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Happy 2014! We’re particularly happy to be making the first release of the SleepySketch library for writing low-power Arduino sketches.
For some people, traditional programming is daunting. This needn’t be the case, and there are several more visual programming studios available — one of which has now come to the Arduino.
It turns out there there are quite a few versions of the “same” components out there. Uploading sketches to an Arduino-on-a-breadboard is trickier than it first appears.
Putting an Arduino together from scratch lets us look at where the power consumption might be reduced — and is just an interesting thing to do anyway.
Clearly saving battery power means getting the XBee radio to sleep at the behest of the Arduino. This turns out to be fairly simple, but does require modifying the XBee shield slightly.
Controlling the XBee requires issuing AT commands. The XBee library has the low-level machinery to do this.
The Arduino has several sleep modes that can be used to reduce power consumption. The most useful for sensor networks is probably the one that uses the watchdog timer.