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Need help, my first electronic project. RF or Bluetooth?

Discussion in 'Radio and Wireless' started by Arthur Jones, Jul 29, 2014.

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  1. Arthur Jones

    Arthur Jones

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    0
    Jul 29, 2014
    I want to make two identical simple devices. When pressing a button on device A device B vibrates and vice versa. The reason: my parents are deaf and are constantly struggling to get each others attention, even when in the same room. I plan for them to attach the devices on their belt, so they always when the other is trying to get their attention.

    I have experience working with mechanical projects but none whatsoever when it comes to electronic components. I have done some research with simple RF transmitters and receivers but have no idea where to start. Some have told me about bluetooth but I don't want to control anything with my phone or anything of that nature. So far I have battery packs, buttons, vibrating motors, and soldering equipment. Any help anyone could give me would be help me a lot.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Gryd3

    Gryd3

    4,098
    875
    Jun 25, 2014
    http://spin.atomicobject.com/2011/09/22/a-little-bit-of-xbee/

    There are products available out there that may be what you require that are pre-made.
    These 'Xbee' products can mirror the state of a pin on one device to the pin on another, have great range, and you don't need to tinker with tuning your own radio.
    It may be a good place to start.

    I do not recommend Bluetooth, it does work for more than just phones, but your range is limited.
     
  3. Arthur Jones

    Arthur Jones

    2
    0
    Jul 29, 2014
    Took a look at the "XBee" products, looks like I could use this. Like I've stated, I'm completely new to electronic gadget building, how would you recommend I combine a battery, switch (button), vibrating motor, and XBee? Also which XBee would you recommend?
     
  4. Gryd3

    Gryd3

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    Jun 25, 2014
    Your first step will be experimenting with some basic electronics first before you get an XBee (or similar) then if you are completely new to this ;)

    Take what you have and break it down into smaller parts.
    What kind of battery packs? If they will be recharged 'IN' the device, you will need extra components to allow this.
    The XBees (and many micro-controllers) are not strong enough to run your motor. You will need to make use of a transistor to handle the heavy lifting that the XBee can't handle.
    You will find TONS of material online about how to use a transistor to switch a bigger load. You can play and experiment with this part immediately with most of the parts you have, but I would suggest getting your hands on some transistors, and some generic resistors to add to your collection. You will need one of your motors and one of your buttons for this parts to learn.
    Once you can activate your motor with a transistor and your button, you can essentially take one of the output pins from the XBee and connect it in place of the switch. Your XBee or other micro-controller can now control the motor.
    The next step will be a little more difficult for me to explain as I have not programmed an XBee, but your end goal will be to have each Xbee 'mirror'
    the other so that when you push the button on one, the other's pin will trigger the transistor and motor. (You may need to find someone on here with in-depth experience with XBee)

    Once you have your tests complete, you can put it into it's final assembly.

    *Please note that I have recommended XBee due to it's range, and apparent ease of use. You may come across an alternative solution talking to others.
     
  5. JimW

    JimW

    59
    5
    Oct 22, 2010
    Depending on how much time you want to spend on this, you can buy something that is more complete:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1PCS-Wirele...eceiver-Relay-Modules-433-92MHZ-/271067232816
    Or search for wireless keyfob module on aliexpress.
    Push the button and it trips a remote relay. No worry about data packets and coding a microcontroller. Some of these solutions use the Xbee modules in them.

    Power the receiving module (small 12V battery) and drive the vibrating motor from the same battery through the relay contacts). Now all you worry about is packaging and battery life.

    Jim
     
  6. Gryd3

    Gryd3

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    Jun 25, 2014
    I like the simple idea Jim, but my understanding was the OP needed two-way communication so I had brought up the XBee. This could work but two receivers and two transmitters would need to be packaged together. (Which may not be a bad idea if the price is right ;))
     
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