Happy 2014! We’re particularly happy to be making the first release of the SleepySketch library for writing low-power Arduino sketches.
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.
An interesting article on how to power sensors and other “Internet of Things” devices.
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.
Some initial measurements of power consumption.
It’s funny how even early experiences change the way you think about a design. Two minor changes to SleepySketch have been suggested by early testing.
Keeping the microcontroller asleep as much as possible is a key goal for a sensor system, so it makes sense to organise the entire software process around that.
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.