My First Step
August, 2011, I put my money where my mouth or actually where my writing says I am. I placed an order with Parallax (about $200) for their XBee 802.15.4 Starter Kit. Follow the link and you will find out more about this kit than I need to write here.
I figure I will be "dead in the water" if I don't have the local area network (LAN) concept fully functional. It is this radio link system that has strongly driven me to push forward with the entire concept. This kit has the low powered 1 mW transceiver modules (three of them) and that power level is suitable for testing. My plan is to use the higher power pro modules (63 mW) when I build the first operational on the water system.
I already own a BASIC STAMP micro-controller I have toyed with for years. So I have done the micro programming and know what I am facing. This is what has me excited! However, I will definitely be learning and using the more powerful Propeller microprocessor system for this project. I currently believe the Propeller will be sufficient computer power and importantly, low battery powered for the task.
But hey! That's way down the road so is subject to revision. Stay tuned.