Looking for a low cost implementation to post ambient temperature readings from a sensor to servers via a COTS router.

1) Have a temperature sensor connected to a micro controller which sends data via a Wifi Module with a TCP/IP Stack to servers 2) Have a temperature sensor communicated via Zigbee to a coordinator that is plugged into a router and communicates with the servers.

Would like to keep the cost of the solution below $20. Another constraint is the battery life. Wifi modules with TCP/IP consume more power and cost more.

What particular devices/chips/microcontrollers would you recommend to solve my data communication problem and fit within my budget?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ very close to this question I asked here \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt
    Jun 5, 2012 at 21:47
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Elaborate more on the power requirements. Is this device unable to be powered by a wall-wart, etc? Since it's wireless, how far away will the device be placed from the router? Is it going to be outdoors or indoors? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 5, 2012 at 22:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wrote up a blog entry on getting from an analog sensor to the internet (Pachube) via Ethernet (with a Nanode) over an inexpensive, low power RF link (Wicked Node / Receiver Shield) a while ago: blog.wickeddevice.com/?p=244... but under $20 is a tall order. \$\endgroup\$
    – vicatcu
    Jun 6, 2012 at 1:40

3 Answers 3


I would use a Digi Xbee on the sensor to pass the information to a Connectport X2, which has either ethernet or wifi. The Xbee is a Zigbee radio with a simple serial interface. The X2 has a Zigbee radio and an IP connection and runs python.

There are several tutorials on how to get one working. This one looks like a good place to start.


If you're not in a hurry, you can wait for the new Electric Imp kits. The developer kits should be coming out soon. (Says "end of June, 2012" on the website).


The Hannah: The hobbyist board even has the temperature sensor built in.


Pachube / Cosm, which is now called Xively, is a service/platform/API for posting sensor data to the web. If you click on Support/API and then go to hardware, they have a lot of information on the various hardware that is compatible with their service. And they have libraries for controllers like the Arduino.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.