
Dlink pocket AP ??? probably similar to netgear

Obviously, BlueSMiRF wins at power consumption too. But jeez, I want my gizmo to have an IP address! None of the WiFi solutions above are efficient enough to run long on a battery. I wish someone would make available these custom WiFi chipsets that are coming out in phones and things like the Nintendo DS.

 Posted by at 2:10 am

  23 Responses to “Adding wireless (WiFi / Bluetooth) to your project”

  1. I’ve just picked up a Roomba as a joint hacking and lazyness project. I’d like to get it under the control of my central ubicomp server, which runs on a separate wireless network called ‘Vocera’. The solution I’ve worked on for a larger device like the Roomba is an Arduino Uno with a Wifly GSX shield. It runs on 5V with a 300ma ish current draw total, from what I’ve read in datasheets – so not the heaviest hitter power wise, but hits at about $100 to $115. The better news is that it can obviously run programs itself as well as receive data over a telnet line to control it live or download new programs!

  2. Oh cool, thanks EZ. I knew the EyeFi had an Atheros CPU in it and just figured it was ARM-based, running something close to a Linux (like many of the WiFI routers using Atheros chipsets). But now I see that the AR6001 chip in the EyeFI is much simpler, more akin to an ATmega than an ARM, running eCos.

  3. (Just nitpicking) the EyeFi SD card does not contain a “Linux computer”, it contains a “eCos computer”:

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