Among our DIYer group are a lot of people who hack together a little code and stuff same in microprocessors for all kinds of stuff. The basic Stamp is a great intro to what can
be done and I doubt there’s a better learning tool. Search for ‘Parallax Inc’ for more info.
One of the things that has always bugged me is the cost of
implementing I/O, whether it be a series of buttons and leds, or a key board
and monitor. We often find the cost of buying these pieces and implementing
them far more expensive than a used PC or a PDA with blue tooth, WIFI, a USB
port, etc. Why would we even think of spending more for less?
I’m not current on Outback products, but consider their
wonderful Inverters. If you buy one, you’re encouraged to buy the ‘powermate’ so you can talk to the inverter, and even do so remotely via a wired Ethernet connection.
f we consider the mind boggling power of the ‘I phones’ and
now the ‘Androids’, doesn’t it make sense to consider a blue tooth or WIFI
connection to gain access to your hacked projects or even the Outback products and others?
A WIFI to Ethernet module or USB to WIFI might allow us to
connect to our custom off grid power controller and monitor everything from battery voltage to
sent a request to change a ‘dump’ load from the default to a secondary load.
The device I seek may already exist, or it might be cheaply
hacked by using an outdated wireless router with open source software? What I
seek is a wireless connection, a way of talking to our device in the field from
our favorite PDA and being able to save performance data and more.
Your input will be appreciated!