Metaboard/2010 activities

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/!\ draft /!\

As of September 2010, user:reox and user:chrysn are about to build some microcontroller stuff, partially based on the metaboard, and centered around home automation.

People who want to participate are invited to join, even if there is just a small overlap between the things we build.


  • Physical goals:
    • Build remote sensors that monitor room parameters; those should be as cheap as possible (<10€)
    • Build a base station for those sensors that can be used both for receiving and programming the sensors
    • Build a version of said base station that can also control that can emit DMX signals
  • Learning goals:
    • Planning a physical computing device from standard components
    • Physically creating the devices
  • Community interaction goals:
    • Document the learning experience
    • Enhance tools used
    • Create a version of metaboard that can be edited using free tools


  • Microcontrollers: Atmel AVR (ATmega and ATtiny; chosen for availability of existing infrastructure (gcc, arduino libraries) and widespread use in similar applications)
  • PCB implementation: single sided PCB with no SMD components
  • Board base: metaboard (at least for the base station)
  • RF communication: ISM band using HopeRF RFM12
  • Computer communication: V-USB (works with metaboard, is cheap and much cooler than relying on serial port emulation)
  • Layouting software: gEDA seems to be the best free schematic and PCB editor



Existing similar solutions

(We could probably directly go for some of them, but doing it all ourselves gives more flexibility and a learning experience.)

Physical resources

We hope to be granted access to metalab / whateverlab resources for physically creating the boards (PCB etching (or milling?), solder station, parts repository / order collections), and will approach metalabbers as soon as we know what we want at all.