Introduction: Make Your Arduino Project Wireless in Minutes, With the Wireless Inventors Shield
The inventors shield uses a wireless pipe, which is a special wireless RF module that allows you to easily and reliably, send and receive error-free wireless data between two or more Arduino boards.
It's Long Range – distances up to 500 feet (150 meter).
It’s Error Free – built-in forward error correction and data recovery, you only ever receive cleaned and CRC verified data.
It’s Simple To Use – anything you input, is wirelessly transmitted, then cleanly outputted for you on the other end.
It’s Immune To Noise – your data inside the wireless pipe is protected from the elements outside such as interferences like WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, cordless phones, cellular phones, all types of servo and motor noise, etc. All things which typically stop your wireless project in its tracks, are no longer an issue.
How is this different from other wireless RF Shields for Arduino?
Our Wireless Inventors Shield is complete. No additional RF module to purchase which makes it about half the price of other wireless Shields.
This Shield will work with both Arduino and Arduino clones.
It has a substantial range improvement over Zigbee, Xbee, Bluetooth and WiFi.
We did range testing the same way you would do range testing, in a real world, live application. The Google maps below illustrate our wireless RF Shields results against Zigbee (the best competitor tested):
Wireless Inventors Shield for Arduino range test result (no configuration needed).
Zigbee radio module test - best configuration. In comparison our Shield had nearly 3x more range.
Zigbee radio module test - worst configuration. In comparison our Shield had over 20x more range.
If the above Zigbee radio modules were tested in an open field, without being near any WiFi or other types of interference, they too would perform the same as our Wireless Shield in either configuration. However this is simply unrealistic; since typical usage is in heavily populated WiFi areas. Unless your radio device is immune to WiFi interference, it's range is going to be drastically reduced.
Our Wireless Shield had no range reduction. It is immune to all WiFi and other 2.4 GHz noise, therefore performing consistently and reliably in typical usage scenarios.
• It's plug & play.
• No settings.
• No configurations.
• No long manuals to read.
• No data sheets to understand.
• No MAC addresses to deal with.
• No need to find the right channel.
• No complex functions to call.
• No escape command sequences to learn.
• No need to know anything about wireless at all.
• 2.4 GHz worldwide compliant.
• LEDs for TX and RX
• Built-in antenna.
• Compliant and approved: FCC, IC, CE, ETSI, RoHS
How do I use it?
Just plug it onto your Arduino Uno (or clone).
Here is all the code you need to know to send and receive wireless data:
ReceivedByte = Serial.read();
That’s it. Yes, it really is just that simple!
What can I do with it?
You can make any Arduino project wireless instantly. This is a clean wireless-pipe, any bytes you put in one end, you get out the other. Since there is no protocol to adhere to, you are truly unrestricted.
What else can I do with it?
You can use a USB dongle, which allows the Arduino to wirelessly communicate with any computer or the web.
You can use multi-button keyfobs to add very cool remote control capability to your Arduino projects.
You can also use your Arduino Wireless Shield to communicate with a stand-alone breadboarding RF module that can plug into any standard solderless breadboard, giving you full range of flexibility with your project.
Can it work in groups and multi-point networks?
Yes! You are only limited by your creativity and your imagination.
Can it also be used in classroom environment?
Yes! You can have multiple PRIVATE wireless pipes running independently.
• Does the Shield run on 3.3V or 5V?
The shield UART input and output is at 5V. The on-board radio uses the 3.3V supply from the Arduino board. Also the 5V supply is used for solid 5V UART output. There are internal logic level shifters, which are ICs that produce solid logic levels so there is no issue with slew rates, ringing or having too little drive current.
The UART output uses a 5V logic buffer so you have a full 5V swing.
The UART input uses a 3.3V logic buffer with a 5V tolerant input.
They are both internally resistively pulled up to maintain a proper steady state levels and keep the UART quiet when not being driven from either side so there is no noise or chatter of any kind, and no worry for false triggering which prevents glitches which might otherwise allow a UART start bit to sneak a byte through. Basically its a clean bi-directional UART driver circuit.
• Can I use it with a software UART instead of the hardware UART?
Yes. There is an on-board slide-switch, that allows you to switch between the two hardware UART pins or pin 12 and 13 on the shield which allows you the option to configure a software UART there and free up the hardware UART for other uses.
Here is a page reference from Arduino on the software UART usage option:
Also see my FAQ about using the Arduino Mega.
• Can I use any of the 4 harware UARTs on the Arduino MEGA?
Yes. All you need to do is slide the Hardware / Software UART switch to the Software position on our Wireless Shield and that will place the UART TXD and RXD pins on pin 12 and 13 which are GPIO, then simply don't use those two pins (the Mega has so many anyway). Instead jumper from those two pins over to any of the other three hardware UARTs on the Arduino Mega.
• Can I form my own simple private network of devices?
Yes you can. When you use any of these devices, they are all fully open to each other, meaning any device that transmits, all the other devices it will hear it. However, you have the options to flip the switch on the Shield that tells it to go to a private wireless-pipe mode, then simply by pressing the Learn button on the Shield you can teach up to 60 Shields, Keyfobs, stand alone breadboardsing RF Modules or USB Dongles to each other and form mini-networks which will ignore devices outside of their network, so you will not be bothered by others around you.