Ingredients for your thing: The Jeenode

The Jeenode is an ingredient that I’m using extensively in my ongoing projects. It is a small breakout board roughly based on the arduino design. It is obviously not compatible with arduino shields but it does work with the arduino IDE which makes it easy to program on whatever development computer you like to use. The Jeenode has two features that make it incredibly useful for IoT projects. 1) It carries an on-board RF module (Hope’s RF12B) capably of on-off keying based communication at 868 and 433 MHZ. At 868 MHZ the range is just enough to connect everything around the house. The other feature, 2) is that it is optimized for low power operation with only limited power it can run for a long time. The jeenode is the perfect data acquisition node that just sits there waiting for some IO line to change and to signal that to its companion nodes.

The JeeNode coms in a few flavors. There is the JeeNode which needs an adapter board to be programmed. There is the Jeelink which is designed to live in your USB port (as a gateway to other nodes). There is the JeeNode-USB which has the FTDI chip integrated on  board. Recently there is a new design (which is not sold through Jeelabs.com) based on the Atmega Tiny MCU. It is even smaller en uses even less power than its bigger brother. You need to find a way to get one produced for you however.

Another nice thing is that Jean-Claude Wippler and the people at jeelabs.net are friendly folk willing to help and interact on projects. Just browsing Jeelabs.org you’ll learn a lot about physical and low power computing.

I’m using the jeenode and jeelink to control my Klik-Aan-Klik-Uit (KAKU) devices around the house. I’m still working on the software that takes care of decoding ¬†KAKU messages and relaying them to a central node. It is mainly the learning curve of how data is processed on the Atmega controller and passed around to and by the RF12B unit.

I really like the JeeNode for its economy and the careful design and care that went into this device.

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