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    Hi my name is Ken. I’m new to Arduino, in fact so new I haven’t gone beyond “Which board is right for you”. I have been doing the best I can with gathering info with blogs and forums looking for the boards for my project. I intend to do build a system with an Arduino in my detached garage approx. 50′ from my central location that will be used to let me know whether doors are open or closed and through some other software/hardware be able to close them remotely. A second Arduino will be in my attic, approx. 30′ above central location to control and monitor solar collector for heating. A third and possible fourth arduino will be in the central location to be used as burglar alarm, pump control for solar project, general lighting and appliance control. I can install all sensors and wiring plus hack my way through everything else needed. My issue is that I’m not clear on how to interconnect these remote locations to all work in concert with each other. I prefer wires and that part is easy for me, vs. any form of wireless. I get that serial is going to be the way, but I can’t find any intel on Max. distances between boards. I am planning on using Processing to make a GUI that I can display a floor plan showing doors n windows states, temps. status of all kinds of appliances and what not. Seams ambitious, I know, but I have been working on parts of this for some time and I’m at the point to tie this all together. I did find a board in development call “Chainduino” that may suite my needs. Not sure when it will hit market. Any thoughts as to how to best achieve my project goals? Thanks in advance for your consideration on this.



    I’m doing much the same, but be warned, it’s a lot harder than it sounds. It has taken me the better part of a year just to get gas meter results back from meter to Arduino. I used wireless, XBee Series 2 and it’s a lot to get your head round, but they do work well and you can relatively easily set up what they call a Zigbee mesh. This allows you to put sleeping radio’s on doors and so on and they only transmit when needed. Very satisfying when it works – then can be applied to all sorts of measurements. Don’t forget memories, SD cards, real-time clocks. I dot digital temperature sensors around the house and the information soon tells you where the heat is going. The are big numbers of people doing the same thing. Maybe you would be better off looking at the Arduino forum – if you posted last year and still don’t have any replies, you have to wonder how active this forum is. Disappointing if you are starting out.

    Good luck



    Those kind of distances are going to be trouble with serial. Your two options are to go balanced serial (Rs-485) or maybe just going ethernet using Ethernet shields.

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