For remote sensors some kind of wireless technology makes a lot of sense. An Arduino-like board plus an RFM12 is a cheap and good alternative. And of course, the RPi can do Wi-Fi, which makes things even simpler (just TCP/IP; not messing with serial line protocols). And cost-wise, an RPi model A plus Wi-Fi USB dongle can be had for what, $35? Not bad.
If the luxury of wires in the remote location is feasible then 1-Wire is a good option. USB does seem very limited indeed.
-------- Original message --------
From: JimMH <jskinner58@...>
Date: 11/24/2013 9:49 PM (GMT-06:00)
Subject: Re: [mh] Raspberry pi as remote i/o node or multiple pi boards?
You make some good points but there are other things to consider besides just
the cost of the boards themselves. I have several items in a remote
location (actually several things grouped in several locations but for now I
will address one area). It is not convenient to run all the signals (some
are line voltage among other things) back to the main mh box. It is also
not convenient to run a USB signal that far (which is what the arduinos
use). I have considered using an arduino with serial signal rather than
USB and I will probably do that for starters but for more complex nodes I am
thinking the small additional price for the pi might be worth it in
simplifying the wiring and also giving more flexibility in programming. And
the pi can connect to the LAN rather than having to have multiple serial
> I would say that if you are looking to do IO, Arduino would be the way
> to go. I would use that with something like the XPL protocol as Mr
> Keegan had wrote, and use that to communicate with a pi as the main MH
> node. Using the PI for the smaller nodes of a system seems like
> overkill. Think of it as that the PI is overqualified for the job. Not
> that it can't do it, but do you really need that much power to read some
> sensors and report back to your main node? Besides, the Arduino
> compatible boards that you find on ebay can be purchased for between $10
> and $20 versus the $35 for the PI, so why not use those for the lighter
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