THP Semifinalist: The Moteino

One of the apparent unofficial themes of The Hackaday Prize is the Internet of Things and home automation. While there were plenty of projects that looked at new and interesting ways to turn on a light switch from the Internet, very few took a good, hard look at the hardware required to do that. [Felix]’s Moteino is one of those projects.

The Moteino is based on the Arduino, and adds a low-cost radio module to talk to the rest of the world. The module is the HopeRF RFM12B or RFM69. Both of these radios operate in the ISM band at 434, 868, or 915 MHz. Being pretty much the same as an Arduino with a radio module strapped to the back, programming is easy and it should be able to do anything that has been done with an ATMega328.

[Felix] has been offering the Moteino for a while now, and already there are a few great projects using this platform. In fact, a few other Hackaday Prize entries incorporated a Moteino into their design; Plant Friends used it in a sensor node, and this project is using it for texting and remote control with a cell phone.

SpaceWrencherThe project featured in this post is a semifinalist in The Hackaday Prize.

16 thoughts on “THP Semifinalist: The Moteino

  1. So many individuals missed out on this contest. Paul Stoffegren should have entered the teensy. Massimo should have entered the Arduino uno. Jim Paris should have entered his tiny FT230X. Like the Moteino, these products are open source, been on the market already and have made so much impact in the community they would have been shoe ins for at least semfinals.

  2. i could do SO MANY thigs, if i had 500 of these (not a typo).

    i mean, i have only 50 plant pots around the house. ican’t make my home a ratsnest of wires from on econtroller to all of them!

    but with over 20$ a piece for a moteino (although it would be technically perfect for the job) that adds up to 1000 bucks just for my plants, let alone HVAC, door/window monitoring/actuation, motion detection, and in the future maybe even power generation and whatnot!

    adding just a coouple of them and compromising “until cheaper devices are found” doesnt cut it.

    1. Actually, I doubt all your plants are that far away from each other. Put a single moteino in close to a plant cluster, and draw wires from it. In all cases, the radio on moteino is limited to 127 nodes. So you don’t want 500 of them.

  3. I really like the moteino (more than the jeenodes, based on similar hardware, but which is more complex!).
    I spent some time trying to replicate it, however i am having hard time finding a simple explaination of how to plug the components together. Indeed, i have RFM12 modules, and i am not sure of how to connect stuff. The problem is that there are many variants, but everyone seem to use another version… (all guides use the RFM12B, i have RFM12S for which i can’t find much documentation).
    All in all, very good projects, but it could use a beginer friendly documentation on how to replicate the stuff with easy componements.

    1. Also in this family (AVR+HopeRF+serialflash+whatever) is the Anarduino Miniwireless series, which are worth a look. They’re basically the same hardware as the Moteino plus an RTC.

      I really like Moteino because of the bootloader that allows reflashing over radio, and I believe it can be used on other boards too. Kudos to everyone in the family; these are some super useful little boards and feature-sharing is beneficial to everyone.

  4. Is a separate bulky antenna is absolutely required? It kind of kills the look of it, and makes it look really bulky. The pcb itself is only a size of SD card.

    Is it absolutely not viable to integrate the antenna onto the pcb? Or a piece of wire? Maybe it will be not as long range, but could be hidden better. When I park my car during the night, I would be in range, so I could install it in my car as a thief detector.

    And the other way around what was published here a few days ago (gps transmitter). It would send an echo signal, say, each 10 seconds, and when there is no signal, then the alarm goes on.
    So if the thief manage to destroy the sensor, it does not matter, the alarm would go on. Kind of like a relay’s NC connector.

    1. Piece of wire is what most of us do, a half-wave dipole (quarter-wave antenna going one way, quarter-wave ground going the other) is super simple. Dig into some ham radio study material, this topic is extremely well covered!

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