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Say it Proud with XBee Panel Meter

Want to impress people? Make a muscle measuring fitness meter! Or perhaps you’re a business genius and prefer to quantify your cash. Either way, you’ve got to have a panel meter to indicate your achievements. The latest tutorial from Digi’s XBee Examples & Guides shows all the steps for creating a wireless readout. You’ll push your project’s needle towards “11.” It’s also great for giving your device a retro feel. More on that from the site:

As the world of technology becomes increasingly digital, the nostalgia for older analog technology grows. The panel meter is a great piece of analog technology that can be easily integrated into your projects. And thanks to the XBee 802.15.4 radio’s digital to analog converter, you can make a wireless panel meter with only a few components.

This video demonstrates the panel meter in operation, using a light sensor to control its movements. You could also monitor remote radiation, track the temperature in refrigerated trucks or keep an eye on your favorite stock by connecting it to the Internet with the XIG. Go ahed, make yourself a meter!

New XBee Example: Make Money with a Coin Acceptor

Earn some income using this latest XBee Example that shows how to easily connect an XBee radio to one of Adafruit’s nifty coin acceptors. It’s part of Digi’s efforts to document how to create all kinds of interesting XBee inputs, outputs and interconnections.  We’d like to make making things easier.

Here’s what the site has to say:

“Your XBee can make real money, all by itself! This easy-to-use coin acceptor can be part of any project where you want to accept coins, whether they be Euros, pence, pounds, a Cambodian Riel or American quarters.

“The XBee radio will send a signal every time a coin is inserted into the acceptor. In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through how to program the radio, configure the acceptor and wire it up to an XBee so you can create projects that earn real cash!”

The video below shows an XBee coin acceptor in a basic, local implementation. It’s just a starting point for you to get creative. For example you could also hook everything up to the Internet via the new XBee Internet Gateway and start Counting Money with a Coin Acceptor online!

XBee Example for Feeling the Force

The newest tutorial on Digi’s XBee Examples site teaches you to create a wireless force sensor or FSR. The force sensor sends out a signal that varies depending upon how hard you press on it. It can be used to measure weight or pressure.

Additional examples for XBee radio sensors and outputs are being posted regularly, all summer long. Follow our RSS feed to collect ‘em all. For example last week’s Digital Input example could be used to detect whether a cat is on a mat. But if you need to know how fat is that cat on the mat, then then Matt Richardson’s new Feeling Force example is for you!

XBee Internet Gateway Released for Macintosh, Windows and Linux!

Connecting your XBee® to the Internet just got simple. The new XBee Internet Gateway v1.5 runs directly on Windows, Macintosh and Linux computers! All you need is a single XBee with USB adaptor to put entire XBee networks online. With the XIG, you can turn any XBee into an Internet sensor module, create web-controlled motors , online indicator lights, and stream online data to and from any Arduino. Both 802.15.4 (Series 1) and ZigBee (Series 2) XBees are supported. You could create giant sensor networks, analyze and control distant equipment, scrape gossip from Facebook or simply flip switches in your own home!

The XIG is a software gateway that makes it easy to connect Digi’s XBee radios to the Internet. It is able to send data to any web app and can also be linked to the iDigi® Device Cloud™  for full remote configuration of every radio in your network. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Download the XBee Internet Gateway for Windows, Macintosh, Linux or ConnectPort
  2. Read the XIG documentation including installation instructions
  3. Give us your feedback!
The XBee Internet Gateway is a free, open-source project written in Python. It was initiated by Rob Faludi and extended by Jordan HusneyTed HayesTom CollinsMichael Sutherland and other generous contributors. It’s supported by Digi International and we’re pretty happy to offer it free to you!

Digi XBee Examples Site

Our brand new Digi XBee Examples project site just went live! Check out  the first tutorials that Matt Richardson and Rob Faludi have published on Digi’s instructional library site: examples.digi.com.

Right now we have a big pile of different sensors, lights, motors, scent emitters and more that just came in. We’re going to demonstrate XBee hookups for ‘em all, then show how they can be linked to one another, hooked up to computers and connected to the Internet. From breathalyzers to joysticks and from wind sensors to fluid meters we’re creating a modular toolbox that should jumpstart all kinds of innovative and practical XBee projects. Come and see the beginnings:

 

Keep informed about new tutorials by following the RSS feed.

