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Scout is an Arduino-compatible XBee-ready low-power platform for building wireless sensor networks. Scout is based on an ATmega328 microcontroller loaded with the Arduino Uno bootloader. The microcontroller communicates with the XBee radio using Arduino digital pins 3 and 4 and the Arduino SoftwareSerial library. Arduino digital pin 6 is interfaced with the XBee radios sleep pin so the XBee can be put into a low-power state by the microcontroller. Arduino digital pin 13 is connected to an LED for status reporting. A seven-pin header provides access to Arduino analog pins 4 and 5 and Arduino digital pins 7, 8, and 9. Scout is designed to be powered by a battery pack providing from 3.7 (a single cell li-po battery) to 9 VDC (the absolute maximum tolerance is approximately 12 VDC). A low-dropout voltage regulator with very low quiescent current draw powers the XBee and ATmega328 at 3.3 VDC. A second LED indicates the XBEE radio’s status. Both LEDs can be turned off via a SPDT switch to conserve power.

Status of Scout:
Version 1 CAD files completed.
Version 1 CAD files sent to for fabrication.
The above image is an OSHPark rendering of what the prototype boards look like.

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