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I want to connect a whole lot of independent sensors (Arduino boards) to the Internet. They are all within 10m of each other.

Should I use XBee's and link them in a mesh network and have one access point (how?) connected to the Internet? Or should I setup each sensor with a WiFi connection that talks to a WiFi access point? The sensors will be powered by a solar panel.

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I personally use Dust SmartMesh IP from Linear, and it is intended for mesh networks. There is a single manager for the network which you can use to centralize your data, and can even handle 6LOWPAN packets(you will still need to provide WiFi access as the stack has differences). The range is 100 meters indoors for each MOTE but can handle up to 300 meters outdoors. Has very good reliability and one of the best power consumption that I am aware of during transmission.

Word of caution the transceiver shares the same spectrum space as Wifi, although it does have 15 channels and actively keeps track of channel integrity, it may cause problems in dense WiFi areas, I have personally not needed to worry about this thou.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I like the hardware. Where do I begin? I want to build a shield to fit on an Arduino. Is it the best to use the Mote-on-Chip instead of the module? Is there a project discussion website we can start somewhere? \$\endgroup\$ – andrebruton Sep 6 '13 at 6:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is too much information to begin reading from somewhere and keep it all in. I suggest we prepare a hardware for you to be able to experiment with then you can slowly begin to play with it and learn. I can help you with the schematic for the basics. I am a little overloaded to think about project websites but if you can comment an invitation Ill join. make sure you are the only admin so that we can make scope changes. \$\endgroup\$ – Volcano Sep 6 '13 at 8:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would suggest the module, I think the only benefit for mote on chip is the cost which only makes sense at an industrial level. \$\endgroup\$ – Volcano Sep 6 '13 at 8:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, I'm reading about it. I'm a bit worried about the price of the manager-on-a-chip chip. At $100+ that is quite expensive. You would need one for the network and the rest normal chips. But I still think this would create a nice project for Mesh networks and Arduino's. \$\endgroup\$ – andrebruton Sep 6 '13 at 14:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm for some reason I am remembering different prices. Contact them tell them about your intention, ask for local distributors and see what the price is then. \$\endgroup\$ – Volcano Sep 6 '13 at 15:08

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