Today, exactly one year ago, I discovered the Arduino platform and decided to explore it and write about my adventures. That’s when this weblog started. Within a month, it became a daily weblog – as it still is today.
Early 2009, the JeeNode was born. Like every youngster, it has kept me very busy ever since, deep into the night at times. Fortunately youngsters grow up, eventually …
So today, I’d like to announce the availability of the JeeNode v4 – the fourth iteration of the JeeNode:
The one thing you’ll notice (other than the by now “standard” blue-and-gold design) is the changed PWR/I2C header, left of the ATmega chip. It now includes the RX and TX pins, and has moved to a new location, closer to the port headers. The 4 inner pins are still the same. And it’s now called the PWR/SER/I2C (PSI) header.
The back of the JeeNode v4 has changed a lot more:
Text! Lots of clearly readable labels to indicate what all the ports and pins are. And on the far right three “check-boxes” to mark which type of radio is on the board. The white area in the middle is for writing down your own info, such as the node ID assigned to this unit – or which sketch it is running. See the updated documentation.
The JeeNode v4 replaces the JeeNode v3 as of today. Le roi est mort, vive le roi!
As you may have seen, the new JeeLink v2 USB stick was announced a few days ago.
Along with these two, I’d also like to announce that a new JeeNode USB v2 prototype is currently on its way. It has exactly the same size and layout as the JeeNode v4, but with the FTDI pins replaced by a mini-USB socket (same as what’s used in most digital cameras). The JeeNode USB v2 replaces the JeeLink v1, using a different USB connector. Like the JeeLink, it is built with SMT components:
The JeeNode USB and the JeeLink are USB devices, and have three LEDs: green/red for RX/TX activity on the USB port, respectively, and a blue LED which could be used as wireless activity indicator. The base JeeNode has no LEDs, but it’s very easy to add an activity LED between SPI/ISP header pins 2 and 8.
The two JeeNodes will of course continue to work just fine with all the plugs, but they are also a particularly nice match for the new Proto Board:
(shown here half-inserted on a JeeNode v4 for clarity)
I’d like to point out that the Proto Plug gives access to 18 of the ATmega328′s 20 I/O pins. Only two pins are dedicated to the on-board wireless radio module (INT0 and SS). To put it differently: these JeeNodes add ports as a modular way to extend and use the ATmega I/O capabilities, but their use is entirely optional: you can simply ignore all the extra supply and ground pins if you don’t need them. And you can run totally unmodified Arduino sketches on the JeeNodes and JeeLink.
So there you have it. One year old, yet already grown up: a nice little range of modules which combine low-cost wireless with an Arduino-compatible design, using a modular architecture for tying stuff to the physical world…
I’m very proud to see how far Jee Labs has come in one year, and can’t wait to put these building blocks to new uses and to see what others figure out to do with all this.