Going Postal

So here’s a little board I made a few summers ago in part to experiment with the Microchip WiFi module, in part to play with home made double sided boards.

IMAG0391

We have a PIC32 processor, micro sd media, wifi module, some buttons, a bicolour LED and a tiny buzzer. There is USB for file transfer and charging (this runs off a small 4.2v lipol battery.)

Now there was (and still is) a good reason for building this as a small, rechargeable battery powered device . Well, perhaps just “a reason”. I wanted to be able to stick it in the post, mail it to a friend somewhere in the world, and have the thing record all the Wifi access points it finds along the way.

Postman Pat picMaybe not with him

While the board is on its travels, should it find an open Wifi access point it could create a blog entry on my website, telling us where it had been.  It’s an electronic travel journalist.

 

daf-mail

That’s more like it

Unfortunately I built the board, then got rather busy, and the thing languished in a draw for a few years.

In the meantime I moved country, and buses started to operate open Wifi. So now there is a new avenue for data collection: stick it on a bus, let it run around town for a bit, then pick it up later. It would be like a chatty, electronic boomerang.

So now I have another active project. This is the circuit diagram:

postal

I will post updates as the software develops, and we eventually get to field trials. At the moment I just have a flashy LED.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. ‘Man arrested for planting suspicious device on bus’

    Hmm…

    Reply
    • Yes, I can see that being a problem too. I’ve been looking for somewhere to hide it, but that would make things only worse!

      Reply

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