Building a radio-based doorbell

This week we finally got to get our hands dirty with XBee radios, tasked with setting up a simple radio-based doorbell. Generally, we were surprised at how un-smoothly the process went. It took us a good while to notice that my XBee radio was just one pin off while seated on its breakout board. After programming our radios to listen to each other, we also forgot to write the commands into firmware via ATWR, thus erasing our work. Working in a feedback light presented another round of troubleshooting various problems with loose wires and filled serial buffers. We ultimately failed in our quest to give the doorbell ringer a small pause before seeing the feedback light. On the whole, I have to say I now feel more adept with serial communication, though – and I’m impressed with the possibilities presented by the XBee radios.