Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hardware failure.....darn

After a few months of working perfectly I had a WiShield die.  It failed in a rather obscure way though; the darn thing is causing my power display to reboot every 2.5 to 3 minutes.  The interesting part of it is that the code I had for recovery worked perfectly and the device reboots and just keeps on trucking.  The time even updates properly.  The most serious outcome is annoyance.  The other WiShield in the power monitor is working just fine.

Just to add insult to annoyance, hasn't been updated or attended to since early December last year, so just replacing the hardware isn't an option.  The forum has lost a lot of interest and people are looking elsewhere for wireless solutions.  So, I've dug out a couple of Xbee radios and have started a project to populate them around the house as a replacement for wifi.  Granted, wifi is fun and easy to monitor and the ZigBee protocol is a pain, but I can create a gateway at the coordinator node and forward whatever I need to the wifi from there.  Besides, we NEED a simpler method of using the XBee devices.  If you look around the web, you see a ton of outdated instructions and people looking for help to get these things running.  I suspect a lot of the XBees sold are in boxes on a shelf somewhere because most folk just give up on making them work.

But, let's be real about this.  An extendable network that has acknowledgement and forwarding would overcome a lot of problems we face monitoring and controlling things.  The extremely low power consumption won't hurt either.

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