 

Digi Wiki for Developers

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Today we are sharing a resource that Digi International interns and engineers find helpful, and we hope that you do too. The Digi Wiki for Developers hosts over 200 pieces of content. The informational hub is broken down into three sections — the Python Wiki, iDigi Platform Wiki and the iDigi Dia Wiki.

 

“When I started to learn Dia and become familiar with it, this was the first place that I went. It has information, examples and documentation regarding the various aspects of Dia.” explains Shawn Reisner, a computer software engineering intern here at Digi International. “The python programmer’s guide is a great resource in terms of learning the python code that Digi uses and how to use it with devices.”

Check out this resource and keep an eye out for new resources that we’ll be launching soon.

Would you like us to offer information on a specific topic? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter.

iDigi Web Services: Now Accessible to All

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We are always thinking about how to make iDigi more accessible. We are excited to announce a price reduction for iDigi Web Services, our device management and application development solution. We have lowered the monthly minimum fee for iDigi Web Services, from $50 to $1.99.

This price reduction will enable anyone to sign up for iDigi and experience the full capability of the cloud and test developer applications.

This reduction in price reflects our commitment to our customers and the continued growth of the iDigi Device Cloud. By making iDigi more accessible to our customers across all verticals and organization types, we’re able to drive the growth of the iDigi Community.

Current iDigi customers will notice the reduced price for the May billing period.

The iDigi Platform offers a number of web services that allow users and their applications to interact with iDigi and their devices.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up today!

See all of our iDigi service Plans here.

iDigi Announces Europe Device Cloud

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As an international company, we are dedicated to delivering scalability, reliability, security and an overall exceptional user experience to our broad base of customers around the globe.

That’s why we are excited to announce the launch of the iDigi Europe Device Cloud, our London-based cloud environment (datacenter).

Now, iDigi Device Cloud customers can choose which device cloud location is best for them – Chicago or London, when creating their iDigi Device Cloud account. By storing data at the cloud closest to where the majority of devices are registered to iDigi, customers benefit from minimal latency and optimized M2M application performance.

 

The iDigi Europe Device Cloud was built with international needs in mind, not least EU data legislation that requires data to be kept within the borders of the EU. As such, EU-based customers are now able to take advantage of a cloud solution that facilitates data compliance.

Supporting our global customer base is an integral part of the iDigi roadmap plans are in place to deploy further device clouds in key regions around the world.

If you already have an iDigi Device Cloud account and would like to switch from the US Cloud to the Europe Cloud, please contact iDigi Sales Operations at sarah.coulter@digi.com. All iDigi Developer accounts are hosted on the US Device Cloud.

XBee Configuration Utility from Moltosenso

A new configuration utility for Digi International’s XBee® radios is available for Macintosh, Windows and Linux platforms from Moltosenso in Italy, and it’s free. According to their web site, Moltosenso Network Manager™ IRON enables the following tasks:

  • full support to any API Operation mode (with and without escaped characters)
  • get/set of the parameters of Digi International® modules plugged to the PC, both in API and AT mode
  • get/set of the parameters of Digi International® modules remotely addressable
  • an effective graphic test for RSSI parameter, especially tailored for XBEE™ modules
  • firmware upload (local and – where available – remote) for many supported Digi International® modules.

Download it and let us know what you think in the comments!


iDigi Web Services with Microsoft PowerShell

I put together some PowerShell scripts to query iDigi Web Services for my Dia data and display the results in a nice little .Net GUI applet called “Gridview”.  Gridview is a slimmed down spreadsheet-like application.  No math, but it is wonderful at filtering and sorting data!

I do a lot of tinkering with gateways, changing Dia code, checking the results on iDigi.  I find this tool very handy to quickly check if my data got up to iDigi.

Screen capture of iDigi Dia data in Microsoft Gridview applet

Screen capture of iDigi Dia data in Microsoft Gridview applet

In addition to Gridview, you can also send or pipe the query results to other presentation objects like an HTML page (convertto-html), a CSV file (export-csv), and other tools provided by Microsoft and by the community.  You could also use the “foreach-object” loop to update a database.

I have posted several example scripts on the iDigi Developer Wiki to demonstrate using PowerShell with Dia data, Smart Energy data and Device (gateway) statistics.

I am interested to learn how many folks in the community use PowerShell, and if doing a more formal PowerShell integration would be of interest. If you find these useful, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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