Introduction: Kippkitts Sensor Motes Introduction

Welcome to the kippkitts community! This Instructables is meant to help you understand the circuitry of your Sensor Mote. It also includes simple instructions on how to view and understand the data that displays on a Serial monitor when you plug in your Sensor Mote.

There will be more Instructables to come detailing how to use your Sensor Mote to transmit data wirelessly! So stay tuned :)

Step 1: What Is a Sensor Mote?

Are you looking for data about your surroundings? Do you want to be able to send that data to different devices for analysis?

Whether you’re a professor looking to monitor lab conditions, a farmer keeping track of temperature and humidity for your crops, a devout building science homeowner determining the heating/cooling performance of your house, or you’re a sensing control freak like Kipp, here is a guide to using our all-in-one, Arduino based sensing device that can wirelessly transmit and retrieve real time data.

Sensor Motes are available for purchase here.

Step 2: Suggested Prior Knowledge (totally Cool If You Don’t Have Experience As Well)

Step 3: Materials

All of these items can be purchased here.

  • Sensor Mote
  • Arduino Leonardo
  • Arduino Power source and/or micro-USB to USB cable
  • CoolTerm (more instructions to come)

Step 4: Understanding the Sensor Mote Hardware

There are 6 sensors on the sensor mote (the Sensor Motes can either be purchased with an air quality sensor OR an RF power sensor. A Sensor Mote may also be purchased with a motion detector). Each one is connected to a digital or analog input. The picture above depicts the location of each sensor on your air quality Sensor Mote.

Step 5: Breakdown of Sensors

The chart above gives an overview of which sensors are connected to which pins on the Arduino (the pin numbers with an "A" before the number are analog pins, and the pin numbers with only numbers are digital pins). Additionally the chart gives the output units. You can find more information on the sensors by looking at their data sheets, which can be found by searching their name.

The program will also output altitude in meters from the BMP sensor. The output data will read "A=" and then the meters.

Step 6: Light Check

You will know that the setup part of the code has run when the red light next to SPARE turns on for 1 second, off for 2 seconds, and then stays on.

Step 7: Plug in Your Arduino and See Real Time Data

You can plug in a micro-USB to USB cable into your Arduino and computer. One way to see the data you are collecting is to download CoolTerm.

In the CoolTerm application, go to Options and change the Serial port so that it is connecting to the Arduino port. You can figure out which port is for the Arduino because you can see which of the Serial ports is NOT present when you unplug the Arduino and view the options for the ports again. The one that is only present when the Arduino is plugged in to your computer is the one that you want to select.

After selecting the appropriate port, you can press OK and then press connect on the top bar. Now CoolTerm will show the outputs of the sensors.

Step 8: (Optional) Make the Code Your Own

This is the code that your Arduino comes programmed with.

If you would like to play around with the code, this is a good basic outline to start with.

Step 9: Advantages of Using Kippkitts Sensor Motes!

  • Easy wireless data collection
  • Sensors are all integrated into one circuit board
  • With the XBee technology, you can send data up to a mile
  • Mesh network assures optimal data pathways and low power sensing
  • Open source coding environment

More advanced Instructables to come!