Arduino is an open source platform for programming the ATmega series of microcontrollers. The standard Arduino hardware consists of an 8-bit ATmega mcu with the inputs and outputs brought out onto a series of headers with standardised layout which allows other add on boards (shields) to be plugged in although this is only a convention, the only thing required for compatibility with Arduino is a compatible ATmega chip loaded with the Arduino bootloader and you can build your own circuits around the bare chip. The hardware is programmed using a Wiring-based language, similar to C++ and a Processing-based IDE, together it makes for a very easy way to develop small electronic devices.

Variations on the basic Arduino hardware are available such as the Nanode which adds wireless communications, internet connectivity, additional SRAM and options such as SD Card reader and a real time clock and its little brother the WiNode, a low cost wireless node that is available in several different configurations and offers useful features such as 16V tolerant analogue inputs and when fitted with a dual H-bridge driver can provide 2A digital outputs for driving relays or motors.

TinyTX Wireless Sensor Module

The TinyTX is my Open Source wireless IoT sensor node, designed to be compatible with OpenEnergyMonitorNanodes and Jeenodes. It uses the Atmel ATtiny84 microprocessor and a HopeRF RFM12B transceiver module and is coded using the Arduino IDE with the arduino-tiny core.

Initially devised with the DS18B20 digital temperature sensor in mind it can also easily be used with a dual temperature/humidity sensor such as the DHT22 or an analogue temperature sensor such as the TMP36 or many other kinds of sensors, some examples and all the necessary files to build your own are on the TinyTX page here.

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